from Books & Reviews
Mike Haley, manager of the Homosexuality and Gender Issues Department at Focus on the Family, discusses same-sex attractions in his new book.
Reviewed by Frank York
101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by ex-gay Mike Haley, provides detailed answers to a series of questions about the origins of homosexual attractions, commonly misunderstood myths about gay behavior; gay theology; the emotional and physical dangers of homosexual behaviors, and much more.
The book is broken up into sections that speak to specific audiences: Families, friends, church leaders, men, and women. And, it provides an overview of what the popular culture is saying about homosexuality as well as what gay activist organizations are attempting to accomplish.
NARTH Featured Prominently In Book
Haley quotes extensively from Dr. Joseph and Linda Nicolosi's book, A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality throughout his book and quotes Dr. A. Dean Byrd, a NARTH Scientific Advisory Board member, as well as Board member Dr. Jeffrey Satinover.
In his first chapter, "Answering the Basics," Haley quotes the Nicolosi's on the issue of gender nonconformity in young boys and girls as the single most common factor associated with the future development of a same-sex attraction.
Later, in Chapter 5, "Answers for Men," he quotes Dr. Nicolosi's analysis of what happens when a young boy fails to identify with the masculinity of his father and begins to identify with the feminine in his mother. Eventually, this disidentification with the masculine becomes eroticized and homosexual behavior is often the result.
Mike Haley spent 12 years living the gay lifestyle and experienced what, for many homosexual males, is a typical story. He had a strained relationship with his father and began looking for adult male affirmation from other men. The relationship he found eventually turned into a sexual encounter at 11 years of age.
When Haley went to his school counselor for help with his same-sex struggles, his counselor told him he should realize he was "born gay" and should embrace his homosexuality. He began thinking he was a homosexual and pursued the lifestyle for more than a decade.
Haley eventually left the gay lifestyle after meeting an ex-gay named Jeff Konrad, author of You Don't Have To Be Gay.
Haley became involved with Exodus International and entered a half-way house in order to receive intense counseling and ministry to overcome his same-sex attractions.
The author urges individuals with same-sex attractions to seek help--either through Christian counseling, religious-based counseling, or secular counseling from therapists who believe that homosexuality is a condition, not a fixed identity.
He offers this advice to men and women with same-sex struggles: "You may feel ashamed. You may be afraid other people will find out. These feelings are hard to handle, but the weight of suffering alone is far more detrimental. ... Whether you need a friend's shoulder to cry on, understanding from another parent who's been where you are, or just someone to bounce ideas off of, ask for help."
A Positive Motivation Is Key To Success
Mike Haley knows from personal experience that a keen desire to change is a key to success in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions. He again quotes Dr. Nicolosi on this issue. Nicolosi observes: "Other indicators of favorable prognosis are lack of indulgence in self-pity, a positive sense of self, and the ego-strength to tolerate stress and frustration .... Other factors in treatment success are the ability to resist impulsive behaviors and to postpone gratification, the ability to set goals, and the capacity to reflect upon, verbalize, and learn from past experiences."
Homosexual Behavior Is Unhealthy
In Chapter 9, "Answering Culture," Haley lists the various emotional and physical dangers of homosexual conduct. These include higher rates of cigarette, drug, and alcohol abuse; higher rates domestic violence and mental illness; and far greater rates of sexual promiscuity and infidelity among gay couples. He quotes Dr. A. Dean Byrd who notes: "What is particularly disturbing is the lack of attention paid by the media to the research evidence reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry which concluded that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people were at higher risk for mental illness, specifically, suicidality, major depression, and anxiety disorder."
Wealth Of Resources Offered
Haley's book not only provides the reader with sound advice on the origins of homosexual behavior and the prospects for change, he also debunks several gay myths including the claim that 10% of the population is gay. He also provides a useful list of organizations--Christian, Jewish, and secular--including NARTH as the only Mental Health organization recommended.