Friday, December 19, 2008

Gay psychologist 'sees the light', or does he?




Controversy rages over whether people with same sex attraction can be cured of the disorder. During the 1980s, Paul Martin was at the helm of an 'ex-gay ministry movement' - one that tried to cure people of “same sex attraction” (SSA).


At the time he was providing 'treatment and religious counselling' to hundreds of men and women, the group still operates in cities across the country.Mr Martin, 45, "At the time I truly believed I was on a journey to being repaired, I was convinced my sexuality could be changed," he said.

This is opposed to what numerous studies have found. SSA is not a stable condition. The majority of those who experience SSA during adolescence find the problem has disappeared by the time they reach 25 without any intervention.(1) Those who seek therapy or spiritual counseling can achieve various levels of freedom from SSA.

Research has documented the benefits of therapy.(2) In fact, a study specifically designed to document the damage done by therapy directed at resolving SSA found that a number of subjects reported being helped by the therapy.(3) Mercator

Despite the research, Mr Martin claims that "some think being gay is a psychiatric disorder, against the will of God and therefore inherently evil ... they believe homosexuals can change through healing." Of the dozens of so-called reformed gays Mr Martin worked with 20 years ago, only a few are still heterosexual and the majority wound up leading "messy lives", he said. "Some of those people got married but it inevitably ended in divorce and the sad part is most situations involved children."

It is important to note regardless of whether same sex attraction is curable or not, people who take part in homosexual acts are at risk. In spite of intensive AIDS education, young men of any age who have sex with men are at extremely high risk for infection with STDs, including HIV/AIDS, involvement with alcohol and drugs, in particular crystal meth, and depression.(4)

Condom education with this population has been a failure. While condoms properly used provide limited protection against certain STDs, research shows that those most at risk do not use condoms with every sexual contact. The combination of drugs and high risk sex has reignited an STD/HIV epidemic among men having sex with men (MSM).(5) Mercator

Anyone who experiences a same sex attraction and would like help can go to NARTH or Exodus International


(1) National Health and Social Life Survey (1994). In. E. O. Laumann, et al, The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 294-296); Nigel Dickson, C. Paul, P. Herbison, (2002). "Same-sex attraction in a birth cohort: prevalence and persistence in early adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, 56, 1607-1615.


(2), 573-578; Theo Sandfort, et al (2001). "Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (Nemesis)." Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 85-91.

(3) Ariel Shidlo & Michael Schroeder, (2002). "Changing Sexual Orientation: A Consumer’s Report," Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33 (3), 249-259.

(4) Gary Remafedi, et al (1991). "Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth," Pediatrics. 87 (6), 869-875.
(5) US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). HIV Testing Survey 2002, Special Surveillance Report Number 1: 1-26.



Brisbane Times.

17 comments:

CaliforniaCrusader said...

Thanks for posting about Exodus International. I think the work they do is great, and a good reminder that not all those with same-sex attraction stay that way for life.

BlackTsunami said...

Secular Heretic,

Your citations of Sandfort and Remafedi are incorrect. I just put up a blog post in which both have complained as to how their work has been distorted by organizations like PFOX.

Secular Heretic said...

Thanks Black Tsunami,

Do you mind posting a link to the article where you read about the criticisms of Sandfort and Remafedi' work.

BlackTsunami said...

I spoke to Professor Sandfort via email

http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2009/01/another-professor-cries-foul-over.html

The link about Remafedi is in the post but the following is a direct post to Remafedi's complaint:

http://www.truthwinsout.org/tag/remafedi/

Secular Heretic said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I seemed to have got some of my bibliography muddled up.

According to the article "Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth," by Remafedi , which I cited in my post, the article says that “Studies of human sexuality have noted high rates of suicidality among homosexual youth” there is no mention that I could see of high risk for HIV/AIDS and involvement with alcohol and drugs as I said in my post.

According to the article "Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study” by Sandfort, which I cited in my post, the article says that “The findings support the assumption that people with same-sex sexual behavior are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders.” There is no mention that I could see about the benefits of therapy as I mentioned in my post.

According to these researchers (Remafedi) Studies of human sexuality have noted high rates of suicidality among homosexual youth.
(Sandfort) The findings support the assumption that people with same-sex sexual behavior are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders.

the pomegranate apple said...

Thanks for this post secular. So much good information here.

I'm especially interested in the therapy studies.

If we made same-gender relationships legal in California, it adolescents who experience some level of the SSA-spectrum may be encouraged to experiment.

This is problematic for many reason.

Any sexual activity is dangerous during the teen years: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

But homosexual sex, has a whole host of complications and risks (physically, emotionally, and psychologically).

guy said...

BT,

Your quest to correct error is cool. It's hard to take you seriously when the linked site is called "Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters."

BlackTsunami said...

BUT it is important to notice the reasoning why. To not do so gives the incorrect notion that their orientation is the sole reason for these disorders when such is not the case. Sandfort clearly says that homophobia plays a part in gays being at risk for psychiatric disorders.

Also, I failed to mention that the work of Schindler and Schroeder have been misrepresented in your piece.

On the contrary to your claim -they found that a great number of their subjects suffered ‘significant harm’ due to instances in which reparative therapists appeared ‘not to be practicing in a manner consistent with the APA Ethics Code.

You can find that here - Controversy, Not Credibility, www.fair.org, September/October 2001

Secular Heretic said...

"Sandfort clearly says that homophobia plays a part in gays being at risk for psychiatric disorders."

Do you have a link?

From what I have read there is no conclusive evidence as to why “homosexuals” are more likely to commit suicide. You may be right you may be partially right or you may be wrong.

