Tuesday, 31 January 2017

HOMOSEXUALITY AS DISEASE/ DISORDER

Recently on our Blog there have been arguments to and fro as to whether homosexuality is "normal" or "disordered".
I am not an expert - nor I'm sure are most of those who read this Blog.
If I have a pain in my chest I go and see a doctor.
If my car breaks down I go and see a mechanic.
If my pipes burst I call a plumber etc.
I believe that only qualified people can give us a declaration as to the normality / abnormality of homosexuality. Those people will come from the fields of psychology, biology, medicine, psychiatry etc. In today's blog - to help readers - I publish an article by Dr Jack Dresher - an american psychiatrist and psychoanalyst on the decision of the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to remove homosexuality as an "illness" or "disorder" from its world famous book - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - DSM. 
Readers who want to think rationally about homosexuality must read this article and give it very serious thought.
Those who want to remain locked in their ignorance and prejudice can do so. "There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see".
The article is 3087 words long. Please persevere. It is worth it. 





Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality
1. Introduction
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) This resulted after comparing competing theories, those that pathologized homosexuality and those that viewed it as normal [3,4,5,6]. In an effort to explain how that decision came about, this paper reviews some historical scientific theories and arguments that first led to the placement of homosexuality in DSM-I [7] and DSM-II [8], as well as alternative theories, that eventually led to its removal from DSM III [9] and subsequent editions of the manual [10,11,12,13]. The paper concludes with a discussion of the sociocultural aftermath of that 1973 decision.


