No homosexuality in Pakistan, and other lies

Published: January 16, 2012
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It is a counselor’s job to be judgment free so that his clients can express themselves in a way they are unable to do outside the safety of the counseling room.

While visiting Karachi University a few months back for a fieldwork assignment, I had a rather peculiar run-in with a group of clinical psychologists. All of them were involved in clinical and rehabilitative projects and had recently banded together to start a small forum to teach people aspiring to enter mental health and also to disseminate specialised information among professionals. They felt that such knowledge was largely disaggregated in Pakistan. 

This meeting was atypical for me since it was one of my first encounters with a group of well educated and professionally active psychologists who wanted to inject some vigour into the largely lethargic domain of mental health in the country.

One of the psychologists I talked to was working on a project in which he was the chief counselor for a group of HIV positive men – mainly sex workers. I found the topic quite novel and decided to question him further. Obviously when discussing the sex trade, it is pertinent to ask which genders are involved. When I asked him, he told me that he was working with MSM (men who have sex with men). When I asked him if he meant gay men, he brushed me off with a severe ‘no’.

Call me a skeptic, but I assumed that at least some men out of the several ‘MSM sex workers’ in Karachi must be gay. Here I define gay as being attracted to and engaging in sexual activity with the same gender out of natural inclination or choice.

This clinical psychologist, a counselor to the MSM, explained that such men do not exist in the country. Unfortunately for him, I had done some research of my own and therefore I provided him a personal account of several self-identified gay men that I had encountered in the country during my own research work. His response to that was simple, sneering, and not well thought-out:

Gay men may exist in the upper elite class, but no men from the middle and lower classes would want to have sex with men.”

This man probably belonged to the middle class himself and obviously saw me as ‘the elite’. But much to my surprise, not one person out of this group of professional clinical psychologists and counsellors refuted his statement.

Finally a researcher, who was also a guest at the gathering, spoke up saying that homosexuality exists across the spectrum amongst all people and that it was a mistake to think otherwise. After a minor quibble, the discussion ended with neither side relenting their position.

For most people, this would be a simple belief-based argument, that people are allowed to believe what they may about the etymology of homosexuality – choice or nature – so long as they do not impress this belief on others. But the reason it is not acceptable for a psychologist to think this way is because homosexuality was removed from the list of mental illnesses from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973 and for an entire group of psychologists to be either unaware of this or unwilling to accept it, is outrageous.

Why is this a problem when no one explicitly said that homosexuality is a mental disorder?

It’s a problem because it is a counselor’s job to be judgment free so that his clients can express themselves in a way they are unable to do outside the safety of the counseling room. It is a place created for people to let out their fears so that the trained professionals can help their clients learn how to tackle their fears and problems. However, when a counselor has a negative attitude towards homosexuality or any ‘deviant’ sexuality for that matter, clients will either be incapable or unwilling to present their problems fully.

If the counselor is particularly adamant on stamping out certain sexualities, he/she may recommend conversion therapies which are aimed at rectifying all forms of sexuality till they match conservative heterosexual standards. These can further debilitate the mental health of their clients.

A recent article by the American Psychological Association states:

“Mental health professionals should avoid telling clients they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments, according to a resolution adopted by the APA’s Council of Representatives on Aug. 5 during APA’s 2009 Annual Convention.

There really is no evidence that orientation can change, (or that you can change) who you’re attracted to or who you fall in love with.

In addition, some participants in sexual orientation change efforts reported an exacerbation of distress and depression when such efforts failed”, she added.

“The task force also looked at how therapists can help people who are distressed by their sexual orientation in ways that do not attempt to change that orientation. Despite growing social acceptance of homosexuality, some people, particularly men from an evangelical or fundamentalist faith tradition, can’t reconcile their sexual orientation with their religious beliefs,” Glassgold said.

“Therapists can help by teaching such clients active coping skills, reconciling religious and sexual orientation identities and helping them develop social support networks so they feel less isolated.

When working with clients who want to change their sexual orientation, practitioners need to acknowledge and explore the stigma and bigotry still experienced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The task force also found that coercive approaches to change teens’ sexual orientation—particularly involuntary residential programs—are “contrary to current clinical and professional standards,” she said. And parents should avoid programs that claim to prevent adult homosexuality by teaching gender conformity since there is no evidence for the effectiveness of such programs.

It’s really important for practitioners to try to increase parental acceptance of their children and encourage families to love their children despite any outcome of a child’s identity…There is evidence that parental rejection increases mental health problems in children,” Glassgold said.

My point here is not to sermonise about accepting homosexuality (though it may seem that way). It is simply to point out that psychologists have certain obligations to their clients and a code of ethics to follow.

By creating a hostile environment for his clients, this man was doing a disservice to them. In a country like Pakistan, one of the chief complaints of homosexual men would be intense feelings of guilt, conflict with religion and social denigration.

How can a counselor deal with the guilt brought on by these men who are enjoying emotional or sexual liaisons with other men, when he does not know about it?

Whether people opt for conversion therapies to engage in homosexual love affairs or sexual partnership, it is their choice. However it is the counselor’s responsibility to provide his clients with all the relevant information necessary to make educated choices and to remain as neutral as possible. The chief duty is to maintain the mental health of the clients, irrespective of any personally held beliefs.

I worry for Pakistan, where to my knowledge no certification as such is required to practice psychology and no checks are kept on professionals who are likely to have a drastic impact on clients. We need psychologists who understand that they form a part of a larger scientific community, and it is their duty to reflect on and act on the findings of this community.

If homosexuality is no longer categorised as a mental disorder and conversion therapies don’t work, then clients need to know that.  If people have been able to lead successful lives being homosexuals then clients need to know that too.

Muneeb.Ahmed.Khan

Muneeb Ahmed Khan

A high-school teacher and aspiring psychologist who tweets @muneeb__khan and blogs at braintalk.weebly.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fahad Raza

    When I clicked the blogs today I was hoping may be someone wrote something about the young IT talent we recently lost, but here we are. Anyways some point mentioned that professional should call spades spades are Absolutely right. Some might say Jew are not here in Pakistan O yes they are here they just don’t show up. And Gays for crying out loud what do you think the male sex workers are..??? Right or wrong is a totally different debate but those Psychiatrist need a psychological evaluation for sure. Now should gays exist that’s another issue. I feel I am not in favor, but that’s me and my own opinion. Recommend

  • WTH! SO MANY FLAWS!!!

    The reference that you’ve cited is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the ‘American’ Psychological Association which does call homosexuality a mental disorder under the head of ‘Gender Identity Disorder (GID)’ in its 4th edition which is probably the latest one after that 1973 edition you cited.

    Secondly, it may be relevant in America not Pakistan. In fact, it’s not used as a reference in the world. Some countries have adopted it but on in parts not whole.

    Thirdly, the manual is considered controversial to date. Homosexuality was clearly a mental disorder until some gay rights activists butted in.

