Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gay hero shrink dies

From the AP obituary of Robert Spitzer:
Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University and editor of a later edition of the manual, told the Times that Spitzer "was by far the most influential psychiatrist of his time."

Gay-rights activists credit Dr. Spitzer with removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the D.S.M. in 1973. He decided to push for the change after he met with gay activists and determined that homosexuality could not be a disorder if gay people were comfortable with their sexuality.
So I guess also that narcissism is not a disorder if narcissists are comfortable being narcissists.
At the time of the psychiatric profession's debate over homosexuality, Dr. Spitzer told the Washington Post: "A medical disorder either had to be associated with subjective distress — pain — or general impairment in social function."
And no one has any distress about sexual orientation?
Dr. Jack Drescher, a gay psychoanalyst in New York, told the Times that Spitzer's successful push to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders was a major advance for gay rights. "The fact that gay marriage is allowed today is in part owed to Bob Spitzer," he said.
Ah yes, there is no science here. Just a political advance for gay rights.
In 2012, Dr. Spitzer publicly apologized for a 2001 study that found so-called reparative therapy on gay people can turn them straight if they really want to do so.
Why were they even getting the therapy in the first place? Because they had distress.

If you want the story about how some closeted gay psychiatrists schemes to get a political vote to drop homosexuality as a disorder, see 81 Words, an NPR Radio broadcast.

No comments: