Reparative Therapy: The Debate That Never Was

Jeez – I spend a couple weeks away, and there’s two huge new threads here about sexual orientation.  This was my brief comment about something I saw recently in the paper about Ted Haggard, and how he’s trying to get back into the fold.  Reposted on http://www.smugbaldy.com

In a recent article, AP columnist David Crary claims that the scandal involving the Reverend Ted Haggard and his extra-marital contact with a gay prostitute has “renewed the debate” about something that has widely been discredited in psychological circles: Reparative Therapy.

“Haggard is Exhibit A of how people can’t change their sexual orientation,” said Wayne Besen, a gay-rights activist and author. “With all that he had to lose—a wife, children, a huge church—he had to be who he was in the end. He couldn’t pray away the gay.”

Proponents of reparative therapy, however, claim that sexual orientation is changeable through the use of any of several techniques, many (though not all) of which are based on a Christian religious perspective.  Indeed, while some therapists use individual or group counseling or activities, many therapists utilize prayer, fasting, and religious instruction.  In some cases therapists attempt to cure homosexuality through the use of electroconvulsive therapy or aversion therapy [Ref].

Opponents of reparative therapy claim that sexual orientation is unchangeable, and as such, any efforts to change one’s orientation will not only be met with failure, but will also likely cause harm to the individual.  In addition, opponents criticize the science behind reparative therapy because of a lack of peer review as well as the potential for clinical research bias.  Essentially, current research does not support the central claim put forth by reparative therapy proponents – that homosexuality is innately negative, and as a result, homosexuals want to change.  In addition, critics point out that reparative therapy doesn’t speak to the issue of female homosexuality at all – which is another indication of clinical bias in its proponents. [Ref.]

The American Psychological Association makes it’s position very clear:

The term “reparative therapy” refers to psychotherapy aimed at eliminating homosexual desires and is used by people who do not think homosexuality is one variation within human sexual orientation, but rather still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder. The most important fact about “reparative therapy,” also sometimes known as “conversion” therapy, is that it is based on an understanding of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major health and mental health professions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 477,000 health and mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a “cure.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association and defining the standard of the field, does not include homosexuality as a mental disorder. All other major health professional organizations have supported the American Psychiatric Association in its declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-gender sexual desires among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among health and mental health professional organizations.
[ref]

My take on this whole renewed debate is simple: There really isn’t a debate.  Never has been.

Instead, on one side we have had agreement from all the respected professional mental health associations since 1973 that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal variations within human sexual orientation.  On the other side, we have individuals and groups with political and religious interests in maintaining and consolidating social power, and they are clearly not above leveraging fear and pseudoscience to achieve their goals.  This “debate” isn’t about whether Ted can come back into the fold of heterosexuality, but rather about whether we are all dumb enough to believe that he should want to, or be forced to try to do so in the first place.

In addition, I believe that nothing speaks more eloquently of the circular logic that supports reparation therapy than this: If, in any argument involving homosexuality, we were apply the same logic to heterosexuality instead, does the argument still hold water?  For example, if we accept the premise behind reparation (or conversion) therapy that sexual orientation is changeable through Christian counseling techniques, then it should be quite possible for heterosexual individuals to become homosexual or bisexual if they pray, fast, or meditate enough.  Oops – wait a minute – here comes the kicker.  Proponents will quickly point out that this isn’t possible, because only non-hetero orientations are changeable.  Heterosexuality is what they call “innate sexual orientation” and it is not changeable – so once you’re hetero, you never go back because of its “special” status.  Clearly, this argument falls apart because it requires more than simple logic to support it – we also need to accept that heterosexuality is some sort of special sexual orientation that cannot be changed while any other orientation can be.

If you apply this little device to just about any claim made about sexual orientation: Lifestyle choice (When did you choose to become heterosexual?), political agenda (there’s a vast, heterosexual conspiracy), family raising (heterosexuals are the best parents) – you see that the claims just don’t hold water: Nobody decides to become heterosexual, there is no cabal of heterosexuals pushing the hetero political agenda, and the last time I checked, 99 percent of parents that abuse and murder their partners and children are heterosexual. 

There’s a simple explanation for all this and health professionals have been repeating it for over 30 years: Human sexual orientation is a continuum – and all variations of human sexuality are normal – even heterosexuality.

