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APA Passes Resolution Against Ex-Gay Therapy, Finds “No Evidence” Change Therapy Works

Jim Burroway

August 5th, 2009

The American Psychological Association, meeting at their annual conference in Toronto, adopted a resolution today calling on mental health professionals to stop telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments. And in a direct challenge to NARTH and Exodus International, the resolution further calls on patients, guardians, families and other clients to avoid conversion therapy programs which portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder. Tha APA advises instead that people who are troubled by their sexual orientation should seek therapy, social support and educational services “that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”

The resolution, approved today by the APA’s governing Council of Representatives, is the result of a comprehensive 130-page study by the APA’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. That study looked at all peer-reviewed, English language studies published in the professional literature since 1960, and determined that:

There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation. Scientifically rigorous older work in this area … found that sexual orientation (i.e., erotic attractions and sexual arousal oriented to one sex or the other, or both) was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Some individuals appeared to learn how to ignore or limit their attractions. However, this was much less likely to be true for people whose sexual attractions were initially limited to people of the same sex.

The Task Force noted that some studies indicated that patients were able to change their identity, but that is the easy part. Simply saying “I’m not gay” is far different from actually changing sexual orientation:

Although there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation, some individuals modified their sexual orientation identity (i.e., group membership and affiliation), behavior, and values (Nicolosi et al., 2000). They did so in a variety of ways and with varied and npredictable outcomes, some of which were temporary (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002). Based on the available data, additional claims about the meaning of those outcomes are scientifically unsupported.

The complete resolution is attached at the end of this post. It is also available on the APA’s web site, along with the full report and press release.

I’m only about a quarter of the way through the APA’s accompanying 130-page review, but I’m very impressed with what I see so far. Unlike NARTH’s so-called study, the APA took a very disciplined approach in determining what studies to look at. They began be establishing clear standards to determine what studies to include in their review (all peer-reviewed English-language studies published since 1960), which is very unlike NARTH’s approach, which was to ignore studies and obfuscate data that didn’t fit the message they wanted to present. And unlike the APA’s report, NARTH relied heavily on references which were not peer-reviewed, including pop-psychology books from the 1960s and 1970s which promoted such fads as “primal scream” therapy and advising readers on how to “be your own best friend.”

The latest APA resolution does not ban conversion therapy outright — it doesn’t say, for example, “from here on and henceforth no therapist shall perform SOCE — but given the resolution’s comprehensive conclusions, it’s hard to see how conversion therapy as currently practiced by NARTH and other major ex-gay organizations can continue to be regarded as ethical or acceptable. These points appear to be particularly relevant to change efforts overall:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation;

And this one, which is especially relevant to NARTH, Exodus International, and other anti-gay organizations pushing change therapies:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association opposes the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality by individuals and organizations seeking to influence public policy and public opinion and will take a leadership role in responding to such distortions;

The resolution also recognizes that:

Those operating from religious/spiritual traditions are encouraged to recognize that it is outside their role and expertise to adjudicate empirical scientific issues in psychology, while also recognizing they can appropriately speak to theological implications of psychological science

With this resolution, it now appears that NARTH, Exodus International, Courage, Evergreen International, and other groups are now firmly outside the accepted practices of the APA. I expect that their reaction will be just what we’ve seen before: “the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality by individuals and organizations seeking to influence public policy and public opinion.”

A Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts

Research Summary
The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation (Bell, Weinberg & Hammersmith, 1981; Bullough, 1976; Ford & Beach 1951; Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953). Homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder (APA, 1975). Since 1974, the American Psychological Association (APA) has opposed stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and has taken a leadership role in supporting the equal rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals (APA, 2005).

APA is concerned about ongoing efforts to mischaracterize homosexuality and promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed and about the resurgence of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). SOCE has been controversial due to tensions between the values held by some faith based organizations, on the one hand, and those held by lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights organizations and professional and scientific organizations, on the other (Drescher, 2003; Drescher & Zucker, 2006).

Some individuals and groups have promoted the idea of homosexuality as symptomatic of developmental defects or spiritual and moral failings and have argued that SOCE, including psychotherapy and religious efforts, could alter homosexual feelings and behaviors (Drescher & Zucker, 2006; Morrow & Beckstead, 2004). Many of these individuals and groups appeared to be embedded within the larger context of conservative religious political movements that have supported the stigmatization of homosexuality on political or religious grounds (Drescher, 2003; Drescher & Zucker, 2006; Southern Poverty Law Center, 2005). Psychology, as a science, and various faith traditions, as theological systems, can acknowledge and respect their profoundly different methodological and philosophical viewpoints. The APA concludes that psychology must rely on proven methods of scientific inquiry based on empirical data, on which hypotheses and propositions are confirmed or disconfirmed, as the basis to explore and understand human behavior (APA, 2008a; 2008c). In response to these concerns, APA appointed the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation to review the available research on SOCE and to provide recommendations to the association. The task force reached the following findings.

Recent studies of participants in SOCE identify a population of individuals who experience serious distress related to same sex sexual attractions. Most of these participants are Caucasian males who report that their religion is extremely important to them (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Nicolosi, Byrd, & Potts, 2000; Schaeffer, Hyde, Kroencke, McCormick, & Nottebaum, 2000; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002, Spitzer, 2003). These individuals report having pursued a variety of religious and secular efforts intended to help them change their sexual orientation. To date, the research has not fully addressed age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, disability, language, and socioeconomic status in the population of distressed individuals. There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation. Scientifically rigorous older work in this area (e.g., Birk, Huddleston, Miller, & Cohler, 1971; James, 1978; McConaghy, 1969, 1976; McConaghy, Proctor, & Barr, 1972; Tanner, 1974, 1975) found that sexual orientation (i.e., erotic attractions and sexual arousal oriented to one sex or the other, or both) was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Some individuals appeared to learn how to ignore or limit their attractions. However, this was much less likely to be true for people whose sexual attractions were initially limited to people of the same sex.

Although sound data on the safety of SOCE are extremely limited, some individuals reported being harmed by SOCE. Distress and depression were exacerbated. Belief in the hope of sexual orientation change followed by the failure of the treatment was identified as a significant cause of distress and negative self-image (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002).

