November 7, 2009.
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Author:||Eliot, Alexandra O.|
|Publication:||Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075|
|Issue:||Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 4|
To the editorial staff of the Annals of the American Psychotherapy
I am responding to two letters forwarded to me by Editor Tanja Kern from Dr. Julie Smart with reference to my recent article "Adolescent Alliance Building," in which the latter stated several criticisms:
1) Dr. Smart is absolutely correct about my omission of one of the references; i.e., that of Richard A. Stevick. This was in the rough copy of my reference list and mistakenly omitted from the final draft. The citation is Stevick, R. (2007). Growing up Amish: The teenage years. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. As far as I recall, the book did not include commentary about the Mormon Church.
2) Regarding Dr. Smart's critique of my use of the phrase, "misogynous atmosphere regulating adolescent behavior" on page 13, she is also correct in stating that the word misogyny is derived from the Greek, meaning "hatred of women;" e.g., as defined in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1966). However, this is the literal definition of a word that, like many others, has become more nuanced and modified in contemporary usage. A brief example of the evolution of this word follows its definition in The Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (3rd Edition), Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin (1992), that cites a quote by the feminist author, Robin Morgan.
It is my understanding that since its founding by Joseph Smith in 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has remained patriarchal in its organization and hierarchy, and adolescents of both sexes are influenced by the tenets of its faith. The key word here is patriarchal, implying the embrace of doctrinal teachings and practices in which males may be mandated to oversee the behavior of, but certainly not espouse hatred toward, women. This was the context in which I used the phrase. In my deployment of the adjectival use of the word, I neglected to add the caveat that the behavior of Mormon adolescents tends to be in accordance with the Church's spiritual and cultural tenets. I regret any confusion this phrase may have generated to obfuscate the spirit and theme of the article.
Alexandra O. Eliot, PhD
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