Transgender activists are objecting to the selection of an ex-gay researcher chosen to re-write the gender and sexuality definitions in the psychiatrists’ bible of mental disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is producing a fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) that currently lists gender identity disorder and famously de-listed homosexuality in 1973.
Dr Kenneth Zucker, who will head up the rewrite committee, has previously researched reversion therapies and is now examining whether gender-variant children become transgender or homosexual as adults with the view to corrective treatment.
Suppose you were a clinician and a four-year-old black kid came into your office and said he wanted to be white. Would you go with that? -¦ I don’t think we would, Zucker told America’s National Public Radio earlier this month.
One American group, TransActive, are strongly opposed to Zucker’s appointment because they believe the current listing of gender identity disorder needs to be removed and Zucker is unlikely to do so.
The APA issued a statement in response to the concerns saying all proposals to revise definitions will be peer-reviewed and based on the best available clinical and scientific data, and the DSM does not itself provide treatment recommendations.
The APA is aware of the need for greater scientific and clinical consensus on the best treatments for individuals with Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Toward that end, the APA Board of Trustees voted to create a special APA Task Force to review the scientific and clinical literature on the treatment of GID, the statement read.
Update: SSO has received letters from readers wishing to clarify Dr Zucker is a researcher in sexuality and gender identity, which includes ex-gay theories. He is not an advocate for them.
A further statement released by APA agrees with these comments:
The goal of [Zucker’s] therapy is the opposite of conversion therapy in that he considers well-adjusted transsexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual youth to be therapy successes, not failures, the statement read.