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September 15, 2018

Richard Fitzgibbons and Dale O’Leary


The John Jay College of Criminal Justice studies on The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002, the Supplementary Data Analysis and Interim Report on the Causes and Context Study 2009, commissioned by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, concluded that the childhood and adolescent sexual abuse (CSA) committed by clergy was totally unrelated to homosexuality.

The article discusses why studies that support this view of the abuse of minors are not applicable to the problem of clerical sexual abuse of minors. The article also contains a discussion of the causes of same-sex attraction in men to minors and research that has found that men with SSA are more likely to have psychological and substance abuse problems and a more positive attitude to sexual relations between adult and adolescent males.

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September 14, 2018

The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment Surgery”:
Assessing its Medical, Psychological and Ethical Appropriatenes

The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Moral Issues in Major Surgery

Spring 2009

 Richard Fitzgibbons, Philip Sutton, and Dale O’Leary


Is it ethical to perform a surgery whose purpose is to make a male look like a female or a female to appear male? Is it medically appropriate? Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) violates basic medical and ethical principles and is therefore not ethically or medically appropriate. (1) SRS mutilates a healthy, non-diseased body. To perform surgery on healthy body involves unnecessary risks; therefore, SRS violates the principle “primum non nocere (first, do no harm).”[1] (2) Candidates for SRS may believe that they are trapped in the bodies of the wrong sex and therefore desire, or more accurately demand SRS; however, this belief is generated by a disordered perception of self. Such a fixed, irrational belief is appropriately described as a delusion. SRS, therefore, is a “category mistake”—it offers a surgical solution for psychological problems such as a failure to accept the goodness of one’s masculinity or femininity, lack of secure attachment relationships in childhood with same sex peers or a parent, self-rejection, untreated gender identity disorder, addiction to masturbation and fantasy, poor body image, excessive anger, severe psychopathology in a parent, etc. (3) SRS does not accomplish what it claims to accomplish. It does not change a person’s sex; therefore, it provides no true benefit. (4) SRS is a “permanent,” effectively unchangeable, and often unsatisfying surgical attempt to change what may be only a temporary (i.e., psychothepeutically changeable) psychological/psychiatric condition.

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September 14, 2018

Understanding and Responding to

the Transgender Movement


By Dale O’Leary and Peter Sprigg




In recent decades, there has been an assault on the sexes. That is, there has been an attack on the previously undisputed reality that human beings are created either male or female; that there are significant differences between the sexes; and that those differences result in at least some differences in the roles played by men and women in society.


The first wave of this attack came from the modern feminist movement and the second from the homosexual movement. The third wave of this assault on the sexes has been an attack on a basic reality—that all people have a biological sex, identifiable at birth and immutable through life, which makes them either male or female.


The third wave ideology is known as the “transgender” movement. This paper offers a description and critique of that movement and ideology. Part I addresses the psychological and medical issues involved; Part II will address the public policy issues.

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September 13, 2018


This paper on AIDS in Africa is several years old. Since then HAART – Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy –has turned HIV from a death sentence to a chronic disease. At first, the cost of a year’s treatment of the HAART cocktail was too high ($15,000 per year) for the average infected person in Africa. Massive lobbying efforts have forced governments to override western patents and purchase or produce generic antiretroviral drugs at a more reasonable price.

Research has found that HAART taken consistently can render the HIV in a patient’s blood undetectable and prevent new infections in sexual partners. Rather than wait until the infected person shows symptoms, it is now recommended that the HAART treatment begin immediately upon diagnosis. There were concerns that Africans might not be able to follow the medication regime required to lower the burden of HIV in the blood. This concern has been shown to be false. Africans have better compliance rates than some western countries.

Since those infected are more likely to infect others relatively soon after they themselves have been infected, it is important to identify everyone who is infected as soon as possible. This can be accomplished through partner notification and contact tracing and mandatory testing of at-risk groups, such as persons with other STDs and prostitutes. These should be tested and immediately given HAART and their contacts traced and tested. It should be noted that in the U.S.A. men who have sex with men with a history of childhood sexual abuse are particularly high risk for contracting HIV and for failing to follow medication regime and progressing to AIDS. Aggressive programs to prevent the sexual abuse of boys and counseling for the abused could be prevent infections.

The funds currently used to fund failed condom programs could be redirected to fund HAART.

If, in combination with some of the risk avoidance strategies mentioned in the paper, the identification of the infected and the funding for universal HAART for all the infected is vigorously pursued, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa could finally be over.

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September 13, 2018

Part I

          It has been over 30 years since the first gay[1] men were diagnosed with what would later be called AIDS.  Since then over 300,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) have died of AIDS, and 6,000 are expected to die this year and every year for the foreseeable future. In 2008, 17,940 MSM were diagnosed with HIV infections, an increase of 17% from 2005. MSM accounted for 53% of all new infections. It is estimated that one half million MSM are currently infected with HIV. According to a report from the CDC, one in five sexually active gay and bisexuals is carrying the AIDS virus and nearly half of those infected don’t know it. MSM are 44 to 86 times more likely to be diagnosed HIV positive than men who don’t.[2]

The continuing spread of HIV among MSM is not a simple epidemic, but a syndemic.

A syndemic occurs when a number of different and interrelated health problems come together and interact. The various elements of the syndemic  have an additive effect, each one intensifying the others.  According to an article by Dr. Ron Stall and associates, an analysis of the data from a large number of studies reveals that:


…additive psychosocial health problems—otherwise known collectively as a syndemic—exist among urban MSM and that the interconnection of these problems functions to magnify the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this population. A variation of this question has been empirically tested since the very earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in that substantial literature now exists on the relationship between substance use and HIV/AIDS,[3] depression and HIV/AIDS[4], childhood sexual abuse and HIV/AIDS[5], and violence and HIV/AIDS[6]. Our analysis extends this literature to show that the connection among these epidemic health problems and HIV/AIDS is far more complex than a 1-to-1 relationship; rather it is the additive interplay of these health problems that magnifies the vulnerability of a population to serious health conditions such as HIV/AIDS.[7]

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August 13, 2018



Is it possible for therapy to produce a change in sexual orientation? Is such therapy ethical?

C.A. Tripp in a 1971 debate with Lawrence Hatterer insisted that “there is not a single recorded instance of a change in homosexual orientation which has been validated by outside judges or testing.” Tripp claimed to have treated him because they do not want to disappoint their previous therapist. The full text of the debate reveals Tripp was offered clinical evidence of change by Hatterer. Hatterer’s book published in 1970 contains extensive case material drawn from tape recorded sessions and follow-up information. Read more…


November 7, 2016

On September 7, 2016, the US Commission for Civil Rights issued a report entitled “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” The report has not received the attention it deserves. Should the next president appoint and the Senate approve judges and justices that agree with its findings, the report will serve as a playbook for those who believe that if there is a conflict between religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, freedom of religion should lose. Read more…