Skip to comments.American Psychiatric Association 'Rethinking' Its Assessment of Pedophiles
Posted on 07/02/2003 2:34:03 AM PDT by ex-Texan
American Psychiatric Association 'Rethinking' Its Assessment of Pedophiles
APA Isn't Thinking Clearly in Its Assessment of Pedophiles
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has a connotation of prestige, scholarly thought and authority. Just invoking the APA's ideas on a particular subject usually ends a dispute. That should be changing soon.
Most everyone who can think clearly has dismissed the recent book written by Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, even though the foreword of the book was written by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the Clinton administration's surgeon general. The book espouses the virtues of sexual relations between adults and children and will be seen by many as ridiculous, absurd and contemptible. And in spite of the denials by the author and Elders, the book clearly was off base, disgusting and immoral, and only could be acceptable to sexual deviates. At least that is what people who can think thought.
However, according to a June 11 article on CNSNews.com entitled "Psychiatric Association Debates Lifting Pedophilia Taboo," the APA may be removing the term "mental disorder" when describing pedophiles. It seems the folks who decide who is mentally ill and what it takes to be thought of that way need to debate whether the label of mental illness should continue to apply to adults who seek out children as sexual partners. APA members Charles Moser of San Francisco's Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and Peggy Kleinplatz of the University of Ottawa argue that, "People whose sexual interests are atypical, culturally forbidden or religiously proscribed should not necessarily be labeled mentally ill."
For many psychiatrists in the APA, men and women who seek out little children merely are displaying a natural, not necessarily abnormal, desire. That has got to be scary for the rest of us Americans. Mental-health experts who view adults sexually attracted to children as normal? This speaks volumes about the people making the rules that decide who is mentally disturbed.
The CNSNews.com article continues by explaining that the APA may view pedophiles as not "psychologically unhealthy." The folks over at the APA also are having some difficulty in deciding whether gender-identity disorder (GID) really is a "disorder."
Unfortunately, the "experts" at the APA are so caught up in political correctness or pressured by groups espousing the virtues of sexual depravity (or in the case of GID, the virtues of indecision over treatment) that they have caved in - or, far more frightening, really believe sexual deviance merely is an "alternative lifestyle."
There was an objection to the APA simply deciding that pedophiles are "normal" at the convention held for that purpose on May 19 in San Francisco. According to CNSNews.com, "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." Actually, he seemed to disagree with "normalizing" the pedophiles because he wouldn't get grants to study them if they no longer were considered mentally ill. "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." Most folks probably have a tendency to believe that a "normal" person at the convention would have objected to the APA declassifying pedophiles as mentally ill on other grounds.
The article points to one such individual named Linda Ames Nicolosi, NARTH publications director, who points to the obvious: "If pedophilia is deemed normal by psychiatrists, then how can it remain illegal?" She adds, "It will be a tough fight to prove in the courts that it should still be against the law."
The article points out that in a "fact sheet" from October 1997, the APA said, "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." However, the APA has not rendered a decision on a person who is a pedophile, but has not molested a child. In other words, the APA is sure you are mentally ill if you are sexually attracted to small children and actually act on that feeling, but it isn't sure you are mentally ill if you have those feelings but don't give in to them and actually molest a child.
It would seem the people who have followed in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Carl Jung and Erik Erikson - all truly great minds and professionals in the science of psychiatry - are in actuality in desperate need of psychiatric help themselves. But with the great ones no longer with us, who is there to treat them?
Times sure have changed for the folks at the APA. Not surprisingly though, the times haven't changed that much for the rest of us.
Paul Walfield is a free-lance writer and an attorney and counselor at law with an undergraduate degree in psychology and postgraduate study in behavioral and analytical psychology. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
I'm not certain this is false. It takes time for versions of the diagnostic manual to catch up with changes in the profession. In 1967 there was popular certainty that homosexualality would never be removed as a disorder. What is written here seems to be coming.
An animal doesn't have a "mental disorder" either. But, you still shoot an animal until its dead, dead, dead if it invades your home or threatens the health and safety of your children.
Imagine the implications for those dioceses now facing lawsuits on pedophilia. Shanley has already been convicted. What about those who have yet to go to trial - or - yet to be implicated, as is the case with Mahony in LA.
There are a minority pro-pedophile/homophile groups in the psychological and psychiatric organizations. These do not enjoy the support of the membership or the leadership of these organizations.
Since he started on that career track he's come to realize the the inmates may indeed, more literally than he or I evern imagined, be running the asylum.
By the way, my criticism of such institutions does not necessarily extend to "all" such institutions - particularly those that have religious affiliations.
I figure that depends on whether you are a Christian... or a Muzzle-em !!!
However, do we see a movement coming in that direction? Thirty years ago we wouldn't have dreamed that homosexuality would be "declassified" as a psychological aberration (don't infer my thoughts on the subject from that sentence). This article may have just been an early warning of a trend.
What he has found has come to be standard and prerequisite for department/program certification.
So what's the fuss?
Numerous cases exist to support the desirability of it being up to the parents of the children to make that determination. And it was not possible to gain a conviction from a jury in these cases.
There are two things the Psychiatry Industry needs to do to gain credibility with the real world:
1: Reimburse the parent for the bullet.
2: Upon release of a convicted pedophile, the shrink reccomending release must board the offender in their home, with their children, for a year.
Because if they don't jail the perpetrators, it will be open season on them for any father of a victim.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.