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The joy of feedback

August 18th, 2005

Dr Petra

Last year the British Medical Journal published research about treatment of homosexuality in Britain since the 1950s – with interviews of patients and health care professionals. The research showed that no patient benefited from ‘treatment’ of their homosexuality, and that it was wrong to apply a medical diagnosis to something some people socially disapprove of.

Most responses to the research were positive, but a few people didn’t agree with it. One medic wrote saying he equated homosexuality with paedophilia. I was disturbed that the journal published this letter, and my challenge was subsequently published.

After my letter was published there were a few dissenting voices on the BMJ website (which you can see if you click the link to my letter above and read responses to it). I was also sent many separate emails telling me I was ‘a sexual deviant’ , that I would ‘give my patients AIDS’ , and that I was ‘putting children at risk’.

It wasn’t pleasant, but after a while it died down. Only occasionally someone stumbles across the exchange and decides to get in touch.

Like today. When I kick started the day with the following message in my in box*.

“What kind of a quack are you??? I am a biochemist. Anyone who has ever studied or looked at Homosexuality and knows the politics surrounding removing it in 1973 WITHOUT PROPER MEDICAL CAUSE OR CASE STUDY HISTORY from the DSM as a disorder, knows that it is a sickness…arrested development. Not a biochemical disorder. Pedophilia and other sexual orientation/arrested development disorders SHOULD BE classified in the DSM. For political reasons, they are no longer there, some of them, and they should be.
YOu clearly show YOUR IGNORANCE by equating those trying to point out the obvious with a totally inappropriate word that has long since died out as an effective liberal branding tool (homophobia). People who are trying to make some sense of a sickness are not acting in fear. There is no phobia. The truth is that homosexuality could be very well understood, documented, and researched, even by major pharma (for which I work)…if the idiots in social and political circles would let it go and allow it!!!
You, are the reason that more hogwash about it continues to proliferate. Finding a biochemical basis for it would prove futile. The causes are much more easily found in the upbringing of a child/socialization, and early developmental stage wounds….if it were not true, why would there be former homosexuals out there lecturing (but hushed up) who have sought treatment and been able to resume normal lives sexually as heterosexuals? I myself have met such people at conferences. They are not lying.
Don’t write such BS about a subject that needs more work done on it, and not less!!!
You’re nothing but a BS Bully pulpit writer. Homosexuals, many of whom commit suicide or live brutally intolerable lifestyles, would prefer a cure, but many are told they are “just fine as is”.
I wonder, would you do the same to schizophrenics who also claim to be “just fine”, but the general public knows they are suffering?
Homosexuals SHOULD be treated as psychiatric patients with normal problems, and the stigma removed from their developmental disorders…that would be a much better way to assess treating a small minority of the population who exemplifies sexual deviancy, similar to pedophiles and other sexual activity disorders”

Phew! Well that told me.

I fully support people’s rights to get psychological help should they require it – whatever their sexuality. If people are in distress then they are entitled to whatever help they need. Those with questions about sexuality or who want a sympathetic therapist aware of sexuality issues can seek help from The Pink Practice, PACE (Project for advocacy, counselling and education), or MIND.

But I do not believe homosexuality is a psychiatric illness requiring a cure.

Which probably marks me out as a ‘liberal’, ‘BS bully pulpit writer’.

And you know what? I don’t care.

*This email is unedited apart from removing the sender’s name and email address.

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