Reposted with permission
Feminine Boy Project
Posted on 30 March 2010.
By Cynthya BrianKate
Though Stony Brook denies it, this campus was involved in a government-funded brainwashing project to keep children from “acting queer” for two decades. Some people involved still work on campus, and the Feminine Boy Project laid groundwork for current psychiatric abuses against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
This project was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 1972 to1986. The original stated goal on the grants was “treatment of pre-homosexuality”–the, idea that if children were kept from stepping outside gender stereotypes, they wouldn’t turn out gay. When being gay was taken out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, the goal was changed to “treatment of pretranssexuality,” conflating gender identity and sexuality as the same, based in biased assumptions that anything other than stereotypical gender identities and heterosexuality were wrong. Children were declared “pathological” for behavior like boys playing with dolls, wearing dresses or helping in the kitchen, or girls climbing trees, playing with boys’ toys or wearing boy clothes.
This was collaboration between anti-LGBT/TI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender, Intersex) members of the psychiatric establishment and the “religious right.”
Richard Green is a colleague of John Money. Money instituted the “Money protocols” for non consensual surgeries on intersex children after forcing David Reimer to live as a girl (until Reimer changed back to male before killing himself). During the “experiment” Green co-wrote the book Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment. Green has made a career of pathologizing LGBTTI people. This has included making inflammatory comments like his 1995 Dateline remark “plays with Barbies at five, sleeps with men at twenty-five.” While head of the now closed Human Sexuality branch of Stony Brook’s Psychology Department he got NIMH to approve nearly $1 million for the project.
George Rekers belongs to several anti-gay fundamentalist groups, published his essay “Gender Identity Disorder” through the notoriously anti-gay Family Research Council and is “scientific advisor” to National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which claims to “cure” gays despite the American Psychiatric Association (APA) condemning “reparative therapy.”
They worked with doctors like Susan Coates, behaviorists like O. Ivor Lovaas and David Barlow, and had the staff of several institutions at their disposal.
Several institutions were used to justify funding this dubious research and brainwashing children. Fuller Theological Seminary is a Christian fundamentalist college with anti-gay alumni including Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Rekers. Logos Research Institute is a “religious-right” think-tank promoting fundamentalist “science,” currently funding the edited edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species from actor Kirk Cameron and his colleague Ray Comfort (known as YouTube’s “Banana Guy” for claiming bananas disprove evolution). Green used Stony Brook to get most of the NIMH grants and to do most of the clerical, statistical and administrative work of this “study.” Most of the brainwashing went on at UCLA, though such other efforts happened at New York City’s Luke’s Research Hospital’s Childhood Gender Identity Unit (allegedly)* (funded through the Roosevelt Institute).
Green and Rekers required patients through mental health practitioners who knew of prepubescent children who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes–mainly feminine boys, though there were some masculine girls. Some were referred by school authorities for gender nonconformity, some brought in by parents.
Children were diagnosed using pseudo scientific “gender tests” including the “Barlow Gender-Specific Motor Test,” using stereotypes to “measure” gender identity by whether children sit/stand/move like men or women “should.” Diagnosed with “pathological gender development,” they would be recommended for invasive behavior modification, including placement in special playrooms where they would be repeatedly coached to choose gender-stereotypical toys with staff spying through mirrors. Behaviorists like Shasta Mead directly interacted with children, slowly gaining trust to reinforce stereotypical behavior, repeatedly suggesting they would rather wear or play with the “right” items. Children were made to wear wrist counters to monitor whenever they thought about playing with the “wrong” toys. Rewards and demerits were issued for “right” and “wrong” choices. Patients were enlisted to police children’s choices, throw out toys, force boys out of the kitchen and “steer” children more toward stereotypical choices at home as well as in the facility. This would go on until the child was declared “cured.”
This project was declared “successful,” though it succeeded only in traumatizing children. “Becky,” for example, was declared “successfully cured,” because the eight-year-old saw a male orderly old enough to be her father as her “boyfriend.” The “poster child,” called Kraig by Rekers and Kyle by Green, attempted suicide. This didn’t stop expansion of “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) and “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” (GIDc) diagnoses of pathologized/transgender/gender-nonconforming people, no matter how emotionally healthy. The DSM-IV guidelines even specify boy playing with Barbie as a “symptom.”
Stony Brook’s administration denies Green ever taught there, despite the NIMH grants archived in Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock, kept in the campus library, and Green thanking his Stony Brook staff in his book The Sissy Boy Syndrome, with several still working there today.
