December 28, 2007 - The following quotes are taken from the NARTH Conference papers for 2007. The entire set of papers will be published in PDF format within the next month for purchase in the NARTH online bookstore.
Stanton L. Jones (Wheaton College)
'My co-author Mark Yarhouse and I recently reported in our book Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (Jones & Yarhouse, 2007a) the findings of our study of men and women seeking sexual orientation change through involvement in a variety of Christian ministries affiliated under the umbrella organization Exodus International. Our findings address directly two of the most contentious and disputed questions of our day: Is change of sexual orientation, particularly change of homosexual orientation, possible at all? And is the attempt to change sexual orientation harmful? We are evangelical Christians committed to the truth-seeking activity of science who accepted funding for this study from Exodus while pledging to Exodus that we would report publicly the results of our outcome study regardless of how encouraging or embarrassing Exodus might find those results.
'In this study we found empirical evidence that change of homosexual orientation is possible for some through involvement in Exodus ministries. Success took two forms. One form of success was an embrace of chastity with a reduction in prominence of homosexual desire. These persons regard themselves as having reestablished their sexual identities in some way other than their homosexual attractions. The second form of success was marked by a diminishing of homosexual attraction and an increase in heterosexual attraction, with resulting satisfactory, if not uncomplicated, heterosexual adjustment. These latter individuals regard themselves as having changed their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Further, we found little evidence of harm incurred on average as a result of the involvement of the participants in the Exodus change process. These findings would appear to contradict directly the commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment that change of sexual orientation is impossible and that the attempt to change is highly likely to produce harm for those who make such an attempt.'
Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
'In our clients, there is a certain sequence of self-states that commonly leads to Homosexual Enactment. The sequence is as follows: first, an act of Assertion; next, the experience of Shame; then, the depressive state we call the Grey Zone; and afterward, an incident of unwanted Homosexual Enactment.
'In the beginning of the session, the client should revisit the scenario with the therapist. With practice, the client then moves by himself from mere cognitive recall into full kinesthetic memory; that is, he goes to his body experience and actually feels the self-states as they felt at the time.
'The opportunity to work through the Scenario Preceding Homosexual Enactment will arise on two occasions:
(1) When the client reports past Homosexual Enactment, and
(2) When he begins the therapy session mired down in the Grey Zone.
'Both opportunities sensitize the client to recalling the critical events which led to his abdication of the Assertion Stance.'
NARTH Annual Conference 2007
'My perspectives are based on my varied personal, professional and social experiences with my father, his partners and associated subcultures over a 30 year period. I've also done a fair bit of research, speaking and writing with other adult children who have been raised in a similar situation. So far, I can count over forty (40) children and adult children that I've been in touch with and or know of through their siblings and other relatives.
'It is my intention to always be compassionate to those men and women who are struggling with their sexuality just as many of us children have.
'The truth of my painful experiences and that of other children, the limited number of therapists that really understand, the restricted research on "gay" parenting, the stifling political correctness, the push for one-sided approval, special adult rights, sexual diversity, and the trumping of children's best interests were some of the reasons I felt I just had to say something.
'Freedom of speech, expression and freedom of religion provide the impetus to seek suitable counselling that respects our view on homosexuality, state an ethical position, and discuss psychological and physical health implications. This very public liberty allows us to bring accountability to government, and the judiciary while informing the professional associations and the general public in a democratic society. There is no fear of debate when people have real freedom.
'As a Canadian, I know how hate crime legislation, same-sex marriage, courts and Human Rights Tribunals stifle our freedom to express our opinions, preventing the healthy dialogue on key legal, psychological, political and social issues that change the very institution and dynamics of marriage, family life and the role of parenting for children. Yes, there are different views on homosexuality and the treatment options available. Yet, have we considered the risks of shutting down this freedom to express our personal opinions in public life?'
© 2007 Janelle M. Hallman, MA, LPC
'Hope Edelman interviewed many gay and straight women for her heart-felt book entitled Motherless Daughters. She speaks of many lesbian women who claim to have chosen women as partners after realizing 1) their relationships with men "failed to provide the nurturing and comfort they sought" or 2) they "channeled their sexual impulses toward women because they feared having such impulses toward men while living alone with their fathers" (1994, p. 169)i.
'One gay affirmative therapist points out that "Theorists and researchers from Freud onward have demonstrated that the boundaries between sexualities are quite fluid and that many more people than those who label themselves bisexual manage to experience multiple forms of sexual expression with partners of both sexes despite cultural dictates and institutional arrangements" (Rivera, 2002, p. 41)ii. Setting aside the moral implications of such realities, sexual attractions and behaviors are often flexible or fluid, or in other words, evolving or changing for many people across time. This seems especially true for women.'
Douglas A. Abbott
'To illustrate the effects of behavior on the brain, consider the study by Lisa Cohen and colleagues (2004) at Beth Israel Medical Center. They studied 22 male heterosexual pedophiles and 24 healthy controls. Data were collected from interviews, psychometric testing, and PET brain scans. They concluded "that human subjects with histories of pedophilia as compared with non-pedophilic controls may have persistent abnormalities in brain function--and specifically, decreased glucose metabolism in the temporal and frontal cortices--brain areas implicated in cortical regulation of sexual arousal" (p. 325). They posit that "childhood sexual abuse leads to aberrant cortical development" (p. 327). "Pedophiles become imprinted by premature sexual stimulation to develop deviant sexual desires" (p. 329). Of course they acknowledge that not all pedophiles have been sexually abused, but majority report such maltreatment. Their research demonstrates that traumatic events may cause changes in brain function, and these changes can lead to abnormal sexual behavior.