    Fourthly, this is Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, even if most of the population wants to deny it in the name of liberalism. Homosexuality is haram and stays haram in Islam. Don’t discuss it to implicitly legitimize it. Recommend

  • Vikram

    Have you heard some thing called bisexuals? I guess you will define bisexuals as gay men who also have sex with women. It is quiet possible that men have sex with men in Pakistan because they can’t find a woman that easy or a man prostitute is cheaper. Why is it so important for you that gay men should be told that they can never change and they can lead a good life as a homsexual?Recommend

  • Vikram

    Author says “Mental health professionals should avoid telling clients they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments”. It is the same people who thought “homosexuality” was a mental disorder before. May be after few years new research may make it possible for people to change sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not something fixed. Bisexuals and some gay men have sex with women, so anything is possible. I live in USA and have no problem working with gays or lesbians.Recommend

  • Ms Marium

    At first,i thought you MET a homosexual in Karachi University .. i mean seriously :SRecommend

  • Talha

    MSM, this is like SMS but only when you ‘text’ other men.Recommend

  • saira jamal

    This is disturbing,that psychologists would be so homophobic that they deny that gays exist and that it’s just an ‘elite’ thing.If the doctors themselves are so bigoted and treat gays as deviants then what can one expect from the general population?Recommend

  • muhammad jibran

    There is deep bigotry and hate directed towards gays and lesbians in our country.it stems both from religious and cultural factors.The maulvis in their sermons demonise gays as filthy and disgusting,deserving of death.our culture punishes any man who’s not macho.Homophobia exists both in men and women,this fallacy that it’s only the men who are homophobic and persecute gays is misleading,our women discriminate against gays just as much as the men do,it’s just they don’t use violence to exhibit their hatred.
    The maulvis coming on tv telling ppl how evil gays are,how they must be eliminated to keep the muslim society clean are a big source of homophobia.This fear of those different from us only leads to marginalising an entire segment of our society.it’s time the hate and bigotry stopped.Recommend

  • adeel khan

    Hate is far more of a choice than homosexuality ever will be.Recommend

  • Britistani

    Thanks for writing this. Though, it is rather pointless, considering homosexual acts are criminalised in Pakistan. Would you say to your client that it’s OK for you to have sex with other men, even though they would be going against a law?Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    This isn’t the West, they tackled a million other problems before moving onto this one, and they still haven’t resolved it. Rather than trying to have us imitate them in everything, accept that if this is to be tackled at all in Pakistan, it won’t be right now. Just because its a hot issue in the West doesn’t mean you have to try and make it the same in Pakistan.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    What a fantastic first piece. Blog of the year award. :) Recommend

  • Raj

    Very Bold Article. Homo sexuality is present in all societies including India and Pakistan. It exists in animal world as well. In conservative societies it is not discussed openly. In India I have heard of Gay parades in Bengalore and Delhi. Pakistanis should not be ashamed that this exists in their country. I agree with President Bill Clinton about gays in US Army…” DO NOT ASK..DO NOT TELL” This philosophy should be adopted in more conservative societies.Recommend

  • Roflcopter

    Homosexuality is a sin. US wants to turn Pakistan into a society devoid of morals. Recommend

  • omerulz

    @raj

    ‘homosexuality exists in animal world’. Why would u compare human beings with animals? even if u want to, than animals kill other animals, so why do we need to call 15, simply accept that as it exists in animals, there is no harm if humans have done it.

    homosexuality is a sick thing and needs to be cured not by force but by social awareness,Recommend

  • asad chandio

    @Roflcopter:

    Homophobia is a sin,hate is a sin,persecution of people only because they’re different is a sin.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    Mental disorders are subjective classifications. Many may say that Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and other faiths prohibits homosexuality and that God made it a heinous sin which may never be forgiven but we human beings need to go beyond such petty squabbles. It may be argued that instability in family sphere, media-motivating factor, the self-discovering may all lead up to one asking oneself questions regarding sexuality which when not addressed ends up to such acts.
    People may define such acts as immoral but again those same people state morality in accordance with scriptures! Better to follow your inner light rather than what people tag you as.
    Homosexuality can not be turned to bisexuality through medications and therapies, it simply needs a change of beliefs and individuality altogether.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    Had it been a mental disorder homosexuals would’ve never earned a lot than heterosexuals or would’ve never been able to tread their own paths and lead a normal life.Recommend

  • Major Usman

    ET seems to be following a policy aiming at bringing out only the licentious aspects of the Pakistani society…please note not only the number of Ayes and Nays advocating this behavior and also from which demographic set up they come from before making up your mind on a subject which has been mentioned in the Holy Scriptures of all major Religions as taboo…!!!!Recommend

  • Major Usman

    We all should accept people for who they are and either love them or leave them alone. That doesn’t mean that I have to turn my back on the tenets of my faith…..!!!!Recommend

  • Anwar

    Irrespective of anybody’s take on homosexuality, let’s look at the scientific facts concerning homosexuality. Contrary to what people would want to believe, homosexuality is genetic. So you might not like homosexuality, but trying to ‘fix’ homosexuals would be the same as trying to ‘fix’ dark-skinned people or kids with Down’s Syndrome etc. People who think that homosexuality is bound by class or societal factors couldn’t be further from the truth. It is not an illness, it is not a disease, its not a perversion, it is simply a game of probability whereupon your genetic make-up determines your sexual orientation. People who want to read a simply worded book on the subject should refer to the book titled ‘Born Gay’ by Rahman and Wilson, 2005.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/nubeals Muft Mashwara

    I had a long conversation about homosexuality, bisexuality and sexuality in general with a psychologist in Singapore, working at a university clinic for students. He told me that there was no such thing as homosexuality – that if there was, every person who touches him or herself would be homosexual because they can turn themselves on.

    In other words, he meant that you can condition yourself to respond sexually to any stumulus you choose.

    I liked his argument but hated his ignorance – especially the fact that this was a world-class university and he should have had more information on him. Whatever the case, if this is the status of understanding of homosexuality by a ‘developed country’ psychologist, I am not going to be upset if a ‘third world country’ psychologist holds similar views. I guess Asians (whether far-east, south-east, or south) are still very conservative in the way they think, and these attitudes stem top-down rather than bottom-up.

    For example, in our HIV AIDS Awareness drives that we conducted with Standard Chartered, we had guidelines from the Singapore government to not ‘promote’ sex – just talk about celibacy and as a side-note, mention usage of condoms as a last resort. I’m sure psychologists follow a similar guideline from the government. Recommend

  • emmas

    How will we ever prosper if won’t accept homosexuality!

    For god’s Sake!!!!! What’s wrong with you people?

    How about writing something about how India captured the outsourcing market. The youth over there totally got on top of the development scene and got serious business in to their country. Most of the designing/development/ Call centers in India are owned by very young professionals! Why is that in Pakistan we are still stuck with stuff like “Gay rights” while the world is moving on.

    You guys are good with words please use them responsibly. In today’s economy if you can convince young graduates to be entrepreneurs rather than workers.Recommend

  • Murtaza Ali Khan

    Islam does not allow you to judge other people. Homosexuality might be a sin in religious terms, but as Muslims, we’ve no right to bash or isolate homosexuals, or kill them.

    By Islamic view, all humans are created by God so even homosexuals are, well, created by God and I don’t see why you want to kill them or ‘cure’ them. They have the full right to exist among us, be fed and look after properly. As a Pakistani, it depresses me to see homophobia exist in my country. Be more accepting to other cultures, orientations and people, and be happy.

