Bil Browning

CNN's 'Sissy Boy Experiment' Series Conclusion

Filed By Bil Browning | June 10, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Anderson Cooper, CNN, ex-gay ministries, reparative therapy, Sissy Boy Experiments

Yesterday, Jake highlighted Anderson Cooper's three-part series on a lengthy experiment by ex-gay quack George Rekers meant to turn effeminate boys into healthy strapping heterosexuals. His most touted "success" took his own life after struggling all of his life with feelings of self-doubt and anxiety issues.


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Society has pretty much always gone to extreme lengths to promote gender conformity. How much different is spanking a kid, as Reekers had the parents doing, different from a playground bully beating up another boy for being a "pussy"? Or the employer that fires a trans employee? Or when people get into a tizzy and complain to human resources because someone isn't using the bathroom at a workplace that they're supposed to? These are all examples of using a concrete system of rewards/punishment in order to force binary gender compliance. There is no ethical difference in my mind.

What should frighten us about Reekers (and other researchers like him) was that he was doing no more than attempting to develop a formal and "scientific" method for something society already does consistently on it's own.