Can Homosexuals Change?
Many leading psychiatrists and researchers say “YES.”
For many years the gay community has used the media as a means to change society’s attitudes about homosexuality. They have disseminated much questionable information to convince society that homosexuality is innate, unchangeable and a normal variable in the spectrum of human sexuality.
If this is true, then homosexuals deserve minority status, with the same rights and legal protection of other legitimate minority groups.
Is the pro-homosexual message based on truth? Are their claims legitimate? Here is our response to the most common pro-gay arguments:
1.“Some peoples are meant to be gay –they’re born gay.”
No findings have been published and gained wide acceptance in the scientific community to indicate that homosexuality is primarily genetic or otherwise prenatally determined.
One of the most widely recognized authorities on the subject is John W. Money, Ph. D., a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Director of the Psycho-hormonal Research Institute.
In an article in Perspectives in Human Sexuality, he stated: “Whatever may be the possible unlearned assistance from constitutional sources, the child’s psychosexual identity is not written, unlearned, in the genetic code, the hormonal system or the nervous system at birth.”
A psychiatrist who has written and spoken widely on the subject of homosexuality is Dr. Charles W. Socarides, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York . He said: “Homosexuality, the choice of a partner of the same sex for orgastic satisfaction, is not innate…Such an object choice is learned, acquired behavior…”
Finally we have the opinions of Masters and Johnson, the most widely-known authorities in the field of human sexual behavior. In one of their books, they have written:
“The genetic theory of homosexuality has been generally discarded today” (Human Sexuality, p. 320).
2.“Homosexuals can’t change –and to suggest they try is unrealistic, even harmful.”
Again, some of the most prominent specialists in this field disagree. Dr. John Money said in his 1988 book, Gay, Straight and In Between: “Some people do change their sexual orientation. There is absolutely no harm in trying.”
Dr. Reuben Fine, director for the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training, said in his 1987 publication, Psychoanalytic Theory, Male and Female Homosexuality: Psychological Approaches: “I have recently had occasion to review the result of psychotherapy with homosexuals, and been surprised by the findings. It is paradoxical that even though politically active homosexual groups deny the possibility of change, all studies from Schrenck-Notzing have found positive effects, virtually regardless of the kind of treatment used…a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual…. “The misinformation spread by certain circles that ‘homosexuality is untreatable by psychotherapy’ does incalculable harm to thousands of men and women.”
Dr. Robert Kronemeyer , in his 1980 book, Overcoming Homosexuality: “ For those homosexuals who are unhappy with their life and find effective therapy, it is ‘curable.’”
“The homosexual’s real enemy is…his ignorance of the possibility that he can be helped,” said Dr. Edmund Bergler, in his book, Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life?
“The major challenge in treating homosexuality from the point of view of the patient’s resistance has, of course, been the misconception that the disorder is innate or inborn,” wrote Charles Socarides (“Homosexuality,” the American Handbook of Psychiatry).
In 1962, Dr. Irving Bieber and his colleagues concluded: “The therapeutic results of our study provide reason for an optimistic outlook. Many homosexuals became exclusively heterosexual in psychoanalytic treatment…. In our judgment, a heterosexual shift is a possibility for all homosexuals who are strongly motivated to change.”
Seventeen years later, Bieber stated: “ We have followed some patients for as long as ten years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.”
3. “Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental disorder.”
The gay community claimed a great victory when they prevailed upon the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the DSM-II, its listing of psychological disorders.
This highly controversial action seems to fly in the face of the evidence of any common-sense definition of psychological well-being. Consider the following:
1) Homosexual men are six times more likely to have attempted suicide than heterosexual men.
2) Studies indicate that between 25 and 33% of homosexual men and women are alcoholics (the national average is 7%).
3) Statistics give evidence of widespread sexual compulsion among homosexual men.
The Kinsey study cited above revealed that 43% of the homosexual men surveyed estimated that they had had sex with 500 or more partners; 28% with 1,000 or more partners.
4) The same Kinsey study revealed that homosexual men have to a great extent separated sexuality from relationship. The survey showed 79% of the respondents saying that over half of their sexual partners were strangers.
We do need to address the statement that the difficulties suffered by homosexuals are all a result of society’s prejudice and unwillingness to support stable gay relationships. We can address this on several points:
1. In areas where there is the greatest acceptance of homosexuality (San Fancisco, West Hollywood , New YorkCity), the detrimental effects don’t decrease; they increase.
2. Over the past 20 years, there has been a great increase in the acceptance of homosexuality, but during the same period, there has been a huge increase in homosexual suffering due to disease and other factors.
3. For many years society did not condone heterosexual sexual involvement outside of marriage. As far as we know, this did not force the people so inclined into greater sexual promiscuity, higher rates of alcoholism, suicide and disease.
Additionally, many therapists disagree with the 1973 APA ruling. Why?
1) Over 75 years of psychoanalytic knowledge underscoring homosexuality as a disorder was disregarded. Experts who viewed homosexuality as a disorder were pointedly left off the National Institute of Mental Health task force studying this issue. Others were silenced or disregarded.
2) Militant homosexual groups, threatening terrorism, employing hate campaigns and disrupting numerous scientific programs and conferences, very heavily lobbied the APA and its meetings during the early-to-mid 1970’s.
In a cover story for The California Psychologist, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi said, “Many members of our profession still privately express the opinion that homosexual development is not normal. The 1973 APA ruling did not resolve the issue--it simply silenced 80 years of psychoanalytic observation.”
Homosexuals should not be held responsible for becoming homosexually oriented. However, because homosexuality can be effectively treated, he or she can employ choice today and become responsible--not only for the behavior, but also for the resolution of the homosexual condition.
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