    Whatever homosexuals are doing, they’ll be judged for in afterlife, but while on their time in Earth, we’ve no right to be hateful against them.
    Homosexuality might be a sin according to Islam, but so is hate. Any kind of hate is not permissible in Islam.Recommend

  • Umayr

    Some of the views expressed above are absolutely shocking and disappointing. Does some brilliant idiot really think the US can turn people in Pakistan gay?? Sigh. And those pathetic psychologists mentioned in the blog need to step out of the 1950’s and look beyond the confines of their homes and country…19th century views really don’t help people much anymore. For Gods sake just google the issue before expressing your brilliance. In answering so blatantly and crudely on the topic, did anyone stop to think about the thousands of people who’ve committed suicide or continue to suffer in silence around the world because they are unable to come to terms with their sexuality? Those people included and include persons of all religions, cultures and races. If sexuality was simply a conscious choice or decision, wouldn’t those people simple chose otherwise and make everyone happy? The issue is much more sensitive and bigger than the limited comprehensions of most people here. Please educate yourself on the matter before proving your stupidity. It could be a member of your family, a friend, or anyone around you…learn to deal with the issue properly, even if you intend to impose religion on them, do it reasonably without sending a drone fatwa on them. And on that, don’t forget that so called Islamic countries like Egypt and Turkey have legalized homosexuality thereby recognizing and validating its existence, I’m not advocating that we do the same because they did it, but an Ostrich attitude does not help anyone. Unless Pakistan exists out of the realm and laws of nature, there is perfectly good reason to believe and acknowledge that a percentage of the population is very much homosexual and should be helped properly if they need help, till such time, don’t ask don’t tell! There’s a lot of growing up to do for a lot of people in this society! Recommend

  • Fahad Ahmed

    @Murtaza Ali Khan:
    Yes u r absolutely right: Islam doesn’t give right to us for judging others, it makes mandatory for us to judge others who break the barrier and cause corruption to the society which u r a part of … Recommend

  • Kay Jay

    I am a liberal and open minded person myself and do not necessarily hate homosexuals as i know it’s their choice, besides i don’t have anything to do with someone’e sexual preference in the first place. But what i fail to understand is how can someone justify it under the pretext of this existing in Animal kingdom so its pretty normal ? I mean seriously, animals do alot of other animalistic things why dont we make it all sound human.

    Just closely observe Human males and Females, aren’t the bodies themselves designed for one Another. The male parts will derive maximum pleasure only when they penetrate a female and vice versa.

    This is basic human instinct. I for once, believe any girl experiencing feelings for another girl should be handed over to a real man ;)

    Jokes apart, we have alot of other important issues to address, people need to look into their own lives and assess where they lack before pointing fingers at others
    Regards and please no offence intended.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Aakasa: “Mental disorders are subjective classifications”

    No, they’re not.

    If you ever visit a psychiatrist, he will treat you by the guidelines set by the World Health Organization, or the American Psychiatric Association. These are the internationally approved manuals backed by decades of research.

    Doctors don’t get 5 years of medical training if they’re to just “follow their own light”. The only time a medical professional strays from the international protocols and guidelines, is in atypical presentations that require some experimentation or therapeutic readjustment.Recommend

  • John

    I believe that some individuals mention homosexuality within the animal kingdom as a way to prove that homosexuality is not a cultural phenomena. All to often we hear that homosexuals learn their behavior from others or from Western society. Pointing out this in wild animals which do not learn behavior through culture etc is to show that it is a basic characteristic that can be found at all levels of the animal kingdom. Another poster mentions the term MSM. MSM relates to men who have sex with men. This term is used in Public Health and HIV/AIDS as a way to identify individuals by their behavior and not their identity. As the article states, some men have sex with other men for economic purposes but may not have any attraction to men. Additionally, others may have sex with men for pleasure but not identify with the term gay.

    In regards to the psychologists mentioned in this article. Instead of labeling them as narrow-minded, etc which only divides people, lets try and educate them etc.

    I also do see the argument about the DSM being a western construction of what is a mental illness and therefor should not be the basis of the argument. However the argument that professionals working with MSM etc should be better aware of the topic and supporting the needs of their clients. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    By the way, being a psychologist doesn’t make you an expert in mental disorders. That’s psychiatry. which is a branch of medical science.Recommend

  • Vinayak

    In traditional societies, people try to ‘cure’ homosexuality by forcefully marrying off homosexuals. Ultimately the homosexual ends up leading a double life. If only society accepts the right of homosexuals to lead separate lives as he/she wishes, we will not have dis-functional marriages like this.

    Research done in the west confirms that many people do experience ‘homosexual emotions’ at some stage of life, and not all of them end-up leading homosexual lives. Unfortunately, it is impossible to ascertain exactly how prevalent this is, since it is not something that people will talk about.Recommend

  • John

    Kay Jay, While I understand the argument you are trying to make, homosexuality is not just about the maximization of sexual gratification. Additionally, sexual gratification goes far beyond the basic anatomy of men and women. It is actually a mixture of sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions. However, back to your case of maximizing pleasure. If that was the case, a man should not care about the personality or physical attributes of a women because in your argument it comes down to maximizing pleasure through penetration. Alternatively, I would argue that one’s preference in partner, etc plays a key role in maximizing pleasure. If I as a man was attracted to tall, thin women, than I would not have a preference for short, large women. In this basic example, my personal preference plays a key role in the maximization of pleasure. I would argue that this preference is the same in homosexuality. While one’s biology might fit that of the opposite sex, one’s preference is what is most important in maximization of pleasure. (I am not trying to compare one’s sexuality to that of size preference in partners, but wanted to use a simple easy example).Recommend

  • Faraz

    Hats off to another West Inclined article published by ET. As if moral values haven’t gone down enough in Pakistan, it seems ET has taken up the task of fully incising otherwise taboo issues into the society and make them look totally acceptable. Within the past couple of months, I believe this is the 5th piece we have read on homosexuality,lesbianism, nudity, freedom and liberal voices.

    It seems with ET churning out articles upon articles on these issues, all that Pakistan currently faces issues with are gays and lesbians or is it that ET has taken up the challenge to be the voice of the liberals of Pakistan and is acting under some outside influence to make us believe that the otherwise taboo issues which do not effect more than 1% of the total population are our current nightmares and we shouldnt look beyond them?

    I wonder when ET is going to voice for Pakistan to be a declared state of the US? Any thoughts ET?Recommend

  • Umayr

    Kay Jay – what an absolutely crass comment. Disappointing.

    To elaborate, the relation we humans (lovingly called social animals sometimes) to animal kingdom is that a lot of research and findings done in biological sciences are done on animals and then applied to humans, BECAUSE THERE ARE STARK SIMILARITIES. Are you aware that the human system resembles very closely to that of a furry rodent? Hence the need for guinea pigs in labs, but that’s a separate debate. The relation to animal kingdom and homosexuality is justified on the grounds that if something occurs by nature, it is not something man made (not saying that its right or wrong, simply, its a behavior occurring under certain laws of nature). Animals and Humans have sex, its a behavior, need, or tendency that happens by nature. If you’re still scratching your head, please just google it.

    What makes you an authority over what does and should deliver pleasure to a man or woman? Have you ever stopped to wonder that attraction and feelings are purely irrational and uncontrollable? If the idea of being attracted to, let alone be physical, with a person of the same sex disgusts or unsettles you, have you wondered that the same might be true for a person who does not get attracted to a person of the opposite sex?