Although there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation, some individuals modified their sexual orientation identity (i.e., group membership and affiliation), behavior, and values (Nicolosi et al., 2000). They did so in a variety of ways and with varied and unpredictable outcomes, some of which were temporary (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002). Based on the available data, additional claims about the meaning of those outcomes are scientifically unsupported.

On the basis of the task force’s findings, the APA encourages mental health professionals to provide assistance to those who seek sexual orientation change by utilizing affirmative multiculturally competent (Bartoli & Gillem, 2008; Brown, 2006) and clientcentered approaches (e.g., Beckstead & Israel, 2007; Glassgold, 2008; Haldeman, 2004; Lasser & Gottlieb, 2004) that recognize the negative impact of social stigma on sexual minorities (Herek, 2009; Herek & Garnets, 2007) and balance ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity (APA, 1998, 2002; Davison, 1976; Haldeman, 2002; Schneider, Brown, & Glassgold, 2002).

Resolution

WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association expressly opposes prejudice (defined broadly) and discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion,  sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status (APA, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008c);

WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association takes a leadership role in opposing prejudice and discrimination (APA, 2008b, 2008c), including prejudice based on or derived from religion or spirituality, and encourages commensurate consideration of religion and spirituality as diversity variables (APA, 2008c);

WHEREAS, Psychologists respect human diversity including age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status (APA, 2002) and psychologists strive to prevent bias from their own spiritual, religious, or non-religious beliefs from taking precedence over professional practice and standards or scientific findings in their work as psychologists (APA, 2008c);

WHEREAS, Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that it is outside the role and expertise of psychologists, as psychologists, to adjudicate religious or spiritual tenets, while also recognizing that psychologists can appropriately speak to the psychological implications of religious/spiritual beliefs or practices when relevant psychological findings about those implications exist (APA, 2008b);

WHEREAS, Those operating from religious/spiritual traditions are encouraged to recognize that it is outside their role and expertise to adjudicate empirical scientific issues in psychology, while also recognizing they can appropriately speak to theological implications of psychological science (APA, 2008b);

WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association encourages collaborative activities in pursuit of shared prosocial goals between psychologists and religious communities when such collaboration can be done in a mutually respectful manner that is consistent with psychologists’ professional and scientific roles (APA, 2008b);

WHEREAS, Societal ignorance and prejudice about a same-sex sexual orientation places some sexual minorities 2 at risk for seeking sexual orientation change due to personal, family, or religious conflicts, or lack of information (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; Haldeman, 1994; Ponticelli, 1999; Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002; Wolkomir, 2001);

WHEREAS, Some mental health professionals advocate treatments based on the premise that homosexuality is a mental disorder (e.g., Nicolosi, 1991; Socarides, 1968);

WHEREAS, Sexual minority children and youth are especially vulnerable populations with unique developmental tasks (Perrin, 2002; Ryan & Futterman, 1997), who lack adequate legal protection from involuntary or coercive treatment (Arriola, 1998; Burack & Josephson, 2005; Molnar, 1997) and whose parents and guardians need accurate information to make informed decisions regarding their development and well-being (Cianciotto & Cahill, 2006; Ryan & Futterman, 1997); and

WHEREAS, Research has shown that family rejection is a predictor of negative outcomes (Remafedi, Farrow, & Deisher, 1991; Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009; Savin-Williams, 1994; Wilber, Ryan, & Marksamer, 2006) and that parental acceptance and school support are protective factors (D’Augelli, 2003; D’Augelli, Hershberger & Pilkington, 1998; Goodenow, Szalacha, & Westheimer, 2006; Savin-Williams, 1989) for sexual minority youth;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,
That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,
That the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that the emerging knowledge on affirmative multiculturally competent treatment provides a foundation for an appropriate evidence-based practice with children, adolescents and adults who are distressed by or seek to change their sexual orientation (Bartoli & Gillem, 2008; Brown, 2006; Martell, Safren & Prince, 2004; Ryan & Futterman, 1997; Norcross, 2002);

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages practitioners to consider the ethical concerns outlined in the 1997 APA Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation (American Psychological Association, 1998), in particular the following standards and principles: scientific bases for professional judgments, benefit and harm, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages practitioners to be aware that age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, disability, language, and socioeconomic status may interact with sexual stigma, and contribute to variations in sexual orientation identity development, expression, and experience;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association opposes the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality by individuals and organizations seeking to influence public policy and public opinion and will take a leadership role in responding to such distortions;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association supports the dissemination of accurate scientific and professional information about sexual orientation in order to counteract bias that is based in lack of knowledge about sexual orientation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages advocacy groups, elected officials, mental health professionals, policy makers, religious professionals and organizations, and other organizations to seek areas of collaboration that may promote the wellbeing of sexual minorities.

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Bwahhahahhaaaaaaa.

Our tentacles are long, our influence unlimited. Yet another scientific organuizationhas been co-opted by agendist HOMOSEXUALS.

Quo
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Your post describes primal therapy (which you mistakenly refer to as “primal scream therapy”) as a “fad.” Primal therapy happens to be one of the most important movements in the entire history of psychotherapy. Its emergence as an influential therapy was a momentous event, the importance of which has never been fully understood.

While I would not agree with everything it says, I find The Primal Scream to be an important and insightful book, especially where homosexuality is concerned. Janov’s ideas about homosexuality from 1970 are in many ways much closer to the truth than the politically oorrect views that have become fashionable. NARTH has no reason to be ashamed to refer to primal therapy.

Jason D
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

and science wins out over ignorance and prejudice again!

Ben in Oakland
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

“NARTH has no reason to be ashamed to refer to primal therapy.”

That’s probably the only thing they don’t have to be ashamed of.

Quo
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D,

This resolution is more about propaganda than science. It says that, “the American Psychological Association opposes the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality.” Well, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

They claim that “the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality”. The idea that homosexuality is “positive” is a value judgment, not a finding of science, as the APA absurdly suggests.

Burr
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

“Primal therapy happens to be one of the most important movements in the entire history of psychotherapy.”

Bwahahaha!

