September 1st, 2006
The wide-ranging condemnations of Dr. Joseph Berger, the NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee member who recommended “ridicule” as an effective treatment for young children with variant sexual identity and expression, has had an effect. Warren Throckmorten notes that not only has Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, President of NARTH disavowed Dr. Berger’s advice, NARTH pulled the offending post from their blog and offers this statement:
We have pulled the discussion on gender variant children in Oakland. The article contained comments that were deemed offensive to many readers and failed to accurately express the overall views of the physician who expressed them.
We apologize for publishing the article without getting proper clarifications first about how children with gender identity disorders should be treated by parents, teachers, and counselors.
NARTH President Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. has issued the following statement related to gender variant children and remarks made by Dr. Joseph Berger:
“NARTH disagrees with Dr. Berger’s advice as we believe shaming, as distinct from correcting, can only create greater harm. Too many of our clients experienced the often life-long, harmful effects of peer shaming. We cannot encourage this.”
I think that a lot of this is nonsense and is being pushed by people who have an agenda to disrupt society in order to further some perverted goals such as the acceptance of pedophilia, and, of course, the attempted “normalization” of homosexuality.
From a medical/scientific perspective, the notion of a child of five being “transgendered” is absolute garbage. This is a child wanting attention and wanting to play “dress-up,” with an added layer of unhappiness.
That essentially is the issue for most of these children. They are unhappy. They don’t have a “biological” based “gender identity disorder.” They are unhappy; they have an envy of certain aspects of the opposite sex role — and wish to pursuit it for as long as they can.
Tolerant parents, tolerant schools, tolerant societies, might let them get away with it. No one should be surprised that avant-garde California or sun-drenched Florida should be places where the tolerance is highest.
The notion that a person is really someone of the opposite sex “trapped in the wrong body” is poetic stupidity. It doesn’t exist in reality. A person wishing to change their external manifestations to appear to be a person of the opposite sex is someone very unhappy with being their “real” sex and/or believing in some idealized fantasy of how much better it is to be of the opposite sex.
We don’t treat distorted fantasies with mutilating surgery.
Here in cold Canada, I often talk with mothers of small children who routinely complain about how difficult it is to get their children dressed in the winter in the multiple layers of clothing they need to go off to school. I suggest to them that they make it clear to their children that they will leave home — or that the school bus will come — at such-and-such time, and they will go whether they are ready or not. I suggest that going just one day in their pajamas or underwear will be enough to “cure” them of their procrastination.
I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in clothes of the opposite sex — but not counseling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings.
On the contrary, don’t interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.
It is a mistake for various interfering, ignorant, and biased busybodies to try to “counsel” the other children into accepting the abnormal. It is very healthy to be able to draw the line between what is healthy and what is sick.
I am sure that if we looked carefully, we could find some significant personal issues and aberrations in the parents of these children. These children don’t have such problems without there having been some groundwork laid by their parents in some way.
Dr Joseph Berger, FRCP, DABPN, DLFAPA
No word yet on whether NARTH intends to maintain Dr. Berger’s position on their advisory committee. It seems that following his advice can lead to a lot of hot water.