What is the APA's real agenda?

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Transgender advocates seek new diagnostic terms

Chron.com (AP) — Does a woman who strongly believes she was meant to be a man have a mental condition or a medical problem? Is a man who cross-dresses in need of psychological help? What about a boy who pretends to be a girl in make-believe games and chooses only female playmates?
The nation’s psychiatric establishment is wrestling with these questions, among others, as it works to overhaul its diagnostic manual for the first time in almost two decades. Advocates have spent years lobbying the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to rewrite or even remove the categories typically used to diagnose transgender people, arguing that terms like Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism promote discrimination by broad-brushing a diverse population with the stigma of mental illness.
“The label of mental defectiveness really places a burden on trans people to continually prove our competence in our affirmed roles,” Kelley Winters, a Colorado scholar who has helped lead the push for changes, said.
Although the association’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is not scheduled to be printed until the end of the year, the updates are taking shape after three rounds of proposed changes. Professionals who have been part of or closely observing the amendment process say the latest wording, while not going as far as many advocates wanted, respects the broader shift in society’s understanding and acceptance of what it means to be transgender since the last major revision of the manual was published in 1994.
“All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context,” New York psychiatrist Jack Drescher, a member of the APA subcommittee working on the issue, said. “We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories (of male and female.) We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”
The most symbolic change under consideration so far for the manual’s fifth edition, known as the DSM-V for short, is a new name for Gender Identity Disorder, the diagnosis now given to adults, adolescents and children with “a strong and persistent cross-gender identification.” In the manual’s next incarnation, individuals displaying “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” would be diagnosed instead with “Gender Dysphoria,” a term that comes from the Greek word for emotional distress.
While the shift may seem purely semantic, switching the emphasis from a disorder that by definition all transgender people possess to a temporary mental state that only some might possess marks real progress, according to Dana Beyer, a retired eye surgeon who helped the Washington Psychiatric Society make recommendations for the chapter on “Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders.”
“A right-winger can’t go out and say all trans people are mentally ill because if you are not dysphoric, that can’t be diagnosed from afar,” Beyer said. “It no longer matters what your body looks like, what you want to do to it, all of that is irrelevant as far as the APA goes.”
Persuading the psychiatric profession to redefine who and who does not qualify for its care has historical precedent as a civil rights issue. In 1973, the APA, responding to pressure from the gay homosexual and lesbian community, concluded that same-sex attraction alone was a normal part of human experience, not an illness.
Although it took another 14 years for all conditions related to homosexuality to be lifted from the DSM, the earlier shift is regarded as a major milestone in the gay homosexual rights movement, one that paved the way for gays homosexuals to adopt children, get married and serve in the military.
Like gay homosexual men and lesbians before them, transgender people have seen the APA’s language cited to their disadvantage. Dan Karasic, a San Francisco psychiatrist who has offered suggested changes to the DSM-V through his affiliation with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, cited a Utah case in which he has been asked to prepare expert witness testimony involving a transgender woman who is at risk of losing the children she fathered before her transition.
“The argument is that one criteria for terminating parental rights is if one parent has a severe, chronic mental illness that might be harmful to the child,” Karasic said. “A lawyer is apparently using that to argue that because the person is trans and has a diagnosis of GID, she should have her parental rights terminated.”
But while there are parallels, achieving what the APA did for gays homosexuals four decades ago is more complicated for people who identity as transgender, an umbrella term that encompasses transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose self-concepts otherwise do not align with the male or female label they were given at birth. Unlike sexual orientation, the accepted protocols for treating many patients expressing profound discomfort with their given gender call for medical intervention.
Since at least the 1980s, for example, a diagnosis of Transsexualism or Gender Identity Disorder has been used by doctors, mental health professionals and a growing number of health insurers to justify access to hormones or surgery for patients who decide to physically transition to a new sex. Eliminating it from the DSM-V therefore could make it more difficult for self-identified transsexuals to qualify for treatment unless a sex change is someday recognized as a physiological condition.

Read the rest of the story here.

There’s a reason I only highlighted just one sentence from this story. Why the need to call out what “right-wingers” say?  How does Beyer know all right-wingers believe this?  How does Beyer know that no liberals might say this?
What is the agenda of the APA?  To truly help transgenders? Or is it an agenda to make those who disagree with abnormal behaviors be defined as haters? My guess: as with any “progressive” idea, it’s designed to label conservatives as hate-filled, intolerant, and ignorant people.
DCG

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0 responses to “What is the APA's real agenda?

  1. Thanks, DCG. Sometimes they just can’t keep their hate for the “right-wing” harnessed and it dribbles on out of their mouths in spite of their best efforts. I’m sure eventually they’ll even label what Fred Willard was doing a “disease” and give it an alphabet name so he won’t be traumatized.

     
  2. edward oleander

    Being GLBT is not, in and of itself, EVER a good enough reason to terminate parental rights. Period.
    While wanting to be another gender is not a mental illness, the stress of being the wrong sex can bring on mental illness. I support treating this like other stress-related anxiety or mental issue.
    Taxpayer money, however, should NEVER be used to pay for gender reassignment. There just aren’t enough resources available to pay for that.
    Yes, that gets me in trouble in my crowd occasionally, but not as much as you might think… Most trans folks are realistic enough to understand…

     
    • I’m not debating your first comment. Your second, maybe. How many homosexuals can’t seek treatment for what they perceive to be a mental illness now that homosexuality isn’t defined as such? I don’t believe that everyone who has abnormal tendencies wants to act on them. It is abnormal – the human body wasn’t designed for homosexual intercourse.
      My whole point is why bring up “right-wingers”? Exposes this individual as having another agenda for their actions.

       

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