Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Jason Kuznicki on the Purpose of Marriage

I read a post on Family Scholar's Blog, where David Blankenhorn discusses his recent debate with Andrew Sullivan and Sullivan's comments about it on his blog.

In a post related to the debate topic, What is Marriage?, Blankenhorn asks:
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that what happens in the U.S. regarding SSM will hinge essentially on our collective answer to the basic question, what is marriage? Is marriage essentially a private emotional bond between consenting adults, or is it also society’s most pro-child social institution?

Even when I put the two together, it still didn't add up.

Then I saw that Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty has a well thought out post: On Nurturing as the True Purpose of Marriage. He begins,
Here I argue that the reason for marriage is neither solely to produce children, nor to seek romantic fulfillment, nor merely to contract with the government for rights or benefits. I propose another model, arguing that it explains the institution of marriage much better than the common reasons given for it in the same-sex marriage debate.

It's well worth reading. Here are two of Jason's other posts that are also favorites of mine:

Without Pain or Fear or Guilt

How Not to Make Me Ex-Gay

Update: Jason has a followup post describing some of the responses he got to his first post.


Pair Bonding is Important to Marriage


Marriage is based on the pair bonding that results from and is maintained by sexual intimacy. This does not obtain for mere friends or other relatives. Laws extending child care deductions to include that provided by relatives and other considerations for the help that others give is appropriate and welcome, but merely helping in the raising of a child is not marriage.

While pair bonding stems from intimacy, the sexual activity that produces it is only one aspect of the many interactions and behaviors that comprise the totality of a loving relationship.

It's bumping your hips against hers when your doing the dishes. It's bringing him a tall glass of orange juice when he's in bed with the flu. It's holding hands at church or at the movies. It's going with her to the doctor's when she gets the results of her biopsy. It's washing her back in the shower after she washes yours. It's buying him his favorite CD for Christmas. It's giving her a long hug when she gets home from a hard day at the clinic. It's all these things and a thousand things more which evolve from the bonds of love and affection that we share with that one special person. And all of these things apply equally to a same sex or opposite sex couple.

Yet some would ignore all this and peek in the bedroom to see how their parts fit together, as if the love they share the other 167 hours each week has no meaning. Yet the nearly 60 years of scientific research and my own 30 years of experience in this area tells me that romantic love is more than just how we do sex.

We do not know what underlying biological factors lead to the small portion of the population who cannot form bonds of love and affection for those of the opposite sex. I have my own speculations and research in this area continues. I do know that the failure to acknowledge the gay situation is not only harmful and unjust to those who are gay, but also harms those who perpetuate this misunderstanding and malice. A hateful heart is the devil's creation.

Psychological health requires that we acknowledge the reality of the world that we live in. Gays exist and are capable of the same range of human emotions and experiences as the rest of us, but with someone of the same gender. We can celebrate our shared humanity by treating gay relationships with equal admiration. All of us will be better off when we do.

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog comment #110

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Gay Marriage Reenforces Straight Marriage


You said:
Surely if you're a person who is concerned that people aren't getting married as much as they used to, or aren't bringing up children inside families headed by a married couple, you would actively welcome allies who believe that marriage is important, who feel strongly about its symbolic and its practical value, and who appreciate the benefits to kids of having parents who are married?

Exactly my question.

The fact that couples and groups are going through the political and legal process to have the right to marry include them would certainly leave an unbiased observer to see that they believe that the institution of marriage is valuable. Otherwise, why would they be fighting so hard to join it?

The idea that allowing SSM would somehow dissuade heterosexual couples from marrying seems far fetched. Suppose we have a young couple who have lived together for several years and are thinking about starting a family. They wonder whether or not they should marry first.

The way it is now, they might say, "Well, look at that gay couple down the street. They are successful in living their lives and raising their family without being married, so why should we bother?"

Were the situation different, they might say, "Well, look at that gay couple down the street. Why, they can't even have a baby together! Yet they thought it important enough for themselves and their children to get married anyway. We should consider doing the same."

If marriage is a universal good, as proponents claim, then couples should be allowed to marry universally. The fewer exceptions the better.

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog Comment #13.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Psychologists Enlist Community Support for Their Clients


You said, "One example of an institution she gives is the discipline of psychology, which is structured in such a way that its practitioners have a very hard time remembering that human beings are social creatures, and cannot be adequately conceptualized by intrapsychic processes."

