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Jewish World Review August 3, 1999 /21 Av, 5759

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Lifting the veil on politics vs. science -- I HAVE A MAJOR NEW HERO, Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon. On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Salmon's House Concurrent Resolution 107, which condemns and denounces all suggestions in an article in the Psychological Bulletin, an American Psychological Association publication, which states that sexual relationships between adults and willing children might be positive to children. (Yeah, I know you can't believe it.)

Salmon's resolution passed 355-0, with 13 abstentions. I'd like to call all 13 up and have them explain their abstentions to me. But I'm so grateful that this passed. The resolution will now go to the Senate.

This APA article was thoroughly analyzed by the Leadership Council, an independent organization headed by Dr. Paul Fink, the past president of the American Psychiatric Association. The analysis supported the position I presented on my radio program: The study is bogus science, more like propaganda. It was shocking that the APA would allow this junk science to be published in the first place. If something is hard-core science, even if I don't like the conclusions, I have to deal with it. First and foremost, my training is in science.

The APA article was not even close to science. Just one example: The study derived 60 percent of its data from a 40- to 50-year-old study, which had nothing to do with physical contact between adults and children. Authors of the study then generalized those findings to all kinds of sexual abuse.

So I salute Matt Salmon, along with his co-sponsors, House Majority Whip Tom Delay and Reps. Joseph Pitts and David Weldon.

Without this kind of vigilance, it's getting very scary for families and children. There are more battles to fight. The American Psychologist, the only journal regularly delivered to every member of the APA, published an article in its June issue called "Deconstructing the Essential Father." The conclusion of this study suggests that fathers in two-parent heterosexual families are not necessary to the psychological health of children, that divorce does not irretrievably harm the majority of children, and that any harmful effects of divorce are related to economics rather than the absence of a father. Are you clinical psychologists who do family therapy out there buying this nonsense?

One of the authors is the past president of the APA's Division of Family Psychology and the chair of the Feminist Family Therapy Task Force. These politicized agendas are taking over science.

I have a letter from a physician who writes from personal experience about how conspiratorial things really are at the APA:

"I'm a retired professor of medicine from the University of California who listens to you periodically. I have heard your comments about the APA and the article on pedophilia. I would like to tell you a story that I think would be of interest to you and your listeners. Some time in the early '70s I was sitting in the faculty club of the University of California having lunch, when I noticed that one of my friends, a usually extremely composed psychiatric professor, was pacing the club, appearing frantic. I stopped him and said, 'Sam, what's the matter?' He said he had just left the meeting of the board of the American Psychological Association, of which he was a member, and they had voted homosexuality out of the disease category. Prior to this time homosexuality was considered a disease and had a CPT code number. The APA, whose board had seven members, four of whom were gay, voted 4-3 to eliminate homosexuality from the category of diseases. Following this meeting of the APA, homosexuality was removed from the CPT code and, as you know, has become a protected minority."

This is more information to suggest that some very significant decisions made by the APA are motivated more by politics than by science. It's easy to believe, when those selected to chair family therapy committees at the APA are against marriage and fathers. It is very frightening. But with House Concurrent Resolution 107, the veil is lifting.

I call on all clinical psychologists to use your sense of professionalism and responsibility to resist. I know you're scared of the gay activists, intimidated by being called names, but you have a professional responsibility to your license, and you have a moral responsibility, too. You need to speak up, get involved. If you don't, your profession will become a total laughingstock, and people who need help will not see you as a resource. That would be a tragedy, because many people do need help from scientific, well-trained, responsible professionals.

If clinical psychologists will take up the fight on the inside, the rest of us will provide plenty of support on the outside.

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©1999, Universal Press Syndicate