63 thoughts on “Reparative Therapy: The Debate That Never Was

  1. Like I said before, I hope that most of his suicide attempts that are caused by his “therapy” are unsuccessful.  I know somebody who is really fucked up as a result of reparative therapy that his parents forced him into.  I used to think that I wouldn’t wish reparative therapy on anyone; I made an exception for this hypocritical bastard.

  2. Like I said before, I hope that Haggard simply comes to accept himself as he is, works something out with his longsuffering wife, and helps other people understand what it means to let go of bigotry and prejudice.   

    Well, plus I’m subscribing to this thread.

  3. dof;  I also wish that he would accept himself as he is, get some real counseling from a real therapist, and start getting his life together.  He has the potential of continuing his career and doing some real good in the gay community. 

    It appears that he has made the wrong choice and is intent on continuing his bigotry and hypocrisy.  I also feel sorry for his wife, she really needs to cut her losses and dump his sorry ass.

  4. But I’m a Cheerleader Comes to Mind Here!  It’s really a great movie that pokes fun of this issue, and don’t worry it’s PG.  tongue wink

    Michael that was a wonderful post and I really enjoyed it.

    There’s a simple explanation for all this and health professionals have been repeating it for over 30 years: Human sexual orientation is a continuum – and all variations of human sexuality are normal – even heterosexuality.

    Yup, that about sums it up for me.

  5. Michael: If, in any argument involving homosexuality, were we to apply the same logic to heterosexuality instead, does the argument still hold water?

    Far out – I never thought of it this way. 

    IDM: He has the potential of continuing his career and doing some real good …

    Yeah. Exactly … but will he be allowed or even allow himself to see it that way?
    Doubt it. Poor cunt. We’ll hear about his accidental death by an unloaded gun some day soon.

    Thought provoking post, Michael.  smile

  6. I haven’t followed the story enough to know what Haggard himself has said, but if we assume for the purpose of this post only that sexuality runs the spectrum between heterosexual and homosexual, then this is rather presumptuous:

    said Wayne Besen, a gay-rights activist and author. “With all that he had to lose—a wife, children, a huge church—he had to be who he was in the end. He couldn’t pray away the gay.”

    One would think that Haggard was bi and would be trying to pray away the bi.

  7. Hello

    Long time reader of SEB, first time poster.

    I was gonna say something smart and scholarly here… but no…

    Anyway, i agree with you Michael, but then again i wasnt anti-gay to begin with.
    Have a hard time seeing anyone in that camp actually learning something new…

    But we can still make fun of it though? smile
    http://www.spaff.com/poesy/psychosis.html

  8. Consigliere: One would think that Haggard was bi and would be trying to pray away the bi.

    Just because somebody has a wife and kids, is hugely homophobic, and does not dispute that he paid a hustler for sex does not mean that he is bisexual.  Whether he is bisexual or gay is a moot point, it was his gay behavior and his extreme hypocrisy that caused his current difficulties.

  9. Fuck your wife a thousand times, and then fuck a gay hustler one time and suddenly your gay?  Ridiculous.  The guy should have kept it in his pants for sure, but one hard ass fucking does not a faggot make.

  10. Without a common enemy, contrived if necessary, it is incredibly difficult to maintain any sense of unity.  Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t really all that fictional.  Governments do it.  Religions do it.  Schools and sports teams do it.  Hey, everyone does it.

  11. MrD: The guy should have kept it in his pants for sure, but one hard ass fucking does not a faggot make.

    Cn you provide a link showing where Haggard has claimed to have been fucked only one time?  The hustler claims that Haggard visited him almost monthly over the last three years, and Haggard doesn’t deny that part of the hustler’s claims.

    LA Times article about Haggard’s letter to his congregation telling them that he has known for all of his adult life that he is a faggot.

    “There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life,” “Through the years, I’ve sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving to be effective in me.”  “For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom,”  “Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.”

  12. I’m a bit surprised that nobody has yet flagged me for the clearly made up stat about 99% of spousal murderers being heterosexual.  Clearly, since the base rate of homosexuality is only around 2%-3%, then that’s pretty close to what you would expect anyway.  As an aside, you could probably criticize the statement on the factual grounds that, since gay marriage is illegal everywhere but Massachusetts, spousal murderers would largely be hetero – with some unknown percentage of closeted gays sprinkled in.  Still – 99% seems like a good number to me – though the true number may never be accurately estimated.

    MrD: Fuck your wife a thousand times, and then fuck a gay hustler one time and suddenly your gay?  Ridiculous.