Primal therapy has not achieved broad acceptance in mainstream psychology.[19][20] It has been frequently criticized as lacking outcome studies to prove its effectiveness.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28] It is regarded as one of the least creditable forms of psychotherapy.[19]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primal_therapy#Criticism_of_Primal_Therapy

Regan DuCasse
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Quo…how so?. Because heterosexuality has never had scientific assessment on being BETTER or moral, compared to homosexuality, but that doesn’t stop the majority of people to assume that heterosexuals, with NO requirement to be positive, moral or better, are allowed rights and freedoms as ‘inalienable’ and a birth entitlement.

Homosexuality, isn’t in and of itself, NEGATIVE.
And a scientific body CAN make that assessment because in assessing SEXUAL orientation, not sub behaviors that distinguish individuals…that at least is an HONEST value judgment.

David Farrell
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Unfortunately the people who really need to hear and receive this information, most of them won’t. The majority of fundamentalists and probably evangelicals believe the APA, AMA. etc. to be “deceived by the devil” and their interpretation of the bible trumps the “science community”.

Burr
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Gee the SCIENCE seems to say that homosexual relationships if anything, are even more positive that heterosexual ones..

“The findings also showed that same-sex couples, regardless of civil union status, were more satisfied with their relationships compared to married heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples reported more positive feelings toward their partners and less conflict than heterosexual married couples, said the authors.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080122101929.htm

Looks like the only one passing value judgments is you and your fellow espousers of myths, Quo.

Penguinsaur
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Quo defending bigots and spouting standard bigot bullsh*t about the overwhelming majority of scientists being ‘propaganda’ compared to NARTH and its blatant bigotry? I’m shocked! SHOCKED! well not that shocked…

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Quo your idea that gayness as a positive is a “value” judgment and not a finding of science is utter poppycock. Science makes value judgment all the time, if it didn’t it would be utterly useless – a science that didn’t assign the “value” judgment that disease and untimely death are bad would never have assisted us in living better lives.

Quo
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

“Science” doesn’t make value judgments, or indeed do anything else at all, since science per se is an abstraction. Individual scientists may make value judgments, but they are betraying themselves as very poor scientists indeed if they claim those judgments as scientific findings, which is what the APA did. The example you give about disease shows such confusion that it’s not really worth rebutting.

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Don’t be a fool Quo, science makes value judgments all the time. If scientists didn’t make the value judgement that obtaining certain knowledge was a good idea science would have never learned anything at all. It is of course a scientific finding when we note it is better to live disease free than die before our time. It is of course a scientific finding when we note that gayness, by its virtue of making people happy and supportive of each other, is a positive variation of human sexuality.

Timothy Kincaid
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

I appreciate Quo’s participation if, for no other reason, because he accurately portrays a mindset to which the rest of us are not frequently presented.

But sometimes he makes me want to scream. Primally.

Quo
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

You are confusing value judgments that make people practice science, which are important and valid, with value judgments produced by science, which are nonsense. Your “of courses” don’t prove anything – someone could declare that early death was good and laudable, and science couldn’t prove otherwise.

The APA are simply making asses of themselves by claiming that science has somehow proven that homosexuality is “positive”, but hopefully their making such obviously absurd claims will discourage anyone from taking them seriously.

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks for demonstrating the foolishness of your position Quo. I like that – “someone could declare that early death was good and laudable, and science couldn’t prove otherwise.”.

I couldn’t sum up how wrong you are than you have yourself.

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

That should say “I couldn’t sum up how wrong you are better than you have yourself.”

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

And Quo, I might add that is hilarious that someone who says “opposite sex attractions and relationships are preferable to their same sex equivalents is perfectly true” would then suggest science can’t make value judgments. If you believe the latter you have no basis to claim the former.

Emily K
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

I’m loving Quo’s comments. With such an ironclad statement coming from the APA, it’s no wonder he’s feeling threatened and pissed off. The best he could do now is to dismiss the APA as being overrun by “politically correct liberals” who have an “agenda” against people who have the “correct” view of homosexuality as being crooked and stilted.

His argument about whether science is crossing a line saying homosexuality is “positive” (meaning, inherently good) is of course, a strawman one. I for one view that a person’s sexual orientation does not add to nor take away from their ability to be a “positive” or “negative” force in nature. He would have probably agree had they said “mostly negative but natural nonetheless.” It still would have been just as made of straw.

The APA has spoken on ex-gay “therapy,” that no matter how benevolent it might be for people, (although I’ve mostly heard the opposite,) it is ineffective and unscientific.

Science prevails.

Aaron
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

When I was in Love In Action, John Smid regaled us of how homosexual protesters had hijacked the APA in 1973 and that all research on homosexuality had been suspended since then. He claimed that all reports on homosexuality since then were the result of liberal political pressure groups.

I suppose then, that this is their masterpiece…

Burr
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

What’s funny is Quo keeps eating up all the lies even though his own personal intimate experience has shown how false the claims he defends are. He posits that homosexuality isn’t positive, but his phony ex-gay attempts are nothing but decidedly negative. What else would possess him to waste his life away trolling on this site?

Candcae
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Kudos to the APA.

Chad
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

f you go to websites like Evergreen International’s and read the papers of certain “ex-gay therapists”, even they often admit that there’s always a chance of “regressing” or at best that a person’s overall sex drive will be diminished.

Sometimes I wonder if ex-gay patients actually do know that homosexual feelings cannot be “cured”, but they still want “techniques” they think they need to lead the faux-heterosexual lives they crave.

grantdale
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Quo’s problem is his own tragedy.

The APA is not making a value judgement. It need not. The APA has examined human sexuality per se and found it can indeed contribute positively to the lives of people.

No, not just opposite-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors … but same-sex ones as well; they being also concluded not to arise from some mental failing. Hence, concluded, not value judged, it too is a “normal and positive” variation of human sexuality. It’s also an obvious conclusion today, unless you want to use some outside-this-Universe measurement stick.

Quo simply cannot accept it, that’s all.

I really don’t care what Quo thinks about gravity either.

Quo
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

Burr,

Very few people who claim that change from homosexuality is possible say that it is easy, can be accomplished quickly, or is possible in all cases. There’s nothing surprising in the fact that I haven’t succeeded in changing my sexual orientation as yet (something I’m perfectly stoical about) and that doesn’t disprove anything I’ve said.

Grantdale,

If you don’t care what I think, then why did you comment on it?

