There are four Discussion questions here and you need to answer all of them. After reading the resources, please respond to all the following questions:
- Describe society’s current understanding of family. How did family structure change within the last 50 years (short summary)?
- What is sex and what is gender?
- Imagine that you are assigned the opposite gender at birth, but that your race, ethnicity, religion and social class remain the same. Taking the information contained in this week’s readings describe how your life as a member of the opposite sex might differ from your life today. i.e., how are males and females viewed differently among your racial or ethnic group? In other words, does gender make a difference? Would your role in the family be different based on being the opposite gender?
- Part 2:
Here, I have a three-part CNN report by Anderson Cooper (Youtube) about a child that was forced into a study by his parents out of fear that he was going to be gay. I think this is a clear sign that the parents were not accepting of his behavior. Throughout the so-called “therapy” this young child felt like he was a bad person and wrong in so many ways which may have led to his suicide.
There is also a short article that captures the damage done when unproven techniques (called Conversion therapy) are used to force a young child to change his behavior through physical punishment and extreme behavioral conditioning. The researchers claim that after treatment he appeared more adjusted as a “normal” boy. Of course, he did not want to be different and continue to get beat all the time at home. Just because someone changes their behaviors does not mean anything has changed internally or in one’s thought processes.
After watching the youtube video, please answer the following question.
Question 4: In this incident, have his parents to be held accountable as well as the researchers? It is clear that the parents were concerned and wanted him to behave differently, and they tried to change him. Was this wrong? Why? Or Why Not? Analyze this with your own words. While formulating your response, consider that societal values and norms concerning homosexuality were a lot more conservative in the 1960s and 1970s.
Note: Present Time
Conversion therapy has been condemned by a range of groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, which said it was based on the view that homosexuality is a disorder, an idea “that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions.”
Conversion therapy practitioners “often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure.” In the past, efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation sometimes involved extreme measures like institutionalization, castration and electroshock therapy.
While such conversion programs are discredited by mental health organizations worldwide, the practice is still legal in 41 US states. According to a recent study out of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, an estimated 57,000 LGBTQI teens will undergo the controversial practice from a religious or spiritual advisor.
In addition, another 20,000 will receive counseling in an attempt to change the participant’s sexual orientation or gender identity from a licensed healthcare provider in states where the practice is still legal.