According to a story in the May 19th New York Times , Robert Spitzer has written a letter to Kenneth Zucker, editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior , in which he expresses his regrets for publishing his study of highly religious individuals who said their sexual orientation was changed by reparative therapy. After discussing my revised view of the study with Gabriel Arana, a reporter for American Prospect , and with Malcolm Ritter, an Associated Press science writer, I decided that I had to make public my current thinking about the study. Here it is. Basic Research Question. From the beginning it was: "can some version of reparative therapy enable individuals to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual?
Final Family Component response rate of This is a potential weakness of the study because activists are highly motivated to Drugs to change sexual preference that they successfully changed their sexual orientation. Inthe Task Force reported that it found "serious methodological problems in this area of research, such that only a few studies met the minimal standards for evaluating whether psychological treatments, such as efforts to change sexual orientation, are effective" p. Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation. Shidlo and Schroeder also reported that many respondents were harmed by the Seductive clothes to change. Most ex-gay groups focus on abstaining from homosexual relationships rather than a complete sexual orientation change from homosexual to heterosexual. Psychology in the Schools, 43 Cribb, Larry A.
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Why is it important for gay men and lesbians to become heterosexual in the first place? If you're interested in the Spitzer paper, you'll appreciate the clarifications that Dr. Baptist Press. Scientifically rigorous older work in this area e. InLove In Actionan ex-gay ministry based in Memphis, was investigated by the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for providing counseling and mental health care without a license, and for treating adolescents without their consent. In Augustthe Drugs to change sexual preference State Legislature approved legislation prohibiting mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with minors, which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on September 29, In response to recent public debates about interventions intended to change individuals' sexual Drugs to change sexual preference, the American Psychological Association created Inez model forum Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation which reviewed the relevant research literature. Shidlo and Schroeder also reported that many respondents were harmed by the attempt to change. Spitzer did not claim that his findings could be generalized to the gay and lesbian population at large. A Russian citizen "had been apprehended by the Russian militia, registered at a clinic as a 'suspected lesbian,' and forced to undergo treatment for lesbianism, such as 'sedative drugs' and hypnosis. Anderson
What if you could take a drug that would quickly alter your sexual orientation from straight to gay, or vice versa?
- According to a story in the May 19th New York Times , Robert Spitzer has written a letter to Kenneth Zucker, editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior , in which he expresses his regrets for publishing his study of highly religious individuals who said their sexual orientation was changed by reparative therapy.
- Researchers have long been of the opinion that people who identify as other than heterosexual are at a higher risk for double health and substance abuse issues, compared with the sexual majority.
- Sexual orientation change efforts SOCE are methods used in attempts to change the sexual orientation of homosexual and bisexual people to heterosexuality.
According to a story in the May 19th New York Times , Robert Spitzer has written a letter to Kenneth Zucker, editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior , in which he expresses his regrets for publishing his study of highly religious individuals who said their sexual orientation was changed by reparative therapy.
After discussing my revised view of the study with Gabriel Arana, a reporter for American Prospect , and with Malcolm Ritter, an Associated Press science writer, I decided that I had to make public my current thinking about the study. Here it is. Basic Research Question. From the beginning it was: "can some version of reparative therapy enable individuals to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual? I offered several unconvincing reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject's reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying.
But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject's accounts of change were valid. I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some "highly motivated" individuals.
Read Dr. Herek's critique of the study published with Spitzer's original article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in It also discusses his interview with Dr. Robert Spitzer, reporting that Spitzer expressed a wish to retract his Archives of Sexual Behavior paper on highly religious individuals who said their sexual orientation was changed by reparative therapy.
According to Arana's account, Spitzer said he spoke about writing a retraction to the editor of the Archives , who declined to publish it. Numerous reports and blog posts about the Arana article subsequently appeared on the Web, many of them highlighting Spitzer's comments about retracting his paper.
Many researchers and clinicians were puzzled by various aspects of the report about Spitzer. Was he saying that his original data were flawed, or does he now believe that his interpretation of the results was incorrect? Why would Dr. Ken Zucker, editor of the Archives , be unwilling to publish a letter or comment by Spitzer about the controversial study? And why was Spitzer disclosing his misgivings about the study indirectly through an interviewer, rather than making them public in an article he wrote himself?
Some of these questions were answered in a blog entry by Dr. Alice Dreger. In it, she reports on her conversation with Dr. Zucker about Spitzer's retraction. If you're interested in the Spitzer paper, you'll appreciate the clarifications that Dr. Dreger provides. Attempts To Change Sexual Orientation. Update: May 18, Update: April, Update: In response to recent public debates about interventions intended to change individuals' sexual orientation, the American Psychological Association created a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation which reviewed the relevant research literature.
