More On Crazy Psychiatrists

Around this time last year I did a blog post about the psychiatry and gender identity that attracted a lot of attention (thank you again, Patrick). The basic issue here is about the use of diagnosis of “mental disorder” to stigmatize and bully not only adult transgender people, but also children who fail to conform to their parents’ or psychiatrists’ views of what is “normal” gendered behavior.

One of the things that prompted me to make this post was watching an excellent TV program about the issue. It was made by In the Life, an Internet-based LBGT TV company, and it is well worth a look. The material on gender disorder occupies the first half of the program, and lasts about 15 minutes.

(The rest of the program is also worth watching. There’s an interview with Mara Kiesling about US Federal law issues. I’ve been following Mara’s tweets from the House of Representatives today and I’m delighted to report that the Hate Crimes Bill passed with a majority of 249-175. Bay Area people, please ask Pete Stark why he didn’t vote. And the final segment is about the very wonderful Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.)

Of course there is a reason why such things are suddenly news again. The working group set up by the American Psychiatric Association to look into revising their diagnostic guidelines has recently produced an interim report. As this analysis by Dr. Kelley Winters explains, the news is not good. Indeed, due to the inability of the psychiatrists concerned to write grammatically clear English, the proposed new rules can also be interpreted as defining masturbation as the product of a mental disorder.

In addition the APA is having their annual conference in May. Guess where it is. Yep, got it in one. Moscone Center, San Francisco. And in answer to your next question, the Facebook event organizing the protest can be found here.

3 thoughts on “More On Crazy Psychiatrists

  1. Clearly they want to keep themselves in work. I’ve never see so much gobblydook which boils down to “we need something we can claim to treat, folks!”

  2. Psychiatrists have a long and discreditable record of finding ways to pathologise one or another group of people in a kind of self-appointed role as social police.

    It is not so long ago that erotic interest in women had the exotic pseudo-scientific label “Nymphomania” – which you could earn on the basis of doing what is considered to be quite normal in men.

    I liked Kinsey’s way of debunking that kind of rubbish though. He is quoted as saying that a Nymphomaniac is basically anyone who is having more sex than the observer. So I enjoy looking my audiences up and down from the podium and informing them that, from where I’m standing, they are all Nymphomaniacs.


  3. There appears to be a fair amount of money to be made in pandering to the fears of right wing parents that their children might “grow up gay” if not properly disciplined into “appropriate” gender roles during childhood. As far as kids are concerned, this is much more of a gay/lesbian issue than a trans one.

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