JACK DRESHER MD

Theories of Pathology
These theories regard adult homosexuality as a disease, a condition deviating from “normal,” heterosexual development. The presence of atypical gender behaviour or feelings are symptoms of the disease or disorder to which mental health professionals need to attend. These theories hold that some internal defect or external pathogenic agent causes homosexuality and that such events can occur pre- or postnatally (i.e., intrauterine hormonal exposure, excessive mothering, inadequate or hostile fathering, sexual abuse, etc.). Theories of pathology tend to view homosexuality as a sign of a defect, or even as morally bad, with some of these theorists being quite open about their belief that homosexuality is a social evil. For example, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler infamously wrote in a book for general audiences, “I have no bias against homosexuals; for me they are sick people requiring medical help... Still, though I have no bias, I would say: Homosexuals are essentially disagreeable people, regardless of their pleasant or unpleasant outward manner... [their] shell is a mixture of superciliousness, fake aggression, and whimpering. Like all psychic masochists, they are subservient when confronted with a stronger person, merciless when in power, unscrupulous about trampling on a weaker person”
Theories of Immaturity
These theories, usually psychoanalytic in nature, regard expressions of homosexual feelings or behaviour at a young age as a normal step toward the development of adult heterosexuality Ideally, homosexuality should just be a passing phase that one outgrows. However, as a “developmental arrest,” adult homosexuality is equated with stunted growth. Those who hold these theories tend to regard immaturity as relatively benign, or at least not as “bad” compared to those who theorize that homosexuality is a form of psychopathology.
Theories of Normal Variation
These theories treat homosexuality as a phenomenon that occurs naturally. Such theories typically regard homosexual individuals as born different, but it is a natural difference affecting a minority of people, like left-handedness. The contemporary cultural belief that people are “born gay” is a normal variation theory. As these theories equate the normal with the natural, they define homosexuality as good (or, at baseline, neutral). Such theories see no place for homosexuality in a psychiatric diagnostic manual.
Gender Beliefs
It is rare to find a theory of homosexuality that does not draw upon gender beliefs that contain implicit cultural ideas about the “essential” qualities of men and women.“Real men” and “real women” are powerful cultural myths with which everyone must contend. People express gender beliefs, their own and those of the culture in which they live, in everyday language as they either indirectly or explicitly accept and assign gendered meanings to what they and others do, think, and feel. Gender beliefs touch upon almost every aspect of daily life, including such mundane concerns as what shoes men should wear or “deeper” questions of masculinity such as whether men should openly cry or sleep with other men. Gender beliefs are embedded in questions about what career a woman should pursue and, at another level of discourse, what it would mean if a professional woman were to forego rearing children or pursue a career more aggressively than a man.
Gender beliefs are usually based upon gender binaries. The most ancient and well known is the male/female binary. However there is also the 19th century binary of homosexuality/heterosexuality (or gay/straight in the 20th century) and the emerging 21st century binary of transgender/cisgender. It should be noted that binaries are not confined to popular usage. Many scientific studies of homosexuality contain implicit (and often explicit) binary gender beliefs as well. For example, the intersex hypothesis of,homosexuality maintains that the brains of homosexual individuals exhibit characteristics that would be considered more typical of the other sex. The essentialist gender belief implicit in the intersex hypotheses is that an attraction to women is a masculine trait, which in the case of Sigmund Freud for example (also see below), led to his theory that lesbians have a masculine psychology. Similarly, biological researchers have presumed gay men have brains that more closely resemble those of women or are recipients of extra fragments of their mothers’ X (female) chromosomes.
Gender beliefs usually only allow for the existence of two sexes. To maintain this gender binary, most cultures traditionally insisted that every individual be assigned to the category of either man or woman at birth and that individuals conform to the category to which they have been assigned thereafter. The categories of “man” and “woman” are considered to be mutually exclusive, although there are exceptions, as in Plato’s Symposium and some Native American cultures These beliefs underlie mid-20th century theories that children born with anomalous genitalia had to immediately undergo unnecessary medical surgeries in order to reduce their parents’ anxieties about whether they were boys or girls
Rigid gender beliefs usually flourish in fundamentalist, religious communities where any information or alternative explanations that might challenge implicit and explicit assumptions are unwelcome. When entering the realms of gender and sexuality, it is not unusual to encounter another form of binary thinking: “morality tales” about whether certain kinds of thoughts, feelings, or behaviours are “good or bad” or, in some cases, whether they are “good or evil”. The good/bad binary is not confined to religion alone, as the language of morality is inevitably found, for example, in theories about the “causes” of homosexuality. For in the absence of certitude about homosexuality’s “etiology,” binary gender beliefs and their associated moral underpinnings frequently play a role in theories about the causes and/or meanings of homosexuality. When one recognizes the narrative forms of these theories, some of the moral judgments and beliefs embedded in each of them become clearer.
Early Theorists of Homosexuality
For much of Western history, official pronouncements on the meanings of same-sex behaviours were primarily the province of religions, many of which deemed homosexuality to be morally “bad”. However, as 19th century Western culture shifted power from religious to secular authority, same-sex behaviours, like other “sins,” received increased scrutiny from the law, medicine, psychiatry, sexology, and human rights activism. Eventually, religious categories like demonic possession, drunkenness, and sodomy were transformed into the scientific categories of insanity, alcoholism, and homosexuality.
