William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: So-Called Homophobia Now Being Labeled a ‘Mental Disease’

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Today’s post is at The Stream: “So-Called Homophobia Now Being Labeled a ‘Mental Disease'”.

So now “homophobia” is being called a “mental disorder,” where “homophobia” is defined in part as holding to the traditional, natural law, and religious understanding of same-sex attraction and acts.

A new paper “http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12975/full#jsm12975-bib-0034” by Giacomo Ciocca and others was picked up by the press and announced with the headline “New Study Suggests Connections Between Homophobia And Mental Disorders“.

This press article opened, “Homosexuality was long derided as a mental disorder…but a new study suggests that it might be more likely that it’s actually homophobia that is a sign of mental disorder.” The article quoted one of the study authors (E.A. Jannini) as saying, “After discussing for centuries if homosexuality is to be considered a disease, for the first time we demonstrated that the real disease to be cured is homophobia, associated with potentially severe psychopathologies.”

Potentially severe psychopathologies? Sounds like the sort of thing that requires treatment, perhaps against the will of patients.

Go there to read the rest.

Some of the details about the stats were cut or rearranged, which I don’t think a general audience would have followed, and a quip about a “lab coat” added.

What we have is yet another unjustified regression used to claim causality, via wee p-values, between two sets of questions said to perfectly represent two emotional states. A large wee p-value and low variance explained, and one test out of many. And the emotional states only partly aligned with the spooky names given to them by the authors. (Even in the literature, the “psychoticism” measure is criticized, but our authors don’t say this.)

In other words, business as usual for “science”. Bloated unjustified over-certainty, utter nonsense.

But interesting that Christian beliefs—and other traditional religions like Islam and Judaism—are being called “homophobic” in some higher circles.

20 Comments

  1. How is this line supposed to be decoded? “Homosexuality is acceptable to me.” Does “acceptable” mean that I can work productively and satisfactorily with a colleague who is declared to be SSA? Does “acceptable” mean that I can welcome my child’s same-sex love interest to dinner? Does “acceptable” mean that I’m actively looking (and should be looking) for a same-sex relationship myself ?

  2. The frightening part of that article is this:
    “Potentially severe psychopathologies? Sounds like the sort of thing that requires treatment, perhaps against the will of patients.”
    If I knew how to manipulate html I would have emphasized “against the will of patients”.
    Shades of 1984! My secret fear is gourmet food, so when you re-educate me put me into a dining hall with viands prepared by Chopped judges–a horrible fate; I shudder to think of it.

  3. I see a return of the ink blot tests. You know, the ones that showed all those evil, dirty pictures of sex and landed people in mental hospitals due to the skill of the psychiatrist?

    Interesting that depression is a “real” illness and homophobic is not. Or it would seem. There’s no objective measurement here. There wasn’t in depression either, but it’s not your fault if you’re depressed. So it’s not your fault if you’re homophobic. It’s never your fault. Remember that. That’s true of ALL diseases, mental or not.

    Hitler was very effective in his use of psychology to commit atrocities. Makes me wonder what texts these folks are studying….

    Who interviewed the Islamic fundamentalists who kill homosexuals and told them they are probably mentally ill? That would seem to be important, considering the size of the problem of homophobia in the Islamic countries. Does Russia count? They don’t want homosexuality legitimized because it cuts down on the birth rate. Is that mental illness or practicality?

  4. From Wiki:

    DSM I and II listed homosexuality as a mental disorder under Kinsey, et at, challenged that belief. Wasn’t Kinsey a fraud?

  5. Anyone who takes a look at “social sciences” will realise the SJW entryism that is rife in many of them, psyhcology included. The ostensible purpose of psychology gives way to promoting social justice as the proests of prograssivism jockey for ever higher social status through displays of moralising.

  6. Sander van der Wal

    September 14, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Sigh. Everything is a mental disease nowadays. Because American psychiatrists say so. If the other Americans could be so kind as to stop complaining and *do* something about it.

