Sunday, February 05, 2006

Once upon a time they'd just be best friends

New York Times 2/5/06--Dr. Beth Greenberg, left, and Beth Simon at the division of civil marriages and unions.

As a psychiatrist in my mid-60s, and the father of four young adult children, breathtaking to have witnessed in just about 40 years the widespread collapse of conventional sexual identity.

Think it mostly reflects the collapse of American marriage the result of the feminist movement. From my experiences as a psychiatrist and childraising I believe children's sexual identity is closely linked to identification with their parents. When marriages with young children fail, the chances for a successful psychosexual identification with the parent of the same sex are severely damaged.

For boys the problem most often is coping emotionally with the mother's scorn and anger for the child's largely absent father. Girls under the same set of circumstances learn to distrust men.

When I was young, parents got bent out of shape if a youngster brought home someone of a different religion. Today's parents are happy the person is of the opposite sex!

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