Thus, the modern history of homosexuality usually begins in the mid-19th century, most notably with the writings of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. Trained in law, theology, and history, he might be considered an early gay rights advocate who wrote a series of political tracts criticizing German laws criminalizing same sex relationships between men. He hypothesized that some men were born with a woman’s spirit trapped in their bodies and that these men constituted a third sex he named urnings. He also defined a woman who we would today call a lesbian as urningin, a man’s spirit trapped in the body of a woman.
In 1869, Hungarian journalist Károli Mária Kertbeny first coined the terms “homosexual” and “homosexuality” in a political treatise against Paragraph 143, a Prussian law later codified in Germany’s Paragraph 175 that criminalized male homosexual behaviour. Kertbeny put forward his theory that homosexuality was inborn and unchangeable, arguments that it was a normal variation, as a counterweight against the condemnatory moralizing attitudes that led to the passage of sodomy laws.
Richard von Krafft-Ebing, a German psychiatrist, offered an early theory of pathology, describing homosexuality as a “degenerative” disorder. Adopting Kertbeny’s terminology, but not his normalizing beliefs, Krafft-Ebing’s 1886 Psychopathia Sexualis viewed unconventional sexual behaviours through a lens of 19th century Darwinian theory: non-procreative sexual behaviours, masturbation included, were regarded as forms of psychopathology. In an ironic twist of the modern “born gay” theory, Krafft-Ebing believed that although one might be born with a homosexual predisposition, such inclinations should be considered a congenital disease. Krafft-Ebing was influential in disseminating among the medical and scientific communities both the term “homosexual” as well as its author’s view of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder. Psychopathia Sexualis would presage many of the pathologizing assumptions regarding human sexuality in psychiatric diagnostic manuals of the mid-20th century.
In contrast, Magnus Hirschfeld also a German psychiatrist, offered a normative view of homosexuality. Hirschfeld, an openly homosexual physician and sex researcher, was a leader of the German homophile movement of his time as well as the standard bearer of Ulrich’s 19th century third sex theories.
The Sexologists
As psychiatrists, physicians, and psychologists tried to “cure” homosexuality, sex researchers of the mid-20th century instead studied a wider spectrum of individuals that included non-patient populations. Psychiatrists and other clinicians drew conclusions from a skewed sample of patients seeking treatment for homosexuality or other difficulties and then wrote up their findings of this self-selected group as case reports. Some theories about homosexuality were based on studies of prison populations. Sexologists, on the other hand, did field studies in which they went out and recruited large numbers of non-patient subjects in the general population.
The most important research in this area was that of Alfred Kinsey and his collaborators, published in two headline-generating reports.The Kinsey reports, surveying thousands of people who were not psychiatric patients, found homosexuality to be more common in the general population than was generally believed, although his now-famous “10%” statistic is today believed to be closer to 1%–4% . This finding was sharply at odds with psychiatric claims of the time that homosexuality was extremely rare in the general population. Ford and Beach’s study of diverse cultures and of animal behaviours, confirmed Kinsey’s view that homosexuality was more common than psychiatry maintained and that it was found regularly in nature. In the late 1950s, Evelyn Hooker,a psychologist, published a study in which she compared psychological test results of 30 gay men with 30 heterosexual controls, none of whom were psychiatric patients. Her study found no more signs of psychological disturbances in the gay male group, a finding that refuted psychiatric beliefs of her time that all gay men had severe psychological disturbances.
The 1973 APA Decision
American psychiatry mostly ignored this growing body of sex research and, in the case of Kinsey, expressed extreme hostility to findings that contradicted their own theories. It should be further noted that some mid-20th century homophile (gay) activist groups accepted psychiatry’s illness model as an alternative to societal condemnation of homosexuality’s “immorality” and were willing to work with professionals who sought to “treat” and “cure” homosexuality. Other gay activists, however, forcefully rejected the pathological model as a major contributor to the stigma associated with homosexuality. It was this latter group that brought modern sex research theories to the attention of APA. In the wake of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, gay and lesbian activists, believing psychiatric theories to be a major contributor to anti-homosexual social stigma, disrupted the 1970 and 1971 annual meetings of the APA.
As Bayer [1] has noted, factors both outside and within APA would lead to a reconceptualization of homosexuality’s place in the DSM. In addition to research findings from outside psychiatry, there was a growing anti-psychiatry movement, not to mention cultural studies critics who held medicine’s history of diagnostic excess up for ridicule, citing the example of drapetomania, a 19th century “disorder of slaves who have a tendency to run away from their owner due to an inborn propensity for wanderlust”.
There was also an emerging generational changing of the guard within APA comprised of younger leaders urging the organization to greater social consciousness.. A very few psychoanalysts like Judd Marmor were also taking issue with psychoanalytic orthodoxy regarding homosexuality. However, the most significant catalyst for diagnostic change was gay activism.
Gay activist protests succeeded in getting APA’s attention and led to unprecedented educational panels at the group’s next two annual meetings. A 1971 panel, entitled “Gay is Good,” featured gay activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings explaining to psychiatrists, many who were hearing this for the first time, the stigma caused by the “homosexuality” diagnosis. Kameny and Gittings returned to speak at the 1972 meeting, this time joined by John Fryer, M.D. Fryer appeared as Dr. H Anonymous, a “homosexual psychiatrist” who, given the realistic fear of adverse professional consequences for coming out at that time, disguised his true identity from the audience and spoke of the discrimination gay psychiatrists faced in their own profession.
