137 responses

  1. cowboy
    December 8, 2009

    ” I’m sensing…hostility…and may not proceed if you keep it up.” – Quo

    What is THAT all about? And then to characterize someone’s post here as “blather” is crossing the line.

    Priya Lynn’s last paragraph above should be the end of discussion on this topic/thread. It’s very succinct and sums up a logical and a substantiated conclusion.

  2. Timothy Kincaid
    December 8, 2009

    Quo,

    1. I’ll repeat: “Which specific claims of Fisher and Greenberg do you wish analyzed? Please provide the claim, the date, and the source.”

    2. You’ve stated before that you are not a US resident. I confirmed this via your IP address and refuted speculation about you. If you perceive this as too hostile for you continued participation here, that decision is up to you.

  3. Priya Lynn
    December 8, 2009

    Quo, when people can’t defend their position against other people’s responses they try to claim the response is blather and hope no one will notice they’ve lost the argument.

  4. Priya Lynn
    December 8, 2009

    And Thanks, Cowboy.

  5. Timothy Kincaid
    December 8, 2009

    Priya Lynn,

    It is true that gender atypical behavior in children has been correlated to adult homosexuality. However as is true with most gay-related correlations, this is not exact or always. Many gender atypical children end up heterosexual and many gender typical children end up gay.

    Also, I am willing to state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.”

    It is true that often gay people – especially those who live primarily among other gay people – have manners or behaviors or other clues that identify or typify their sexuality. However, such stereotypes are not indicative of gay people as a whole.

    Studies that measure detectable gays – to the best of my knowledge – have been conducted on school campuses and have involved what might be called “gayer” students, ie those for whom stereotypes were most predominant.

    Further, social norms appear to be changing. Straight men no longer feel a necessity to butch it up and camp is no longer in vogue as a social statement. I find myself very frequently incorrect in my assumptions about orientation.

    Personally, I know heterosexuals that are quite effeminate in their mannerisms, and I have a gay friend that has been in beer and car oil commercials.

    So while it is true that some gay people are detectable – and I would guess that this is especially true of those who had a distant relationship with their father – it is not true in a general sense.

  6. Priya Lynn
    December 8, 2009

    Timothy said “Also, I am willing to state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.”

    Which, beyond being an impossible level of knowledge, contradicts his statement that “So while it is true that some gay people are detectable – and I would guess that this is especially true of those who had a distant relationship with their father – it is not true in a general sense.”

    Timothy, you’r not in a position to say that this is not true in a general sense, this is just your opinion, and one I’m confident you are in the minority on.

    Timothy said “It is true that gender atypical behavior in children has been correlated to adult homosexuality. However as is true with most gay-related correlations, this is not exact or always. Many gender atypical children end up heterosexual and many gender typical children end up gay.”.

    I’m well aware of this, what’s your point?

  7. Priya Lynn
    December 8, 2009

    Also, Timothy, if you’re willing to “state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.”” tell that to the 75% of observers who were able to determine a man’s orientation by the sound of his voice.

  8. Burr
    December 8, 2009

    Sheesh who figured that helping someone out by short-circuiting baseless speculation about who they are by providing a very vague location would be perceived as hostile?

    Just another sign that someone is way too wrapped up in themselves.

  9. Quo
    December 8, 2009

    Priya,

    The David France article doesn’t identify the study you mention, say where it was published, or provide any information about its sample size. It is a lazy and deplorable piece of journalism, inaccurate in numerous ways. France suggests that there was no research on sexual orientation between the declassification of homosexuality in 1973 and Simon LeVay in 1991, an ignorant claim that ignores Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg’s studies, and the work of Gunter Dorner in Germany, among a range of other things. I wouldn’t accept France’s judgment about anything.

    Kerri Johson I’ve never heard of. You provide no evidence her study exists, or that it has any validity if it does exist.

    Junk journalism notwithstanding, the idea that people are usually able to tell who is gay through casual observation is blatantly false; Timothy Kincaid’s comments on that issue are pretty much correct.

