Welcome to the jungle. Wild & exotic truths, semi-truths and lots of lush exaggeration. ....Celia
Thursday, June 12, 2003
The American Psychiatric Association Goes Nuts
I excerpted the following from an article my brother found and sent me:
Psychiatric Association Debates Lifting Pedophilia Taboo By Lawrence Morahan
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
June 11, 2003
(CNSNews.com) - In a step critics charge could result in decriminalizing sexual contact between adults and children, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently sponsored a symposium in which participants discussed the removal of pedophilia from an upcoming edition of the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.
Psychiatrists attending an annual APA convention May 19 in San Francisco proposed removing several long-recognized categories of mental illness - including pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism and sadomasochism - from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Most of the mental illnesses being considered for removal are known as "paraphilias."
Psychiatrist Charles Moser of San Francisco's Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and co-author Peggy Kleinplatz of the University of Ottawa presented conferees with a paper entitled "DSM-IV-TR and the Paraphilias: An Argument for Removal."
People whose sexual interests are atypical, culturally forbidden or religiously proscribed should not necessarily be labeled mentally ill, they argued.
A. Dean Byrd, vice president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Utah, condemned the debate. Taking the paraphilias out of the DSM without research would have negative consequences, he said.
"What this does, in essence, is it has a chilling effect on research," Byrd said. "That is, once you declassify it, there's no reason to continue studying it. What we know is that the paraphilias really impair interpersonal sexual behavior...and to suggest that it could be 'normalized' simply takes away from the science, but more importantly, has a chilling effect on research." [Yeah. THAT'S what I find "chilling" alright.]
"Normalizing" pedophilia would have enormous implications, especially since civil laws closely follow the scientific community on social-moral matters, said Linda Ames Nicolosi, NARTH publications director.
"If pedophilia is deemed normal by psychiatrists, then how can it remain illegal?" Nicolosi asked. "It will be a tough fight to prove in the courts that it should still be against the law." [Why? Are the juries going to be comprised of psychiatrists?]
In previous articles, psychiatrists have argued that there is little or no proof that sex with adults is necessarily harmful to minors. Indeed, some have argued that many sexually molested children later look back on their experience as positive, Nicolosi said. [WHAT?!]
"And other psychiatrists have written, again in scientific journals, that if children can be forced to go to church, why should 'consent' be the defining moral issue when it comes to sex?" she said. [Oh, sure, that's exactly the same thing.]
But whether pedophilia should be judged "normal and healthy" is as much a moral question as a scientific one, according to Nicolosi.
"The courts are so afraid of 'legislating someone's privately held religious beliefs' that if pedophilia is normalized, we will be hard put to defend the retention of laws against child molestation," Nicolosi noted. [ Gee, ya think?]
In a fact sheet on pedophilia, the APA calls the behavior "criminal and immoral."
"An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act that never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior," the APA said.
However, the APA failed to address whether it considers a person with a pedophile orientation to have a mental disorder.
"That is the question that is being actively debated at this time within the APA, and that is the question they have not answered when they respond that such relationships are 'immoral and illegal,'" Nicolosi said.
Dr. Frederick Berlin, founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, said people who are sexually attracted to children should learn not to feel ashamed of their condition.
"I have no problem accepting the fact that someone, through no fault of his own, is attracted to children. But certainly, such an individual has a responsibility...not to act on it," Berlin said. [ Well, that's pretty radical and intolerant, dontcha think?]
"Many of these people need help in not acting on these very intense desires in the same way that a drug addict or alcoholic may need help," he added.
Well, if they're looking for volunteers to "help," I'll be glad to sign up and "help" them right off the planet. Grrrr.
Okay, that's it for the heavy stuff. Stay tuned for "Jungle Lite," returning soon to a blog near you!
From the Girl Formerly Known as "Material" Another celeb weighs in with words of wisdom for Americans:
"We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous," Madonna told the television listings magazine.
"It's the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me?"