While protests and panels took place, APA engaged in an internal deliberative process of considering the question of whether homosexuality should remain a psychiatric diagnosis. This included a symposium at the 1973 APA annual meeting in which participants favouring and opposing removal debated the question, “Should Homosexuality be in the APA Nomenclature?”. The Nomenclature Committee, APA’s scientific body addressing this issue also wrestled with the question of what constitutes a mental disorder. Robert Spitzer, who chaired a subcommittee looking into the issue, “reviewed the characteristics of the various mental disorders and concluded that, with the exception of homosexuality and perhaps some of the other ‘sexual deviations’, they all regularly caused subjective distress or were associated with generalized impairment in social effectiveness of functioning”. Having arrived at this novel definition of mental disorder, the Nomenclature Committee agreed that homosexuality per se was not one. Several other APA committees and deliberative bodies then reviewed and accepted their work and recommendations. As a result, in December 1973, APA’s Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM.
Psychiatrists from the psychoanalytic community, however, objected to the decision. They petitioned APA to hold a referendum asking the entire membership to vote either in support of or against the BOT decision. The decision to remove was upheld by a 58% majority of 10,000 voting members.
It should be noted that psychiatrists did not vote, as is often reported in the popular press, on whether homosexuality should remain a diagnosis. What APA members voted on was to either “favour” or “oppose” the APA Board of Trustees decision and, by extension, the scientific process they had set up to make the determination. Further, opponents of the 1973 removal have repeatedly tried to discredit the referendum’s outcome by declaring, “science cannot be decided by a vote”. However, they usually neglect to mention that those favouring retention of the diagnosis were the ones who petitioned for a vote in the first place. In any event, in 2006 the International Astronomical Union voted on whether Pluto was a planet demonstrating that even in a hard science like astronomy, interpretation of facts are always filtered through human subjectivity.
In any event, the events of 1973 did not immediately end psychiatry’s pathologizing of some presentations of homosexuality. For in “homosexuality’s” place, the DSM-II contained a new diagnosis: Sexual Orientation Disturbance (SOD). SOD regarded homosexuality as an illness if an individual with same-sex attractions found them distressing and wanted to change The new diagnosis legitimized the practice of sexual conversion therapies (and presumably justified insurance reimbursement for those interventions as well), even if homosexuality per se was no longer considered an illness. The new diagnosis also allowed for the unlikely possibility that a person unhappy about a heterosexual orientation could seek treatment to become gay.
SOD was later replaced in DSM-III [9] by a new category called “Ego Dystonic Homosexuality” (EDH). However, it was obvious to psychiatrists more than a decade later that the inclusion first of SOD, and later EDH, was the result of earlier political compromises and that neither diagnosis met the definition of a disorder in the new nosology. Otherwise, all kinds of identity disturbances could be considered psychiatric disorders. “Should people of colour unhappy about their race be considered mentally ill?” critics asked. What about short people unhappy about their height? Why not ego-dystonic masturbation? As a result, ego-dystonic homosexuality was removed from the next revision, DSM-III-R, in 1987. In so doing, the APA implicitly accepted a normal variant view of homosexuality in a way that had not been possible fourteen years earlier.
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8. Conclusions
APA’s 1973 diagnostic revision was the beginning of the end of organized medicine’s official participation in the social stigmatization of homosexuality. Similar shifts gradually took place in the international mental health community as well. In 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality per se from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).As a consequence, debates about homosexuality gradually shifted away from medicine and psychiatry and into the moral and political realms as religious, governmental, military, media, and educational institutions were deprived of medical or scientific rationalization for discrimination.
As a result, cultural attitudes about homosexuality changed in the US and other countries as those who accepted scientific authority on such matters gradually came to accept the normalizing view. For if homosexuality was no longer considered an illness, and if one did not literally accept biblical prohibitions against it, and if gay people are able and prepared to function as productive citizens, then what is wrong with being gay? Additionally, if there is nothing wrong with being gay, what moral and legal principles should the larger society endorse in helping gay people openly live their lives?
The result, in many countries, eventually led, among other things, to (1) the repeal of sodomy laws that criminalized homosexuality; (2) the enactment of laws protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in society and the workplace; (3) the ability of LGBT personnel to serve openly in the military; (4) marriage equality and civil unions in an ever growing number of countries; (5) the facilitation of gay parents’ adoption rights; (6) the easing of gay spouses’ rights of inheritance; and (7) an ever increasing number of religious denominations that would allow openly gay people to serve as clergy.
Most importantly, in medicine, psychiatry, and other mental health professions, removing the diagnosis from the DSM led to an important shift from asking questions about “what causes homosexuality?” and “how can we treat it?” to focusing instead on the health and mental health needs of LGBT patient populations.
Conflicts of Interest
The author declares no conflict of interest.
READ FULL ARTICLE WITH REFERENCES AT:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695779/


