Canadian ‘peter meter’ youth program halted; tester charged with sexual assault

From BoingBoing.net http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/16/canadian-peter-meter.html

Andrea James at 9:34 AM Monday, Aug 16, 2010

Andrea James is a Los Angeles-based writer and troublemaker.

I’ve covered Canadian psychology hijinks before, and how a handful of them are leading the push to expand which sexual interests are mental illnesses.

Now comes another scandal that’s like something out of Clockwork Orange.

Late last month, Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services in Burnaby, British Columbia was forced to shut down a decades-old program where troubled youths had a device placed on their penises while they were subjected to media depicting stuff like rape and child pornography. The final straw was when one of the test administrators was arrested for a sexual assault allegedly committed during leisure time.

The whole sordid story follows.

Continue reading at:  http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/16/canadian-peter-meter.html

Marriage Equality in California on Hold As Christo-Fascists Appeal Ruling

From New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/us/17prop.html?_r=1&hp

By JESSE McKINLEY

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has extended a stay on same-sex marriages in California until it decides whether a ban on such unions is constitutional.

It is just the latest turn in a protracted legal battle over Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban.

The ruling, issued by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, came less than a week after a federal district court judge, Vaughn R. Walker, lifted a stay he had imposed to allow proponents of the ban to argue why same-sex marriages should not proceed. On Aug. 4, Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

Even when lifting his stay on Thursday, Judge Walker allowed six days for the Ninth Circuit to review his ruling. That left many gay and lesbian couples and their supporters hopeful that same-sex marriages would resume on Wednesday at 5 p.m., when Judge Walker’s stay would have expired.

That will not happen. Now, such weddings will not resume until, at least, the appeals court decides the case. And perhaps not until it is decided by the United States Supreme Court.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/us/17prop.html?_r=1&hp

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Marriage Equality in California on Hold As Christo-Fascists Appeal Ruling

What’s Making 7-Year Old Girls Develop Breasts?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/story/147833/what%27s_making_7-year_old_girls_develop_breasts

By Brian Merchant, TreeHugger
Posted on August 13, 2010, Printed on August 16, 2010
http://www.alternet.org/story/147833/

An eye-opening study profiled in the New York Times reveals that some girls in the United States are hitting puberty at abnormally early ages — sometimes at 7 or 8 years old. There are a number of suspected causes for this potentially dangerous trend, chief among them childhood obesity and exposure to chemicals. This gives us yet another reason to examine the habits and environs we’ve grown accustomed — and some would say, oblivious — to over the years.

The New York Times reports:

A new study finds that girls are more likely today than in the past to start developing breasts by age 7 or 8. The research is just the latest in a flood of reports over the last decade that have led to concern and heated debate about whether girls are reaching puberty earlier, and why it might be happening.Increased rates of obesity are thought to play a major role, because body fat can produce sex hormones. Some researchers also suspect that environmental chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen may be speeding up the clock on puberty, but that idea is unproved.

One of the reasons that earlier puberty rates concern scientists is that it puts women at a higher risk of breast cancer, due to a longer “lifetime exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone”. Early puberty can also be emotionally and psychologically damaging to girls. Furthermore, researchers worry that if the change is being triggered by an environmental factor, like exposure to a chemical, then there may be an additional cancer risk therein.

So the researchers have set about testing a wide range of household chemicals, along with the hormone levels of affected girls to see if there’s a correlation. And I think that the first author of the study, Dr. Biro, has some sage words about the potential root of the problem: “It’s certainly throwing up a warning flag. I think we need to think about the stuff we’re exposing our bodies to and the bodies of our kids. This is a wake-up call, and I think we need to pay attention to it.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/147833/what%27s_making_7-year_old_girls_develop_breasts

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on What’s Making 7-Year Old Girls Develop Breasts?

Dr. Mengele and Dr. Maria New

Dr. Maria New is a eugenicist of the same immoral or amoral ethical nature as Dr. Mengele and Dr. George Rekers.

Her disclaimers and demurs of only wanting to prevent an exceedingly rare birth defect reflect a right wing homophobic banality of evil that have become standard operating procedures for the Religious Reich and their sycophants.

From McHugh to Rekers, from Zucker to Bailey and Blanchard…  One and all good little Germans in service to the misogynistic heterosexist Reich.