Nancye
August 5th, 2009 | LINK

The APA’s findings merely reinforce what many gay people have demonstrated empirically

Quo
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I see this statement is already being distorted by the media, in the same way that earlier studies of biological influences on sexual orientation were.

It states that, “There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation”, but that has been misrepresented by CNN as the message that “Programs to change gays to straights don’t work” (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/05/gay.to.straight/index.html).

The bias of the American major media on this subject is completely outrageous.

William
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, you’ve said:

“There’s nothing surprising in the fact that I haven’t succeeded in changing my sexual orientation as yet”

(1) Do you really need to change your sexual orientation?

(2) If so, why?

(3) How long have you been trying to change it?

(4) Having been so far unsuccessful in your efforts, how much longer would you need to keep trying unsuccessfully before concluding that it’s not going to happen?

(5) If you were eventually to conclude that it’s not going to happen, what would you do then? How would you feel about the years of your life and the huge amounts of emotional energy that had been needlessly squandered on this chimera?

BeckySue in Poway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Quo has a valid point in that the APA explicitly says they CANNOT conclude that SOCE does or doesn’t work. (The APA hasn’t really proven whether any therapy works for anything).

However, they kind of made it sound like aversion therapy did work. That is weird because Jim’s earlier article criticized the NARTH study for including aversion therapy in its survey in a pretty similar way. The APA also only had one sentence that I saw that referred negatively to aversion therapy. Even that was to simply comment on how behaviorists became concerned about aversive therapies (p. 24).

The bottom line is that nobody wants to be treated like they are evil. Especially our vulnerable children who find themselves attracted to the same sex. How difficult adolescence is even without the realization that not only are you different from your peers, but your religion says such ones are perverts. What a painful, fearful journey for a child to make alone and unsupported!

NARTH’s literature taught me a better way. Some in my religion wanted me to shun my child in her course of coming out and dating which would have increased her odds of getting involved in drug use. NARTH taught me to heal the breach while holding to my values. I needed and got their support to love my child unconditionally and stay connected. NARTH represents a progressive improvement in what is sought by religious strugglers and their families. In fact, I have used NARTH literature to help religious families reconnect with their shunned children.

We are not chemically driven bumble bees. We are intricate and extraordinary “strange loops” (Hofstadter), which weave our souls out of a mix of genes and environment. A lot our identity must be learned relationally since there is only so much room on the genome and since we must be able to “adapt.” Once it consolidates, how much plasticity remains? NARTH is exploring this in terms of our sexual identities. This science is a long ways from being understood. Hopefully, they can continue their research.

Finally, mental health professionals must be holistic with other measures of health. The individual exists within a population of which optimal function is measured along many parameters. Economically, epidemiologically, drug use, violence, balance with environment. It is the larger community that must judge what constitutes a healthy population and how to promote such within their framework of values.

CPT_Doom
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Quo has a valid point in that the APA explicitly says they CANNOT conclude that SOCE does or doesn’t work. (The APA hasn’t really proven whether any therapy works for anything).

Yes, but that’s simply the scientific way of saying “this doesn’t work.” Scientists always have to leave open the possibility that a) their findings are flat out wrong, no matter how well they’ve followed the scientific method or b) that additional research will arise that will contradict some, but not all, of their conclusions.

In fact, part of the standard format for scientific papers pretty much requires, in the final “Discussion” section, that the researcher acknowledge the limitations of their research and conclude that “further study is necessary.” One of my psych professors used to call it the “anti-ego statement.”

What is important is that this is about the strongest statement against ex-gay “therapy” that the APA can make. When an organization as important as the APA looks at ALL the research for a half century and concludes that there is absolutely no evidence that these programs work, that is very damning. Even more importantly, the APA is explicitly encouraging an alternative approach to achieve the “benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts” – but that approach “not attempt to change sexual orientation.” That says to me “avoid all the ex-gay programs.”

m. hupka
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I think APA’s “findings” reflect more about the society we live in than the roots of SSA/homosexuality.

William
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

That sounds interesting, m. hupka. Could you be more explicit, please?

Emily K
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t think the APA was trying to make a comment about the origin of homosexuality. I think it was commenting on how ex-gay therapy doesn’t work.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Beckysue said ” It is the larger community that must judge what constitutes a healthy population and how to promote such within their framework of values.”.

Nonsense. We have experts making these judgements because they have the training and knowledge to do it best. The general population does not have the expertise to make such calls. By taking your statement to its ultimate conclusion we’d have the general population voting on how to treat depression and schizophrenia – clearly a foolish idea.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

M. Hubka said “I think APA’s “findings” reflect more about the society we live in than the roots of SSA/homosexuality.”.

To a degree I agree with you. The APA caved in to the prevailing societal whims when it suggested its a positive alternative for a gay client to become celebate to live within an anti-gay religious group. They further caved in to the prevailing zeitgeist when they erroneously suggested this would be an example of the client deciding for him/herself the goals of treatment. Of those that chose to reject their orientation virtually all do so because of someone else’s desires.

Swampfox
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I dare say that this report will not change anything done by groups such as NARTH and Exodus.

Jason D
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

“Yes, but that’s simply the scientific way of saying “this doesn’t work.” Scientists always have to leave open the possibility that a) their findings are flat out wrong, no matter how well they’ve followed the scientific method or b) that additional research will arise that will contradict some, but not all, of their conclusions.”

CPTDoom, exactly!

Science can’t be used to prove a negative, but it can show that there is no evidence, and after so many years of study, scientists generally give up studying. If time and time again they observe a cheese sandwhich and it never turns into a butterfly, eventually, they give up and move on to something else. After so many years, no evidence is defacto “NO GO” on something.

Think about it, let’s say we wait 120 years and that cheese sandwhich one day *poof* is a butterfly. What is the likelyhood this will happen again? After 700,000 cheese sandwhiches DON’T turn into butterflies, how does ONE example change all that? IT really doesn’t, as it’s so unlikely that it may as well be impossible.
The thing is, with Ex-gay therapy the failure rate is so high that it should be a non-starter. And the “successes” are all based on completely rebranding of the word “success” as it is in common usage.

