A list of recommendations for sex researchers, practitioners, or cultural producers, Psychology, Essay, BCU, UK

University Birmingham City University (BCU)
Subject Psychology

Task 1: A list of recommendations for sex researchers, practitioners, or cultural producers

APsychA Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts (2009)

  • Therefore be it resolved that the APA affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support, and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth;
  • Be it further resolved that the APA encourages practitioners to consider the ethical concerns outlined in the 1997 APA Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation (American Psychological Association, 1998), in particular, the following standards and principles: scientific bases for professional judgments, benefit and harm, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity”

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Task 2:  An essay that provides an argument to explain your recommendations

Example: Lab Research on Human Sexual Response (NOT one of the topics this year)

  • This research examines things like sex/gender and sexual identity differences in human sexual response to stimulus materials, measuring both genital and subjective responses using specialist equipment.
  • A lab research David Rowland (1999) published a sympathetic critique of such research, calling on other lab researchers to improve the methodological rigor of their research.
  • For example, he has raised a number of questions about the use of commercial pornography as stimulus materials in such research: “some individuals [participants] have little or no experience with the kinds of erotic stimuli used in sexual psychophysiological research. For these people, the novelty of the sexual stimuli may induce strong arousal. On the other hand, these subjects might just as easily react with repulsion or disdain. In contrast, persons having positive experiences with erotica usually show some interest and enjoyment in the stimuli and are likely to find them sexually arousing… A subset of volunteers, because of their extensive histories with erotica, exhibit little or no arousal due to the purportedly mild effects of the lab stimuli.” (Rowland, 1999: 8)
  • This critique could be translated into recommendations for sex researchers conducting lab research to measure participants’ attitudes to pornography and collect data on their personal history with pornography, and to examine whether participants’ pornography attitudes and experiences impact their genital responses to the specific stimulus materials used in the study.

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