Psychiatrists Warn Church of England to Reject Reparative Therapy
A report recently presented to Anglicans in the UK has warned that therapy to change sexual orientation is based on unproven methods and can cause severe damage.
In its submission to the Church of England’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality, the Royal College of Psychiatrists wrote that therapists who attribute their clients’ mental health problems to their sexuality are likely to cause “considerable distress.” The report went on to say:
A small minority of therapists will even go so far as to attempt to change their client’s sexual orientation. This can be deeply damaging. Although there is now a number of therapists and organisation in the USA and in the UK that claim that therapy can help homosexuals to become heterosexual, there is no evidence that such change is possible. The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field.
No mention is made of the recent Jones and Yarhouse study, which also falls short of a full, randomized clinical trial.
The report, which also addresses the nature of gay and lesbian relationships, the origins of homosexuality, and the mental health of gay men and women, concludes by urging Anglicans to accept gays and lesbians fully into the life of the Church:
[There] is no scientific or rational reason for treating LGB people any differently to their heterosexual counterparts. People are happiest and are likely to reach their potential when they are able to integrate the various aspects of the self as fully as possible. Socially inclusive, nonjudgemental attitudes to LGB people who attend places of worship or who are religious leaders themselves will have positive consequences for LGB people as well as for the wider society in which they live.
But will the Church listen?
Tip of the hat to regular XGW commenter Jimbo.
Excellent paper from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, clearly stated with appropriate references.
On the Charisma online forum where I post, J. Lee Grady has criticized the Episcopal Church for its acceptance of gays in the post There is Weeping in the Cathedral.
Some of the posters there are from England. When I mention that the American Psychiatric Association considers attempts to change one’s sexual orientation unethical, (section 1-GG) and the American Psychological Association says the same thing, they still maintain that “casting out the demon of homosexuality” through exorcism will turn a gay person straight.
While this RC statement wouldn’t change their minds, of course, at least it adds an English perspective to the American debate.
Thanks for presenting this information.
I seriously doubt the C of E will adopt an inclusive position on this. Homosexuality and the culture wars are raging there, just like in the Episcopal Church USA and Anglican Church of Canada though the C of E won’t schism because it is the State church.
And given that the demographics of the church are changing, where liberal whites are leaving and more conservative immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are the growing presence, the C of E is likely to adopt more conservative positions on sexuality in the future.
Of course, in a number of cases forms of reparative therapy *do* work, so we are left asking “Why have the psychiatrists ignored this”?
Well, that’s their point, isn’t it? That no sufficient scientific evidence does exist, so there’s no “of course” about that “number of cases”.
And with all due respect to your personal choices (and I mean that – I really do respect your choices, your marriage, and wish you the best with the little “Baruch”), even your own story, which you hold up as evidence of change, doesn’t really convince (as we discussed not that long ago on here). For instance, you have alluded a few times to homosexual desires/temptations returning during times of stress or weakness. To me (to most of us, I expect), it sounds like the homosexuality hasn’t gone at all – it’s simply being controlled and ordered in a different way, perhaps, but it’s still fundamentally there. In fact, it sounds remarkably like my own experience when I was convinced I couldn’t be a Christian and gay.
Your critique of my story rests in an bi-polar assumption of sexuality that misses the Biblical perspective that gay/straight (and the continuum between those two points) are not prescriptive descriptors of humanity. That’s perhaps why there is so much conflict in this debate – so many people are working on assumptions about the prescriptiveness of one’s position along this continuum, whereas a Christian perspective rejects this humanistic anthropology.
If a drug addict doesn’t inject for 20 years, but still recognises when he is tired that he is tempted to shoot up, is he still a drug addict?
It seems to me we’re talking about the same object (“homosexuality”), but different interpretations. The problem is that when ex-gays describe the ex-gay process of change, they claim that the object has changed, when in fact it’s their interpretation/response that has changed. That is certainly what comes through strongly to me when I read your (and others’) stories. The basic object is still sitting there somewhere inside of you, but your relation to it has changed.
When ex-gays, then, talk about “change”, they’re taking advantage of that semantic gap. Most people in the western world, when they talk about “change” in this context, are referring to the object – a basic sexual attraction or proclivity towards the same sex. Whether they’re right in their interpretation of what that means for the individual is beside the point.
As for the drug addiction analogy, let’s be more specific and talk about alcohol.
Now, I hardly ever drink. I’ve never been drunk. I have never felt the temptation to get drunk. You could put me in front of a free bar all night, or leave me alone with a crate of spirits, and there’s just no realistic possibility I’m going to want or try to get drunk. Even if I had a glass, I would – and it would stop right there.
But say there’s a man who 20 years ago was an alcoholic. He hasn’t had a drink in those 20 years. But he can’t be put alone with the drink like I can. He can’t put himself in front of a bar in the same way. And he certainly can’t have a glass and stop at that one glass. Why? Because he still has that basic proclivity to abuse alcohol. He may not call himself an alcoholic, but it’s clearly there. He may identify himself differently, and he may stand in a different relation to that proclivity from how he stood 20 years ago, but the basic propensity is still there.
Oh, “C of E”…. and “homosexuality”… … and up pops Peter O.
An Eskimo couldn’t wish for a more inviting ice-hole, or a more willing seal.
Peter — please name who these ‘successful’ cases are. Who has deliberately altered their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through reparative therapy? That’s a wild claim, and you are expected to provide the evidence. Here.
(you don’t count. For the most obvious of reasons. Evidence for this “Christian perspective” that “rejects this humanistic anthropology” wouldn’t go astray either.)
In answer to the addiction question — as AA will tell you, “once an addict, always an addict’. This is why their people say “I’ve been sober for X years, and I’m an alcoholic”.
(which is what I think Dave R was getting at. )
Apart from that, homosexuality isn’t an addiction. Your reference (qed: direct comparison) to drug addiction is tasteless, baseless, rude, and a false analogy. As you already well know.
Why don’t I count? My sexual orientation and preferences are certainly nowhere where they were a decade ago. Do I not count because my self-reporting isn’t acceptable to your already predetermined assessment of the likelihood of orientation change?
The analogy to drug taking (or alcoholism) is highly useful when we’re discussing what “leaving homosexuality” or “post-gay” actually means. You want it to mean “isn’t attracted to men anymore”. I take it to mean “isn’t controlled by attraction to men anymore”. That’s a crucial difference and you need to recognise it.
Comparing human sexuality and desire for companionship with a destructive behavior is also a strawman. Take something benign (and universal in this case), equate it with something malicious, and then condemn them both the same. It could be done to make anything look bad.
You can count all you want, you’re just not in a position to speak for anyone else.
Then call yourself a recovering homoholic, so we all understand that your attraction to men was so raging and out of control that your life had become unmanageable.
I’m not using it to show that homosexuality is “bad”. Rather I’m using it to demonstrate a different way to look at what “post-gay” / “ex-gay” might mean rather than the limited “now you’re straight” understanding which mis-understands the actual experience of those who also find that reparative forms of therapy work to a greater or lesser extent.
“isn’t controlled by attraction to men anymore”
Good grief, your language is dripping with animosity toward your own orientation. I’m not “controlled by attraction to men” either but I’m most certainly gay. It’s the same with gay or straight, Peter; morality is not restricted to the heterosexual population. You can be a wild and crazy straight guy (or girl), as spring break, Mardi Gras, swingers clubs, and the average stroll through a mall (just to name a very few) will demonstrate.
If you want to live like a straight man, more power to you. But don’t wrap up the experience and sell it as change the way the rest of the world would define it. That is what sets others out on painful struggles for impossible goals. It’s not your experiences that cause others pain, it’s the way you sell them. I don’t know how else to describe that other than dishonest.
As Dave said: “It’s not your experiences that cause others pain, it’s the way you sell them.”
The prefixes “post” and “ex” are definitive descriptors, and do not communicate a perpetual state of resistence to something. If you don’t want to have to explain your personal redefinition of those prefixes, don’t use them.
Your reply to me demonstrates exactly what I’m saying. Your reference to “your orientation” shows that you’re not engaging with what I’m saying. You see sexual orientation as something determinative and prescriptive. I, and many others, do not and that is the gulf that needs to be bridged. Despite anything I say or write, you keep bringing it back to “but are you still gay?” and in doing so you miss the whole point that it’s not about being gay, straight or anywhere in-between.
I remember a time in my life when I simply could not conceive of not being homosexual. To try and identify as something else would have be like stepping out into a void, not even knowing if there was anything beneath my feet. And then one day it simply clicked – gay and straight and that whole bi-polar spectrum was simply an entirely inadequate anthropology and it wasn’t even vaguely Biblical. That’s the moment when I became “post-gay” and chose to leave those labels behind and live as the “man” that the Bible described me as, not as the “gay” or “straight” or anything in-between man that you and others here seem so keen to pigeon-hole every single person as despite the fact you can’t qualify it biologically or genetically in any way (as you can white/black, male/female).
So, you and others will continue to label me as “a repressed homosexual”. You will pour scorn on my tale of transformation because it fundamentally challenges your socially acceptable but non-biologically demonstrable anthropology. Perhaps one day you will realise that saying that I “want to live as a straight man” completely misses what I have been batting on about here and my website, and at that point we can finally have a proper conversation where you take me seriously, not continue to mis-hear and mis-represent.
I see… then how do they know “This can be deeply damaging”?
Peter, as David said, you continue to falsely portray the views of others regarding homosexuality.
Who said sexual orientation is determinative and prescriptive — besides you? Who is controlled by their sexual identity — besides you?
I confess that your projection of your own issues onto others grows tiresome for me at times.
I find the employment of “identity” or “behaviour” as unhelpful. I’ll use our favourite alcoholic analogy, though not as a parallel for homosexuality.
Let’s say I attend AA meetings.
Let’s say I publically declare myself to be a recovering alcoholic.
Let’s say that I sometimes have a drink with a meal and then declare that I’ve slipped up.
So, I identify as a recovering alcoholic. I engage in behaviours of recovering alcoholics (attending meetings). I even feel guilt when I “backslide” by having a drink with a meal.
Yet, guess what? I was never alcoholic to begin with. I was never addicted to the stuff and it never interfered with my life. In no clinical or colloquial definition was I alcoholic. My “biology” never changed.
So, my point, if you wish to say you see yourself in a new way that doesn’t employ the terms used in society, then that’s great. Congrats. But don’t go around using those terms that society defines in another way to make people think something that isn’t true.
Changing your identification or behaviour does not change your underlying biological impulses. To knowingly lead people to think otherwise is not socially responsible in my mind.
I was not the one who used the words “your orientation”. Dave was. To talk of “your orientation” is using gay/straight as descriptive and in context it was prescriptive as well. If Dave R didn’t think that being same-sex attracted was a determinative descriptor, why in any way would he assume it was my orientation.
It seems as though you are also stuck in this bi-polar model.
Peter O said:
I understand what you are saying, I simply don’t agree. And I find your private definitions for terms commonly known by other meanings to be dishonest. That has no bearing on how you live your life; we will only cross on this when you try to sell it to others as something it is not.
The rest of what you said has virtually nothing to do with any of my comments.
Peter O, thats what I keep telling my friend,” I am gay, but If i find it in myself to love and have a family with a girl, I will”. THen she answers, “don’t do that, you wouldnt give yourself to that person as entirely as if you weren’t gay”. My only answer to that question is, “i don’t know”, ex-gay ppl are the first thing that pop into mind and I come back to the first initial thoughts(that is, if i find it in myself to love and have a family with a girl, I will). If they can do it, maybe so can I.
I think I understand your point Peter O., but I see another side which you either cant or dont want to see or simply goes against ‘Love’, I think that if two men want to love, live together happily ever after and also want to form a family, they should and be respected for it.
Loving a SS person is VERY hard to merge with society and quite distressful where I live, so believing in the first paragraph gives me hope that I can forever enjoy a family without being with a man, and without the hassle that comes with loving a SS.
As for the term ex-gay…
First, I still find ex-gay to be a deceitful term cause it would really be a straight acting gay(ex-gay sounds more fanciful tho). Secondly i dont see how being a straight acting gay bars you from being gay.
I just have a beggin request to all the ‘ex-gays’, plz stop condemning gays that can find it in themselves the love and courage to cherish and stand up to social standards. Not everyone wants do it, and like me… I’d prefer to live up to social standards then have to go through all the hassle that being with some man comes with. Does it bother, sadden, disappoint and at times, depress me? yes. Do I think society is right? No, loving someONE is a BEAUTIFUL thing, not something to be ashamed of. Is this world perfect? No. Would I fight to be with and love a man if accidentaly or coincidantly it would happen? probably even though it initially wouldnt seem like it.
Is being gay an obstacle to love a woman and live up to social/religious standards? I dont think so. Is uniting orientation with love the best option for someone? Quite evidently not for ex-gays and their allies; and quite true for the rest and their allies.
And last but not least, if a straight acting gay exists, then so can gay acting straights…. I’ve heard of the straight women that get so tired of men that end up not lesbians, but in sexual activity with women and even end up living together(gay acting straights come to mind). Then theres the belief that sexuality is fluid, conscribed but not determinative.
K.. ill stop now, hopefully this made some sense.
David (and Mike and others),
If you self-identify as “gay” then a huge part of your identity, conscious or subconscious, is wound up in defending a bi-polar sexual orientation anthropology. That’s why you find it so hard to move beyond it (and it’s also the reason for me sharing that part of my story in the second paragraph of what you thought was unrelated to your comments). You and others on this thread will continue to move back to this bi-polar model and make it determinative because to admit otherwise would injure the paradigm of prescriptive gay/straight orientation that you need to support your life-style choices.
The real Peter comes to the surface. Tell me again, who is the one using a bag full of pseudo-clinical terms to defend their “life-style choices”? You really do project yourself heavily onto these debates. It’s astonishing that you don’t see that.
Live your life as you see fit, Peter, but don’t freak out when someone calls you on deceptions, even self-deceptions, if you try to sell it to others.
This isn’t a post about you, per se, but hope dear Editor will indulge us.
Why don’t I count?
Again, to repeat ourselves to you, to be perfectly honest, from our perspective, and since you asked…
Mainly because your “homosexual experience” consists of the sum total of finding one guy on one occasion on MTV … temporarily snoggable. And that’s as extreme as your passion got, according to you. (and please don’t tell me it was the lead singer from Blancmange… ick)
You were an young adult at the time, and a very emotionally and sexually immature one at that. You’d never been so much as touchingly intimate with real live guy. Or girl, for that matter. You’ve described a home life that (of itself) would fail build up self-sufficiency in a child.