    Agreed.  Sexual behavior isn’t the same thing as sexual orientation.  If it were, then nobody would be able to stay in the closet very long, now would they?

    itdontmatter: Whether he is bisexual or gay is a moot point, it was his gay behavior and his extreme hypocrisy that caused his current difficulties.

    Agreed – though in this morning’s paper, Ellen Goodman suggested something that I think is relevant:

    Ellen Goodman: Haggard seemed like a kinder, gentler, and greener evangelical than many on the religious right. Yet he once equated Gay Pride Day with Murderer’s Pride Day and looked to the Bible for the last word in science as well as religion. This was not just a man split between his walk and his talk. This was a man repulsed by himself.

    I agree with her that there’s more than just hypocrisy at work here.  This guy isn’t just gay, he’s gay and full of religious-inspired self loathing.  I guess that’s the well he was able to dip into when he would rail against the “evils” of homosexuality. 

    Isn’t that called method acting?

  13. In some ways I can empathize with him.  I am gay (not bisexual), was married for a number of years, and have two sons.  I was about 40 years old when I RAN out of the closet and made up for lost time.  Since my early teens I always suspected that I was gay, but societal pressures made me deny that I am gay. I remember in kindergarten that there was some concern because I preferred the play “kitchen” to whatever the “boy’s toys” were.  I was heartbroken when I was told that I couldn’t play in the play kitchen anymore.  I didn’t hate myself, or other gays, I just denied my sexual orientation to myself.  I may be lucky, I missed the early AIDS days.

  14. Michael made the points in his second post that I was going to pick him up on. Firstly sexcrime split between gax/straight is close to the population split. Secondly domesic violence has traditionally been recorded as a man on woman thing, though now there is a greater acceptance (in the UK) that it can happen in either way, and also in same sex relationships. I cant remember if the last article I saw (in my Union Mag) said the ratios Men to women was 1:4, woman to men 1:6. These are ratios taken from surveys, the ration being those people who said that they suffered at some point in their lives.  The ratio for men has crept up over the last few years- about 10 years ago it was reported as 1:8.  Part of the increase is because men are less likely to deny it now than they would have done in the past, when they would have been laughed at.

    I think Michael is wrong in the idea that you could ‘reverse’ the ‘therapy’.  1) God isn’t going to let you ‘pray to the gay’ as it is against his teachings. 2) the proponents argue that Hetro is the ‘ground zero’ state- a rock can roll down the hill, but not back up.

    Pertsonally I think gays are born, not made though environmental factors probably alter which side of the fence/how bi/whatever someone is, especially in ‘borderline’ cases.

    Is Haggard gay? Depends on how you define gay.  It you are purely goig to define it as indulges in same sex intercourse then yes.  If you define it as an outlook as well then not. Many men enjoy anal penetration (if they can get over the “I’m not a bleedin’ poof” stigma), both receiving and giving, without thinking of themselves as gay.  Many Paedophiles who abuse boys do not identify as gay- as I said above the split is in propotion to the population. It is a famous cliche that gay men excel at “girls stuff”- soft furnishings colour matching etc (this is shorthand- you know what I mean, so don’t post “I’m gay an I hate curtains”). Is this more pronounced femine side what makes someone gay?

    I could imagine having sex with a man for physical gratification, but not falling in love with a man. Does this mean I am gay? Persoannly I can’t understand why there are not more lesbians- womens bodies are much nicer.

  15. You know, I like Pepsi, don’t care that much for Coke. Nobody ever wonders about that being a genetic preference, one brought about by the environment in which I was raised or simply a choice.

    Just saying.

  16. Is Haggard gay? Depends on how you define gay.  It you are purely goig to define it as indulges in same sex intercourse then yes.  If you define it as an outlook as well then not. Many men enjoy anal penetration (if they can get over the “I’m not a bleedin’ poof” stigma), both receiving and giving, without thinking of themselves as gay.

    From the letter that he wrote to his congregation the question is whether he is gay or bisexual; he is not straight.  I know what you mean by straight men liking to have a bit of gay sex.

    If he is gay, it is possible that he might be able to repress his sexuality, much like somebody who is left handed will suppress the use of his right hand.  If he is bisexual, he might be able to supress the gay side of his sexuality.

    In his letter he indicated that he had been trying very hard to suppress his sexuality or the gay side of his sexuality for all of his adult life, and he had failed.  From the statements of the hustler, he had sought out and purchased gay sex several times a year for about three years.  This guy is a hypocritical, right wing christian faggot; he is not curious, confused, or straight.