  7. RE: “…where “homophobia” is defined in part as holding to the traditional, natural law and religious understanding of same-sex attraction and acts…”

    That is NOT what the ‘Mental Disease’ paper is addressing.

    That paper preserves the possibility that one can find homosexuality unacceptable (i.e. hold the above viewpoint) AND be mentally healthy.

    The paper makes rather clear the sort of hostile / immature overreaction characterized as indicator of a mental illness, quickly citing an example that of “projection” (in general, how one over-compensates in the opposite way relative to one’s true feelings relation to something — e.g. an employee becoming “workaholic” in response to a job/company they dislike and/or when they realize at some level but haven’t accepted their chances at a promotion or raise are zero).

    The intro to the paper states, “For instance, latent homosexuality, i.e., a subconscious or unconscious attraction toward persons of the same sex, has been related to homophobic behaviors …” The evangelical minister, Ted Haggard, was an example of just that — notorious for his over-the-top anti-homosexual rants & sermons…all while carrying on illicit homosexual liaisons in which he denied (to both others and himself) that he had deep-seated homosexual inclinations. Anyone reading the press on that person’s situation ought not have any difficulty seeing how his behavior & demonstrated general mental health fits the paper’s basic premise.

    Making the statement that so misrepresents what that study actually addressed (asserting, wrongly, that “here “homophobia” is defined in part as holding to the traditional, natural law and religious understanding of same-sex attraction and acts..”) might just qualify for the sort of immature and/or other ‘attitude’ indicator the paper actually does address.

  8. Ken: I am afraid most of your arguments apply to progressivism too. Your example of Haggard could well apply to Gore and his jet setting while preaching doom. In fact, most of this “study” could be used to define all behaviours as problematic. It probably will be used in that manner soon.

    “Finally, religion plays a pivotal role in homophobic prejudice, and it should be always considered, because a conservative ideology assuming sexual orientation as a moral value is prevalent among the older generations [16,17].” This seems to clearly indicate the authors DO mean homophobia is part of religion and its morals. They use the term homophobic prejudice for those holding the religious belief that homosexuality is a moral issue.

  9. homophobia

    Gotta wonder at the users of this word as it literally means “[irrational] fear/aversion of man”.

    Even if we allow the shortened form, seeing something as wrong doesn’t necessarily involve fear and if it’s wrong then any resulting aversion isn’t unnatural. Lot’s of wishful thinking in this word.

    My secret fear is gourmet food

    You may be in luck then. Gourmet foods have been chopped from the budget as too extravagant when cheaper methods (such as force-feeding Twinkies or generic junk food) work just as well. You may find the tapioca pudding torture quite pleasant. Act like it’s terrible or you may find yourself facing the reluctant application of duck à l’orange.

  10. Surely it won’t be too long before male heterosexuality is considered deviant and a mental disorder to boot…or is that already the case? Not that I’m feeling marginalised by this insanity that passes for a society nowadays….

  11. It sounds like Psychobabble to me and I’m sure other psychologists will shoot down the concept. I read a good book — Psychobabble:exploding the myths of the Self Help generation by Dr Stephen Briers. It is a good example of a psychologist shooting down the vague psychology which permeates the news media and magazines . Plain English.

    BTW Homo being Latin =man
    phobia being Greek = fear
    but
    homo in the Greek sense is used in compound words like homogenised.
    and can mean the same.
    So
    homophobia turns out to mean a fear of being homogenised? (sarc)

  12. The minimum requirement for a psychological pathology is that it causes disruptions in one’s ability to lead a normal life. If your homophobia does not prevent you from leading a normal life style, it is not an illness. Failure to believe what other groups believe or failure to like or accept what others accept, is not a defining trait of mental illness. If it was, everyone would be mentally ill.

  13. It’s interesting the hedging going on here.

    As Ken and some others hint at, by labeling the absurd non-word, “homophobia,” a mental disease the lefties accomplish two things.