You seem the perfect dork from what you’ve described, and like the perfect dork… got talked into something you are not. You may say you “were a homosexual”, but… my dear… everything says you were/are not. If you’d come to us, first, instead of Mario, you wouldn’t now be ex-gay.
Because we’d have told you you weren’t gay in the first place.
A friendless dork, sure, from everything you describe. Possibly a loveable one, in your own odd Dr Who loving way [A]. Possibly a little autistic. But… eggs as eggs… just a dork.
And not gay.
Be aware, there’s one other side to the dag-of-a-kid turned into an nerdy adult: you’ll find you love it when all eyes turn to you when someone says (as example) “he used to be gay, but now he’s not”. That delight at attention is Revenge of the Dork. Many have this affliction. You blush, but you seek it.
Is that clear enough for you; why “you don’t count”?
Feel free to correct us, but rest assured we will check back and see if what you say now is compatible with what you’ve said before. The last thing you want to be is both a dork AND a liar. 🙂
As for the “isn’t controlled by attraction to men anymore”
Well, that suits us just fine. We never were. And are not now.
We are no more “controlled” by being gay than our straight mates are “controlled” by being not-gay. There was initially a basic attraction to someone else, mutually, and therefore we — like them – are now settled with someone who we have all gone on to find is a rather more complex, frustrating, desirable, and loving person than we could have ever imagined. We’ve all eventually become “We” instead of “I”.
The “not controlled” also doesn’t alter the fact we are 100% gay by one single iota.
Peter, you have a very warped perspective of pair-bonded gay couples if you imagine we, like others, are much different to straight couples.
Apart from the number of brands of “feminine products” in the bathroom cupboard — we currently have 14 varieties! [B] — we are boringly, blandly, lawn-mowingly, gutter-cleaningly, path-sweepingly the same as straight couples.
Guess what? : except when naked… we don’t frighten the horses.
[A] nb to self: (repeat) : there is NOTHING wrong with being a fan of Dr Who. Even if James Dobson reminds one of Stavros.
[B] we live inner-city: near night clubs. We constantly have guests who leave things “for next time”, like toothbrushes… and tampons and pads. We still laugh over a pack that promises a “waterproof outer layer” — surely not all over?, otherwise… how does it work??? Also laugh remembering explaining to straight make that his girlfriend’s pads are not applied adhesive side to skin side. (mind boggles!!!)
/snort… it took us 4000 words to say what David said in very few.
David, you remain the editor. For now. /double snort
Should have just said “We are gay, it’s not an identity. And you never were gay, Peter.”
A biblical perspective? You are using an ancient text to address the topic of sexual orientation?
It is beyond absurd. Its is 2007 and human knowledge and science has grown substantially since the time the bible was written.
Sexual orientation is a scientific/biological issue not a biblical issue. If you want to study the bible that is fine – but I would not build a rocket based on the information contain therein.
Why are we even debating with these people???
It is like debating reality with a pyschotic. It is a waste of time.
Please make up your mind. Either I was never gay in the first place, or I’m a repressed homosexual. Either way, you’re stuck again within that bi-polar anthropology aren’t you?
What about a man who can’t honestly say that he isn’t attracted to women any more, but who isn’t controlled by attraction to women any more? How should we describe him? Ex-straight? Post-straight? (And do you feel, by the way, that an analogy to drug taking or alcoholism could be highly useful if we were discussing what “leaving heterosexuality” or “post-straight” actually meant?)
Or would it be better just to say that such a man has moved beyond a bi-polar sexual orientation anthropology and to leave it at that?
Thinking back to my teenage years, when I was still hoping that I wasn’t really gay – owing partly to my religious upbringing, and partly to the common desire to conform – I realise that I might well at that time have been attracted by an ex-gay ministry or by a reparative therapy programmme. If it had been explained to me, however, that I would not thereby cease to be attracted by other guys, but would merely no longer be controlled by this attraction – leaving out of account that I don’t believe that I was controlled by it to any greater extent than my heterosexual contemporaries were controlled by their sexual attractions – or that I was being given the opportunity to move beyond a a bi-polar sexual orientation anthropology, I know what my answer would have been: “I don’t think I’ll bother.”
I for one am losing my patience with those on the religious right and the ex-gay program.
Lies, denial, and stupidity should NEVER be held up as a value.
Take responsibility for your own behavior and happiness and stop blaming it on your inborn sexual orientation.
The religious right has unprecendented political power in this country and in places like the Middle East. This makes them very dangerous to the values of truth, intelligence, and knowledge.
An unintelligent statement if ever there was one.
My lifestyle consists of going to the gym to stay fit, working 12 hours a day, writing on the side and setting goals and acheiving them, spending time with friends and relatives, traveling.
My sexual orientation is 100% homosexual. I did not choose it and it is not a lifestyle. I am sexually and romantically attracted only to other guys. I have absolutely no romantic or sexual interest in women and never have.
How is that a “lifestyle”? Are you making assumptions about my behavior? That – I think – is called prejudice.
Should I assume that all hetersosexual men frequent strip clubs and prostitutes?
The issue of gay civil rights and acceptance is at the heart of the issue of religion versus science.
The disconnect is that those on the religious right refuse to accept the scientific fact that people are born gay.
I had a happy childhood and never had any sexual experiences until I was 22 – although I knew from an early age that I was different.
What a crime it is to attempt to make those born with a different sexual roeitnation feel like they are sick.
It is a crime and should be treated as such.
Ah yes, Peter O at his finest… arguing what “is” is.
Claiming what is, that is not.
We said you are not gay, or homosexual. Ever. Read it out loud, that may help you.
You, an easily influenced nerd, got talked into thinking you were gay by someone who was selling a “gay-go-away” product. And — amazingly — it worked! It was bound to, on you.
We also accept the idea of the Kinsey Scale as accurate. People range from gay to straight. We’ve always said that. Prove we’ve ever thought otherwise, or belt up.
So, politely, you may take your latest invented and again baseless term-of-abuse for gay people (“bi-polar anthropology”) and shove it back up your Kinsey from whence it came.
What a rude man you are, even for a pompous CofE conservative.
False. Few gay people believe someone is either gay or straight — they accept one variation or another of Kinsey’s half-century-old 1-to-6 scale. You are the one who is wound up in defending your identity — which, by the way, is based not upon what you are, but upon what you are not.
False again. Your strawman arguments — projections of your own obsession, perhaps — are imo willfully dishonest and anti-Christian.
False yet again — you are the only one defending a bipolar model. You suggest that being honest about one’s same-sex attractions requires one to be behave according to behavioral stereotypes. Ridiculous. Being predominantly attracted to the same gender — a.k.a. “gay” — has little bearing on one’s sexual behaviors or lifestyle.
It is sad — no, immoral — that you advise impressionable same-sex-attracted persons within your milieu that, should they identify as gay (aka predominantly same-sex-attracted), they must conform to your prescribed model of self-destructive, self-defeating and dishonest behaviors.
Peter Ould has achieved his objective — he has disrupted a discussion of the Church of England with strawman arguments and baseless accusations against those who oppose the harmful effects of reparative therapy.
While he lobs strawman arguments at critics, Peter O has failed to offer constructive evidence that reparative therapy works for anyone, much less the small handful of people (gay and straight) who — coming from broken families with gender confusion or insecurity that complicate relations with both sexes — benefit from gender-role-oriented therapy.
And Peter O has failed to demonstrate how a hypothetical potential to help a handful of people justifies deliberately deceiving, confusing and harming the majority of people whose predominant sexual attractions are unrelated to gender-identity disorders or abuse.
Delightful, in the same thread I am criticised for attempting to diagnose others yet no-one has picked up grantdale for exactly the same thing. I’m now labeled as someone who was never really gay. Who cares whether I tell you that for years I was never sexually attracted to a single female. That form of self-reporting doesn’t interest grantdale and the defence of my story doesn’t interest anybody else here, because it doesn’t fit your preferred story of human sexuality. Of course, if someone was to come on this site and say that they’d never ever been attracted to someone of the opposite sex, you wouldn’t disbelieve them or challenge them because that fits the paradigm you want to defend.
I stand by what I’ve written. If you didn’t need to defend the bi-polar prescriptive model of sexuality then you wouldn’t have created Ex-Gay watch in the first place. Why worry about sad little nerdy dorks like myself? But because your identity is wound up in “gay” you need to destruct any possibility that gay might not be a true description of a human being, that there might be something beyond it, that heaven-forbid, people might not actually have to have their emotional lives dictated by their instinctive responses, whatever the root of those are.
It’s not that I don’t respond to your questions, it’s just that you simply don’t want to hear the answers.
You mean it’s not even established that Peter has ever been gay and yet we are debating this OT rubbish?
What a waste, let’s get back to the topic.
This thread has been about you long enough Peter — the topic never was. You have a habit of dropping by when there is something related to the Church of England – fair enough – but it always ends up with this same discussion about you and your sexuality, and how the world could learn from it. From now on, just keep a link to this discussion handy and post it in a comment whenever the urge strikes again to sidetrack another thread.
How dare you set yourself up as an example, and then complain when you are questioned.
I doubt few here would dispute bisexuals exist, or that that are people who are to greater or lesser extent attracted to one or both sexes. Nothing at XGW would give anyone that impression, factually.
That doesn’t sound like “we” are wedded to your nonsense about “bi-polar sexuality”. You’ve offered no evidence: you’ve simply claimed that such a way of thinking exists. You say “we” think that way — so prove it.
I’m putting it to you that you are (ultimately irrationally) so tied to your religious viewpoint, you cannot accept the facts of life. Homosexuality is real, and human, and neutral. You’re not the first to be mistaken.
You’re also tied to a public persona you’ve adopted. You’ve made public statements you need to continue to support. You recant at grave risk, and huge loss.
Us, on the other hand? No loss is possible. Gay or straight, we are accepted by those who matter. Our jobs, our egos, our friendships are not dependant on being one sexuality or the other. We’re not gay because we have to be, nor do we ‘remain’ gay because we need to be. And, frankly, we don’t give a bugger about what you do: except for on those occasions when you use your public self to attack people.
It’s always about you, isn’t it Peter? Perhaps that should be something to ponder in between dodging questions about the efficacy of ex-gay conversion.
We give up.
David: What a waste
Luckily, pixels are inexpensive 🙂
Which is more than I can say for our continued attention! We’re done.
My identity as a person is not wrapped up into being gay as you put it. My sexuality or sexual orientation is only one part of who I am – but it is not an insignificant part for anyone gay or straight.
You state: “……………..gay might not be a true description of a human being, that there might be something beyond it, that heaven-forbid, people might not actually have to have their emotional lives dictated by their instinctive responses, whatever the root of those are.”
What a sad man you are – trying to shame others because they have a different sexual orientation than the majority.
I know one thing for sure – if religious right wingers and other conservatives stopped bashing gays – we would be alot less conscious of our sexual orientation.
They are the ones that make it an issue.
Heck – if it were not for anti-gay bigots we would not even need a gay civil rights movement. You right wingers give rise to the very thing you object to – but then you are not intelligent enough to see that.
G you hit the nail right on the head!
If people weren’t opposed to homosexuality, if it was an accepted variation on human sexuality and romance guess what would happen?
Well, quite frankly all our lobby groups our supporters our civil rights groups would have a heck of a lot of free time. The gay ghettos would get less gay, and the rest of the world would get just a few more gay people moving nearby.
But no, people HAVE to have things their way. They have to descriminate and hate, and so we had to have a Pride Parade. We have protests, we have rallies — we wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for some people who really think we should all be straight, or at least try to be straight.
Ex-Gay Watch exists because of the harm and lies that the ex-gay industry has perpetuated. It exists as a watchdog to keep them from using misinformation and deception without someone speaking up.
If the “ex-gays” merely called themselves “straight” and went about their business — Ex-Gay Watch, Truth Wins Out, Box Turtle Bulletin —- these people would have time to do something else! But do the ex-gay do that? No, of course not. They try to submit themselves as evidence that we don’t deserve equality — and then get surprised when we do something about it.
If black people started getting surgery to change their facial features and skin color, and then went about telling folks “you don’t have to be black!” and then went and tried to get laws passed, amendments started to oppress black people, you can be damn well certain that the NAACP would not stand idly by.
And that’s what the ex gay thing is. It’s Plastic Surgery Soup for the Guilty Gay Soul. It’s Extreme Makeover: Reality Edition.
I meant to say— Extreme Makeover: PERSONAL Reality Edition.
A post with the word England… A great number of comments… Oh no! Peter O.
I’m glad Peter made his comments. This is one of the clearest examples of the way the ex-gay movement thinks. The ex-gay movement does not believe in objective reality.
As illustration, Peter believes that if you think differently about some thing that it then changes that thing – if sexual orientation is viewed in a different light, then it becomes something other than what it was.
I counter that if you think differently about things, you yourself can change, but that thing still remains what it was before you started your mental exercises.
Suppose, for example, I decided to think differently about deodorant and chose to believe that bodies are designed to smell naturally and that this is a beautiful thing. I suspect we’ve all met someone who thought this way.
Of course they didn’t “stink” by their definitions. They smelled how they were supposed to smell, you know.
But objective reality is that their body produced an odor as a byproduct of sweat and that this odor was unpleasant to other people.
Peter can talk around the anthropological bi-polar model of orientation, but when it comes right down to changing attractions and the internal directions of ones desire, his arguments don’t pass the smell test.
As an FYI,
when Peter talks about a bi-polar view of orientation, he IS talking about Kinsey. Bi-polar simply means that the item measured is either one thing, another thing, or somewhere in between those two opposites.
Peter is simply choosing to say the scale doesn’t exist. That heterosexuality and homosexuality are not on opposite ends of a scale. He believes that his attractions are completely irrelevant to his identity and his behavior.
This is much like someone who is partially lactose intollerant deciding that they don’t have to see the world in terms of lactose tolerance v. intolerance and that this does not have to have any impact on their identity or behavior. It’s all fine and good on paper, but you still don’t want to go on a car trip with them after they’ve eaten cheesecake.
I fear the USA conservative churches will simply dismiss the Royal College’s report out-of-hand.
In my observation, our churches are filled with ‘average’ maturity in Christ, which continues to exalt in ‘the call to battle’. Even though Christ taught that the ‘call to reconciliation’ must dominate the various ‘calls to battle’ in Matthew 5:23-24.
This Royal College report could help so many, if they were mature in Christ… because then they could carry the report in one hand along with the words of Christ in the other hand:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” And His earlier statement, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” [Matthew 5:23-24; 5:9]
The Royal College report would then be another wonderful reason to continue the call to reconciliation.
I think that the scripture is not the problem; the words of Christ are not the problem; and the Royal College report is not a ‘problem’; — the problem remains the average spiritual maturity that is the mental filter of Conservative Christian leaders. Many Conservative Christian leaders in the USA do not wish to reconcile with their LGBT brothers and sisters; rather, they wish to defeat them.
