Skip to comments.New Study Finds Christian Counseling Effectively Assists Leaving Homosexual Life-Style
Posted on 09/22/2007 12:25:11 AM PDT by monomaniac
By Meg Jalsevac
NASHVILLE, September 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study, entitled the Exodus Project and conducted by two psychologists, has determined that, through "religiously mediated means", it is possible for homosexual individuals to leave their old lifestyle and embrace the heterosexual lifestyle. The study also determined that, contrary to mainstream scientific thought, the effort to change one's inclinations away from homosexuality does not appear to be psychologically problematic.
In the words of the authors themselves, "The study is the first on the subject of sexual orientation change to be done in accordance with rigorous scientific and ethical standards, and it is the first to produce reliable hard data on whether it is possible to change sexual orientation through the interventions delivered by religious ministry organizations."
The study authors are Mark A. Yarhouse, a professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia and Stanton L. Jones, professor of psychology at Wheaton College in Illinois.
All participants of the study received counseling through Exodus International, a Christian organization focused on ministering to individuals who want to or have left the homosexual lifestyle.
The final results of the study show that, by the study's conclusion, 38% of the participants had successfully left the homosexual lifestyle (either changed to a heterosexual lifestyle or embraced chastity despite their homosexual inclinations). Another 29 percent demonstrated only partial success in departing from the homosexual way of life but vowed to keep up their efforts. Of the remaining numbers, only 8 percent reverted to an active homosexual life.
The timing of this study's release is especially poignant as the American Psychological Association (APA) continues to appoint largely 'gay-affirmative' individuals to the newly formed Task Force on Appropriate Responses to Sexual Orientation. According to the APA website, the official position of the APA is that homosexuality is neither a choice nor a changeable characteristic.
Dr. Jones expressed hope that the results of the new study could at least spark scientific discussion on the matter. "We hope our research will say to people, 'Slow down. Let's have a civil dialogue. Let's talk about people who are making autonomous adult choices about what they do.... Let's give people the opportunity to exercise their religious freedom."
While the authors are adamant that no one can be forced to change their orientation, they claim that their study offers hope to those who do want to leave the active homosexual life.
"The study goes to the heart of a debate that is raging today and that is not being investigated fairly. Is sexual orientation utterly fixed and unchanging for all persons, or is change possible for some? The strident argument that change is impossible seemed to us driven more by ideology than by science. As scientists, we were excited to tackle such a big, important question."
According to the InterVarsity Press website, Dr. A.D. Byrd of the University of Utah School of Medicine commented on the work saying, "With this landmark study, Drs. Jones and Yarhouse have made a major contribution to a controversial area. The findings from their study support the importance of client autonomy and client self-determination as therapists provide a range of options to those who seek help for unwanted same-sex attraction. The book is required reading for those interested in the best practices and evidence-based care for this clinical population."
Some critics have expressed doubt about possible bias in the study results since both authors are Christians themselves - possibly leading them to highlight only the positive results of their study. Similarly, the website of the APA has previously dismissed all comparable studies that claim success in assisting homosexuals to leave the lifestyle for the reason, among others, that the results "come from organizations with an ideological perspective which condemns homosexuality[...]"
The authors of the Exodus study dispel such accusations by painstakingly explaining their research process and analysis within the book. "We pledged from the beginning to publish the true findings of the study regardless of how positive or negative (for Exodus) the findings might be, and the written report is scrupulously honest about positive and negative findings, as well as about the strengths and limitations of the study."
"This study is the most scientifically rigorous to date, focusing on ninety-eight subjects thought to be representative of those seeking change through Exodus, following them prospectively (from early in the process) and longitudinally (over multiple assessments), using multiple measures regarded as "industry standards," and reporting explicitly on all aspects of the findings. Previous studies have suffered from using idiosyncratic measures of change, from looking at selective samples and from looking at subjects only at one moment in time (a cross-sectional "snapshot"). No scientific study is perfect, but this study uses the most rigorous methods to date."
Former APA President and current President of the Cummings Foundation for Behavioral Health, Nicholas Cummings said, "This study has broken new ground in its adherence to objectivity and a scientific precision that can be replicated and expanded, and it opens new horizons for investigation."
The full results of the study will be published in the coming months by InterVarsity Press in a book entitled 'Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.' According to the publisher's website, the professors "sought publication of their manuscript by nonreligious publishers, but found that those publishers would not consider the project due to ideological sympathies with the GLBT community and fear of negative repercussions of publishing a study that would likely be spun as 'anti-gay.'"
Jones and Yarhouse have indicated that they will follow the subjects of their studies to determine the long term outcome of their study. They have expressed the hope that the scientific community will pay heed to their study results as authentic, verifiable data.
"The present study produces significant scientific evidence that sexual orientation is in fact changeable for some, and this should trigger a considerable re-examination of many of the presuppositions about sexual orientation and sexual identity that hold sway in contemporary Western culture."