BeckySue in Poway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn,
Here is an example of the larger community making such a judgement in this instance specifically about a paper published in an APA journal concerning consensual sex between adults and children. The House of Representative in the US passed the resolution linked below rejecting the conclusions of the paper.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=1999_record&page=H5341&position=all

Below is a wikipedia summary of the controversy.
“”The Rind et al. controversy was a unique historical debate in scientific literature, public media, and the US government, regarding a 1998 paper on child sexual abuse published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychological Bulletin[1]. Titled “A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse (CSA) using college samples,”[2] the paper was written by researchers Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman, following a related 1997 meta-analysis by Rind and Tromovitch in the Journal of Sex Research, published by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.[3]The debate resulted in the unprecedented condemnation of the paper by the United States House of Representatives.

The authors’ stated goal was “…to address the question: In the population of persons with a history of CSA [child sexual abuse], does this experience cause intense psychological harm on a widespread basis for both genders?” Some of the authors’ more controversial conclusions were:

Rind et al. contended that “CSA does not cause intense harm on a pervasive basis regardless of gender.” Simplified, Rind et al. (1998) found that 3 out of every 100 individuals in a CSA population had clinically significant problems (compared to 2 out of every 100 in a general population).[4]
Rind et al. contended that “An important reason why the assumed properties of CSA failed to withstand empirical scrutiny in the current review is that the construct of CSA, as commonly conceptualized by researchers, is of questionable scientific validity.”
Rind et al. contended that the degree of psychological damage was based on whether the child describes the encounter as consensual or not.
Numerous pro-pedophile advocacy organizations have quoted the Rind et al. paper in support of their efforts to lower or rescind age of consent laws, and defense attorneys have used the study to argue for minimizing harm in child sexual abuse cases. [5][6]“”

The APA mounted a vigorous defense of the paper calling it well reviewed. Additionally, note that they accepted verbal reports of “no harm” from the children yet reject such verbal reports of benefits from ex-gays in their report that came out yesterday.

We allow such organizations as the APA to make judgements within their purview and consistent with other social values held in common, but this demonstrates that the APA’s expertise and judgements only go so far.

In no way do I mean to imply that homosexuality and pedophilia are equivalent. They are not. But however well intentioned the APA is, they need their critics to maintain balance and credibility just as NARTH does also. Often those critics are the “larger community.” It is this process that helps us get nearer to policies that optimize the health of a population.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Oh, I agree BeckySue, the APA, like all organizations should have its critics, however, what you were proposing was that the general population’s opinion always take precedence over the APA which would be a severe mistake. You say “they accepted verbal reports of “no harm” from the children yet reject such verbal reports of benefits from ex-gays in their report that came out yesterday”. The difference is that children aren’t sophisticated liars and unlike the vast majority of “ex-gays” claiming no harm aren’t paid by organizations trying to promote that viewpoint. The study by Shidlo and Schroeder demonstrated that attempts to change people’s innate sexual orientation are indeed harmful and it is research like this which has overridden the lies of paid shills for the “exgay” industry.

BeckySue in Poway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

It would be sad to see NARTH discontinue such valuable research. So many here seem to have the consensus that NARTH is about “hate.” Yet, NARTH provides a needed rationale for some religions to reach out to their gay children with unconditional love rather than constant lectures or ultimatums or even worse, shunning.

The leadership of my religion has stood back from this controversial scientific issue by limiting their comments to explicit scriptures and admonitions to refrain from acting out. But sadly, this has left a substantial number of members with the belief that the “feelings” of gays are a choice. Because of this, gays are often afraid to confide in others who could otherwise be of support. Suicides have happened and are seen to be a failure of the individual rather than a failure of the community.

NARTH can sensitize parents and leaders to the emotional turmoil a child might be enduring. NARTH has promoted research and studies that highlight the importance of non-judgmental mentorship for congregants who are gay.

NARTH provides guidance to all those ministries who ARE going to pursue change counseling regardless of the APA. NARTH’s research makes those ministries more compassionate and less harmful by emphasizing client self determination AND by disclosing current research on therapy outcomes.

Penguinsaur
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

*7 paragraphs directly comparing a paper on child molestation to a paper on gays*
In no way do I mean to imply that homosexuality and pedophilia are equivalent.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Beckysue, Narth supports rejecting a core aspect of gay people. The are also responsible for the emotional turmoil some gay children go through. Narth is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The last thing Narth does is emphasize client self-determination. They lie to clients and tell them they’ll never be happy as gay people, they can’t find a lasting relationship, and that its harmful to be gay. Those seeking change through organizations like Narth are virtually all religiously motivated. They aren’t trying to change out of a personal choice, they are trying to do so because the authors of the bible oppose gay people. The bible doesn’t offer any rationale for why it’s supposed to be bad to be gay, it just says its bad and don’t do it. Anyone following that destructive advice is operating under the control of ancient and modern day bigots, not out of their own desires.

Jim Burroway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about the 1998 Rind article. This is as good a time to clear that up. It’s especially important not to believe everything you read in the Congressional Record, since that’s tantamount to believing everything you hear from a politician.

The Rind et al. article “Meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse using college samples” appeared in a 1998 issue of Psychological Bulletin. It is just one of 61 journals published by the APA. Each of these journals have their own independent editors and editorial boards. Articles published in these journals represent the findings and the opinions of the authors only. None of them represent official statements or positions of the APA, unless a journal chooses to publish an official statement.

Again, no author is authorized to speak on behalf of the APA, nor does the appearance of an article in one of the APA’s 61 journals represent an official statement from the APA. Rind was not assigned the task by the APA to formulate a position on the APA’s behalf, nor was any resulution put forward based on Rind’s article. In no way does it or did it represent any kind of a position on the part of the APA.

The APA did not mount a defense of the article, but the journal editors did — as journal editors always do. The APA did not take an official position as a result of that article, and it continues to hold its position that sex between adults and underage children are harmful.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

The APA did not mount a defense of the article, but the journal editors did

Thanks for lying about that Beckysue. That completely changes the false impression you were trying to create about the APA and demonstrates just what kind of person you are – someone who’ll say anything, make up any story to promote ill-will towards innocent gay people.