And through that mental filter – the call to battle – they interpret all evidence, all scripture, and all reports
Sadly, several LGBT leaders listen, read, and speak with the same mental filter. We are all too terribly human, at times.
In the silence of this evening, I wonder in the USA who dares to hear the words of Christ, and will attempt the hard and difficult work of reconciliation? Who hears the call to be a ‘peace-maker’ and will sit at the table with their opponent and work out the ground rules for discussions? Who desires to be called ‘a son of God’ and will sit with the leaders of Exodus, and endeavor to draft even the smallest of joint resolutions? I read the history of the early church, and wonder what happened to the concept of the ‘Jerusalem Council’ of Acts 15? Who is foolish enough – or is it brave enough, to obey His words? I have so few answers… I type endless questions…. But two questions haunt my mind:
Who rejects the calls to battle? Who hears His call to reconciliation?
At this point I’m wondering whether it would be fair to consider projection, deception, delusions and a persecution complex to also be some of the potentially harmful effects of ex-gay therapy.
the addiction model is bunk. I should know because I’ve had at least two addictions in my life. Cigarettes and alcohol.
I was just gargling with listerine, it has alcohol in it. A year or two ago, I wouldn’t dare do something like that, for fear I’d relapse. Now I can do it with no problem. Swish and spit.
My partner is a smoker, and often smokes around me or in the other room, and I don’t have any cravings. In fact, until I smell the cigarette, I often don’t notice he’s smoking. If he’s downwind, he’ll get halfway through a cigarette before I notice. I had to develop the habit of pausing before entering restaurants and stores, just to see if he was still smoking — that’s how far I had come in beating the addiction.
I go into bars with friends, I can even be left alone with someone’s drink while they go to the bathroom without being tempted.
If being gay were an addiction, then I wonder where the person who’s completely lost their “cravings” is, as no study has been able to find them.
And even if it were possible for one person to completely change from gay to straight, that’s one out of how many?
Someone put it perfectly when Rev Haggard was Outed they said something to the effect of, “Here we have someone who has prayed and prayed. One of the holiest of the holy. A pillar of righteousness, someone who has served the lord for decades. One of God’s right hand men, and he STILL can’t shake homosexuality. If God won’t “fix” one of his most devoted followers, if a Man Of The Cloth can’t become straight —- what does that tell the rest of us?”
Now contrast that with me, an agnostic who’s not sure about the existence of God, and I managed to kick both smoking and drinking. God seemed to have no problem with helping me. In fact he did so well that I haven’t had a craving in over a year!
Seems to me that God may not think that being gay is something that needs to be changed.
I followed Peter O’s link back to his essay on his blog.
“A possible 2-dimension axis:”
Gay | Straight
“The Healing 2-dimension axis:”
Far from | Near to
God | God
According to those axes, someone who is strongly same-sex-attracted and chaste is effectively damned to hell, while an emphatically heterosexual sleazebag is as saved as saved can be.
That model also affirms an adolescent view of Christianity, in which people are “near” or “far” from God (as if God were in a specific geographic location), the distance being conveniently based on an elitist or cliquish pecking order which is rooted in conformity to ex-gay gender and sex stereotypes.
But ummm, I fail to see how that relates to the C of E or the expert psychiatrists who have detailed the harmfulness of so-called reparative therapies. Reparative therapy and ex-gay therapy are not synonymous. Reparative therapies misportray all homosexual expression as an effort to repair a childhood break with masculinity (in the case of men), and seek to address the break by various methods. Ex-gay programs that target men commonly (though not always) replace sexual and atypical masculine activities with nonsexual and stereotypical masculine activities while relabeling the latter as somehow “mas macho.”
Que es mas macho? Lightbulb or schoolbus? — Laurie Anderson
It’s adolescent to believe we can be close or far from God. Really? If it’s good enough for the psalmist to exclaim “Be not far from me, O God” (Psalm 71:12) then it’s good enough for me.
Luke tells us the same thing in Acts 38:20-22
“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”
It seems to me that you are morphing the axes into a gay to straight axis and a “saved” to “not saved” axis That’s pretty adolescent. It’s not what they say at all.
It’s adolescent — and elitist — to dictate how close or far others are from God, especially when the speaker is smugly and intentionally deluded about the values and faith of those whom he is judging. It is also theologically weak to speak of someone being far from God when in fact God is close and they are simply unaware of it.
As for the axes, if someone dies today and they happen to be “far from God” on that axis, then yes, Aftab, in a conservative Christian mindset they are damned to hell.
Did you have something pertinent to say about the C of E or reparative therapy, Aftab?
Jason….thanks for this…I was going to comment much the same but found this little blurb in response to one of Peter’s statements about the existence of XGW..it bares repeating…
I could only add: “….and to provide a measure of accountability toward therapists who misuse their positions of trust within the XG movement.”
Aftab, I think you miss Mike’s point when he challenges the assertion that nearness to God is specifically “rooted in conformity to ex-gay gender and sex stereotypes”.
Of course, nearness to God is a matter of faith and a matter for the heart; it is not a matter of biology or politically-driven behavioral psychology. (Not that I wish to elevate Peter O’s theories to the level of peer-accepted behavioral science.)
We recently had the story of Mother Teresa, one of God’s most selfless and obedient servants if there ever was one, given to God and Biblical teachings. And her own diaries, released after her death, reveal that she felt “emptiness”; she felt not the presence or the love of God for the better of 50 years. Was she “near to” or “far from” God? Now this I actually understand. This is grown-up faith. Not some arbitrary “axis” based on homophobic religiosity. And to the topic at hand, this is the context in which the C of E needs to consider the report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
It’s Peter O’s equation that is adolescent, namely that “Gay” is to “Far from God” as “Straight” is to “Near to God”. In other words, “gay=brokenness/separation/rebellion” but “straight=whole/in harmony”. That’s not bipolar; that’s political. That’s “us and them”.
If the people to whom you are sexually attracted are members of your own sex, then that’s the way it’s going to be. If there is any chance of that changing, then it is, at most, no better than your chance of winning first prize in a “Spot-the-ball” competition.
You may preoccupy yourself with repudiating bi-polar, tri-polar, n-polar models of sexuality and drawing elaborate diagrams till you’re black in the face, thus providing yourself with an intellectual distraction from reality, but it won’t change your sexual orientation one whit. As the poet Horace observed, “naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret” – “you may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, but she will always come running back.”
I’d love to tell you something pertinent that you’d accept without suggesting straight away that I’m deluded. The history of this thread suggests otherwise.
Go right ahead and tell us, Aftab. You’ll never know unless you’ve given it a try, will you?
I’d suggest to you, Aftab, that possibly you are beginning to be able to see things from a different view point than your own and you are able to logically predetermine the course the conversation will take based on what pertinent information you have to offer.
I admire you for refraining if that’s the case. You are at least able to allow opinions/attitudes/worldviews that differ from your own to exist peacefully with yours. As you can see, there are others who come to the same impasse but continue fruitlessly to bang their heads against the same wall over and over.
Actually, that view varies greatly even in the most conservative Christian circles.
It’s Peter O’s equation that is adolescent, namely that “Gay” is to “Far from God” as “Straight” is to “Near to God”. In other words, “gay=brokenness/separation/rebellion” but “straight=whole/in harmony”. That’s not bipolar; that’s political. That’s “us and them”.
I think you’ll find that replacing one axis with another was NOT a direct claim of equality of the ends of the polls. In fact, if you’d read the comment connected to the second diagram you’d have seen the very opposite argument.
But please don’t let what I actually wrote get in the way of what you think I actually meant (obviously something different) when i wrote it.
Copying two diagrams from my website, removing any of the description and comment surrounding them and then claiming that they argue something that the very blog post you have lifted them from actually argues against is not a very high standard of dialogue. But then, it is on the same thread where people have hurled insults at me (“stupid”, “bigot” etc) with nobody even batting an eyelid.
Let’s just have one final example of exactly why this conversation has descended to where it is. William wrote:
If the people to whom you are sexually attracted are members of your own sex, then that’s the way it’s going to be. If there is any chance of that changing, then it is, at most, no better than your chance of winning first prize in a “Spot-the-ball” competition.
You may preoccupy yourself with repudiating bi-polar, tri-polar, n-polar models of sexuality and drawing elaborate diagrams till you’re black in the face, thus providing yourself with an intellectual distraction from reality, but it won’t change your sexual orientation one whit. As the poet Horace observed, “naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret” – “you may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, but she will always come running back.”
William has come to the debate with an a-priori assumption that sexual orientation doesn’t change. When any comes with a personal testimony to the contrary, it is challenged, stamped upon, spat at and thrown out, not because it might not actually be true, but because it simply doesn’t fit his assumptions. The fact that I used to be exclusively homosexual in my desires and now am not isn’t the issue. What William believes to be true about all humans must take priority and anything that contradicts that assumption must be eliminated.
It doesn’t matter that William has that assumption. His assumptions don’t change your reality and vice versa. The “debate” goes sour when you put your assumptions onto entire groups of people. When you include in YOUR opinions things like “Biblical perspective” and “Christian persepctive” as if those worldviews belong solely to you and all Christians with a Biblical perspective are going to line up in lock-step with your take on things…well….it just all disentigrates from there. I personally believe some guys change to some extent (all relative terms that i’m perfectly comfortable with) and some not at all. The bottom line for me is that you choose to live your life in a certain way and I respect that. As I’ve stated before, you could call gays or ex-gays polka-dotted turtles for all I care. At the heart of it, I respect the committment you’ve made to your wife and children. I also respect the committments of others who disagree with you and EVEN sometimes me!
But then, I’m pretty sure I’m probably bi-polar or some other polar that you’ve described here so I don’t count in your view. Good grief.
Actually I did read your essay, and just now I read it again, just to be sure I had every chance to “get it”.
Rather than repost a large section of your essay, I referenced it, and your link to it higher up this page. People know how to use a web browser. I encourage everyone to read Peter’s essay for context if you haven’t already.
I posted the visuals because, even after reading it in context, it left me with exactly the impression I stated.
The only way I can see that I have misunderstood you so completely is if you have committed a non-sequitor. Surely your second axis (removing gay-to-straight) is still written in the context of reparative therapy. Surely you did not suddenly decide, in the context of the essay as a whole (PLUS your participation here which creates a companion context), that gay-straight is irrelevant.
It makes me think of all the personal witness stories of so many clergy and other religious leaders who lived lives of total denial concerning their sexual orientation. Like Bishop Gene Robinson, who sought reorientation therapy. Who got married. Who had children. And then finally, after years of emotional and faith crisis about this (and feeling “far from God” no doubt), consulted his wife and family and ended (mutually) the marriage in the most kind and amicable way you could imagine. As a result of accepting who he was, he experienced God’s grace anew and is now living in serving God in peace (“near to God”), and his faith and ministry are vital and abundant. Doing the pastoral ministry he always wanted to do, no different than any other pastor/bishop who is neither obsessed with or dogged by others who are obsessed with this biological trait that in the big picture has very little to do with personal faith and service to humanity.
Are you admitting that your “far from God”/”near to God” axis applies to Bishop Gene’s renewal of faith?
No, Peter, you’re wrong: I didn’t come to the debate with an a priori assumption that sexual orientation doesn’t change. My experience – not my assumption – is that it generally doesn’t, and in fact I don’t myself know anyone whose sexual orientation has changed (although I know a few people who have tried and failed), but I allowed for the possibility that there may be such cases when I wrote, “If there is any chance of that changing…”
I’m not arguing solely on the basis of my own personal experience, however. The history of the ex-gay movement – which I have been following now for quite some years – suggests that, if there are any instances of change in sexual orientation, then they are quite exceptional. Spitzer’s study, even if taken at face value, confirms this, and Spitzer himself admitted as much.
Furthermore, to say that something may change doesn’t mean that you can make it change, even with God’s help. My hair has markedly changed colour twice during my lifetime – and I don’t mean by using hair colourants. Does that mean that anyone can make the colour of their hair change if they try hard enough? I think not.
If you tell us that your own sexual attractions have changed, then I am not in a position to dispute your claim, even if some of your own words lead me to be somewhat sceptical. I do dispute the wisdom of your presenting your own experience as though it were a path for others to follow, and I do see your talk of bi-polar models and their (in)validity as a simple prevarication.
I’ve said it before, if you tell me you dropped a brick and it fell to the ground, I’m not likely to challenge your claim. But if you tell me it floated into the sky, I will want some more proof before taking it seriously. This is what keeps a person from falling for everything that comes along – healthy, intellectual skepticism. It’s also the driving force behind the scientific method.
Even what may arguably be the best information we have yet (which should not be taken as praise), the Exgay Study by Jones and Yarhouse on behalf of Exodus does not bear out your claims, Peter. There is nothing approaching what you say happened to you in the results of that study, quite the opposite in fact.
So don’t be perplexed when others do not accept what you say just because you say it. That’s the kind of nonsense that gave us generations of people trying to “fix the gay” because they believed a lie – complete change of orientation is possible, or even desirable.
Not to be flippant here, but it seems the ex-gays who push reparative therapy the hardest seem to fall into one of two categories:
1. Had a few passionate crushes on high school or college friends and freaked out about it. Reparative therapy “cured” them since they likely were never really gay in the first place. Of course, they now opine a vast understanding of the psychology of a gay community they never experienced. Peter O seems to fall in that category. As does Anne Paulk.
2. Were hellbent on sleeping with anything that moved, since their entire life revolved around sexual pleasure, which just so happened to be gay. Drugs and unsafe sex were their aphrodisiac. Now, they have the reasonable self-control over their sex lives that most people have. Obviously, because their lives were wildly out of control, they project on other gay people the unbalanced life they lived, since that’s all they experienced. You know, like James Hartline.
I rarely–if ever–hear an ex-gay say, “Yeah, I had a nice boyfriend and we got together with other couples and went to the theatre a lot. And we toured Napa Valley with some good friends of ours.” You know, like the normal, healthy gay people I run into all the time. Well, there’s Stephen Bennett, but nothing about his story can be verified. As opposed to, say, John Paulk.
Anyway, that’s just something I’ve noticed. Is it just me?
Very good point, and the key to much of this I think.
While I do not recall such testimonies of stable gay relationships coming from ex-gay activists, I do recall some testimonies by former ex-gays who, under the advice of ex-gay leaders, reluctantly dumped their long-time partners. For all intents and purposes, they were told by the activists that divorce was God’s will for them (albeit a gay divorce).
I also recall several parents on PFOX’s discussion list who griped that their adult children were in stable gay relationships. These parents wished that their healthy and faithful children would sink into a morass of promiscuity, sickness, and depression, so that they would come to view the parents’ angry god as their only hope.
