It’s Time to Ban ‘Reparative Therapy’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/its-time-to-ban-reparative-therapy_b_6458224.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


01/14/2015

In the wake of Leelah Alcorn’s death, there have been renewed calls to legally end the practice of using so-called “reparative therapy” to change children’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Laws in California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., have banned the practice. These laws have stood up in court, and no further serious challenges appear to be on the horizon.

But that hasn’t stopped the right from pushing hard on talking points claiming that transgender teens need to be pushed into (religious) “therapy” that no reputable, licensed mental-health professional would provide. Their rationales are riddled with half-truths, logical fallacies, and outright lies.

Here are the facts, though.

FACT: Transgender and gender-nonconforming youth do better in homes that are accepting and supportive of their gender identity.

What proponents of reparative therapy always leave out of their talking points is that research by the Trans Pulse Project, the Family Acceptance Project, and the Williams Institute repeatedly shows that the best indicator of positive mental-health outcomes in transgender and gender-nonconforming youth is familial support.

Just so we’re clear here: Putting a child in reparative therapy, telling them God will send them to hell if they don’t stop being transgender, accusing them of being delusional, punishing them for stepping outside gender norms, and denying medically necessary care doesn’t fall in the “supportive” category.

FACT: By the time a transgender youth reaches adolescence (like Leelah), it is very unlikely that their gender identity will change or that their gender dysphoria will resolve itself spontaneously.

Even studies quoted by opponents of transgender equality acknowledge that children with cross-gender identification after puberty rarely change their minds. According to one such study:

One reason for the differing attitudes has to do with the pervasive nature of gender dysphoria in older adolescents and adults: it rarely desists….

FACT: There is no widely accepted evidence that upbringing can make someone gay or transgender.

According to neurobiologists Dick Swaab and Ai-Min Bao, writing in the 2013 textbook Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical:

Gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) [and] sexual orientation (hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality) … are programmed into our brain during early development. There is no proof that postnatal social environment has any crucial effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/its-time-to-ban-reparative-therapy_b_6458224.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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OPINION: Jews have been killed – so will it cause more problems for Muslims?

From Jewish News UK:  http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

By Brendan O’Neill, Editor
January 15, 2015

The parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly exposed last week. In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.

And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims. They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.

So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered the Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.

The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles on the Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual attacks on Jews.

The gaping disconnect between observers’ fears of what would happen in France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and what actually did happen was summed up in comments made by George Clooney. On Monday, as the bodies of the four murdered Jews were being prepared for the flight to Israel, Clooney was telling fawning hacks about the scourge of “anti-Muslim fervour” in Europe. It got to a point where it wouldn’t have felt surprising to hear a journalist say: “Oh no, Jews have been attacked – will this cause yet more problems for Muslims?!”

Of course, it’s entirely legitimate to worry about a backlash against Muslims in the wake of Islamist terror. That some blank grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in France suggests there are indeed Muslim-loathing hotheads. But there’s no escaping the fact that observers struggle to acknowledge the seriousness of anti-Semitism. They find it easier to fantasise about a mob-led war on Muslims than to confront the real, growing problem of Jew-baiting.

We saw this last year, too, when there were numerous anti-Semitic outbursts during the Gaza conflict. Those who pose as progressive, who instantly reach for political placards whenever Muslims or another minority suffer abuse, didn’t say much. They fidgeted, ermed and ahhed, or, worse, offered an apologia for the new anti-Semitism. “If Israel didn’t treat Palestinians so badly, maybe Jews wouldn’t get attacked”, they hinted.

Continue reading at: http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/opinion-jews-killed-will-cause-problems-muslims/

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