Shedding Light on the Gay Issue

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Part 5/9 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

Is Change Possible?

The popular notion that SSA is unchangeable (“because it is genetic”) is also part of the gay political agenda. Here again, even if a genetic/temperamental factor is found to be associated with homosexuality, it would still not necessarily mean that it is unchangeable.

There is often a tendency to assume that, if a behavior pattern is related to a biologically based temperament, the pattern is unchangeable…. The fallacy of this assumption is well documented in many areas of psychology…. changes in a child’s psychosocial context can clearly alter how his or her temperament is manifested. (Frick & Loney, 2002 p. 122)

The fact that overcoming SSA is indeed difficult and is often only achieved imperfectly, with incidences of relapse, is also cited as evidence of the unchangeable nature of sexual orientation, thus making the apparent change not authentic. This claim is absurd! All psychological problems are difficult to change. Is it easy to help someone improve his self-esteem? Is it easy to help someone develop confidence? Or to overcome years of abuse? When the person makes progress, do we belittle his progress because he is still struggling? And if he improves with his issue 90 percent, do we not see this as a tremendous success even though vestiges of his problem remain? 12-step programs are considered by many to be the gold standard for treatment of addiction, yet they are very far from 100 percent effective and there is significant relapse. Why is the treatment of SSA held to standards so ridiculous, illogical and dramatically different than the standards to which other areas of psychotherapy are held to? Only because of a political agenda, it seems.

This political agenda has become obvious in the reaction of radical gay activists to scientists who report research findings contrary to the gay agenda. Dr. Robert Spitzer, the prominent Columbia University psychiatrist, was the architect of the 1973 American Psychiatric Association’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders. This decision was based, to a large degree, on the belief that homosexuality was an unchangeable part of the person’s basic makeup. Recently, Dr. Spitzer restudied the issue, interviewing many people who successfully underwent therapy for homosexuality. He then made the following public statement:
I am convinced from the people I have interviewed, that many of them… have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual… I think that’s news… I came to the study skeptical. I now claim that these changes can be sustained.

The gay activists responded to this statement, not with reasoned debate, or by challenging his findings on scientific grounds. Rather he was maligned and vilified by gay activists and the politically correct. Therapists have had as much success helping people overcome SSA as they have had helping them overcome other psychological problems. The probability of success with treating SSA is dependent on the same factors (motivation, hope, support, resources, insight, etc.) that success in psychotherapy is always dependent on. So, while it would be inaccurate and unethical to suggest that overcoming SSA is easy, it is equally inaccurate and unethical to say that it is impossible.

One important factor that I find contributes to the difficulty of helping someone overcome homosexuality is the degree to which he has become involved with gay organizations. My understanding of this is that many people with this issue had always felt rejected by their overly critical parents (for reasons unrelated to SSA). The yearning for acceptance had therefore become a primary motivator in their life. When they began to experience SSA they had begun to feel like even bigger outcasts (even if no one else knew about it), intensifying the need for acceptance. When they “came out” and most often experienced even more overt rejection, or at least disapproval, the longing for approval became focused almost exclusively on being accepted as gay, since in their own minds this was their most glaring defect. When the gay community embraces them with an unconditional acceptance that they may be experiencing for the first time, the pull can be intense and very resistant to any intervention even when the SSA is primarily unwanted and egodystonic.

Single page