Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long defended the discredited, potentially harmful practice of gay conversion therapy -- and lately, it's been the MRC's Latino division pushing it. Let's go back and review an item we overlooked at the time.
An Aug. 14 MRC Latino piece by Morela Scull complained that viewers of a CNN en Espanol segment on conversion therapy "were subjected to only one point of view on the issue" of England banning the practice, asserting that a ban on conversion therapy "limits the freedom of speech and worse yet, the option of offering its citizens a therapy that many believe – and confirm – works." Scull wrote:
According to an expert on the issue of homosexuality, Quentin L. Van Meter, MD, the ban is in fact an assault on freedom of speech and regrettable for homosexuals who can benefit from the therapy, particularly those who voluntarily want to undergo conversion therapy, because their condition will be ignored, and their ailments shifted aside, attributed to “social stigmatization”.
Van Meter is so anti-gay that he canceled his membership in the respected American Academy of Pediatrics because it advocated against stigmatization of LGBT youth. He has since become involved with the decidedly less respected American College of Pediatricians -- a right-wing group of anti-gay physicians -- where he signed a position statement attacking transgenderism as "gender ideology" and "an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body and it should be treated as such."
Nevertheless, Scull goes on to write:
Van Meter contends that the issue has escaped the realm of science and has become a political affair orchestrated by powerful lobby groups to silence doctors and scientists who sustain that voluntary conversion therapy can help address deeper underlying issues (often related to adverse childhood events) such as depression and anxiety that many homosexuals face and which can be worked through by using therapy. Dr. Van Meter pointed out critical studies regarding homosexuality such as those carried out by Dr Lawrence S. Meyer and Dr. Paul R Mc Hugh or Dr. Kenneth J. Zucker, PhD.
We've previously highlighted how McHugh is an anti-gay researcher whose work has been discredited. Scull linked to a paper co-authored by McHugh and Mayer in a Christian-oriented journal, which critics note is highly biased toward confirming their anti-gay beliefs; for instance, they reference only one of six studies in the peer-reviewed literature of the past 16 years that employ proper probability-sampling methods, which happens to be the one with the lowest estimate of genetic influence on sexual orientation. The link Scull supplied for Zucker is about treatment for children with gender identity issues, not homosexualilty; Zucker deviates from the greater psychiatric community in advocating conversion therapy in failing to differentiate between gender identity and sexual orientation.
Scull also complained that the CNN en Espanol commentator "also used the tired scare tactic of claiming that the methodology for receiving conversion therapy includes raping girls so that through sexual intercourse they can be 'corrected', a sensationalist remark that Dr. Van Meter explains may have existed a century ago; today it is based on psychotherapy." In fact, corrective rape occurs throughout the world even today, and she provides no evidence of a scientifically valid, replicable psychotheraputic approach to conversion therapy that does no harm to the client.
Scull concluded by whining that banning conversion therapy is "a ban that, in essence, threatens freedom of speech, a right that all media owe their existence to." That same freedom of speech also exposes how unnecessary, ineffective and potentially harmful such therapy actually is.