Article Title:Obituary: Charles Socarides (1922-2005), anti-gay luminary
Category:Features
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:6th January 2006 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:1067
Text:Unlike many antigay luminaries, Charles Socarides actually had a mainstream teaching career at Columbia University, the State University of New York, SUNY Downstate Medical Centre and Albert Einstein College at the US Department of Defense. He devoted much of his professional career to attacking mainstream mental health organisations that had depathologised homosexuality, including the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and even his own American Psychoanalytic Association. He made questionable claims that "one third" of his gay patients had been 'cured.' Oddly enough, for an organisation that allegedly supports "honest dialogue," Socarides himself fell afoul of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He kept misrepresenting a 1968 resolution as the current position of that organisation. Dr Ralph Roughton requested that Socarides stop misusing this provision and misrepresenting the evidence-based psychoanalytic position on homosexuality, which accepted that it wasn't pathological. This is interesting, considering that when NARTH was founded, its organisers had called for an "honest dialogue" about homosexuality. For someone who preached the 'superiority' of heterosexuality, Socarides has some intriguing aspects for his apologists. All three of his marriages ended in divorce. His son, Richard Socarides, is an out gay man who worked in the Clinton administration in the late nineties. Fortunately, virtually none of his books have New Zealand holdings, suggesting that as with many other Western societies, mainstream mental health professionals are dismissive of his antiquated and destructive nostrums. He wasn't averse to contributing to fundamentalist websites either, including Campus Crusade for Christ's so-called Leadership "University," which deals with "How America Went Gay." A final irony is that Socarides had a gay son, Richard, who was an outspoken voice for gay rights and became an advisor to President Bill Clinton on glbt issues. Recommended Reading: Charles Socarides and Vamik Volkan (ed) Homosexualities and the Therapeutic Process: Madison Conn: International Universities Press: 1991. Charles Socarides and Vamik Volkan (ed) Homosexualities: Realities, Fantasy and the Arts: Madison Conn: International Universities Press: 1990. Charles Socarides: Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far: Phoenix Arizona: Adam Margrave Press: 1992. Charles Socarides: Homosexuality: New York: Aronson: 1978. Charles Socarides and Abraham Freedman: Objects of Desire: The Sexual Deviations: Madison: International Universities Press: 2002. Charles Socarides: The Overt Homosexual: New York: Grune and Stratton: 1968. "How America Went Gay:" http://www.leaderu.com/jhs/socarides.html Benjamin Kauffman, Charles Socarides and Joseph Nicolosi: "In Defence of Honest Dialogue": http://http://www.narth.com Wikipedia: Charles Socarides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Socarides Craig Young - 6th January 2006    
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