    Further, if a woman is attracted to or feels for another woman, she should work towards exploring her feelings and seek guidance, if she requires, from sources more informed than most people commenting here or the brilliant psychos who are the reason for this blog. She does not need sick men for her satisfaction. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Kay Jay: “But what i fail to understand is how can someone justify it under the pretext of this existing in Animal kingdom so its pretty normal”. Studying homosexuality in animals can help in understanding causees of homosexuality. Male mice crowded in cages tend to mount on other male mice. Cows in heat tend to mount other cows if no bull is around. Incidence of male sex increases considerabley in male prisons and female prisons. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @saira jamal: “psychologists would be so homophobic,….if the doctors themselves are so bigoted”. If a gay person thinks homosexuality is normal, they won’t need to go to psychologist or a doctor to discuss their homsexuality. I think most gay people themselves are very confused about their sexual identity.Recommend

  • Dan

    @WTH! SO MANY FLAWS!!!:

    You are confusing gender identity with sexual orientation. Two entirely different things.Recommend

  • HNC

    To all the preachers in these comments: Some people are gay. Get over it.
    You dont want to accept it? fine. Good for you.
    If it bothers you so much, Dont do it and dont talk about it.Recommend

  • intelektual

    @WTH! SO MANY FLAWS!!!:
    Ya how can an American spade be a spade here in Pakistan. After all Hindus Christians Jews and others are not called Hindus Christians Jews and others here..
    And the controversies you are talking about y don’t they discredit your fourth edition.
    Also there are psychologically disturbed individuals who can be gay ! but so are so many straight such people how come being straight is not a mental disorder ! Its because its not ! there are mentally healthy competent and capable gay individuals all around the globe open your eyes and quit justifying your personal prejudices with religion !
    The endorsement of a state religion does not come with a proof as to non existence of any phenomenon which dare not comply with that religious philosophy !!
    Also constitution allows for every minority to co exist !!
    Also how is the name of hell is homo sexuality west inspired were there no ‘Khuwaja sira’s’ before the east India company !!
    The west inspired is the freedom and strength to talk about these real and ignored issues that have always been our’s so ya hats off to tribune.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Aakasa: “Homosexuality can not be turned to bisexuality through medications and therapies, it simply needs a change of beliefs and individuality altogether.” Changing belief systems is not a simple thing, could be a life time project. It will be a lot easier to convert a lesbian to a straight woman. Some people have mentioned about homosexuality in animals. I wonder if animals will show homosexual behavior if they have an equal chance of mating with member of opposite sex. Forcing lesbians and gay men to live togather may change some of them.Recommend

  • faraz

    Heroes of the ghairat brigade, Ghaznavi and Babar were gaysRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/FatimaSlm Fatima

    Homosexuality: as a mental disorder was removed from American Psychiatric Association as per trials in 60’s and 70’s,(no trials later on) mostly due to discriminatory attitude towards them.
    “The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field.” says Royal College of Psychiatry. However studies have been done, not necessarily un-biased.

    As for the article you quoted, Please remember articles are not trials and carry no value in today’s evidence based practice.

    1)Not a single study available in Pakistan in this respect, (varied soceo-religious issues), forget randomized trials.

    2)If conversion is a failed technique, should perversions like paedophiles and many more be accepted as they are? Likewise ppl having inborn criminal tendencies be left as they are, since it is biological in nature and not a choice?

    3)While APA removed homosexuality from mental disorder list, it DIDINOT remove Transsexuals. So, in Pakistan should transsexuals be subjected to therapy rather than awarding them separate identity cards?

    4) According to APA, homosexuals r strongly assoscaited with drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, major depresson. So while sexual orientation is not to be discussed, they are still on the radar as psychiatric patients. Recommend

  • Anonymous

    I am amazed how we see loads of articles regularly written regarding homosexuality now a days, by Muslim Pakistanis………mostly in favor.
    Why doesn’t anyone take a stand to write something in opposition, against this notion………..is the publisher putting resistance to this…………or is there some other reason…..!!!Recommend

  • Katarina

    So what if someone is homosexual? Why is it such a big deal what kind of sexual preferences a person is having? Live and let live …Recommend

  • mohsin Sayeed

    Reading some comments in the thread, it feels Homosexuality is an American WMD that is being used to destroy Pakistan. Hahahahhahahahahha. If that was the case, Pakistan would have been destroyed long ago. You can’t swing a dead terrorist in this country without hitting a homosexual or a bisexual. Or better still as dead terrorists are far and few between, a suicide bomber cannot blow up a mosque without blowing few gays to smithreens, pun unintended.
    Breaking News for all homophobes who try to hide behind religion: Pakistan is crawling with gays. They are not some aliens; they are your fathers, uncles, sons, brothers, friends, mothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, wives, husbands, bosses, neighbours, and your own selves. Go deal with them.Recommend

  • dr j tipu

    @Roflcopter:
    grow up man! you are just so wrong! Recommend

  • dr j tipu

    being a doctor, its shocking to see how pathetic the state of affairs is, when it comes to psychologists…………..they should retrain!Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    @WTH! SO MANY FLAWS!!!:
    “Homosexuality was clearly a mental disorder until some gay rights activists butted in.”

    Yea, and women were considered inferior to men in all regards until the women’s rights activists butten in, similarly children were considered cheap labor until some stupid children’s rights activists butted in. Had those wretched human rights activists not butted in the world would’ve been such a harmonious place! This is such a stupid stupid world, and you my friend are the sole hope for humanity!Recommend

  • KDP

    @Raj:
    Don’t Ask Don’t did not work either. US Army fired Hundreds of gay soldiers and workers because one cannot hide homosexuality forever. By the way US now has rejected this policy and homosexual people are no longer prevented from serving army.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @WTH! SO MANY FLAWS!!!:
    Yout thinking that homsexuality is a GID is flaweds. Go read DSM again.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Fatima:
    “The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field.” Unfortunately there is no drug or counselling treatment that can make a lesbian or a gay man feel attracted to opposite sex. What will be the control group in such trials? Group of gays can’t be a control group because a gay person most likely will never become a heterosexual without any change. Treatment has to be more like reformatting (like hard drive) the part of brain and programming brain to get excited by opposite sex which may require actual adult opposite sex volunteers willing to work with people who want to change. my 2 centsRecommend

  • Vikram

    @Aakasa: “Had it been a mental disorder homosexuals would’ve never earned a lot than heterosexuals or would’ve never been able to tread their own paths and lead a normal life.”
    There can be mental disorders that do not necessarly causes distressing synptoms that interfere with ones working life. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @faraz: “Heroes of the ghairat brigade, Ghaznavi and Babar were gays”. Gays or bisexuals.Recommend

  • Cynical

    Everything that is good is a creation of God. Say, bisexuals.
    Bad things just pop up on their own.Say, homosexuals.
    God is great.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Recently I saw a news item on youtube where a Pakistani guy had sex with 48 dead women? I wonder if he would have done this if he had found a willing woman to accept him with all his insecurities. Conversiions of gays may require women willing to accept gay men as b/f, husbands.Recommend

  • let there be peace

    @Roflcopter:
    Homosexuality is a sin. US wants to turn Pakistan into a society devoid of morals.

    Sure, homosexuality is a sin. But its OK to sodomize boys in Madrassa and to incite people to blow themselves with explosives in busy market promising 72 houris in heaven.Recommend

  • طفیل

    Homosexuality is very common among armed forces. 90% officers are gayRecommend

  • Sabahat Naseem

    A bitter truth!

