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Posted by on Dec 1, 2012 in Mental Health, Pseudoscience, Psychology | 4 comments

Dr. Oz: Anti-gay or just anti-science?

Dr Oz

I want YOU to know I spout all sorts of bullshit!

So, Dr. Oz is in yet another kerfuffle, this time over an episode in which he hosted people touting a therapy to take away your gay (otherwise known as “Reparative Therapy”). Not only is this sort of thing completely scientifically invalid, as all evidence shows that sexual preference is biological and not a choice, but it is roundly condemned by ethical mental health practitioners and even banned by the state of California. The official stance of the American Psychological Association is as follows -

The American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates. Even though the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, regardless of sexual orientation identity, the task force concluded that the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation. Thus, the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.

Oz should, as has been asked of him by GLADD, follow in the footsteps of other medical professionals and apologize for this behavior and vicarious endorsement.

I don’t really see that happening, though, based on his behavior towards scientists and science on his show. Given his long-standing endorsements of other quack therapies, from reiki to homeopathy, surely this one won’t cause him to backpedal.

12/01/2012 UPDATE: Apparently, Dr. Oz is, well not exactly sorry, but is saying that:

After listening to both sides of the issue and after reviewing the available medical data, I agree with the established medical consensus.  I have not found enough published data supporting positive results with gay reparative therapy, and I have concerns about the potentially dangerous effects when the therapy fails, especially when minors are forced into treatments.

He never actually apologizes for bringing these people on, though. This seems to be the same sort of “fair and balanced” approach used in other sensationalistic reports, where both sides get to tell their story…even though one is blatantly wrong.

  • Moksha Jo Efsea

    This idiot was on the Today Show two weeks ago trying to convince the audience that CANNED food is as good as FRESH food. I lost over 100 pounds by cutting out all preservatives; he is a fool with a degree…not a doctor of health!!! Or maybe I lost the weight because I am gay and I prayed the fat away (Eye roll).

    • http://www.caleblack.com gps

      I’m not surprised that he said that, but I am further disheartened about it. He’s apparently a brilliant cardiac surgeon, which just makes his woo-ness all the more frustrating!

    • Ken

      Canned food does not required preservatives

      from http://www.mealtime.org/content.aspx?id=2644:
      “Preservatives are not needed in the canning process and virtually all canned fruits and vegetables do not contain them. Before food goes into the can it’s cleaned and sterilized. Once filled, the can is sealed and tested for airtightness, then heated to the right temperature for the food inside. Cooking preserves the food safely without any added preservatives. Since most items are canned within hours of harvesting, the process locks in nutrients at the product’s peak of freshness.”

      • http://www.caleblack.com gps

        Great point, Ken. I should have clarified that the promotion of one OVER the other was the problem (when they are fairly equal). Personally, I’ll take canned green beans over fresh ones any day, but I’m kinda weird.

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