    Timothy,

    The main claim by Fisher and Greenberg that needs considering is their assertion in their 1996 book Freud Scientifically Reappraised that empirical research conducted since 1977 generally supports the idea that having a negative, distant or unfriendly father is relevant to the development of male homosexuality. Their source for that is a 1989 article by Fisher, which deals with some 58 studies.

    Fisher granted that some of the studies were not representative, dealing as they did with patients in a clinical setting, who might arguably have been indoctrinated into seeing their fathers as distant. In his view, though, there have also been well conducted studies that avoid such problems, and these have produced the the same kind of results. He gives as an example R. H. Pledger’s Early parent-child relationships of male homosexuals and heterosexuals, a 1977 unpublished doctoral dissertation from the University of Texas, Austin.

    (And if you’re gonna complain that I didn’t provide the name of the 1989 Fisher article or a direct quotation from him, I’ll go right back the library and get them. Actually, I’ll probably do that anyway).

  10. Timothy Kincaid
    December 8, 2009

    Quo,

    We will review the source. As we are all busy and as this certainly doesn’t seem to be breaking news, it may take a while. But we will get to it.

  11. Quo
    December 8, 2009

    Just as a correction: Fisher 1989 isn’t an article, it’s his earlier book Sexual Images of the Self. That reviews the 58 studies in question; they extend from Terman and Miles in 1936 to Milic and Crowne in 1986, and include Bieber et al in the early 1960s and the early 1980s study of Bell and Weinberg.

    Thank you for being willing to review the issue. I realize it may not be breaking news, but the question of whether distant fathers help to cause gay sons matters to many people, and it’s not going to go away in a hurry.

  12. Désirée
    December 9, 2009

    and what has been lost in the whole discussion of the absurdity of the “distant fathers cause gay sons” theory is that is complete ignores lesbians. Not surprising really as most anti-gay therapy is male-centric and religion based, meaning the idea of women who don’t *need* men is seen as absurd and nonsensical. Thus the “problem” of gay women is rarely address because it’s not seen as a “real” phenomena.

    Regardless, the “distant fathers” theory falls about completely when one realizes there is a whole other gender out there and some of us are gay too.

  13. Eric in Oakland
    December 9, 2009

    Quo,

    I wish that you would stop refering to corelations between distant fathers and gay sons as evidence of cause. Even if the studies you site were legitimate (which they are not – they are flawed in multiple ways. See the recent APA reviews), they would still not show a causal relationship. Both conditions (the distant father and the homosexuality of the son) could be caused by an unidentified third factor instead of one causing the other. And as others have already pointed out, there would also remain the possibility (probability actually, when combined with the other evidence) that the distant behavior of the fathers was the result rather than the cause of the sons’ homosexuality.

  14. Ben in Oakland
    December 9, 2009

    ” that the distant behavior of the fathers was the result rather than the cause of the sons’ homosexuality.”

    …as our local quo-mo-sexual’s own life would probably attest, were his dad-induced self hatred not THE major factor in his life.

  15. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Quo, David France didn’t suggest that there was no research on gays between 1973 and 1991, he suggested there was little on how sexual orientation is caused. The Bell&Weinberg study didn’t address this and is irrelevant to the issue.

    That you’ve never heard of Kerri Johnson is irrelevant and that you should try to pretend she doesn’t exist is oh so typical of your blindered reality. Her study is referrenced here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20762841/

    You’ve previously tried to hang your hat on the fact that the study only has 8 people in it, but for the results to merely be a coincidence as you’re sure to suggest is so unlikely as to be readily dismissed. That you wouldn’t accept France’s judgment on anything is no surprise given that you won’t accept any reality that contradicts your pet unsupported theory.

    As far as your again unsupported assertion that “the idea that people are usually able to tell who is gay through casual observation is blatantly false” goes, you have no evidence whatsoever to support this conclusion, you’re simply stating it is so won’t make it so.

