Monday, October 1, 2007
Sexual Orientation Change Possible: New Book

     A new book based on a peer-reviewed, longitudinal (long-term) study confirms change in sexual orientation is possible.

     Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation by researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse reports 67 percent of study participants reported a change toward heterosexual orientation or were successfully continuing efforts toward that goal. The change rates are comparable for dealing with other difficult issues such as depression and better than Department of Labor rates reported for addressing substance abuse.  The research was conducted over three years.

     In-depth information about the study, its research methods and an extensive white paper on the work are available at www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=2846.

     The book will no doubt stir up controversy as it is challenged by those who won't even bother to read it.  But I know from my experiences -- including a former employee now married with children -- that gay men can change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation.  While it appears some environmental and genetic factors may predispose one to a same-sex sexual attraction, homosexual orientation is not an immutable fact of nature or Creation.  Anyone who doesn't believe that would do well to read this new book with an open mind.

Comments: (5)



This reminds me of the Christian debate over free will and pre-destination. Do we choose Christ or does Christ choose us?

The same concept applies to this post. Just as I believe in free will to follow Jesus, I believe being homosexual is a choice.

To the contrary, 11:48, the evidence is that while whether one chooses to behave as a heterosexual or a homosexual is a choice, the studies indicate that the basic fact of whether one's orientation is gay or straight is not a choice.

A priest may be celibate , but he will have a basic impulse to overcome either of emotional and physical attraction to women or emotional or physical attraction to men. (All too many priests, as we have learned, have failed to overcome these attractions, suggesting the reality of the situation. To overcome such attraction to love is to defeat God-given human nature itself.

But let's suppose, 11:48, that you are right. Should it not be the freedom of an American to choose his or her one path to happiness and bear the consequences so long as the choice effects none but one's own conscience? Or would you impose upon Americans the imperative to follow Jesus, rather than allow them the freedom to govern their own lives and beliefs?

Yes, Curt, let's discuss this book; you have characterized its results artfully. I would join the authors in characterizing their results differently.

Of a self-selected and self-reporting sample of people who because of a conflict with their faith felt it important to "move away" from their sexual orientation, after going through Exodus, only 15% reported themselves as experiencing a dramatic change that the authors characterize as conversion. I wonder if this includes the various leaders of Exodus that have reported themselves entirely "cured", appearing on magazine covers with their wives, only to be outed from the shadows along the walls of gay bars in Washington DC.

Almost 25% had moved away from same sex orientation, but not at all toward heterosexual orientation. (Bravo. These individuals apparently will lack the satisfaction of a fulfilling and loving sexual relationship with another human being. One has a hunch that they will find their way back soon enough to human fulfillment.)

Apparently, the remaining 60% of these people who were trying desperately to change remained gay. The authors themselves observed that the change away from homosexuality was more statistically significant, (though still not predominating) than to heterosexuality. (Hm. An evangelical population that wants to be straight but can't get there. They are choosing to be straight but can't be, eh, 11:48?)

The authors acknowledged harm done "anecdotally" but not "on average". How's that for a treatment? "I'm sending you to a surgeon whose malpractice is only anecdotal, not on average."

The authors seem fair in saying Change is possible for some (a minority), but not possible for everybody and not possible for anybody.

Not exactly as you chose to represent it, is it, Curt?

Curt, I've gone to the website that you gave in your posting and have started to download and read some of the documents. But as I do, if you know (and maybe some of the materials will ultimately tell me, what constituted the "peer review" of the work and what were their affiliations/credentials to quality them as "peer reviewers"? I believe this to be an important question because all too often (and it happens with some "liberal" studies, too), the peer reviewers are ideologically closely associated with the folks doing the study.

I did note someone's comment that the largest percentage of single-topic subjects presented on this site deal with homosexuality. Is there a reason for this?

You know what we need? Government mandated sexual reorientation. We could build camps where these people could go until they are cured. Someone should make a movie about this. We could call it, "X-Men 3".