Melissa Farely

(202 Posts)
MsAnnTeak Tue 11-Oct-11 13:15:15

Has been a leading light for radical feminists The American clinical psychologist, researcher and feminist anti-pornography and anti-prostitution activistis best known for her studies of the effects of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual violence. Much of her reasearch has been quoted on the above issues and has been highly influential in forming policies across the globe.
Recently there has been a formal complaint lodged against her and there are moves to have the APA rescind her membership.
Canadian courts have found Dr Farley to be a less than reliable witness,
finding her evidence ?to be problematic?, believing her work is
unethical, unbecoming of a psychologist, and is in breach of at least sections 5.01 and 8.10of the APA?s Code of Ethics, perhaps more.

sex-work-2010-reference-group.googlegroups.com/attach/a3b87993a830d0da/Complaint+to+APA+_Melissa+Farley.pdf?gda=11biokcAAAAASGXV9xe26yC0z09q-oJkzQiIpGuuFVKvv_B1Trw6bJCxwZJKsAB7Jsg1500Mx6obQwFxJw55cVwemAxM-EWmeV4duv6pDMGhhhZdjQlNAw&view=1&part=4&hl=en The document is 115 Pages long.

If it's upheld and her membership is rescinded will we all have to have a rethink ?

masterchef1 Thu 02-May-13 02:43:13

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

namioe Sun 21-Apr-13 21:26:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Zombie thread.

blackcurrantjan Sat 20-Apr-13 01:28:40

interview with former prostitute This womans story gives a real insite into the harsh reality of prostitution.

smackingnotharmfull Fri 19-Apr-13 17:00:02

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

GothAnneGeddes Wed 19-Oct-11 01:25:02

Free from logical thinking more like.

Here's why the Iraq war comparison doesn't stack up. Are you ready?

Over 100,000 people died as a direct result of the Iraq war. Direct meaning that they died due to injuries from the military hardware used against them.

0 people have died as a result of Farley's research. In words: Zero people, i.e nobody has died as a result of Farley's research.

Someone finding it less acceptable to "procure" a women for sex because of someone's research is not the same as the researcher encouraging or inciting murder.

Someone finding it less acceptable to profit from sexual exploitation because of someone's research is not the same as the researcher encouraging or inciting murder.

The comparison you make is as erroneous as it is offensive. Please stop making it.

In short:

Feminists don't rape, beat, torture, rob or murder prostitutes, men do.

LeBOOOf Tue 18-Oct-11 20:24:13

I found a hat on the pavement today. Free. A wooly one.

MsAnnTeak Tue 18-Oct-11 20:20:19

Skrumble, has to be the free thinking camp.

Beachcomber Tue 18-Oct-11 17:25:33

Study which replicates Farley's findings.

Full study

PubMed listing

skrumle Tue 18-Oct-11 17:16:24

"Thank you for allaying any doubts I may have had regarding your feminist leanings, you belong the the radical feminist camp."

i really am interested (since you ignored my question first time round) - which "camp" do you belong in???

Beachcomber Tue 18-Oct-11 17:14:48

Thank you for allaying any doubts I may have had regarding your feminist leanings, you belong the the radical feminist camp.

What an odd thing to post hmm. It comes across as rather creepy.

Beachcomber Tue 18-Oct-11 17:08:51

Nope still lost on the Iraq thing.

Farley has done lots of studies and lots of work with prostituted women. Sometimes the women are described as meeting criteria for PTSD, sometimes they are described as qualifying for a diagnosis, sometimes they are described as actually having a diagnosis. Lots of prostituted women have a diagnosis of PTSD, sadly.

My reading of Farley's research is that she differentiates between the different situations and describes the methods used to assess for qualifying for a diagnosis of PTSD or meeting the criteria for PTSD - she uses the standard number of symptoms of the standard symptoms as approved by the APA. That is because Farley uses the APA official DSM-IV criteria for assessing a person for PTSD.

My point was that Farley does not give someone a diagnosis of PTSD, on the basis of a few written questions, in the way that Bennachie implies she does. I would have thought that all of that would be clear to someone who reads her papers (from start to finish, including all the boring 'methods' bits.)

I don't suppose saying; 'Farley claims that prostituted women meet the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD according to the standard APA official DSM-IV method' would have sounded quite so damning though would it?

I'm a bit of a stickler for detail you see.

Are you disputing the APA approved DSM-IV criteria? Are you disputing that prostituted women meet criterion A or show symptoms for the other criteria? Are you disputing Farley's use of the DSM-IV criteria?

The criteria used, not only assess a person for PTSD, they also give an indication of severity. Prostituted women routinely have a PTSD sum indicator in the 50s - this is the same score, in the same test as that of Vietnam War veterans.

MsAnnTeak Tue 18-Oct-11 14:24:31

Iraq. A war waged, based on misinformation, the media being involved in building a case for it, not verifying facts and the supression of an alternate view.

