Tag Archives: Celia B. Fisher

New WHO diagnostic labels perpetuate transgender stigma

trans girl light bulb

The movement of the World Health Organization (WHO) to declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder is simultaneously a step forward in affirming the personhood of gender minority individuals, and a step backward in diagnoses that adequately reflect their health needs. The solutions posited by the WHO reveal the systemic influence of health insurance policies in defining not only medical disorders, but also social categories.

Currently, in the United States and abroad, in order to qualify for health insurance coverage for gender affirming surgery or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), mentally healthy transgender individuals must receive a diagnosis indicating a gender-related mental disorder based on either the WHO classification or the “gender dysphoria” diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In the hopes of fostering greater acceptance while still satisfying insurers, after 25 years, the WHO is considering a new diagnostic category: “Conditions related to sexual health.”

According to Dr. Celia B. Fisher, Director of the Center for Ethics Education and Professor of Psychology at Fordham University, the new terminology, while well-intentioned, “runs the risk of perpetuating stereotypes that conflate gender identity and sexual orientation and lead to continued misclassification of transgender personhood as a sexual problem.”

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Its not just mental health studies: Doctors rarely ask adolescent patients about their sexual orientation & LGBT youth are afraid of bias

A recent report underscores the paucity of mental health research relevant to LGBT patients.  According to Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D., Director of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education this unfortunate situation is not unique to research studies.

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Best intentions, worst outcomes: Ethical and legal challenges for international research involving sex workers

Central America hosts a thriving sex work industry that is a key source and transit region for sex trafficking and undocumented migrants engaged in sex work. Sex workers – particularly those who are migrant – are at high risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as well as physical abuse and in some cases murder. However, the existing network of international, national, and local criminal and human rights policies applicable to sex workers can be confusing and contradictory, not only in the context of access to sexual health preventions and interventions, but also for investigators seeking to conduct that can lead to effective sexual health services.

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APHA Ethics Section Interview with Dr. Celia B. Fisher on Conversion Therapy Report

The following is an interview with the American Public Health Association’s Ethics Section with Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher who served as an advisor for a White House panel on conversion therapy.

In April of this year, President Barack Obama announced his support for state efforts to pass Leelah’s laws. Such laws seek to ban conversion therapy, a practice which claims to change individuals with LGBTQ identities to a heterosexual identity and is named for an American transgender girl who committed suicide after undergoing conversion therapy. Celia B. Fisher is the Marie Ward Doty University Chair in Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethics Education at Fordham University and an Ethics Section member. She served as an advisor for a White House report released last fall, Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth.

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Welcome 2016 HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Fellows!

The Fordham HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute is delighted to announce that the following individuals have been selected as the 2016 fellows:

Dr. Roberto Adabie, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dr. Roberto Adabie, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Dr. Suzanne Carlberg-Racich, DePaul University

Dr. Suzanne Carlberg-Racich, DePaul University

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Legislation to End Conversion Therapy Introduced in the Senate

Booker conversion therapy

Following a White House report released in October condemning the use of conversion therapy, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have introduced legislation to end the harmful practice.

The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on so-called “conversion therapy” that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a press release from Senator Booker’s office.

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Dr. Celia B. Fisher Examines Whether IRBs Hinder HIV Research with LGBT Youth

The dearth of HIV prevention research on LGBT individuals under 18 years of age is at least partially a result of conservative Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), according to new research by Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, and colleague Dr. Brian Mustanski of Northwestern University’s IMPACT Program.

Fisher and Mustanski describe this problem in their article, “HIV Rates Are Increasing in Gay/Bisexual Teens: IRB Barriers to Research Must Be Resolved to Bend the Curve,” to be published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

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