NOM BLOG

Study of Religiously-Mediated Sexual Orientation Change Published in Respected Scientific Journal

 

Christian News Wire:

Many professional voices proclaim that it is impossible to change homosexual orientation, and that the attempt to change is commonly and inherently harmful. Psychologists Stanton L. Jones (Wheaton College, IL) and Mark A. Yarhouse (Regent University) have just published in the respected, peer-reviewed Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy the final results of their longitudinal study of individuals seeking sexual orientation change through involvement in a variety of Christian ministries affiliated with Exodus International.

The results show change to be possible for some, and the attempt not harmful on average. These results stand in tension with the supposed professional consensus; more information is available at www.exgaystudy.org.

34 Comments

  1. Randy E King
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    According to the APA "there is no consensus..."

    Psychology is a pseudo science that has most recently dissolved into a group of individuals more concerned with pimping political ideology than they are with serving their clients needs.

    Biology is a proven science that stands in direct opposing to the ridiculous and unfounded assertions of psychology as it relates to sam-sex activity.

  2. EvolveAlready
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Orientation or identity? I wouldn't doubt your Christian-educated psychologists could scare gays into the closet, but I would certainly doubt prayer can change someone's biology.

  3. Louis E.
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    It's simply a matter of educating people out of the delusion that wanting to engage in same-sex sexual activity can ever entitle anyone to do so.

  4. Randy E King
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Their is no biological evidence to sugest people are "born that way", but their is an abundance of blatant lies and falsehoods stating otherwise.

    Nobody should be surprised when a marriage corruption supporter lies to them; afterall, these people spend their entire lives lying to themselves.

  5. Ash
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I believe that sexual orientation change therapy (religious and non-religious) is going to involve more public discussion, debate, and research in the near future. Gays and lesbians should be happy about that--emphasis on "should". I would presume that they support client self-determination.

  6. j. fox
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Homosexuals should not be denied treatment. We don't deny drug Or alcohol addicts treatment.

  7. David in Houston
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Exodus International has previously admitted that it is impossible to change a person's sexual orientation. (If that were true, then why can't straight people choose to be gay -- even temporarily?) The only thing they facilitate is the repression of the gay person's urges (behavior). Trying to get gay people to pretend to be straight for the sake of religious beliefs is futile and is obviously damaging to the person's psyche.

  8. Little man
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    EvolveAlready: This is about peer-reviewed scientific research publication. Or can't you tell the difference. Did you just evolve?

  9. Little man
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    David, in Houston (not to be confused with another David): You say: "The only thing they facilitate is the repression of the gay person's urges" - and your source for this conclusion is...? Or is that your premise? Oh, you mean to start with a "gay" person? That's called circular reasoning, FYI. Who would that be? (Someone who "says" he is "gay", meaning he prefers that kind of, so called, c o p u l a t i o n ?) Is your differentiation based on a "show of hands"? That's kindergarten science.

  10. bman
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    New research on neuroplasticity indicates that the brain changes based on how we use it.

    Pornography becomes addictive, for example, because it triggers a powerful reward process that creates new pathways in the brain. These are called neuroplastic changes.

    With time, abstinence from porn will create lack of use for those pathways, which causes them to recede and relieves the addiction.

    Dr. Neil Whitehead has theorized the same sort of
    thing happens in gays. Some excerpts:

    ... brains are not innately gay or straight, but are shaped later by repeated fantasizing and experience.

    ...even if differences were reliably shown to exist between adult brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals, they would now mostly be explained by neurologists as the result of numerous repeated experiences and thinking patterns, rather than being fixed structures programming a certain sexual orientation..

    Because of brain plasticity it’s quite possible that homosexuals could become more heterosexual and heterosexuals could become homosexual, though intense persistent work could be needed,
    about equivalent to thoroughly mastering a new musical instrument....

    If one part of the brain is suddenly not used, the areas around it quickly start to recruit these unused brain cells for other purposes, reprogram them and use them....

    The details are provided in Chapter 8 of his online book at http://www.mygenes.co.nz/download.htm

  11. Lefty
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I don't know about this. Maybe it's helpful for some people. But I still think that if we had a reliable technique for changing someone's sexual orientation, we would be using it to change people who are dangerous to society, like pedos and sadists.

  12. tim
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    If you actually read the results it comes out to be a 6% "success rate". Think about that for a moment - out of 98 individuals - only 6 reported "successful conversation to heterosexuality". In other words a complete and utter failure and only further proves that sexual orientation is innate and unchangeable.

