3 comments on “Encouraging Heterosexuality: Beating Gay Children Discouraged

    • Sup Madelene! I just wanted to clarify that I wasn’t writing about the use of negative reinforcement in parenting but talking about how negative reinforcement is the mechanism driving the parent’s behavior, and that when not checked behavior controlled by negative reinforcement has the potential to get out of hand. My concerns are that the therapist (Rekers) didn’t program any contingencies into the sessions at home that would have prevented the use of more drastic means of punishment (and not that I think spanking is okay but it’s so much less aversive than beatings). In other words, Rekers didn’t build checks and balances into the home therapy sessions. Moreover, the needs of the parents (i.e., to have a straight son and not a gay son) should never drive “behavior therapy”. It should be focused on the child and the needs of the child. And this last part gets into ideas Skinner discusses in Beyond Freedom and Dignity: when we learn there is technology to control behavior, who should use that technology and how should it be used.

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