This morning I came across an interesting article titled: APA issues first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys. I’ll quote the first few paragraphs:
For the first time ever, APA is releasing guidelines to help psychologists work with men and boys.
At first blush, this may seem unnecessary. For decades, psychology focused on men (particularly white men), to the exclusion of all others. And men still dominate professionally and politically: As of 2018, 95.2 percent of chief operating officers at Fortune 500 companies were men. According to a 2017 analysis by Fortune, in 16 of the top companies, 80 percent of all high-ranking executives were male. Meanwhile, the 115th Congress, which began in 2017, was 81 percent male.
But something is amiss for men as well. Men commit 90 percent of homicides in the United States and represent 77 percent of homicide victims. They’re the demographic group most at risk of being victimized by violent crime. They are 3.5 times more likely than women to die by suicide, and their life expectancy is 4.9 years shorter than women’s. Boys are far more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder than girls, and they face harsher punishments in school—especially boys of color.
APA’s new Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men strive to recognize and address these problems in boys and men while remaining sensitive to the field’s androcentric past. Thirteen years in the making, they draw on more than 40 years of research showing that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful and that socializing boys to suppress their emotions causes damage that echoes both inwardly and outwardly.
The article is worth a read.
As one who took much longer than most to understand that one’s biological sex places a heavy “social obligation” on one to act out a specific gender role, I agree that traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful. Some of the methods of “correction” I experienced were brutal, and although I’ve disclosed one example, I’m still not ready to disclose others. As one who all my life has had to act masculine instead of simply being masculine (whatever that really is) I think I’ve been very fortunate to have come out of it relatively unscathed. Perhaps I was fortunate in that I grew up in a whānau where gender roles were not set in concrete, and boundaries of what was “appropriate behaviour” were set wide. Unfortunately the wider society was not so accommodating.
While I’m not entirely comfortable about the APA’s stance on autism, I am more in agreement on their stance on gender. If you care to read the entire guideline, it can be found in PDF format at APA GUIDELINES for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.
I can understand that some people may disagree with the guidelines, especially if their privileged status is at stake, but some go well beyond that. In fact, according to G.C. Dilsaver, the guidelines are part of the “most demonic war in the history of the world” which he terms “gendercide“. He claims “be certain, the conductor of this hellish campaign is no other than the Evil One himself.” That tells me more than I need to know about him, but I did do a search online for more details and discovered previously unknown terms such as “Christian psychology” and “Psychomoralitics”. If you want to understand his thinking you can browse selected essays and videos of Dr G. C. Dilsaver at your leisure.
Personally I believe his views are dangerous, what do you think?
13 Jan, 2019 at 11:52 am
Whenever we start applying different rules and standards towards demographic groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation/identity, etc., we unlock the door to discrimination, persecution, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other inhumanities. It cannot be avoided.
Masculinity and femininity are natural, like it or not. Rape is a crime, being male isn’t.
13 Jan, 2019 at 1:28 pm
Masculinity and femininity are natural in what way? How do you define these terms? One’s biological sex is (in most cases) binary, but I’m not convinced that gender and gender identity are completely tied to it, and I’m yet to be convinced that they are in any way binary. “Being male” is open to as much interpretation as “being Christian” or even “being religious”. Dilsaver’s understanding of being male is to be “priest, prophet and king of your family” as well as having the “appropriate” genitalia from birth. What’s yours?
I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “applying different rules and standards towards demographic groups”. Applying rules and standards universally can also lead to the outcomes you describe. Tyranny by the majority really does do harm to minority groups. Imposing alien values and practices on minority groups is demoralising and places them at a distinct disadvantage within the wider society.
For example, standard nursing practices in public hospitals have proven to be detrimental in the recovery of Māori, but practices that are more amenable to them may have the opposite effect on Pākehā. It makes sense to apply different rules. Concepts such as land ownership, adoption of children, what a “living entity” is, and much more besides are radially different in Māori and Pākehā culture. The rules of one group can not be applied to the other without causing harm.
Māori are entitled to separate representation in the Parliament, and about 40% of them take up that right. This is an entitlement not available to any other grouping. And until such time as they feel that those parliamentary seats are no longer needed to ensure their voice is heard and valued, then I believe it’s only right and proper that they remain.
I could go on about funding of schools based on socioeconomic factors, water rights based on ethnicity, official languages, laws specifically targeted at protecting females, or children, but not others, or about how current social rules are discriminatory against those on the autism spectrum, and so much more, but I’ll stop there.
13 Jan, 2019 at 2:06 pm
You’ve completely misconstrued my point and I do understand why. So, I’m outta here.
13 Jan, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Unfortunately I fail to understand what I misconstrued or why, so I’m left completely in the dark. In other words, ignorant. I often fail to “read between the lines” so take things out of context. Perhaps this is an example?
In the interests of helping me understand, I would really appreciate a clarification on what the point you were trying to make was all about.
16 Jan, 2019 at 6:42 am
If you want really nutty ideas on men’s and women’s roles, google “Complementarianism”.
17 Jan, 2019 at 2:58 pm
You’re right. It is nutty.