25 Oct Petition: To the Editorial Board of Psychology Today

To the Editorial Board of Psychology Today:

We respectfully submit this petition and supporting materials to the officers and editors of Psychology Today in support of our formal request that you reconsider your editorial stance against discussing and naming issues directly related to sexual addiction, pornography addiction, sexual compulsivity, hypersexual disorder and out-of-control sexual behavior. We (who have signed the enclosed petition) believe we are experiencing (as a field of study and as individual treatment providers) a form of persistent editorial discrimination both in your features and edits to our blogs, which neither serves our profession as a whole nor those troubled individuals whom we all seek to help.

Despite discussions with your individual editors (without resolve) and multiple “letters to the editor” (none of which have seen publication), we have not found a way to break through what feels like a wall of silence. We have written and signed this petition because we know of no other way to call into question what has become a clear bias against the good work we do and those we serve. The voices of the few, however loud they may shout, should not be allowed to preclude an honest, open, scientific discussion. Yet this is just what appears to have happened.

We do not believe it our job to be the “sex police”; we are not “sexual conservatives” as such. Nor do we believe it to be in the interest of any client for us to bring our own cultural, religious or ethical biases into our clinical work. Our work does not discriminate against anyone due to sexual orientation, gender identity, or non-offending, individual patterns of sexual arousal even if those concerns are ego-dystonic to the client.

As Psychology Today is a for-profit business, we want you to be aware of the size of some of our organizations. The national non-profit SASH (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health) comprises approximately 350 professionals. The International Institute on Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) has approximately 1,800 professionals. Collectively, we are the largest organized providers of treatment and education about problematic sexual behavior in the United States.

As you know, many of these professionals subscribe to Psychology Today, blog for Psychology Today, and advertise on your website. But as you can fully understand, none of us can or will continue to collectively support a publication that denies our existence and the reality of the problems we treat.

What we ask of you is the respectful inclusion of our work in your content provision, allowing a full spectrum of human sexual behavior to be discussed in writings about such issues. We further request that your editorial team allow those of us who blog for you to write about our work and the population we treat using the language of our clients and our field without fear of further censorship.

Please see the enclosed printouts of our signatures, and supporting items from some of our petition signatories.

Thank you for considering our collective request.