In , the Task Force reported that it found "serious methodological problems in this area of research, such that only a few studies met the minimal standards for evaluating whether psychological treatments, such as efforts to change sexual orientation, are effective" p. Based on its review of the studies that met these standards, the Task Force concluded that "[E]nduring change to an individual's sexual orientation is uncommon. The participants in this body of research continued to experience same-sex attractions following SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] and did not report significant change to other-sex attractions that could be empirically validated, though some showed lessened physiological arousal to all sexual stimuli.
Compelling evidence of decreased same-sex sexual behavior and of engagement in sexual behavior with the other sex was rare. Few studies provided strong evidence that any changes produced in laboratory conditions translated to daily life. Thus, the results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE" pp.
In addition, the Task Force found evidence to indicate that some individuals experienced harm or believed they had been harmed by these interventions. The Task Force report provides a detailed discussion of this topic and an extensive review of relevant research. In response to the Task Force report, the APA passed a resolution that stated, in part, "the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation" and "the American Psychological Association concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation.
Open bibliography in its own window. However, claims by the Family Research Council, Charles Socarides, Joseph Nicolosi, and others of "successful" conversions through reparative therapy are filled with methodological ambiguities and questionable results for reviews, see Haldeman, , ; see also Haldeman's review paper is available on the web in HTML and Adobe Acrobat PDF format. They are also ethically suspect. Neither outcome is the same as adopting the complex set of attractions and feelings that constitute sexual orientation.
Many interventions aimed at changing sexual orientation have succeeded only in reducing or eliminating homosexual behavior rather than in creating or increasing heterosexual attractions. They have, in effect, deprived individuals of their capacity for sexual response to others.
These "therapies" have often exposed their victims to electric shocks or nausea-producing drugs while showing them pictures of same-sex nudes such techniques appear to be less common today than in the past.
Another problem in many published reports of "successful" conversion therapies is that the participants' initial sexual orientation was never adequately assessed. Many bisexuals have been mislabeled as homosexuals with the consequence that the "successes" reported for the conversions actually have occurred among bisexuals who were highly motivated to adopt a heterosexual behavior pattern. Instead, only self reports of patients or therapists' subjective impressions have been available.
More rigorous objective assessments e. Their studies have multiple flaws, including a lack of safeguards against bias and a lack of control groups.
Rather than having patients evaluated by an independent third party who is unaware of which patients received the "reparative therapy," these studies are simply compilations of self-reports from psychoanalysts who are attempting to change their patients' sexual orientation and who are highly motivated to report "success". And even if we accept these studies' claim that change has occurred, they do not provide any evidence that such change resulted from a particular therapy.
Individuals who changed might well have done so anyway, even without therapy. Claims about the "success" of conversion therapies have appeared mainly in the mass media and on the World Wide Web, rather than in high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific journals. A paper by Joseph Nicolosi and his colleagues was published in Psychological Reports.
Psychological Reports is also the major outlet for Paul Cameron, the discredited antigay psychologist. As detailed elsewhere on this site , Psychological Reports has very low prestige among researchers and a low rejection rate. In addition, unlike other psychological journals, it charges its authors a fee to publish their papers.
However, in May of , two papers on the topic of conversion therapies were presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual convention. One paper, by Dr. Robert Spitzer, reported findings from minute telephone interviews with men and 57 women who had sought help to change their sexual orientation.
He found that 66 percent of the men and 44 percent of the women had achieved "good heterosexual functioning" and he attributed this to the interventions. The Spitzer study was immediately criticized on several grounds. For example, the sample consisted predominantly of activists recruited from "ex-gay" and anti-gay organizations. Of those who participated, 78 percent had spoken publicly in favor of efforts to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality.
This is a potential weakness of the study because activists are highly motivated to report that they successfully changed their sexual orientation. Consequently, they may present an inaccurate impression of themselves to researchers. Spitzer took the activists' testimonials at face value, with no checks on the reliability or validity of their self-reports. In his relatively brief interviews with them, Dr. Spitzer's study also appears to suffer from some of the same methodological flaws as the published studies discussed above.
As noted above, including bisexuals in studies evaluating the outcomes of conversion therapies tends to inflate the proportion of "successes. Spitzer did not claim that his findings could be generalized to the gay and lesbian population at large. Indeed, he was quoted in the New York Times as saying that, despite the findings from his study, the number of homosexuals who could successfully become heterosexual was likely to be "pretty low.