    Your claim that Timothy’s comments on this issue are pretty much correct once again demonstrates your willfully blind approach to this subject. Timothy contradicted himself and also stated “while it is true that some gay people are detectable – and I would guess that this is especially true of those who had a distant relationship with their father”

    Timothy further said “It is true that gender atypical behavior in children has been correlated to adult homosexuality.”. Once again that is something that is readily apparent to not just a casual observer, but a father who observes a child year in and out in all manner of situations.

    There are a variety of studies demonstrating that gayness is observable to casual observers, let alone deeply involved observers, “gaydar” is well known by the vast majority of people in society, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the “distant fathers causing gay sons” theory and that correlation is readily explained by the virtual certainty that gay sons cause distant fathers.

    Your constant denial of the obvious shows you to be every bit the same as religious fundamentalists – no amount of evidence will convince you, you’ve decided in advance what you want the truth to be and nothing will cause you to deviate from your dogma.

  16. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Just to further emphasize, Quo keeps trying to hang his hat on the idea that a casual observer can’t identify a gay person (despite all evidence to the contrary), however a father of a gay son is anything but a casual observer.

  17. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    From Wikipedia on Gaydar:

    A study by Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, published in the Journal of Psychological Science reported that “gay men were found to be particularly good at detecting the musk of other gay men”.[6][7]

    William Lee Adams, an undergraduate at Harvard, replicated earlier work by his advisor, Nalini Ambady (now at Tufts University). Ambady’s original study, published in 1999, showed that homosexuals were better at correctly identifying sexual orientation from silent videos and photographs than heterosexuals were. Adams’ research, started in 2004, focused exclusively on the face; the focal point of most social interaction.[8][9][10] This finding was elaborated by Ron Smyth and colleagues in 2003.[11] A 2007 study under Ambady found that people could identify gay men better than random chance when shown only a photo of only the eye. Accuracy was closer to what participants thought their accuracy would be when hairstyle was included.[12] A 2009 study found that determination of female sexual orientation by similar means was more accurate when a “snap” judgment was made, rather than conscious deliberation.[13] [14]

  18. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    The gay voice
    University of Toronto Magazine, June 2002
    Researchers examine patterns…
    “Why do some gay men “sound” gay? After three years of research, linguistics professors Henry Rogers and Ron Smyth may be on the verge of answering that question. After identifying phonetic characteristics that seem to make a man’s voice sound gay, their best hunch is that some gay men may subconsciously adopt certain female speech patterns. They want to know how men acquire this manner of speaking, and why – especially when society so often stigmatizes those with gay-sounding voices. Rogers and Smyth are also exploring the stereotypes that gay men sound effeminate and are recognized by the way they speak. They asked people to listen to recordings of 25 men, 17 of them gay. In 62 per cent of the cases the listeners identified the sexual orientation of the speakers correctly. Perhaps fewer than half of gay men sound gay, says Rogers. “The straightest-sounding voice in the study was in fact a gay man, and the sixth gayest-sounding voice was a straight man.”

  19. Timothy Kincaid
    December 9, 2009

    Priya Lynn,

    At the risk of being drawn into a heated debate…

    I know that you very much want to believe that a parent can always (or usually) detect the eventual orientation of their children and react accordingly. Quo wants very much to believe that a child responds to a distant father and consequently becomes gay.

    You both are presenting support for your arguments. But, unfortunately, I believe that you both are also overstating your case.

    Quo’s single source for correlation (which we will review) does not prove causation.

    And your examples of the ability to detect the orientation of some adults does not prove that ALL (or even most) adults can be detected or that such detection is present in children.

    I would caution both of you to avoid claiming more than is supported by your evidence.

    As an illustration, let’s look at an example you provided. Recordings of 17 gay men and 8 straight men were provided in a study. Participants were correct in determining orientation 62% of the time.

    So it can be said that based on this study, when someone was actively trying to identify orientation, on average about 15 to 16 of the 25 fit their stereotype.