This characterization is just plain silly. Perhaps you are thinking of some psychoanalysts who are left over from the Freudian era. Today, psychologists often work with doctors, nurses, social workers and other staff members as part of a team which provides a holistic approach to the clients' wellbeing. In any case, psychologists work with local schools, churches, community centers and government agencies in the interest of the client. Relatives and friends, who may be part of the problem at times, are also enlisted to be part of the solution instead.

With formal therapy limited to perhaps one hour a week, building a social network to help support the client the rest of the time is essential. Just as the therapist helps the person become more integrated and better able to function as a person, he or she helps the person become more successful in his or her personal relationships and a more integral part of his or her community in general.

If there is one person in town who knows more about the local support systems and services than just about anyone, it's likely to be the psychologist who employs these resources generously for the benefit of his or her clients. After all, when therapy ends, it is these societal resources as well as the person's own new found capabilities that will sustain the person into the future.

So, not only do psychologists "remember" that human beings are social creatures, they actively employ these interpersonal and societal resources as part of a successful treatment regimen.

Also posted at Marriage Debate as comment #10

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


My "Ex-Gay" Lawsuit? Response

Regan DuCasse,

Thanks for your heads up on the Williams Project and their work. We're dealing with a real slippery bunch, that's for sure. I see that "Love in Action" in Memphis has modified it's web site since the Zack incident took place. They've removed any reference to "therapy" for example. If they say, "We're just warning youngsters about the risks inherent in the gay lifestyle," it would be hard to find fault in that.

I agree with your points:

1. Freud had some keen insights, but his speculation that sexual orientation (as we now know it) had something to do with how a child was raised was way off the mark. Rigorous scientific studies showed that there is no correlation between sexual orientation and any factor in the environment in which a child is raised, and these studied established this fact over fifty years ago. Yet proponents of RT still pull out these discarded Freudian theories, throw in some speculation of their own regarding some nebulous "abuse" they assume must have happened and presume that since some societal (family) interaction caused this "disorder" that some societal interaction (therapy) can cure it. What a crock!

2. Religions differ. In its encyclical on human sexuality, the Catholic Church stated, "Homosexuality is not a sin... since in is not freely chosen." Since they consider all sex outside of marriage sinful, they recommend that gays remain chaste throughout life and have support groups to aide in this objective. Many mainline Protestant Churches are coming to grips with the fact that some people are gay "by nature" and are adjusting their approach to gays accordingly. The point being that these churches acknowledge that gays exist. None supposes that one could wave a magic therapy wand and make homosexuality disappear. In contrast, some Islamic and Christian fundamentalists attack gays for their "chosen" behavior and suggest that if they can't control themselves, then they ought to get therapy to "straighten" themselves out. All of which flies in the face of fifty years of medical research which confirms that such therapies are useless.

3. & 5. There is no psychological testing that can distinguish gays as a group from straights as a group. Other than the gender that one is attracted to, gays are in the main just like everyone else. We are all subject to the many pathologies that define the human condition. There is no internal relationship between any of these pathologies and being gay. The difficulties that some gays have are directly related to the abominable way these gays are treated by some in today's society.

4. Counseling professionals have an ethical obligation to provide individual clients with a realistic estimate of the outcome they might expect from their treatment. Unfortunately, the boastful claims these RT proponents make in public are not covered by these professional ethical standards. Many in the RT field avoid these ethical standards altogether by having unqualified non-professionals provide the counseling. A large number of these are "ex-gays" themselves. Yet denying ones own sexuality which is an essential part of ones being is one of the defining characteristics of a mentally ill individual. Even Freud correctly realized that. So we have those who are psychologically crippled in denying their own sexuality advising others to become as psychologically crippled as they are. Religion can never be used as an excuse to harm people like this.

So good luck with your group's efforts to end this madness.


Class Action Suit Against "Ex-Gay" Therapists?

This message is from Regan DuCasse:

I have been working towards a class action suit against RT* and ex gay ministries and the merits thereof.

The Williams Project is the gay and lesbian legal issue institution within UCLA Law School. I have discussed this with advocate Gloria Allred, a prominent attorney local to Los Angeles. I might be able to get the Anti Defamation League in on it.

The class action to have these things shut down is warranted this way:

1. When new and viable techniques for care from medical or psychiatric care givers come along to apply, it's their duty to apply them and not older, unreliable and BIASED ones. Ex gay therapy is not only archaic, but it's been rejected by all legitimate and well informed doctors.

2. Much of what motivates RT is almost exclusively religious and this is a fluid and non objective application. Religion is a separate discipline from mental health counseling.

