More Dogma From Dr Nicolosi
In an interview with self-proclaimed “global voice of orthodox Anglicanism” VirtueOnline, reparative therapist Dr Joseph Nicolosi made some of his boldest claims yet.
The former President of NARTH, who told a London ex-gay conference last weekend that 75 percent of his clients were “cured” of their homosexuality, said the following:
[The] fact remains that if you traumatize a child in a particular way you will create a homosexual condition. If you do not traumatize a child, he will be heterosexual. If you do not traumatize a child in a particular way, he will be heterosexual. The nature of that trauma is an early attachment break during the bonding phase with the father.
Frankly, this kind of dogmatic statement is a gift to Nicolosi’s opponents: If you do x, y will happen; if you do not do x, z will happen. It is a perfect falsifiable statement; in other words, the only thing you would need to do to prove Nicolosi wrong is to find one homosexual who was not traumatized by an “early attachment break” with his father, or find one heterosexual who was.
In the interview, his 75-percent success rate is toned down to a more modest two thirds, some becoming completely heterosexual in a matter of months.
Beginning to wonder about Nicolosi’s judgment? Wonder no more. When asked about Reverend Ted Haggard’s claim to be completely cured of homosexuality, Nicolosi responded thus:
If he has beaten it in four months, he should write a book about how he did it. It would be an instant bestseller. I would buy a copy.
I don’t doubt it – clearly Nicolosi expects his audience to buy just about anything.
Business in the US must be drying up, so ol’ Joe has to go looking elsewhere to export his nonsense.
Parroting what he opines as authoritive statement and hoping everyone would buy it by claiming to be authority himself. He seems to think he knows people more than those people know themselves. Really, has he really talked to gay people?
If you claim you’re a doctor in curing homosexuality (even if there is no legitimate degree for your specialty ), the ONLY people you’re going to see or will be coming to you are people who THINK they have a problem. And maybe they do, but the issue wouldn’t necessarily be what a doctor like Nicolosi could diagnose, nor should he.
Sort of like a person who does make overs or organizes your closet. Having a certain look, or messy closet are not FATAL health problems.
Neither is homosexuality, so the urgency in which to see someone like Nicolosi isn’t there.
But he’ll convince you your issue with homosexuality is as fatal as cancer.
There is no doctor in the world who can be allowed putting FEAR into their patient for something that isn’t urgent or threatening.
Even oncologists give a five year window to consider a patient cancer free if there is no recurrence.
However, Nicolosi doesn’t have to monitor his ‘clients’ for that long, and has obviously no comprehensive record keeping to show for it.
Because lapses in same sex attraction wouldn’t be on his lack of skills or lack of anyone needing them, he can conveniently blame the client’s lack of effort.
Nicolosi won’t blame his tools. It is a poor workman who does.
However, it is an even poorer workman that applies a hammer to a pane of glass, and wants his client to pretend he didn’t break it.
In other words, Nicolosi doesn’t make comparisons with gay people who DON’T fit his template.
These would be gay people who don’t need him and don’t care what he says.
They are not influenced by his scary prognosis’s and lack of diagnostic capability.
Nicolosi pretends gay people don’t exist who don’t fit his template, he simply foments it that it’s being homosexual that proves his diagnosis.
Can someone like this be cited for lack of credentials, evidence and exploitation of a vulnerable person?
It would seem that doctors are NOT allowed to do such a thing whatsoever. And especially on gay people!
The favorite opening assertion of the fundamentalist.
I think you are right to point out the “falsifiable statement” Regan. Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t daunt the fundamentalist approach to life. The fundamentalist cannot take a scientific approach because their belief dictates what is ‘fact,’ not substantiation or replication. Nicolosi is not interested in science or method unless it somehow supports his belief.
Nicolosi says he didn’t say the 75% figure and Virtue has stricken that remark from his article, even though Virtue told Dr Throckmorton that Nicolosi did say 75%.
