Dr. Joseph Berger’s statements on the NARTH website retracted

Regarding a controversial article on the NARTH website by Dr. Joseph Berger about gender variance, I received this statement from Dr. Joseph Nicolosi this evening:

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.

UPDATE: As has been noted by commenters here, NARTH pulled the offensive post by Dr. Berger on their blog and left this note:

Entry pulled on “gender variant” children

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.

The article remains on the website but I suspect it will be pulled soon.

UPDATE: The article has been removed from the website. No explanation has been posted on the main website as of 9/2/06.

Comments on “mixed attraction marriage”

An anonymous commenter left these thoughts on my Ex-ex-gay? post. I thought they were refreshing in their honesty and provide another perspective not often heard. I wanted to give this point of view some additional exposure so with the permission of the gentleman who made the remarks, here they are:

I’m not worried about Dr. T “endorsing” these marriages. Surely he will not be endorsing each and every one of them, encourageing ALL such couples to marry and follow the advice he comes up with.

Then, it must ultimately come down to the individuals, their evaluation of their relationship in light of hopefully honest communication and the best information they can come by. Happiness, as an individual or as a couple, is dependent on many different factors, and different factors for different folks, and, from what some writers have said, factors that may change over time.

Personally, I do not see a “mis-match” of sexual orientations as necessarily, eventually detrimental to a relationship. People have many different conceptions of sexuality, spirituality, relationships, and, yes, happiness. Does the man or woman who is primarily attracted to the same sex (yes, sexually) have a fighting chance within the context of his/her marriage and social circumstances to continue to grow as an integrated, whole person, especially including in terms of sexual orientation, personal identity and meaning, and self-esteem? Part of the answer may also lie in the past social circumstances of childhood and adolescence, in which the psyche and self-esteem of the gay individual is in formation. (My preference for terminology is revealed: I’m gay, to me we’re all gay who have shared a particular internal experience — which varies amongst individuals, no doubt — as we were growing up, WITHIN a social environment that supported things like shame, denial, repression… in those who did not fit THE MOLD.

Admittedly, I am only 13 yrs. and two children into a “mixed orientation marriage”. Ironically, since having children and going back to work full-time when I took over as Mr. Mom 7 yrs ago, it is my wife who is less interested in sex than I am. I will add that I never set out to become any less gay than I was during the six years in my twenties when I was Out, and socially and politically active. I kept my gay friends, the ones who kept me anyway, and my gayness has continued to be an open topic of discussion with my wife, my parents, good friends, etc. More recently, I’ve been making some new gay friends through support groups. What I did do was change my behavior, and some mental habits that tended to focus my mind on the importance of bodies, sexual attractions, and satisfying my “needs”. For me (so far) spiritual needs, relationships, identity, transcend the physical and psychological. (The primary stimulus for my motivation and spiritual development has been the Baha’i Faith.) While I did not set out to change my sexual orientation, I have found that it’s evolved somewhat over the years of being married, say from 95%/5% toward other men/women, to about 85%/15%. But, more importantly, if it’s not about my wife, my mind doesn’t linger too long, or attach too much importance to it. I wouldn’t deny that this issue is an added source of stress for me and my wife and our marriage. But we share a strong commitment to faith and marriage and family, we work through issues and toward greater emotional intimacy like any couple that’s trying to make things work for the best.

These are my views at the moment, but I can certainly understand how others would see things differently and appreciate the perspectives that have been shared here.