Timothy Kincaid
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Those seeking change through organizations like Narth are virtually all religiously motivated. They aren’t trying to change out of a personal choice, they are trying to do so because the authors of the bible oppose gay people.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of why people have belief in religion. You seem to see religious people as zombies, unable to detemine for themselves whether they agree with doctrines and helpless to measure or reconsider their faith.

Statements based on this assumption are not useful to either yourself or others who may share your discontent with reorientation efforts but who do not find it necessary to dismiss people of faith as mindless puppets to some bigoted mind-control scheme.

William
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Thank you, Jim, for nipping that misunderstanding in the bud. Your clarification was much needed.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy, the vast majority of people are indoctrinated into religon when they are children and too young to think rationally about the principles they are accepting. They’ve blindly accepted these teachings and because they never reasoned themselves into these beliefs they are in many cases blind to the logical flaws in them.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

I should add that there’s a reason why virtually every religious person adopts the religion predominent in their geographical region, they aren’t deciding rationally, they are simply blindly accepting what they are told. Timothy, if you had been born in Saudi Arabia, the odds that you’d still be a Christian are mighty slim indeed.

Timothy Kincaid
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

The typical participant in an Exodus type program is an educated white male in his late thirties or early forties.

Your dismissal of this person as “blindly accepting” and “never reasoned” and “blind to logical flaws” has little reflection on these participants and instead is simply a statement of your own bias.

You do not serve your argument well. And your blatant ummm dislike of religious persons skews the argument away from what we are trying to discuss.

Sadly, I suspect that you’d rather make anti-religion statements than to actually discuss the merits of NARTH in a respectful way. Please prove me wrong.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy, as you’ve reached your positions on the basis of emotion rather than reason it is highly unlikely that I can use reason to convince you you’re wrong.

Timothy Kincaid
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

This is not the place to convince me that I’m wrong about people of faith. We dedicated a thread to that recently and if you have any additional points which you have not already posted there, please feel free to revisit that thread and make them.

I am going to ask you to not turn every thread into an anti-religion assertation. It is distracting rather than informative.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy, I’d certainly be interested in seeing some documentation of the education level of the typical participant in an Exodus type program.

Timothy Kincaid
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

Read Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy, the initial point of mine you took issue with was directly related to the merits of Narth’s approach to gays. It was you who chose to take that off into a tangent on the nature of religious people.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Read Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.

LOL, Timothy, you must be kidding, the Jones and Yarhouse study?! It dealt with a non-randomly sampled group of only 98 individuals, it can’t be used to generalize about the education levels of the “typical Exodus participant”, not to mention the fact that Box Turtle Bulletin itself heavily criticized their report for its inaccuracies. Even overlooking that there is no readily available google link to it that actually discusses its “findings” on education levels.

BeckySue in Poway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Jim,
While I appreciate the clarification of the APA’s policies being separate from the various journals’ research, from what I have read, congress looked to the APA to respond in their position as experts and advocates of psychological issues. And they ultimately did respond after several months. This link shows that it was a controversial process as the APA initially emphasized defending the peer reviewing process that allowed the publication of the research.
http://www.nationalpsychologist.com/articles/art7991.htm
Two quotes from the article indicate that the APA didn’t see a problem initially:
“No matter how clearcut its emphasis that, from a scientific perspective, the study was appropriate, it wouldn’t fly in Peoria. ”

“Not surprisingly during the height of the controversy, Steve Mirin, M.D., head of the American Psychiatric Assn. entered the spectacle, grasping at the opportunity to pummel its counterpart APA by distancing itself from “junk science,” a term imputed by Dr. Laura. The ApA leader added that “academic hair-splitting over applying either “adult-child sex or child sexual abuse obfuscates the moral issues involved.””

What I am trying to say is that the APA and many other scientific associations including NARTH are political. They are not dogma. They evolve. It is a process.

Jason D
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Beckysue, NARTH is not a scientific organization, period. They would NOT be defending and promoting ex-gay therapy if they were scientific as there is NO credible evidence that it works, is safe, permanent, or ethical.

Ephilei
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

What about this report is different from what the APA already did and stated? From what I can tell, this is the same but more widely articulated. I’m sure I’m missing something.

Jim Burroway
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Again, BeckySue, this incident shows no such thing.

The controversy was over one article that just one of 61 journals chose to publish. The article certainly was very controversial within psychiatry and psychology, within and outside the APA.

But what you are trying to claim is that the APA adopted a position based on that one single article in one signle publication, and then changed their position in light of public outcry. They didn’t.

The article never represented an APA position, so there was nothing to evolve or change. The APA did — and continue to do — support the editorial independence of their editors to make decisions, much as any other reputable organization defends the editorial integrity of their publications, whether that organization is the APA, the AMA, or Time-Warner.

But the APA did not — and I’ll repeat this until I’m blue in the face because it is just the simple truth whether you want to accept it or not — did not, as an organization or as a governing body, take a position that adult-child sex was not harmful in one instance and repudiate it in the next. Your example is simply flat wrong.

But let’s stick with your example, just to indulge you. That was just one study which purports to show no harm. Stacked against a multitude of other methodologically sound, peer-reviewed studies, it would not have had much of an impact if the APA had performed a wide-ranging literature review as they had in this case with change efforts. And so following the same process, they would have certainly come to the same position that they currently hold. The responsible one that respects the preponderance of peer-reviewed literature.

This is very much unlike the process that NARTH followed, which began with a premise and carefully selected studies to support their premise while ommitting or dismissing all studies which refuted it.

I encourage you to read the complete APA report. I think you will be impressed by how well balanced it is. It describes how they reviewed the literature, the criteria they used in evaluating the literature, and the results of that evaluation. Then read the NARTH report. It is like night and day.

Burr
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

“Very few people who claim that change from homosexuality is possible say that it is easy, can be accomplished quickly, or is possible in all cases. There’s nothing surprising in the fact that I haven’t succeeded in changing my sexual orientation as yet (something I’m perfectly stoical about) and that doesn’t disprove anything I’ve said.”

That just means they know it’s a load of BS. It’s a nice little convenient throwaway excuse for the absolutely piss poor results such “therapies” have when you look at the statistical analysis.

Making excuses for failure. How appropriate.

Quo
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

CPT_Doom,

“There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation” is not a scientific way of saying it doesn’t work. It’s a scientific way of saying we’re not sure.