Cut and dice on the obviously intersex infants, brain fry and abuse the gender non-conforming kids with reparative therapy.

What the fuck ever happened to Second Wave Feminism, Gay and Lesbian Liberation and the ideal of “Free to be you, Free to be me.”?

Why is everyone so fucking afraid that if men are not gender bound Coors swilling manbots and women aren’t fluff brained fashion bot Stepford wives that somehow Western Civilization will end?

Just Say No to Pre-Natal Genocide of LGBT/TQI People

Study suggests boys and girls not as different as previously thought

Aah is this the start of the pendulum swinging back to the more progressive thinking of the 1970s when males and females weren’t considered so different afterall?

Could be.  Perhaps because all the emphasis on gender is starting to be seen for what it is, misogyny in different drag from the sexism of stereotypical sex role expectations that Second Wave Feminism critiqued some 40 years ago.

From Physorg.com: http://www.physorg.com/news201177495.html
August 16, 2010

Although girls tend to hang out in smaller, more intimate groups than boys, this difference vanishes by the time children reach the eighth grade, according to a new study by a Michigan State University psychologist.

The findings, which appear in the Journal of Social and , suggest “girls and aren’t as different as we think they are,” said Jennifer Watling Neal, assistant professor of psychology.

Neal’s study is one of the first to look at how girls’ and boys’ peer networks develop across grades. Because children’s peer-group structure can promote negative behaviors like bullying and positive behaviors like helping others, she said it’s important for researchers to have a clear picture of what these groups look like.

“Although we tend to think that girls’ and boys’ peer groups are structured differently, these differences disappear as children get older,” Neal said.

The reason may have to do with an increased interaction with the opposite sex.

“Younger boys and girls tend to play in same-sex peer groups,” Neal said. “But every parent can relate to that moment when their son or daughter suddenly takes an interest, whether social or romantic, in the opposite sex.”

The question of whether girls hang out in smaller groups than boys is controversial, with past research providing mixed results.

Neal examined peer relationships of third- through eighth-grade students at a Chicago school and found that in the younger grades did, indeed, tend to flock together in smaller, more intimate groups than boys.

But that difference disappeared by the eighth grade. While the size of boys’ peer groups remained relatively stable, girls’ peer groups became progressively larger in later grades.

Neal said further research is needed to confirm the results by examining a single group of children over time.

Provided by Michigan State University (news : web)

Historical Clipping: Where Some of the Mythology Arises

Change-of-Sex Surgeries at Johns Hopkins: About 20 Done So Far

By Tony Ortega, Mon., Aug. 16 2010 @ 6:00AM
Categories: Clip Job

November 6, 1969, Vol. XIV, No. 56

Life’s Such a Drag, They’d Rather Switch
by Charles W. Slack

For the past five years or so, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has been offering a change-of-sex service to certain carefully screened patients. This service has its psychotherapeutic and hormone-therapy aspects as well as its surgical procedures and thus demands the participation of a team of specialists representing plastic and reconstructive surgery, gynecological surgery, urology, endocrinology, and neurology, in addition to psychiatry and the press. It is the psychiatrist who, together with the patient, makes the final decision as to whether the rest of the team goes to work or not.

Just how well their work was going became the topic of a symposium last Wednesday evening as the Gender Identity Clinic (this is what the Baltimore physicians and surgeons call themselves) gathered to review progress before colleagues at the New York Academy of Medicine. “Trans-sexuality in the Human Male and the Sex Reassignment Operation” was the title of the meeting and it brought out the biggest crowd the halls had seen since sexual responsters Masters and Johnson did their thing at the Academy a few years back.

Most people who undergo the sex reassignment operation come to the Hopkins clinic with more or less normal male genitalia and leave it with genitals looking and functioning more or less like a normal female, although there are a few who qualify for (and hence get) the approximate female-to-male treatment.

The demand, at least in the U.S. and Sweden, is about 2.7 to one in favor of urogenital men asking to become women. In the Union of South Africa, for some reason, it is reported that there are more urogenital women who want to become men. Data from the remainder of this globe are not yet available.

