Dr. Dea reports her four or five child-patients, all under the age of 15 living as the opposite sex, as being ‘much happier’ and having better grades. She also stated she was ‘waiting for the study that says supporting these children is negative.’ I’m waiting on the research that says supporting such behavior is positive on a long-term basis. The problem I see with this approach is that there are professionals engaging in this type of psychotherapy without valid, empirical research to support it. Would you take a pill that has not been through the rigorous testing of not only the developer, but also the FDA? Even then, such treatment can be questionable.
–National Association For Research & Therapy Of Homosexuals (NARTH) professional David C. Maynard, MA, LPCA
The quote above is from the NARTH article Pediatricians Urge Normalizing ‘Gender Variant’ Children. It’s an particularly interesting comment on empirical research and rigorous testing coming from someone affiliated with NARTH — considering the lack of rigorous testing and empirical research to determine the need for and effectiveness of the reparative psychotherapy NARTH advances. The former president of NARTH apparently didn’t feel the need to engage in empirical research or rigorous testing of reparative therapy. The HRC, in its document It’s not about hope, it’s about anti-gay politics, states the following regarding Joseph Nicolosi and NARTH:
The questionable “success rate” of reparative therapy was underscored in a Newsweek article when the head of NARTH, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, was asked why he has done no research or follow-up study on his patients. “I don’t have time,” he glibly responded. The fact is, NARTH doesn’t keep statistics because they know they would have been put out of business decades ago. (Newsweek, August 17, 1998)
The American Psychological Association has stated it’s opinion about reparative therapy. In Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel, the organization states:
The term “reparative therapy” refers to psychotherapy aimed at eliminating homosexual desires and is used by people who do not think homosexuality is one variation within human sexual orientation, but rather still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder. The most important fact about “reparative therapy,” also sometimes known as “conversion” therapy, is that it is based on an understanding of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major health and mental health professions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 477,000 health and mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a “cure.”
Given David C. Maynard’s statement on the importance of empirical research, should we now expect NARTH to counter the opinions or 477,000 health and mental health professionals with the empirical research and rigorous testing of the need for and effectiveness of reparative therapy? I won’t be holding my breath. NARTH to this point hasn’t done such research, and there’s no reason to expect such research will be forthcoming any time soon.
What we’re then left with is well articulated hypocrisy from NARTH professional David C. Maynard — Yes Mr. Maynard, empirical research and rigorous testing is important. Perhaps as a NARTH professional you might wish to stress to the new NARTH leadership how important it is to validate the need for and the effectiveness of the reparative psychotherapy that your own organization advances.