Does pressure from society lead to mental health problems? Less, I believe, than one might imagine. The authors of the study done in The Netherlands were surprised to find so much mental illness in homosexual people in a country where tolerance of homosexuality is greater than in almost all other countries.
Another good comparison country is New Zealand, which is much more tolerant of homosexuality than is the United States. Legislation giving the movement special legal rights is powerful, consistently enforced throughout the country, and virtually never challenged. Despite this broad level of social tolerance, suicide attempts were common in a New Zealand study and occurred at about the same rate as in the U.S.
In his cross-cultural comparison of mental health in the Netherlands, Denmark and the U.S., Ross (1988) could find no significant differences between countries - i.e. the greater social hostility in the United States did not result in a higher level of psychiatric problems.
Narth


Do we agree that taking part in homosexual sex puts people at serious risk of health problems?

BlackTsunami said...

Guy,

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters is the name of my site. Why don't you check it out before passing judgement.

Secular,

I clearly gave you the link. In my post, I referred to an email conversation I had with Sandfort regarding his work. I guess the thing you will do now is claim that I made it up.

I think you are jumping around now though. First you claim that the Netherlands proves the point you are making. And when that is refuted, you are now jumping to New Zealand. And the link you gave is clearly another example of another group distorting Sandfort's work.

And in doing so, you cite the work of NARTH, a discredited group who cites the work of Paul Cameron - a man who thinks gays stick gerbils up their rectums. One of their board members, George Rekers - was recently rebuked by a Florida judge because of his bad testimony in a case there regarding gay adoption. In addition, he was given the same rebuke by another judge in Arkansas for the same reason in 2005.

Now your question about "homosexual sex" is misleading. And it is cleverly genetic.

Are you talking about sex between two men because anal sex is not "homosexual sex" in itself. According to the January 1 , 2007 issue of The New York Magazine, the CDC’s National Survey for Family Growth, released in 2006, showed that 38.2 percent of men between 20 and 39 and 32.6 percent of women ages 18 to 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex.

Are you going to talk about the 1997 Oxford study about the alleged gay life span without telling everyone that in 2001, those same researchers complained that their work was being distorted to reach this judgement.

Are you going to pull up the discredited work of Paul Cameron?

Are you going to talk about the diseases that were garnered from gays in STD clinics while a.- ignoring the heterosexuals in the STD clinics and b. ignoring the fact that these examples are not meant to generalize about the gay community at large.

Are you going to refer to something called "gay bowel disease," which does not exist except for in religious right papers.

Are you going to cite out of date sex surveys totally ignorant of the fact that these are also convenience samples.

I don't know. I do know the idea that "homosexual sex is dangerous," is a meme, a factoid designed to exploit people's egos, fears and religious beliefs.

Lastly, I noticed how you ignored what I said about the Schlinder, Schroeder study.

One more thing - I invite you or anyone else to go on my pages. They give a true indication of how a lot of folks have been duped to believe this nonsense about gays -

www.holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com

www.antigayliesandliars.blogspot.com

Secular Heretic said...

"First you claim that the Netherlands proves the point you are making. And when that is refuted, you are now jumping to New Zealand. And the link you gave is clearly another example of another group distorting Sandfort's work."

The point I'm trying to make is that there is no conclusive evidence as to why “homosexuals” are more likely to commit suicide. It might be caused by bullying entirely or it might have nothing to do with it. The Netherlands and New Zealand are examples of nations who have had a “gay friendly” attitude for a long time, more so that other countries but still the suicide rate is similar to countries who are not “gay friendly”.

Remafedi says, “Studies of human sexuality have noted high rates of suicidality among homosexual youth, but the problem has not been systematically examined.”


Sandfort says, “The findings support the assumption that people with same-sex sexual behavior are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders.”


Do we agree that taking part in homosexual sex (sex between members of the same sex) puts people at serious risk of health problems?

I f homosexual sex does cause serious health problems shouldn't we be warning people about it? Shouldn't governments and health care services be developing strategies to help people with same sex attraction remain celibate?

Here is a short testimony about a person who has a same sex attraction and decided to live a celibate life. A Shepherds Voice .

the pomegranate apple said...

This article, pretty graphically discusses how to prevent specific std's from specific sexual behaviors regularly and normally associated with gay sex.
LGBT Health Channel

These articles discuss how the incidence of HIV infection and other dangerous acts actually increases in steady gay relationships:

Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 (2003): 1031.

Jon Garbo, “More Young Gay Men are Contracting HIV from Steady Partners,” GayHealth (July 25, 2001).

beetlebabee said...

Pomegranate Apple, you earlier said: "If we made same-gender relationships legal in California, it adolescents who experience some level of the SSA-spectrum may be encouraged to experiment."

We have rampant experimentation going on in one of our high schools in this area. Sexual orientation experimentation has gotten respect from media and celebrities that affect how these kids see experimenting with SSA. It's the new cool "edge" thing to do to be accepted and known as an envelope pusher.

It's dangerous and confusing. Thanks Secular Heretic for this post. I enjoy reading your thoughtful site.

Secular Heretic said...

People need to be warned of the dangers of this type of behavior not encouraged to explore it.

beetlebabee said...

You're absolutely right. There's a blogger who has commented on my site before who has been keeping a repository of studies by subject if you need additional information as to the dangers of the lifestyle through research.

http://troysmsxp.blogspot.com/2008/10/off-topic-but-important-proposition-8.html

Secular Heretic said...

Thanks for the link. There is information everywhere about this topic. Since Blacktsunami is the author of a book about the research conducted on homosexuality, I wanted to know his/her opinion about the dangers (or lack of) about homosexual activity.

beetlebabee said...

Perhaps he has given up...