Saturday, June 9, 2012

What is wrong with the 2012 DC Chapter Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) flyer?

 

Care has to be taken when reading the statements from the PFLAG flyer given to Montgomery County Maryland Public Schools. The flyer contains numerous statements that are confusing, contradictory, distorted, misquoted, and reflect out-of-date resources or are only unsupported opinions.

 

For example, the PFLAG flyer states that all “mainstream medical and mental health professional associations” agree that there is nothing wrong if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).

 

Well, not exactly.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) [i]and others acknowledge that LGBTs have unique health risks and greater health issues than heterosexual persons.

 

“Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)  represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet they are the population most severely affected by HIV and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the early 1990s.”

 

“In 2010, among adult and adolescent males diagnosed with HIV infection…, an estimated 77% of [HIV] infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact…”Approximately 12% of diagnosed infections were attributed to heterosexual contact.[ii]

 

Nothing wrong with 77% HIV infection?

The United States Center for Disease Control isn’t mainstream?

 

Further, according to the “mainstream” American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, “transgender” is as a Gender Identity Mental Disorder.

Nothing wrong with a mental disorder?

 

Another example of the flyer’s disregard for accuracy is its characterization of a 2006 publication entitled “Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel” denigrating therapy to address sexual orientation as being a publication of the American Psychological Association.

Actually the 2006 “Just the Facts” document [iii]  is NOT a publication of the American Psychological Association (APA) but a document that was generated by Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

 

Further the “Just the Facts” document advances no scientific support of harm from sexual reorientation therapy in this document.[iv]

 

Most telling is that The American Psychological Association has stated in 2009, “Research on harm from [Sexual Orientation Change Efforts] SOCE is limited, and some of the research that exists suffers from methodological limitations that make broad and definitive conclusions difficult”[v]

 

Another point is The American Psychological Association has also stated in 2009 that affirmative approaches [homosexual affirming therapy] have “not been evaluated for safety and efficacy”.[vi]

 

The actual American Medical Association (AMA) statement[vii], relied on in the PFLAG flyer, only opposes “reparative” or “conversion” therapy when that therapy is based on an assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder.  The American Psychiatric Association, in its Handbook of Mental Disorders, no longer regards homosexuality as a mental disorder, unlike “transgender” which is a mental disorder.

 

Clearly then, contrary to the PFLAG Flyer, the AMA would have no objection to “conversion” therapy that addresses homosexuality as a non-disorder,

 

The hard to ignore the conclusion that if you really want accurate, unbiased and truly helpful information about sexual orientation, the PFLAG flyer isn’t where you will find it.

 



[i]The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state:

“Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM  represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the early 1990s.” http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/pdf/msm.pdf

[ii]“CDC estimates that MSM account for just 2% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections in 2009.” http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm

“In 2010, among adult and adolescent males diagnosed with HIV infection in the 46 states and 5 U.S. dependent areas with long-term confidential name-based HIV infection reporting, an estimated 77% of infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact…”Approximately 12% of diagnosed infections were attributed to heterosexual contact…”http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/general/slides/general_5.pdfd

[iii] http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.pdf The document (revised in 2006), was generated by Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), published and supported by Michael Dively, a gay philanthropist, the American Psychological Association (APA), Interfaith Alliance (gay affirming religious organization) and others

[iv] http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/rebuttals-to-just-the-facts-about-sexual-orientation-and-youth/“You need to know that this document is biased and grossly misleading. Just the Facts omit critical facts and makes recommendations that are refuted by decades of scientific research and extensive clinical experience. Most alarmingly, the recommendations offered will place young people at increased risk of grave psychological, emotional, and physical harm.”

[v]American Psychological Association’s publication of Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA, 2009).  page, 67 http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

[vi]  American Psychological Association’s publication of Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA, 2009).   page 91 http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

[vii] AMA’s statement…(c) opposes, the use of "reparative" or "conversion" therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.

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