Monday, July 09, 2007

My Reply to Dr. Middleton

Below is the text of the letter I sent in to the Plattsburgh Press Republican in response to Dr. John Middleton opinion piece.

To the Editor:

John Middleton, PhD would have us believe his opinions are facts. Dr. Middleton is simply using his academic credentials to support his opinions that are actually based on his extreme conservative and religious views or his classical but misguided psychoanalytic dogma. He implies that the scientific literature supports his opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Homosexual behavior has not been found to be hard-wired into the genes or brain.”

I assume by this statement Dr. Middleton means there is no biological basis for homosexuality. On the contrary, there are many published reports indicating that homosexuality has a biological basis, which likely has a genetic and developmental basis. Unfortunately there is not yet conclusive biological evidence, but this has more to do with the lack of scientific research due to a lack of funding for research in this area. In the Bush era, grant applications with key words such as “homosexual” do not get funded.

“Once a person decides to change from gay and lesbian lifestyles, it is possible, as documented by 18,000 gay and lesbian clients seen at Kaiser-Permanente in San Francisco, 1939-1979.”

Religious conservatives, orthodox psychologists, and anti-gay organizations would have you believe that homosexual orientation can be changed and moreover should be changed. These therapies have many flaws such as lack of control groups and no safeguards against bias. They are not scientific. Where are the peer reviewed published reports of the effectiveness of such “therapies”? Please do not cite anything from “Psychological Reports” which is an outlet for the views of antigay psychologist Paul Cameron.

The American Psychiatric Association's official web site notes that: "There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of 'reparative therapy' as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation.

Courage is a support group available for those who want to live within the Judeo-Christian ethic and control their same-sex attractions. A companion group, Encourage, is also available for their relatives.

It’s ironic that the support groups name is “Courage”. Doesn’t it take courage to accept ones sexual orientation when it differs from that of the majority? Maybe the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family should consider that sexual orientation might be an immutable gift of God that is normal for a minority of individuals. After all, wasn’t the message of Jesus one of love?

2 comments:

Sara said...

thanks pcs, i couldn't even comment on the previous post since i just wanted to strangle him!

Doug said...

Based on Dr. Middleton's biased views purported as facts, I think he may be dismayed to find that Courage abandoned the "reparation or celibacy" ethos in 2002, and has adopted an attitude of acceptance, wholeness, and celebration for God's homosexual children. The "control" they espouse is monogamy and commitment in all relationships. The doc should do his research.

Check it out:
Courage