Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Curing" Homosexuality - Michael J. Bayly "The Wild Reed"

By Michael J. Bayly
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

Recently my friend Brian shared with me an interesting article from Scientific America. Written by Thomas Maier and entitled, “Can Psychiatrists Really ‘Cure’ Homosexuality?”, this article examines the “research” work purportedly conducted in the 1970s by William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The findings from their supposed study of homosexuals have been used for decades by right-wing religious groups (including Catholics) to support the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality.

I’ve had proponents of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality tell me that the Church and groups like Courage aren’t into “conversion” therapy. Yet as Maier points out, as recently as 2006 the Catholic Medical Association cited Masters and Johnson to support its statement that science “counters the myth that same-sex attraction is genetically predetermined and unchangeable, and offers hope for prevention and treatment.”

Closer to home, Fr. Jim Livingston, chaplain of the Courage group here in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese, stated in a February 2, 2009 letter to priests and deacons of the archdiocese that Courage (which goes by the name of “Faith in Action” in Minnesota) is “supportive of those persons who seek re-orientation of their sexual attractions through prayer and therapy.”

Courage also has an embarrassing and reprehensible connection with the largely discredited National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) - an organization that insists homosexuality is a disorder that is not only chosen, but can be changed through effort. NARTH’s findings and methodology are seldom, if ever, offered to peer-reviewed journals for critical analysis. In short, the group lacks any respect from the wider scientific community. Despite this, the founder of Courage, Fr, John Harvey, frequently invited as a major presenter to his workshops the late Peter Rudegeair, a member of NARTH and a clinical psychologist who was a major proponent of discredited (by all mainstream medical and mental health professional associations) theories advocating reparative, or change, therapy for gay men and lesbians. Read more

Can Psychiatrists Really “Cure” Homosexuality?
By Thomas Maier
Scientific America
April 22, 2009

Masters and Johnson claimed to convert gays
to heterosexuality in a 1979 book. But did they?

A British survey published last month found that one in 25 therapists would assist gay and bisexual patients attempting to convert to heterosexuality. That’s despite the fact that many medical groups, including the American Medical Association, have for years condemned such practices, saying they don’t work and can actually cause harm.
It may not be surprising that Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and televangelist pastor Jerry Falwell, among many others, have supported programs designed to convert homosexuals away from “sin” and into the arms of God-fearing heterosexuality. But what may surprise you is one of the research sources cited by the Catholic Medical Association in 2006 when it declared that science “counters the myth that same-sex attraction is genetically predetermined and unchangeable, and offers hope for prevention and treatment.” Read more

The Wild Reed

Thoughts and reflections from a progressive, gay, Catholic perspective.

Learn more See also the previous Wild Reed posts:



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