Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What Is Pathology?

Orgonomy is the only part of the mental health field, other than religiously-based practioners, that still considers any form of consensual sexual activity as pathology. In Reich's time this was the common understanding, but since the late 1960s the consensus has shifted and today anything agreed upon by the people involved is considered to be as good as anything else could be. 

This consensus owes more to the legal situation than to psychology. The absolute right to engage in the sexual activity of one's choice as long as nobody else is harmed or forced to participate is generally recognized today. This has nothing to do with any psychiatric diagnosis. The orgonomists remain in the position Reich took in the 1920s, which was actually very progressive for the times, and have never made the jump to the modern, legaistic view that now dominates the mental health field. 

Orgonomy is quite right to regard some forms of consenting sexual activity as pathological, but that should in no way be taken to mean any orgonomist advocates legal measures against persons engaging in those activities. This needs to be spelled out to allay the fears of some people that any definition that considers anything pathological will eventually lead to legal repression. 

Modern advocates of sexual freedom ignore the distinction between legal rights and psychological diagnosis. And so does orgonomy. I have yet to see any published statement by any orgonomist defending the legal rights of individuals who happen to have a sexual pathology. Until orgonomy clarifies this distinction, many who would otherwise find orgonomy attractive will consider orgonomy hopelessly reactionary and repressive.

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