    1: They insert a revisionist, socially manufactured (i.e. created by them and foisted upon others, vs. developing within the culture itself – note: the author is not a proponent of social constructs as used by leftists) view of the natural world into psychological and therefore medical normative culture. Done in the interest of destroying normal, socially stable, civil, and moral society in the hopes (whether they are aware of it or not) of promoting the downfall of US culture to prepare the way for a Marxist takeover.

    2: They can refer back to the, “phobia,” in the non-word in a manner of regressive equivocation to justify their action, after-all aren’t all phobias a sign of mental disorder, and to smokescreen their true intention (via: #1 above) through this justification. Thus the Marxists normalize the idea of the newspeak non-word into the minds of the populace, and through this normalization of meaning completely unrelated to their primary intent, accomplish their primary intent via deception.

    Either way, it’s absolute hogs wallop.

  14. LOL! That’s great! Statistical and psychological silliness aside, people who have strong negative feelings about other people regarding things that really have nothing to do with themselves, obviously have “issues.” You don’t need a study to observe a square.

    JMJ

  15. are you sure that Giacomo Ciocca is not a typo of Giacomo Cloaca?

  16. JMJ @ We don’t know if any of these people have “strong” feelings because there is no way to normalize responses to these Likert, or rating scale questionnaires. How can I know how strong my aversion to homosexuality is? For a great many people it is more than zero but way, way less than sufficient to prompt aggressive, or even unpleasant, actions. There is no way for a person in this broad zone to know how they compare to others in this broad zone, so their response to the questionnaire is a shot in the dark, and the science built on these responses is bogus. A great deal of what we think we know about social attitudes is built on this sort of sand.

  17. Will: Agreed.

    JMJ: It’s actually called “having morals”. Feelings without actions are not relevent anyway. If I have no intention of beating up and harming gays, then my strong negative feelings are irrelevent except to those who think words are the same as actions. Progressives have this affliction, too, as witnessed by all the people pounding on Christians for not wanting to serve gays while not printing pro-life brochures. Progressives just think they are the only enlightened ones and therefore immune. They are not—progressives spend all their time trying to control others and spreading hate. That’s why we have race riots again—nothing to do with love, I assure you. I refer you also to how many progressives have called for the jailing and/or death of climate deniers. That seems pretty hateful. I have list of progressive “niceness” if you’re interested.

  18. “Marriage between homosexual individuals is acceptable.”

    If I were taking the test I’m not sure they would interpret my “strongly agree” correctly. Of course a (so-called) homosexual man can marry a (so-called) homosexual woman. Further, they can have a marriage as gay as all get-out and tons of laughing gay children.

  19. It seems pretty obvious that homosexual desires are symptoms of a mental illness. That used to be the official “scientific” consensus, until a meeting in San Francisco voted it out of the DSM. But the vote was not about science, it was political. A poll of the voters showed that most still considered homosexuality to be an illness, but voted out of compassion. Gay activists had used both persuasion and intimidation to influence the vote in a careful campaign over several years.

    That said, whether it is an illness or not, it is not a justification to harm or demean homosexuals – obviously.

    The “homophobia is a mental illness” assertion is a return to decades ago when the term was first coined – for the express purpose of tarring anyone not in alignment with the gay agenda. In that sense, the term is very similar to “climate denier.”

  20. Mesomeso: Yes. There was also the statement that there were homosexual psychiatrists who could not both be a practicing psychiatrist and a practicing homosexual. So the vote was taken and the “illness” removed. Look for the same thing to happen with pedophilia (it was tried once to change the definitions and exclude those with impulses and include only those who actually had sex with children but it was taken back due to popular societal vote–never believe there is any science in mental illnesses). Validation will happen in the near future—there are too many pedophiles and too few reasons not to allow it. Consent is the last remaining “argument” (all the others went with the gay marriage decree–there are no lines left) and it will soon be realized that children are just pawns anyway (see climate change lawsuits, if you doubt this) so why should they need consent? The inability to give it is reason not to worry about having it. Coming soon to a city near you.

    You are correct that this is an attempt to tar those who disagree, proving once again this is about bullying and power, NOT equality in any way.

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