APA launches task force on 'consensual non-monogamy,' calls polyamory a 'marginalized identity'

An LGBT activist holds up a rainbow flag outside California's state capitol building in Sacramento, while leading evangelist Franklin Graham holds a prayer rally on March 31, 2016.
An LGBT activist holds up a rainbow flag outside California's state capitol building in Sacramento, while leading evangelist Franklin Graham holds a prayer rally on March 31, 2016. | (Photo: Facebook/Frank E Capley-Alfano)

The American Psychological Association has established a task force on "consensual non-monogamy," an effort they say is necessary in order to reduce "stigma" on persons who practice polyamory.

"Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience. However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This task force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities," the website for the task force of the APA's Division 44 explains.

The work of the task force, which is led by psychology Ph.D.'s who are based in California universities, promotes "awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships."

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Division 44 of the APA is the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

No date is given for when this particular task force began but a Facebook page for the task force was started in April of last year. Sources told CP the initiative has been active for a while. Another current APA task force that is part of Division 44 is the Religion and Spirituality Task Force, which states that one of its goals is to seek "to reduce theological barriers often separating sexual minorities from the sources of their beliefs."

Among the expressions of sexuality that appear to fall under the consensual non-monogamy umbrella, according to the task force website, are polyamory, swinging, "open" relationships, something called "relationship anarchy" and other kinds of "ethical" non-monogamous relationships. 

One of the co-chairs of the task force is a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. The bio of the executive assistant for the task force is a graduate student whose research interests include "sexuality, pleasure, kink, and consensual non-monogamy" and plans to create a "sex-positive, kink-aware practice to serve marginalized communities."

Andre Van Mol, a board-certified family physician in Redding, California who co-chairs the committee on adolescent sexuality for the American College of Pediatricians, said in an email to The Christian Post that this is yet another example of marginal sexual practices being promoted as normal with academic gloss, making destructive things sound helpful and good.

"This is the entirely expected and predicted consequence of what happens when ideology replaces science. The APA is yet again showing us that they are a professional guild and not a scientific organization," Van Mol said.

"Their sexuality divisions have long since been taken over by extremists. Unless parents push back, it won’t be long before this will be taught to our children in school with the usual emotional blackmail that to do otherwise is to stigmatize."

He added: "Since American mental health experts have largely given up on their job of investigating underlying factors that may be contributing to marginal sexual behavior, this is what we are left with, the cult of affirmation."

In an August 2015 American Interest essay titled "Is Polyamory Next?" Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, who is a longtime defender of marriage as a conjugal union between a man and a woman, opined that same-sex marriage paves the way for the mainstreaming of multiple persons in a marriage.

"If gender doesn’t matter for marriage, they ask, why should number matter? 'If love makes a family,' as the slogan went when the cause being advanced was gay marriage, then why should their family be treated as second class? Why should their marriage be denied legal recognition and the dignity and social standing that come with it?" he wrote at the time of a particular "throuple" in the state of Massachusetts.

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