Slate published an excellent story this week on the battle over whether to include the theory of "Parental Alienation Syndrome" in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Like almost every other informed and disinterested observer who has assessed the validity of PAS, Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick takes a very dim view of the theory.
She also gracefully articulates the many reasons that the theory, as currently used as "scientific evidence" in family courts across the country, is pernicious. In a March cover story, SF Weekly described how PAS -- and its virtually identical variant, "Parental Alienation" or PA -- can be used by abusive fathers to win custody of children from protective mothers.
The theory of Parental Alienation, a term coined by the late pedophilia apologist Richard Gardner, posits that mothers maliciously brainwash their children to hold delusions of sexual abuse at the hands of an estranged father. As described by its adherents, PAS is probably the only supposed psychiatric condition that arises solely in the context of divorce proceedings, one of many reasons that reputable scientific and medical organizations such as the American Medical Association don't recognize it.
It's Not a Disease But Some people want it to Be.
The extraordinary fight over "parental alienation syndrome" and what it means for divorce cases.Read more at americanmotherspoliticalparty.org