49 comments:

  1. We have to be very cautious in using modern psychology to define our understanding of moral matters. The American Psychiatric Association was influenced by huge political pressure at the time. Gay rights lobby groups lobbied it's members to change its diagnosis (hardly a scientific method).

    These are the same psychiatrists also encourage men, who feel that they are women, to mutilate their bodies and have their genitals removed, or that encourage young men and women to take hormones of the opposite gender to change their bodies. Statistics show that this doesn't solve their problems.

    DSM-5 also refers to paedophilia as a "sexual orientation". (They say this will change this in the next edition, but this again is the result of public pressure.)

    The APA is as much a political organisation as a scientific one.

    Also on the issue of 'disorder' the Church's use of the term is a philosophical one. That is, sexual desire/intercourse is primarily ordered towards procreation, homosexual attraction/acts can not achieve that end. Therefore there are not ordered towards procreation, is, disordered with regards their end.

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    1. What philosophy, theology etc is not influenced by one sort of politics or another?

      Sexuality is really a biological matter.

      How we use it of course is a "moral" matter also.

      I just think we need to be very careful about basing our philosophies / theologies on non scientific theories.

      We need to remember that we are basically "animals" called to a higher understand of all things because of our advanced powers of thinking.

      We must not become Trump philosophers or theologians.

      Morally speaking sexuality is not just about procreation.

      It is also, quite legitimately about the expression of love and intimacy. And there is nothing wrong with pleasure either!

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    2. The Church also labels masturbation as a disorder. Since I would hazard a guess that almost all males have engaged in the practice, it would rather indicate that all males, heterosexual or otherwise, are disordered. If we are to have such a limited vision of human sexuality as to reduce it to Thomistic categories, then we need to deal with such disorders in their totality. Among heterosexuals, there may be certain fantasies which are disordered - does sexual relations with your wife which do not involve intercourse amount to a disordered inclination since they are clearly not geared towards the goal of procreation? Anyone who uses contraception is disordered. And on it goes.

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    3. The Saints considered rape as ok because procreation was possible but masterbation was to spill the seed and that was considered a Mortal sin by them because it was lost.

      As far as I am concerned God gave me and the wife toys to play with and give pleaseure. A single individual has the same right to feel good. There are too many bible bashers out there or moralists for that matter that declare one thing and enjoy the other all the same lolol. Lets keep it as big as sin as possible NOT maybe I'm wrong does it really matter.
      For those of us who are married wih children I hope we have passed on a healthy sexual attitude to our children that they don't feel uncomfortable with themselves but Loved as a person for who they are from "" normal "" to transgender if thats how they feel.
      How many innocent lovely people have been driven to the point of suicide because of the gender sexual issue. I unfortunately know of at least one and lets be honest that is one too many.

      I call again for people to desexualise and all that goes with it AGAPE rules lololol

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    4. Sorry @1222 but you've mixed up disordered attractions/acts with disordered persons. The persons aren't disordered! Persons with homosexual attractions are not disordered.

      I understand your comments Pat, but if you look at it biologically, sexual intercourse is primarily about reproduction, that is it's unique function. Yes it is also about bonding, pleasure etc, and yes these are good and God-given qualities, but these too are linked to the primary purpose of reproduction, i.e., that couple remain together for the benefit of their offspring.

      Procreation is the most sublime and amazing end of sexual intercourse, when a man and a woman unite their bodies in the most intimate act, and from that a new, unique, and individual human being is born, a new soul is created for all eternity, a new citizen of the heavenly kingdom, a new child of the Most High. Sex and sexuality are among the most amazing gifts we have been given and the fact that new life flows from it cannot be ignored.

      We are not basically animals with reasoning powers, far from it! We are human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, called into communion with him, to be with him forever. Reducing us to mere animals with reason is a great insult to our dignity as children of God.

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    5. I agree with much of what you say.

      But we did begin as underwater cells / creatures.

      Or are you saying that the Adam and Eve story is literally / scientifically correct?

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    6. 'We are human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, called into communion with him, to be with him forever'. So does God have a cock and set of balls to match? What would be the purpose of a single divinity having procreative powers if not to mate and spawn other deities or demigods? We understand God from a human perspective. That human perspective draws limits on what the concept of God is as humans perceive it but it does not draw limits on what God's actual being.

