Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Examiner Reports on the New Curricula

Pretty good story in The Examiner yesterday about the new curriculum. I'll snip a few pieces for your reading enjoyment:
How to teach high schoolers about sexual orientation is at the center of a sizzling debate in the Montgomery County public school system.

On one side is a small but very loud contingent of conservative voices screaming that ex-gays should be studied and that the topic of bisexuality be left off the table.

But a far larger group of parents and community members are defending the proposed lessons as crucial talking points that teach high schoolers about tolerance and acceptance. Sex education teachings a hot debate

Let me say something here. I am not a person who thinks that the majority is necessarily right, in anything. You don't vote on whether a statement is true or not. But this isn't that. This is a matter of values. Is Montgomery County the kind of place that tries to stuff gay people back into the closet, or is it the kind of place that accepts them, as neighbors and equals in the community?

The reason the "far larger group" is defending the lessons is because they reflect the values of our community. Doubters are encouraged to refer back to the results of the recent elections.
Last week a special committee, assembled to look over the proposed sex education curriculum, gave its approval to the eighth and 10th grade lesson plans. Now the superintendent and school board will take their turns looking over, not only the committee’s recommendations, but opposing groups’ suggestions.

I'm not sure what this means. The "opposing groups" were represented on the committee. The committee recommendations include their inputs. We sat there and listened to them, and voted on every one of the things they proposed. The school board isn't now going to look at two sets of suggestions.
John Garza, vice president of the religious-based group Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and the attorney who filed suit against the school district, said his main objection to the curriculum is that it encourages high schoolers to self-label at a very young age.

Heh. Garza's still using his old notes. There's nothing at all that encourages any student to "self-label."

I don't think he's even looked at the curriculum. He's still saying the same stuff he said the last time around. And it wasn't true then. He's hoping to get the same knee-jerk response they got last time, out of the same sourpuss bunch of complainers, whining about the deviants and the sodomites.

It gets old, Johnny. A sensible person would find something else to complain about.
One part that particularly irks Garza and other conservatives is when, taking a literal page from a California textbook, students are asked to read vignettes about five fictionalized teenagers’ personal struggles.

“Esperanza,” for example, speaks of knowing from a young age that she wanted to marry the beautiful princess, not the prince. And the entry about “Michael” says he found the strength to “come out” after watching a TV show about a gay athlete.

In Garza’s view, “if you read between the lines, it’s encouraging youngsters to come out as sexual beings and engage in sex.”

So here you can see how we get to the point that the nuts want to bleep the bleeping. There's nothing in the text to complain about, but "between the lines," yeah, that's the ticket, that's where the bad stuff is.

People, nothing in the vignettes suggests that either Esperanza or Michael have "engaged in sex." That's the point -- it's not about having sex.

Look, face it, this is ridiculous. Let's not humor these guys. Let them get their lawyers, let them file their absurd lawsuits, let them lose, and let's move on. This is all getting dreary and predictable.

Here's how the Examiner story ends:
Yet parent and pediatrician Dr. Carol Plotsky, who chaired the special committee, said that’s far from the desired objective.

“This is not about sexual activity or about behavior; this is about feelings. So what was very important to bring out that — whether you’re homosexual or heterosexual — it’s who you choose to care about, to be emotionally involved with,” Plotsky said. “This is not a curriculum that says go out and have sex.”

Of course it's not. The CRC sees everything as porn. They are incapable of seeing sexuality in terms of feelings, in terms of loving, it's all porn to them. "Between the lines" there's all kinds of dirty stuff, it's just that the rest of us don't see it.

The Examiner gave the CRC a chance to put their boilerplate, talking-in-their-sleep spin on this. But there's no opening for them. The school district was careful this time, there's nothing they can say about this.

It encourages kids to have sex? Where? It doesn't, that's where.

24 Comments:

Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Why do they oppose mentioning bisexuality?

November 21, 2006 11:22 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

I admit, I had not heard that one before.

Maybe they didn't like the part between the "bi" and the "uality."

JimK

November 21, 2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

My guess is that they all fear being labelled bisexuals, should someone get around to noticing. A pre-emptive strike, so to speak. Reverend Ted, we all now know, is gay. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he has truly loved his wife. That makes him bi. That's fine by me, but the CRC crowd simply cannot accept that.

