PJ Media

Ask Dr. Helen: When Being Professional Means Being PC

Are you a doctor, lawyer, or other professional who belongs to an organization that you resent sending money to every year? I was until this year, when I decided it was better to quit the organization than spend money (hundreds of dollars at that) on one that promoted knee-jerk politically correct activity that I did not believe in.

I had belonged to the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1994 but did not rejoin this year. Why? Because their pet political projects are nothing I wish to fund.

Instead of improving the science and practice of psychology, the APA spends its time playing political advocate with resolutions ranging from defending abortion (I am not necessarily anti-abortion, but the APA should respect psychologists who are) to equating Zionism with racism. It supports research that bashes conservatives yet rarely, if ever, prints any countervailing views in its journals. One past APA president thinks so highly of men that he wrote an article entitled, “How to raise sons who won’t create sex scandals.” Where is the article about “How to raise daughters who won’t make false sex abuse claims?” I’m sure I won’t see that anytime soon as the APA puts ideology over science, which sadly is typical of most professional organizations these days.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is just as bad — they encourage doctors to act as nanny staters who feel justified in meddling in the lives of their patients’ parents to find out whether they keep a gun in the home or how much alcohol their parents consume. It would be more prudent for pediatricians to ask the parents if the child has access to a swimming pool or bike (more kids die from drownings or bike accidents than from gun accidents) if they were really concerned about Johnny’s health. But alas, this would not fulfill the need to act as political activists with the correct moral posturing.

Speaking of moral posturing, it seems that the American Bar Association (ABA) is getting in on the act with a flyer that it promotes on domestic violence. This flyer was developed by the ABA’s Commission on Domestic Violence and highlights a series of 10 purported myths. The flyer, titled 10 Myths about Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them, is full of myths itself, yet because they are PC myths, they are rarely questioned.

One group that is questioning this flyer is RADAR — Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting — a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s approach to solving domestic violence. RADAR is in the process of writing a special report that refutes many of these myths — naturally most of the myths take the position that women are always victims of domestic violence and men are the perpetrators. The ABA ignores the research that says women are at least as likely as men to engage in partner aggression — for example, their website flashes this “fact:” “84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse were female.” Research shows otherwise.

For example, a recent Centers for Disease Control survey of young adults found that in cases of one-way partner aggression, women were the instigators in 71% of cases. Fewer than one in five cases of female violence are explained by the woman acting in self-defense.

I do have to give the APA some credit here. The president of the organization, Gerald P. Koocher, spoke up in a somewhat non-PC way about domestic violence in this article:

Several studies of domestic violence have suggested that males and females in relationships have an equal likelihood of acting out physical aggression, although differing in tactics and potential for causing injury (e.g., women assailants will more likely throw something, slap, kick, bite, or punch their partner, or hit them with an object, while males will more likely beat up their partners, and choke or strangle them). In addition, data show that intimate partner violence rates among heterosexual and gay and lesbian teens do not differ significantly.

At least Koocher acknowledged that women can be participants in domestic violence. This acknowledgment, along with their stance that psychologists can continue to work at U.S. detention facilities, has warmed my heart to the APA just a little.

So my question to you is, do I join back up and throw away over $400 doing so or do I go straight to Amazon.com and buy the Kindle that I’ve had my eye on (especially after reading Charlie Martin’s review on it) and never look back?

Along the same lines, have any of you had a similar experience with your professional organization? Did you quit, or just resign yourself to their views?

Update: Commenter Howard says I am in error regarding the APA’s position on the “Zionism as Racism” issue. I double-checked, he’s right, and I apologize for the error.


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