Skip to comments.Row as researcher claims gays can be 'straightened'
Posted on 10/02/2003 5:14:20 AM PDT by Pikamax
Row as researcher claims gays can be 'straightened' Polly Curtis Thursday October 2, 2003 The Guardian
An international row has broken out after an American journal published research which claimed that therapy can make homosexual people become heterosexual. Gay rights groups have already dubbed the research "dangerous and sinister".
The study of Americans who had undergone so-called "reparative therapy" claimed that 78% of men and 95% of wome reported a change to predominantly or completely heterosexual behaviour.
The study's author, Professor Robert Sptizer, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, claimed it was the first study of its type. The Times Higher Education Supplement quoted him as saying: "It questions the politically correct view that once you're gay that's it and suggests that there is more flexibility than many people have assumed."
Professor Spitzer, who was central to the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders insists he is not anti-gay. But the study's methods have encountered heavy criticism.
The paper was rejected by the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry, but accepted by the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, which is also well respected in academic circles. One member of the International Academy of Sex Research, which supports the journal, resigned in protest.
Doctor Qazi Rahmana, a lecturer at the University of East London and specialist in the biological basis of human sexual orientation, criticised the methodology of the research, but defended the right for academics to debate controversial subjects.
"My main concern is the method. He [Spitzer] relied on self-reports from a select sample of individuals. They were not your average gay or lesbian man - they were mostly from ex-gay ministries and organisations involved in reparation."
He went on: "I strongly believe in academic freedom. The results should have been disseminated - whether they should be published in a reasonably prestigious publication I'm not so sure."
Doctor Rahmana said that the existing research indicated that the seeds of sexuality are sown in the "hard wiring" of the brain before birth.
A spokesperson for the gay rights campaigning group Stonewall said: "This is dangerous, sinister, nonsense, there's no evidence that gay people can be 'cured' as if it's some kind of illness.
"We're in favour of free speech. I don't think we would say repress it, but we would say it was flawed and flimsy research. It would be interesting to see research on whether straight people can be made to be gay."
It would be interesting to see research on whether straight people can be made to be gay.
Unless you're one of those fools who believe that human potential is unlimited and that anyone can do anything if only they try hard enough.
As for the study...it's total bullshit. No "psychological therapy" for anything is as successfull as this study claims.
It would seem they can.
Though not "research", Arianna Huffington seems to have what it takes.
If there were anyone willing to try that, not that I would expect many volunteers, these idiots would just claim that he/she has always been "gay" but has just been supressing it.
Yes gays can turn straight. Yes straights can wander over to gay street. Heck, bis cheerfully bounce between pitching and catching and back depending on mood. But all the cases above make up for a small fraction of human sexuality.
For most people, male and female, hetrosexuality is the norm because THAT is what is hardwired into our species -- by God. People who want to leave the gay lifestyle should not be treated like traitors by the gay rights industry.
There's an ongoing long-term research project into this phenomenon. It's called prison.
At first I was so astounded by the remark above that I thought the remark was sarcasm.
But then this remark was followed by this following remark:
"As for the study...it's total bullshit."
Then I knew the author of both remarks had to be under the age of 30 and lacked the wisdom obtained from life experiences to know that, one, the history of man has proven the unlimited potential of humans to be true and two, the phrase "total bullshit" is not a learned and credible response used during a mature conversation about a controversial topic among adults.
The study's author, Professor Robert Sptizer, a psychiatrist at Columbia University ... was central to the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders ...F.Y.I.
Open your eyes and you'll see that human beings fail in very large numbers to obtain what they desire...and always have. Only someone truly mean-spirited would attribute that to lack of effort.
Psychological therapy is by and large a failure. The hype associated with every new "treatment" or "study" is well-known.
Mistaking salty blunt-speaking for childishness is, well, childish. :)
Not to metion true.
What is dangerous and sinister is the bending of our culture by those who desperately want homosexuality to be classified as "inborn". And by the way, a phobia is an irrational fear. "homophobia" is, for the most part, an irrational term.
But that only applies to most people. Clearly, there are those designed by nature who are either one or the other, there are those who become one or the other during childhood and adolescence and find it very difficult to change, and clearly almost noone is immune to societal norms.
Here's the summary posted on the NARTH website.
The results of a study conducted by Dr. Robert L. Spitzer have just been published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 5, October 2003, pp. 403-417.
Spitzer's findings challenge the widely-held assumption that a homosexual orientation is "who one is" -- an intrinsic part of a person's identity that can never be changed.
The study has attracted particularly attention because its author, a prominent psychiatrist, is viewed as a historic champion of gay activism. Spitzer played a pivotal role in 1973 in removing homosexuality from the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.
Testing the hypothesis that a predominantly homosexual orientation will, in some individuals, respond to therapy were some 200 respondents of both genders (143 males, 57 females) who reported changes from homosexual to heterosexual orientation lasting 5 years or more. The study's structured telephone interviews assessed a number of aspects same-sex attraction, with the year prior to the interview used as the comparative base.
In order to be accepted into the 16-month study, the 247 original responders had to meet two criteria. First, they had to have had a predominantly homosexual attraction for many years, including the year before starting therapy (at least 60 on a scale of sexual attraction, with 0 as exclusively heterosexual and 100 exclusively homosexual). Second, after therapy they had to have experienced a change of no less than 10 points, lasting at least 5 years, toward the heterosexual end of the scale of sexual attraction.
Although examples of "complete" change in orientation were not common, the majority of participants did report change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year as a result of reparative therapy.
These results would seem to contradict the position statements of the major mental health organizations in the United States, which claim there is no scientific basis for believing psychotherapy effective in addressing same-sex attraction. Yet Spitzer reports evidence of change in both sexes, although female participants reported significantly more change than did male participants.
The statistical and demographic details of the respondents include the following:
In addition, participants were asked to react to a series of possible reasons for desiring change from homosexual orientation to heterosexuality as well as being asked to assess their marital relationships.
Some of the findings of the Spitzer study, particularly regarding motivations for change, included:
Spitzer acknowledges the difficulty of assessing how many gay men and women in the general population would actually desire reparative therapy if they knew of its availability; many people, he notes, are evidently content with a gay identity and have no desire to change.
Is reorientation therapy harmful? For the participants in our study, Spitzer notes, there was no evidence of harm. "To the contrary," he says, "they reported that it was helpful in a variety of ways beyond changing sexual orientation itself." And because his study found considerable benefit and no harm, Spitzer said, the American Psychiatric Association should stop applying a double standard in its discouragement of reorientation therapy, while actively encouraging gay-affirmative therapy to confirm and solidify a gay identity.
Furthermore, Spitzer wrote in his conclusion, "the mental health professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy that has, as a goal, a change in sexual orientation. Many patients, provided with informed consent about the possibility that they will be disappointed if the therapy does not succeed, can make a rational choice to work toward developing their heterosexual potential and minimizing their unwanted homosexual attractions."
Is reorientation therapy undertaken only by clients who are driven by guilt--what is popularly known as "homophobia"?
"For some individuals," Spitzer noted," changing sexual orientation can be a rational, self-directed goal." "In fact," he concluded, "the ability to make such a choice should be considered fundamental to client autonomy and self-determination."
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