3. Pathologies that are life threatening and harmful not only to the individual, but also those around them are evident in heterosexuals. Blaming pathologies equal in both groups on gay sexual orientation is confusing and raises or exacerbates conflict regarding sex, period.

4. Doctors have to have accurate cure rates and treatment processes open to the public to make informed decisions about practitioners. Religious counselors require licensing to cure something considered a mental or emotional disorder otherwise left to mental health care professionals to address. Most people in the ex gay business have neither.

5. Most importantly, doctors or counselors must be accurate in their diagnosis of a problem. And be unbiased in their approach to it to maximize effectiveness. Homosexuality in and of itself isn't a problem to the individual or others. Opposition to homosexuality is a bias inappropriate to be effective when dealing with other pathologies present in the individual.

These alone make these therapies and ministries immediately incompetent, biased and dangerous to those at risk. We wouldn't accept this from any other care giver-it shouldn't be any less true for the ex gay business.

Regan DuCasse

* reparative therapy - The bogus attempt to change a person's sexual orientation from gay to straight.

From the comments at Ex-Gay Watch

Update: See my response above.


Linking to Anti-Gay Sources

I followed the link at comment #342 and I found that this is just some fellow's biased opinion, it's not research. The legitimate scientific research he attempts to trash, in fact, supports what I posted in comment #339. And who runs this web site?

The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps track of over 700 hate groups in the country: neo-nazis, skin-heads, various Klans. The sponsor of this web site, the Family Research Institute, is one of three anti-gay groups on the SPLC list.

Then we see on the bottom of the web page, that this report is published by none other than the notorious Paul Cameron, who was kicked out of the American Psychological Association for ethical violations (lying about gays) and disowned by the American Sociological Association for using improper methodology in his efforts to misrepresent (lie about) gays in his continually discredited research.

If someone here seeks support for their views by associating with a designated anti-gay hate group or relies on the bogus work of Paul Cameron and his ilk, then why should we believe anything else that they say? We should know better. Yet how are we to have the people vote based on the truth of these important matters when there are politicians, preachers and posters who continue to spew out such hateful nonsense about gays?

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog, comment #360

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Were Priests who Abused Boys Gay?

Marty said: "Unsubstantiated slur? It’s actually well documented fact that approximately 80% of the abuse cases involved in this scandal were same-sex, male-male abuse."

This is exactly the discredited Paul Cameron type misuse of "facts" that we all should condemn. Child predation has everything to do with the availability of the victim and nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the perpetrator. About one third of child molesters, for example, are the live in boyfriends of women who have custody of their children. Half of these children are boys, half are girls. To say that half of those who molest these children are "gay" because the victim is a boy is just nonsense. Obviously none of these perpetrators is gay since the whole reason they are there is to have sex with the child's mother. The fact that many of the victims are boys is just a matter of happenstance.

This Cameronesque illogic is mis-used in other situations. One study found that in 32% of the cases of male pedophilia, the victim was a boy. Using the guestimate that 3% of the population are gay, proponents of Colorado Proposition 2 often and loudly proclaimed, "Studies [sic] show the gays are ten times more likely to molest children."

When the researchers in this and other studies actually look into the backgrounds of these pedophiles, they have a hard time finding perpetrators who are gay. Instead almost all are heterosexuals, most have wives and many have children of their own. What these and other legitimate studies confirm is that gays are a third to a half less likely to abuse or molest children.

Suggesting that since 80% of the cases in this scandal involved male-male abuse, this implies that the Priests involved were gay is as absurd as saying that 50% of abusive live in boyfriends are gay. Abuse has everything to do with availability and nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog Comment #22


Male-Male Pedophilia not Related to Gay Orientation


Sexual orientation and sexual behavior are not the same thing. As we note from the American Psychologic Association's Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality:
Sexual Orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person. It is easily distinguished from other components of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female) and the social gender role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior).

Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Persons may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors.

In psychosexually mature persons, behavior follows orientation. Straights are attracted to and have sex with straights of the opposite gender. Gays are attracted to and have sex with gays of the same gender. This is a sign of normal sexual maturity.

Persons who molest children are engaging in abnormal behavior which has nothing to do with the love, caring, affection, concern, romance, and so on that is involved in a mature relationship. Pedophilia (or molesting other prisoners in jail) is abnormal, sexual orientation has nothing to do with it.

It is just this attempt to illegitimately equate behavior with sexual orientation that discredited researcher Paul Cameron* was expelled from the APA for unethical conduct, i.e. lying about gays in this and any other way he could think up.

