Author Topic: Call to action against APA for DSM - V  (Read 7837 times)

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queerunity

Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« on: May 07, 2008, 03:27:12 pm »
http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/05/apa-will-tackle-gender-identity-for-dsm.html

Please click on the email contact which will get you in touch with a few people at the APA.  Please voice your concern and need for trans-friendly people on the panel.

Offline Shana A

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Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 04:02:57 pm »
Thanks for the link!

Z
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde



Ms Jessica

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 03:41:36 pm »
Thanks!  I've sent an email expressing my concerns! 

queerunity

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 04:24:18 pm »
thank YOU both!  together we can hopefully all make a difference, or atleast if not change anything demonstrate how we are mad and maybe the next DSM (sadly in several years) will be different.

Ms Jessica

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 06:06:47 pm »
Here is the text of the message I sent:
Quote
I would like to voice my concern over the appointment of individuals to the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group.  I would also like to emphasize the need for transgender friendly individuals on the work group.  A great deal of work and recent research in the field of gender identity has revealed that transgenderism is not a mental illness, and should not be treated as such.  I think it is a great mistake on the part of the APA to put individuals on the panel such as Ray Blanchard.  He was quoted in an article as saying that transition is "not waving a magic wand and a man becomes a woman and vice versa. It's something that has to be taken very seriously. A man without a penis has certain disadvantages in this world, and this is in reality what you're creating" (Armstrong J. The Body within, the body without. Globe and Mail, 12 June 2004, p. F1).
I am deeply concerned over the ethical dilemma that arises when an individual such as Ray Blanchard is responsible for the direction of the new revision of the DSM.  Please put individuals that are friendly to the plight of transgenderists on the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group!

Not the most eloquent thing I've ever written, but I was in a hurry.  Anyway, I actually got a reply back from one of the individuals.  Attached was a statement from the APA.  Here it is:

Quote
APA STATEMENT ON GID AND THE DSM

May 9, 2008

The American Psychiatric Association has received inquiries about the DSM-V process, particularly concerns raised about the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group. 

The APA has a long-standing mission to provide guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, based on the most current clinical and scientific knowledge.  Through advocacy and education of the public and policymakers, the APA also affirms it commitment to reducing stigma and discrimination.

The DSM addresses criteria for the diagnosis of mental disorders.  The DSM does not provide treatment recommendations or guidelines.  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. It is expected that members of the Task Force will be appointed shortly.   

There are 13 DSM-V work groups. Collectively, the work group members will review all existing diagnostic categories in the current DSM. Each work group will be able to make proposals to revise existing diagnostic criteria, to consider new diagnostic categories, and to suggest deleting existing diagnostic categories. 

All DSM-V work group proposals will be based on a careful, balanced review and analysis of the best clinical and scientific data. Evidence accumulated from work group members and hundreds of additional advisors to the DSM-V effort will be considered before final recommendations are made.   

The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group, chaired by Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D., will have 13 members who will form three subcommittees:

    * Gender Identity Disorders, chaired by Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Ph.D.
    * Paraphilias, chaired by Ray Blanchard, Ph.D.
    * Sexual Dysfunctions, chaired by R. Taylor Segraves, M.D., Ph.D.

 

Each subcommittee will pursue its own charge, provide ongoing peer review, and consult with outside experts.  The DSM-V is expected to be published in 2012.

So it looks like Blanchard is not going to be a problem for us, and it looks like Peggy, who I believe had previously been endorsed by other people on this website as being TG friendly is going to be chairing "our" section.  At least, that's how I'm reading that. 
Hooray!

queerunity

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 08:07:27 pm »
thats wonderful news Jessica, thanks for emailing.  I hope you don't mind I copied the email they sent you and posted it to my blog, giving you credit of course!.  I took the liberty figuring it was a press release by them, but let me know if you arent comfy with it and ill take it off. 


NicholeW.

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 08:26:37 pm »
If you email them complaining about the participation of these two you will get the exact same letter from Susan Reis. I did.

Nichole

queerunity

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 08:45:56 pm »
nichole i have emailed and even put out an action alert on my blog, which is why im surprised but delighted to hear the news

Emma G

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 01:17:47 am »
The response Jessica L received is not necessarily good news. Blanchard's autogyneophelia therory would fall in the classification of a paraphelia. This could be an attempt to move GID from one category to another.

drakyn at Monster's Creed has links for several additional email addresses at the APA, including for the board & advisers that certainly might prove useful.

http://drakyn.blogspot.com/2008/05/action-alert.html

Additionally Ryan at Cheerful Megalomaniac has a link for a PDF of disclosure statements filled out by APA appointees before selection.

http://cheerfulmegalomaniac.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/link-round-up-dsm-v/

Zucker's reparative therapy has been officially condemed by the APA general membership in an open vote. This hasn't stopped his appointment. He also worked on DSM-III & DSM-IV. It will be hard to displace him, I think. The addition of Blanchard screams of  prior bias. It would seem both unprofessional and unethical to appoint two people from the same institution who are known to be are collaborative colleagues. I would suspect that Blanchard's autogyneophilia pseudo-scientific theory will be the principle differentiating factor they will assert as the basis of his inclusion.

The emotional implications of the inclusion of Blanchard & Zucker are very significant, but I think its really  crucial & important that whatever information we can gather and share be as accurate as possible. The more professional voices that can be found to raise opposition the better. I've raised this in several comments elsewhere: Trans voices alone are susceptible to being summarily dismissed as an attempt by the "inmates" to take charge of the asylum. That's harder to apply in what we address are verifiable facts, back up with professional supporters.

