Most helpful positive review
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Terrific discussion of how political correctness is endangering the health of our young adults.
on November 18, 2006
The author of this book is a psychiatrist at a university health clinic. She has written the book anonymously because she is still working and what she has to say is politically unacceptable to the current mental health establishment. If she stated this openly she would risk her career. However, I am very glad this book has been printed and hope that the author can come out openly and speak on this important topic.
We are taken into the way a student clinic at a typical university runs and how their policies work against the values of students with religious faith and beliefs that run contrary to the politically correct environment of today's colleges and the mental health profession generally. The author shows us how the profession of psychology has become the promoter and enforcer of a certain belief system around sexuality that is antithetical to most mainstream religious faith. She even quotes one past president of the main professional organization saying that his profession needs to help rid people of their religious faith.
The basic idea of the book is that we teach young people to be very particular in what they eat, how they exercise, to be ridiculously frightened of the dangers of second hand smoke, and to flee in terror if a teaspoonful of elemental mercury is spilled in a classroom, yet we are not honest with them about the dangers of casual sexual practices and that safer sex is no such thing. We don't teach young women that sex is biologically, hormonally, and emotionally different for them than it is for men and they are more likely to end up with depression and anxiety issues than the men they have casual relationships with.
We don't teach them that even with condom use they are vulnerable to many kinds of STDs that are still easily transferred. That there are millions of new cases of STDs that can have a permanent effect on a woman's fertility because of the way they set up the woman's immune system to fight the disease it will also fight a newly conceived baby.
And we are not honest with them when we say that AIDS is an equal opportunity disease. HIV infection has more to do with the kinds of sexual practices engaged in and the use of IV drugs than anything else. We do not tell them that young people who postpone sex until marriage and are monogamous and avoid IV drugs or partners who use them that they will be most unlikely to become infected with HIV.
She also takes apart the ridiculous notion that abortion never causes a woman emotional difficulties afterwards. We are shown how something on the order of 20% of women have something akin to post traumatic stress syndrome from these abortions. That is 1 in 5. Can you imagine any other health issues that had such a high incidence that would be denied as occurring or admitted to as happening only very rarely? Given the ridiculous attention paid to second hand smoke (the notion that if you can smell a cigarette within 100 feet of you your health is being damaged) it cannot be that something with actual mental health implications could be missed in an honest and serious way. No, it is suppressed because of the politics of sexuality.
There is a lot of great information and illustrative anecdotes that make her points well. I particularly like these paragraphs in her concluding chapter:
"To our colleagues and Universities: Stop the normalization of behaviors that many therapists - not to mention parents of your students - consider depraved. Again, that this even needs to be said is indicative of the sad state we are in."
"Admit the trauma, to some women and some men, of abortion. Reach out to those for whom the experience has not been an opportunity for `growth and maturation'. Provide a support group; at the very least ask about it!"
"The exaggerated place of sexuality is grotesque and destructive. We are not defined by our urges - straight, gay, lesbian, or bi. What sort of message is that to our youth? We are defined by something more essential, uplifting, and transcendent. I fear this ideology that enshrines the body (health, appearance, physical please) and abandons the soul (meaning, self-sacrifice, family, church)."
"Recognize that for many students, faith may be a tool to promote mental health. In sorting out the dilemma of suicides on campus, consider if perhaps the soullessness and angst among secularism contributes. When patients struggle with suicide, discussion of ultimate issues like meaning, purpose and God are imperative. Acknowledge the benefits of self-restraint in areas other than diet, tobacco, and alcohol. Self-discipline exists outside the cafeteria and the gym."