    Let’s look at those numbers, starting with the extremes:

    Assuming that participants were never able to identify the 8 straight men and got all of them wrong. This would result in correct identification of about 90% of the gay men. This would tell us that virtually EVERYONE (24 of the 25) sounded gay.

    Or, the other extreme is that all of the straight men were correctly identified as straight and that about 44% of gay men sound gay. This means that less than half of gay men were vocally detectable.

    The real result is in between. Some percentage of gay men in the study “sound gay” – probably more than half. And some percentage of straight men sound gay. But while vocal clues certainly are helpful (62% is more than 50%), they are not an accurate determinant on which we can rely.

    The same analysis can be done on any of the other studies to reveal that orientation can be detected on a more-than-guesswork basis. I think that is a consistent finding – especially with studies done in a college setting and with participants that are actively trying to detect orientation.

    But those same studies that suggest that social/visual/vocal clues are useful also prove that they are not completely accurate. Were they accurate, results would be 100% rather than 62%.

    Additionally, we need to consider whether these cues (walking, talking, etc.) are inherent or acquired social group mannerisms. In other words, are vocal patterns in a gay man who lives in a gay ghetto with all gay friends the same as the vocal patterns of a gay man who lives in a small town and has all or mostly straight friends?

    If not, then studies which draw from predominantly urban populations may exaggerate the extent to which detection of orientation is possible.

    I think it is fair to say that some, maybe many, gay men portray some characteristics that fit stereotypes.

    But we cannot extrapolate that to say that “orientation can be detected”.

  20. Timothy Kincaid
    December 9, 2009

    Also, Timothy, if you’re willing to “state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.”” tell that to the 75% of observers who were able to determine a man’s orientation by the sound of his voice.

    Priya Lynn,

    You are misunderstanding the results.

    It wasn’t that 75% of observers could detect orientation all of the time. Rather, it was that “75 percent of gay men sounded gay to a general audience”. In other words, 25% did not.

  21. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Not an important distinction Timothy, it still adds up to the same thing – a casual observer can frequently tell a person’s orientation without knowing it in advance. Given the prevelance of examples of this, its a no-brainer that a non-casual observer, a father who’s observed every aspect of a child for years on end, could tell a child’s sexual orientation. You inadvertantly acknowledged this yourself when you pointed out that gender atypical behavior is correlated with gayness. Gender atypical behavior is something that’s readily apparent to a father.

  22. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Timothy, sometimes its apparent that its more important to you to find fault with what I say than it is for you to speak truth to the issues at hand – gayness is readily apparent to people much of the time and this makes it much more likely that gay sons cause distant fathers than vice versa.

  23. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    I missed Timothy’s previous comment.

    He said “And your examples of the ability to detect the orientation of some adults does not prove that ALL (or even most) adults can be detected”

    I never said it did. The only point I, and the evidence, is making is that frequently orientation can be detected, frequently enough that it accounts for the correlation of distant fathers with gayness.

    Timothy said “or that such detection is present in children.”.

    While the studies I presented didn’t deal with children, you yourself pointed out that gender atypical behavior in children is correlated with gayness. You can attempt to make the case that gender atypical behavior isn’t apparent to fathers, but that would be decidedly the less likely case and if, as Quo would like to do, you want to insist in case after case of studies suggest a biological cause to gayness that the unlikely result that biological correlations are due to behavior causing physical changes, at some point you have to say “taking the unlikelier possibility over and over at some point becomes so unlikely as to be utterly implausible”.

    Timothy said “I think it is fair to say that some, maybe many, gay men portray some characteristics that fit stereotypes. But we cannot extrapolate that to say that “orientation can be detected”.”

