A Longitudinal Study of Attempted Religiously Mediated Sexual Orientation Change

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Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (Impact Factor: 1.27). 10/2011; 37(5):404-27. DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.607052
Source: PubMed


The authors conducted a quasi-experimental longitudinal study spanning 6-7 years examining attempted religiously mediated sexual orientation change from homosexual orientation to heterosexual orientation. An initial sample was formed of 72 men and 26 women who were involved in a variety of Christian ministries, with measures of sexual attraction, infatuation and fantasy, and composite measures of sexual orientation and psychological distress, administered longitudinally. Evidence from the study suggested that change of homosexual orientation appears possible for some and that psychological distress did not increase on average as a result of the involvement in the change process. The authors explore methodological limitations circumscribing generalizability of the findings and alternative explanations of the findings, such as sexual identity change or adjustment.

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Available from: Mark A. Yarhouse, Mar 16, 2015
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    • "Little research has been done on either the benefits or harm of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; American Psychological Association, 2009). In published reports by SOCE advocates , the majority who try to change do not and it is not uncommon to overstate claims of benefits while concerns about possible harm are minimized or dismissed (Jones & Yarhouse, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper was presented at a 2013 conference at the United Nations Church Center in New York City. The conference, “Selling the Promise of Change: International Health and Policy Consequences of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE),” was sponsored by the NGO Committee on Human Rights and the NGO Committee on HIV/AIDS. The paper begins with a review of the history of mental health attitudes toward homosexuality from the 19th century to the present. This is followed by a discussion of how SOCE shifted from a clinical debate to a culture war issue. The paper then reviews some research issues raised by the Spitzer (2003) study, some of the problematic clinical and ethical issues raised by efforts to change sexual orientation, and concludes with a summary of the position statements of the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association.
    Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health 01/2015; 19(1):84-93. DOI:10.1080/19359705.2014.944460
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    • "The unspecified type of individual therapy was coded far more frequently (132 times) than the second most frequent type of therapy (27 times), and the average amount of time between termination of the last reorientation therapy episode and the interview was 12 years. Jones and Yarhouse (2011) reported results from a longitudinal (6–7 years) study of 98 people who had undergone reorientation therapy. Although the purpose of this study was to investigate whether changes in sexual orientation are possible and whether the process of changing one's sexual orientation is harmful, the authors make a distinction between mental health professionals who offer psychotherapy intended to change one's sexual orientation and religious organizations that utilize a combination of " spiritual and psychological methods " (p. "
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    ABSTRACT: While the topic of sexual reorientation therapy, that is, therapy intended to change one's sexual orientation from lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) to heterosexual, is not a new one, there is renewed interest in reorientation therapy. While most of the debate surrounding this controversial practice has focused on whether or not it should be banned, relatively few studies exist that detail what the process of reorientation therapy entails. The purpose of this investigation was to find out more about the typical modalities and interventions of reorientation therapy. Participants were 38 individuals who had gone through at least one episode of reorientation therapy and later reclaimed a LGB identity (113 total episodes). Participants’ open-ended responses to questions about their therapy experiences were coded into broader themes, and participants selected from a list of possible treatment methods that were used in their most recent intervention experience. Results indicated that frequently used reorientation interventions had a strong emphasis on religious practices, often included negative messages about LGB individuals, and had a greater emphasis on change than on validation techniques. Some participants recounted practices that are inconsistent with the ethical guidelines for mental health professionals. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
    Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health 04/2013; 17(3):2013. DOI:10.1080/19359705.2013.773268
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    ABSTRACT: This commentary highlights current policy issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in the US with implications for mental and behavioral health care and social work services. These issues include conversion or reparative therapies, especially for young people, and conscience clauses that may exempt some students and practitioners from serving LGBTQ people and their families. While not a “policy” per se, emerging knowledge about health disparities that affect LGBTQ people will also be summarized because of its relevance to practice; many of these concern mental health and behavioral health. Finally, some resources for making health care organizations more responsive to the needs of LGBT people are identified.
    Clinical Social Work Journal 09/2013; 41(3). DOI:10.1007/s10615-013-0454-1 · 0.27 Impact Factor
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