Again, the sex of the victims of these abnormal behaviors has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the perpetrator. Instead, studies show that gays are less likely, not more likely, to molest or abuse children.

Please do not perpetuate Paul Cameron's unethical misuse of the data by confusing behavior with sexual orientation. They are not the same thing.

*see 1980

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog Comment #58

Monday, October 17, 2005


Culture does not Determine if a Person is Gay

Negro, black, African-American
homosexual, gay

These are the same people. They feel empowered by choosing a name for themselves from within their own culture, rather than having one imposed on them from the outside. The name is derived from the culture, but the underlying sexual orientation is not.

The culture does not determine if a person is gay or not. This is the finding that came out of research in the period following WWII. As I previously stated here:
Imagine the surprise then, when study after study came back showing not even a correlation, let alone a hint of causation between any of the upbringing factors which Freud had suggested lead to a person ending up gay. No "distant father." No "overbearing mother." No this, no that, no anything whatsoever. Being gay is an all but random happenstance like left-handedness. Environment can modify its expression, but it cannot change its intrinsic nature.

Culture can influence homosexual behavior, as it did with the Greeks and the Romans, but it cannot effect homosexual orientation itself.

The physiological test for sexual orientation I describe here was around long before I was a graduate student. I have stated that the government not be allowed to require this test, any more than it can require a lie detector test. Both would be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. However, persons could always volunteer for this test if they wish. That's how we get subjects for these clinical studies.

Where large scale testing is impractical, self-reporting by men and women who say they are gay has been shown to be highly reliable. There is no confusion in the scientific community regarding how to identify people who are gay.

Ex-Governor McGreevey had sex with his wife the way that men can have sex with a blow-up doll. All it takes in fantasy and friction. This does not mean that he was straight at the time. It only means that his fantasies were sufficient to overcome his repugnance. His obligation as a gay was not to marry someone of the opposite sex in the first place. In order to prevent these tragedies and encourage gays to do the right thing and commit to someone of the same sex, we should make same sex marriage legal everywhere.

Also posted at Family Scholar's Blog Comment # 330.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Queer Theory, what's that?

John Howard said (in italics):

Bill you know that queer theory is all about how sexuality is socially constructed, don't you?

Well, no. I began my studies in clinical psychology over 30 years ago, and I must confess that I've never heard of "queer theory" before.

They of course take that knowledge, which is pretty much uncontested, and use it to say that therefore, everyone is bisexual by nature and we shouldn't socialize people to be straight anymore.

Huh? First we have the "arrested development" hypothesis that everyone was once gay. Now you suggest that everyone is/was bisexual? Are you suggesting that we resurrect Freud's old idea that all babies are born in a state of polymorphic perversion?

But we are saying that we should continue to socialize people to be straight, because...

So this is the reason we should allow bullies to continue to harass gay students in High School? In a letter to the editor about ten years ago I referenced a then released study which found that gay teenagers were three times more likely to commit suicide than their straight classmates. I stated, "Why would these youngsters choose to be gay and commit suicide if they could simply choose to be straight and live happily ever after? The idea that these youngsters chose to be gay is beyond all reason."

Did homosexuals in Nazi Germany chose to be gay so they could be sent to the gas chambers? What kind of "social pressure" can you imagine that would be any greater than that? So despite the fact that gays have been stoned to death, sent to the gas chambers or hanged as happened recently in Iran, a small yet constant portion of any population is gay through all times and cultures.

Do you think that VP Cheney and his wife have a gay daughter because they failed to properly "socialize" her?

That some people are gay is just a fact of nature, and no amount of "socialization" will change that. So the question remains, "How does a fair and just society respond to the fact that a small yet consistent portion of our citizens are inherently gay?"

Also posted at family scholars blog Comment #293

Friday, October 14, 2005


Why the APA Delisted Homosexuality in the DSM in 1975 - Part I

EW asked:
So when the APA, before 1975, considered homosexuality a disorder, were we then simply to defer to their judgment? Was homosexuality really a disorder before 1975 simply because the APA said so, but not a disorder after simply because they changed their position?

Yes, we defer to the experts since they are best informed about the reality of the situation we are facing. When my wife discovered a lump in her breast, we followed the experts' advice and she had a mastectomy. She's been cancer free for the 18 years since.

Science is an ongoing process. Science is never exact, particularly in the social sciences. We zero in toward the truth through objective research with the results published in peer reviewed journals. I'm fascinated by the many stages researchers went through to determine the age of the earth, for example.