    Unfortunately, it is not only about homosexuality. Many Clinical Psychologists who are practicing in renowned hospitals and clinics of Pakistan are unaware of even the basic ethical considerations.
    I wish and pray we get the licensing system here too. Recommend

  • LiberalFascistBrigade

    Living your life according to a fairy tale is more of a mental disorder than homosexuality will ever be.Recommend

  • Aqdus

    You have raised an interesting point Muneeb. :) I really wish people (particularly those involved in physical, mental and spiritual health professions) would let go of these false cloaks of modesty.It is sad when people of these professions point fingers, and refuse to see existent issues. Half of our health care concerns would be resolved, if our professionals acted professionally. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Excellent write up!

    Cheers..Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Fatima,

    1) Believe it or not, the human brain works the same in Pakistan as it does in USA. Even though the statistics may vary, a schizophrenic German would display the same signs and symptoms as a schizophrenic Russian. Pakistani psychiatrists follow the APA guidelines for every other issue, so why suddenly stop at homosexuality?

    2) Pedophilia is a definite perversion, homosexuality is not. Again, that’s not my stance, it’s the stance of the world’s leading scientific organizations. You may argue with them why this is so, but I assure you, this is not a conspiracy against your beliefs.

    3) Transsexualism as a disorder is still controversial. France, among others, have declassified transsexualism as a disorder, and even if it is one, it’s largely considered to be an incurable congenital anomaly (hormonal therapy, and symptomatic treatment may be attempted, but no definitive cure). Besides, even if APA had in fact declassified it, would it have affected the way you view transsexuals? At the end, you just keep believing what you want to believe, regardless of what the experts say. Like homosexuality, which they did declassify, but you still refuse to believe them.

    4) Homosexuality is associated with other health problems – like depression, anxiety, alcoholism etc- but that’s chiefly because of the society’s intolerant behaviour towards these individuals. They have little to do with homosexuality itself.Recommend

  • Zoya Rehman

    I love how everyone is misquoting the DSM left, right and center just to prove their point (or lack thereof). The comments have thus far only helped you in establishing your case further. Awesome work, M! Loving the delusional (for the most part) comments also!Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Kay Jay: SAYS”I am a LIBERAL AND OPEN MINDED person myself and DO NOT NECESSARILY HATE HOMOSEXUALS as i know IT’S THEIR CHOICE, besides i don’t have anything to do with someone’e sexual preference in the first place.” I think almost all homosexuals think it is not their choice, it is some thing one is born with. Animals are used in behavioral and drug studies all the time. We can learn few things from animal studies about homosexuality. Raising male mice from birth to adulthood (without any females mice around) and observing their behavior and later introducing some females may give some idea about how things change.Recommend

  • maria

    well the blog as well as the comments above pushed me to comment as well
    the main problem of our society is that we want everyone to fit in our”so called right or wrong” standard…………….we cant even bear the thought of someone being different from out modesty scale………….n if anyone dares to do so in any way we just stand up n start pointing fingers on him/her n we will use every weapon we have cultural/religious/moral n so on…
    secondly gays r here,everywhere in all classes in pakistan…….they have been here since ever….its only now we know abt homosexuality so we can categorize it……before the mediaz “azadi”…….we didnt knew that such a thing exists so eyes didnt see what mind didnt know……….
    3rdly it is not under ur control to change ur sexual orientation………if u r gay……u r……..u dont b gay by ur choice neither can u turn it around when u want………….simply think that if it is by choice why the hell someone wants to choose that path n be miserable for rest of his life specially living in a society like ours
    n why u object people writing abt it????????if closing ur eyes can stop it from happening then give it a shot….!!!!!Recommend

  • A Doctor Seriously

    After a dozen Anal Mapping procedure on AIDS pt with Anal Warts, (Done on Homosexual to check for Early Anal Ca) I realised all this “perfectly risk free lifestyle choice stuff” is politically correct BS.

    Its almost impossible to do any Scientific studies on Homosexuality after the American Psychiatric Association made the POLITICAL decision to de list it in the 70’s. An author of the DSM 3 at Harvard did a study to show therapy could decrease the amount of Homosexual events, he almost could not get it published.

    My personal feeling is Human Sexuality is varied and complex and does not fall neatly into categories. Who is to say our Cultural construct of a “Hijra” is more or less valid than the Westren cultural construct of “Homosexual”. Much like Gender, Sexuality is malleable and varied and mostly a social construct. Another way to say is that if you promote Homosexuality it will definitely increase, and there are societal and health issues that go with that.

    Also there is the issue of ego syntonic versus ego dystonic homosexuality. I think much like Personality D/O it should be treated if its a problem with functioning with Talk therapy.

    In Babar nama I read Babar had a fling with a boy in his teens, and then remain heterosexual after that He hardly dwells on it. He understood it as a phase which passed. That is a much healthier attitude than the anxiety prone one which is prevalent now. In some areas Homosexuality became common place which goes to show the other myth i.e “Homosexual gene” OR “you are born this way”is also just nonsense(Not Just Qom e lot, I am referring to Kandahar, Bannu Mianwali etc). As cultural patterns changed so did the rates of homosexuality.

    A study out of Michigan put the Life time prevalence of Homosexual events at around 60%. There is much more to this then what is superficially discussed. On religion its quite clear from HIV rates in Africa that Religion has a clear role determining sexual behaviour. I wont be surprised if rates of Homosexuality also showed a similar difference.

    Ps:I think USAID money going into promoting “Homosexual rights” is a stupid Idea. Recommend

  • n hasan

    Anyone who lives in Pakistan (with even minimal awareness and honesty) cannot deny that there is rampant homosexuality – in Sindh, Punjab and NWFP (KP) poor young boys are subjected to abuse every single day. This is not a problem of the ‘elite’ – the Middle Classes (lower) may choose to live in a dream world and ignore the plight of the millions of poor beggar boys they encounter everyday in the street…….!Recommend

  • hamzad

    No wonder Pakistanis are waiting for an Islamic revolution and an Iran type rule of learned people..This Ba ba Blacksheep ELITE has to be DELETED to exorcise Pakistan of this westoxicate4d mindset.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Brave article. Don’t ask don’t tell typically works in Pakistan. I won’t say the major cities have a vibrant gay life – there is no Church Street – but networks do form, albeit shrouded in fear, uncertainty and shame.

    If all else fails, there is suicide. Recommend

  • http://sadafmujeeb.wordpress.com/ Sadaf Mujeeb

    @Vikram:

    “If a gay person thinks homosexuality is normal, they won’t need to go to psychologist or a doctor to discuss their homsexuality. I think most gay people themselves are very confused about their sexual identity.”

    Vikram, the only reason Gay people ever go to a psychologist is because the society they live in does not support their vie of “normal”, because they fear isolation and exclusion from their friends, and family, or because someone they know (often the family) forced them to “seek professional hel” and “get cured”. So the problem isn’t homosexuality, the problem is HOMOPHOBIA.

    Also, concerning your first comment, the reason why mental health professionals should indeed avoid telling their clients that sexual orientation is a fluid concept, is because the ONLY reason for anyone to want to change their sexual orientation and become “straight” is societal pressure, or fear regarding the stereotypes related to homosexuality. Peer pressure is not the best reason to change anything about yourself or be forced to behave in a certain way, which is why psychologists are asked to refrain from encouraging it. Another important reason is the ineffectiveness of conversion therapy (therapy aimed at changing sexual orientations), and the inconclusive results as to whether it’s even safe for the client to go through without having any negative effects later on in life. Recommend

  • http://sadafmujeeb.wordpress.com/ Sadaf Mujeeb

    @Vikram:

    “I wonder if animals will show homosexual behavior if they have an equal chance of mating with member of opposite sex. Forcing lesbians and gay men to live togather may change some of them.”