Beachcomber, thank you for the clarification on PTSD, Ms. Farley says they meet several of the criteria, which is not the same as have been diagnosed with PTSD.
Soldiers on active duty spring to mind for possibly fitting the criteria for PTSD, yet wouldn't necessarily be suffering from the condition, or be diagnosed as such. Consideration would need to be taken of facts outwith the active duty.

A basic google search results in first link -

"Prostitution, Violence Against Women, and Posttraumatic Stress ...www.prostitutionresearch.com/ProsViolPosttrauStress.htmlCached - Similar
by M Farley - Cited by 230 - Related articles
by Melissa Farley, PhD and Howard Barkan, DrPH (*) ... Several previous studies suggest that the incidence of PTSD among those prostituted is likely to be high. ..."

Suggests PTSD has been diagnosed, which you have pointed out is not the same as 'meet several of the criteria'. Prostitutionresearch is Melissa Farley's site ? It's easy to see where the public and groups involved with violence against women could easily conclude it was proven beyond resonable doubt given a questionaire was distributed and Melissa Farley PhD is a well established reasearcher and capable of making such assessments.

On the same search page -


"NightLight | Facts About Prostitutionnightlightinternational.com/resources/facts-about-prostitution/Cached - Similar
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
The following statistics are results from a study by Melissa Farley and Norma ... women in prostitution suffer from PTSD, a psychological reaction to extreme ..."

Again states ''women in prostitution suffer from PTSD''.

Hope this is now tying in with Iraq ? We were lead from ''Saddam Hussein may have WMD'' to "Saddam Hussein has WMD". Use of the word 'has' suggests it's been proven.

Melissa Farley "women fit the criteria for PTSD" to "women in prostitution suffer from PTSD".

Is she lying, purposely leading people to draw false conclusions, etc, I have no idea. As a PhD psychologist she studies human behaviour and the mind , and as part of her studies, from that position she's aware of manipulation and how to influence.

Thank you for allaying any doubts I may have had regarding your feminist leanings, you belong the the radical feminist camp.

"Is the conclusion of this thread going to be that pimps, happy hookers, johns, and people who disagree with radical feminism don't like Ms Farley, her views and her work?"

Do pimps, happy hookers and johns know much about her work to be able to form an opinion either way ? There are those who may not like, or agree with her views and can form their own opinions. Equally there are those who know nothing of the work of Melissa Farley but could be influenced by her findings once reported to the wider media and presented as truth.
Her academic studies are different. If they're not up to recognised academic standards, found to be highly flawed and showing invalid data once peer reviewed, it's foolish to conclude your bias to it is down to not having a radical feminist stance. It's because it's not proven as a factual piece, yet presented over and over again as fact - an oversight of little concern when preaching to the convereted methinks.

Beachcomber Mon 17-Oct-11 19:29:26

I'm afraid I'm still lost on the Iraq war thing.

Are you calling Ms Farley a blatant liar? I would be cautious of doing that on public forum.

The problem with attacking her, for making claims about diagnosing PTSD in prostituted women, by using a questionnaire, is that it is a strawman.

She doesn't diagnose the people in question with PTSD - she says that they meet several of the criteria for the condition. Most people with standard empathy skills, find such that idea pretty concerning and worthy of further exploration. They don't think that the person who played a major role in allowing prostituted women to express how their trauma and distress manifests, should be silenced.

It is rather remiss of Bennachie to have misrepresented her work again. Of course I have read the report in full - I found it a bit hard to take seriously though with its rather personal tone and false accusations that Farley wishes to stigmatize prostituted women and have them criminalized hmm. For some reason the phrases 'axe to grind' and 'vested interest' kept popping into my head.

I have read the document you link to. It reads to me like a 'what about the johnz' statement. The authors disagree with the basic premise that the institution of prostitution, as it happens in the world today, is inherently violent and a barrier to gender equality. In other words they disagree with the radical feminist view on prostitution - and they don't think radical feminists have the right to explore the issue because they disagree with radical feminism and its questioning of the status quo.

The above is a subjective position and a political one.

Pretty standard patriarchal stuff really.

Is the conclusion of this thread going to be that pimps, happy hookers, johns, and people who disagree with radical feminism don't like Ms Farley, her views and her work? Well knock me down with a feather! Quelle surprise!

I'm still interested in any answers you might have to the questions I asked you previously. When you have a moment.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 17-Oct-11 19:18:22

You are comparing fighting the idea that women and children are sex objects for purchase to the Iraq War?!

You honestly think a man who profits from the wholesale exploitation of women is some kind of hero?

Elsewhere on this board there was a thread started by a woman living in a country where sexual services are openly bought and sold. Rich expats think nothing of buying a blow job every lunch time. Paying a woman for what ever sexual act you want is the norm. If you pay enough, you could get a young child to do it for you. It's a free market, so the customer is king, not the prostitutes.

Does this sound like paradise to you? Does this sound like something worth fighting for, or fighting against.

All the decrim system has to offer is a two tier system, there will still be those on the bottom being exploited.