But Jim is correct, too. Anything with the word "sex" inserted within it is anathema and speaks to their pornographic desires and fears.

November 21, 2006 5:49 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I was joking with a guy the other day about how funny a bisexual ex-gay would be. Like, I'm not gay any more, I go out with women sometimes, and guys.

I don't know, it just seemed funny. Somehow I don't think it would have quite the appeal.

JimK

November 21, 2006 9:57 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

This just in...

Gender-bending boy fruit flies fight like girls

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061119/
sc_nm/science_flies_dc_1

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a study that sheds light on the biology of aggression, scientists swapped genes in gender-bending fruit flies to make boys fight like girls and girls fight like boys.

And Dana writes,

Reverend Ted, we all now know, is gay.

"We"??? Please, you and all other TTF'ers want to believe that that is a fact, but to know something like that would take first hand and direct knowledge. Care to share it with the rest of us?

Could Brother Ted be gay or bi? Sure, but I will patiently wait that verdict, rather than projecting my hopes and fears as some here seem so eager to do.

November 22, 2006 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A conservative group that had called on supporters to boycott Wal-Mart 's post-Thanksgiving day sales to protest the retailer's support of gay-rights groups withdrew its objections Tuesday, saying the company had agreed to stay away from controversial causes.

The American Family Association, which had been asking supporters to stay away from Wal-Mart on Friday and Saturday - two of the busiest shopping days of the year - said it was pleased by a statement the company issued Tuesday.

Wal-Mart said in its statement that it "will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers."

November 22, 2006 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The school district was careful this time, there's nothing they can say about this."

Yes, they're always careful. Like when they reformulated their flyer distribution policy to engage in the same bias they had been found guilty of previously. The judge say through it.

This is the problem they'll have in court with the sex-ed curriculum. Their intent has already by unmasked in a previous court ruling. When their new stab at complying with state law has the same effect, they'll have an uphill fight convincing the court their intent was not the same.

Their intent, by the way, is to normalize homosexuality in the minds of the next generation. Nothing scientific about it. It's a value judgment and it conflicts with the values of most societies throughout the world today and throughout history.

November 22, 2006 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, those Democrats are on an ethical roll. They were elected a few weeks ago to clean up corruption.

The first thing they did was give 80-some votes to a unindicted co-conspirator in the Absacm scandal for majority leader.

Now comes word that Alcee Hastings, a Democrat who serves in Congress despite being one of only six judges in history to be removed by impeachment (he was convicted of taking bribes) is Pelosi's pick to head up the intelligence committee.

What's next? Congressman William Jefferson on a special panel to investigate corruption in Washington?

Way to set a new tone, Democrats!

November 22, 2006 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yet parent and pediatrician Dr. Carol Plotsky, who chaired the special committee, said that’s far from the desired objective.

“This is not about sexual activity or about behavior; this is about feelings. So what was very important to bring out that — whether you’re homosexual or heterosexual — it’s who you choose to care about, to be emotionally involved with,” Plotsky said. “This is not a curriculum that says go out and have sex.”"

I thought the sex ed curriculum was supposed to be about sex. Silly me. All this hullabaloo about guys that just want to hang out with other guys. The kids probably had no idea you could "care about" someone of the same gender.

November 22, 2006 7:43 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

OK, Orin,

Let me tackle this. Mr. Haggard had sexual relations with a man. That's one definition of being gay, or, as so many of the Anon's like to say, a homosexual. Do we agree about that?

Secondly, he wrote in his confession and apology to his congregation that he had been fighting these impulses his entire life. That means that he has felt sexual desire for men his entire sexual life. That's another definition of gay, the part about "feelings" regarding one's identity.

Then I said I will accept that he truly loves his wife, and he apparently had enough sexual intercourse with her to father five children. That makes him bisexual, both in practice and desire.

So what, pray tell, is so difficult about that? Behaviorally speaking he's bisexual. end of story. Speaking of desire, if we take him at his word -- I have been fighting this my entire life + I love my wife -- then he is also bisexual.

Why is this so hard for you to admit?

What I will admit to is that I have no idea about the relative painting skills of you and you wife. That was a guess based on your remarks, and just a bit of fun. But Haggard -- no, if you can't believe all that you really can delude yourself about anything.

November 22, 2006 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Secondly, he wrote in his confession and apology to his congregation that he had been fighting these impulses his entire life."

