Calling All Ex-Gays

Rob Tisinai

September 2nd, 2010

Openly gay actor John Barrowman worked with the BBC to explore how gay he is and why. Here he is getting the results of his brain scans.

Can we get some of those self-proclaimed “ex-gays” to take this test? Seriously.


September 2nd, 2010

Never, ever going to happen because they all know, when they wake up and have to shower after that steamy sex dream about that hot guy, when they’re at the mall and see that guy and his wife pass them by, when they have to repent of their computer porn habit…

They all know what their natural desires are and what the test would show. Why would they take it and risk toppling their finely balanced cognitive dissonance?


September 2nd, 2010

Could they have treated this less seriously? Could they have possibly trivialized it more than this? Not a bad idea but why do it so stupidly?


September 2nd, 2010

Maybe this kind of test will play an important part in the SCOTUS when it comes to deciding on gay rights.


September 2nd, 2010

I saw this show when it aired, I suggest tracking it down somewhere.

B John

September 2nd, 2010

I don’t care about the ex-gays. I know a bunch of anti-gays I want to take the test.

Brian Brown, Peter Labarbera … The doctor will see you now.

Chris McCoy

September 2nd, 2010

How many heterosexuals have taken this test? How many homosexuals have taken this test? What is the margin of error? Does it account for bisexuality? What qualifiers would you use to create a control group?

The plural of anecdote is not data.

In the video at 0:27 they show Mr Barrowman a chart with 4 bars, which the viewer can’t read, and then say:

And here’s you. For one sex of person you had the maximum arousal, which was significantly greater than all the rest.

At 0:41 you can read the 2nd-4th Bars are labeled “Sex B”, “Sport A”, and “Sport B”. This implies that the 1st Bar would be “Sex A”. But if you go back to 0:27, you can clearly see that Sex A is not 0. Yet the Narrator at 2:08 says:

John wasn’t aroused by women at all.

I’m not convinced. While this makes for nice TV, it’s not science.


September 2nd, 2010


The bars likely measure the amount of a specific chemical – likely a neurotransmitter – released by specific regions of the brain during arousal (those regions have been mapped and isolated for years). There will always be some level of the chemical present, hence no bars are zero, but the spike in the chemical in the presence of male images is what determines arousal.


September 2nd, 2010

Yeah the way this was presented was for dramatic effect, which TV lives for, but still it was funny that he was ‘worried’ they said he might be ‘straight’. :-)

I’d be interested to take this test myself for curiosity sake more than anything else. I’m quite sure that I’m gay but I do wonder if I have any hetero-ness floating around in there…


September 2nd, 2010

For anyone interesting in knowing more about the MRI method used to classify straight vs. gay arousal:

Behav Neurosci. 2007 Apr;121(2):237-48.
Neural correlates of sexual arousal in homosexual and heterosexual men.

Safron A, Barch B, Bailey JM, Gitelman DR, Parrish TB, Reber PJ. Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


September 2nd, 2010

Can we get them to take polygraph tests while we’re at it?

Wayn Besen

September 2nd, 2010

We will never know how these so-called “ex-gay” frauds would perform because they have refused to take a No Lie MRI. On at least two occasions, TWO has challenged them — and, like cowards, they refuse to submit — even after we offered to pay.

Of course, this is because they know how the results would turn out.

Wayn Besen

September 2nd, 2010

P.S. The second article link includes an old, outdated evaluation of Dr. Throckmorton. I have since changed my opinion of him and his work in a significantly more favorable direction.

Mihangel apYrs

September 2nd, 2010

good grief, they discovered he has a brain??


Actually, he is sweet, and quite intelligent once you get past the froth.

It would be interesting to see how far X-Gays have conquered their sinful selves!

Mark F.

September 2nd, 2010

Has there ever been a verified case of someone going from totally gay to totally straight?


September 2nd, 2010

Does anyone know the title of this program, or where I can find it?

Ben in Oakland

September 2nd, 2010

I did for the length of my two week affairette in 1979. Completely gay to completely straight.

then back again.

Willie Hewes

September 3rd, 2010

I’m wondering about the science too. It’s an interesting test, but what was up with the overplayed drama and the “oh no, what if I’m straight!” nonsense? I hate it when TV does that.

Anyway, of course none of the usual suspects will submit to a test like this. It’s against their religion to look at pictures of naked people, you see. *eyeroll*


September 3rd, 2010


It’s called “The Making of Me” and you can watch it (for the moment at least) here or here.

Mihangel apYrs

September 3rd, 2010

Willie Hewes

I can get turned on watching 2 twinks kiss sensuously (not even passionately and sexually).

So they can keep their kit on and still cause a reaction!


September 3rd, 2010

The cross-sections of the brain remind me of a Rorschach inkblot test. Each one would probably suggest to the ex-gay: “That’s my Father being distant with me.” or “I had a traumatic childhood.”

Maurice Lacunza

September 3rd, 2010

Wayne, the link to “putting lies to the test” has a lot of wierd comments that look like attempts at spam. Might want to look at that.

Second, what is your changed opinion about Dr. Throckmorton? I read your article about his “synthethic construction” and it reminded me of a cult that had a phrase called “synthetic visualizations”. I think the cult was Church of Scientology. Could Throckmorton be borrowing from their literature?

Wayn Besen

September 3rd, 2010

I think Warren has done some good work on the Uganda issues. He is not the same guy who produced “I Do Exist”. That is for sure.


September 7th, 2010

you know seriously LOL they should take the test because it would simply save us all some time, you see the most recent history has shown that these nay-sayers are all sitting around in denial and they eventually get off the str8 path and prove to the world everything they themselves profess so YES they are gay and YES they will eventually come out and live the lifestyle and have their luggage lifted LOL so why not save us all some time and get out of the way.


September 7th, 2010

Pathetic. Why aren’t straights ever questioned about their attractions, since all of the world’s problems have been caused by(wait, you guessed it) straight men!!! yet they’re given carte blanche on their “normalcy”.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts


Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.