As to the statement quoted here, there has been plenty of recent work and some old which says that Nicolosi’s absent/non-approving father has nothing to do with it.
Oh, Joe. You’re always good for a laugh.
Re Dave Rattigan: Nicolosi’s statement would not be falsifiable if his claim was more modest, such as that the etiology of homosexuality is in ‘most’ cases an early attachment break with the father. A generally accepted disproof of his contention would then require a larger sampling of gay men to see how many of their histories conformed to the more modest model. Even if a large percentage did not, Nicolosi could still aver that many roads lead to Rome [homosexual identity], and his is just one of them, which he might be reluctant to do. But Nicolosi himself would have a problem even with a result in his favor. Even then he would have to somehow circumvent the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy, proving that the early attachment break with the father is antecedent to homosexual identity rather than that homosexual identity is antecedent to an early attachment break. What is the possibility that the heterosexual father recoils from a homosexual child, which is sensed as such non-verbally by the father, or at least is sensed as having a psychological makeup that develops into full-blown homosexual identity later on and to which early on the father does not vibrate in sympathy, as he may to his other son, who is a rough-and-tumble, aggressive little tike, the apple of his heterosexual father’s eye? It’s the chicken-egg problem all over again. I for one plump for the latter. But at present it’s an unproven plump.
As for finding one heterosexual man who had an early attachment break with his father, this is not a counterexample of the more modest claim aforementioned. In addition, Nicolosi could reply that all As are B, but not all Bs are A, homosexual identity is caused by an early attachment break with the father, but not all such breaks result in homosexuality.
Personally, I’m convinced by cross-species studies that homosexuality is a constant of nature, that sexual identity, if not behavior, is biologically based. However, I don’t intend that fact to have normative implications. In other words, the right and wrong of this issue remains unsettled.
I could just as easily claim that the rotation of the earth which results in the sun appearing to rise in the East leads to a certain percentage of the population being gay. Despite my complete lack of any proof that this was true (and while deliberately making no effort to collect and present data that supports my position), I could go on for years from conference to conference making outrageous, completely unsupported assertions with absolute conviction in my voice.
While it is most likely that I would just be an object of ridicule, if my thesis supported some narrow groups political, social or religious agenda, they might pay me well to show up at these conferences. I might even make a living at spewing out this tripe. After all, similar things have been done.
I personally would rather live a more productive life, but clearly there are others who would have such qualms.
No, you could not just as easily claim–I’m guessing here because of your lack of precision–that the sun appearing to orbit the earth, rising in the East and traveling across the sky, is the cause of homosexuality. Why not? Because there is no statistical correlation between what the sun does in the sky, or appears to do, and the existence of homosexuals. But this is precisely what Nicolosi is claiming, with undeniable factual evidence for the claim, by the way, that is, that there is a statistical correlation between an early attachment break with fathers and homosexual sons. The requisite correlation to be meaningful need not be anywhere near 100 percent. Even so, to repeat myself, there is a big hurdle to surmount even with such an undeniable correlation, which is the chicken-egg problem. Is the homosexual nature of a child antecedent to the father’s emotional distance from him, the aversion probably being unconscious, or vice versa? I have no proof one way or the other, and neither does anyone else, including Nicolosi. My point is to highlight that those like Nicolosi who do claim vice versa, that the father’s emotional distance from the son is antecedent to the latter’s homosexuality, commit the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy. I’m not surprised. Thinking about public affairs is rife with this particular fallacy. Nonwhites and nonmales use it to justify affirmative action.
I think that you are giving Nicolosi more credit than he deserves. It almost sounds like you are conceeding that he has proven on some level a link between distant father/overbearing mother and homosexuality. He has not done so. None of his cohorts have done so. Therefore, there is no reason to accord his bizarre, unproven theory and his ineffectual “therapeutic” interventions any more weight than some theory about Earth’s rotation leading to a certain level of homosexuality in the population.
