The APA is Wrong about Homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder
I often hear people refer to the APA (American Psychological Association) and their stated beliefs that Homosexuality and Gender Identity Dysphoria are no longer "mental disorders."
I want to discuss this, but first let me explain that in MY view, the term "mental disorder" or "disorder" is not intended as an insult or a shaming statement at all. In fact, for me personally, it was a huge relief of shame - because I finally realized and was affirmed in the fact that my Same-Sex Attraction was not my fault and was not a "choice" nor was it simply a spiritual problem that I "just hadn't prayed enough."
I also want to point out that for something to be a "disorder" does not necessarilymean that there is an easy "cure." Many physical and mental challenges are not "curable" and most that are today were not even treatable a few hundred years ago. The effectiveness of therapy or other remedies is something I can discuss later in an other post. It is not relevant to the question of whether Erroticized Same-Sex Attraction or Gender Dysphoria are or are not "disorders."
When I started Joel 2:25 International I consulted with many psychologists, psychotherapists, and licensed professional counselors who assist individuals like myself with healing from Same-Sex Attraction Disorder. Most of them are also members of the APA - even though they publicly disagree with some of the APA's current positions. The difference between their views and the APA is a philosophical viewpoint. The APA has adopted a Social Constructionist philosophy and rejected the original Essentialist philosophy.
Here is a perfect example of the Social Constructionist philosophy at work in the mental health field:
A 30 year old lady named Jewel Shuping went to a Social Constructionist therapist and said that she had always believed she was "supposed to have been born blind." At the time, Miss Shuping had perfectly good eyesight.
Miss Shuping went to an psychologist who ascribes to the APA's current philosophy of Social Constructionism. This APA-approved psychologist gave her eye-numbing drops and then sprinkled drain cleaner into each pupil - which caused her to go blind.
You can read more about Miss Shuping here: http://nypost.com/2015/10/01/i-blinded-myself-on-purpose-and-have-never-been-happier/
If she had gone to one of the 200 psychologists that I identified, who subscribe to the Essentialist viewpoint, they would have focused on treating her "Body Identity Integrity Disorder" and at least attempted to help her accept her own body and her own eyesight while working to resolve whatever emotional traumas or wounds may have caused her to desire to be blind.
Essentialists such as myself, believe as Plato, Aristotle, and all monotheistic religions have taught for the past 5,000+ years that for any specific entity (human or animal), there is a set of attributes which are necessary to its identity and function.
We believe that gender identity and sexual orientation are grounded in biological reality. Our body tells us who we are.. I believe it is harmful (and an act of Shadow) whenever we attempt to construct or assemble/ disassemble a different reality in which gender and sexual identity are out of synchrony with biology.
Let's examine a hypothetical situation (which is probably already real life example in some places)
"John," a teenager in California, says that he believes he was born to be a coffee table and that he desperately wants to be a table. He goes to a therapist for "help."
An Essentialist therapist would get to work to understand what led him to this and what wounds or traumas he has that may need healing.
A Social Constructionist therapist would arrange for him to have his legs amputated at the knees and for him to undergo multiple surgeries so that his arms and legs will bend at the same angle and reach the same level so that he can more resemble a coffee table. - After all, that's what he was "born to be."
If a man has male genitalia and male chromosomes (XY) and yet believes that he was born to be a female, he has a disorder. I believe he needs compassion and it is likely he has suffered a LOT of emotional pain in his life which has led to this. I do not know if there is a "cure" but I do know that injecting hormones and mutilating his body is not the answer. It is also the opposite of compassion to send him to the Ladies' restroom. There is nothing compassionate about that. What he needs is real compassion and to eventually accept the reality that he is a man.
The "gay" identity that I embraced for over twelve years of my life was a false construct. The human body is designed very clearly for heterosexuality. There are no men or women whose reproductive systems are designed to create new life through sexual intercourse with members of their own gender. The primary purpose of sexual intercourse in the creation of new life. The secondary purpose is the marital bond and life-long relationship between the husband and wife.