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    7. Let me clarify @13:19. My point is that heterosexual acts can be disordered - such as sexual relations without intercourse - that is a disordered action. Masturbation as an act is disordered, and thus all males (I would assume) have engaged in disordered acts. Contraception is disordered - thus most Catholics have taken a disordered action. So focussing the conversation on homosexual acts (which are disordered) is a limited discussion.

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    8. We believe that Jesus - God incarnate - was fully human and therefore possessed genitalia.

      We dont know if he ever used them?

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    9. We do know he was sinless and therefore we don't need to waste time speculating.

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    10. 10:21, in what way is homosexuality a 'moral matter'? To imply this suggests that homosexuality is a choice, an explanation held today only by the most intellectually tran.

      The American Psychiatric Association (APA) may have been pressured by gay activists, but these did not force change in the DSM: they simply speeded it up. In this sense, they were social catalysts, not agents of scientific change. What modern scientific findings on homosexuality they brought to the attention of the APA were not their own, but, rather, independent academic counter-conclusions, which some in the APA were ignoring.

      What psychiatrists encourage young men and women with gender dysphoria to gender-transition? Do they actually encourage them to this (which would be bad medical practice)? Or do they simply (and more likely) make known to them the option of gender-transitioning by pharmacotherapy and surgery? The latter isn't encouragement, but honesty (and, therefore, good medical practice).

      Statistically, more than 80% of those who present with symptoms of gender dysphoria do not go on to transition, a medical fact which tends to refute your accusation that pressure is put on these patients to undergo gender reassignment.

      Only a small minority of those with gender dysphoria (about 12%) actually go on to transition. The majority of those that don't turn out to be gay. These outcomes suggest that modern psychiatrists and psychologists are actually working fairly and effectively with these patients instead of being hampered by unscientific and unsound religious and political ideologies.

      If the APA is influenced by politics to some degree (and I don't deny this), so, too, are organisations, like the Catholic Church, which prefer to see themselves as above such secular influence. Their histories, however, provide strong counter-narratives to these delusions.

      As for such catechetical statements as 'intrinsically disordered' and such beliefs that sex acts are primarily ordered to procreation, it is thoroughly disingenuous to argue that the latter is merely a philosophical concept and that procreation rather than loving union is the primary purpose of sexual intercourse.

      Homosexuals are rightly angered when their genuine love for one another (I am not speaking here of lust) is described as 'disordered'. You cannot speak of such love in the philosophical abstract without implying the same terminology of the sexual orientation itself, in other words of the person. Few today would agree with you that the concept of 'intrinsically disordered' can be understood only as a philosophical point of view.

      Your understanding of sexual intercourse is strange. Its primary purpose is unitive, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT RESULT IN PROCREATION. Your concept of sexual intercourse is quite clinical and mechanical, devoid of the loving impulse which, ideally, should be the ground of any such act.

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    11. MC, very well said.

      I have accompanied, nin judgementally, 2 young men on the gender dysphoria journey and attended their hospital and psychiatric appointments with them as a caring friend.

      I found the medics involved extremely cautious in their approach.

      For a start both young men had to live 24/7 as a woman in all respects before the medics considered drug therapy and pitential surgery was way down the road after that.

      The last thing that people like this need is non scientifuc based judgementalism from so called Christians.

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    12. Live 24/7 as a woman? Would that be a "Frills & Lace" kind of woman or a "Boots & Dungarees" type woman, or all the many wonderful incarnations of womankind in between? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming it's the first kind and any transwoman who feels more inclined towards the latter will be less favoured or even turned down for gender reassignment treatment / surgery. Clothes and other accessories, apart from practical considerations, assist us in our self expression, they are not necessarily an indication of gender identity, take Grayson Perry and Eddie Izzard for example. Unless anyone can reassure me otherwise, I view this stipulation that a transwoman has to live 24/7 as some gaudy stereotype before she can progress in her transition as the last insult conferred on them by a predominately patriarchal medical profession!

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    13. I think you are belittling the struggle these folk have.

      The 2 years is about seeing how someone copes with living as any kind of woman from the most feminine to the least feminine.

      There are a great variety of women.

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    14. Tom, you appear to be confusing gender roles (concepts of gender that are sociological and that may differ among societies) with gender identity. The latter is more instinctive to the person, more ontological, and can create terrible cognitive dissonance (distress) within him or her.

