More information has come to light concerning the study we reported on here.
An anonymous source said they have contact with someone participating in the study, called the Thomas Project, out of Wheaton College, and the study consists of questions asked once a year by phone. This participant also noted that the questions were oversimplified, requiring basic responses where they felt detailed explanations were needed. We have good reason to trust this contact, though we will respect their request for anonymity.
There are unconfirmed reports that the study has a sample of as few as 100 to 150 participants. While we don’t know what work was done during selection or preparation, we now know that the data was collected via annual phone calls. A picture is forming of some weak methodology, but presumably more accurate assessments can be made if and/or when others in the scientific community are allowed to review the method of selection of study subjects, the content and method of questions, and the presence or lack of nonverbal measurements and control data.
We suspect Exodus’ Regional Freedom Conference (September 13-15) will be the most likely setting for the formal announcement of the results of the Thomas Project. We also suspect the results will claim rates of over 30% experiencing “change”, but this can’t be verified at this time. If so, it seems interesting that Exodus president Alan Chambers knew this before the study was barely a year out:
By Chambers’ estimate, only 30 percent of those who seek to switch orientations succeed. Fifty percent abandon the program. The other 20 percent, he says, go back and forth. “I would say it’s like [Alcoholics Anonymous],” Chambers says. “It’s in the 30-percent range [that] find a great degree of healing and move into heterosexuality, single or married.”
(Orlando Weekly interview with Alan Chambers, published 24 July 2003)
We will release more details as they become available.
Update: Peterson Toscano below relates a conversation with Chambers from 2005 which tends to confirm the lower sample figure of 100 participants.