September 28th, 2011
The National Organization “for” Marriage is trumpeting a new survey about changing your sexual orientation, based on “religiously-mediated” involvement in Christian conversion ministries:
Many professional voices proclaim that it is impossible to change homosexual orientation, and that the attempt to change is commonly and inherently harmful…
The results show change to be possible for some, and the attempt not harmful on average.
I don’t have access to the full survey, but the researchers have summarized the results. Here’s how it turned out after 6 to 7 years of tracking participants:
|98||The number of subjects when the study began: 72 men and 26 women.|
|37||The number of subjects who dropped out of the study and did not report their results. I don’t think we can count any of them as an ex-gay “win.”|
|12||The number who stopped trying to change, and embraced their gay identity.|
|18||The number who were reportedly chaste, “with substantive dis-identification with homosexual orientation.”
In other words, they’ve managed to stop having sex, and don’t think about getting same-sex down-and-dirty as much as they used to.
This isn’t a change in orientation, any more than a straight person is no longer straight because they’ve used prayer to become celibate and partially push some of their sexual feelings underground.
|17||The number who apparently stayed with the study, but whose outcomes are not described in the summary. Presumably, they’re not clear ex-gay “wins” either.|
|14||The number who reported “successful ‘conversion’ to heterosexual orientation and functioning.”|
That’s a meager 14% success rate.
Or is it? Let’s learn more about those 14 people.
First, it’s probably not 14. The study cautions us that the 14 conversions and 18 celibates represent “likely overly optimistic projections of anticipated success.”
In other words — less than 14 actual conversions.
But wait. Check out what “conversion” means:
Most of the individuals who reported that they were heterosexual at Time 3 did not report themselves to be without experience of homosexual arousal, and did not report heterosexual orientation to be unequivocal and uncomplicated.
You know what they call straight people who experience homosexual arousal, and whose orientation is at most equivocal? Bisexual. Most of the 14 heterosexual “conversions” seem to be bisexuals.
This leaves us with at most — at most — 6 individuals who went from gay to straight (as of now, at least; who knows where they’ll be in another 7 years).
And the authors aren’t willing to go even that far. Their single-sentence summary:
In short, the results do not prove that categorical change in sexual orientation is possible for everyone or anyone, but rather that meaningful shifts along a continuum that constitute real changes appear possible for some.
Wow. Out of 98 highly-motivated subjects, the authors found that a small, unspecified number can use prayer and counseling to shut down their sexual feelings or become a bit more bi. And possibly none who turned straight.
Frankly, I’m surprised they couldn’t find more. The authors claim their results:
…challenge the commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment that change of sexual orientation is impossible or very uncommon…
Actually, it looks more like the results confirm those views. If the antigay camp sees this as vindication and victory, they must be even more desperate than I thought.
UPDATE: I’m abashed to say that Timothy Kincaid has already covered this here at Box Turtle Bulletin, and in far more depth. You can check out his series of articles here.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.