Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bigotry and Unscientific and Unethical Rot in the Heart of Psychiatry

Once again comments I've written elsewhere strikes me as being worthy once re-edited of a post on it's own.

These are from here:

I am especially troubled by a September report from Dr. Raymond Blanchard, chairman of the Paraphilias Subworkgroup of the DSM-V Task Force. He proposes to retain the TF diagnosis, renamed "Transvestic Disorder" with its existing diagnostic criteria that ambiguously label all "behaviors involving cross-dressing" by those assigned male at birth as sexually deviant on the basis of their sexual orientation. Moreover, Dr. Blanchard proposes to add the deeply offensive and inflammatory term, "autogynephilia," as a specifier to the diagnosis. I ask the DSM-V Task Force and elected officials of the American Psychiatric Association to reject his proposal.

Here we have a diagnosis criteria of a mental illness that includes SEXUALITY as one of it's criteria! And SEX as another! From the pdf preview of the report:

"(4) with a heterosexualorientation. There are, of course, cross-dresserswho fall outside this definition: homosexual men who crossdress without sexual arousal and perhaps rare women who cross-dress with sexual arousal. The existence of these other groups has no necessary bearing on whether the combination of male sex, heterosexual orientation, cross-dressing, and sexual excitement constitutes a distinct syndrome. The consensus of expert clinicians, for almost a century, has been that it does."

Does anyone like the idea of sexual orientation being a criteria for diagnosing a mental illness folks? Think it's good that het male to female crossdressers are seperated from gay ones because of their sexuality in this? Or the female to male ones from the male to female ones because they are assumed to be 'rare'. And strange that being aroused wearing lingerie (something they seem to think only happens with het CDs, not gay ones) is somehow bad but a man being aroused wearing leather chaps or a woman finding wearing a tight corset arousing (which is almost every goth woman i know for the record) is somehow different.

This is an arbitrary definition. Built on policing gender roles from a transphobic gender-binary as well as sexuality double-standards and sexist double-standards. There's something wrong in that affecting everybody! And the knock-on effects through the psychiatric field could effect anyone!

And as Kelly, the author of the original post i was commenting on reminds us:

...the TF diagnosis defames a huge population of CD, genderqueer, and other trans folks who have been inexplicably silent on this issue. Moreover, a person does not actually have to be sexually aroused by gender expression to be diagnosed. Criterion A in the current and proposed diagnosis is (conveniently) ambiguously worded to be met by "or behaviors involving cross-dressing." The mere "involvement" of "cross-dressing" is all that is required. Even worse, the second criterion fails to distinguish distress actually caused by gender expression from distress caused by societal prejudice. So a CD individual who is perfectly happy and well adjusted and has been outed and fired can be further bashed by a TF diagnosis, because being a victim of job discrimination can be considered "impairment" in the diagnosis. Dr. Blanchard's TF diagnosis was designed to ensnare as many gender nonconforming people as possible on the basis of male birth-assignment and sexual orientation. It should be removed from the DSM-V.

There is a phenomenon I've been observing, and repeatedly subject to in fact.
It's where bad science with poor evidence poor logic poor conclusions and cherry picking of evideence and failing to apply proper scientific method by searching for disproofs of contrary evidence rather than only corroborative evidence get accepted and placed on high because it's consistent with presumptions and unscientific beliefs and what suits the mainstream.

It happens regularly with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyalitus/Fibromyalgia where psychologists are still getting pieces published and supported that the illness is psychological in origin and exaccerbated psychologically despite findings of genetic switch activity in blood, despite mitochondrial function evidence, despite evidence in cerebrospinal fuid and evidence of cerebrospinal swelling/inflamation and now the evidence of a retrovirus XMRV previously linked to prostate cancer being found in the majority of CFS sufferers.

In other words in total contrast to empirical evidence which must be ignored and pretended does not exist in order to make these claims the more comfortable stereotype-affirming view gets undue support and acceptance.

If Blanchard GENUINELY wanted to test his theories the very first thing that should be done is to apply all the tests that have found biological corellates in transsexuals upon crossdressers, looking for milder forms or varient forms of the same traits. An obvious thing to rule out surely? But major tenants of Psychiatry are under threat from Neurology, that'd be fraternising with the enemy. And i doubt any genuine test would be applied to his theories by him. He wants to build a theory, not test one. Construct an explanation that fits his preconceptions, not find the truth.
And here is an important question.

Why is it that despite years and years of homophobic and transphobic murder....
There is no sign of homophobia or transphobia listed as mental illnesses? No sign of treatments for them?

Cause there is an Unethical notion at the heart of much psychology.. that social norms are right because they are social norms and deviation from social norms and resistance to social conditioning is an aberation. Thats a Philosophical and Unethical cancer at the heart of psychology.

Until all Ethical actions and behavior is removed from the DSM and Unethical and Irrational Hate is included then there is Human Rights Abuse at it's heart!


Bad hair days said...

Psychoanalysis is based on psychosexual development. Psychoanalysts cannot accept neuroligical basis to sexual outcome (neither gender nor orientation) without having the esoteric cardhouse of psychonalysis desintagrating (not just the parts about transanything)

Battybattybats said...

So all of psychoanalysis will go the way of phrenology into the annals of quackery and pseudoscience?

Wow that will be messy. I guess the career won't neccessarily go extinct, it could try and latch on to the 'alternative medicine' bandwagon along with homeopathy.