Nicolosi is about belief, not science. He believes in his pet theory, almost as if it were a religious principal. He hasn’t produced anything that would back it up, because it woudn’t stand up to science. He doesn’t convert people from gay to straight either. That is why he hasn’t produced any convincing evidence on that front either. He is really nothing more than a charlatan and snake oil salesman. And interestingly, he gets paid for this. America truely is the land of opportunity.
Are you sure about that? No correlation has been discovered whatsoever between an early attachment break with the father and homosexuality in the son, whether the antecedent thereto or the consequent thereof? Common sense tells us that a heterosexual father would be less disposed toward a son who does not respond as a normally developing heterosexual son would, like himself. It’s just the law of attraction and repulsion. Like cleaves to like. The father would prefer the son developing as a heterosexual, and so on. To repeat for emphasis, it is my opinion that an attachment break, if it does occur, is the consequence, not the cause, of the budding homosexual psychology of the son.
This is a factual issue. As such I intend to resolve it to my satisfaction by an appeal to authority. Which is what I intend to do at the university near my home by posing the question to an instructor in the relevant science.
In the meantime, you’re guessing about Nicolosi’s motives. As for myself, I’m not a mind-reader. I do admit that the absence of data that can be independently replicated and/or validated regarding Nicolosi’s claim of a cure for a significant percentage of homosexuals raises suspicions of an ideological-religious agenda. But taking for granted arguendo that he is driven by ulterior motives, such motives are not a disproof. Facts decide. Do you have in hand a study that discloses that an attachment break with the father is not correlated with the son’s homosexuality later in life?
Instead of appealing to authority, you should appeal to data. The absent father/overbearing mother causation theory of homosexuality may sound logical, but that does not mean it is in any way factual or undeniable. Nicolosi has had decades to prove his case, but yet he has not.
As for disproving Nicolosi’s pet theory, it is the burden of person making the initial claim to produce data supporting his theory before others bother wasting time that could be spent on more productive work disproving that theory. There are exceptions to this, such as the irresponsible British physician whose claims that childhood immunizations were the cause of autism. Rising rates of vaccine preventable disease and deaths among children in developped countries caused health authorities in multiple countries to study the claim and debunk that particular myth.
As for Nicolosi’s motivations, that doesn’t take mind reading. He is relatively transparent. He has been around a long time. He does not hesitate to lie (though his most recent experiencce getting nailed on BBC may make him more hesitant to do this on live TV/radio in the future–we will see).
deremes, Nicolosi isn’t some new phenomenon to us on this board. We’ve watched his song and dance for years.
Oh, and while you are trying to think about the logic of the absent father theory, you might want to consider the following quesiton: Has the rise of single women raising children without a father in the household led to an increase in male homosexuality?
Again, you miss my point. Working backwards from your post, parenthetically, all studies on the subject reveal that single female-headed households produce most of the criminals in American society. The best social, intellectual, moral, and economic results as adults are those of children raised by single male-headed households, even better than the results for children raised by male-female couples. Children raised by single fathers get higher scores on IQ tests, do better in school, have a higher income as adults, are involved in much less criminal activity, get divorced less, and have less psychological problems needing intervention. The very presence of the female in the home is evidently a detriment to the psychological development of the children. Apparently the traditional nuclear family of father, mother, and children is not the best model for child-rearing outcomes. A single father-headed family works best for that. So much for the silly feminist claim that they don’t need men, including in the role as fathers of their children. In fact, the opposite is true. It is men who don’t need women around to undercut their more mature way of raising children. In an ideal world, mothers would bear and nurture children until the latter are weaned, probably around two years of age. At that time they would be taken away from the mothers to live with and be raised solely by the father. For the obvious best outcome for the child psychologically, socially, intellectually, and morally, the mother would be kept away from the child except to be allowed visitation privileges carefully supervised to ensure that she does not undo all the good the father has done between her visits. Only when the child is an adult would it be safe to permit the mother more access to the child, even as much time as they both would want.
