O’Connor Joins Discussions on Canadian Television and New York Times

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by

Peg O'Connor

Peg O’Connor

Gustavus Adolphus College Professor of Philosophy and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Peg O’Connor made an appearance on a Canadian television show and had an article published by The New York Times earlier this week.

O’Connor joined three other guests on The Agenda with Steve Paikin — the flagship current affairs program of TVOntario — to discuss Russia, gay rights, and the Olympics. The panel examined Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay legislation, the divide between the West and Russia on homosexual rights, and how those issues are playing out during the Sochi Games.

The 37-minute segment on The Agenda can be viewed online.

O’Connor also had a piece on addiction printed by The New York Times as part of its Room For Debate series, where The Times invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss news events and other timely issues. O’Connor was one of six individuals invited to offer opinions on the debate topic “What is Addiction?”

O’Connor’s piece is titled “No Quick Fix or Simple Approach Will Do.” The following is an excerpt from the piece:

No one sets out to become an addict. People start using for all sorts of reasons — to have fun, be more social, fit in, relax, rebel or escape grim realities and painful emotions. But somewhere along the way, a person’s drug use and attitudes change. Addiction becomes a way of life in which a person yokes herself. The chain grows heavier and binds more tightly as the addiction progresses. Many addicts recognize this reality, and that recognition will prompt some to attempt to break those chains, and others to tighten them even more.

As far as treatment goes, there is no one-size-fits approach. Addiction has biological, chemical, social, psychological and, some would say, spiritual dimensions. Any effective treatment needs to be holistic and recognize this. This is in part why I bridle at the notion of an “addicted brain.” We are addicted people. One cannot treat the “brain” dimensions as if they are isolated from the others.

All six of the articles that were part of the debate can be read on the Times’ website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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