Conversion therapy

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Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is psychiatric treatment to change someone's sexual attraction from homosexuality to heterosexuality.

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Ex-homosexuals: Religiously mediated change in homosexuals vs. reparative therapy

Peter LaBarbera is the President of Americans for Truth which is a organization which counters the homosexual agenda. LaBarbera stated the following regarding Christian ex-homosexuals who reported being transformed by the power of God:

Another factor from my experience as a close observer of the “ex-gay” phenomenon is that many former homosexuals do not linger in “reparative therapy” programs, or participate in them at all. They attribute their dramatic and (relatively) rapid transformation to the power of God, and likely would not show up in a study of this kind. In fact, these “unstudied” overcomers would appear to be the most successful ex-homosexuals because they’ve moved on with their lives — as “reborn” Christians move on after overcoming any besetting sin.[1]

Peter LaBarbera's statement above concerning overcoming homosexuality certainly has some evidence supporting it. In addition, in 1980 a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and eleven men participated in this study. The aforementioned study stated that eleven homosexual men became heterosexuals "without explicit treatment and/or long-term psychotherapy" through their participation in a Pentecostal church.[2]

Notable study on reparative therapy reported in the Baptist Press

There have been several studies regarding homosexuals becoming ex-homosexuals. For example, on September 13, 2007 Christianity Today published an article entitled An Older Wiser Ex-Gay Movement and below is an excerpt from that article which focuses on reparative therapy:

Since its beginnings in the 1970s, the ex-gay movement has engaged gay advocates in a battle of testimonies. Transformed ex-gay leaders are the best argument for their movement. Likewise, those who've left the ex-gay movement in despair and disgust are the best counterargument. The debate continued this June, when Exodus International held its 32nd annual conference in Irvine, California, featuring dozens of speakers and seminar leaders who have quit homosexuality. Down the road outside the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, a news conference featured three former Exodus leaders saying "ex-gay" is a delusion.

New research may change the terms of debate. Psychologists Stanton Jones of Wheaton College and Mark Yarhouse of Regent University released today a book detailing their findings from the first three years of an ongoing study. They are investigating participants in 16 different ex-gay programs associated with Exodus, the largest ex-gay ministry group.[3]

The study started out with 98 people with 72 of them being men and 26 of them being women.[4] Some of the participants quit the study because they believe they had positively changed and didn't see a need to continue while others quit because they decided they didn't want to change from a homosexual to a ex-homosexual. [4] As a result, 73 subjects completed the study.[4]

According to the Baptist Press, here are the results: 15 percent of subjects experienced substantial change; "23 percent said their conversion was successful and that homosexual attraction was either missing or "present only incidentally or in a way that does not seem to bring about distress." They were labeled "success: chastity."; 29 percent of subjects experienced modest success; 15 percent of subjects experienced no change and were undecided about what to do next; "4 percent had not changed and had quit the change process, but had not embraced the "gay identity."; "8 percent had not changed, had quit the process and had embraced the "gay identity."; and malfunctions in the taping of the interviews accounts for the remaining 5 percent. [4]

Previously, Dr. Robert Spitzer published a study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior performed using reparative therapy had some subjects experiencing change.[5]

Conservative Criticism of Reparative Therapy

Although many conservatives approve of reparative therapy there are many that do not which will be elaborated on shortly. Conservative Christians believe that a homosexual can choose to become an ex-homosexual, however, the point of difference is whether it was chosen in the first place. The Pew Research Center states the following regarding Americans' views on how homosexuality first originates:

Asked why some people are homosexual, 42% say it is "just the way that some people prefer to live," compared with 30% who think homosexuality is something people are born with and 14% who believe it develops because of the way people are brought up. The view that homosexuality is innate is more prevalent now than in 1985, when 20% believed that homosexuality is something people are born with.[6]

Author and ex-lesbian Alma Kramer takes the position that homosexuality is a sin and sin is a choice when she wrote the following:

I made a choice in my life that put me in bondage for 20 years. While it is true that there were certain things in my childhood that happened or didn't happen that influenced my choice, I still made a choice.

I Corinthians 6:9-11 proves that sin is a choice and that you can change. The New International version says, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." WOW!! I am so glad we can change. I can remember the time when I thought that there was no way out.[7]

Dr. James Dobson and other advocates of reparative therapy do not believe that homosexuality first originates as a result of choice.[8]

Refusal to study conversion therapy scientifically

Political adherence to the homosexual agenda results in refusal even to consider the possibility that conversion therapy is effective. Politics may explain the American Psychological Association's refusal to cooperate in a proposal to study the effectiveness of conversion therapy:

"NARTH offered to join with the American Psychological Association (APA) in conducting a detailed study of the effectiveness of reparative therapy. The APA refused to cooperate."[9]

The opposition to conversion therapy is sometimes ideologically based, and it directs attention away from the harm that gay affirmative therapy can cause. The American Journal of Psychotherapy published a case study about a client who was supposedly harmed by treating him for "internalized homophobia".[10]

A therapist reports that, after conversion, a previously homosexual man tends to be physically attracted to only his girlfriend or wife. A heterosexual male is typically attracted to women in addition to his wife, while a converted former homosexual is typically physically attracted to only his girlfriend or wife.

Homosexuality is highly correlated to someone's activities and culture. For example, training in baseball and figure skating begin when a boy is only about six years ago. After years of engaging in those activities, often for hours each day, upon reaching adulthood fewer than 1 in 1000 baseball players are homosexual, while estimates are that 33% of male figure skaters are -- a 300-fold difference after doing different activities.

In some cases, the therapy addresses hatred a male patient had for his father while growing up. By repairing that relationship (see also the Prodigal Son), the therapist can be successful in enabling the patient to become heterosexual. Paul endorses the equivalent of Christian-based conversion therapy in 1 Corinthians 6:11.

Predictably, advocates of the homosexual agenda oppose and even seek to prohibit reparative therapy, analogous to how some countries prohibit conversion to Christianity. But conversion therapy remains fully legal and effective in nearly all of the United States, with the exception of recent laws concerning minors which passed in liberal California and New Jersey.

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