Unfortunately, you are correct — and it’s quite a frequent lament from people in that group.
I think you need to be careful in claiming that those of an opposite view have an “angry god”.
David and Chris…Pete Knight, who authored Proposition 22 had such a lament regarding his gay son. Who he’d been extremely proud of (his son is a decorated fighter pilot), but once his son came out, and revealed that the long, LONG time roommie was actually his lover, that’s when Pete disowned him and began the anti marriage campaign.
Damned if you do or don’t. But, a parent supporting their child in a stable, committed life with adopted children and a fruitful career….seems like the lesser of the issues that they would worry about.
It IS and would be strange to PREFER a difficult life for your child TO satisfy the believed stereotypes instead of the reality.
Even more strange and sad…that believing conjecture from other straight people is preferable than asking your own flesh, that you know and love, what YOU can do for them and what their needs are.
That a parent is really considering their OWN needs and standing in the community over their child’s is selfish. And reveals that selfishness in ways such parents wouldn’t admit to.
So Michael is right, and I’ve seen it too.
I have met people who think that gay people are being deceptive when they say they have stable relationships. The couple have to be having sex outside the relationship or they are together to prove that they are legit–a way to promote a “lie.” Where do people get these ideas? From speakers at churches who tell them that this must be true or will be true.
Peter, I agree(or at least makes sense to me) with your view on sexuality and behavior , I do not agree, however, with how you exercise your ‘love’ towards them. Assuming its the same ‘no rights for the same-sex couple, God told established so’ thinking. I know, as an ex-christian, that faith is crucial and that expressing God’s ‘love’ to everyone is fundamental . It doesnt matter what obstacles one may find in the way(like a queer tolerant world), if one’s in Christ, one must and will not flail(like the unconditional ‘love’ the westboro baptist church professes).
I believe that sexuality is fluid. How fluid? *shrug, I couldn’t care less. Although i do think its somewhat conscribed. Ah that’s right… this dont matter, you ARE gay, your just living in God’s grace atm. Good for you! Im glad your happy, it’s just so sad ppl cant be equally happy(or happier) in a very similar, yet different way because many believe its god-unapproved. As if… as long as ppl keep feeling god’s love and power in their daily lives, this will probably not stop, who can blame them… there are such things as abstract words, like love, hate, envy… etc.
I’ve got to say,whenever I hear a gay christian speaking, its like seeing and hearing a blind person crying out, I see!, I see!.
I didn’t claim that opposing sides believe in an angry god.
I said specifically that many parents on the PFOX list believe in an angry god. And they do — I have seen them portray their god as angry, merciless, and impatient.
You know its true for most of the evangelical/fundamentalists I have met. They shake their bibles in your face and claim that if you don’t accept their version of God that God himself will smite you. Scare tactics to bring them to Christ. Nice. Which, btw, seems to be their MO for the most part. I use to buy into their tactics until I really searched and prayed to God to talk to me. Well, he did, still does, and it is wonderful feeling. A feeling of freedom from bondage that Christ himself preached. I no longer feel anger towards anyone nor do I have a seriously ill will thought towards others. While I may dislike someone I still love them. It’s easy to read the bible and proclaim to believe in every word written in it but its another thing to actually have those words written on your heart and feel sparks of compassion and love for others, especially those that hate or dislike you. This is something I constantly pray for. To love all.
Their words no longer have any affect on me. Their condemnations go in one ear and out the other. I suddenly began to believe that God was not the God they were claiming him to be.
“I really searched and prayed to God to talk to me. Well, he did, still does” You know what annoys me of this?… the same way you portray god talking to you is the same way anti-gay christians say god talked to them.
Either there are two gods, or ppl just want to hear what they want to hear imho.
Heres an example I recall from the top of my head. There was this one person that said, “while I was driving on my way to work, I passed by a church and saw a few men talking and having a laugh. In that moment god spoke to my heart and he told me the wrong that homosexuality is”.(Those werent his exact words, but that was the essence of it).
I wonder if ‘inspiration’ is as relative as what color ppl prefer. If the church does not want to listen… who can blame them, they are responding to a much higher power(you know, the ones that invented hurricanes, earthquakes, famine?)… or so they think/feel/know.
That voice…As a former Mormon missionary, almost everything is dependent on that voice. I do not believe that god speaks (well, as an agnostic, I have a problem with the god part too) to people because as a former Mormon, everything goes back to how one feels. Missionaries can manipulate that voice pretty easily and make people believe they are feeling something that is a testament to truth. Some people say that you can’t trust that voice and only have scripture. The problem is that a literal approach to scripture is nearly impossible (even when people think that they are following scripture to a T). So what does one do? Well, not much. Probably the entire approach is wrong to begin with. Perhaps it is impossible to even discover truth.
I had a student a few years ago assert that god told her that I was wrong. She went to the school about a situation (where she was kicked out of class for being rude), and the first thing she said to the dean is that god told her that I was a bad teacher. That did not go over too well. It is actually getting harder in classes to have legit discussions because people will stop it with claims of what god told them. It is a common discussion among teachers because students as a whole have become very judgmental the last five years over ideas different than their own. It actually may be a tolerance backlash, or we may have more religious and private school students coming to school. Or there may be other reasons (last time I checked the President thought his ideas could not be questioned).
About parents–a Mormon friend came out and his mom became distraught. She was claiming he ruined her life by “becoming homosexual.” She was a big supporter of Buchanon, and she was afraid her political and religious friends would think she was a bad mother. It was all about what would they think about her. I wonder if reputation goes into parents’ thoughts about a child’s gayness. People might blame them for what happened to the child.
Has anyone ever claimed to you Joel that they were in God’s presence? I have been. I was in his presence when I was a young teen. And he literally spoke to me. I could not look up at him. He kept my head down. I can remember clearly what he said to me. “I will give you another chance. Change your ways.” At the time I was not a Christian, lustful and sexual with a straight neighbor boy, hateful and had much vengence in my heart for all the kids that used to pick on me. I even dabbled in black magic as a way to get back at those kids.
It wasn’t until October of 2006 that I really began to know God. I was baptized at 18 in the Catholic Church but a few years later I rejected the Church after I learned of their theology surrounding gay people. I prayed one day in October of last year after so many years of being away from him that I needed guidance. Suddenly, it was as if something heavy was lifted from me. He instilled in my heart after much search that the greatest of the commandments of loving God and neighbor was true. Everything is now falling into place and this would never had happened unless he guided my heart to know that in the end it is love over law. I no longer worry about things that I once did. No longer feel hate for anyone. Nor does it matter if someone thinks I am going to burn in Hell because I am gay. It does not matter because I know he guides my life. God judges man’s heart. He knows what resides in it.
You may not believe my testimony Joel because I cannot prove that I was in his presence. I have no way of proving it but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. For me it did. And I know that there have been periods of such joy that I cannot explain and other periods of great sorrow when I see people inflicting violence on others because we look, eat, and believe differently. These things I never felt before October of 2006. I have changed. And yet I am still gay.
Ye… as much as I dislike the theory, it suits me(for the most part) quite fine, and they know it. Its going to make me very sad if they cant get it together tho. Gladly tho, theres no Exodus or IHF or any of the likes. So all they have is… time, meditation, church(*shiver) and prayer(or should i say wishful thinking). WHo knows, maybe like Jim Phelan I wont be the same 10 years from now.
As much as ppl want to think sexuality(if there ever was such a thing) is constant, theres no reason to believe it is for everyone. I’ve always believed it was fluid, this was only upheld, along with the ‘it plays no role on our behavior’ when I found out about Sparta and their ‘homosexual’ culture(for a time). And when my spanish teacher said the male greeks paired off with another man because they believed thats how they fulfilled themselves, women were there for babies. Who knows… maybe sexuality is as fluid as ones own culture and completely undiscriminatory, or maybe they just had no idea that sexuality existed and if they did, probably thought(like peter O) that it shouldn’t play a role on what our behavior is supposed to be. On a similar topic, I wonder… if condom and lubricant is essential for safe anal sex(in the sense that it doesnt harm), how did they…
Ken R. If I believe in your testimony, I’d also have to believe the rest, in other words… ‘God saved me from homosexuality’ testimonies… I’ll rephrase my previous question, Are you wrong, or are they? Call me arrogant, but I just can’t see how they see the light, and you also profess to see the light. But that light has two completely different meanings, when it shouldnt, unless god’s moral views are relative, which is probably a no-no.
Like St. Paul that got thrown off his horse, blinded, and spoken to… maybe you should write your own epistles. In the name of God and your divinely induced state.
I am so sorry… I would really like to believe you, but for the sake of sanity, I can’t. Polytheism sounds quite reasonable with so many divinely inspired.
And btw… i used to love hearing ppl talk about their own tastes of god, be it through miracles or voices. It used to prove to me that there was something bigger than any of us. THen… I started thinkin… then came the reconciliation of gay and christianity. The buckets of faith slowly drained until finally they ran dry.
I was always told that faith > reason. You dont believe through strctly faith, I dont think any1 does. Everyone needs proof and a REASON to believe, be it through Jesus’ history, through personal and unpersonal testimonies, through trustworthy sources that experienced miracle, etc… I dont need to see things to believe in them, like history. Ppl dont need proof of testimonies, like the love life of someone, to believe it is true. They are proofs in themselves. So, imo, faith is not the opposite of reason, but reason full of promises that are as real as Sasquatch and Loch Ness., You cant prove it wrong, nevertheless, but you can prove some of it, ‘right’ and who wouldnt want to live forever? Or who would like to be punished on earth and then be condemned eternally? I remember I told my friend once, ” i have no faith”, she replied, ” You dont believe in miracles then?”.
“Has anyone ever claimed to you Joel that they were in God’s presence?”
There is a fantastic story by Langston Hughes, I believe, about how he was at a church revival and everyone was experiencing Jesus except for him. They even tried to force him to say that he was experiencing god’s presence, but he honestly could not say it.
I think God’s moral views are relative…or, at the very least, they can be if He decides they are. So there. I’ve said it. It is raining here but still no lightning strike as of yet. I also believe in absolute truth. I just don’t think there’s as much of it as most other people who believe in it think there is.
God created some humans gay. It is biological.
Just because gays are not made in the image of certain men is irrelevant.
Many people become deeply religious because they have had overwhelming personal problems.
Just because religion has helped them does not make the bible literally true.
Prove it?… Im sure we dont choose it, but it certainly doesnt seem constant. And if you do prove it, where do current ex-gays fall into it? Their just as human so should fall somewhere in it, or like exceptions in so many things… these are them.
Can we just say “these are them” and leave this discussion for an open forum at some point later? We’ve continued to veer off track (i’m guilty as well) and have yet to significantly discuss the matters pertaining to the original post fully.
I apologize for my part in the “veering”.
There is a mountain of scientifc evidence that homosexuals are born with an homosexual sexual orientation.
As far as ex-gays go – they have not changed their sexual orientation – they chose not to act on it, deny it, feel shame about it, and sometimes act in contradiction to it.
I do not respect people who live a lie – therefore I do not respect people in the ex-gay program.
It is a shame based program based on teachings from ancient religious texts – the bible, the koran, etc.
I would like to remind everyone that it is not the purpose of this site to attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God, or the veracity of anyone’s faith. It’s useless, often leads to hurt feelings and often overshadows the discussion at hand. It is also way off topic for this thread — please stop.
This is the second time in the past couple of days that you have made the same bold statement of fact without any reference to support it. I’ve explained that it is essential for these claims to be supported, and it is your responsibility to provide it in your comment. We lose credibility and the ability to require the same of others when we don’t follow through ourselves.
Please back up your claim with reference to some authoritative data. In the future, comments will be removed if the commenter does not provide support for claims of fact.
David, do you think it might help if we had more open threads, or at least threads with a subject matter that could easily be redirected?
There have been few articles of late, and I too have found myself feeling compelled to participate, yet wincing at the thought of participating in and encouraging thread drift.
The attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God may be “useless” (as proof of that kind is pretty much something that can only be experienced by the individual (at least while we’re alive)), but it seems that finding ways of discussing our experiences in regard to this, in ways that do not hurt others, is quite necessary.
Ex-Gay Watch may not exist for this purpose, but clearly, the existence of God, and thus the authority of God, or non-authority of a god, is definitely part of the overall subject matter. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but at this point it still is.
One thought comes to mind. If there were a consistent space / spaces, for continual philosophical rantings, instead of removing comments altogether, they could just be relegated to said open thread – if it came down to it.
Warnings might be easier at that point too. Just a thought.
Emproph, I agree that we need more regular open threads and I’ll make a point of scheduling them. However, that only frees up the subject matter to some extent, guidelines of regular civil exchange would still be in play.
Look for more open discussion threads and we will discuss the other as situations present themselves. Thanks.
Go to the internet and do a few searches.
Do I also need to provide proof that skin color, height are biological and not a choice?
The jury is not out on this folks.
* A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” said that nature, instead of nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’s author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert, at Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up.His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.
* A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrates that biology plays a key role in determining a person’s sexuality. The research shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality – the hypothalamus – reacted the exact same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.
* In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics, claiming he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.
* In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, suggesting they might be exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormone in utero.
* In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’s more than a straight female’s. Manning concluded from his study that this “strongly tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.”
* In 1993, the National Institute of Health’s Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.
* A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This strongly points to biological influences on sexual orientation.
* Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Baily studied homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.
* The JUN/JUL 2006 issue of Seed Magazine points out that at least 450 vertebrate species engage in homosexual behavior.
[from Wayne Besen]
One would think – given the topic of this blog that this information would be at your finger tips. Have you NOT done research on this topic? If not why are you posting here?
It is mind boggling that this site does not list all the scientific evidence showing that sexual orientation is biological. All past, present, and proposed future studies should be posted on the front page of this blog.
It is called ex-gay watch, correct? The basis for the ex-gay program is that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore not biological.
G., let me be blunt, your attitude stinks. If you want to post here, change it.
I didn’t ask for a copy and paste of brief commentary from Wayne’s site, I asked you to provide some authoratative evidence, link to some source, which backs up your claim that “There is a mountain of scientifc evidence that homosexuals are born with an homosexual sexual orientation.” You’ve made it twice, and blew off a request before.
This is the way this site works. If you don’t like it, don’t comment. Bold claims of fact require strong evidence. Again, what either of us may think is true is not relevant — you must back it up. The onus is on you, not me or anyone else here.
Your responses lead me to believe you don’t really grasp what you are saying, but are instead just parroting a line you have heard. That’s not helpful to the discussion here, and it won’t be tolerated.