  17. Last Hussar: I think Michael is wrong in the idea that you could ‘reverse’ the ‘therapy’.  1) God isn’t going to let you ‘pray to the gay’ as it is against his teachings. 2) the proponents argue that Hetro is the ‘ground zero’ state- a rock can roll down the hill, but not back up.

    Maybe we’re saying the same thing, but since you said “wrong” and my name in the same sentence, here goes my defense against what I thought you said:

    I agree that the idea is wrong – and my point is that if sexual orientation is changeable, then you should be able to switch from hetero to something else using the same methods that reparative therapists espouse for conversion to heterosexuality.  I’m skeptical about the extra logical constraint that is required to support reparative therapy, namely that heterosexuality is qualitatively different from other sexual orientations by design.  If you accept that, then the idea of converting gays is logically consistent. I don’t accept the premise, and therefore think the rationale for conversion therapy breaks down.

  18. Consi: One would think that Haggard was bi and would be trying to pray away the bi.

    What? Both his heterosexuality AND his homosexuality? Become asexual?
    You mean, like a catholic priest?  wink

    I’m a bit surprised that nobody has yet flagged me for the clearly made up stat about 99% of spousal murderers being heterosexual.

    It didn’t concern me as I know that 83.4% of statistics are made up on the spot.  smile
    Now, if you’d said ‘partners or children’ the odds may have had to be changed to 97.5%.

    I like Pepsi, don’t care that much for Coke.

    Yeah, KPG. I have a similar issue between Vegemite and Marmite.
    I prefer the latter thereby making me UN-AustralianLOL
    I changed a few years ago when I found that Vegemite which was made by Fred Walker Company was fully owned by Kraft since 1951. Marmite is made by Sanitarium.

    Butch or Fem?

    Fem. I like being on the bottom for many reasons, the main one being that I’m a lazy lesbian.  LOL

  19. LJ: Yeah, KPG. I have a similar issue between Vegemite and Marmite.

    There doesn’t appear to be a US equivilant of this stuff, although the imprted foods section at the local grocery does carry marmite. Makes me curious, what does it taste like?

  20. Fuckin salty although a little sweeter than Vegemite – having said that I’m referring to the Sanitarium brand as opposed to the British brand – I have no idea if there’s a difference.
    I spread it on toast like I would spread jam (your jelly I think).

    I remember mum getting a yoghurt plant and feeding it milk and making yoghurt and offering me some when I was mid-teens. I spat it out because it tasted like sour milk. She said: But you loved it when you were a child back in Holland.
    Nowadays I can eat it with/on something but not by itself. I think the sour milk programme has had too many reminders – you know – single bloke – grabs carton from fridge and downs it …. and sometimes, up it comes.

    So what did that have to do with anything?
    Probably the acquired taste aspect.
    Buy the Marmite and become introduced to it slowly – try a lettuce, cheese and marmite sandwich – use the marmite as you would a hot mustard.
    Don’t worry about wasting it – it’s a great additive to soups and casseroles and the used by date should be over a year away.
    I’ve heard of people finding a jar of Vegemite in the back of their Granny’s pantry – unused since the 60s and still perfect.  smile

  21. I guess that guy got what he deserved, and the situation of his hypocrisy is pretty funny.  Reparative therapy sounds like something a friend tried to get me to go to for my whole milf thing…

  22. The NZ Sanitarium brand (a Seventh-Day Adventist outfit) Marmite contains sugar and caramel.  The UK Unilever made Marmite does not contain sugar or caramel.  In Australia and NZ, Unilever Marmite is imported and sold under the name of Our Mate!

  23. Thanks, LJ. Think I’ll add a jar to the grocery list and give it a try this week.

    Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!  It’s evil- nasty little marmiteses.

    Butch or Fem?
    Fem.

    What, with that beard?

    I hadn’t realised that Haggard had gome out as gay- not that bothered to read much about it, given I’m in the UK.  Only real reaction was Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  24. LH: Persoannly I can’t understand why there are not more lesbians- womens bodies are much nicer.

    Actually, women are more flexible on the sexuality continuum than men: they tend to range further across the spectrum. But that shouldn’t be all that surprising: we’ve always sexualized women and women’s bodies in a way that we haven’t traditionally done with men and there isn’t exactly the same kind of stigma about women being together. (Two women have always been able to live together without people making quite as much about it as they do about men.)

