NARTH Statement on Sexual Orientation Change

Current discussions of homosexual sexual orientation change are unavoidably occurring within a socio-political climate that makes nonpartisan scientific inquiry of this subject very difficult.  In light of this reality, a few considerations are crucial for accurately understanding the sometimes contradictory opinions regarding the possibility of sexual orientation change.   First and foremost, it is important to recognize that how change is conceptualized has vast implications for our thinking about change.  Some of the more ardent proponents and opponents of homosexual sexual orientation change may view change in strictly categorical terms, where change is an all-or-nothing experience.  Proponents and opponents with this view differ only in the direction of their desired outcome.  Proponents of change understood in categorical terms may view a homosexual sexual orientation as a lifestyle choice that merely needs to be renounced. Opponents who take this viewpoint, on the other hand, may conceive of sexual orientation as essentially hard wired and simply not modifiable.  NARTH does not support either of these perspectives.

NARTH believes that much of the expressed pessimism regarding sexual orientation change is a consequence of individuals intentionally or inadvertently adopting a categorical conceptualization of change. When change is viewed in absolute terms, then any future experience of same-sex attraction (or any other challenge), however fleeting or diminished, is considered a refutation of change. Such assertions likely reflect an underlying categorical view of change, probably grounded in an essentialist view of homosexual sexual orientation that assumes same-sex attractions are the natural and immutable essence of a person.  What needs to be remembered is that the de-legitimizing of change solely on the basis of a categorical view of change is virtually unparalleled for any challenge in the psychiatric literature.  For example, applying a categorical standard for change would mean that any subsequent reappearance of depressive mood following treatment for depression should be viewed as an invalidation of significant and genuine change, no matter how infrequently depressive symptoms reoccur or how diminished in intensity they are if subsequently re-experienced.  Similar arguments could be made for any number of conditions, including grief, alcoholism, or marital distress.  The point is not to equate these conditions with homosexuality, but rather to highlight the inconsistency of applying the categorical standard only to reported changes in unwanted same-sex attractions.

Rather than pigeonholing homosexual sexual orientation change into categorical terms, NARTH believes that it is far more helpful and accurate to conceptualize such change as occurring on a continuum.  This is in fact how sexual orientation is defined in most modern research, starting with the well known Kinsey scales, even as subsequent findings pertinent to change are often described in categorical terms. NARTH affirms that some individuals who seek care for unwanted same-sex attractions do report categorical change of sexual orientation.  Moreover, NARTH acknowledges that others have reported no change. However, the experience of NARTH clinicians suggests that the majority of individuals who report unwanted same-sex attractions and pursue psychological care will be best served by conceptualizing change as occurring on a continuum, with many being able to achieve sustained shifts in the direction and intensity of their sexual attractions, fantasy, and arousal that they consider to be satisfying and meaningful. NARTH believes that a profound disservice is done to those with unwanted same-sex attractions by characterizing such shifts in sexual attractions as a denial of their authentic (and gay) personhood or a change in identity labelling alone.  Attempts to invalidate all reports of such shifts by presuming they are not grounded in actual experience insults the integrity of these individuals and posits wishful thinking on an untenably massive scale.

Finally, it also needs to be observed that reports on the potential for sexual orientation change may be unduly pessimistic based on the confounding factor of type of intervention.  Most of the recent research on homosexual sexual orientation change has focused on religiously mediated outcomes which may differ significantly from outcomes derived through professional psychological care.  It is not unreasonable to anticipate that the probability of change would be greater with informed psychotherapeutic care, although definitive answers to this question await further research.  NARTH remains highly interested in conducting such research, pursuant only to the acquisition of sufficient funding.

