Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, Pam's House Blend and Box Turtle Bulletin recently looked at the Facts About Youth website and brochure.  The bogus American College of Pediatricians announced both in a letter sent to 14,800 school superintendants in the US.  The document and website repeat distorted claims that sexual orientation and gender identity are changeable by reparative therapy and that if they're “not reinforced” in youth, then their homosexuality and/or transgenderism will eventually go away.

The ACP was founded by proponents of reparative therapy that has been largely recognized as harmful by the medical establishment.  Founders Joseph Nicolosi, George Rekers, Dean Byrd, Rick Fitzgibbons and Arthur Goldberg all have ties to NARTH, which promotes conversion therapy.  Although by name the ACP would seem to be a legitimate medical college, it is actually an interest group whose membership is determined partially by prospective members' opinions on this subject.

The actual medical body that pediatricians turn to is the American Academy of Pediatrics.  My partner wrote to the AAP to ask them for their feedback on the ACP letter and brochure.  (more below the fold)

In response, they wrote:

The AAP has been actively monitoring this situation and has reached out to our chapters to assist and encourage them to reach out to education leaders in their state and local communities to help clarify any confusion this may have caused.  In the past couple of weeks, the AAP Division of State Government Affairs has sent letters to all AAP chapters alerting them of this situation and providing information and resources that they can share to help distinguish our position on these issues, as well as our identity as the nation’s leading medical specialty society for pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists.  This included a template letter that chapters could use to reach out to their chief state school officer, local superintendent or other agency director tasked with oversight of education policy in their state or local communities.  Additionally, the AAP has been in contact with the Coalition, of which the AAP was a part, that developed Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel, to alert them of this situation.  Finally, the AAP home page has been updated to include information about the aforementioned resource along with several other AAP policies related to sexual orientation and identity.  It is our hope that this communication has helped to clarify any confusion and that these resources provide educators and others access to sound, reliable and scientific information.

Their onlline response to the ACP is even clearer:

On or around March 31, 2010, school superintendents may have received another letter from the American College of Pediatricians, which is in no way affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The letter promotes another campaign titled “Facts About Youth,” which professes to offer guidance to educators on “approaches to students experiencing sexual orientation and gender identity confusion.” Their campaign does not acknowledge the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education.

The AAP encourages school administrators and officials, teachers, parents, and youth to become familiar with and utilize the AAP developed and endorsed resources on this issue for reliable, sound, scientific, medical advice…

At that point, they list five publications by the AAP contradicting the Facts About Youth treatise.  Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth is particularly good, having been a collaboration among and endorsed by:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Psychological Association
  • American School Counselor Association
  • American School Health Association
  • Interfaith Alliance Foundation
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Education Association
  • School Social Work Association of America

So in case anyone was wondering what an accepted medical body has to say on the matter or if any school administrator had any doubt as to which body really has the facts about youth, wonder no more.

(Crossposted to DentedBlueMercedes)