The "Sissy Boy" Experiment
The "sissy boy" experiment had terrible consequences.
Tags: gender, lgbtq, sex/sexuality, conversion therapy, gender socialization, research ethics, 06 to 10 mins
Summary: This CNN investigation looks at the controversial work of psychologist George Allan Rekers, whose 1970s "sissy boy" experiment sought to make a boy more masculine. It covers many sociological concerns including gender socialization, sexual orientation, and the ethics of research. First, in believing young boys who display behaviors thought of as feminine are more likely to be gay than supposedly masculine boys, Rekers exemplifies a common type of flawed thinking by conflating gender and sexual orientation. He attempted to "correct" supposedly feminine boys with severe sanctions (positive and negative) not only to compel boys to act in more masculine ways, but also to reduce the likelihood they would be gay as adults (and he is within a minority of people who think that is a bad thing). Second, because of the extremity of the sanctions that occurred under a psychologist’s recommendations, the “sissy boy experiment” raises many ethical concerns about applied social-psychological research—especially studies conducted on children (and also conversion therapy more generally) without consideration to the long term effects. Rekers, who is well-known in the anti-gay movement today, heralds the experiment as a success despite the fact that the boy committed suicide as an adult. As a third and final consideration about this video, we should keep in mind that everyone is subject to milder forms of sanctions on our gendered behaviors; boys (and even adult men) are often rewarded for supposedly masculine behavior while being shamed or even punished when they act ways deemed feminine (and of course, vice-versa for women). There is no doubt these experiences shape our gendered selves while reinforcing normative gendered behaviors more generally.
Submitted By: Jason Eastman
7/27/2014 04:09:09 pm
The people who think that growing up to be a gay adult is a bad thing are most definitely NOT a minority.
6/9/2022 04:34:56 pm
I suffered from what they called peripheral artery disease (PAD). I have been suffering for years, Me and my wife searched for a medical cure, and then we came across a testimony of a man who suffered the same and was cured by Dr Chief Lucky. So my wife and I contacted Dr Chief Lucky via an email and thank God he replied. I explained what was wrong and he sent me herbal medicines that helped heal me completely. I am happy to say that herbal medicine is the ultimate and Dr Chief Lucky I am grateful. You can contact him on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp: +2348132777335, Facebook page: http://facebook.com/chiefdrlucky or website: https://chiefdrlucky.com/. Dr Chief Lucky said that he also specializes in the following diseases: LUPUS, ALS, CANCER, HPV, HERPES, DIABETES, COPD, HEPATITIS B, HIV AIDS, And more.
Leave a Reply.
Got any videos?
Are you finding useful videos for your classes? Do you have good videos you use in your own classes? Please consider submitting your videos here and helping us build our database!