It has been observed for a long time in the field of psychology and child development that rathers relate to children in a more mature manner, treating them like little adults, giving them more latitude and independence, while mothers continue to infantilize their children beyond adolescence into adulthood, over-tending them, over-worrying about them. But that is another story for another day.
To the objection that poverty–the Left’s usual plausible excuse for things going haywire in a person’s life–is the cause of the production of criminal offspring in single female-headed households, I reply that controlled for socio-economic level, single fathers do a spectacularly better job at turning their children into successful adults intellectually, economically, socially, and morally than single mothers. In other words, equally poor single fathers, struggling to hold down a low-paying job while feeding their children, are still better at raising them, at not turning their sons into criminals as single mothers do!
The point you seem to keep missing, and I’ll try to make, ho-hum, once again, is that it is increasingly the opinion of scientists in the relevant fields that homosexuality has a biological origin, either genetic or congenital, or both. Are you tilting at windmills again? Your question seems to: “Has the rise of single women raising children without a father in the household led to an increase in male homosexuality?” Who’s arguing that it has?
But even here your question indicates a lack of awareness of subtle distinctions, between sexual identity and sexual behavior. Has the rise of single women raising children without a father in the household led to an increase in male homosexual identity? Has it led to an increase in male homosexual behavior? Those are two different questions. I plump for the latter, inasmuch as both have increased at the same time in history. I’m aware, as you well know by now, of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. Thus, my plumping is stated merely as an opinion, a suggestion, not a supportable factual conclusion. But even you have to admit that an increase in single female-headed households at the same period of time we have seen an alarming increase in homosexual behavior, especially by straight men, for whom gay-f___ing for fun has become increasingly fashionable, makes even you entertain the possibility of a causal connection.
But your question is irrelevant even for the likes of Nicolosi, in any event. Nicolosi’s claim is that an “early attachment break” with the father is the cause of male homosexuality. There is no such break with regard to single women giving birth and raising children. There’s no antecedent relationship with the father to be broken. Implied is that a child is better off never having had a father than having one but suffering such a break early on. Concerning divorced mothers with custody, most are aware of the importance to their children’s development of a good relationship with the father, or a good opinion of the father. Again, such a circumstance would present no psychological break with the absent father, only a physical separation, and so on.
Again, you miss my point about the chicken-egg problem with regard to the topic in hand. What I’m saying is that even if we were to grant Nicolosi’s postulate arguendo that a break with the father may exist in many or most cases with regard to homosexual sons, nonetheless, we must consider the possibility that such a break may be the consequence, not the cause, of the son’s inborn homosexual nature. That’s enough for now.
The fatal counterexample to the objection that poverty is the cause of single-female-headed households producing all the criminals is that the income of the average single male-headed household is less than aveage household with a father and mother. Yet the single father still gets a better outcome for his children than male-female couples do.
I guess the above unrelated, diversionary, mysogynistic rants mean that you didn’t find any data to support your statement that there is a “factual” and “undeniable” statistical correlation between absent father/overbearing mother. That doesn’t surprise me really, since nobody else has either.
Your portrayal of factual studies available to any silly left-wing feminist that reveal that single mothers produce all the criminals in society as, how did you put it, “mysogynistic rants,” is, as Ayn Rand informed us, a tactic characteristic of the leftist mentality, which is to always and ever deny facts that contradict leftists’ egalitarian presuppositions, in this case, the laughable assumption of the equality of the sexes, as if, as she says, the mere sound of the words coming out of their mouths makes real the egalitarian fantasy they long for. The fantasy of which you wish to convince yourself by describing my mention of established studies in the social sciences that reveal the inferiority of females in child rearing when left to their own devices without the better judgment attendant upon the male brain as “mysogynistic rants” is, apparently, and tiresomely, that egalitarians don’t have to pay attention to such studies, no, they don’t, that they are nothing but wild expressions of hatred for women, that females are equal to males, they are too, damn it, and I won’t listen to all your damn facts that prove otherwise, and that anyone such as myself, deremes, who has the temerity to claim otherwise, who dares to bring up counterexamples to the egalitarian gender assumption, such as documentation in the social sciences of the inferiority of females in child-rearing practices, is well, a misogynistic ranter, yes, he is. Yeah, that’s the ticket, a misogynistic ranter. Nice going, fellow, and so predictable of a leftist. Oh, and, by the way, as I indicated, I’ve only begun.
