Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.

The Homosexual Lobby - Expanding
the Purple Umbrella, Pt.2

by Linda Bowles

My recent column dealing with pedophilia and related issues stimulated a number of reactions. The subject of sexual deviancy always does. There's good news, and there's bad news.

Before getting to that, I want my readers to know that I meticulously research subjects I write about. Prior to writing the "pedophilia" column, I talked at length with a number of practicing psychiatrists; I reviewed the literature in depth; I delved into the Internet databanks of the Family Research Council (, The American Psychiatric Association ( and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (, among others. I am also very close to another great resource, my husband-hero, who is a Phi Beta Kappa and just happens to be a clinical psychologist. The good news is that the American Psychological Association -- which was the real focus of my column -- has backtracked from a very controversial study they published suggesting that sexual relations between an adult and a "willing" child might be beneficial to the child. In its June 13 Sunday edition, the New York Times headlined a report detailing the "political storm" caused by the study.

After the publication of my column, American Psychological Association Chief Executive Officer Raymond D. Fowler sent a letter to Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Tex), promising to be more careful in evaluating future publications and offering to create legal briefs to attack any use of this particular study to defend or justify pedophiles in courts of law.

My opinion perfectly reflects that of radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who said, "Without everyone's focused attention on this issue, children victimized by child molesters would have been even more vulnerable." Now for the bad news. I have received a threatening letter from the Washington D.C law firm Crowell & Moring LLP, which represents the American Psychiatric Association (not to be confused with the American Psychological Association). The main points I made in my column are refuted with this claim: "DSM-IV, the current version of the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, makes no change in the status of pedophilia as a psychiatric disorder, nor does it require shame or remorse for diagnosis."

Here is the change from DSM-III to DSM-IV. Judge for yourself:

"DSM-III: Diagnostic Criteria of 302.2 Pedophilia:

A. Over a period of at least six months, recurrent, intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 or younger). B. The person has acted on these urges, or is markedly distressed by them.

C. The person is at least 16 years old and at least five years older than the child or children in A."

"DSM-IV: Diagnostic Criteria for 302.2 Pedophilia:

A. Over a period of at least six months, recurrent, intensive sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 or younger).

B. The fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least five years older than the child or children."

Dr. Charles W. Socarides said, when I talked to him, that the diagnostic changes set forth in DSM-IV are "significant and absurd! These changes are flawed and should be corrected immediately!" he continued. "They are causing turmoil and confusion for clinicians, the public and the pedophiles themselves." Dr. Socarides' credentials entitle him to an opinion. He is currently the president of NARTH and a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1979 until 1996. Let's listen to Dr Joseph Nicolosi, director of The Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, a scholar on the subject of sexual pathologies. In an article entitled "Pedophilia Not Always a Disorder?" he wrote, "With the release of ... DSM-IV, we see some alarming changes in the definition of pedophilia. According to the new DSM-IV, a person is no longer a pedophile simply because he molests children or fantasizes about molesting children. ... If he feels no guilt or anxiety and is otherwise functioning reasonably well, a child molester would be violating the law, but he would not be psychologically disordered."

Dr. Nicolosi went on to say that "these DSM changes are particularly dangerous because they are a re-enactment of the pattern which led to the de- pathologizing of homosexuality." I would like to finish on a positive note. The lawyers demand that I acknowledge the "APA's clear opposition to pedophilia ..." I happily do so. In a recent press release, the American Psychiatric Association reaffirmed its position that "an adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior." I don't have a clue as how to reconcile their stated attitude toward pedophilia with their criteria for diagnosing it -- but I am nevertheless thrilled and delighted. I never ever dreamed that an association of over 40,000 psychiatrists would sit in stern moral judgment of sexual deviates, even saying their behavior is not normal. Hallelujah! I stand corrected.

I recommend to Rep. Tom DeLay that he arrange full and open hearings to clear up inconsistencies and confusion before giving any public money or other considerations to the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association. I have a long list of the most qualified experts in the country who are anxious to be heard.


Originally Published on 6/15/99

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