  13. EvolveAlready
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I'm guessing the word "science" automatically flags my posts for the mods...seems like the NOM crowd isn't much a fan.

  14. OhMyWord
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Anyone notice that Regent and Wheaton are christian schools? It's hard to say they're unbiased...

  15. leo
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    OhMyWord-then it becomes your job to prove it, since this would be your clam-Are you saying that christians are not capable of being unbias, but gays/lesbians can?

  16. Randy E King
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    So Christian schools are not allowed to do research, but marriage corruption supporters are?

    I imagine it is safe to say that OhMyWord had no problem with the fact that the majority of "expert" witnesses testifying for the plaintiffs in the prop 8 farce are self professed same-sex enthusiasts in commited relationship; as was the apointed attorney who declared the opininions offered by same-sex practicioners irrefutable facts.

    Same-sex practitioners are not a species unto themselves. Go sell crazy somwhere else because we are not buying any.

  17. Louis E.
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    There is no valid justification for anyone to engage in same-sex sexual activity.Some people have more of a weakness for this indefensible behavior than others so naturally they are the most in need of help avoiding it...denying that they have any obligation to avoid it is a symptom of the most severe weakness.

  18. RC
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Sounds like it's not a study so much as a brochure for Exodus International.

  19. Emily
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    what does ex-gay therapy have to do with "protecting marriage?" i thought NOM was of the belief that gays can be left alone to do what they want, just keep them away from "marriage."

  20. Randy E King
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Do marriage corruption supporters have anything else to offer in defense of their depravity asides from "no it isn't" and "so what?"

    The adults in the room need to step up and put these children in time-out.

  21. Louis E.
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not "ex-gay therapy works",the public interest in discouraging same-sex sexual activity is served by continuing to attempt it.

  22. Posted September 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    So, >90% of the subjects of the study make no meaningful change in orientation and this supports what exactly?

    The ones who 'changed' (14%) went from 'gay' to 'less gay' or bisexual... and might have been bisexual in the first place.

  23. Little man
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, if a person is prone to homosexual behavior, they would in general try to find another such person so they can form a couple (an intimate friendship). So, to the extent homosexual behavior ("homosexual" used as an adjective) can be changed is critical to the debate. Same-sex civil marriage advocates constantly try to refer to homosexual behavior as in-born or immutable, though they don't have peer-reviewed evidence that establishes it so. But even they will conceded not everyone who calls himself a homosexual (word used as a noun) or "gay" is indeed one. There's the escape construct of the so-called bi-sexual (compound word used as a noun). But ultimately, the only way to determine if someone is a "homosexual", and therefore validate the use of the word as a noun, is by - a raise of hands. That cannot possibly lead to well-defined science, though it is a good hypothetical start. Scientists won't be oppressed for long, true science will show through. It just takes a while.

  24. Sam
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Maggie has said that NOM isn't anti-gay, just pro-marriage. Color me shocked that NOM would promote "ex-gay" therapy. By the way, did you actually read the study? I really don't think it found what you think it found. The handful of so-called successes all still experience homosexual attraction. In other words, they're gay or maybe bisexual, but their sexual orientation is still the same.

  25. Paul Mc
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    @Randy King and BMAN:

    There is plenty plenty plenty of evidence suggesting a biological link to homosexuality. It is simply wrong to suggest there is NO biological evidence. 'Proof' of causal link is a different matter as with any hypothesis. But evidence, there is plenty from cognitive differences, to functional MRI to oto-acoustic blink response. Of the ones I mention, oto-acoustic blink and some of the MRI specifically looks at areas not related to learned erotic or sexual repsonse, i.e. neuroplasticity doesn't come in to it.

    The Jones/Yarhouse study has confounding subjectivity written all over it. How can anyone place credence in telephone and self-reported 'change' when the very therapy and/or modes of 'change' involve extremes levels of religiously motivated suggestion and cognitive dissonance?

  26. Louis E.
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The important thing is to eliminate feelings of entitlement to engage in same-sex sexual activity.Whatever (legal) guise that persuasion takes.

  27. bman
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Paul Mc->Of the ones I mention, oto-acoustic blink...not related to learned erotic or sexual response, i.e. neuroplasticity doesn't come in to it.

    You did not reference the specific research.

    Possibly, you are referring to the research mentioned in Robert Knights' article Born or Bred: Science Does Not Support the Claim That Homosexuality Is Genetic.

