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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.

YouTube Preview Image

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



September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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

September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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

B John
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK


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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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

Wayn Besen
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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

September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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

Ben in Oakland
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK


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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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 | LINK

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”.

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