Did he? I thought it was more vague than that.

November 22, 2006 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

Anon said, Did he? I thought it was more vague than that.

Often what people "think" about something is wrong, Anon. That's why we encourage MCPS to Teach The Facts.

Here's an excerpt from the letter Ted Haggard had read to his congregation at the New Life Church on November 5, 2006 emphasis added:

"...I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.

Through the years, I’ve sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving to be effective in me. Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint them...
"

www.newlifechurch.org/TedHaggardStatement.pdf

November 22, 2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

http://www.slate.com/id/2153827/

The quote is "warring against it all my adult life."

November 22, 2006 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Often what people "think" about something is wrong, Anon. That's why we encourage MCPS to Teach The Facts."

Well, it was only a vague recollection. I never thought the story was as significant as TTFers apparently do. Jeez, you seem to think qualifying my impression is some kind of travesty.

Anyway, the quote you cited is not as specific as Dr Beyer was reading it. Although, I'll admit the Dr's interpretation is probably correct. Still, we haven't heard a detailed accounting and, again, I "think" the guy still says some of his accusers allegations are wrong.

November 22, 2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger andrear said...

I still boycott Walmart-I don't care if some right wing Christians support them or if they are still giving a contribution to a GBLT group. A radio show said today the "family" group couldn't pass up the Walmart holiday price breaks but that Walmart was still making a contribution to some group and had put "sexual orientation" into its human resource manual. I guess the fact that Walmart underpays employees and doesn't provide insurance is less important than whether they say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas". Make your own gifts, give to Heifer International, buy locally- just avoid Walmart!

November 22, 2006 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Anon is still spinning The first thing they did was give 80-some votes to a unindicted co-conspirator in the Absacm scandal for majority leader.

And what is the first thing House GOP members did? Other than Denny Hastert, they elected the exact same leadership they had right before their stunning election losses. Boehner was re-elected in a secret ballot, 168-27, and Blunt won in a 147-57 vote. Here's the full cast of characters the House GOP members chose to lead themselves:

House Minority Leader John Boehner: Boehner declared at the end of last month that Donald Rumsfeld is "the best thing that's happened to the Pentagon in 25 years," then followed up by suggesting earlier this month that generals on the ground, rather than Rumsfeld, are responsible for the sorry state of affairs in Iraq today.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt: Blunt argued back in 2005 that Tom DeLay was indicted in Texas "largely because of his effectiveness as a leader" and predicted that the Hammer would "return" to his job as majority leader "once this indictment is out of the way."

House Republican Conference chairman Adam Putnam: The Florida representative was heard to lament Thursday that even "white rednecks" didn't turn out to vote for the GOP last week.

House Republican Policy Committee chairman Thad McCotter: McCotter took money from both convicted GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and DeLay's ARMPAC.

Tom Cole: The Oklahoma representative said back in 2004: "I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it's that simple."

One more thing to notice about the Republicans' minority leadership: Aside from Cole, who's a Native American, there aren't any minorities -- or women -- there.


http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/11/17/housegop/index.html

Daisy

November 22, 2006 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

Anon continues, I "think" the guy still says some of his accusers allegations are wrong.

Think what you want. Here's what Ted Haggard said about his accuser:

Please forgive my accuser. He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So, forgive him and, actually, thank God for him. I am trusting that his actions will make me, my wife and family, and ultimately all of you, stronger. He didn’t violate you; I did.

www.newlifechurch.org/TedHaggardStatement.pdf

November 22, 2006 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon is still spinning"

What spinning? You mentioned several members of the Republican leadership and none were found to be taking or, discussing taking, bribes like Murtha, Hastings and Jefferson. I guess you think they are as bad because they supported George Bush. As of now, having views that differ from TTF is not a federal crime.

As of now, Americans are mighty disappointed with the Congress they recently elected- and they haven't even taken office yet.

November 22, 2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at November 22, 2006 7:02 AM said "Their intent, by the way, is to normalize homosexuality in the minds of the next generation. Nothing scientific about it. It's a value judgment and it conflicts with the values of most societies throughout the world today and throughout history. ".

Their intent is not to "normalize" being gay. The existence of gay people in all societies throughout history in the same ratio shows being gay is normal for a minority of the population. Their intent is to seek an end to the abuse of people for a behavior that harms no one. Your value of oppressing gays is in direct conflict with the value at the heart of morality - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, do whatever you want as long as you don't interfere in anyone else's right to do the same.