    But of course, yes we can, the studies prove that in some cases orientation can be detected, there is no other way to account for the results. You seem to be hung up on the straw man that I’ve claimed orientation can always or almost always be detected. I have not stated any such thing. Even if gayness were detectable only, say 30% or 40% of the time by a casual observer that would be enough to allow fathers to detect gay sons frequently enough to result in a correlation. And once again, given the evidence that gayness can frequently be detected by an observation of a few minutes or even seconds, fathers observing every aspect of a child’s behavior for years on end are certainly going to be able to detect a child’s gayness much of the time.

  24. Timothy Kincaid
    December 9, 2009

    Priya Lynn,

    I appreciate that you are now using qualifiers such as “some” or “much of”.

    While such words may not seem as definitive, they are more accurate.

  25. Jason D
    December 9, 2009

    Timothy, I think you set off the firestorm with this comment (bold is mine for help):

    “Also, I am willing to state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.”

    One must be careful not to speak in absolutes unless one actually has absolute proof.

    I have at least half a dozen examples from my life of myself perceiving someone’s sexual orientation merely by observing them. Later I was able to confirm my perceptions in one way or another (keep your mind out of the gutter, Mr. Kincaid!) :P

    I am not specifically talking about effeminate gestures or speech. I’m talking about the little known phenomenon called “gaydar” in which you can detect someone’s homosexuality without any obvious signs. I’m sure I’m not the only gay man who’s experienced this, and I find it hard to believe that you, yourself have not happened upon this experience at least once in your life so far. You mean to say you’ve never seen someone at a party, and thought to yourself “He/she looks straight, sounds straight, but somehow I ‘know’ they’re not.” ?

    Perhaps you meant to say that it’s impossible to perceive someone’s gayness with certainty by merely observing them. That would be fair. After all, until the person comes out to you, or comes on to you, or introduces you to their partner, or you happen to see them sneaking out of a bathhouse at 1am repeatedly, you really are just “guessing”.

    We give a lot away in casual conversation, in our posture, walk, and other ways that people pick up both consciously and subconsciously. To think sexuality cannot be in there somewhere as well seems rather odd. Priya’s examples don’t point to gaydar being foolproof, or an exact science, but they do indicate that it is possible in some fashion to perceive someone’s sexual orientation. In fact, some of these indicate that there may possibly be a subconscious signal (pheremones?) that gay and straight people give off to help identify each other. Perhaps not, but even though gaydar may not be very reliable, that’s not to say it doesn’t exist.

  26. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Here’s the problem I have with the positions Timothy’s taken:

    He said “I am willing to state with certainty that “its impossible for anyone to perceive another person’s gayness merely by observing them.””

    contrasted with:

    “So while it is true that some gay people are detectable – and I would guess that this is especially true of those who had a distant relationship with their father…”

    or when Timothy said “I think it is fair to say that some, maybe many, gay men portray some characteristics that fit stereotypes. But we cannot extrapolate that to say that “orientation can be detected”.”

    contrasted with:

    “And your examples of the ability to detect the orientation of some adults does not prove that ALL (or even most) adults can be detected”

    Timothy’s first statement claimed an omniscience about this subject that is god-like given his total lack of evidence to support the idea that orientation cannot be detected. He acknowleded this lack of evidence when he asked “are vocal patterns in a gay man who lives in a gay ghetto with all gay friends the same as the vocal patterns of a gay man who lives in a small town and has all or mostly straight friends?”.

    In light of the things he admits he doesn’t know, it is the epitome of unsientific for him to have previously claimed to be “certain” that gayness detection is “impossible”.

  27. Timothy Kincaid
    December 9, 2009

    This is becoming tiresome.

    No one is gifted with the ability to detect sexual orientation in others. We may make educated guesses, we may rely on stereotypes or subconscious clues or glints in the eye, but no one can “perceive gayness” in anyone else.

    If anyone has evidence that there is a living soul with this unique capability, present it. Otherwise Let’s get back to the topic on the thread.

  28. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    No one said it can be done with certainty all the time, but there is all manner of evidence that it can be done some of the time – you acknowledged as much yourself.