Even if one rejects pro-creation and marriage, there are psychological injuries that occur when sexual relationships occur without monogamy and without the gender compatibility of male and female. "Gay" identified psychologist Daryl Bem explains in his "Exotic Becomes Erotic" model that
"what is exotic - that is, mysterious - to a boy in childhood is what will become erotic to him in adulthood."
This Social Constructionist gay activist does not seem to recognize the fact that it is at least problematic for a boy to see masculinity as "exotic" something outside of himself. He clearly does not understand that normality is that which functions according to its design.
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Catholic psychologist who embraced the Essentialist viewpoint responded to Bem:
"When a man finds masculinity mysterious and exotic, and seeks it outside himself, we believe he is living in a false self and something is not working.”
By design, two members of the same gender are also incompatible for romantic love. The draw to this type of relationship is driven by emotional wounds and unmet emotional needs. Pursuing that type of bond deepens those wounds, destroys real love, and causes psychological harm to both individuals. That does not mean that individuals in theses situations are incapable of real love, but to the extent that real Love is present, it is despite the nature of the relationship, rather than because of it.
I realize what I've said here will offend many people. This is more than an abstract argument or judgement. In addition to looking at 5,000+ years of human experience, I also came to this conclusion after examining all of my own past relationships and that of everyone else I had observed over several years. These included (most especially) those "long term gay couples" who had stayed together for 20+ years. They seemed even worse off than the individuals who simply "hooked up" randomly. The emotional harm from this arrested state of development was really pronounced in every aspect of their lives.
The viewpoint that humanity is designed for heterosexuality is not a phobia or pathological fear and it is not bigotry. Natural Law philosophy says that this view derives from humankind's collective, intuitive knowledge - a natural instinctive conscience.
Social Constructionism in the Religious Context
When I was in my teens and 20's, I went to several "gay friendly" churches and tried to convince myself that they were right. All of them attempted to explain that (in their interpretation) the scriptures were not really referring to homosexuality or at least not "committed monogamous gay couples."
Even though they seemed to convince themselves that the behavior was not a "sin," they never even attempted to explain how this was some new kind of "vocation" or calling and/or that it was part of God's plan. The best they could do was make the assumption that God just didn't have a plan. They were applying the same Social Constructionist logic to the divine and this manifested itself in several areas.
The "gay friendly" churches I attended all initially seemed to be like a normal mainstream Christian church with the only exception being their "enlightened" views on homosexuality. In a very short time though, I began to notice many other changes. In one church, for example, they began skipping over large sections of the Bible within our bible study groups. In another, they initially had been ending their prayers by saying "in Jesus name we pray" and then changed this to "In your many names, we pray."
The Denial of Absolute Truth
At the root of Social Construction and the attack on Essentialism is the denial of the existence of absolute Truth. Atheist Richard Dawkins repeatedly refers to Essentialism as a "moralistic infection." In a 2014 article here he argues for why Essentialsm should be forceably "retired:"
"does an embryo become a 'person'? Only a mind infected with essentialism would ask such questions. An embryo develops gradually from single-celled zygote to newborn baby, and there’s no one instant when 'personhood' should be deemed to have arrived. It would be better—though still not ideal—to say the embryo goes through stages of being a quarter human, half human, three quarters human . . .
Abortion would no more be 'murder' than killing a chimpanzee—or, by extension, any animal. Indeed an early-stage human embryo might defensibly be afforded less moral protection than an adult pig, which is clearly well equipped to suffer. The essentialist urge toward rigid definitions of 'human' (in debates over abortion and animal rights) and "alive" (in debates over euthanasia and end-of-life decisions) makes no sense in the light of evolution and other gradualistic phenomena."
- atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion
Since Social Constructionism elevates human will above physical reality and even God's will; it does not take long before it attempts to deconstruct monotheism in its entirety. I have personally come to the conclusion that to believe people are "born TO BE gay" really requires a fundamental denial of the existence of God.
(Founder of Joel 2:25 International)