    As far as reparative therapy goes, I’d say that where it appears to work (and what keeps this debate going is the anecdotal evidence that it sometimes works), it works in much the same way that celibacy vows do for priests: Under some conditions, with enough fear, guilt, support, and external pressure, you can get people to give up sex.

    But then, we all know what happens when that stuff goes bad.

  25. As far as reparative therapy goes, I’d say that where it appears to work (and what keeps this debate going is the anecdotal evidence that it sometimes works), it works in much the same way that celibacy vows do for priests: Under some conditions, with enough fear, guilt, support, and external pressure, you can get people to give up sex.

    Along with that, some of the reparative victims are actually bisexual and the brainwashing has caused them to repress the gay side of their sexuality.  This would cause reparative ‘therapy’ to seem to work, although it is a big mind fuck.

  26. My wife just forwarded this email to me:

    Gay animals out of the closet?
    First-ever museum display shows 51 species exhibiting homosexuality
     
    From male killer whales that ride the dorsal fin of another male to female bonobos that rub their genitals together, the animal kingdom tolerates all kinds of lifestyles.

    A first-ever museum display, “Against Nature?,”  which opened last month at the University of Oslo’s Natural History Museum in Norway, presents 51 species of animals exhibiting homosexuality.

    “Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 species, and the phenomenon has been well described for 500 of them,” said Petter Bockman, project coordinator of the exhibition.

    The idea, however, is rarely discussed in the scientific community and is often dismissed as unnatural because it doesn’t appear to benefit the larger cause of species continuation.

    “I think to some extent people don’t think it’s important because we went through all this time period in sociobiology where everything had to be tied to reproduction and reproductive success,” said Linda Wolfe, who heads the Department of Anthropology at East Carolina University. “If it doesn’t have [something to do] with reproduction it’s not important.”

    For the full story and related links see………  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15750604/?GT1=8717

    Edward I. Pollak, Ph.D.
    Department of Psychology
    West Chester University of Pennsylvania
    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/epollak/home.htm

    My immediate question is, “How we do conversion therapy with gay killer whales?”

  27. I’m a bit surprised that nobody has yet flagged me for the clearly made up stat about 99% of spousal murderers being heterosexual.

    Given that the legal spouse-making process is denied to same-sex couples in almost all states, what’s wrong with the stat?

  28. Vegemite is a powerful high explosive invented by the evil gay agenda.

    Shit, you gave it away.  Supporters right now are buying out the Vegemite stocks of grocery stores worldwide.  A hasty inventory of how much Vegemite on hand is also in progress.  We have already acquired enough prepaid cell phones, AA batteries, and other necessary bits; we were just waiting on amassing sufficient quantities of Vegemite.

  29. Vegemite and Marmite are nothing- for truly disgusting, one looks to Branston Pickle.

    I actually think it would be easier to change my sexual orientation than to get me to like this stuff.

  30. BRING OUT THE BRANSTON

    Got have a bit of pickle with your salad.  Or cheese and pickle sandwiches. MMMMMM.  Now if you want something that looks disgusting Picalilly, only tried it for the first time this year (and I’m 29 and a few months)(105 months to be accurate) because it looks like it glows in the dark.  Its quite nice.  The fact that Piccadilly on a UK monopoly boar is the same yellow leads to the inevitable joke amoung family games up and down the land.

    Anyway, back to “Raging Queers- how much war/global warming/extinction/WMD do they cause?”  I heard about the Oslo exhibition a few weeks ago.  Kept meaning to post it but either couldn’t fit it in, or be arsed to.  How many Galapogos tortoises are gay? I mean, all that time hanging around evilutionists has probably taught them all forms of unclean, ungodly behavior.

  31. BTW- fetching hat Les- but why are you wearing a traffic cone on your head. (yes I know- in celebration of Europe getting rid of a load of religeous loonies so we could have the renaissance).

  32. Is there a particular reason that the Brits seem to have so much disgusting food?  Some food just has odd or disgusting names, such as ‘clotted cream’, ‘Northumbrian Cockle Soup’, ‘White Fish Soup with Green Fishballs’, ‘Gentlemen’s Morsels’ [yikes!], Bedfordshire Clangers, Forfar Bridies, Scotch Collops, Howtowdie, Faggots, Haggis, Jugged Hare, Rothiemurchus Collops, Huntingdon Fidget Pie, Jolly Boys, Shropshire Fidget Pie, etc.