In 1980 Dylan Scholinski, a young transgender man then named Daphne, was incarcerated in psychiatric institutions for four years for “Gender Identity Disorder.” His memoir The Last Time I Wore A Dress shows his school reported him to psychiatrists and he was diagnosed using the Barlow Gender Motor Test and treatment including forced makeovers. In 2000, a six-year-old child was taken away from loving parents for “exacerbating a mental disorder.” The “disorder?” Aurora Lipscomb told her parents she was not a boy but was a girl, and her parents supported her decision to live as a girl. Because her parents “exacerbated” her “gender identity disorder” the court took Aurora from loving parents and put her in a household where for four years she was forced to live as a Christian boy rather than a Jewish girl.
Currently, there’s a push to rewrite the DSM to make it even more pathological toward transsexual/transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people.
These changes were proposed by Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard. Zucker’s been pathologizing LGBTTI people for many years, has run the Clarke Gender Institute (whose handling of transsexual/transgender and intersex populations have so angered both communities that some activists call it “Jurassic Clarke”) and, as an expert in the Lipscomb case, recommended the court take Aurora Lipscomb from her family. Blanchard mentored J. Michael Bailey, author of a racist, LGBTTI-phobic book called The Man Who Would Be Queen, and advocate for selective abortion of “gay babies.” Blanchard helped write the discredited gender theories Bailey based his book on, and both and belong to eugenicist think-tank the Human Biodiversity Institute, whose membership include people from the anti-immigrant group VDARE and the author of The Bell Curve, which claimed African-Americans were intellectually inferior.
The proposed changes include renaming GID “Gender Incongruity Disorder,” putting anyone who, in any way, steps outside gender stereotypes at risk for being declared a sufferer of a mental disorder, not only transgender people but also possibly gay, lesbian and bisexual people, as well as feminine men and masculine women. These proposals also include adding intersex to the list of gender disorders. This makes no sense as intersex is a physical variation (being biologically in between male and female) having nothing to do with mental health.
The APA has opened the revision of DSM-V for public comment until April 20. 2010. I urge everyone to contact the APA at www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx and tell them not to add these anti-trans/anti-intersex changes to the DSM, and keep pressure on the APA even after that date.
Sources, Additional Information and Proof:
1) Aurora Lipscomb archive, www.mermaids.freeuk.com/aurora1.html
2) Burke, Phyllis, Gender Shock: Exploding Myths of Male and Female, Anchor Books
3) Colapinto, John, with Reimer, David, As Nature Made: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, Harper Book, 2000
4) Conover, Pat, Transgender Good News, New Wineskins Press 2002
5) DSD Fact Sheet, Organisation Intersex International, found at www.intersexualite.org/DSD_Activists.html
6) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision) American Psychiatric Association
7) DSM-V Committee feedback link, http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
8 ) Exposing Junk Science About Same-Sex Behavior, found at http://blog.ejsssb.org/category/george-rekers/
9) Green, Richard, The Sissy Boy Syndrome and the formation of Adult Homosexuality, Yale University Press 1987
10) Green, Richard, and Money, John, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins Press 1969
11) J. Michael Bailey’s statements about wanting to abort “gay babies, found at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/HBES/Bailey%20on%20homosexuality.htm
12) Kirk Cameron’s ‘Origin Of Species’ Plan: Ex-Actor To Distribute 50,000 Altered Darwin Books,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/22/kirk-camerons-origin-of-s_n_294349.html
13) NARTH Scientific Advisory Board, http://www.narth.com/menus/advisors.html
14) Petition, “Objection to DSM-V Committee Members on Gender Identity Disorders.” http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/objection-to-dsm-v-committee-members-on-gender-identity-disorders
15) Proposed DSM-V Revisions, http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=192
16) “Queer Science,” Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report, www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=96
17) Rekers, George, “Gender identity disorders,” Family Research Council of America 1985
18) Scholinski, Daphne, The Last Time I Wore A Dress, Riverhead Trade 1998
19) Serano, Julia, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Seal Press 2007
20) TG Crossroads article archive of Ken Zucker’s pathologizing LGBTI people, http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/kenneth-zucker.html
21) TS Roadmap archive on Ray Blanchard, http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/ray-blanchard.html
22) TS Roadmap archive of transgender criticism of J. Michael Bailey, www.tsroadmap.com/bailey/
23) Wilkinson, Stephanie, “Drop the Barbie!: If You Bend Gender Far Enough, Does It Break?”, Brain, Child 2001, www.brainchildmag.com/essays/fall2001_wilkinson.htm
© 2010 The Stony Brook Press
* The allegation regarding the Roosevelt Foundation funding this has been disputed by someone from the institute.