  29. Quo
    December 9, 2009

    Eric,

    You suggest that, “Both conditions (the distant father and the homosexuality of the son) could be caused by an unidentified third factor instead of one causing the other.”

    A third factor such as what, exactly? No one has ever suggested what that might be, so excuse me if I reject that idea as idle speculation.

    That sons who become gay make their fathers distant may of course be true in many cases, but it only counts against Nicolosi if it is combined with the (implausible) assumption that homosexuality is 100% biologically determined. Otherwise, it might be the case that sons who become gay make their fathers distant because of their effeminate behaviour, and that this distant relationship then causes the sons to become homosexual. That the effeminate behaviour might be biologically innate doesn’t mean that this must also be true of the homosexuality.

    Priya,

    I never said that according to France “there was no research on gays between 1973 and 1991″, I said that according to him there was no important research on sexual orientation in that period. He does say that, and he is completely wrong. You are showing your ignorance with your comments about the Bell and Weinberg study; it was devoted to testing theories about how sexual orientation is caused.

    Your comments about sample size don’t deserve a response, and neither do your trivial attempts to pick apart real or perceived contraditions in other people’s comments.

    Timothy,

    The “single source” was a review of 58 studies performed over some 50 years.

  30. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    That sons who become gay make their fathers distant may of course be true in many cases, but it only counts against Nicolosi if it is combined with the (implausible) assumption that homosexuality is 100% biologically determined. Otherwise, it might be the case that sons who become gay make their fathers distant because of their effeminate behaviour, and that this distant relationship then causes the sons to become homosexual. That the effeminate behaviour might be biologically innate doesn’t mean that this must also be true of the homosexuality.

    This is utterly muddled and nonsensical. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that gayness has to be 100% biological for gay sons to cause distant fathers and it is not implausible that gayness is primarily biological.

    That you’d foolishly attempt to deny the obvious contradictions in other’s comments is no surprise given your willful blindness to reality.

  31. Quo
    December 9, 2009

    Priya,

    Oh, so you can’t understand what I said, then? I didn’t say that ” gayness has to be 100% biological for gay sons to cause distant fathers “, I said something completely different, the point of which you (unsurprisingly) can’t grasp.

  32. Priya Lynn
    December 9, 2009

    Quo, only you can “understand” what you said.

  33. BeckySue in Poway
    December 9, 2009

    Désirée,
    In response to your statement that the distant fathers theory fails because it does not explain lesbianism:

    Janelle Hallman writes in her book The Heart of Female Same Sex Attraction about her observations from 20 years of counseling homosexuals with the last 10 years focusing on lesbian clients. She presents “common traits and experiences” of her clientele as a suggestion of “how each factor may have influence within the context of many other factors and processes.” She does this while stressing that every woman with SSA is unique and also by recognizing that her clientele is a self selected population that may not represent the general lesbian community.

    She acknowledges “underlying indeterminable genetic or hormonal influences,” while observing “on a fairly consistent basis, the following exceptional, and quite probable, inherited characteristics and personality traits …1) ..above average intelligence. 2) ..are profoundly sensitive and attuned to other people and relational dynamics. 3) ..observant and curious with a propensity to ponder analyze and reflect. 4) ..exhibit gender nonconforming abilities and interests. 5) ..have an innate sense of justice. 6) ..are gifted and talented; their creativity is far reaching. 7) .. have a high level of energy and are adventurous and often athletic.

    That being said, Janelle describes developmental categories of attachment, formation of self, gender identity and socialization in which her clients are often extremely conflicted. Under the “attachment” subheading, she writes of maternal patterns for the lesbian daughter as being a “relational dynamic” that is on “the extreme ends of a continuum from connectedness to separateness.”

    For the enmeshed dynamic client, mother was experienced as weak or needy. For the relationally distant mother daughter dynamic, mother never seemed “truly present.” Of one such client, Janelle wrote, “For most of her life her heart’s cry has been directed toward other women, asking ‘Do you see me? Do you care?’” Janelle for her part attempts to provide that “home” for her clients, that “safe” place where she can just be.