    Some excerpts:

    Dr. Halstead Harrison, an associate professor emeritus in the Atmospheric Science Department of the University of Washington, reviewed the [blink] study, noted the small sizes of the test groups (14 lesbians and 15 heterosexual women, and 15 each of homosexual and heterosexual men) and the statistical methods, and concluded: “Data presented by Rahman et al. do not confidently support their finding that homosexual women exhibit a male-type startled-blink reflex.”

    Harrison further stated that “no significant differences were detected.”

    As far as the blink reflex being utterly innate or somewhat trainable, he responded to an
    interviewer, “Now, that’s an open question.”

    Dr. Harrison also said he would have liked to
    have seen the complete data on the series of tests to see whether the subjects’ responses would
    change with repetition. This would indicate whether the PPI is entirely innate.

    In his conclusion, he said: “This Comment should not be construed as falsifying the hypothesis
    that homosexual and heterosexual women display different prepulse startle-inhibition reflexes.

    That conjecture may turn out to be so, but the present data do not confidently support it.”

    The Knight article also adds,

    ... the researchers [of the blink study] themselves introduce some cautionary notes in the study:

    ....whether neural differences underlie sexual orientation per se, or are a consequence of homosexual or heterosexual behavior, is yet to be
    determined.

    You had claimed, "neuroplasticity doesn't come in to it."

    Yet, it appears the researchers did not rule out behavior as a cause for the neural differences, which suggests that neuroplasticity remains an option.

  28. Bryan
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    What has this to do with marriage ?

  29. Spunky
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    @bman: Here's Wikpedia's page on "Biology and Sexual Orientation":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

    While there is no proof of anything one way or the other, there is definitely evidence suggesting that sexual orientation may have biological links, as Paul Mc says.

  30. TC Matthews
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    "biological links" are a far cry from legal immutability, which was the aim of the "born gay" activist line. The reality is that people are just people. Equal. People with same sex attraction are people just the same as people with alcohol problems, fat problems, bad breath problems, etc. We're all just people, and we all have our challenges.

  31. bman
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Spunky-> While there is no proof of anything one way or the other, there is definitely evidence suggesting that sexual orientation may have biological links, as Paul Mc says.

    TC Matthews' point applies here. A biological difference, if such was proved, might be predisposing in nature (similar to a predisposition to alcoholism) but not determinative.

    Or, if its a difference in brain structure or neural circuitry it might be the result of neuroplasticity, where brain anatomy is changed based on behavioral patterns. See post above http://www.nomblog.com/14232/comment-page-1/#comment-67590

  32. Spunky
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    @bman

    I absolutely agree with you. Varying degrees of predisposition is definitely a possibility. But could it also be that some people are hard-wired to be gay? Possibly. My point is that Paul Mc was on target when he stated that there is "plentyx4 evidence to suggest a biological link to homosexuality." There probably isn't a gay gene, but sexual orientation probably has some biological link.

    And TC Matthews' point doesn't apply to any of this. I'm not a "born that way activist," and he counters a point I never even made. My point, again, was that there appear to be several (possible) biological links to a person's sexual orientation.

  33. bman
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Spunky->But could it also be that some people are hard-wired to be gay? Possibly.

    The "its possible" argument can be applied to almost anything. It needs proof added to it to make it substantive.

    My point is that Paul Mc was on target when he stated that there is "plentyx4 evidence to suggest a biological link to homosexuality."

    This merely repeats the point you made before, and so its proper that I repeat my previous reply to it, "A biological difference, if such was proved, might be predisposing in nature (similar to a predisposition to alcoholism) but not determinative.
    Or, if its a difference in brain structure or neural circuitry it might be the result of neuroplasticity, where brain anatomy is changed based on behavioral patterns."

    Also, the article Homosexuality 101 argues that temperament has a biological link, and that certain temperaments are more susceptible to homosexuality than others.

    The idea is that the vast majority or persons with a sensitive introspective temperament would not develop homosexuality, but that the temperament would still be more susceptible to environmentally developed homosexuality than other temperaments.

    Supposing that temperament has a biological link, and that certain temperaments are more susceptible to homosexuality than others, one would expect homosexuals to tend to have biological links to the temperament in question.

    And TC Matthews' point doesn't apply to any of this. I'm not a "born that way activist," and he counters a point I never even made.

    Keep in mind you inherited PaulMC's argument.

    Besides, TCMatthews did not say you were "a born that way activist," but said the line reasoning used by such activists was faulty.

    Furthermore, it appears you effectively used that same line of reasoning where you said, "...hard-wired to be gay? Possibly.."

  34. Spunky
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Hmm seems my comment didn't make it...I had said:

    "bman, we're going in circles here. We agree with each other, so let's leave it at that. I'm done here."