If we allowed commenters to do what you are doing, then someone else could easily make the counter claim and all we have is a war of words, without any facts to back them up. Skin color is determined by genes but height can be traced to both genes and environment.
Lastly, we make a habit of requiring just this kind of support for any claims of fact made by those in ex-gay organizations. Not requiring the same of ourselves would damage our credibility.
Imho tho, when debating ex-gays it will usually come down to God. Or at least, no God=no hype for being ex-gay.
Guess this answered the ‘is it better to live straight while gay in a straight world, or assimilate being gay and its behavior with ones life’.
Prove that sexual orientation is NOT biological. And Prove that the bible is literally true as well.
Excuse me while I return to the 21st century – bye and enjoy the 19th century.
PS David –
The studies that Wayne cites as well as empirical evidence from millions gay men and lesbians is not enough????
Would you like to have the brain stems of gay men and lesbians sliced open and shown to you in a jar befere you believe?
G, I am baffled why you suddenly became angry, snarly and sarcastic when asked to provide evidence. It is an entirely fair request in a debate or discussion.
I have no idea what David Roberts believes about biology and sexuality, but that is irrelevant. I don’t believe David’s asking you to provide anything personally to him, but simply to provide the evidence to the rest of the group, for the benefit of the whole discussion.
Please realize that you are not the first person here to be interested in the science behind the etiology of orientation. And please realize that many of us here would love, for reasons of diffusing anti-gay attitudes, to be able to boldly claim that orientation is based solely in biology and is pre-natal.
But we can’t.
Regardless of what we think is likely or what we think is true, the research just isn’t there yet. I have personally read or am familiar with all of what you listed above. But I also know that in many cases the research has not been replicated or that there were sufficient flaws with the study or that the researchers themselves cautioned against making assumptions based on their work.
And, unlike many websites and commentators – right and left, gay and anti-gay – we do not place ourselves at liberty to make unfounded claims. So until there in incontrovertible proof, I don’t get to say that sexual orientation in in-born, biological, or immutable.
I can say that for at-least some gay men, biology does have an impact on their orientation. And if orientation can be changed, the changes are incremental, slow, seldom complete, and efforts are ineffective for the overwhelming majority of those who so endeavor.
Beyond that, you’ll have to reference some study I haven’t heard of. And good luck with finding one.
There are some problems with their report. One might occur to the GLBT community in that this report left out the “T” folks. The other occurred to me in that they say that the origins of homosexuality explained in psychoanalysis is “speculative”. This, I disagree with. This is contrary to the findings of Drs Fisher and Greenberg out of Syracuse. Then they go on to say that “it would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature” which is not totally supported. The report is very deceiving in my opinion.
Jim – I am curious; what do you read Fisher and Greenberg as saying about the psychoanalytic account?
No – it is not 100% conclusive yet – for various reasons: the difficulty of physical testing, the lack of diagnostic tools, small samples, etc.
But look at the weight of the scientific evidence and LISTEN to gay people all over the world – and tell me you can draw a conclusion other than the fact that sexual orientation is biological.
Given the political and social climate here and in other countries – this is more than enough for me.
Add to this the fact that those who argue that it is not biological are almost exclusively those that base their opinion on religious grounds. Religion is irrelevant re: whether sexual orientation is biological.
If someone is not happy b/c they are gay – and I can understand why they would not be given the social, political, and religious climates that exist – then just say that – don’t claim you can change sexual orientation – just be honest and say you object to it on religious grounds.
G – The jury is certainly out. However, you apparently are an attorney for the biological determinists and not on the jury.
RE: Bogaert – His findings explain about 1% of the variance, a near trivial result. Three subsequent studies have failed to replicate his work.
RE: the Swedish pheromone studies – Ivanka Savic, the lead author, specified that her work could not shed light on cause.
RE: Mustanski’s work – Indeed, the study found three areas of interest but none of them met statistical standards of significance. Read the original report.
The rest of the research you mentioned are likewise either not replicated despite efforts or do not eliminate the potential role for environment. Probably the best studies for your side are the gay sheep brains, the x-chromosome inactivation work and the new brain study by Witelson.
I am interested in one thing – the Truth.
When some researchers are guided by their religious belief system – whether it is muslim, christian, etc. – then their work inherently lacks integrity and scientific rigor.
G., aside from the causal theories, you seem to be making a false assumption, i.e. that to believe the cause is biological is to be pro-gay and to believe it is environmental is to be anti or ex-gay. That’s just not so.
Ex-gays have already stated, possibly in preparation for coming scientific revelations, that even if homosexuality is inborn, it’s simply a result of “the fall” and one does not have to submit to it. Even if the recommendation is celibacy, or a denial of the evidence, I suspect they will continue to say it is wrong and changeable.
On the flip side, even if homosexuality is more environment than biology, that does not at all mean it is necessarily changeable. As with the subject of height, environment can affect that but one is hard pressed to change ones height by an act of will.
Given the political and social climate here and in other countries – this is more than enough for me.
Yes, that is more than enough for you.
But it is not nearly enough to make declarations on this site.
G – We have one thing in common then. I will admit, I do have a bias against strict determinism (biological, or environmental) but I am open to large effects of pre-natal factors in sexual attractions if indeed good research points that way. However, the effects in the research we have are small to moderate. And identical twin concordances are disappointing for a strictly pre-natal set of explanations.
Specific environmental effects are small to modest as well – sorry, Jim, as you know we disagree on this. The effects of the classic triad are likewise small. The book you reference did not find uniform support for the classic triad and besides that it is over 10 years old. Lots of water under the bridge since then. And identical twin concordances are disappointing for a family dynamics explanation, when you consider the twins in the best studies were reared together.
That’s not necessarily so. If the science is done correctly, and others are allowed to review the data, the results should be valid. Otherwise, one could just as easily charge that gay researchers were guided by their own agenda to prove the origin as genetic or otherwise biological, etc.
In an earlier post you wrote:
I’m not sure whether you mean to imply this, but it sounds as though you are here resurrecting the old question so much beloved of sloppy journalism, “Are they born gay or did they choose it?” – which is a false dichotomy.
There are things that we are not born with, but which we didn’t choose either, e.g. our name and our native language. In the case of the latter, I think that it is generally agreed that, no matter how many other languages we learn, once we get beyond infancy our native language (provided that we have kept using it up to that time) is so deeply ingrained that it can never be erased, except by serious brain damage.
With you, I think that our sexual orientation is probably biological in origin, and that when we are born it is already programmed, and if I were a betting man I know where I’d put my money, but that’s only what I think: it hasn’t been proved. I agree with you that there is a considerable amount of evidence which suggests a biological cause, but it is just evidence, not conclusive proof.
If it be objected that some people’s sexual orientation seems to be fluid, I must reply that I can’t regard that objection as fatal. I don’t see why, ex hypothesi, a fluid sexual orientation shouldn’t be just as capable as a fixed one of being biologically determined – but I speak as a non-biologist; perhaps a biologist can correct me on this.
You’ll never get the proof people are demanding. You’ll not get one simple explanation proven that covers every possible scenario – especially since homosexuality is also a behavior that a people can choose, whether or not they’re gay. The neurohormonal theory seems to explain sexual orientation in humans and animals, and it seems like all the recent studies just add weight to that theory. I’m guessing that’s why you increasingly see conservative Christians accepting the possibility it is inborn – including Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The weight of evidence is piling up to a point where it’s getting beyond reasonable doubt that homosexuality is completely or mostly caused by genes and prenatal hormones. But, just like gravitational theory, I don’t expect it to be ever “proven.”
What is “the fall”?
If that is a biblical concept – again how would that be relevant when it comes to a scientific issue like sexual orientation? Are the descriptions of the heavens in the bible used by rocket scientists to build space ships?
The bible was written by men thousands of years ago to explain life – why we are here and where we came from. It is full of beautiful metaphors and deep reflections about the nature of mankind. Unfortunately, religious fundamentalists have taken the symbolic literally. It is mythological – and someday will be treated the way greek mythology and gods are treated today.
The idea of having to give up this wonderful thing called life someday is too much for some people to handle.
We allow people in our society the freedom to practice religion – why not allow homosexuals civil marriage rights? Religious beliefs are a choice – sexual orientation is not.
“That’s not necessarily so. If the science is done correctly, and others are allowed to review the data, the results should be valid. Otherwise, one could just as easily charge that gay researchers were guided by their own agenda to prove the origin as genetic or otherwise biological, etc.”
I agree with you. Any agenda [e.g., religious or political]outside of pursuing the utmost scientific rigor – should render the research suspect.
My problem with those on the religious right and those behind the ex-gay program is not so much that they are wrong about the nature of sexual orientation – but the fact that they stereotype and often demonize gay people. Bigotry is ugly and wrong and there is no better example of it than the religious rights’ propaganda against gays. This is why we need laws to protect us – from the very people that claim such laws give us special rights.
It is insanity.
G., you need to learn to distinguish between what is your opinion, and what is fact. In your own way, you appear to be quite a fundamentalist. I also suggest you take some time to understand what goes on here, read back a bit, and when you comment again, if you do, get the chip off your shoulder.
Moderator Note: Totally off topic, discuss Dr. Throckmorton’s site on his blog.
My feelings as expressed in my posts make you uncomfortable?
I am passionate about this topic – it affects me personally.
“In your own way, you appear to be quite a fundamentalist”
Maybe in my effort to fight back I have become just as bad…………..
Yes, Fisher & Greenberg’s text is over 10 years old now, but it’s still reveling because it looked at psychoanalytic work. And, as you are well aware, and be fair here, any work aimed toward homosexual and psychoanalysis (or any familial dynamic) has been put to a screeching stoppage due to extreme political pressures on the institutes. Prior to 1977 there were ample studies, but post 1977 there were only 58 empirical studies that the researchers could find. Then since 1989 NOTHING! Not because it wasn’t significant, but because of the politics, and of course, funding halts. At any rate, they concluded that the pre-1977 studies did support the theory: “We regard the empirical data to be congruent with Freud’s theory that male homosexuality derives from too much closeness with mother and a distant negative relationship with father” (p. 139). Post 1997, while they found data to support the father factor, they were not able to conclude the mother factor. But the caveat, as we know, was a decreased data pool. Let’s try to get a grant for research to test these theories now and we would get laughed at.
You would get laughed at and rightly so but not for political reasons.
To think that there is a correlation b/t family dynamics and sexual orientation is laughable.
Family dynamics??? Closeness with Mother as a child and distance from father – that sounds like 90% of the population. Mother as in maternal? Father as in bread winner? Hello.
There is a good reason why those studies are not done anymore – quackery.
I’ll just echo what David R. said to you: “get the chip off your shoulder”.
Homosexuality from close mother, distant father – that does help explain why all guys raised by single mothers are gay. (please note sarcasm)
Uh, do you have some legitimate proof of that statement? Seems awfully convenient to me. Perhaps you could add in the “liberal mainstream press” as well?
I don’t suppose — just kicking it around here – but perhaps the fact that homosexuality was no longer considered a mental disease might have had something to do with a reduction in studies about it? It seems reasonable that more research would go into things that, well, actually need to be “cured” now wouldn’t it?
And I admit to being a layman, but I don’t recall Freudian psychoanalysis being all that hot a topic these days. Do people really still sit on a couch 5 days a week to learn how early potty training made them antisocial?
Psychoanalysis and gay cures, did you go for BetaMax, too?
Exactly. And my closest gay male friends have all had close relationships with their fathers yet my straight uncle and straight dad had very distant relationships with their fathers.
Gay men and women come from every type of household imaginable – just like heterosexuals do.
I think what Jim and Warren are pedaling is called stereotypes and bigotry.
What is worse – pedaling stereotypes and bigotry – OR -having a chip on one’s shoulder b/c of those pedaling same?
G: Why the name calling? Please refute and state facts, based on the topic. I was merely saying the research supported the theory, based on what the authors from Syracuse gathered. I didn’t ask anyone to subscribe to it.
You say, “Homosexuality from close mother, distant father – that does help explain why all guys raised by single mothers are gay.” I think an absent father would satisfy for the “distant” role.
G., it’s fine if you disagree with both of them, but you need to stick around longer before you put Jim and Warren in the same boat. We have to recognize degrees and not paint everyone with the same broad brush.
The syracuse research certainly does not apply to me.
I have always been closer to my dad than to my mother.
Maybe the syracuse research was pointing out this fact:
That sons that are born gay naturally tend to develop a closer relationship with the Mother. Which came 1st – the chicken or the egg?
In other words the very old syracuse research proves nothing.
I can’t speak for much of psychoanalytic theory or about Freud.
Nor can I confirm whether the book review in the Times Higher Education Supplement was correct when they gave a scathing review of the Fisher & Greenberg book, saying:
However I can speak to the notion of distant father, smothering mother – or at least from a layman’s perspective.
While this may be greatly favored by Phelan, the evidence for this is very slim. Further, such “evidence” as is touted is quite old and may well have been more an evidence of family dynamics between openly gay men in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and their recollections of their parents than any indication of etiology of orientation.
I think it quite evident that many boys are experiencing a disconnect with their father due to divorce, separation, and single mother parenting. The numbers are staggering and the trend is immediately and readily obvious. Yet there does not appear to be an observable corrolating increase in same-sex attracted young men in that subpopulation. As we all know you cannot have causation without correlation.
Further, there does appear to be a growing body of parents – including fathers – that do not fit this stereotype.
With non-correlation in a growing exclusively maternal parenting group, and with increasing evidence of non-triangulated families, this argument is less convincing than it might have been in Freud’s day.
NICK: Homosexuality from close mother, distant father – that does help explain why all guys raised by single mothers are gay. (please note sarcasm)
JIM: You say, “Homosexuality from close mother, distant father – that does help explain why all guys raised by single mothers are gay.” I think an absent father would satisfy for the “distant” role.
Did you NOT notice the sarcasm??
Yes, an absent father WOULD satisfy the “distant” role… if indeed “all guys raised by single mothers are gay”. Perhaps you are unaware of this, Jim, but they’re not.
Moderator Note:Please don’t cut and paste huge articles, link to them — especially when they are of dubious value and origin.
Also, before posting, ask yourself if this has anything to do with the topic of the thread.
Got it. Thanks for the catch. I need to relax. Sorry.
While you point out the book review, let it be known that the reviewer, Richard Webster, also wrote his own book titled, “Why Freud Was Wrong Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis”. He odviously was anti-Freudian to begin with. A Darwin fan and a hater of psychoanalysis, said in his book, “The nature of psychoanalytic doctrines and their rapid adoption by Western thinkers illustrate the main thesis: that our intellectual tradition remains dominated by rationalist theories of human nature and that these theories are in their turn based on forms of mind-body or ‘angel-beast’ dualism which are rooted in Judaeo-Christian religious teachings.”
