Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The American Psychological Association Goes Extremist

This story seems to have gone by without comment anywhere, but I think it's worth noting in the war on Western Culture.  Columnist Brianna Heldt at Townhall writes that  the American Psychological Association (APA) has decided that being a "traditional man"; that is, filling the traditional role of husband, father, provider, defender and so on is now considered equivalent to a mental disorder.
For the first time ever, the APA has issued a set of guidelines for how to approach men and boys, specifically, within a counseling practice. The new APA protocols for mental health professionals working with men and boys--released in August and available to read in their entirety in a document titled APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men--were recently summed up on the APA’s website by the statement that “research finds that traditional masculinity is, on the whole, harmful.”

“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful,” the January article from the APA goes on to read. “Men socialized in this way are less likely to engage in healthy behaviors.”
Translated into direct speech, they've gone full tilt, progressive Social Justice Warrior on us.  More specifically, modern constructions of gender, the patriarchy, sexism, and male privilege appear to be driving the organization’s updated approach to men.
“What is gender in the 2010s?” asked Ryon McDermott, PhD, a psychologist at the University of South Alabama. McDermott helped write the new men’s guidelines. “It’s no longer just this male-female binary.”

According to McDermott, boys and men identifying as gay, bisexual or transgender face higher-than-­average levels of hostility and pressure to conform to masculine norms.
It sounds to me like Dr. McDermott doesn't understand the meaning of the word average - at least he seems to be using it wrong.  This is probably too far into the weeds, but he's comparing two different groups, one much larger than the other and facing much less pressure, and saying the smaller group gets more than average - not that they get more than the bigger group. 

I assume that boys and men identifying as GBT really do face higher levels of pressure to conform to masculine norms than boys and men who already conform to those norms.  People who already conform to any norm face far less pressure to conform, probably none.  Only people who don't conform to a standard get pressured to conform. 

By analogy, what Dr.McDermott is saying is that bald men face more bald jokes than men with a full head of hair, therefore we need to redefine a normal amount of hair downward so nobody hears bald jokes. 

Besides, saying the group farthest from those ideals gets more pressure to conform to them doesn't say those norms of masculinity are harmful.  Pressuring the slowest guy running from the fire to go faster isn't harmful, you might be saving his life.  To insinuate those masculine ideals are harmful, the APA trots out some questionable statistics and says "we need to save men", apparently by turning them into women. 

Heldt at Townhall links to American Conservative writer Rod Dreher who does a more thorough fisking of the APA article.  The easy summary is:
To be fair, it’s not all PC codswallop, but given the social justice warrior jargon throughout, I suspect this is mostly about psychologizing the gelding of American males. I do not trust Ryon McDermott, PhD, to decide what is and is not healthy masculinity.
Dreher takes the APA to task for blaming things on "men" that by and large appear to be caused by specific groups of men, which automatically should lead to the consideration that gender might not be the cause.  For example, the APA says "men commit 90 percent of homicides in the United States and represent 77 percent of homicide victims." which hides the fact that black men commit murder at a rate eight times higher than white men and four times the national average of all races, yet gender is the problem and not other (cultural, perhaps) reasons?  On the other hand the APA says men are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women, but again overlook the strong tie to "other" explanations.  In the case of suicide, white men are at the greatest risk, 6x higher than black men, and particularly middle-aged, working-class white men.  If the risk isn't the same (or very similar) across all groups of men, why do they blame it on their gender and exclude other factors? 

The APA is sloppy with their statistics; in fact, it just looks like sloppy thinking.  That makes their work far less credible.  This comes across as Soviet Science.  The party has said the new gender ideology is backed by Science!.  If you disagree you're clearly insane.

Pajama Boy - you remember him - the APA's new ideal for American masculinity.  Idea from Dreher.


  1. Just watch how they "define" male aggressive behavior issues. One criteria will be if he owns a gun. This will then morph into a definition that owning a gun qualifies as a psychiatric condition,, bingo, gun confiscation.

  2. Sig, I worked as a psych nurse for seven years and I got to hate the next psychology rotation. What a bunch of maroons. This was back in the early 80's and even back then they came up with crap like this and expected us, the nursing staff to give them credibility. But, then again, the psychiatrist were just as nuts as they were.

    1. Oh, and I am bald and I like bald jokes...

  3. Aesop's Rule:
    About 10% of people working in psych at all levels of practice are caring, compassionate healers, dealing Schweizer-like with tragically warped souls.

    The other 90% are there to self-diagnose.

    (And I may have underestimated the 90% number. Perhaps significantly.)

    This latest @$$-gas is the APA outright pleading with society to please, please kill it.

    There is no other way to take it when you declare 95% of society now, and 99.999% of it ever, to be "harmful" to itself.

    This is one where someone on the tank's intercom needs to roll up to the crest of the hill, and say
    "Do it. Do the whole village, man."

  4. Real men don't care about the APA.

  5. Psychology is not real medicine.

    1. Psychiatry is not real medicine either...

    2. When I first started looking into this, I thought this was the group that puts out the DSM manual - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - but that's the American Psychiatric Society. These are the folks that listed pedophilia as preference, like "I prefer blondes". After much outcry they called it a "disorder". I'm sure they'll be back with it.

    3. To clarify, These are the folks... These means "The psychiatric association"

  6. Spain is years ahead of us on this topic. Their psychologists declared that boys were defective girls several years ago.

    This is a group who declared that men who think they are women are not just sane, but normal.

    Always remember - most psychologists enter the field to deal with their own mental disorders.

  7. This doesn't come across as Soviet "science", it is Soviet "science". This is a precursor to creating a fig leaf to justify the oppression, imprisonment, and execution of the population.

  8. I believe Aesop is right about the numbers. Main Lady is a retired licensed clinical psychologist, and was the only shrink with an actual success rate at the State Hospital. The vast majority of the staff at that hospital were abusive to the patients, and Main Lady's succeeded with many patients in spite of the resistance from the staff.

    That being the case, I know she had trouble understanding masculinity. She had a clinical understanding, but when all the smoke cleared she was only leasing the gear; she didn't own it.

    This new definition isn't surprising. When my father was ill, I had to constantly explain to medical personnel that he was a product of WWII - and they really didn't understand.

  9. At this point, taking a normal, functional boy to see a mainstream shrink ought to be finsiconsi child abuse.

  10. Okay, I'll bite: I speak three languages fluently, I'm familiar with another eight, and I have a Google translator that knows 95 more of them, and none of us has AFI what "finsiconsi" is.

    So my question is this: Is that a word your grandmother made up, are you having a stroke, or did your phone try and spell-correct English into babbledygook?

    Just wondering...

  11. Aesop:

    What, your phone doesn't have a "degarbler" app? See, "finsiconsi" transmogrifies to "gomdovpmdo" or "dubauxibau". Umm, mine doesn't seem to be working right. Nevermind. Seriously, I think I saw a paper version in the Navy whereby you could try to figure out WTH someone was actually typing. I would forward to A Reader's clarification.