Letters

Children's atypical gender behavior

WE WERE APPALLED AT THE September Monitor article that suggested that parents simply "accept and affirm their gender-variant children." The writer completely disregards the work of clinicians such as Zucker and Bradley, who have demonstrated that a sizeable number of children and families achieve significant change, and that cross-gender identification is treatable.

To suggest that parents can't or don't influence the gender development and sexual orientation of their children has no basis in science. Again, APA has favored activism over science. What's even more alarming, such articles discourage parents from seeking treatment for their gender-atypical children. Perhaps APA might take counsel from psychiatrist Richard Green: "Should parents have the prerogative of choosing therapy for their gender-atypical son?...The rights of parents to oversee the development of their children is a long-established principle. Who is to dictate that parents may not try to raise their children in a manner that maximizes the possibility of a heterosexual outcome?"

This article represents one more step toward eliminating gender identity disorder from the DSM. But real diversity requires the inclusion of different worldviews. We hope that those who disagree with this narrow politicism of a very important clinical and diagnostic issue will raise their voices in protest.

DEAN BYRD, PHD
E. WARREN THROCKMORTON, PHD
RICHARD FITZGIBBONS, MD
RUSSELL B. HILLIARD, PHD
REV. RUSSELL G. WALDROP
RAY W. JOHNSON, PHD
PAUL POPPER, PHD
BEN KAUFMAN, MD