Copyright © 2011 by and Gary Konecky

The issue of changing sexual orientation is very important to those who preach demonization of the LGBTI community.  If they can convince people that sexual orientation is not an orientation, but a lifestyle (a choice), then they can justify the hate they preach.  They can then continue their campaigns:

·        Opposing civil rights

·        Opposing same sex marriage

·        Calling for discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and medical care

·        Opposing hate crime legislation

If one the other hand, sexual orientation cannot be changed, then discrimination and hate crimes are wrong.  Therefore, we must ask, can sexual orientation be changed?  Does reparative therapy work?  Does conversion therapy work?  Is a same sex attraction a mental illness as some religious leaders claim?  Is sexual orientation a choice?  Do lesbians and gays recruit children because they do not reproduce as claimed by clergy who demonize the LGBTI community?

Lets look at the scientific evidence:

The American Psychological Association concluded Wednesday that there is little evidence that efforts to change a person's sexual orientation from gay or lesbian to heterosexual are effective. 

In addition, the 138-page report -- covering 87 peer-reviewed studies -- said that such efforts may cause harm.

"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, chairwoman of the task force that presented the report at the group's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. The Washington-based association represents more than 150,000 members.

"At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."

Nor is this a new issue as shown from the following 1999 American Medical Association (AMA) resolution:

 [Resolution: 9 (I-99) American Medical Association, October 1999... Subject: Development of a Policy Statement on Sexual Orientation Reparative (Conversion) Therapy...

Whereas, Numerous organizations have recently used mass media such as newspapers and television to make dubious claims about changing the sexual orientation of homosexual individuals through prayer and other means; and

Whereas, The studies by Evelyn Hooker and Marvin Siegelman did not reveal any differences in psychopathological tendencies or neuroticism between homosexual and heterosexual subjects; and

Whereas, The aforementioned studies above and others findings were the basis for the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1973, with the American Psychological Association to follow with a similar action two years later; and

Whereas, A review by Douglas Haldeman revealed that homosexual subjects who have undergone reparative (conversion) therapy failed treatment, since such subjects who had supposedly converted to heterosexuality still demonstrated sexual attraction to the same gender; and

Whereas, The film documentary One Nation Under God exposed the programs of reparative (conversion) therapy organizations to be fraudulent and inductive of psychological scarring in patients who have tried it; and ...

Whereas, The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of Social Workers, all have policy and position statements condemning reparative (conversion) therapy either as harmful, ineffective, or unethical, or discusses the issue of societal homophobia as the real cause of a patient's discomfort with his or her sexual orientation rather than trying to change sexual orientation itself; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the AMA does not support sexual orientation reparative (conversion) therapy, but rather supports efforts to address homophobia.]

In July 2010, the annual meeting of the British Medical Association declared that therapies to 'cure' gay people of homosexuality are harmful.

Below is a summary of some noteworthy studies of sexual orientation:

* In 1993, the National Institute of Health’s Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome (Xq28). Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome.
- Hamer DH, Hu S, Magnuson VL, Hu N. and Pattatucci AML. A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science 1993; 261:320-326.

* A June 2006 Canadian study published in the journal, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” said that nature, instead of nurture, explains the origins of homosexuality. The study’s author, Prof. Anthony F. Bogaert, at Brock University in Ontario, explored the causes behind what is known as the fraternal birth order. The research showed a correlation between the number of biological older brothers a man has and his sexual orientation. Dividing his sample of more than 900 heterosexual and homosexual men into four groups, Bogaert examined the impact of all types of older brothers, including step and adopted siblings, and the amount of time brothers spent together while growing up.His research found that only the number of biological brothers had an impact on sexuality, regardless of whether the boys were raised together.
- Bogaert, A.F. 2006. Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 July 11 2006.

* A study released in May 2006 by Swedish scientists demonstrates that biology plays a key role in determining a person’s sexuality. The research shows that the portion of the brain that helps regulate sexuality – the hypothalamus – reacted the exact same way in straight women and gay men when exposed to male pheromones, which are chemicals designed to provoke a behavior, such as sexual arousal. The same area of the brain only became stimulated in heterosexual men when introduced to female pheromones.
- by Ivanka Savic article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) “Brain Response To Putative Pheromones In Homosexual Men,” (Vol. 102 No. 19) May 10, 2005.

* In 2005, Dr. Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois at Chicago published a study in the esteemed biomedical journal Human Genetics, claiming he identified three chromosomal regions linked to sexual orientation in men: 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26.
- “A Genomewide Scan of Male Sexual Orientation”, Human Genetics, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 272-278, 2005.

* In 2003, University of Texas psychoacoustics specialist Dennis McFadden found that when measuring the way the brain reacts to sound, lesbians fell in between heterosexual men and straight women, suggesting they might be exposed to higher than normal levels of male hormone in utero.
- Loehlin, John C.; McFadden, David. “Otoacoustic emissions, auditory evoked potentials, and traits related to sex and sexual orientation”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 1 April 2003.