Wide publicity attended the Identity Clinic’s first sex-changing success in 1965 and, since then, more than 1000 people have written Hopkins requesting the operation (or at least more information about it). The head psychiatrist on the U.S. team, Dr. Jonathan Meyer, mailed a fairly detailed questionnaire to everybody who wrote in and well over half the people filled it out and sent it back. The questionnaire provides good information about U.S. citizens who wish to change sex.

The typical applicant is 25 to 30 years old, in the lower-middle-class income bracket, and is apparently law-abiding in every respect not related to trans-sexualism. More than half have tried psychotherapy but most complain, usually bitterly, that psychological treatment is no help at all with the problem (one or two report that psychotherapy is okay for the side issues although definitely not good for the main trans-sexual hangups).

Hormone treatment is a different matter. Almost all trans-sexuals take hormones before trying to go for surgery. Female hormones taken by males produce female secondary sex characteristics such as breast development. Male hormones taken by females produce an enlarged clitoris. Opposite-sex hormones also produce (or reinforce an already existing) low sex drive. In fact, weak sex drive is one of the surprising characteristics of trans-sexuals as a group. Since so many people who want to change their sex take hormones, it has not been possible, until now, to find out whether they would be different from the rest of us if they didn’t. The Hopkins clinic was able to assemble, from its large volume of applicants, a small group of males who had never had female hormones. Endocrinologically speaking, they turned out to be no different from normal males. Thus, in all probability, the desire to change one’s sex does not ordinarily stem from physiological causes. (There is some hint that damage in the temporal lobes of the brain may be involved but the evidence is not overwhelming.)

Of those who apply for the operations at Hopkins, only a small per cent qualify. The rest, presumably, if they are persistent, must go elsewhere — which, at the moment, means out of the country. To get one’s sex reassigned in Baltimore, one must not be diagnosed paranoid-schizophrenic or otherwise psychotic. One must be living continually (preferably continuously) as a member of the opposite sex. This means more than cross-dressing and changing names: people with conjugal or pseudo-marital relationships are preferred. According to the doctors experienced in interviewing trans-sexuals, those who are really committed to the trans-sexual life represent only about five per cent of those who apply. Really committed trans-sexuals are often well adjusted to their altered role. The very adjustment makes them genuinely frightened of discovery and with some good reason. As trans-sexuals, they pass as the opposite sex. Thus exposure could mean legal, social, and occupational disaster.

The gender-clinic physicians are strong in their agreement that the genuine trans-sexual is not a homosexual. Often enough homosexuals will inquire about or even apply for the operation in the mistaken belief that it might relieve some of the social and sexual pressures now upon them, but during the extensive interviewing given all applicants the homosexuals are disqualified or, more likely, disqualify themselves when they find out what it’s all about.

In the first place, sexual reassignment is not really an operation but a series of procedures. While under observation by the team, and while using hormones, one must first live for a period as a full-time member of the opposite sex. Then those parts of the process which are reversible (breast removal in the female-to-male, breast development in the male-to-female) are undertaken before such irreversible as removal of penises. Before any surgery is undertaken, the team spends a good bit of time talking to the prospect and explaining just what to expect and not to expect. One can understand why this would be necessary. The aim of the operative procedure is basically to satisfy the patient by (1) removing the external genitalia associate with the undesired sex, (2) replacing them with the external appearance of genitalia associate with the desired sex (penises are made from skin grafts from other parts of the body), (3) for male-to-females, providing a functioning simulated vagina. The whole team participates in one way or another during the operations. Reoperations are far from rare and, unfortunately, the whole process is tinged with trial and error. Only about 20 people have been switched so far here in the States, but the clinic is presently going at the rate of one a month. The big-volume sex-changers have so far been the Japanese, Turks, Danes, and Swedes. While admitting that the foreigners might be a bit advanced on the aesthetics of reconstruction (practice makes perfect and they’ve had more change), the U.S. doctors express uniform dismay at foreign lack of attention to urological complications. One gets the impression that as long as the job looks good, the Turks are happy — never mind what develops urogenitally after the patient gets back home.

There can be no doubt that people should have the right to be free of such fears and to pursue such happiness — through hormones or trans-sexual surgery or through any other means medical science can come up with. The pursuit of happiness down one-way streets must not be denied. God Almighty, however, help those psychiatrists to direct this traffic wisely.

Posted in History. Comments Off on Historical Clipping: Where Some of the Mythology Arises