'In a like manner homosexuality may be initiated by early childhood trauma (abuse, neglect) or later exposure to a depraved and promiscuous environment during middle childhood or adolescence. Such events may predispose the person to homosexuality. Then immersion in the gay lifestyle may alter the neural pathways and body chemistry to reinforce or strengthen homosexual thinking and behavior. If this is the case, then transformation to heterosexuality would be extremely difficult. Reorientation is possible, but may be difficult without enormous personal effort and the help of others (Satinover, 1996; Socarides, 1995).'
Christopher H. Rosik, Ph.D.
'Define our work. Within the current climate of professional psychology, we have to do a lot of defending ourselves. While the Guidelines would not change all of this, they certainly could help reduce the amount of time we spend on the defense. It is far preferable, in my judgment, to provide a clear definition of what we do than to have to put out all the fires set by detractors who enjoy defining our work for us, typically in erroneous and defamatory ways. Thus, when a gay activist employs guilt by association techniques to link NARTH therapists with the shock treatments of the 1960s, we could simple say, "You are speaking from ignorance. Please read our Guidelines and then we can talk." We will not convenience all of our opponents that what we do is legitimate, but the task of reading the Guidelines will no doubt do them some good.
'Be Proactive, Not Reactive. This is related to defining our work. I sense that if we do not become more proactive, it will be increasingly more difficult for us to have our perspectives heard and we will have to spend more time reacting. Creating these Guidelines is a proactive move and, quite frankly, a lot more fun than reacting to the unflattering aspersions with which we often have to deal.'
Dr Peet H. Botha
North-West University &
Cedar College of Education
'In Greek antiquity there were strong repudiations of the idea of the love for boys. The seduction of boys was unreservedly repudiatediii. Women on the whole objected to everything that had to do with this love of boys. Safeguards were implemented to protect youths.iv The law prohibited any male prostitute from holding city offices or participating in official civic affairs.
'As pure eroticism, homosexuality was a prominent and visual element in pre-Christian Hellenism. A vast network of homosexual prostitution existed. Homosexuality also formed part of the erotic many-sidedness of the emperors Caligula (37-41AD) and Nero (54-68AD). In the State religion of Rome phallic worship did not occupy any important place. Roman life was marked by bisexuality, homosexuality, brutality and emotional capricev. Suetonius' biographies of the twelve Caesars from Julius Caesar through to Domitian, is a catalogue of astounding psycho-sexual disease, from incest to transvestism.vi Homosexual behavior in Rome spanned the total spectrum from occasional and casual indulgence through transvestism to permanent relationships. There was, however, none of the pedagogic rationalization of the Greeks.
'Female homosexuality existed, but is mentioned in extent literature rather less frequently than male homosexuality. The olisbos (artificial sexual instrument) was frequently mentioned in Latin literature, usually as used by women for masturbation, but sometimes for tribadic intercourse. Seneca, Juvenal and Lucian mentioned lesbianism. Prostitution and homosexuality were common among the actors and mimes of Rome. Homosexuals gathered at the baths, along with prostitutes of both sexes.'
The NARTH Conference Papers include nine additional papers on lesbianism, counseling, and how to respond to the APA's unwarranted claim that reorientation or reparative therapy is harmful or ineffective in helping individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions. The price for this 100+ page PDF is $10. It should be available in the online bookstore in early January 2008.
i Edelman, H. (1994). Motherless Daughters. New York: Dell Publishing.
ii Rivera, M. (2002). Informed and supportive treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered trauma survivors. In J.A. Chu & E.S. Bowman (Eds.) Trauma and Sexuality: The effects of childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse on sexual identity and behavior (pp. 33-58). Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Medical Press.
iii Licht, 1949:447.
iv Laws were implemented to protect boy citizens from any sort of sexual harassment during the school day: teachers shall open the school-rooms not earlier than sunrise; every choragus (coach, trainer) who is appointed by the people shall be more than forty years of age; the superintendents of the gymnasia shall under no condition allow any one who has reached the age of manhood to enter the contests of Hermes (wrestling contests) together with boys (Tannahill, 1980:92; Scroggs, 1983a:19).
v Karlen, 1971:48.
vi Julius Caesar (58-44BC) slept his way to early success in the bed of King Nicodemus of Bithynia, he depilated his body and was called the Queen of Bithynia and every woman's man and every man's woman. Tiberius (14-37AD) retired to a pleasure palace on Capri where he kept spintriae (effeminate homosexuals). Caligula (37-41AD) committed incest with three of his sisters, indulged in both heterosexual and homosexual acts and often appeared in public dressed as a woman. Nero (54-68AD) was introduced to homosexuality by his tutor Seneca. He slept with his mother and had her assassinated (Karlen, 1971:50; Vanggaard, 1972:131). Nero raped the virgin Rubria, castrated the boy Sporus and married him. Vitellius (69AD) earned the throne by being a spintriae for Tiberius at Capri in his boyhood and depended for political advice on his catamite Asiaticus. Titus (79-81AD) kept a troop of inverts and eunuchs. Domitian (81-96AD) at first forbade castration, enforced laws against adultery and child prostitution and had many men convicted under the old Scantinian Law that forbade homosexual relations with freeborn boys, but later in his life he succumbed to bisexuality, which dominated him.