Just because the majority believes something doesn't make it right. At one time the majority believed the earth was flat. At one time the majority believed illness was caused by demons and best treated with bloodletting. If you think today's society is perfect in its knowledge you are sadly mistaken.

November 22, 2006 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Their intent is to seek an end to the abuse of people for a behavior that harms no one."

Whether society is harmed by this behavior is a matter of dispute. The abuse of anyone is wrong. You don't have to make a value judgment on their behavior to make that point. There is no widespread abuse of gays going on anyway.

"Your value of oppressing gays is in direct conflict with the value at the heart of morality -"

How are they being oppressed?

November 22, 2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 22, 2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, that was ignorant. Calling somone gay, fag or faggot is the most common insult around and you want to pretend hatred of gays isn't widespread. You can't turn around in a high school without hearing the hatred that's in the heart of most students. I guess you didn't see this post I made on an earlier thread:

http://fsw.ucalgary.ca/ramsay/homosexuality-suicide/05-crisis-suicide-paper.htm

The authors note: "Reasons for these elevated rates of suicidal behaviour include a climate of homophobic persecution in schools, and sometimes in family and community...The researchers used the most conservative definition of gay orientation, those who were "unsure" about sexual orientation being excluded in reported results from this YRBS. The conservatively defined group of GLBY were three times more likely than others to have been beaten in a fight to the extent they required medical attention; they were also 1.8 times more likely to have been threatened with a weapon in the past 12 months. Twice as many "felt unsafe at school most or all of the time", and twice as many had skipped school for at least a day in the past month because of these fears".

In no way is anyone harmed by committed loving supportive gay couples. To suggest that's a matter of dispute is foolish. I challenge you to show how this harms you or anyone else.

November 22, 2006 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Anon said, "the Republican leadership...none were found to be taking or, discussing taking, bribes "

Technically I suppose this statement is correct, however, the new GOP Minority Leader Boehner has a history of handing out lobbyists' checks on the House floor while business related to the lobbyists' concerns was being discussed:

In June 1995, Boehner provoked contentions of unethical conduct when he distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies. Boehner stopped handing out the checks only "after being questioned about the practice by two freshmen who’d heard about the handoff on the House floor". Rep. Linda Smith (R-WA) said of Boehner’s actions, "[I]f it is not illegal, it should be."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boehner

In addition, Boehner's apparently from the Tom Delay school of ethics that thinks it's OK for lobbyists to pay for trips for Congressmen...and their wives as long as you use the Democratless Conference Committees to get the lobbyists' wishes into the final legislation so your votes don't appear to have been bought:

He routinely has accepted trips over the past five years that were paid for by special interests and often took along his wife, Debbie. For instance, he took three trips in a single year to Florida at the expense of corporate interests.

...In the past five years, special interests have paid for 31 of Boehner's 36 recorded domestic and international trips. On 22 of those 31 privately funded trips Boehner took his wife. The average cost for each of the 31 trips was about $4,000.

Sallie Mae provided one of the three trips in 2003 to West Palm Beach, Fla.; its executives have donated more than $150,000 to Boehner since 2001.

The lender's lobbyist threw a party for Boehner on Sept. 30, 2004, with the lawmaker collecting checks from 34 of Sallie Mae's executives that day.

Seymour said Boehner did not use his committee post to benefit the lender, refusing to approve the interest rate and lending rules changes Sallie Mae wanted last year. "Any attempt to correlate their political contributions to policy is patently false on its face," Seymour said.

But Boehner later was quoted in news reports as telling an audience of lenders he had "enough rabbits up my sleeve" and many of the Sallie Mae-preferred rules were inserted in the final bill negotiated by the House and Senate.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-14-boehner-bid-for-top_x.htm

Last week, 168 of 195 (over 86%) House Republicans voted for Boehner to be their leader in the 110th Congress. No wonder Anon thinks "Americans are mighty disappointed with the Congress they recently elected." With the same old GOP leadership (minus Hastert) as the 109th, of course Americans are disappointed. The GOP apparently didn't learn a thing on November 7, 2006.

Daisy

November 22, 2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another segment of Dr. Haldeman's review of conversion therapy research. This segment focuses on religiously based conversion programs.