      Gender self-recognition (apart from gender binary) can occur at a very early age and often outwardly manifests in accordance with socially determined gender roles (dress codes, facial appearance, interests, etc). But it is not dependent on them, nor is it defined by them.

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    15. 14:39, use of genitalia isn't necessarily sinful. Urination, nocturnal emission ('wet dreams') are both natural functions that Jesus, being fully human, must have experienced. Did he go further than this? We shall never know this side of the grave. But if he did, it wasn't sinful.

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    16. I have stared at and re-read my comment a number of times and I think it did seem rather accusative in tone towards yourself Pat. That was not my intention and I apologise for that, however I take exception to your suggestion that I am belittling the struggles of those with gender identity / body dismorphia. I do not belittle the struggles of anyone! I have not spent nearly 25 years of my life running a mental health support group to come to that degree of insensitivity. It is most distressing to me to see the closures and drawing back of so many services both within the so called NHS and charitable sector, only tonight becoming aware of the closure of a long running night time telephone support line and the obvious worries of what that could imply, so .. anyway, My concern was for the less feminine transwoman who for the sake of progressing the treatment she desired might dress in a way she thought acceptable to the medical profession in attaining her desired transition. I am re-assured that the doctors you have encountered in supporting those with gender identity issues do recognise and accept the less feminine transwoman as genuinely trans. In the case of more non-binary identities and the physical re-assignments to which the person aspires regarding genitalia or removal of (nullification)and breast removal in the case of transitioning birth assigned females, I think it would be erroneous to assume that those relating to a more gender neutral identity were any less compelling when aspiring to female genitalia and should not be out right denied because they do not wish to dress a particular way. Granted that indepth psychological consultations are advised and as Magna Carta commented earlier,during these consultations the vast majority of individuals become more comfortable with their assigned gender and may come to identify their sexuality as gay. Magna Carta, I think if I had punctuated and constructed my earlier comment better, your clarification would be implicit. I watched a tv programme recently that poigniantly demonstrated the reality of the struggles facing children with gender identity / trans issues and thankfully the care these children received from the medical profession seemed to me exemplary, including treatment to delay puberty to give more time to assess without the child being potentially subjected to the "Wrong" puberty, allowing for transition or gender assigned puberty at a later date.

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    17. If I send you information as a comment will you promise not to publish my comment? It'll all be self-evident. Don't publish this comment, just respond yes or no and I'll see it.

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  2. This is a bit like a college lecture. Any hope of having something light on today as well. When you post something heavy, perhaps you should also post something light the same day. Just a suggestion. A balance is good.

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  3. I am discontinuing to follow your blog as you quite clearly are a very bitter man. It's everyone else's fault and not yours. I thought you were championing change but all I've seen is your willingness to ruin lives! Gorgeous is doing no more wrong than you with your well advertised gay marriage. A gay man hounding other gay nan is more disordered than anything else. I know you won't have the courage to publish this - so fuck you Pat

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    1. You are 100% free to follow / not follow this Blog.

      I am a champion of change, reform and renewal.

      I am not - nor never hounded gay men.

      My Blog today is a rational and scientific defence of people with the gay orientation.

      But I am against hypocrisy and using the priesthood, seminaries and seminarians for promiscuity.

      I have never married anyone. I am in a civil partnership with a person I have known and loved for 10 years. It has no religious standing and is based on love, friendship, companionship.

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  4. When are you gonna do the blog on Barry Matthews? I am still waiting

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    1. Hopefully never.

      "When they go low, we go high". Michelle Obama.

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  5. Speaking of bible bashes whatever happened to the well known singing minister Rev William McCrea. He has gone very quiet this last while.

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    1. A big Amen and Hallelujah to that. Though I suspect some of the anti-gay comments we will no doubt be subjected to later today might possibly be Willie incognito.

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    2. A lot of willies go incognito.

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    3. Willie is alive and kicking and living in Magherafelt. The McCrea Dynasty took a big dent at the last Westminster elections when oul Willie lost his MP seat in South Antrim. His Son Ian lost his seat in Mid Ulster at the last Assembly elections.

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  6. Folks, seriously, can we just accept that sin is sin. End of. God forgives, we forget. There is a major difference between the two.

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  7. Has the trail gone cold on Maynooth? Any word from the Guards/PSNI on the hacking incidents?