You say, “The numbers are staggering and the trend is immediately and readily obvious. Yet there does not appear to be an observable corrolating increase in same-sex attracted young men in that subpopulation.”
We don’t have any evidence to support or deny this. The prevalance rate studies are so inconsistant, and people are not as forthcoming as nec to get good data. Even if so, it doesn’t nec. refute the theory given that, while triadic criteria is met, other protective factors may take over. For ex. a boy who has an absent father, may have an external feature who filled the role.
“If mental illness were really an illness in the same sense that physical illnesses are illnesses, the idea of deleting homosexuality or anything else from the categories of illness by having a vote would be as absurd as a group of physicians voting to delete cancer or measles from the concept of disease. But mental illness isn’t an illness like any other illness. Unlike physical disease where there are physical facts, or blood test to confirm, mental “illness” is entirely a question of values.”
However – homosexuality is not a mental illness because it does not fit the definition of mental illness or disease. It in no way impairs functioning – in fact many homosexuals are extremely productive and innovative at their work and have great romantic relationships – despite enoromous societal and familial pressure to deny their sexual orientation.
Is being left handed a disorder? You could certainly argue that and in fact many religious groups considered it a disease in the 19th century – after all it is disabling – all machines are built for right handed people.
Before you bring up HIV – remember that HIV is spread by unsafe sex NOT by a person’s sexual orientation – and in fact most people in the world who contract HIV through sex do so through heterosexual sex.
Some may not feel it impairs their functioning, but others do. Lots of things do not nec. fit the definition of mental illness or disease, but are a matter of distress for a person. As much as you want respect for, what you preceive as normal functioning, others desire the same respect for what, they preceive, as impaired functioning. As I said, mental illness is all about values, and we have to take the subjective at higher value, unlike physical disease which is measureable in terms of symptoms and blood chemical ranges, more objective.
If someone is upset over their homosexuality, is their problem that they are homosexual, or that they take issue with it? And isn’t it possible that the inclusion of homosexuality as a mental illness in the first place was due to external pressures and not entirely motivated by a scientific or medical justification?
One can play these games tit for tat all day long, it doesn’t prove anything. The truth is that many, many gay people live their lives just fine, especially when society and their belief system allow for it. And you would be hard pressed to present a case where someone sought out some type of conversion therapy where the cause of their distress wasn’t directly related to either external societal forces, or a belief system they interpret as hostile to same sex relationships.
That’s not mental illness.
I am defining “impaired functioning” in an objective way. Some gay people do consider being gay stressful – but that can be more a function of society’s attitudes toward homosexuals. In other words – it is society that needs to change not the homosexual.
That is the direction in which we are going – but not fast enough.
This change or progress will help many homosexuals live with less stress.
The same thing needs to happen for women in the middle east.
Don’t get me started on the destructive nature of religion.
The more I read the posts here It seems like the disconnect is almost ideological as opposed to factual.
Those with a conservative, status quo mentality that informs their politics – versus those who believe in change, progress.
Jim, single mother parenting has shown sufficient growth in the past few decades that any correlating increase in male homosexuality tied to that population would be readily obvious. Overwhelmingly obvious. Even to the most casual observer. It is not.
As for there magically being an external feature that steps in to take the place of the father, this entirely refutes your original premise – that absent fathers are a root cause of homosexuality. You can’t have it both ways.
Or are you still arguing that you can have causation without correlation?
My inclinations toward you are in all due respect. But where you say, gays’ stress is more a function of society’s attitudes toward them, I have to correct you and say that that is not supported by empirical data. I do hear this as your opinion, and yes it is, as you say the direction of belief in which many are going. That does not mean it is the right direction. Either direction is a judgement. As for what happens to women in other cultures, that too is a judgement call. Finally, I have not even discussed religion in this context. Yes, as you allude, it might be just as well to leave aside.
You said, “As for there magically being an external feature that steps in to take the place of the father, this entirely refutes your original premise – that absent fathers are a root cause of homosexuality. You can’t have it both ways.”
I do not mean in every case. This is not an all or nothing issue, as far as I can see.
Finally, I never said the root cause of homosexuality was absent fathers. I did say I subscribe to that theory. There is a difference. One definative, one theoretical. I entertain other theories as well. Although I am not a liberal, I am not closed minded by any means.
Jim, would you please get off the liberal kick? Honestly, you sound like a bizarre, Freudian Archie Bunker without the charm. How can anyone claim to be a therapist and make such distasteful comments?
Last time, then I’m closing the thread — get on topic or don’t comment.
The inclusion (and explusion) of homosexuality AND everything else in the DSM as a mental illness is, indeed due to external pressures and not entirely motivated by a scientific or medical justification. Votes are what keeps OCD, ADD, ADHDs, and all the other alphabet soups in the book. Passive-aggressive personality disorder use to be in the DSM, but was later removed because the psychiatrists where tired of seeing a mental diagnosis ascribed about them. Just kidding about the last part, I mean about the psychiatrists, the PD was indeed removed.
again with the chicken and the egg. If the distant father, smothering mother idea did have any weight to it, how do we know that these factors caused the homosexuality rather than being a symptom of it, or a reaction to it?
It could just as easily be the case that mothers and fathers, on a subconscious level recognize something is “different” about the gay child. As a result, the mother becomes more protective, and the father becomes more distant.
a couple things to keep in mind that support this idea:
1) We strongly teach girls the value and ability to nurture. This is changing, but the socialization of girls often involves babysitting, taking care of siblings, playing with dolls, raising pets and or growing plants. In comparison we teach boys almost NOTHING about how to be a nurturer. Our stereotypes of fatherly roles involve math, sports, logic, and discipline. So a father faced with an unusual child will probably leave it more in Mom’s hands simply because men hardly know what they’re doing in the first place.
2) Have you ever seen the mother of a person who is in any way disadvantaged? This is a stereotype, but mothers of children who are physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged are much more protective and involved than other mothers. Since we don’t deduce that a child is diabetic or asthmatic due to overprotective parenting, why are we to deduce that it causes homosexuality?
I don’t know one gay person who was completely caught by surprise by their homosexuality. Routinely we tell stories of knowing very early on that we were “different”, and often family members tell us they knew something was different about us at a very early age as well. So I don’t understand why no one bothers to look into the possibility that distant fathers/protective mothers are the result, not the cause.
Thank you Jason, you stated my thoughts much more eloquently than I ever could.
You did not mention the possibility of a causal factor that may cause homosexuality and overprotectiveness/distance in parents. If this were true, homosexuality and overprotective/distant parents would be correlated but one would not cause the other.
So Jason you do agree with the triadic syndrome however you wonder if it could be explained in that the parents “recognize something is ‘different’ about the gay child. As a result, the mother becomes more protective, and the father becomes more distant”? What do you mean by “different”? I would think many may argue that that would produce stereotypes and pathology (which folk want to avoid), depending on how you define different.
You mean the triadic formula encourages stereotypes?? Kinda like gender roles?? You don’t say!
Jim, I look at it this way:
Not all gays have a distant father or overprotective mother. Some gays do. Therefore, the distant father/overprotective mother is not the cause of the homosexuality. It could, however, be the result of the homosexuality. This would make sense given that many gay males have straight brothers, even though the parents are the same. The parents take on the roles of overprotective or distant because they realize something is different about the kid. It’s the effect of the homosexuality, rather than the cause. If you try to make it the cause then you are left having the problem of why the siblings turn out straight when the mother and father were the same as for the gay kid.
If I remember right, psychs have found no difference in the childhood environments between gays and straights. Thus, the scenario you present just doesn’t hold water.
*So Jason you do agree with the triadic *
Let’s stop there. No, I don’t agree. I think it’s utter bunk. I think human sexuality is far too complex to be explained this easily. Straight men grow up in identical circumstances. There are gay men with wonderful close relationships with their fathers. It doesn’t explain lesbianism at all.
It strikes me as rather odd is that a nonsexual situation (overprotective mother/distant father) can have any effect on a sexual interests of a child. How does a parenting situation affect the sexual interests of someone when the situation itself doesn’t have anything to do with sex? I can understand how a distant father might make a boy have difficulty relating to his own gender, but that still doesn’t explain why he might like tab “A” instead of slot “B”.
Poking someone repeatedly with a stick is going to make them wary of sticks, afraid perhaps, or really angry with sticks and or people who carry them. Hanging out with Mom might make you more interested in the things Mom likes……but with a lack of a sexual situation being part of that experience, how and why would that sexual interest develop? My mother never told me her favorite sexual positions, her sexual history, or her taste in men, she certainly didn’t point out hot men to me, so how did I end up gay? I don’t seem to share any of my mother’s other interests, crochet, cooking, romance novels, so why would something she never talked about, never told me about, and I never saw or heard be the one thing I “absorbed” from my experience with her?
Let’s look at this slightly differently. Let’s say I have a piano teacher who secretly likes to dance to “Oops, I Did It Again” while wearing a banana split on his head. Now, this is a secret he never tells me and I never see any pictures, video, and nobody else ever tells me. By the same logic as this triadic syndrome, if I hang out with my piano teacher too much I might find myself someday with a banana split on my head, listening to Britney, and have absolutely no idea why — especially if nobody ever tells me not to put a banana split on my head and that Britney is a lousy performing artist!
It seems like people are connecting dots that aren’t even necessarily part of the same puzzle. I fail to see how this all connects, and I don’t see anyone laying out how these factors are anything more than a coincidence.
Thanks for bundling those great stats, they are ones I have heard before, but it was ingenious to stack them all for a major Wow. I do believe hypothalamus and pheromone tests are adequate scientific data to determine the origins of homosexuality. Different brains, different effects, done deal.
Nick and Jason GReat points.
On other notes ……. this triuangular theory, now currently debunked by the psychological community. I have great respect for Freud, and in his defense etc…..
Jim Phelan …. Note I am not quoting you regarding Freud, these are simply some of my observations about Freud as a therapist …..
Freud was very meticulous about not aligning with moral judgements about homosexuality as he found psychoanalysis to be a science. Regarding the current culture war on the side of the judgements of the church folk via biblical text, Freud would most likely dismiss it as here say conjecture with no basis in fact.
Freud was very aware that he was working with disturbed gays in his practice and did separate functional productive gay people from those with deep personal problems. He states in his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality published in 1905:
“It [homosexuality] is… found in people whose efficiency is unimpaired, and who are indeed distinguished by specially high intellectual development and ethical culture”  and also because “[homosexuality] was a frequent phenomenon – one might almost say an institution charged with important functions – among the peoples of antiquity at the height of their civilization”
In other words, Freud was not anti-gay. And from his statement above, was very complimentary of gays in general. Some could construct this as pro-gay and I think in some respects would be right, as he was opposed to projection and attack through mis-science.
Freud also goes on to speak about the weak father theory as not to occur in all homosexuals he analyzed but some, and that it was one probability among many potential causes, not giving it high importance.
Freud also did not emphasize traumatic incidents causing homosexuality, i.e. sexual abuse. He did say that a possible “sexual impression” could have been a cause at an early age lodged in the subconscious due to an over bearing mother causing a boy to take on a mother’s sexual inclinations to men. However, I doubt that would cause the hypothalamus to reduce in size and for male pheromones to start smelling attractive to young boys.
Because Freud defined his work as scientific, sweeping statements were not part of his resume. I believe if Freud were witnessing this current psycho sexual cultural war, he could take a stance of complete dismissal towards the religious right and their insistence on hell fire, sexual abuse and many other angles they seek as answers, perpetually advocating shaming neurotic behavior towards bi/homosexuals.
I do not say the word neurosis lightly. At the root of all religious based extremism, I have found a strong fear hatred anger model deeply placed and fully functional. This is neurosis in its most elite form. We are now seeing more and more public religious extremists uncovering themselves and their true conflicted nature of beliefs. It may be such they will find solace in deeply searching their own fears to realize the hardwire effects of neurotic western religious models, best done with a non biased therapist. Could this be Jim, why you are talking with us openly, to gain some insight on and for yourself?
As one who has practiced therapy for many years, I find it disturbing that therapists have found a need to galvanize a patient’s recovery with shaming models derived from external sources. I find it highly unethical. A formidable therapist brings a patient to sanity by remaining focused on their process, helping them reconfigure disturbing conflictive beliefs, and understanding the true reality in which they live. This model is not effected by a therapists’ transference of their own emotionally charged belief systems, potentially shadowing a patients mind with more distortion then the patient already experiences. Freud would NEVER approached a patient in such fashion. Lest it be said, I have found the number of truly gifted highly skilled therapists to be percentage wise, in very low numbers.
Shame is a nasty bed partner, and religion has the market cornered on such. As bi/homosexuals fend off the manifolds of shame barreling their way in the current cultural war, I can only hope any shame within, gets realized for its aberrant rediculosity, by viewing the stewards of shame heaving away, falling by the wayside into their own personal culture shock. I personally wish them well and a speedy healthy recovery, preferably dumping the shame model. In any war, both sides can dramatically lose along the way. God bless Mathew Shepard. And I hear Anita Bryant is shacked up in the mountains victim of a severe alcohol addiction. Bless her too, this need not be. These hard core negative beliefs are staggering in their effects.
In conclusion: Regarding a “triangular theory” Could it simply be that we as a world, live in an axiom of triangles? Right/wrong/indifferent rep/dem/ind mother/father/child hot/cold/warm north pole/south pole/equator, black team/white team/audience, earth/sun/moon? And could it be that in this world, bi straight and gay sexualities are actually the natural norm, based on this basic triad structure? But I already know, with three possible opinions, on goes the bullet proof vest. With three possible opinions and Freud’s famous triangular theory strongly afoot, we could hardly all agree on this new (ancient) reality as a reminder of fact, or could we?
Thoughts Mr Phelan?
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I actually don’t even think those are the best of what we have, but I look forward to any proof there is when we get it. Right now it’s still a bunch of intriguing indications, hardly a “done deal” lol.
Please try to be a bit more concise. Comments this long are really difficult to read and make the thread hard to navigate while keeping the topic flow in mind. Thanks.
Jim, it may seem that I’m harping on this issue. But I do so because of its importance to the thread topic: reparative therapy. At its heart, reparative therapy is based on repairing the gay man’s relationship with men from the damage inflicted by his father (and women by a number of possibilities). It is generated by this Freudian model.
Perhaps I need to use an illustration.
Suppose for a moment that this was 1963 and you wanted to create an experiment to prove a hypothesis. Let’s say you thought that homosexuality in men was caused by a smothering mother and distant father.
So you said, let’s remove the father from the home in 50% of the families. Assuming that our hypothesis is correct, we should see two things: 1) some number approaching 50% of all boys should become homosexual; and 2) nearly all future gay men will be traceable to the families without fathers.
