The Sissy Boy Experiment

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Current Events, Integral Studies, Media Gleanings, Pedagogy & Education, Religion, Statistics and Lies

A recent 360 report on CNN traces the effects of treatments of “effeminate” young boys suspected of being gay.

Here’s the short version.  Five year old Kirk  displays some effeminate characteristics so the parents enter him in a university experimental program to help treat and change the “undesirable” characteristics.  The therapy includes positive reinforcement of Kirk playing with masculine toys such as knives, guns and army men, and negative reinforcement for playing with dolls or other toys seen as being feminine.  Kirk quickly ends up feeling that there is something wrong with himself and begins to behave the way that he thinks others want him to behave, totally destroying any genuine part of himself.  He ends up committing suicide at the age of 38.

While this is, on the surface, a gay rights story, it really goes far beyond that.  It is a blatant example of right wing values gone amok and points strongly to the hypocrisy and mental illness that is at the heart of it.

George Rekers, one time leader of the Family Research Council , is later caught with a young male escort in Europe who claims to have given him “sexual massages”.  An interview with Rekers (in Part 2 of the clips) suggests him to be clearly effeminate, himself.

One has to wonder whether people who are truly comfortable and secure with their own sexuality are likely to be threatened by homosexuality.  That’s why adolescent boys are so homophobic, -because they are still at a stage of discovering their own sexuality and still feel vulnerable.  People who are truly secure in their sexuality are not going to feel threatened.

Many extreme right wing values, such as those surrounding women’s rights, sexual orientation and anti-intellectualism are based on a foundation of insecurity and psychological disorder.  How many cases of the ultra-conservative preacher being caught with the hooker have we seen?  Enough to know that it is disproportional.  Conservative bigotry and racial discrimination is based on a need to feel superiority to a sector of society.

This is a story of blatant child abuse.  The fact that it is a story about gay rights is secondary.

The silly thing is that, as a teacher and youth group leader who has had extensive longitudinal acquaintance with many young people over the past 30+ years, one thing I can testify to is that effeminate behaviour and homosexuality have little to do with each other.  Most of the boys who have eventually come out as gay were not at all effeminate.  They were perhaps more compassionate or sensitive, but there has certainly not been any unusual predisposition to being effeminate.  On the other hand, those boys who did demonstrate clear effeminate qualities (to the point that peers and adults speculated on the fact they could be gay) are now mostly well adjusted, family men with children.  There are many such examples on my Facebook list.  Similarly, most of the adults I’ve encountered who could be considered effeminate, are married with children.

The connection between effeminate characteristics in males and sexual orientation is, in my experience, pure myth.  To label a young boy as a “gay risk” and then force them into “repairative therapy”, as it is called. is not only child abuse, is not only a serious gay issue, but is just plainly a projection of the sick, disturbed minds that believe in those kinds of stereotypes.  Even someone who is anti-gay should be outraged by this story and the continuing practice of victimizing these children, -because it is still happening.


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