  34. John
    December 9, 2009

    Quo posted something a while ago that indicated he lived in South Africa. Don’t know why he would be worried about anyone knowing what country he was posting from, especially a country as large as South Africa.

    I find it odd that so much time and effort is being expended on this “distant father” arguement.

    It really distracts from the more relevant issue that Nicolosi and all the other therapists out there who claim to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation have utterly failed. Not one of them can produce convincing evidence of sexual orientation change. Nicolosi doesn’t even try.

    So, I guess regardless of whether it is purely biological or has some enviornmental influence, it would appear that sexual orientation is unchangeable and spending time on these sexual re-orientation ventures seems a tragic waste of time, money and emotional energy. These men would be better off trying to find peace with who they are and living a life that they can be proud of.

  35. BeckySue in Poway
    December 9, 2009

    John,
    What in your mind constitutes evidence?

  36. Timothy Kincaid
    December 9, 2009

    BeckySue,

    Mark Yarhouse and Stanton Jones conducted a seven year study of Exodus participants. The results are in:

    Conclusions
    Based on the Jones and Yarhouse book, Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation, and on their follow up report, Ex-Gays? An Extended Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation, we can observe the following:

    • The prospective sample reported, on average, virtually no change in attractions and a small increase in homosexual behavior.
    • A retrospective look at ones perceptions of prior orientation from the perspective of one to three years yields a sharply different result from that seen by a prospective sample. This change in perspective may account for all reported change in Exodus ministries.
    • Most change reported away from homosexuality and towards heterosexuality was in the interval between the starting point (T1) and the second measurement point (T2). This change occurred most strongly in the retrospective sample and may be due to variances in recollection.
    • A combined prospective and retrospective sample experienced, on average, no significant increase in opposite sex attraction.
    • A small percentage (perhaps 9%) of those who start Exodus programs may eventually self-categorize themselves as “experiencing substantial reductions in homosexual attraction and substantial conversion to heterosexual attraction and functioning. These persons will be unlike other heterosexuals in that they will continue to experience homosexual arousal and not experience much attraction to the opposite sex.
    • Another small percentage (perhaps 11%) of those who start Exodus programs may eventually achieve a life of manageable homosexual attraction and chastity.
    • Others may continue perpetually in Exodus programs without ever achieving any significantly reduced homosexual attractions.
    • Eventually, most of those who start Exodus programs will drop out.
    • On average, for each person who enters and Exodus program and finds any movement away from homosexual attraction, another will find movement towards homosexual attraction.
  37. Eric in Oakland
    December 10, 2009

    @ John,

    I think the claim of homosexuality being caused by bad parenting is almost as significant to the Ex-gay agenda as the claim that sexual orientation can be changed. It encourages people to mistakenly believe that they can prevent children from growing up to be gay. It also produces misguided guilt on the part of parents of gay children and resentment of homophobic gays toward their parents.

    @ Quo,

    “You suggest that, ‘Both conditions (the distant father and the homosexuality of the son) could be caused by an unidentified third factor instead of one causing the other.’ A third factor such as what, exactly? No one has ever suggested what that might be, so excuse me if I reject that idea as idle speculation.”

    What does whether someone has suggested it previously have to do with whether it is possible? I was simply explaining why correlation is not necessarily evidence of causation. For instance, I once lived in a town where the alchohol consumption dramatically increased at the same time there were many more dogs in public. Does this mean that the presence of dogs causes people to consume alchohol? No. Both occurances were the result of an annual dog show.

    “That sons who become gay make their fathers distant may of course be true in many cases, but it only counts against Nicolosi if it is combined with the (implausible) assumption that homosexuality is 100% biologically determined.”

    That is what logicians call a False Dichotomy. Even if homosexuality did not have ANY biological factors, it would not add an ounce of support to Nicolosi’s “theory”.

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