    1500 species of animals have been observed to display homosexual behavior in the “wild”, where there aren’t any issues regarding the lack of the opposite gender being around. For instance, an estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are homosexual. They form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, and then CHOOSE to drive the female away after she lays the eggs, and look after their young ones as a mated male pair. This is just one example of 1500, I hope you can open your mind up a little and consider the possibility of homosexuality just being as normal as heterosexuality in the grand scheme of things.

    Forcing lesbian and gay men to live together may result in heterosexual sex and copulation, but I doubt it could ever result in lessening the intensity of their attraction towards members of their gender. When one has no option, one does with what they’ve got. Men having sex with men in prisons etc, are not said to have turned gay, their actions just suggest that they’re sexually frustrated. Recommend

  • http://sadafmujeeb.wordpress.com/ Sadaf Mujeeb

    @Fatima:

    “2)If conversion is a failed technique, should perversions like paedophiles and many more be accepted as they are? Likewise ppl having inborn criminal tendencies be left as they are,”

    I always have issues when people compare homosexuality to pedophilia. What exactly is the similarity between the two?! One is sexual and romantic attraction to members of ones own gender, and the other is sexual attraction to children often under the age of 13. One is consensual and is extremely desirable by both parties involved, the other is RAPE, and undesirable by one party since they’re not old enough to know better or give their consent.

    The main premis for anything to be considered a psychological disorder is that it should be a behavior that harms oneself or others around you. Pedophilia fits this premis, while homosexuality most definitely does not.

    “3)While APA removed homosexuality from mental disorder list, it DIDINOT remove Transsexuals. So, in Pakistan should transsexuals be subjected to therapy rather than awarding them separate identity cards?”

    The word “transexual” is all over the world has a different meaning than what WE take it to mean in Pakistan and India. Transsexualism actually refers to a gender identity of a person that is culturally inconsistent to their own biological gender. Contrary to popular belief, “transgender people” does not imply people who are BORN hermaphrodites, which is what most of the transexuals in Pakistan and India are perceived to be.

    “4) According to APA, homosexuals r strongly assoscaited with drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, major depresson. So while sexual orientation is not to be discussed, they are still on the radar as psychiatric patients.”

    Homosexual people turn to drugs, alcohol, suicide and suffer from major depression because they live in a world that is HOMOPHOBIC. Imagine having to live with people who constantly degrade the very essence of your being. Imagine going to church, or the mosque and sitting through sermons where religious leaders sprout words that BRUTALIZE YOUR SOUL! Imagine constantly thinking you are wrong, sick, perverted, disgusting, unworthy, just because your society, culture and religion has forced you to view yourself and tendencies you have no control over in such a way. And now imagine feeling all of these things while living in a place like Pakistan, where there isn’t one speck of social support being offered for your questions and confusions. I’d find it abnormal if a person DIDN’T turn to alcohol, drugs and suicide in such circumstances. Recommend

  • intelektual

    @Fatima:
    pedophiles and off the like by acting on their ways are abusing and harming someone else, even if a child consents to it that child is not mature enough to take that decision for himself, now please clarify to me how is that similar to an adult consenting and a healthy gay relationship??

    Yes, gays are under psychiatric radars because ppl having no right to comment on their personal choices take it as their obligation to torture them day in and night. The unconditional love of families does not exist in there case ! families would rather accept and protect their criminally insane straight male children rather then an obeying and religiously practicing gay child !

    Conversion is a solution when that activity is regarded as harm-full not based on our personal biases but solid ground evidence like when it is destructive to others or is abusing someone else’s rights, tell me how what two adults do in privacy effects anyone else in any way or how can acceptance and the freedom to live what you truly are be self destructive??Recommend

  • http://sadafmujeeb.wordpress.com/ Sadaf Mujeeb

    @Vikram:

    “Recently I saw a news item on youtube where a Pakistani guy had sex with 48 dead women? I wonder if he would have done this if he had found a willing woman to accept him with all his insecurities. Conversiions of gays may require women willing to accept gay men as b/f, husbands.”

    You’re killing me Vikram.

    Necrophiliacs who commit the act of copulation with a corpse are mostly motivated by a desire for an unresisting and un-rejecting partner, which sprouts from deep rooted insecurities about being rejected. Now how exactly is it beneficial for an insecurity that is SO incredibly intense and deep rooted as to allow a person to dig up a grave and defile a dead body to just be accepted by another person?

    And “conversions of gay may require women willing to accept gay men as husbands”? How the hell does that make any sense? Your comments seem to suggest that you actually BLAME women in general to be the “cause” of homosexuality in men because they’re not loose enough or are just too frigid and don’t give it up easily enough which causes men to get frustrated and “do” other men in similar situations!? You’re almost bordering on misogynistic with that line of thinking Vikram, and I would suggest you tread lightly.

    Gay people (men AND women) are NOT ATTRACTED TO MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITE GENDER! These are people who live amongst us and have a large variety of interested people (men and women) to choose from, and still opt for members of their own gender because thats who they’re attracted to! Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp!? Recommend

  • Naveed

    @Mohsin Sayeed……of course we always expected a comment from you on this issue ….lolRecommend

  • asad

    brilliant brilliant absolutely brilliant.
    thank you ET for an attempt at creating space in this god forsaken country. muneeb hats off Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    A Doctor Seriously,

    No medical expert ever denied that homosexual activities are associated with an increased risk of STD’s.

    Just as an obese person is at a greater risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Or a burka-clad woman at a risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia.

    Assuming that your opposition to homosexuality is strictly on the grounds of health science (and there’s no religious bias here), you should be equally horrified by the use of high-calorie foods like like coca cola and parathas, and the widespread use of burqas.

    That is IF your concern truly is based on science, and not just a way to rationalize your religious-inspired disgust for the homosexual community.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/FatimaSlm Fatima

    Thank you for the replies: @LoneliberalPK @intelektual @Sadaf Mujeeb and @Vikram.

    The crux of the matter and a grave issue here is that seeing a psychiatrist is still a taboo. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS REALLY WRONG IN GOING TO A PSYCHIATRIST??? We are a HOMOPHOBE society towards mental illnesses of any kind. If yr body is sick, everyone is fine with it. But, if there’s some issue related to psyche, the society persecute.

    1 in 3 in Pak suffers from hypertension, fair enough, see a doctor. 1 in 4 suffers from a mental disorder at some stage in their life, but stigma attached to getting psychiatric assisstance and lack of facilities prohibits society to accept, recognize and than seek treatment. Awareness and acceptance of psychiatric consultation is much needed. Forget LGBT, ask someone gone through a suicidal attempt how he/she is foreseen by the family and the society. Set the record straight first.

    The scinetific evidence as I said ealier is based on trials in 60-70’s and no trial later on, only random studies. Science,and medicine is not holy scripture—it has space for new research, new knowledge. There is a mechanism related to incorporating, altering medicine literature in todays evidence based practice. This principal is applicable in every aspect, how come homosexuality is an exception?
    In this regard, unbiased trials are most superior. Otherwise, *just like studies in favor of homosexuality, there r scores available against it.*

    As for the paedophiles, we are not discussinging here “consensual or non-consensual” but “biological/inborn orientations/inclinations” and BTW now from ET blogs we know that homosexuals can be bullied for a non-consensual relationship as well. Anyways, apart from paedophiles, there is a whole goup of perversions. Paraphilias– the personality sexual disorders.