On the InterVarsity website, Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy, Dr. Warren Throckmorton affirmed the significance of this new study. "While the authors fully acknowledge that change in sexual attractions did not occur for some individuals, they offer cogent and compelling reasons to believe that participation in religious ministry resulted in durable changes for others. The Jones and Yarhouse study will set the standard for all future work in this field and demands a serious reading from social scientists. For anyone interested in the study of sexuality, values and human change, this book is a must-read."
Read reviews and to order the book from InterVarsity Press:
I heard it said that sex is 99% in one’s head.
Calling captain obvious...
I don't know about 99 percent but it is undoubtedly the strongest factor. The idea that we are somehow genetically programed for our sexual desires is ridiculous in a age of strange fetishes that couldn't possibly have a genetic component.
It ain’t a lifestyle, believe me.
No one would choose to join the most despised and reviled minority in the world - ever - unless it was in their genes.
Some of us are just born that way.
I’ve got lots of friends in the community, and they can confirm this.
It’s just something some of us have to deal with, and it’d be a lot easier for them to deal with it, if the rest of the world would realize that and try to understand.
Forgiveness is the primary Christian virtue, and I don’t see enough of it some times.
“the most despised and reviled minority in the world”
I really don’t think so. Gay influence in the media, the arts, academia, and Hollywood is total, and guarantees that anyone who publically criticizes homosexuality will be harshly dealt with.
And those who declare that homosexuality is not innate but is something that can be cast off, are the objects of hatred and death threats from the “gay” community.
Here's my $.02 worth on this subject.
In a manner of speaking, I believe that homosexuals are born that way.Here's the way my thinking goes and I'll write it in the form of a resolution.
Whereas all men are born with a sin nature, and
Whereas that sin nature does manifest itself in acts of sin, and
Whereas this manifestation varies between individuals; some to this particular sin, others to another type of sin, and
Whereas God calls homosexuality a sin and does condemn them that practice it,
Therefore, homosexuality is a sin and, like all other sins, is able to being repented of, abandoned, and being forgiven of.
Conclusion: People are born sinners and in some cases homosexuality is the primary way they express/manifest that sinfulness. But they are not born into homosexuality in a way that is unchangeable.
-Do you believe that pedophiles are born that way?
-Do believe that racists are born that way?
theses are two examples of reviled minorities.
No one would choose a life of being a drug addict. No one would choose being a life of a compulsive gambler. But people do and it is not genetic.
That is a huge stretch. What sins people engage in is largely a function of environment not genetics. There might be some genetic component that makes some people more susceptible to being homosexual, but genes don't determine any sin. It is a choice. Look at some of the strange fetishes such as being urinated on, leather, wearing diaper, being whipped, etc. Are these all genetics too? If sexual desire is all genetics, they would have to be.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2)
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14)
To expound on your point, I doesn’t really matter whether homosexual behavior is genetic. As a man, I am “genetically programmed” to want to have sex with a huge variety of women. Nevertheless this would be irresponsible, and my wife expects me to restrain these appetites and channel them into marriage. This is a reasonable expectation, despite my “genetics.”
It is indeed a Christian virtue, and it is worth remembering that while the servants of Christ are imperfect, Christ is always perfect.
I am not sure that gays are the most hated minority in the world. I can think of several others that have it far worse than gays have it.
“I heard it said that sex is 99% in ones head.”
....and if such sexual thoughts last longer than 4 hours....
A study like this needs to be tested, using hard physical evidence. Interviews may well be unreliable. A suggestion is to use PET sanning as a verification technique.
The way PET scanning could be used is to measure the metabolic response,of the hypothalamus, to human pheromones. There are two suspected pheromones, one derived from testosterone and one derived from estrogen.
There is a differential response between heterosexual males and homosexual males in the response two the different pheromones. Heterosexual males will respond to the pheromone derived from estrogen, but not to the pheromone derived from testosterone. The response is reversed in homosexual males.
The procedure is to test the subjects before they enter a counseling program, then test the subjects, when they claim to be cured. That is certainly a better way to verify the results, than an interview.
I’ve heard the same arguement used to defend crackheads.
And If I recall— Jeffrey Dahmer insisted he was only
looking after the welfare of the boys that he recruited and
It is not the place of a Christian to “forgive” a homosexual, as that homosexual has not done anything directly against them..
Only God can forgive that behavior.
It is not love if a Christian says to the homosexual “you may act as you please.”
As far as people not being able to choose their sex partners, because if they could they would never choose homosexuality, is a bunch of bull.
People don’t want to behave in all sorts of ways, but they still manage to do it. No one “wants” to be a jerk, but jerks exist. No one wants to be a “drug addict”, but there are millions of them. I could go on and on.
It's natural for one to prefer ones own "tribe."
The results look consistent with those of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, from the National Association for the Reorientation Therapy for Homosexuals(NARTH).
NARTH has been doing this work for years, and fighting the APA’s directives to the contrary.
I wonder why the study’s authors would suggest it’s the first such study.
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