Alex Blaze

George Rekers is still an expert

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 01, 2010 7:30 AM | comments

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"According to the medical and psychological experts writing in the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems, "The consequences of choices made with the advantage of developmental maturity are preferable to those consequences resulting from decisions made impulsively, in the absence of adequate knowledge, or without the moderating benefit of maturity. The latter choices will, of course, be imperfect, but the former regularly result in personal and social consequences that are painful, destructive, and not fully reversible."

--Focus on the Family's Candi Cushman citing a study by George Rekers, who was recently caught taking a European vacation with a male sex worker


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Honestly, if his work was valid, it wouldn't matter what he did in his personal time. But this shit is not science, it's based on a false ideology.

That quote is essentially the same idea as that of Anna Freud's friend, and founder of child and family therapy, Melanie Klein, who termed that supposed impulsive phase "paranoid schizoid", as opposed to the only other mental state which her school of psychoanalysis recognise, which they label "depressive" (yea, crazily they see everyone as either paranoid schizoid or depressive). That's probably where Rekers borrowed it when taking advantage of California's then new, but just this year abolished, law requiring research into a cure for homosexuality, and federal funding (as listed in Phyllis Burk's 'Gender Shock') to create a laboratory in a seminary where he could try to "cure" what he saw as "pre-homosexual" children, but he described as if gender dysphoric.

Some of the work was described in a book known as 'The Sissyboy Syndrome' by his one-time assistant Richard Green, who became head of the world's largest gender identity clinic, in London. He still cites that book, but recently has strongly supported earlier acceptance and assistance for truly transsexual children. He refuses to say how he reconciles the two positions.

Rekers spent decades, and vast sums of public money, mistreating young, gender non-conforming males, publishing many papers and books, which he later turned into the basis for claims that psychology (as opposed to prayer) could and should be used to "cure" homosexuality. Which was, of course, what was remembered when his own homosexuality was exposed.

But the titles of all his early work make clear that he is also the source of the baseless and murderous idea that transsexual children "change their minds", or can be "cured", which led to where most such children still are today (despite a rapidly increasing number now faring somewhat better), facing disbelief, therapy, and ruined lives.

In fact, as some of his then patients have revealed, few, if any of them ever identified as girls or wished to be female, so his findings were meaningless, and the protocols (including the current WPATH SOC and the recent Endocrine Society guidelines) based on them in respect of requiring denial of gender-confirming medical assistance until 16, are wrong; I would say they are abusive, and say that in the most extreme cases the appropriate puberty should be enabled at the same age as their peers.

Since the case that brought Harry Benjamin to define transsexuality, distinguishing it from fetishes driven by the sex drive, was a pubertal male who had insisted, from the earliest years - as evidenced by her mother - on a need to be female, and Benjamin enabled several child patients to transition, Reckers was trying, for motives not difficult to guess, to replace good knowledge, and practise, with bad.

His website still has a section on "curing" such children, and, yes, one of his books is still claimed to be an essential text on child psychology.

The total concentration, when his hidden motivation and hypocrisy was exposed, on his work against homosexuality and LGB people, has, most unfortunately, left that earlier work still up there. I'm afraid I see that as yet another betrayal of transsexual people by the gay community, on a massive scale.

That is because the continued listing of transsexuality as a metal illness hangs on another psychologist Kenneth Zucker, whose protocol of "reparative therapy" until 12, at North America's largest children's gender identity clinic in Toronto, is based on Rekers' work. Zucker is the most prolific author on gender identity in childhood (again based on Rekers' work), and holds the powerful position of editor of 'Archives of Sexual Behavior', which he wields in a highly partisan manner. Due, thereby, to "having unrivalled access to research" he is chair of the American Psychiatric Association's committee editing the "gender and sexual disorders" section of the next edition of its publicly-funded Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). That work will be copied directly into the United Nation's World Health Organisations's International Classification of Disease (ICD) and affect people world-wide. Those two publications are the place where transsexuality is officially marked as a mental illness.

Demolishing Rekers' reputation and "findings" on transsexual children could have brought down Zucker and removed us from the deadly shadow of being officially regarded as mentally ill. Instead the gay communities simply enjoyed the shallow schadenfreude of exposing the man's taste for rather young men.

Oh, and a Kleinian psychoanalyst was, until just this year, chair of the HBIGDA/WPATH child and adolescent committee, opposing acceptance of the self-identity of transsexual children (if it was formed in a "paranoid schizoid" phase, which requires analysis to ascertain) in the hope of "cure". But his replacement still opposes gender-conforming assistance before 16 - Rekers' influence still lives there too.