    How come homosexuality is not classified under paraphilias or gender identity disorder? OR why are paraphilias mental disorders anyways?? born this way are not they? Is the society not being homophobe by pointing them out, isolating them, subjecting them to therapy?Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/FatimaSlm Fatima

    @Loneliberal PK
    Not at all. TRANSEXUALISM is not necessarily a congenital anamoly. Why not follow APA guidline here? Y suddenly stop at transexuals? They argue for the recognition of transsexualism as non mental disroder for the same reason that homosexuals have. (That is, Social unacceptance)
    As for the leading organization/experts, I have aleady highlighted Royal College of Psychiatry that NO recent trials have been done.
    My mention of no studies in Pak was not something anti-US, but based on epidiomolgy, cultural pattern, ethnic aspect which is part of the research data. Without research or a study, how can you conclude?

    @Vikram
    You got the point. But that is no excuse! One is unable to get control for homosexuals, but gets for bestiality and the rest of paraphilias, and gender identity disorder?!! Straightaway biased. Is not it?

    @intelektual
    tell me how what two adults do in privacy effects anyone else in any way or how can acceptance and the freedom to live what you truly are be self destructive??
    The blog argues psychological aspects, so will stick to it. But, wonder in an extra-marital relationship, what those two adults than do in privacy should not effect anyone. Freedom to live what u truly are? Who decides whose rights are being compromised?Recommend

  • Aakasa

    @Mr.Talat
    Mental disorders are subjective classifications because there cause may never be stated appropriately and ‘scientific’! You said so because you are associated to a profession which has pragmatic boundaries forlorn! That’s pretty understandable! :)
    Do you actually know WHO and AP A’s back up? They are merely notion based and at times way too value-laden theories. Retort me this if you’ve studied even a bit of sociology that is anything ‘purely scientific or positivist’?
    I talked about the ‘inner light’ in respect to people not discovering their sexuality. You won’t go see a doctor if you are straight. Would you?Recommend

  • A Doctor Seriously

    @Loneliberal PK

    I am afraid you jumped the gun again .

    No where in my post have I said I am “Disgusted by the homosexual community”. Just had to point there real life consequences. Its not risk free behaviour as popularly depicted. The concentrated HIV epidemic in Homosexuals is not “Disgusting” its tragic.

    And again I never said in my post my views were based on science. Frankly in such Social scientific questions, pure science has little to say more than the risks and associations involved. The APA decision to DELIST Homosexuality from the DSM was political , just as the decision to include it earlier was. It was a reflection of changing American culture not Science. Further more the Homosexual gene nonsense has been totally debunked. In such debates I dont think its useful to drag in science, as usually the evidence is never clear cut, and always open to interpretation.

    Sexuality is varied and complex and is largely interpreted by culture. I gave the example of Hijras which is a cultural construct that includes Transexual, Homosexuals and Intersex individuals. Who are we to say that the Homosexual label is “liberating” while the second is “culturally regressive”.

    I gave examples where historically Homosexual behaviour was treated much differently, in this region. also pointed out religious and cultural attitudes almost certainly effects rates of homosexuality, as shown by clustering in different areas. I also pointed out how probably Ego Dystonic vs Egosyntonic Homosexuality are probably different entities and need to be treated accordingly.

    My point which you seem to have missed was that I dont think the Idea of “Homosexuality” as popularly understood in the Westren cultural milieu is NOT the final say. Its a social construction, NOT fact.

    I.e You are born this way. Had to come out of closet to feel liberated. Adopt certain Subculture(Show tunes, Gay clubs). The Idea that “Marraige” is an institution required for such relationships. Homosexuals relationship being roughly equilent to Hetrosexual one qualitatively vis a vis being Monogamous.

    (In fact I recently read an interesting article by Gay rights campaigner Dan Savage that argued that Homosexual ‘unions’ were almost never monogamous and was qualitatively very different than the Hetrosexual one. That does begs the question whether “Marriage” is the appropriate label to apply or whether Adoption would be appropriate)

    Personally, I think its has little bearing on the person. Many ppl I admire happen to be Homosexuals (Glenn Greenwald, Gore Vidal, Oscar Wilde), bUt importantly are not completely encapsulated by the term. I dont think the fact you have a certain sexual preference should not be the core of your identity determining your Dress, Language, social circles, tastes etc.
    As in my previous post I think the Historic Central and South asian attitude as shown by Baber (Or Alexander the Great in another setting ) was more Healthy, where sexuality did not seem to generate so much anxiety and was not so tied up to Identity.

    Please be more tolerating of dissenting view and at least read the post you are responding to before writing ppl off as bigots with an agenda.
    Dont force everyone to drink “liberal” kool aid. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Fatima,

    Transsexualism IS treated by hormonal replacement where possible. It’s just that many cases are beyond correction. Besides, it’s not a “disease” in the same category as say, diabetes or sarcoidosis, because it doesn’t pose real threat to the person’s own health (except, perhaps, for the psychological trauma from social admonishment)

    This may not interest you, but you should probably look into Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker studies (to name a few) which were crucial in the declassification of homosexuality from psychiatric disorders.

    It’s common practice for religious people to assume that any scientific stance that goes against their beliefs must be unsupported by evidence. That some gay-friendly scientists at the APA woke up one morning and decided to play a nasty prank on you by declaring homosexuality a “normal, behavioural variation”. It’s not that simple really.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    @VIKRAM:
    Working on it for lifetime is pretty vague! I’ve seen the ‘miracle moments’ in lives of people! But again that’s vague to wait for it. It’s not fairy tale, that everyone’s straight and the Prince would always love the princess and not her ex-lover but in practical world any thing’s possible.
    If one is mentally stable with oneself then one should move on with the course of life.
    Mental disorders are something that bug you and if being homosexual is not bugging then fine but east particularly doesn’t approves of such belief systems to embark upon due to religious and conventional issues! If you live in west you may see the liberalism granted to homosexuals but if you are a homosexual in east and you become unveiled you’ll face a lot of ‘fatwas’, a lot of haram halal things, verses from Qur’an or rig vedas quoted to you so that you can return to the ‘right track’.
    And yea..do you know animals which are homosexuals too are thrown out of clans at times? This is not what i invented but a scientific truth :)Recommend

  • baby boy

    @Noman Ansari:

    what ???Recommend

  • http://moizsays.blogspot.com/ Moiz

    Please people do us all some favors:
    1. Talk when you have ample research, or else ask questions. Dont opine when you dont know
    2. Stop making the animals argument. It has been dealt with alot and you guys always get your answers and yet choose to repeat the argument over and again
    3. Stop calling homosexuality unnatural. APA has since ages removed it from the list of unnatural offences so please GROW UP
    4. If you want to debate, debate on its acceptability, and of course your favorite topic religion’s views abut it.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    @VIKRAM
    Neither a woman is created to suffer with a man who is mentally ill and nor is she made to rectify his insecurities and wrong doing ! That man in Pakistan who did such with corpses is the worst of creation!Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Fatima:
    PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS REALLY WRONG IN GOING TO A PSYCHIATRIST??? Desi people living in India/Pakistan may have a tendency to think, that only psychotic people go to a psychiatrist for treatment. Psychiatry also seems to be good in dealing with psychosis then some other problems like bluemia, depression, anxiety, alcoholism. I think environment (way of life, spcial interactions) plays in big role in mental illness but psychiatry does not focus or help in that aspect. Some people believe in Jinns as the cause of menatl illness.
    I wonder what is the criterion of listing some thing as parphilia?Is it like a minimum of 2 people have to have that condition to be listed? Homosexuality has been accepted as a norm, so no need to include underparaphilia. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Aakasa:
    And yea..do you know animals which are homosexuals too are thrown out of clans at times? This is not what i invented but a scientific truth :)
    I thought it was the other way around. Orange Male monkeys that are rejected from “normal” monkey society bond together. Basically the drive for sex is so intense that when younger monkeys, inadequate monkeys, and weaker monkeys get kicked out of the regular heterosexual circle, they ban together to have homosexual relations. Now I am begining to think there may be different reasons for people choosing homosexual life style.Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    @saira jamal:
    Hey maybe the psychologist is gay himself and is in denial.Recommend