  33. I’m sorry, that is a bit hard to swallow(!) from the nation that gave us McDonalds and KFC. Many are traditional dishes, rarely eaten now, from a time when people were a lot poorer, and food was of the New Orleans type- when you’re that short of food, anything will do. I’m sure in the US at the same period there would be similar foods. Not all food it as horrible as it sounds to modern ears- my kids love my home made toad in the hole.

    I miss my dad making fried liver and bacon with thickning

  34. Many are traditional dishes, rarely eaten now, from a time when people were a lot poorer, and food was of the New Orleans type- when you’re that short of food, anything will do. I’m sure in the US at the same period there would be similar foods.

    Except for the haggis and Vegemite, I wasn’t making fun of the food itself, I just found the names to be odd.  Clotted cream is an example, I like Devonshire or clotted cream on top of many desserts. The other foods are probably good too. “Rothiemurchus Collops” is probably a very good way to prepare venison, but the name seems very strange to me.  Gentleman’s Morsels sounds scary, they are actually small ham sandwiches with apricot jam and mustard.  Howtowdie is a chicken casserole, I am not sure that I would like the chicken liver that’s in it though..

  35. Vegemite is Aussie. We have the evil Marmite.

    I love spotted dick, especially with golden syrup.  Clotted cream is actually a good description.  Actually I wasn’t too sure what many of those dishes were, and couldn’t be bothered to look them up.

    My dad, who lived as a small boy through the Blitz, still likes dripping on bread, like many of his generation.  The thought of spreading solidified beef fat on bread makes me ill, but then I like pork scrathings, not so different.

  36. I don’t know enough about reparative therapy to have an opinion on it one way or another at this point, other than I think I saw a 20/20 episode some years ago. 

    Nevertheless, if one were to adopt the theoretical position that sexuality is a continuum, as has been advocated by some here, I would think that reparative therapy and/or its opposite would be theoretically possible.  It wouldn’t be changing anything.  It would tilting the sliding scale towards to an alternatively, and equally healthy and natural lifestyle, whether the tilting be towards heterosexuality or homosexuality, right?

  37. I’m not sure I’d run out of a burning building on the basis of a 20/20 episode tongue wink but the continuum of straight-to-gay probably intersects with another continuum of sexual adaptability.  So while it may be possible for some individuals to change their sexual preference, what is the point of trying to normalize that for the majority of gay people?

  38. It also assumes that the point on the sexual continuum is movable and not fixed. It could be a lot like skin tone. As a white male I am not as white as some other people, but I’m certainly not black. I am at a fixed point on the continuum of skin tones.

    Sure, I may be able to tan and become considerably darker with a lot of effort, but if I stop making that effort I’ll return to my current skin tone in time. The effort to make myself darker could also be potentially harmful.

    Probably not the best analogy, but it’s what I’ve got at 6:45 in the morning.

  39. It would tilting the sliding scale towards to an alternatively, and equally healthy and natural lifestyle, whether the tilting be towards heterosexuality or homosexuality, right?

    Reparative therapy is not a matter of tilting a sliding scale, it is a matter of repressing very strong needs.  Sex appropriate to one’s sexual orientation is not like chemical addiction, it involves a very strong, very basic, human need. 

    With bisexuals, reparative therapy represses the needs of the homosexual side and attempts to fill that need by expanding the heterosexual side, in some bisexuals this MIGHT work—for a while.  I believe that these are the so-called “gays” that supposedly have been helped by reparative therapy.

    In homosexuals, there is no heterosexual side to expand.  To gay males, the idea of having sex with a woman is extremely repulsive.

    Nobody knows the numbers or ratios; all of the gay guys that I know have ZERO heterosexual side.  Bisexual males are distinct from homosexual males and are largely invisible. The reason for this invisibility is that because of anti-gay social pressures, the vast majority of bisexual males have already repressed their homosexual side; a sort of self imposed reparative therapy. 

    Many more bisexual females express both sides of their sexuality than bisexual men do.

  40. Les; Sure, I may be able to tan and become considerably darker with a lot of effort, but if I stop making that effort I’ll return to my current skin tone in time. The effort to make myself darker could also be potentially harmful.

    Good analogy, but it needs to go just a bit further: 

    There are fair skinned people who cannot tan, their skin burns and turns red but they never tan.

  41. There are fair skinned people who cannot tan, their skin burns and turns red but they never tan.

    A nice finishing touch. wink

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