T Nation

Psychologists Repudiate Gay-to-Straight Therapy


From an AP news release yesterday:

These conclusions were based on a review of 83 studies from 1960-2007, and were confirmed in a resolution adopted by the APA's governing council on a 125-to-4 vote.

As I've said over and over again, people can't change their sexual orientation, and attempting to do so can be harmful. Let's stave off the inevitable outcries about the APA being so politically biased that their conclusions are worthless, because these same conclusions have been reached by every major medical, mental health, and educational organization.

I like that the APA is providing therapists with ways to help gays whose religious ideals conflict with their sexual orientation. It's obvious that reparative therapy isn't the answer, but it's good that the APA is taking a pragmatic approach to help people with a religious conflict. If you are 100% convinced that your god doesn't want you to be gay, you need to deal with that conviction in a healthy way. Celibacy isn't ideal, but it is a lot better than lying to your spouse about your orientation, only to admit down the road that you're unable to change who you are.

What gays don't need are snake oil promises that if people only pray hard enough, god will change their orientation. They need to understand the reality that their sexual orientation is unlikely to change, and be prepared to deal with that reality, either through celibacy or through reconsidering the correctness of their religious convictions.


I fail to see how this is newsworthy. Most people know this is true and this resolution will not change the minds of people who disagree with the APA.



Stop trying to change my natural sexual orientation of disgust with gay sex. It isnâ??t healthy for me. I am who I am, stop trying to change me.


Lol, this is like saying "I am racist, stop trying to change me. I believe black people are inferior, stop persecuting me."


It's only similar if the OP was noting that a persons feelings on race shouldn't be changed because it isn't healthy.

I was sarcastically noting the irony in the similarity between what he is currently doing and condemning.


Well then, by all means - let them keeping spreading HIV, syphilis, and Hep C to one another!


I don't think he said gays were inferior, just that they disgust him.


Yes, because straight people don't get those diseases.


I'm pretty sure forlife had Zeb in mind when posting this.


Obviously not. Those are "gay diseases" that specifically target immoral people.


I hope you're right that most people know this is true. Unfortunately, many religions are still pushing gays into reparative therapy with the promise that they can "pray the gay away". They don't realize that this doubles the risk of suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, and drug/alchol abuse...or maybe they do realize it, but feel justified in forcing the issue because of the misguided belief that god will "cure" gays who pray hard enough.

We're seeing progress, though. My own former religion (Mormon) has even shown growth, despite being one of the more fundamentalist religions out there. As a young man, I was told by church leaders to marry despite being gay, because it was god's will. The Mormon church has since noted the tragic consequences of this advice, and is now telling gays to be celibate. Not exactly a perfect solution, but at least they are no longer giving people false promises of being "cured".

Hopefully other religions will follow suit.


another gay thread....




Another projection on your part, Irish. Some of us prefer to look at the data, not the morality:


Whoa. You're gay and you were raised Mormon?!?! That must have been tough. Is that when you left the church, when they told you to marry? Would you have stayed if the celibate option was offered?


Even better, let them get married, which will reduce the spread of STDs.


I was pretty devout, and genuinely believed my church leaders were speaking for god when they told me to get married. So I did. I told my wife that I was gay before proposing to her, but she also fell for the church line that gays would be cured. After 9 years, we both realized the cure wasn't going to happen, and decided to divorce. We're a lot better off as friends than we were as husband and wife.


We've been over this, Forlife. No one is anticipating a stampede from the bathhouses and gay bars to the altar no matter how legal it becomes.


Because you say so?


UCLA sucks.