But clearly this study would be unethical. Indeed, it would be morally reprehensible.
Ahhh, but what if the study happened naturally and on its own due to a combination of other social stimuli. Well then, you could test your hypothesis.
So let’s see:
Are something approaching 50% of all men gay? No.
Are nearly all gay men from single mother homes? No.
So we must conclude with one of two possibilities:
A: the triangular model is not very strong; or
B: whatever social stimuli brought about the increase in single parenting also brought about a reversal in homosexual incidence, i.e. the triangular model is not very strong.
Perhaps its time for the ex-gay movement to let go of this model (what we could call the “Dr. Dobson Drop Your Baby On His Head Model”) and move on to something that hasn’t been shown to be contrary to observation.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is right. There is no evidence to support that reparative therapy or other reorientation therapies change sexual orientation, yet some therapists insist that their treatments lead to sexual reorientation. It really is time after all these decades for the advocates of reparative therapy or any other form of reorientation therapy to present strong evidence of effectiveness or just stop their activities. Under the current circumstances, it just seems really unethical to continue to take money from someone and hold out some false hope that they can change their sexual orientation.
Thoughts? Yes, Devlin. I am glad you are acquainted with Freud’s work as I. (The pool of people being so, is unfortunately diminishing). One can’t not be so acquainted and say Freud was anti-gay. I knew, and I know that. Sigmund Freud referred to homoeroticism as an inversion. Although many of his colleagues outright condemned homosexuality, Freud did not. He theorized that the etiology of the male homosexual occurred as a result of a rejecting father and a close, binding mother, which intensified the oedipal rivalry as to inhibit the choice of a female partner. Freud felt that given these circumstances, homosexuality (inversion), in some cases, could be successfully treated (Freud, 1920a, 1920b). Suggesting psychoanalysis, Freud offered that a homosexual could change orientation if desired; however, he felt it was not always predictable or necessary (Freud, 1951). But as many have pointed out, Freud was rather pessimistic, about the possibility of a full reversal from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality.
Although Freud found the homosexual person, in most cases, to be intelligent and highly talented (e.g. Leonardo da Vinci), he found that homosexuality was, in and of itself, a “fatal deviation”. Homosexuality was found to be an inversion of normal sexuality and homosexual impulses were found, in most cases, to be considered outside the norm.
According to Freud, homosexuality resulted from an infantile arrest of normal psychosexual development, due to disturbance within the oedipal complex. For the male, that being, an over-involvement with the mother, and an emotional detachment from the father. Freud found that the homosexuals’ object-choice lied closer to narcissism than heterosexuality. The homosexual narcissism facilitated a path toward the homosexual object-choice (Freud, 1920, 1922).
Freud (1940) correlated “fixations of the libido to conditions in earlier phases, whose urge, which is independent of the normal sexual aim, is described as perversion. One such developmental inhibition, for instances, is homosexuality when it is manifest” (pp. 26-27).
To summarize Freud’s view on male homosexuality, alot can be learned from his work in Leonardo da Vinci: A Study in Psychosexuality (1910), whereas he stated:
In all our male homosexuals there was a very intensive erotic attachment to a feminine person, as a rule to the mother, which was manifest in the very first period of childhood and later entirely forgotten by the individual. This attachment was produced or favored by too much love from the mother herself, but was also furthered by the retirement or absence of the father during the childhood period. Sadger emphasizes the fact that the mothers of his homosexual patients were often man-women, or women with energetic traits of character who were able to crowd out the father from the place allotted to him in the family…
The love of the mother cannot continue to develop consciously so that it merges into repression. The boy represses the love for the mother by putting himself in her place, by identifying himself with her, and by taking his own person as a model through the similarity of which he is guided in the selection of his love object. He thus becomes homosexual; as a matter of fact, he returns to the stage of autoerotism, for the boys whom the growing adult now loves are only substitutive persons or revivals of his own childish person, whom he loves in the same way as his mother loved him…By repressing the love for his mother he conserves the same in his unconscious and henceforth remains faithful to her. When as a lover he seems to pursue boys, he really thus runs away from women who could cause him to become disloyal to his mother. Through direct observation of individual cases we could demonstrate that he who is seemingly receptive only of masculine stimuli is in reality influenced by the charms emanating from women…but each and every time he hastens to transfer the stimulus he received from the woman to a male object, and in this manner he repeats again and again the mechanism through which he acquired his homosexuality. (p. 79).
Freud (1922) also decribed a mechanism in certain cases of male homosexuality where the homosexual relationship respresetned a defense against an earlier state of affairs when the individual felt intense jealousy and hostility toward rival brothers.
For the female homosexual, Freud theorized that she became disillusioned with and angry with her mother. He also theorized that other traumas turned her away from her father. As in the case, “A psychogenesis of a case of homosexuality”, Freud (1920) said that the patient turned away from her father, thus all men altogether, and regressed to a female lover who replaced her mother.
In an appraisal of the research on Freud’s theories and therapies Fisher and Greeberg (1977/1985) said, “…there is a cumulative impact in the fact that the empirical findings for both male and female homosexuals tend to be in accord with Freud” (p. 253).
Jim – You are quoting from the 1977 version. The 1996 version gives a different rendering of the research. For those interested and can get a copy of the Fisher and Greenberg book, the relevant section is pages 134-141.
Regarding male homosexuality, Fisher and Greenberg said on page 139,
Nor is there is a need to limit theorizing to thinking that poor fathering causes homosexual attractions in some way. When sons recollect poor relationships with father, the questionnaires infrequently specify when the bad relationship occurred. For many men, I have spoken to and worked with, the bad relationships that are reported came after the emergence of homosexual interests, often in young adolescence. Furthermore, a sizable number of homosexual men report no such disruptions ever. Without the Oedipal theoretical underpinning, it seems to me that reparative drive theory is considerably weakened. The observation that many SSA men and women exist with no recollected or experienced parental disruption is another blow.
Fisher and Greenberg also apply similar analysis to the topic of lesbianism. I intend to excerpt more of the Fisher and Greenberg book on my blog later today…
Jason, can’t argue with you on that. It’s something I’ve suspected as well, but didn’t articulate well here, if I did at all.
At any rate, more than a few times, I’ve brought up, and so have others the issue of the parental arrangements in black homes. Many of which feature single mothers and absent or distant fathers. And there is no predominance of homosexuality among those black households.
Your article certainly asserts the reality that INTERESTS and the lack of mutual ones between parent and child affects the strength in those relationships.
Parents speculate and hope before a child is born what traits they will have. Who they will most resemble in looks and temprament.
And often will try to manipulate interests prior to birth.
Parents don’t WANT to speculate on the sexual orienation of their child, or take it as a given that homosexuality is a possibility without ALSO trying to manipulate the interests of the child away from what their idea of a gay person’s interests are.
Intervention to prevent or redirect sexual orientation starts early and often. Something that Joseph Nicolosi believes is possible.
And as if this isn’t a long tradition that’s been disastrous.
Why not stop all the manipulating and interventions? Why NOT let a child’s homosexuality take it’s course? There isn’t as much known about what the results of NOT intervening would do.
That’s some research I long to see happen. Don’t you?
The reason the APA dropped homosexuality from its list of mental disorders was that there was absolutely no evidence that being gay is a mental disorder. They had a definition of mental disorder, but to make it stick for gay people they had to ignore their own definiton, and say that “Of course. Gay people are mentally disordered BY definiton. Just not THIS definiton.” It could not hold up to any kind of scientific scrutiny. The really homophobic psychiatrists, like Bieber and Soccarides (father of a gay son!!!), the ones who earned their living “curing” gay people, tried to force a referendum on the APA, but it also failed. The whole procedure underlined that prejudice was really the defining issue, not homosexuality, and certainly not science, as is often the case on this particular issue. (Not surprisingly, religious reactions to gay people are very similar). First, a whole category of people is defined as mentally ill (or particularly sinful) with no scientific or experiential (or biblical) reason to do so, only a cultural and religious prejudice. They they have a vote, and presto-change-o, a whole category of people are “cured” overnight. Then, the people who whose livelihood depend on the the “mental illness” issue try to make another vote to make all of those people “sick” again. Clearely, not a matter of good science or good medicine, just prejudice. You might call it the politics of diagnosis. There is a great book on the whole fiasco called “Homosexcuaility and American Psychiatry” by Ronald Bayer. It’s a great read.
In transferring data from an email format to this format, paragraph breaks were effected, will watch for that. Your comment is duly noted.
As far as the hypothalamus and pheromones data, I believe one should not be quite so dismissive as they are biological and chemical templates at birth that have full effect on sexual attraction. And they are raw accurate data. My gut tells me that DNA may never turn up a smoking gun.
“My inclinations toward you are in all due respect. But where you say, gays’ stress is more a function of society’s attitudes toward them, I have to correct you and say that that is not supported by empirical data.”
Jim – it is VERY true – was for me and for many gay people I have known over the years – the gay youth that are kicked out of their homes by their family – the high incidence of drug addiction among gays – the gays that feel forced to get married and then end up lying and cheating and feeling terrible about it – the list goes on and on……
Yes, Warren, I already made mention to this is a previous post. The studies since 1997 lessened, thus harder to support the mother factor, however the father factor stays strongly supported. Even my thesis at Marywood supported the father factor in 1994. A gay researcher at a Texas college also just found the same thing.
Finally, where F&G say, “conjure up…” says it all…and that’s what the folks on here do and so do others if you keep reading, which I know you do and will. All the best, Jim
The last defense of the indefensible.
Jim – Could you provide the reference to the researcher at a Texas college?
So this father factor is about what? The reparative drive theory is not a social learning theory. RT posits a mother component that precedes the father factor. What is the father factor without the Oedipal crisis you have been banging on about?
The father factor is “about” several things in correlation to the homosexual condition, here is the short 101 version for dummies:
1. Distant father doesn’t provide son role model, his sense of masculinity, often results in Gender Identity problems, and as we know that leads to homosexuality (ask Ken Zucker about that).
2. Distant or hostile father leaves boy hungry for male love = boy looks for love in other males = homosexuality.
3. Same father is often poor mate to mother, hence mother overr simulates the boy. More inclined to Gender confusion. Mother imposes an incest taboo, boy translates to all females (see my article on Jonah). Poor couple = poor role model for heterosexuality.
Warren, about the reference:
Title: THE FATHER SON RELATIONSHIP IN HOMOSEXUAL
IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL
STUDY. St Mary’s University,Ronald Jay Monachello, M.ED.
San Antonio, Texas, March 2006
Come on Jim! Explain to me how is it that the kids I grew up with that had a very dysfunctional family home with only a female parent and the male children turned out straight? Explain to me the kids that grew up in a same sex family environment and the kids they raised are straight? How stupid do you think some of us are here?
These studies are so inconsistent its laughable. I don’t know how many times I hear this from the anti-gay side and I have to scoff at it because I know that it is all bunk.
“1. Distant father doesn’t provide son role model, his sense of masculinity, often results in Gender Identity problems, and as we know that leads to homosexuality (ask Ken Zucker about that).”
Gender Identity has nothing to do with homosexuality. I’m not confused about my gender. At no point did I ever wish I was a girl, I have never longed for a vagina and a pair of breasts, this alone sounds rather ridiculous.
Seems someone is suggesting that the only way I could be interested in men is if I think I’m a woman, that I could not possibly do so without that being true. That a man who knows he’s a man, would not be interested in other men.
How does this explain the propensity for gay men to want to look their most “manly” (working out, growing a beard) these are not the activities of someone who is or wants to be a woman.
A homosexual may also suffer from Gender Identity issues, but they are not the same thing.
“2. Distant or hostile father leaves boy hungry for male love = boy looks for love in other males = homosexuality.”
Love and sex are not the same thing, I still don’t see how this “looking for love in other males” becomes sexual.
And if this were true, wouldn’t satisfying that craving end the homosexual thoughts and desires? In effect, the moment we fall in love with a partner, shouldn’t we stop being gay?
This is all rather ridiculous and suggests that left to their own devices, with no supervision, boys would think they were girls and girls would think they were boys, and all would be some level of homosexual or bisexual. It’s as if our sexuality and gender are entirely socially constructed. That there is nothing internal that guides our sexual choices, and or gender identity.
Since a distant or absent father and an overbearing and protective mother is the status quo for quite a number of species out there, why isn’t the animal kingdom overcome with homosexuals to the point of near extinction? Why would something that seems to work fairly well for many species be a homosexual nightmare for us?
And considering that child-rearing has been traditionally “women’s work” with men out in the field for 12-18 hours a day, or spending days apart from family hunting and gathering, or spending months fighting in this or that war or conflict — it seems we’re rather lucky there are any heterosexuals at all!
why on earth would nature and our own societal structures select against a supportive heterosexual model and in favor of one that supposedly fosters homosexuality?
And what of orphans, does the lack of a mother and father make most of them asexual? Since the childcare industry is dominated by women, shouldn’t most orphans be asexual with homosexual leanings?
Ken, believe it or not, that quote is essentially NARTH in a nutshell (no pun intended). Once you have the model, you go out and try to find anything that might fit and reject the rest. It is the antithesis of scientific research.
Jason said of himself: “I have never longed for a vagina and a pair of breasts, this alone sounds rather ridiculous.”
Yes, I agree, this does sound ridiculous!
You have got to be kidding?
[1. Distant father doesn’t provide son role model, his sense of masculinity, often results in Gender Identity problems, and as we know that leads to homosexuality (ask Ken Zucker about that).
2. Distant or hostile father leaves boy hungry for male love = boy looks for love in other males = homosexuality.
3. Same father is often poor mate to mother, hence mother overr simulates the boy. More inclined to Gender confusion. Mother imposes an incest taboo, boy translates to all females (see my article on Jonah). Poor couple = poor role model for heterosexuality.]
This is an uneducated, ignorant approach to understanding sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation is NOT pyschological – it is biological.
I know many gay men whose parents are still married and they have also had good strong relationships with their fathers. I know many straight men who were raised without fathers.
Do you really believe your post or are you playing around?
You are ignorant – that’s it. I am ignorant sometimes when it comes to racial minorities – so I know ignorance when I see it.
Be man enough to work on your personal issues. You are essentially disrespecting an entire group of people.
Ken said: “Explain to me how is it that the kids I grew up with that had a very dysfunctional family home with only a female parent and the male children turned out straight?” That’s already been discussed. Keep up.
Ha, Ha, Ha, very funny, David.
I know we disagree, but if I can’t say Sexual orientation is pyschological – how can you say it is biological? Both are theoretical at this point, correct?
