The Christian Broadcasting Network
(CBN) continues to argue that it's possible for gay people to alter
their sexual orientation.
The topic of so-called “reparative”
therapy, which seeks to alter the sexual orientation of gay people,
is being talked about in the media amid accusations
that Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's family clinic Bachmann &
Associates seeks to “cure” gay people.
a segment broadcast on Wednesday, the CBN pointed to a 2007 study
as proof that change is possible.
“I think our study raises that
question again,” Psychologist Mark Yarhouse said on the program.
“It says, 'Well, wait a minute. Here's a change effort sustained
over time, and there's a pretty significant percentage of people for
whom this was helpful.”
CBN claimed that 30 percent of the
study's participants were able to “reduce their homosexual
attraction enough to be celibate without distress” and 23 percent
were able to “convert to opposite sex attraction.”
The segment further suggests that the
American Psychological Association has endorsed the practice simply
because it has not formally banned it.
“Some mainstream media are reporting
that the American Psychological Association, or APA, has rejected
so-called conversion therapy. But that's just not true. The APA has
not banned it or even deemed it unethical,” the CBN reported. (The
video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
The APA, however, has rejected
Yarhouse's study, saying it was “unpersuasive due to their study's
“Best-practice analytical techniques
were not performed in the study, and there are significant
deficiencies in the analysis of longitudinal data, use of statistical
measures, and choice of assessment measures,” the APA wrote in
At its 2006 annual meeting, the APA
released the following statement: “For over three decades the
consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality
is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. … Our
further concern is that the positions espoused by [“ex-gay”
groups] NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which
prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”
Yarhouse's study was funded by the
“ex-gay” group Exodus International and its research subjects
were recruited with help from Exodus and NARTH.