Burr,

No, it means that supporters of change are honest and admit that it’s a slow and difficult process that won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Priya Lynn
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, if supporters of change were honest they wouldn’t be constantly implying that a change in behavior or what a gay person calls themselves is a change in orientation. If they were honest they’d acknowledge that there are virtually no documented cases of someone changing from having predominant same-sex attractions into someone having predominant opposite sex attractions.

Jayhuck
August 6th, 2009 | LINK

Quo,

I think the fact that there have been DECADES of opportunities for such evidence to reveal itself – and that we still find no evidence to back up such therapies – is pretty darn telling!

Ben in Oakland
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Quo’s problem is his own tragedy.

Quo’s problem is his self hatred, not his homosexuality. It is a tragedy.

I lost my brother to homo-self-hatred. don’t lose yourself, quo, while you are attempting to find yourself.

Ben in Oakland
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, Your belief system is the source of your problem, not your sexual orientation. You have been brainwashed into believing that what the bible allegedly says about a subject that is allegedly about homosexuality as in fact an accurate translation. Or if you don’t believe in the bible, substitute NARTH.

What homophobic religion, or homophobic “psychology’ does to gay people is sickening. The idea that it is a sin, or a mental illness, (or formerly a crime) to love another human being is a damnable lie, and the fact that people suffer so tragically from believing such a thing is profoundly sad.

you have nothing to lose but your chains.

Ken in Riverside
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I appreciate Quo’s participation if, for no other reason, because he accurately portrays a mindset to which the rest of us are not frequently presented.

But sometimes he makes me want to scream. Primally.

I agree whole-heartedly. I appreciate his perseverance in participating in these discussions despite so many direct attacks. Whether or not I agree with his positions, I recognize that his opinions are well-informed. I also appreciate that his tone is less argumentative/combative than some of the people who spar with him.

Jayhuck
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I appreciate Quo’s participation if, for no other reason, because he accurately portrays a mindset to which the rest of us are not frequently presented.

But sometimes he makes me want to scream. Primally.

Tim and Ken – I agree with you both. I think its hard for some gay people to understand Quo’s mindset, and it would be nice to see more gay people who aren’t struggling with their sexuality present a more compassionate approach to those who are instead of calling them names.

I used to identify as ex-gay, as I’m sure others on here may have, and I know that for some people who struggle with their SSA its not always a question of self-hatred or brainwashing.

Ben in Oakland
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I’m not interested in attacking quo.

As a carimg human being, i hate to see anyone suffer needlessly, especially if they are choosing suffering rather than joy.

as a caring gay man, I hate to see someone who is gay trash the best part of himself and make his life a struggle instead of a joy simply because he has swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the ideological position that being gay is bad, and the the deity actually cares about this far more than just about any other subject.

There are those of us who, though not perfect, are in the light, at least on this subject, as well as those, though not seriously flawed, are nonetheless in the darkness, at least on this subject.

I can see many gay people living out, fulfilled, dare we say happy, spiritually fulfilled, positive contributing lives. I wish nothing but good for quo, as for any human being. but I seriously doubt that he has found or will find it in the embrace of people who would teach him (or have) to take the best part of himself and turn it into something bad, sinful, or sick. It is none of those things, and anybody who says something different has his or her own interests at heart, the his victims.

I can’t find other words to describe that except for self-hatred or brainwashing.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I find it hard to be sympathetic to Quo. If he were solely dealing with his own desires to be straight, that’d be one thing, but he comes here trying to convince the wider gay community that they’re wrong for being the way they are, that “The idea that opposite sex attractions and relationships are preferable to their same sex equivalents is perfectly true”. He’s not content with being who he wants to be, he wants to coerce other people to live according to his desires – I find that reprehensible.

Jayhuck
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

Yes – I confess I must agree with you as well. His struggle and his beliefs are one thing, but if he did indeed come to a site that does not view homosexuality as a “sin”, then he has no business trying to convince people that it is – IF that really is what he was doing – I’m still not sure about that.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

We could ask Quo why he comes here, but I doubt he’d answer. He’s had many questions posed to him that he’s ignored. I suspect he senses that if he answers such questions honestly it’ll refute the positions he’s taken.

Timothy Kincaid
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t see any evidence of Quo trying to coerce anyone into doing anything. Perhaps I missed that.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

When you go around trying to spread “The idea that opposite sex attractions and relationships are preferable to their same sex equivalents is perfectly true” you’re trying to coerce people into denying themselves same sex relationships.

Timothy Kincaid
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps we use a different dicionary:

co·erce (k-ûrs)
tr.v. co·erced, co·erc·ing, co·erc·es
1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance. See Synonyms at force.
3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

No, we use the same dictionary. I see Quo as attempting to use pressure to force people to act or think in a certain way. I understand that you have a bit of a soft spot for religious anti-gays.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Let me put it this way Timothy:

Its difficult to see how Quo’s presence here in anyway assists his efforts to change his orientation. Absent that the only plausible purpose for his being here is to harrass gay people.

Timothy Kincaid
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Your dictionary seems to differ from mine also in the definition of the words “pressure”, “force”, and “harrass”.

Priya Lynn
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

That’s strange, not from my perspective.

Burr
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

“Its difficult to see how Quo’s presence here in anyway assists his efforts to change his orientation.”

Exactly.

And it’s difficult to see how he’s doing his argument any favors without succeeding himself first.

So how about a deal? Fix yourself, and then you can come back and sell us your product. Because right now it’s hard to buy..

Timothy Kincaid
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Priya, Burr,

Its difficult to see how Quo’s presence here in anyway assists his efforts to change his orientation.

I’m inclined to agree that his presence here is not likely to make him any more heterosexual.

However, dismissing and condemning Quo benefits no one. And we all may benefit from respectful conversation.

We may learn other perspectives which help us to be empathetic and sympathetic to others around us and guide us in our desire to achieve a measure of peace from the culture war.

And Quo may learn facts that might at some future date help him make choices that he might not even consider as possible for him today. If we just exhibit hostility and reject him, he can’t hear what we say.

Ken in Riverside
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

I would rather listen to Quo’s respectful anti-gay position than Priya being disrespectfully pro-gay.