RELIGION BASED CONVERSION PROGRAMS

Apart from the efforts of the scientific community, the primary proponents of sexual orientation change have been pastors and religiously-oriented lay persons. This is of concern to psychology because of the unprofessional and unethical nature of some of these “spiritual” treatments. Further, an increasing number of mental health professionals are serving as referral sources to fundamentalist Christian groups promising to change the sexual orientation of many unhappy lesbians and gay men.

The professionalism and ethics of this practice are highly questionable. It has been shown that those gay men most likely to be inclined toward doctrinaire religious practice are also likely to have lower self-concepts, to see homosexuality as more “sinful,” to feel a greater sense of apprehension about negative responses from others, and to be more depressed in general (Weinberg & Williams, 1975). [Read Ted Haggard's letter and see how right this summary is: www.newlifechurch.org/TedHaggardStatement.pdf ] Such individuals make vulnerable targets for the “ex-gay” ministries, as they are known. Their testimonials, therefore, are the most suspect relative to the efficacy of the pastoral conversion programs in which they enroll; nevertheless, it is such testimonials that form the basis of most claims for “successful conversion” via religious means.

Fundamentalist Christian groups, such as Homosexuals Anonymous, Metanoia Ministries, Love In Action, Exodus International, and EXIT of Melodyland are the most visible purveyors of conversion therapy. The workings of these groups are well documented by Blair (1982). In this work, agents of sexual orientation change are characterized as nonprofessional individuals, many of whom are themselves intensely troubled by conflicts regarding their own homosexuality. Their programs are understandably reluctant to provide outcome data, simply stating that they have received numerous testimonials from satisfied counselees. Blair states that although many of these practitioners publicly promise “change,” they privately acknowledge that celibacy is the realistic goal to which homosexuals must aspire. Furthermore, more than one religious group leader has “fallen from grace” for having sex with clients who are themselves in treatment for conversion of sexual orientation.

Perhaps the most notorious of these is Colin Clark. Clark is a pastor whose counseling program, Quest, led to the development of Homosexuals Anonymous, the largest antigay fundamentalist counseling organization in the world. The work of Clark, his ultimate demise, and the subsequent cover-up by the Seventh Day Adventist church, are described by sociologist Ronald Lawson (1987). Lawson characterizes Clark as a troubled homosexual man who had lost a highly visible pastorate in Manhattan as a result of promiscuous homosexual behavior. Celebrating his lack of professional counseling credentials, he discovered a market for ministering to self-doubting, conflicted, homosexual men. This led to his rapprochement with the Seventh Day Adventist church, and the founding of his Quest Ministries in Reading, Pennsylvania. Through the seven years’ operation of his organization, approximately 200 people received “reorientation counseling” from Clark, his wife, and an associate. From this organization sprang Homosexuals Anonymous, a 14-step program based on Alcoholics Anonymous.

Lawson (1987), in attempting to research the efficacy of Clark’s program, was denied access to counselees on the basis of confidentiality. Nonetheless, he managed to interview 14 clients, none of whom reported any change in sexual orientation. All but two reported that Clark had had sex with them during “treatment,” in the form of nude massage and mutual masturbation. The two clients excluded from this pattern of exploitation were an older male and a man who received only telephone counseling. Even the telephone counselee, however, reported that Clark had masturbated during a telephone counseling session.

When Lawson brought these facts to light, Clark resigned his ministry; the church, however, refused to acknowledge the abuses of Clark’s “pastoral care,” or to make restitution for the damage done. Now, after what he described as a period of his own “successful rehabilitation,” Clark is attempting to rejuvenate his ministry to homosexuals.

The tradition of conflicted homosexual pastors using their ministries to gain sexual access to vulnerable gay people is as long-standing as the conversion movement itself. Ralph Blair, in his 1982 monograph Ex-gay, reports on one of the first “Ex-Gay” programs, Liberation in Jesus Christ. This program was founded by Guy Charles, who had claimed a heterosexual conversion subsequent to his acceptance of Christ; he was assisted in his ministry by a charismatic Episcopal church in Virginia. Charles was promoted through the evangelical world as no longer gay, and that God had removed “the lusts, the desires, and the act” (Blair, 1982, p. 6). Charles’s claim that homosexuality is a choice, and his plan to “divest...homosexual desires” were called into question, however, when several who had sought the “ex-gay” experience through Liberation in Jesus Christ complained that Charles was having sex with them in the context of the conversion “treatments.” Blair states:

