Psychologists…they call themselves! How absurd.

The Island Newspaper of the 15th February 2008 carried an article by Dr. R. A. R. Perera, a consultant Psychologist entitled “Treating alternate forms of sexual expression”. His assertions about homosexuality seem to come straight from a text book on psychological disorders from somewhere in the 1700 perhaps! But the sad part about the whole article is that he lumps Homosexuality and Transgender with Paedophilia and Voyeurism as forms of ‘alternate sexual behaviours’. It is totally absurd of course and only goes to prove that Homosexuality and Transgender are totally misunderstood in this country.

The following are excerpts from the ‘eminent’ doctor’s article in the Island (and how shameful of the Island continuing to print homophobic articles and letters – at least they are consistent in their bigotry!):

“The commonest sexual orientation disturbance could be identified as homosexuality.

A homosexual can be identified as a person who experiences sexual arousal in any behaviour which includes sexual relations with the same sex. Homosexual behaviours one sometimes seen in adolescence, but it is transitory and sporadic most of the time. In special circumstances, like in jail, the services, and in hostels, this behaviour is widely prevalent.

Social norms are unrelated to prevalence and sometimes you may encounter ‘homosexual sub cultures’ in some societies. When you taken prevalence in Sri Lanka, exclusive male homosexuality is about 6% and exclusive female homosexuality 2%. Most homosexuals tend to be alike in certain behaviours and they generally choose certain occupations like hairdressing, fashion designing and modeling.

In Sri Lankan culture, homosexual behaviour is not an expected normal behaviour and most parents of adolescents, who suspect their children of having a homosexual relationship, refer them to a physician or a psychologist for remedial therapy. Psychological management includes counselling, cognitive therapy, behaviour and modification therapy.”

He goes on to say: “Disorder of Gender identity or transsexualism is another form of alternative sexual disorder. Here the affected anatomically normal person believes that he or she is a member of the opposite sex. Behaviour modification therapy and sometimes surgery and hormones that alter the gender are used to correct the disorder”.

The article also talks about Paedophilia, Voyeurism and other forms of ‘alternate sexual behaviours’, in other words, giving the reader the idea that Homosexuals and Transgenders are all ‘disturbed’ persons with terrible disorders that need curing! He also mixes up gender identity and sexual orientation and refers to transgenders as those who have some kind of disorder that needs ‘fixing’!

How irresponsible is this man and this newspaper feeding this parcel of horse dung to the unsuspecting public who will, no doubt, lap it up in an effort to prove to their gay/lesbian/transgender children, that they are indeed psychologically disturbed and in need of curing.

Dr. R. A. R. Perera needs a refresher course in modern Psychology. Hopefully he will eventually bone up and figure out what makes the LGBTIQ community tick!

9 Comments

  1. This is just the kind of article that Sri Lanka does not need. If Dr Perera is in need of a new psychology textbook that’s more up to date then I’ll be happy to send him one over.

    Maybe Stonewall can put their most recent campaign posters (http://www.gay-friendly.org.uk/campaigning/homophobic-bullying-2/) in the Island Newspaper..

  2. Dr. Perera’s article, if read by a large audience, and worse, if believed, could push the Sri Lankan GLBTIQ community deeper into the “communal closet”.

    The one thing that this article does for me is point out the closed-minded, uninformed, and uneducated attitude of a “professional” too scared to face the fact that we as humans have a spectrum of sexualities, and that throughout history we’ve all been(based on the politics in any given period) neatly pigeon-holed into the acceptable and unacceptable categories.

    I live with my partner in Vancouver, Canada. Under the the law and by much of Canadian society, we are treated equally, and we are seen as a “normal” contributing couple. My sexuality is only a “disturbance” for those people who must challenge their own attitudes and prejudice of what true diversity means in a community (the real disturbance is not within, but from the outside).

    If you have contact information for Dr. Perera it would be greatly appreciated. I wouldn’t mind sending a note to him questioning him on his “amazing insight” and updating him on information he could easily find in any 21st century bookstore.

  3. Hmm… The Island and The Observer seem to be doing there bit to make sure that the Culture Police of this country is up and running.

    Someone else also tried to dive into the world of sexuality a while ago, but that too fizzled out.

    I think it’s about time that we stopped writing critiques about these on our blogs, and started actively responding to these. If they are trolls looking for some action, we might face the risk of feeding them, but I think it’s about time that we actually told them to bugger off.

    And to me, “behaviour modification therapy” sounds a bit like brainwshing. Next thing we know, we’ll have our own little KKK wearing white pointy hats (I’m pretty sure that most of them would have yellow robes or white cloaks underneath) burning Dharma Chakras and Crosses killing all the gay people.

    If I’m to sum up a response to “Dr.” (Mervin Silva anyone?) R. A. R. Perera, it’s gonna be something in the lines of “Up yours mate!”

  4. That newspaper was started by Upali Wijewardena was it not ? Or am I wrong ?

  5. Its sad really that professionals in Sri Lanka continue to spew out rhetoric that is not only damaging but downright misleading. Someone should set him “gaily forward”!

  6. Terry, we are looking into getting contact details for the good ‘doctor’ so you can get in touch with him. Pinkboxinggloves, we are drafting a rebuttal to this awful article which we will send once we finish drafting it.

    Please do keep the comments coming.

    EQUAL GROUND

  7. Pink News carries an article entitled: Sri Lankan gays protest at newspaper stereotyping
    Read this article on:
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6944.html

  8. I can’t resist asking if there has been any feedback on the rebuttle EQUAL GROUND said it was going send (see their comment above). I’ve been keeping an eye on the Island….nothing seems to have been printed from EQUAL GROUND. Are they actually doing anything? Is anyone in Sri Lanka doing anything about homophobes like this? What of those other so called ‘Gay’ and ‘Lesbian’ organizations…companions something and WSG? why have they not reacted to this? Oi Vey! It looks to me as if those two organizations have taken after Rip van Winkle…what actually do they do?

    I think something that can be done is if we bombard the Island with letters of condemnation of the article…how about it everyone! Put your money where your mouth is!

  9. Well, well, well…I eat my words. See the EQUAL GROUND article in today’s Island (17th March 2008) – http://www.island.lk/2008/03/17/features6.html.

    Well done EQUAL GROUND! The article was really good! Well written, good and important information and above all to the point! Keep up the good work. I ask again…why the others have not sent rebuttles of this nature to the newspaper.


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