* In 2003, University of Liverpool biologist John T. Manning found that the lesbians whom he studied have a hand pattern that resembles a man’s more than a straight female’s. Manning concluded from his study that this “strongly tells us that female homosexuals have had higher levels of exposure to testosterone before birth.”
- Neave, N., Laing, S., Fink, B., Manning, J.T (2003) Second to fourth digit ratio, testosterone, and perceived male dominance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Lond), 270, 2167-2172.

* A 1991 study by Dr. Simon LeVay found that a specific region of the hypothalamus is twice as large in heterosexual men as it is in women or gay men. This strongly points the role of biology in sexual orientation.
- Levay, Simon “A difference in hypothalamic structure between homosexual and heterosexual men” Science. 1991 Volume 253, Issue 5023, pp. 1034-1037.

* Another 1991 study by scientists Richard Pillard and John M. Baily studied homosexuality among brothers and found that 53 percent of identical twins were both gay. In adoptive brothers, 11 percent were both homosexual. Of non-twin biological siblings, 9 percent were gay. Again, this points to solid evidence that homosexuality is a matter of nature.
- Bailey JM, Pillard RC (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1089-1096.

* The JUN/JUL 2006 issue of Seed Magazine points out that at least 450 vertebrate species engage in homosexual behavior.
- Lehrer, Jonah. “The Gay Animal kingdom” Seed Magazine. Jun/Jul 2006.

Source for the above listing of scientific studies:

Furthermore, reparative or conversion therapy has been condemned by:

·        American Psychiatric Association

·        American Psychological Association

·        American Medical Association

·        American Counseling Association

·        American Academy of Pediatrics

·        National Association of Social Workers

Source for the above list:

And what of the studies that contradict the above? 

A national group that advocates “treatment” of homosexuality is being criticized for allegedly distorting a Utah researcher’s work to advance the theory that people choose their sexual orientation - a controversial notion rejected by mainstream psychology.


Professor Gary Remafedi, M.D., of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota called on James Dobson of Focus on the Family to correct “gross misrepresentations” of his research in a letter sent to the religious right group on Wednesday. Remafedi is the latest in a long line of researchers who have demanded that Dobson and Focus on the Family correct inaccurate references to their research, citations that are often used to create a false and negative impression of gays and lesbians.


The following is a partial list of experts who have accused the ex-gay movement and religious right of distorting or grossly misrepresenting the results of their research:

Dr. Lisa Diamond
University of Utah, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Dr. Carol Gilligan
Professor of education and law at New York University and author of In a Different Voice

Angela Phillips
Professor, Goldsmiths College in London, and Author of “The Trouble With Boys”

Dr. Kyle Pruett
Professor of child psychiatry, the Yale University School of Medicine, and author of Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc

Associate professor, school of nursing, University of British Columbia

Dr. Robert Spitzer

Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University

Dr. Judith Stacy

Professor of sociology, New York University

Additionally, Former head of the Human Genome Project and current director of the venerable National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins has repeatedly complained that his scientific research has been distorted by the homophobic group ACPED.  NARTH has responded by attacking Dr. Collins for defending his work.

We are taught in Exodus 23:7:  Distance yourself from a false matter; and do not kill a truly innocent person or one who has been declared innocent, for I will not vindicate a guilty person.”  

Recently, an article entitled Religious right leader admits to using bad research to demonize gay community, sees nothing wrong with it was published at  That article was published after the well-respected Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed several prominent religious right organizations as hate groups.  One of the reasons cited by the SPLC was the deliberately distorted research used by these religious right hate groups to justify their hate. 

Yet even after the SPLC listed these religious right hate groups because of their distortion of scientific research, we had yet another incident of a religious right, conversion therapy organization, yet again being cited for distortion of scientific research: 

Dr. Gary Remafedi, director of the Youth and AIDS Projects and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, sent a letter Monday to Apple founder Steven Jobs and its interim CEO, Tim Cook, about the Exodus International app.

Remafedi wrote that the app "erroneously cites my research in support of claims that homosexuality can be changed. ... Associating my work with that of the ex-gay ministry and other unfounded treatments is professionally injurious and grievous."

In an interview Monday, he said Exodus' app falsely cites his research as saying the young people are "confused" about their sexual orientation.

It appears the Religious Right is deliberately lying in regard to their claims about sexual orientation being a choice that can be changed through therapy.  If they are as religious as they claim, isn’t lying a sin that they should be refraining from committing?  Furthermore, as their lie contributes to violence and murder of gays and lesbians, are they not indirectly killing an innocent people?  Are these not sins? 

Lastly, if there is valid scientific evidence supporting the religious rights’ claims of sexual orientation being a choice, then why do they need to deliberately distort the evidence to suit their position?

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