“He [Charles] was telling these seekers that the homosexual experiences they were having with him were not “homosexual” but ”Jonathan and David” relationships. The seekers, many of whom were “seeking” against their own will because they had been sent to Charles by a church or their parents, were quite cooperative in such “Jonathan and David” relationships. The Episcopal Church, which housed Liberation in Jesus Christ, kicked Charles out, convinced he was a fraud.” (Blair, 1982, p. 7)

One of the most notable claims for the spiritual “cure” of homosexuality was advanced by Dr. E. Mansell Pattison, a psychiatrist, and his wife Myrna Loy (credentials not specified) (Pattison & Pattison, 1980). They reported that within a “supernatural framework,” utilizing “generic methods of change common to folk therapy,” some 11 male subjects had changed from homosexual to heterosexual. As with almost all other conversion studies, successful outcome was defined as capacity for heterosexual intercourse. This is not equivalent to the Pattisons’ claim of “complete orientation reversal.”

Nonetheless, the Pattisons have continued to advertise their “method” as a cure for homosexuality, despite the numerous methodological problems with their study. Foremost, the sample of 11 subjects was culled from a group of 30 “ex-gays” who had sought treatment from the charismatic self-help group, EXIT of Melodyland. The 30, however, are but 10% of the 300 total “dissatisfied” homosexuals who had initially requested treatment. The Pattisons do not explain the basis upon which 270 subjects were excluded from the study, but the presumption is that this 90% were not successfully treated. Nor do they explain why 19 others of the 30 presumable “treatment successes” declined interviews. The inherent sampling bias of 11 of 30 (preselected according to indeterminate criteria from 300) renders highly questionable any resulting data. The Pattisons’ therapeutic method is inadequately explained; only vague references to spiritual issues and group support describe how their “conversions” took place.

The Pattisons defined “successful treatment” as an exclusive shirt in sexual orientation. Nevertheless, despite their own criteria, their data indicate that only 3 of the 11 (of 300) subjects report no current homosexual desires, fantasies, or impulses, and that one of the three is listed as still being “incidentally homosexual.” Of the other 8, several indicate ongoing “neurotic conflict” about their homosexual impulses. Though six of these men have married heterosexually, two admit to more than incidental homosexual ideation as an ongoing issue. Blair reports that when confronted with the apparent inconsistency of claiming exclusive heterosexual shirt yet having ongoing homosexual fantasies, Pattison indicated that he thought such fantasies were normal, especially after a fight with one’s wife! (Blair, 1982, p. 34). Heterosexual marriage is not equivalent to sexual orientation change, since it has been reported that some 20% of gay men marry at least once (Bell and Weinberg, 1978). From a religious perspective, Blair (1982) cites other Christian theologians, such as evangelistic psychiatrist Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, who is skeptical about converting homosexuals. Those who can function heterosexually, according to Barnhouse, simply are demonstrating that “the physiology of their sexual apparatus is in good working order,” and that the fundamentalist demand for celibacy in homosexuals is an “unreasonable and cruel” demand. The Pattison data present an unconvincing picture of heterosexual conversion following a treatment program that is poorly described to being with, and founded upon ill-defined constructs.

Recently, founders of yet another prominent “ex-gay” ministry, Exodus International, denounced their conversion therapy procedures as ineffective. Michael Busse and Gary Cooper, cofounders of Exodus and lovers for 13 years, were involved with the organization from 1976 to 1979. The program was described by these men as “ineffective...not one person was healed.” They stated that the program often exacerbated already prominent feelings of guilt and personal failure among the counselees; many were driven to suicidal thoughts as a result of the failed “reparative therapy” (Newswatch Briefs, 1990).

The fundamentalist Christian approaches to conversion treatments have been characterized by a host of problems, ranging from lack of empirical support to the sexually predatory behavior of some counselors, such as Clark and Charles. To exacerbate the potential harm done to naive, shame-ridden counselees, many of these programs operate under the formidable auspices of the Christian church, and outside the jurisdiction of any professional organization that might impose ethical standards of practice and accountability on them.


http://www.drdoughaldeman.com/doc/ScientificExamination.pdf

November 22, 2006 1:47 PM  

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