Ex Gays? An Extended Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation
The authors followed 72 men and 26 women over 7 years who were attempting to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual via religiously mediated programs. The aims of the study were to determine if change in orientation was possible and whether or not such change was inherently harmful.
- 23% regarded themselves as having converted to heterosexuality.
- 30% lived celibate and no longer engaged in homosexual behaviour
- 16% were ‘continuing’ with 7% non-responders and 5% ‘confused’
- 20% regarded program as failure and reverted to gay identity.
- There was no evidence that the attempt to change orientation was harmful in and of itself.
While the study does not prove that EVERYONE can change, it proves that saying that NO ONE can change is incorrect. Also, attempting to change one’s orientation BY CHOICE is not necessarily harmful. There are individuals who for moral, ethical or religious reasons are distressed by their same sex attraction and these people deserve to have the right to explore the possibility that they can seek professional qualified help to change this attraction. The authors note: In conclusion, the findings of this study would appear to contradict the commonly expressed view of the mental health establishment that sexual orientation is not changeable and that the attempt to change is highly likely to produce harm for those who make such an attempt’
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