Priya, in this one thread you have called Quo a fool, BeckySue a liar and insinuated that Timothy’s value system/religion is the result of indoctrination and irrationality.

To those of you saying that Quo shouldn’t post here until he’s pro-gay or a successful ex-gay: That is how echo chambers get created. The conversation is enriched when more voices participate. And if there has to be “anti-gay” voices, I would prefer them to come from gay people, wouldn’t you?

Its hard to imagine why someone convinced of their own self-worth would be offended by Quo’s opinion that his homosexuality makes him inferior.

Quo
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

You wrote, “I see Quo as attempting to use pressure to force people to act or think in a certain way.” If that is how you see me (and my, for the most part politely disagreeing with the views of the pro-gay regulars here), then this may explain why you find it necessary to reject everything I say without real argument.

Since you ask how my commenting here helps me to change my sexual orientation: sometimes (not very often, but sometimes) I have doubts about whether my views about homosexuality are right. Then, I come here, listen to the arguments against those views, see how feeble they are, and leave feeling reassured that my views were right along. Now you may not believe it, but that does help me with my sexual feelings.

Christopher Waldrop
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, when have you ever listened to the arguments made by others? You dismiss them as “feeble”, but it seems to be your own arguments which are feeble, since you feel compelled to distort or ignore criticisms of your statements. From your very own description, you make it sound as though you come here solely to prop up your own sense of self-worth.

If that’s the case, it would explain why you refuse to accept others as they are and instead seem to feel compelled to try and make everyone hate themselves as much as you do.

Jayhuck
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Quo,

LOL – I don’t mean to be glib here, but you and I use similar methods for supporting our differing opinions on this issue: As a former Ex-Gay I sometimes go to various anti-gay or pro-ex-gay sites because I’m uncertain if my feelings on homosexuality are correct, and when I’m there and see the reasons given for those views, I leave feeling reassured – THAT is interesting ;)

Emily K
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

My beliefs on homosexuality:

Falling in love with other women is as natural to me as falling asleep when I go to bed. And since I didn’t feel the need to question it, or to torture myself over it, well, I never felt any conflict about it.

“Feeble?” Doubt it. How can someone’s confidence in who they are as a human being be considered feeble? The feeblest here are those who are so insecure about their same sex attractions and their “daddy didn’t love me right” childhood that they need to dump on others to change even though they haven’t.

David C.
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

The feeblest here are those who are so insecure about their same sex attractions and their “daddy didn’t love me right” childhood that they need to dump on others to change even though they haven’t—Emily K

Similarly, there are those so feeble of spirit and so dependent on the approval of others that they would deny themselves their own potential for happiness and full self realization. To me, that’s a “loving disorder” analogous to anorexia. If one cannot love themselves, it is impossible to love others.

William
August 7th, 2009 | LINK

Quo,

Let me just say a few things. People can get very heated on here sometimes, and as a result the “decencies of debate” are not always observed.

I do find it depressing, however, that you seem to be intent on making the same mistakes that I have made in the past and now regret, or that I have known others to make.

Although I have long accepted myself as a gay man, I waited until I was well into my twenties for my sexual orientation to change. It didn’t. I’m now very happy to be gay and wouldn’t now want my orientation to change even if I believed such a thing to be possible (which I don’t), but I’ve realised of late that I don’t just need to grieve for the mum and dad that I’ve lost – that happens to everyone sooner or later and, as Columbo said, it’s the way of the world – but also for those years that I wasted trying to ignore or repress my natural sexuality instead of coming to terms with it. You don’t give any indication of your age; the younger you are, the more distressing it is think of the years that you’re wasting, and the older you are, the more distressing it is to think of the years that you’ve wasted already and seem determined to keep on wasting.

I never blamed my parents for my homosexuality – and it’s not something for which there’s any need to blame anyone or anything – but, as I’ve mentioned before, I had a work colleague who did blame his parents. Over the years that I knew him his relationship with them steadily and needlessly deteriorated, and by the time that he’d realised that there was no need to blame them for anything it was too late: they’d passed on.

Finally, Quo, just consider this. Suppose that you meet in the next few weeks, months or years a really super guy. I don’t mean a pin-up style guy suitable for a raunchy gay mag, but a guy who’s really nice in every way and who could potentially be your boyfriend. Are you going to turn and walk away on the off-chance that your orientation might just conceivably change at some time in the future?

Mary S
August 9th, 2009 | LINK

Let’s shed some light on this research. The APA intentionally and deliberately rejected as committee members APA members holding ‘a different view’ of gender affirming therapy. The committee consisted of six individuals who are gay or gay activists. Of course, they found ‘little evidence that this therapy is effective’ — they rejected hundreds of studies that disagreed with the opinion the six hold.

Let’s get real here — is this research really authentic – isn’t having six gay or gay agenda activists discount change therapy like me inviting 5 girl friends to lunch so we can discuss how we all successfully avoided prostate cancer!!!

David C.
August 9th, 2009 | LINK

…they rejected hundreds of studies that disagreed with the opinion the six hold. —Mary S.

Yes, 100′s of studies with little or no scientific merit, and those that were to tangential to make sense in the context of the evaluation.

William
August 9th, 2009 | LINK

Mary S, I’m intrigued by your reference to “gender affirming therapy”. What is that, please?

Alex
August 10th, 2009 | LINK

Mary S,

How do you know that any of the APA task force members are gay? Could you provide some evidence, please?

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2009 | LINK

Ken in Riverside said “Priya, in this one thread you have called Quo a fool, BeckySue a liar and insinuated that Timothy’s value system/religion is the result of indoctrination and irrationality.”.

Okay, I’ll accept the criticism for telling Quo, “don’t be a fool”. However, Beckysue is a liar and it is a mighty rare religious person that didn’t blindly accept their religion as a child when they were too young to rationally consider the evidence for it. If you think I’m going to deny or hide the truth you can forget it.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2009 | LINK

Mary S,

Can you please list a few of those studies which were ignored. Please include only those which are peer-reviewed English-language studies published since 1960.

Thank you.

QueerPHC calls out Patrick Henry College anti-gay policies « Politically Inclined
December 30th, 2012 | LINK

[...] place at home or in being sent to therapists who promise to make them straight, despite widespread rejection and debunking of these [...]

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