  • Tryst

    @faraz:

    don’t forget Mahmood and Ayaz :-)Recommend

  • Alyh

    I am a homosexual, I belong to a small town and a middle class family in Punjab and I am a Pakistani and I exist because God created me.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    A Doctor Seriously,

    It’s not about dissenting views. I’m starkly intolerant of any views suggesting any kind of discrimination against another party on the basis of its religion, culture, creed, gender or sexual orientation. Sue me, if you may.

    And it’s intellectually dishonest of you to dismiss any scientific stance you’re uncomfortable with to have been motivated by political reasons alone. There’s a veritable mountain of evidence (I mentioned Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker earlier, but plenty more if you Google them) on the basis of which the decision was made.

    If there was any political pressure at all, it was the one opposing the APA’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder (the gay-rights movement was relatively weak by the early 70’s, and didn’t start gaining significant momentum until Harvey Milk’s “come out of the closet” campaigning 1976-1978).

    What is NOT supported by evidence, is the claim that an average homosexual is any more promiscuous than an average straight person (link). You can find countless stories of gay couples growing old together, waiting for same-sex marriages to be legalized. I suppose it also wouldn’t change your opinion one bit knowing that the rate of child abuse is significantly lower in gay households (approaching as low as an astonishing 0% linkamong lesbian parentslink)Recommend

  • Mariam

    Having lived in Canada for over 7 years now, I have befriended several gay, lesbian and transgendered human beings. These people are polite, giving, kind, humanitarian, socially and politically active, the first ones to show up at protests, absolutely loving toward all human beings regardless of gender, race or class. They volunteer in soup kitchens, feed the homeless and make it to under developed countries like Haiti to help out. What they do in the privacy of their homes is no different from what heterosexuals do in the privacy of their homes, it is not on public display and we do not have the right to judge anyone. In a country where children are married and sold, women are raped constantly, acid is thrown in people’s faces, we have bigger fish to fry then sit here and attack people who live alternative lifestyles. At times the Hijrah’s on the streets have shown more compassion than your regular, self righteous and religious Pakistani. Live and let live and see how the state of the country will change into one that is tolerant, peace loving and united. Recommend

  • http://www.google.com abc

    Once my professor who himself was a clinical psychologist said people think psychologists themselves are “Pagal”, never listen to them, but then he whispered “they are not wrong”. Recommend

  • http://www.google.com abc

    Thanks God animals can’t express about outrageous cruelty of human choices or sexual orientation…. I hope soon writer would have to write down another article on zoosexual behavior which is far more common in Islamic Republic of Pakistan….Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Aakasa,

    Well, I do happen to be a doctor specializing in psychiatry. Tell me if you think that makes me qualified enough to retort to your argument. I think it does, as “mental disorders” are more adequately dealt within the domain of psychiatry than sociology.

    And I’m speaking strictly on the grounds of psychiatry, and not the social aspect of homosexuality.

    I think you have a flawed notion of what APA and WHO are. They’re not some imperial councils sending down commands to their minions, the psychiatrists. These are scientific organizations that receive around-the-world data from medical experts like us, conduct studies, and on the basis of their results, make decisions like what drugs work best in post-partum psychosis, or whether homosexuality is a mental disorder or not.

    Their recommendations are NOT based on the opinions of a few people with supreme authority. These decisions are backed by substantial objective evidence from surveys and experimentations.

    Other fields of medicine operate in the same way (for instance, the American Heart Association for cardiologists).

    You may challenge these recommendations by conducting your own research. But you cannot dismiss decades of research by global experts just by saying, “Oh, they just don’t feel right to me.”Recommend

  • Aakasa

    @Vikram:
    I didn’t generalize my statement. By animals I particularly meant flamingos and fruit bats which show homosexual behavior and are thrown out of by their kith and kin which are ‘normal’.
    Even though animals act out of instinct and not senses like men!
    They do not have enough discern mental sense like men do, still they do have acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in their circle.Same is for our conventional society today.We need a general consensus. Don’t we?
    p.s that anonymous one is me writing to you, I forgot to mention my name there.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    Well, I didn’t happen to define mental disorders from a sociological perspective but what I meant was that in accordance with sociological aspect of anti-phenomenology or positivism nothing is value-free and there are no absolutes.
    I am not unaware of psychiatry or am not goofing around without its knowledge. I have studied it deeply and I say by racking my wise neurons that sexual orientation and preference have been juxtaposed together but are daggers drawn. You happen to be a medical student specializing in psychiatry so correct me if I am wrong here. Orientation is what WHO and APA deal with. Genetics and its modification is what they try to control and work on. I have taken stock of their research studies and this is not what I say out of my conjectures or mere notions but with profound wisdom that on the basis of their medical studies they do take a crux of a person’s mental health. But they fail to realize that social factors are important too.
    For them they do happen to focus on men’s prenatal androgens and whether finger lengths do matter in a sexual behavior but for common laymen social factors are important too.
    Foreign institutes have accepted this and universally acknowledged the importance of amalgamating social behavior with that of gene inheritance related studies. More astounding is that even WHO and APA itself agreed once that just when they thought their studies started drifting to a ‘wrong’ zone, they nullified the wrong ones and rectified the less wrong ones.
    I didn’t dismiss their decades of researches just because I didn’t ‘feel’ right about it. I am a believer of pragmatism.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Aakasa,

    If it comes down to your word against the word of the world’s leading body of psychiatric experts, I’m sure you’ll understand why I choose to lean towards the latter.

    If you believe APA is wrong and wish to challenge its stance on homosexuality, here’s what you must do:

    Become a psychiatrist
    Develop a hypothesis (in your case, “homosexuality is a mental disorder”)
    Design a study
    Conduct the study and see if your hypothesis is true.
    Have the study reviewed by your peers, survive falsification
    Submit your research to a scientific organization (WHO, APA)
    Let the organization review your study and post it online.
    Let independent researches conduct the study to confirm the results
    Earn the right to say, “Hah! APA is wrong”

    Simply saying that you’re “profoundly wise’ and have done a lot of research on homosexuality, doesn’t make your argument carry any greater weight.

    Please recognize that this is not a conspiracy against your cultural or religious values. This is cold, hard science backed by substantial evidence.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Aakasa,

    Also, I’m not denying the significance of the social aspect of this discussion. It’s just that this is a huge debate and it’s not possible to effectively discuss all aspects of it here. That’s why I’m focusing on what’s relevant to this article, that is, whether homosexuality is a mental disorder (it is not).Recommend