For Farley and those who agree with her, no level of exploitation is acceptable, so no truce with the prostitution industry is acceptable.

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 17:18:57

Blast, posted instead of previewed.

http://www.scot-pep.org.uk/A%20commentary%20on%20challenging%20men's%20demand%20for%20prostitution%20in%20Scotland.pdf

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 17:17:02

Beachcomber, sorry you are lost on Iraqi it was not my intention. Women and children suffering a war based on blatant lies tends to get my blood boiling. The point I was trying to make is much of the abolishionist speak is based on words such as seemed, probably, may be, likely, without many actual facts to base it on. Would find it difficult to imagine you hadn't also.

Bennachie complaint as a stand alone is well written and each point her raises tends to be backed with facts. Have you read the complaint in full ?
Melissa Farley has been criticised on numerous pieces of work, not only those on Wikipedia, a search of the internet and you find http://www.scot-pep.org.uk/A%20commentary%20on%20challenging%20men's%20demand%20for%20prostitution%20in%20Scotland.pdf where academics question the vailidity of her work. Bennachie isn't listed as one of them.

As a clinical psychologist Melissa Farley must be aware of the procedure which has to be followed for obtaining a diagnosis for PTSD (you can check out the APA website. It's not simply having persons completeing a questionaire).
If this has not been followed using approved methods she can not claim 100% those women were suffering from it. Mentioned already, she does have critics, in full knowledge of this why would she flout procedure ?

Beachcomber Mon 17-Oct-11 12:38:45

I'm afraid you have rather lost me with all this rather bizarre and utterly irrelevant talk of the Iraqi war.

I'm rather surprised that you don't have any opinions about how to regulate prostitution considering that your posts suggest you are for legalized brothels.

I have a few questions for you - do you have any impartial (ie not written by someone with a financial or other interest) information on how legal, state controlled prostitution is a Good Thing for women and for gender equality?

Do you have any information which backs up the claims made by Callum Bennachie? Do you have any information which shows that Bennachie does not have a financial interest in legal prostitution in New Zealand? Can you explain why he constantly misrepresents Ms Farley as someone who wants to stigmatize women in prostitution and who wishes to have them criminalized (which is a bit stoopid really considering she supports the Swedish Model which everyone knows decriminalizes the women) ? Are you comfortable with the fact that he fails to disclose that he works for an organisation that gives advice to people on how to set up brothels - a potential conflict of interest?

The fact that he can't seem to grasp the basic premise of Ms Farley's work (or wilfully misrepresents it) and that he seems to think she should be removed from the APA, and discredited completely and totally in everything she has done, on the basis of some pretty weak claims, makes me a bit sceptical about his impartiality and intellectual honesty.

Why are you so keen to unquestioningly believe him MsAnnTeak?

GrumpyInRepose Mon 17-Oct-11 11:10:41

grin yes it's absurd. I didn't make it.

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 10:42:18

Nope, it's the person who kills and rapes who is responsible not the victim's fault. What an absurd statement.
I pointed out there are countries where there is very little porn yet it is far more oppresive to women ? I didn't conclude anything.

GrumpyInRepose Mon 17-Oct-11 10:27:21

No it's ok - I get where you're coming from.

It's women's fault if the men become murderers and rapists.
And the lack of porn in say, the Middle East, is directly responsible for the low status of women there, rather than a different manifestation of the same underlying attitudes.

So, I don't think we'll ever see eye to eye, to put it mildly.

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 10:18:06

Have to logoff shortly due to an impending hair appointment, meaning I'll have to find the information requested at some later time. Also a bit of a bummer as I'll have to remember how I got to it originally. If you can't wait, or would prefer to search it out for yourself, try a google search. Input a string along the lines of hotels, charter, anti trafficking, USA and somewhere on the pages you should get a result.

GrumpyInRepose Mon 17-Oct-11 09:49:29

wow MsAnnTeak, you're pinning a lot on Beachcombers 's use of the word 'seemed' . Tenous at best.

I'm appalled that my DD's live in a world where prostitution is seen as a valid option if the worst comes to the worst. Jesus.

As for single women being spied upon in hotel rooms? Really? Though I'm not surprised that hotels want to keep an eye on room occupancy rates ie if you're paying b&b for one the hotel doesn't want to lose out. Indeed I know of hotels that procure prostitutes for single male travellers. have you got a source for this 'spying' claim?

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 09:46:42

(pressed post instead of preview)

... free movement to women in their society ?

MsAnnTeak Mon 17-Oct-11 09:43:23

Windsortides "I agree that there are many current drivers for misogny, but to claim that the sex and porn industries have nothing to do with it is just denial."

I believe the greatest factor which effects men are their mother. Women are the primary carers.
What are the factors which drive males to become women haters, to beat, rape, kill, mame ?
Look at some countries which have very little pornography, look at the rights of women and female children, are they worse or better off for no pornography, are they more embedded in a partriarchal society, are they more likely to have female gentital mutilation as part of their culture, do they allow ?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now