But if I am to allow you access to my personage and honest point of view, unbiased by presuppositions, having successfully circumvented, as I have, all attempts by leftists to train me as a child to be a mindlessly conventional, knee-jerk, little egalitarian, try to connect your thoughts rationally. I can’t make heads or tails out of such a confusion as, “. . . statistical correlation between absent father/overbearing mother.” What does “between absent father/overbearing mother” mean?
Let me gently ask: What study reveals that there is no statistical correlation between an early attachment break with the father and a son later identified as homosexual? To the objection that I’m demanding proof of a negative, I reply that I’m demanding no such thing. This is not metaphysics or theology. Such a study establishing the absence of the correlation is testable, and would actually be proof a positive, though seemingly expressed as a negative, that there was no early attachment break between the father and homosexual son in most cases, in other words, that they remained intimately attached, no sensed break.
So then, I’ll answer the question for you, there is no such study, which is precisely why Nicolosi is free to run around the world making the claim that there is a correlation. In other words, neither your side nor his has sufficient factual back-up for their contrary claims.
The only claim that seems to have such back-up is that homosexual identity is biologically based. And even that is merely a probability, not a certainty yet. But even assuming it were a certainty, that would say nothing about the correlation question–attachment break between father and son and the latter’s subsequent homosexual identity–inasmuch as if the early attachment break between father and son was not antecedent to turning out a homosexual son, it could still be consequent thereto.
So, on the one point directly related to this post, we finally agree. Nicolosi has produced no data proving a correlation between absent father/overbearing mother and homosexuality.
Well, that was easy.
This must be what an acid trip feels like.
David, I’ve never indulged in hallucinogenics, but I think I must agree.
Although I’m not sure why “deremes” is so angry, it would be great if they spoke in sentences containing fewer than 6 phrases connected with commas.
I also find it strange that any of the people who come to this gay-positive website to “dis-prove” something gay-supportive or to “prove” something from the side of those who demonize gays are quick to point out how “left” of the political fence their opposition supposedly sits. As if being gay or gay-supportive has anything to do with “leftism.” Additionally, as if being from “the left” automatically negates one’s intelligence, grasp of reality, or moral compass. Rather, many of the people who contribute to, support, and visit this website are certainly not sitting left of center, religiously or otherwise.
While I agree with your general point about people incorrectly assuming that folks on a site like this are coming from the left, we do have to remember that all things are relative.
I suspect that just about everyone that posts (or ever did post) on this site is probably well to the left of deremes. His posts on other websites about race would make southern segregationists appear downright liberal.
To some degree, I regret engaging with him and probably won’t do so in the future.
There are a number of things in deremes’ comments which I would call out if I thought we would be hearing from him/her in the future. But I think it obvious that concise communication is not one of his/her goals. FTR, I have never heard of deremes before so I am not aware of those other references.
Just wanted to point out one crucial statistic deremes neglected to mention regarding criminality and single-mother households:
The most reliable indicator of a person’s future in prison is a father in prison. The reason more criminals come from single mother homes is because their fathers are in prison.
Who would ever suggest that the child of a deceased father is as likely to end up a criminal than the child whose father is in prison?
Poverty does have a correlation to criminality. Single mothers cannot make the same money a single father can, and women are actually discouraged by society when it comes to working outside the home during their child’s early years-married or not. Men are encouraged to work and solicit help from women outside the home-which they must do.
The suggestion that single mothers somehow contribute to delinquincy simply by virtue of being single is a gross generalizaton.