To pander or not to pander. As researchers and clinicians, psychologists are confronted with the problem of what to do when the "customer" is not in the right. For decades the American Psychological Association (APA) has been committing malpractice against the American people by cooking up pseudoscience that panders to the activist wings of race and sex minorities. The APA is wasting millions of public dollars confabulizing theories that deny individual responsibility in African-Americans and members of sex minorities. (This essay eschews the propagandistic terms for an increasingly byzantine list of psychosexualities. Spiritually dehumanizing and scientifically unfounded, those terms are replaced here by the summative term "sex minorities" where it is unavoidable to lump individuals into a group).
The sine qua non of a healthy personality is the ability to take apposite responsibility for one's behavior. People who are severely and chronically unable to accept responsibility are said to have a personality disorder. APA research and theories have been imposing collective personality disorders -- even sociopathies -- on minorities by justifying irresponsibility and helplessness. Nobody likes a sociopath (at least not for very long), much less a group of them. These iatrogenic group sociopathies implicit in psychological theory prevent lasting solutions to problems and worsen bigotry against vulnerable people identified with these groups.
In 2008 the APA published a much heralded review of hundreds of scholarly articles entitled Task Force Report on Resilience and Strength in African-American Children and Adolescents. From the first page of that report:
"Continued cultural oppression places all African-American youth, including well resourced youth, at some degree of risk for pervasive, yet subtle, forms of racialized discrimination and oppression... We contend that the risks African-American youth face derive from proximal concerns, such as under resourced schools, family disruption, or negative peer influences. These risks are related to, and further exacerbated by, the experience of pervasive racism that informs, for example, racial profiling, low expectations, or institutional barriers."
This extensive review represents millions of taxpayer dollars spent to conclude that when African-American youngsters behave badly and fail academically (dog whistle: "lack resilience and strength"), white racism is to blame. The term "family disruption" is artful phraseology that transfers responsibility from African-American parents. African-American two-parent families are not being disrupted, they are not being formed in the first place. This research survey all but ignores the central, cataclysmic fact of African-American life: the disappearance of fathers. The absence of fathers is mentioned indirectly and dismissively: "Networks of kin who provide emotional and instrumental support related to healthy development may offset the risks associated with single-parenting."
Here's a good one: "negative peer influences." Are the children in these studies divided into kids and peer-kids? Who can these negatively influencing peers be but an imaginary subset of all fatherless, under-controlled youngsters being studied?
Regarding the phrase "cultural oppression" one can only ask, what planet are these psychologists studying? If a spaceship landed on an expeditionary mission to study American culture and made the assumption that social dominance was reflected in popular culture, they would report back that the overlords of America are black youth.
Since its founding in the late 19th century, psychology has emphasized the impact that fathers and mothers have on their children, but not so for African-Americans. Fundamentally, the APA echoes the beliefs of slavery: African-American men and women do not need the love and support of one another in sanctified marriage, and African-American fathers do not have an irreplaceable value for their own children, they're mainly for breeding. These dehumanizing beliefs, which were used to justify the cruelty of slavery, have been repackaged by the APA to normalize the disappearance of African-American fathers.
Regarding race theory, the APA's pandering is reactive. It didn't set out to destroy the African-American family, it just implies it is OK that it is being destroyed. But in following the demands of activists in sex minorities and "reproductive rights," the APA is proactively working to defeat Judeo-Christian morality. APA psychology strives to decouple sex from spirituality. "Safe sex" means reducing physical risk, while denying sexual activity can pose risks to the spiritual being in this life and beyond. The degenerative momentum of a lie this dangerous engulfs and drowns those pitiable persons who adopt it. It has culminated in the APA ignoring over-the-counter distribution of dangerous hormones with difficult dosing requirements to persons of any age or mental capacity, in order to enable sexual activity. This moral militancy is being fought on two fronts: 1) establishing that traditional beliefs are a mental disorder and 2) building a literature that suggests the new social structures such as same-sex marriage and their sequelae are an improvement on man-woman marriage.
From the beginning of the AIDS epidemic the APA has undermined individual responsibility at the cost of countless lives. From a recent APA paper, Discrimination and homophobia fuel the HIV epidemic in gay and bisexual men:
... Despite the fact that gay and bisexual men constitute approximately 2-4 percent of the U.S. male population 18-44 years of age... [they] account for more than 50 percent of all AIDS cases and all HIV infections and 57 percent of all new HIV infections.... the HIV epidemic in gay and bisexual men is not directed solely by person-level behaviors but is influenced by a range of contextual factors, rooted in cultural, historical, and political structures in this country."
It is unusual for a psychological researcher to admit this population constitutes only 2 to 4% of the 18 to 44 age group. The author uses "minority stress theory" to contend that racism and homophobia are "victimizing contextual factors" causing the ongoing epidemic. But in the big picture the most harmful innovation advanced by the APA is the misnomer "homophobia" itself. People accept scientific sounding terms, but "homophobia" is really just propaganda used to demonize an enemy, like calls against the "Jap" and the "Hun." The term conflates sincere religious belief about sin with the human weakness of prejudice. But the light-filled expression of theistic faith and the darkness of bigotry arise from opposite poles in the human psyche.
A phobia is an anxiety disorder involving a severe reaction to an object or situation: panic, distress, effort to flee, and symptoms such as racing heart, dizziness, dry mouth, hyperventilation, and often a sense that one's life is at risk. Let's say two strangers on a train begin talking. They discover that one is a Biblical Christian and the other identifies himself as homosexual. There may be a tonal shift in their conversation, but neither would evidence anything resembling a phobic reaction. By inaccurately labeling one person phobic and the other a victim, the APA is fortifying battle lines of historic destructiveness.
Another example of pandering comes from an article entitled They are so wanted. This review of numerous articles on psychological aspects of ART (assisted reproductive technology) includes the following quotation from a psychologist who specializes in non-traditional families: "Women who had conceived via an assisted method were more warm and interactive with their children than those who had conceived naturally." This statement fits the APA agenda to promote new family structures as superior to traditional ones.
The great thinkers who founded the modern field of psychology were interested in understanding the individual mind as a pathway to freedom. They wouldn't recognize the polemics of the APA as psychology. Research that provides ideological apologia for harmful behavior is intellectually cheap but very costly in other ways. It is almost always publicly funded, diverting resources from real needs. Taxpayers of traditional beliefs have got to educate themselves about psychological research and stop paying for it. Psychology may be focused on groups of people, but whether by disease or crime, death still maintains an individual practice. It closes in on African-American children one at a time, and psychologists are never there to lift the child's body from the pavement.