The Right to Define Oneself - How Far Should it Go?


[edit] Original article

[edit] Author(s)

York, Frank

[edit] Source

National Association of Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), 23 July 2007. Original found on NARTH or on our site.

[edit] Abstract/Overview

An apparently harmless article that doesn't seem to draw any conclusion. It seems like this article is meant to introduce the idea of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, but uses judicious quotes to paint a very negative image of it.

[edit] Comments/Analysis

First, we must consider the source. Just who is it that wrote the article, and can we take them seriously? Frank York is writing for NARTH, the National Association of Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. This means that from the get go, they start from diametrically opposed views. They adhere to the idea that you can "cure" homosexuality and get rid of it by "appropriate" therapy. Frankly, these guys scare me. Their website makes several statements that make them appear to be open minded and reasonable, but the under-tone is quite different.

By and large, this article is making it appear like the sole reason people with BIID want their "limbs removed" is for some sexual gratification (of course it doesn't discuss non-amputee BIID, which perhaps is just as well in this case).

The article used only Elliott's article, A New Way to Be Mad, as a source, and while Elliott's article is good and solid, it also doesn't draw the conclusion one would think it would draw based on the argument he built. Nonetheless, we're not talking about that article here.

Here are some interesting tidbits from the article:

"In April, 2004, British public health officials expressed concern over the growing numbers of homosexual males who are using the Internet to participate in "barebacking" parties. These are sex orgies which include both HIV-infected and non-infected homosexuals who seek to become HIV infected. "

So, first step, compare us to people who desire to acquire HIV. Perhaps there is a fundamental similarity that comes down to "control of one own's body", but there is also a fundamental difference: We do not seek a disease that will kill you.

"many individuals who suffer from the Gender Identity Disorder known as transvestic fetishism"

Oh boy... So, GID is nothing more than a fetish... We obviously disagree with this. But the author goes "there", and extends it to say that BIID is also nothing more than a fetish.

"Many wannabes are convinced that amputation is the only possible solution to their problems, yet they have never seen a psychiatrist or a psychologist, have never tried medication, have never read a scientific paper about their problems. More than a few of them have never ever spoken face to face with another human being about their desires."

This is a quote from Elliott's article, and is the concluding paragrapho of York's piece. It leaves you to draw your own conclusion, but those conclusions are firmly coached and the author really does tell you what to think: We're messed up and we don't seek help.

Of course, conveniently forgotten is the fact that there is no help, that psychiatrists and psychologists and psychotherapists, and GP's have, by and large, never heard of BIID, much less have a solution for it.

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