The DSM process is expected to take approximately three years. Sustaining effort over that amount of time to monitor and distribute information will take its own toll on whatever intial emotional response is occuring now. We don't want to start out by branding ourselve as ill informed, ignorant or just another some lunatic fringe element. I think that's an important part of enabling ourselves to help each other.


Ms Jessica

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 12:59:17 am »
The response Jessica L received is not necessarily good news. Blanchard's autogyneophelia therory would fall in the classification of a paraphelia. This could be an attempt to move GID from one category to another.
I was thinking this exact same thing.  Based on the press release from the APA, the group working on sexual disorders is being divided in several subcommittees.  GID still gets its own subcommittee which Blanchard is not going to be a part of.  Blanchard is going to be on a paraphilia group, but I don't get the sense they'd be attempting to re-categorize--why would they still have gender identity disorders as a separate category?  Unless there's something really shady going on, I don't get the impression that Blanchard is going to have much say in what ultimately goes into the revision for GID.   

Sustaining effort over that amount of time to monitor and distribute information will take its own toll on whatever intial emotional response is occuring now. We don't want to start out by branding ourselve as ill informed, ignorant or just another some lunatic fringe element. I think that's an important part of enabling ourselves to help each other.
I agree with you here, but I don't think we've started out by branding ourselves as anything other than individuals concerned about decisions that will potentially change our lives.  Fear of being misunderstood or misperceived shouldn't keep us from expressing concern.  The email I sent didn't sound overly emotional, uninformed or otherwise ignorant, at least I didn't think it did.  I expressed my worry about Blanchard, cited a printed quote of his to backup that worry, and iterated the need for some trans-friendly people on the work group.  Not that I think you were being accusatory, I'm just providing evidence to backup my point -- I don't think we're being seen right now as anything other than concerned citizens.  Anyway, I hope that doesn't come off as snotty.  I see the point you're making, and I do agree with you.  I just don't think we've reached the point where it seems the inmates are trying to take over the asylum.  Hopefully we won't.
It's definitely important for us to keep abreast of other changes and make sure the relevant information gets disseminated effectively and accurately.

queerunity, not a problem for you to post anything.  Thanks for checking though, I really appreciate it.  Wow, imagine being treated courteously by another human being.  :)

Emma G

Re: Call to action against APA for DSM - V
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 02:14:11 am »
Jessica I take no offense from anything you've responded to. Nor did I mean my comment as a criticism directed at you. I was thinking largely about the intial burst of activity this announcement has initiated. Some of that energy is already being expressed as unchanneled anger. Some of that anger will irritate oldler issues such as long standing divisions in the trans community over labeling. As an example, Mercedes Allen's intial cross-posting on The Belerico Project degenerated very quickly into an ideological rant by several separatist HSB advocates derailling any possibility of discussion. It worries me how easily this happens. I don't think we've started off badly., or conveyed the wrong impression. YET. Until enough time passes, there is really nothing to assess.


To answer the question you posed about Blanchard's impact, I speculate there's at least a possibility that GID could be split into 1)a recongition of Blanchards category of autogyneophilia and assigned to the paraphelia group 2) GID would still be maintained partially as a term to cover Blanchard's second categorization of gender variance as distinct from autogyneophelia. I think it would be extremely difficult to have any effort to re-categorize homosexuality for re-insertion in the DSM. True transsexuals would remain under GID, and those who do not seek full transition culminating in reassignment surgery could be labeled instead as being autogyneophiles. I'm pointing out a worse case scenario and how I could conceive of it being achieved. Considering both Zucker's and Blanchards total disregard for the guidelines of their own profession (the American Psychological Association overwhelmingly condemned reparative theraphy in 1997), their lack of adherence to scientific method in assesing their data & its conclusions, nothing should be left unconsidered in regard to their intentions.

Anyone unclear on Zucker's approach to gender variance could listen to (or read) NPR's two part program in which Zucker participated: Part 1:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90247842
Part 2:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90273278

Both Zucker's and Blanchard's techniques have their supporters within the professional community, and stronger support from many religously affiliated sources that present themselves as science based and advocate only for the established normative binary. The American Psychiatric Association actually only has approximately 38,000 members. The estimated number of transsexual in the US is sometimes quoted as a higher figure. The DSM, which serves as their written guidelines includes a disclaimer about extensions of its use. But its impacts are much greater in society. The DSM is utilized as a basis for securing equality legislation or ascertaining health needs and benefits for instance.

I do not wish to appear alarmist. I simply think it prudent to not underestimate the potential strengths of any opponent. In a moral, ethical world we would not need to have this discussion. It is very human and essential to look out for individual interests as a priority first. I don't think this has to be the sole, exclusive necessity. The trans community has nothing like the cohesiveness of either the Gay/Lesbian community or mainstream Feminists. And both these communities still have to fight everyday to maintain whatever rights they have managed to gain.

The current post on Dented Blue Mercedes ( http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/update-on-zucker-blanchard-and-the-revision-of-the-dsm/) offers links to some of the preliminary organizing that is going on. This link allows you to sign the petition to the APA (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/412001300)

The APA announcement generates anger, outrage and offense in me personally. Strong emotions which can give me additional strength if I use them wisely.

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