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    1. No. All still very much being watched / acted upon.

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    2. You still think you were hacked Pat?

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  8. I'm really after laughing out loud at that Michelle Obama comment further up

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  9. Well done Pat in editing out the loons from the comments section. There's a 212% reduction in comments when compared to last week. I'm glad you seem to be on top of screening out the crap.

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    1. I promised I would try to be - without censorship.

      But of course I will still post genuine comments that disagree with me and others.

      As you say - just the obvious loons have been sent elsewhere.

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    2. Yes. Though there are still the loons (there's that word again, my bad!) that think homosexuality leads to paedophilia (based on a few google searches, with no understanding of how statistics actually work). They remind me a bit of Janice on the Steven Nolan show - did anyone else see that in the Belfast Telegraph today? Bad oul bitch. Well Janice would rather go home to die than be treated by a Muslim doctor (do the NHS a solid Janice, and follow through!), and I rather suspect the 'Homosexuality leads to paedophilia' brigade would rather go home to die than be treated by a gay doctor. Though to be fair it isn't entirely clear that this brigade actually use modern medicine, what with them still exhibiting a distinct preference for 13th century medical insights. Sadly they seem to have got to grips with the internet, spreading their poison to be read by the majority non-loon readers.

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  10. 17.15 So there has been a 212% reduction in comments, how did you reach that bizarre conclusion? You must have too much time on your hands. Not sure it's fair Pat for contributors to be referred to as loons. Slowly going off the arrogance such as at 17.15.

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  11. Jesus transcended gender when he explained that in the resurrection there will be neither male nor female. People will be like Angeles. Here Jesus affirms a human core and I believe categories gender as accidental and not essential in terms of Aristotelian Metaphysics. (What a mouthful)

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  12. Not meaning to be arrogant towards 18.12 Please take a deep breath and relax before you read on. The total number of published comments for Jan 17, 19, 22 & 23 is 665 or an average daily of 165. The total comments published on Jan 27,28.29 & 30 amount to 200 with a daily average of 50.

    Now this is where it gets very very complicated. if 50 is 100% what is 165 as a percentage. I'll leave you do the math. The important thing is that the comments are now being moderated. You may feel upset that you can no longer post whatever you want. The primary responsibility of a blog editor with a comment section is to make sure that the comments are moderated. Pat is doing a good job, some of the loons who post here are not.

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    1. Totally agree with this. The quality of the content and comments has gone up massively lately. It seems that it is becoming more of a forum for debate of issues and problems in the Church rather than posting dubious gossip.

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    2. Interesting to note you put the issues that Pat has raised on here like the Maynooth issues, Deacon Byrne etc is down to dubious gossip.

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    3. MournemanMichael31 January 2017 at 22:28

      Much agree @20:58. I have no interest in the one line personalised negative comments.
      MMM

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  13. I wish your remarks about dubious gossip were true. A priest was criticised here recently. I know that priest and am not on his Christmas card list to put it mildly. I think of him any time I pray "forgive us our trespasses...! However the allegation posted was deeply hurtful and out of character for this priest.
    The allegation could be true but we simply don't know. No priest is perfect in his pastoral practice but malicious complaints aren't unknown either. Ultimately we will be judged as we judge others.

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  14. Many of the posts are actually posted by Pat himself. When taken into consideration the actual number is lower.

    Homosexuality is an evolutionary phenomenon: the species' way of dealing with over-population.

    If evolution is God's chosen method of creation each one can draw one's own conclusions.

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  15. Nick from Long Island3 February 2017 at 22:22

    I'm interested how the theology about gay issues could be so different in the different "jurisdictions" that make up the Catholic church.

    We know what the Roman Catholic position is but then you get varying positions from the Old Catholic/Independent Catholic sections of the worldwide church.

    I know Old Catholic and Independent Catholic churches that make the SSPX look progressive and then I know ones that are very left wing and lgbt affirming complete with married clergy/ gay unions.

    Now if this is the Catholic faith and we all share the same tradition at some point back in time, how does the positions vary so greatly?

    PS I'm a gay Roman Catholic in a committed and monogamous relationship. Also, I make no distinction between the validity of Roman Catholic,Old Catholic or Independent Catholic sacraments. From my point of view it's all equally valid as long as it is the Catholic faith. ��

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