To summarize, then, those who are  highly pessimistic regarding change in sexual orientation appear to have assumed a categorical view of change, which is neither in keeping with how sexual orientation has been defined in the literature nor with how change is conceptualized for nearly all other psychological challenges.  NARTH believes that viewing change as occurring on a continuum is a preferable therapeutic approach and more likely to create realistic expectancies among consumers of change-oriented intervention.  With this in mind, NARTH remains committed to protecting the rights of clients with unwanted same-sex attractions to pursue change as well as the rights of clinicians to provide such psychological care.


Special Note from the Blogger

Months ago when I started blogging, I wasn't sure about what I was talking about. I thought may be there is nothing “negative” in being gay after all. Why try to change? It is still the same. But with complete assurance that It is possible.  It has happened. And I’m vastly benefitted by the choice I took months ago to change my self.

I find it very amusing and happy whenever I am attracted to a member of the opposite sex, which I thought was never possible. It is like I’m reliving my adolescence. This whole new experience solved a labyrinth of problems.

Therapies attempting to change sexual orientation cannot be forced upon anyone. It is not done and It is impossible. Self motivation is CRUICIAL. So homosexuals who decide to go “gay” should go ahead and be gay. But they should stop spreading lies that being gay is “good” and it cannot be changed. While being gay, they must admit the fact that human bodies are not made for homosexual intercourse, therefore unnatural. And that very-most homosexuals are not born gay. Biological factors may contribute but they are not in anyway decisive.  And that there are much much more productive/positive alternative to gay lifestyle and that it is free will to seek change with professional help.

Historic Gay Advocate who later admitted that Change is Possible

imageThe psychiatrist who led the team that deleted homosexuality from the diagnostic manual in 1973, now says homosexuality may sometimes be changeable.

His provocative new study drew worldwide media attention at the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference on May 9th.

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer's study was funded by his department's research unit. He is Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Biometrics at Columbia University.image

"Like most psychiatrists," says Dr. Spitzer, "I thought that homosexual behavior could be resisted--but that no one could really change their sexual orientation. I now believe that's untrue--some people can and do change."

Most mental-health associations have recently issued warnings about therapy to change sexual orientation. Homosexual fantasies and feelings can be renounced or resisted, most clinicians agree--but not transformed.

But in a panel discussion at the annual A.P.A. meeting, Spitzer released the evidence for his conclusions.

He reported interviewing 200 subjects (143 men and 57 women) who were willing to describe their sexual and emotional histories, including their self-reported shift from gay to straight.

Dr. Spitzer is best recognized in psychiatric history for his scientific role in 1973--he led the team that investigated whether homosexuality should be removed from the psychiatric manual. He drew bitter criticism during that historic event from psychoanalysts who sought to retain homosexuality among the list of disorders. Since then, Dr. Spitzer had been convinced that sexual orientation is unchangeable.

But on the opening day of the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference two years ago--in 1999--he was drawn to a group of ex-gays staging a demonstration at the entrance to the conference building.

The picketers were objecting to the A.P.A.'s recent resolution discouraging therapy to change homosexuality to heterosexuality. They carried placards saying, "Homosexuals Can Change--We Did--Ask Us!"

Others said, "Don't Affirm Me into a Lifestyle that was Killing Me Physically and Spiritually," and "The APA Has Betrayed America with Politically Correct Science."

Some of the psychiatrists tore up the literature handed out to them by the protesters. But others stopped to offer the protestors a few quiet words of encouragement.

Dr. Spitzer was skeptical, but he decided to find out for himself if sexual orientation was changeable. He developed a 45-minute telephone interview which he personally admistered to all the subjects. Most had been referred to him by The National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and by Exodus, a ministry for homosexual strugglers. To be eligible for the study, the subjects had to experience a significant shift from homosexual to heterosexual attraction which had lasted for at least five years.

Most of the subjects said their religious faith was very important in their lives, and about three-quarters of the men and half of the women had been heterosexually married by the time of the study. Most had sought change because a gay lifestyle had been emotionally unsatisfying. Many had been disturbed by promiscuity, stormy relationships, a conflict with their religious values, and the desire to be (or to stay) heterosexually married.

