from Clinical/Therapeutic Issues
On July 12, the House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 107, "condemning and denouncing" the conclusions of an A.P.A. Psychological Bulletin article which suggested that pedophile relationships are not as harmful as previously believed, and may even be positive in some cases for "willing" children, particularly boys who have engaged in relationships with men. (NARTH's "The Problem of Pedophilia Fact Sheet," published last November, first opened this research study to public discussion.)
The House resolution was passed 355-0, with 13 members abstaining.
The uproar which followed wide public exposure of the A.P.A. article "threatened to shake the APA at its core," according to July-August issue of The National Psychologist. The public outcry was described by that publication as a "three-month public relations nightmare" for the Association.
Yet a New Study Draws Criticism. Then in June, the A.P.A.'s American Psychologist carried an article entitled, "Deconstructing the Essential Father." After studying 200 fathers, the authors concluded that traditional fathering is a "neoconservative" construct, and that fathers do not make a unique and essential contribution to child development.
Dr. Louise Silverstein, one of the study's authors, told cns.news.com in an interview that she objects to the "neoconservative privileging" of the ideal of heterosexual marriage that is used to "generate social policy that discriminates against mother-headed femilies, gay fathers, and lesbian mothers." The article criticized the male tendency to "consume resources in terms of gambling, purchasing alcohol, cigarettes, or other nonessential commodities," which "increases womens' workload and stress." The authors concluded that "the data do not support the conclusion that fathers are essential to child well-being, and that heterosexual marriage is the context in which responsible fathering is most likely to occur."
The American Psychologist, in which the study appeared, is sent to every A.P.A. member and conveys viewpoints which the A.P.A. deems worthy of serious study and consideration.