The second APA paper, presented by Dr. Ariel Shidlo and Dr. Michael Schroeder, reported findings from a study of homosexuals who were recruited through the Internet and direct mailings to groups advocating conversion therapy.
Shidlo and Schroeder also reported that many respondents were harmed by the attempt to change. An Analogy. To better appreciate the potential flaws in Dr. Spitzer's study, consider an analogous situation. Suppose a pharmaceutical company claims that a new vitamin supplement can change left-handed people to right-handers. Mainstream medical organizations express their opposition to the vitamin, saying that it causes harm to many people who use it, and noting that there is no reason for left-handed people to try to change.
To test the drug company's claim, a researcher conducts brief telephone interviews with people who have used the product.
He recruits most of his research participants from a list provided by the drug company of individuals who claim to have used the vitamin and have given public testimonials on behalf of the drug company. Many of those people say that they tried the vitamin because they felt miserable as left-handers in a right-handed world, and that they are now functioning as right-handers although many report occasional thoughts about using their left hand.
The researcher's data consist entirely of the one-time telephone interviews. He does no follow-up interviews to assess the consistency of the users' stories. Nor does he conduct face-to-face assessments with standardized measures to assess whether the vitamin users have actually become right-handed.
Meanwhile, another research team reports data from a different study, in which they found that the vitamin supplement did not change most left-handers to right-handers, and that many people who tried the vitamin suffered serious negative side effects. In such a situation, we would want to ask several questions. How reliable are the reports of vitamin users who were recruited through the drug company?
What about the many people who were harmed by the vitamin? Why is it important for left-handers to become right-handed in the first place? We can raise similar questions about Dr. Spitzer's study. For those who did change, how do we know that they would not have changed their sexual orientation anyway, even without some form of therapy? What about the many people who have been harmed by conversion therapies?
A Fairfax Media investigation in reported that they found about ten different organisations, including in Victoria, practicing some form of conversion therapy. This section contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. June In other words, their pattern of arousal to members of the same sex does not alter. As of July , the states of Rhode Island ,   Nevada ,  Connecticut ,  New Mexico ,  Vermont ,    California , New Jersey , New York by regulation instead , Illinois  and Oregon ,     as well as the District of Columbia have enacted bans on sexual orientation change efforts with minors. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt declared that the issue is one for the states as no Commonwealth funding goes to sexual orientation change efforts — though "gay conversion ideology has been quietly pushed in schools as part of the federal government's chaplaincy program. Lyle Shelton , the then-head of the Australian Christian Lobby , declared that parents should have the option to send their children to gay conversion therapy, drawing strong criticism including from other Christian groups.
Drugs to change sexual preference. The Connection Between Sexual Orientation and Substance Abuse
It was just one of a number of party drugs at hand. Yet, within a year, it became his substance of choice. It increases sex drive, decreases inhibitions, makes you feel more confident. A national survey on drug use by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that gay, lesbian and bisexual people were more likely to have used illegal drugs over the past year than heterosexuals.
For gay men over age 18, 4. When Hartman started using crystal meth, he was living in New York City with a good career in advertising and an active social life. Hartman said it took almost two years before he realized crystal meth was causing problems in his life. He grew distant from friends and family. He changed jobs several times. Since he kept denying drugs and alcohol were to blame, it took a few years more before Hartman was willing to reach out for help.
He kept trying and trying without success. I had to take a close look at my relationship with sex. For me, I had to change my sexual practice pretty dramatically. While each person has to decide what that means, he said there are some suggestions to avoid triggers that can lead to using, such as hookup apps. For Hartman, it would be the seventh try at recovery. He moved from New York to Minnesota for treatment. It was there he heard another addict tell his story — and it clicked.
In particular, he listened as the man explained how he had been able to disconnect sex and crystal meth use. That story gave Hartman the hope and the motivation he needed to get sober. Hartman has been sober now for more than 11 years. Paul, Minn. Not everyone is willing or able to commit to total abstinence from crystal meth. Valentine rejects the notion that harm reduction efforts like Re-Charge enable the meth user.
Skip to content. Crystal meth use has had serious consequences, especially for gay men living in a culture seen stereotypically as highly sexualized. Getty Images. Both Mohning and Agosto say gay men can feel pressured to be fit, attractive and young. And that can be a real challenge for meth users seeking recovery. Latest Living. Student 'geek squads' maintain school devices and help teachers.
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