Jim, Jason was making a point in response to your statement. Stop deflecting legitimate debate with useless comments like that. If you wish to enjoy the privilege of participating here, do not ignore legitimate inquiry about your claims. This continued disruption will not be tolerated much longer.
If you something germane to add to the discussion, do so. But stay out of Junior High.
Edit: In the time it took for me to write this short comment, you posted 3 more inane comments, Jim. You’ve got one more chance here. Any further comments of this type will be deleted.
No problem Jim. But first let me sift through all your psychobabble first to find the answer to my question. 😉
Kindly direct me to where you addressed this question. I (and aparantly Ken) missed your answer – unless it was that vague “external feature fills the roll” comment.
Animals are not exculsively homosexual, at least that’s what most researchers find. Animals, unlike humans, do not follow a moral code, just a survival instinct. Homosexual beh. in the animal world happens not as a rountine but as a mistake or unusual situation, ie. low hormones, over domestication, error, mistaken identity, captivity, non-availablity of opposite sex, catalyst for mating, expression of dominance (looks sexual but its really violence), callow sex play, etc.
And that moral code that you state Jim must be the one conservative Christians claim everyone must follow because they have the truth and God on their side.
Not much has been studied on why some survive, but we have to conclude, due to lack of evidence that protective factors took over. Just like in the situations in trauma, when in the cases where 2 people are faced with trauma and only one goes on to exhibit PTSD symptoms.
Finally, is that to say they are absent of the condition, no, maybe they just hide it? Maybe they don’t have it? Noone may really know.
Jim Phelan said:
Back it up or recant, Jim.
Moral code does not have to mean Christian. I know some non-christians, who share some of my same morals.
Good God Jim! You make it sound like those that are gay are somehow in a life and death situation. Survivors must be the ones that end up straight while others are deemed as going under and drowning because they end up gay.
You really need to work on your words.
Actually, a thought based observation might conclude instead that the lack or correlation was a clear indicator that the presumptions about causation were incorrect.
Your premise, if I understand it correctly, is that male homosexuality is CAUSED (in most if not all cases) by a psychological response in the child to an absent or distant father (perhaps with an overbearing mother).
Your response to evidence of a massive increase in absent fathers without evidence of any correlating increase whatsoever in homosexuality is that “protective factors” took over.
Your position is that because your original assumption is correct, then any evidence, no matter how compelling, is to be ignored and written off.
You do realize, don’t you, that this response makes your argument appear to be dogmatic rather than thought driven?
And “whose” moral code is acceptable to you? Morality is defined differently for different people. Not everyone agrees the same way. So what “moral code” is acceptable? Is there only one moral code that we must follow? Seriously, I’m curious to know.
Jim, I know you’ve admonished one commenter to “keep up” so forgive me if you address this in later comments. I grew up in a deeply religious, two parent household. My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage this past year. Both my parents are ministers in an evangelical, some would say, fundamentalist denomination. In response to the “father theory” points you’ve listed, I speak for myself when I say:
#1: Doesn’t apply – my dad wasn’t distant growing up; provided a great role model as a loving, caring, masculine husband and father.
#2: Doesn’t apply – see response to #1
#3: Doesn’t apply – 40+ years of marriage that is as good behind closed doors as is exhibited on Sundays at church (I know…grew up with it). Further, the relationship exhibited by my parents was also exhibited by both sets of grandparents (both 50+ years of marriage before death separated them) – who I was around much during my formative years (lived next door to paternal grandparents for many years – often spent time during summer with maternal grandparents).
Is this “father theory” something you actually buy into? I’m curious because my own experience and observations (admittedly non-scientific), indicate that these points you’ve listed are simplistic at best and don’t speak to a majority of gay people’s experiences. Certainly they don’t speak to mine.
“I know we disagree, but if I can’t say Sexual orientation is pyschological – how can you say it is biological? Both are theoretical at this point, correct?”
That is incorrect – they are both not theoritical.
There is credible evidence indicating that it is bioloigical. There is no credible evidence to indicate that it is psychological.
This has been covered over and over again on this site – re-read some of the links and the studies therein.
I would go further and say that many so-called christian values are in fact IMMORAL.
The American religious right certainly is immoral. Lying is immoral, adovacting unjust wars is immoral, torture is immoral, oppression is immoral, prejudice is immoral.
The religious right is highly immoral.
Dick Cheney and his wife have a gay child. Alan Keyes and his wife have a gay child.
Your theories are outdated. They are based on stereotypes that we now know not to be true.
You need to keep up.
This may seem a little off-thread, but I think it is very much on thread.
The flurry of comments and counter-comments surrounding Jim Phelan is, to my mind, very indicative of what is actually going on here. I am not attacking Jim Phelan here. I don’t know the man and don’t want to. But I think it is a waste of time to get into an argument with him, as it is with so many anti or exgays. The value in all of this is that people who are at least open on the subject of the place of gay people in society are getting logical expositions of facts and arguments.
The whole debate on whether animals are actually or situationally gay is a very good example. For anyone interested in the subject, a great book called “Biological Exuberance” surveyed the literature and dealt with the subject thoroughly, including the socio/psychological aspects of a number of researchers REFUSAL to recognize same sex sexual and courtship behavior among birds and mammals.
We are told that being gay is not natural for animals and so is not natural for humans, either. We point out the results of Biological exuberance, which indicates that yes, in fact, it is natural. Not to mention common, widespread, and statistically normal for thousands of years in all cultures.
We are then told that we should not use animals as our guides. We are far better– or worse– than that.
Jim’s comment: “Animals are not exclusively homosexual, at least that’s what most researchers find.” and blah blah blah. This indicates he has not read biological exuberance and doesn’t hang around animals very much, at least according to my farm-raised friends.
As timothy pointed out, and which I am getting to, is that maybe this is really a lot more about ideology than it is about dispassionate pact and reason.
So what am I trying to say here? It doesn’t really matter whether animals “do it” or not. It doesn’t matter whether there are weak fathers and strong mothers, or not. none of it matters because it is not what this is about. It doesn’t matter whether the bible bans, hates, loves, encourages, allows, or admits homosex, because it isn’t about religion either.
It is clear from all of the comments here that there is not one thing that you can say that is true about gay people as a group (I’ll leave out bi people) except that they prefer members of their own sex for dating, sex, romance, or family. Just like you cannot say anything about heteros as a group except that blah blah.
Therefore, it seems to me that this is about one thing, and one thing only: either you think that being gay is OK, and that being gay means that gay people should be treated differently, or you don’t. That is, I think except for room for gray area, as fair, dispassionate, and accurate a description of reality as I can come up with.
(Left to my own devices, this is what I actually would say: It is about how much the very existence of gay people bothers some straight people. It is about ending a prejudice that says we can be treated differently because of that prejudice. If it were not about prejudice, given its very thin veneer of respectability by religion, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Segregation in the old South was very much supported by law AND by religious belief. Yet we now see it as prejudice, and not divine rule, or moral behavior, or anything like that.)
There are a lot of filters through which these two basic positions get expressed: religion, fear, political power, career, money, self-hatred, ideology, self-protection, self interest, fear of self, fear of sex, ignorance willful or otherwise, and on and on and on.
The prominent change-your-gay-ways researched cited throughout this thread have all stated that even if gay were found to be completely biological and/or genetic, we would still need to change it. Perhaps because they have determined, in conference with the almighty himself, that it is not a part of his “plan”.
So again, it doesn’t matter whether it is nature or nurture, it is whether you think gay is OK or you don’t. Everything else is an after-thought. I applaud this website and others for their insistence on intellectual and factual rigor, because it helps to illustrate what this is really about. Insistence on fact and reason is not enough; fact and reason must actually be present, which is what Phelan’s comments seem to lack.
I am willing to admit that I am, in an ideological sense, absolutely OK with and committed to GAY IS OK. But then, I am a gay man in a happy and gay life, and so perhaps that is to be expected.
Can Jim Phelan and those who agree with him admit the same?
Jonathan: You say, “…don’t speak to a majority of gay people’s experiences. Certainly they don’t speak to mine.”
Not according to the research.
As for your story, thanks for sharing. But, it doesn’t give weight to the body of empirical data.
Yes, David, sorry.
While I don’t hold a Doctorate from an on-line study program, I’m not exactly a dummy. Paul Cameron’s research aside, I’d like to see a bit of that “research” you tout in your response to me.
Back it up or recant, Jim. Your comments will be moderated until you deal with this and your last unsupported statement.
David, yes. The text I mentioned earlier reviews hundreds of research. As for the animal research, those are in the article I cited previously. I appreciate tight standards, I respect you for them, but remember others are also claiming things uncited. Thanks.
Good points, Ben. It’s not easy to maintain a safe space for intelligent debate, allow diverse points of view and filter out those who would disrupt that with a lot of noise and distraction disguised as “just another opinion.” We may not be perfect in our attempt to juggle these things, but we try.
Now and then we get what amounts to a sexuality/morality pundit, without a desire to listen and learn. Not everyone on the other side of the ideological spectrum is like that, so perhaps I would take your words as a general guideline acknowledging that exceptions exist. We have some of those exceptions right here.
Someone voiced concern that we would sift through all those who disagree with us and leave only the like minded. A few days spent here should dispell that notion for all but the free speech purists, or anarchists. We thrive on debate, iron sharpens iron, but a mob teaches nothing. The one thing we require is that all are willing to listen, to learn and debate civilly. So in that respect, yes we do require like-mindedness.
I’m not attacking Jim Phelan either, but his OT comments, unsupported assertions, distractions and avoidance of direct questions have been a great, unproductive disruption to otherwise legitimate topics. The quality of debate, and therefore this site, has gone down since he started commenting here. That can’t go on much longer.
I heard your comment suggesting I had not read, biological exuberance. I did read it when it first came out years ago and in fact reviewed it for The NARTH Bulletin at the time.
You are again being inspecific:
“The text I mentioned earlier”
Is that the 1977 text that Dr. Throckmorton pointed out had been contradicted by the authors’ subsequent writings? The same “hundreds of research” that are outdated by 30+ years?
“the article I cited previously”
Was that your self reference?
What you seem to be failing to understand is that when your source has been debunked, you can’t simply refer to the same source as though it magically became authoritive again in the two minutes since your last comment.
Admit what? That you are happy? If that’s your question, my answer is yes, I can admit you are speaking your truth when you say that. If the question meant am I happy, Yes, I am happy and that’s my truth.
I don’t, however, think you were being very fair when you said my “comments seem to lack – fact and reason. If I agreed with you, would you then say this? So, do I have to buy into what you believe and how you interpret the literature?
I mean, let’s face it, noone has all the answers to the complexity of human nature and sexual preferences. We all base our conculsions, on findings, evidences, biases, values, beliefs, personal convictions, etc. There’s a constellation of factors that leads us to our understandings and we learn and grow everyday. Finally, the best of the best scholars in the world don’t even agree on any one issue.
You said: “Is that the 1977 text that Dr. Throckmorton pointed out had been contradicted by the authors’ subsequent writings? The same “hundreds of research” that are outdated by 30+ years?”
No, I was speaking of Fisher and Greenberg’s 1996 text, which has not been “debunked”. Warren pointed out that while the 1977 text may have supported mother and father factors of the triadic theory, the 1996 text could only support the father factor. This was likely due to the decrease in the literature as admitted by the researchers themselves.
As for the animal research, I cited several which are in the my article I referenced, which I left ordering instructions for. Those who seemed interested, at the time, did not express a problem with that reference, although they may have disagreed with my summarization of such.
Now, back to F&G text. People are getting defensive here and jumping to conclusions. I make it clear that the research supports the triadic theory of the etiology of male homosexuality. I did not say, but people conclude I did, that all gay men come from these backgrounds. The research that tested the theories, and used comparison groups (homosexual men vs. heterosexual men), found that homosexual men rated their fathers as less loving, more distance and more hostile than their heterosexual counterparts. NOW, that does NOT necessarily mean that the homosexual men in those studies had BAD DADS? NO, I did not say that. The study says that in comparison, they rate them lower on scales. Please spare me the anecdotes. I do not care to hear about ma and pop down on the farm stories. I was looking at research PEOPLE.
Jim said”I mean, let’s face it, noone has all the answers to the complexity of human nature and sexual preferences. We all base our conculsions, on findings, evidences, biases, values, beliefs, personal convictions, etc. There’s a constellation of factors that leads us to our understandings and we learn and grow everyday. Finally, the best of the best scholars in the world don’t even agree on any one issue.”
I hope you actually believe that, for I think it is possibly the wisest, most intelligent thing I think you have said in the time I have been watching this site.
I also hope, that you keep your own words in mind in the future: “noone has all the answers to the complexity of human nature and sexual preferences.”
I’ll forgive the word “preferences” for the moment, as I’d hate to tarnish what is essentially a compliment.
So your answer is yes, it is the F&G text and your own self-reference. Thanks.
As for the order of occurance (homosexual longings v. family disfunction) I believe Dr. Throckmorton has adequately addressed that.
Jim, if you want to refute the accepted position in your field, you need to provide some evidence to be taken as credible. And if what you provide is readily and immediately shown to be flawed, it does not serve you well to continue to insist on its authority.
If you want to speak of “the research” or “the studies” or “the literature”, you cannot rely on a single source that does not support your triadic assumptions (in the 1996 version) and which has been shown to have faulty causation assumptions.
Please know that people here are informed. And not easily swayed by generic references or repetitive claims that are either self-referencial or disputed.
Jim, seriously, you are beginning to sound like a quack. I know that you will just dismiss this advice, but nonetheless, please sit down with someone you trust and walk through the logic behind your views. Let them show you where you are not making sense, where your thinking is circular, and where your arguments place you in a negative light.
What I meant, Jim, and perhaps did not really say clearly, is that can YOU admit to your ideology, that being gay is NOT OK, and that this determines everything YOU have to say.
That you read and reviewed Biological Exuberance is good. That you reviewed it for NARTH is not (from my point of view) because i already know that NARTH comes from the ideology that gay is NOT OK, and that no amount of fact, reason, intellectual analysis or experience is going to have the slightest effect on anything they–and by extension, you– have to say on the subject.
When i say this, I can say also this: I am willing to concede that it is possible that there is something inherently “bad” about being gay, but the some of my life experience, the some of my reading, knowledge, and thought, all of which is considerable, is that it is not, and is in fact of far lesser consequence than the usual run of heterosexuality. if you can show me evidence (not opinion or religious belief) that being gay is bad in any sense of the word, that it is bad for society, bad for gay people, bad for anything except fundraising and power-mongering on the basis of prejudice, I would certainly be open to looking at it. that is what this website, and others like it, are about.
But if all you’re going to show me is your ideology, then what you will have to tell me is no less predictable than any other party line.