Typically, the effort to change did not produce significant results for the first two years. Subjects said they were helped by examining their family and childhood experiences, and understanding how those factors might have contributed to their gender identity and sexual orientation. Same-sex mentoring relationships, behavior-therapy techniques and group therapy were also mentioned as particularly helpful.

To the researchers' surprise, good heterosexual functioning was reportedly achieved by 67% of the men who had rarely or never felt any opposite-sex attraction before the change process. Nearly all the subjects said they now feel more masculine (in the case of men) or more feminine (women).

"Contrary to conventioned wisdom," Spitzer concluded, "some highly motivated individuals, using a variety of change efforts, can make substantial change in multiple indicators of sexual orientation, and achieve good heterosexual functioning."

He added that change from homosexual to heterosexual is not usually a matter of "either/or," but exists on a continuum--that is, a diminishing of homosexuality and an expansion of heterosexual potential that is exhibited in widely varying degrees.

But, Dr. Spitzer said, his findings suggest that complete change--cessation of all homosexual fantasies and attractions (which is generally considered an unrealistic goal in most therapies) is probably quite uncommon. Still, when subjects did not actually change sexual orientation--for example, their change had been one of behavioral control and self-identity, but no significant shift in attractions--they still reported an improvement in overall emotional health and functioning.

This study is believed to be the most detailed investigation of sexual orientation change to date, in that it assessed a variety of homosexual indicators. Previous studies have usually assessed only one or two dimensions of sexual orientation, such as behavior and attraction. The assessment tool was developed with the assistance of New York psychiatrist Dr. Richard C. Friedman.

Dr. Spitzer used a structured interview so that others could know exactly what questions were asked, and what response choices were offered to the subjects. The full data file is now available to other researchers, including tape-recordings of about a third of the interviews, which (with the subjects' permission and without any reference to their names) can be listened to by investigators who wish to carry such research further.

He expressed his gratitude to the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), and to the ex-gay ministry Exodus, "without which this study would not have been possible."

American Psychiatric Association president Daniel Borenstein was asked by the Washington Post to comment on the recent Spitzer study. "There are a group of people who think all homosexual behavior must be changed...and they try to impose their values [on gay men and lesbians}, which is inappropriate," he said.

Dr. Spitzer agreed that this study should not be used to justify coercion. Nor should it be used as an argument for the denial of civil rights. "But patients should have the right," Spitzer stated, "to explore their heterosexual potential."

--Linda Ames Nicolosi – extracted from

Clarifying The Misinformation About Homosexuality Attributed To The APA – American Psychiatric Association And To The APA – American Psychological Association

According to the APA – American Psychological Association, as of Dec 2011 there are no scientific findings that a person is born homosexual. “No findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”

The 1973 APA – American Psychiatric Association’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses (DSM) was not based on any new scientific or psychological findings regarding homosexuality. In addition the APA acknowledged that “a significant proportion of homosexuals” can “change their sexual orientation.”

A 2010 peer reviewed study published in The Journal of Men’s Studies found that men experiencing unwanted homosexual attractions seeking sexual orientation change experienced “a decrease in homosexual feelings and behavior, an increase in heterosexual feelings and behavior, and a positive change in psychological functioning.”

The political correctness of the APAs and their loss of scientific objectivity. ast APA President, Dr. Nicholas Cummings, testifying how the “APA is politically based rather than scientifically based” as well as “confirming the research that reports that change is possible.”

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover M.D., Ph.D in his book titled: Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, expands upon how the APA was “driven by politics, not science.”APAs’ political bias on reparative or change therapy is blatant. They cite no scientific studies of harm. Rather, they use terms such as “expressed concerns” “no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy is safe or effective.” “it seems likely promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes.”

Dr. A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., MBA, MPH reviews a book titled: Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm. (Edited by Rogers H. Wright and Nicolas A. Cummings, 2005.) The book exemplifies how “The APA has chosen ideology over science.”