A hundred years ago, most psychiatric diagnoses were carried over from the nineteenth century. Freud's seminal work, The Interpretation of Dreams was published in 1900. Freud did no scientific research after publishing a paper on the sex organs of eels as a student. All of his insights were derived from his keen observations of his mostly neurotic patients. The few homosexual patients he had, truly were suffering from serious psychological problems. Yet if we look at a random sample of any group of people we will find some with psychological problems. To associate these problems with homosexuality, as Freud did, was later shown to be a mistaken inference based on a biased sample. His analysis was based on only those gays with problems serious enough to bring them to his office in the first place.

Little research was done in this area during the first half of the twentieth century, so Freud's armchair speculations stayed on the books, as it were. After WWII, researchers were given access to a train load of information in the form of the Army Alpha series of tests which were given to most who were inducted into the service as a result of the war. The GI Bill produced an influx of money making more available for research, and research funding became available from other sources as well. Many found funding to do verifiable research to scientifically prove that Freud's ideas about homosexuality were correct.

Imagine the surprise then, when study after study came back showing not even a correlation, let alone a hint of causation between any of the upbringing factors which Freud had suggested lead to a person ending up gay. No "distant father." No "overbearing mother." No this, no that, no anything whatsoever. Being gay is an all but random happenstance like left-handedness. Environment can modify its expression, but it cannot change its intrinsic nature.

At the same time, psychometricians used the multiple choice style psychological tests in the Army Alpha series as an example of a test which produced valid results for large numbers of people in a cost effective machine scorable format. This was never to be a substitute for personal interviews by trained diagnosticians, but these tests allowed interviewers to focus on problem areas more quickly.

Yet with none of these new standardized tests, nor with any other tests that researchers and eager graduate students attempted to devise for this specific purpose, could anyone come up with a diagnostic test which could distinguish gays as a group from straights as a group. Sure, gays suffer from all manner of psychological problems, but in no significantly different pattern or proportion than the population in general. So, if we can devise no test designed to identify psychological disorders which can objectively determine who is gay and who isn't, how can we say that being gay by itself is a psychological disorder in the first place?

There are two other compelling scientific findings which, when added to the above, made the delisting of homosexuality in the DSM all but inevitable. Thirty years of continuing research since then fully supports this decision.

I stand behind the experts in this matter, and the nearly 60 years of solid scientific research which confirms their decision.

From a post at: Family Scholar's blog Comment #59


The Tragic Fantasy of Marrying Someone of the Opposite Orientation

EW said:
This means, that women’s response is more generalized and women may be stimulated by watching sexual situation as such. In men, the arousal is more specific.

It's true it's harder to distinguish general arousal from sexual arousal in women than it is in men. Also, we can never guarantee a one to one correspondence between the pictures and the fantasies they might evoke.

As a favorite professor of mine was want to say, sex requires two basic things, fantasy and friction. That's why clinics that rely on sperm donation have girlie magazines in the rest room. Fantasy may suffice for a time, but a meaningful relationship requires two participating adults where any fantasy is replaced by the total reality of the other.

As the physiological test shows, gay men are aroused by pictures and thoughts of other men, but not women. This is why the suggestion that someone who is gay should just conform to "societal norms" and marry someone of the opposite sex is so ludicrous. At best we have a man who has to fantasize about someone else in order to go through the motions with his wife. She's fully engaged, heart mind and soul, in the reality of the experience while his mind is replacing her with someone quite different.

Or, more likely, he could avoid intimate relations as much as possible leaving both his needs and hers unsatisfied, her love unrequited. The children have no role models for a relationship based on emotional love and affection. How are they to learn how to fill these roles themselves later? Boys in these situations often "learn" that women exist for their sexual gratification. The love and affection that belongs in a relationship is not in evidence. Girls in these situations want affection like we all do, but not seeing this expressed appropriately by their parents, they may become promiscuous trading sex for the affection they need.

A life built on such fantasy is no life at all. The husband has no love in his life unless he finds a man on the side. The wife has a husband but their relationship is superficial, satisfying neither. The children learn that love is little more than gratuitous sex.

If the wheels come off the train, in a classic Ex-Gov McGreevey moment, don't look for someone to put the train back together. It wasn't on the right track to start with. While being raised by one's married biological parents is ideal for heterosexuals, an arrangement like this is a disservice to the children. Anything we can do to discourage gays from marrying someone of the opposite sex will prevent these tragedies from happening in the future.

From a post at: Family Scholar's blog Comment #99