Can *** Be Cured?
Robert Spitzer, M.D., the prominent psychiatrist who helped remove *** from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manual's list of disorders in 1973, recently gave a presentation to the APA presenting results of his study demonstrating that some *** can change their desires to heterosexual. This surprising development, reported on May 9, 2001 at the annual APA convention in New Orleans, has been reported in many forums (though largely ignored by the mainstream press). Several online stories can be found such as the article by Robert H. ***, "'***' Can Change, Psychiatrist Tells APA," May 9, 2001, for Concerned Women for America, available online at [link to external website removed] and the article Latest Scientific Research: Those Struggling with *** Can Be Set Free at [link to external website removed] Another good summary is available from The National Catholic Register.
Spitzer found what many former *** have already demonstrated: *** can change. That orientation is not necessarily innate and unchangeable.
Many former *** know that *** can be treated. The National Association for the Recovery and Treatment of *** (NARTH) offers valuable resources and information at their Web site Narth.com, including a discussion of the work by Robert Spitzer, and analysis of prior failed attempts to prove that *** is innate.
Another resource on this topic is the work of Dr. Warren Throckmorton, whose Website provides valuable information on the ability of *** to change and on the same-*** marriage debate. Also see his ***, "I Do Exist," which shows that ex-*** actually do exist, contrary to allegations of *** activists. Here is some of the publicity for this excellent production:
"Produced by Dr. Warren Throckmorton, I DO EXIST is a *** about *** who have changed their identity to one that is heterosexual. The *** explores the different types of *** from the people who dabble in it and people who adopt a *** identity... The most important part of the *** is interviews with people who had identified as *** for many years and decided to change... This is a wonderful and necessary video to dispel some of the confusions of our age, and it is highly recommended by MOVIEGUIDE®."
-Ted Baehr, PhD, Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE® and MOVIEGUIDE.ORG
The ***, I Do Exist, is not an attack on ***. Rather, it is aimed at those who are *** but wish to change. Rather than *** them down or pressuring them to give up and remain ***, denying the possibility of change, Dr. Throckmorton appeals to case studies and scientific evidence that affirm an important and objective truth, verified by research: change is possible. Those who deny it are simply wrong.
Sadly, the climate in academic circles today has become decidedly hostile toward research involving treatment of ***, for "political correctness" is dominant, especially in the American Psychiatric Association, and those suggesting *** is something to cure may be treated as pariahs. While investigations into treating *** have suddenly become rare in light of a politically correct chill effect, a significant body of work demonstrates that *** can be treated successfully - with success rates well above those for treating alcoholics. Secular treatment of *** using psychotherapy or psychoanalysis has been reported in a variety of studies, beginning with Freud himself, who reported a 50% success rate in treating 8 *** (A. Freud, "Some Clinical Remarks Concerning the Treatment of Male ***," The Intl. Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30, p. 195, as cited by Satinover, p. 185). Satinover summarizes additional published studies on treatment of *** with psychotherapy (mostly) and psychoanalysis, having a composite success rate of 52% in treating a total of 341 *** (p. 186). The most recently cited study (G. van den Aardweg, On the Origins and Treatment of ***: A Psychoanalytic Reinterpretation, Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1986) reports a success rate of 65% in treating 101 people. "Success" in these studies is defined as "considerable" to "complete" change. Though the nine studies listed by Satinover have small sample sizes, the results still contradict *** propaganda by showing that *** can be treated. The data demonstrate that change is possible.
In addition to the 341 subjects mentioned above, a separate 1976 study on treating *** (conducted before the APA made it risky to conduct such work) found excellent long-term success in the treatment of 49 *** patients:
Of 49 patients ... 31 (63 percent) were contacted for follow-up. The average period since the end of treatment was 4 years. Nineteen subjects (61 percent [of the 31 contacted]) have remained exclusively heterosexual, whereas nine (29 percent) have had *** intercourse. Heterosexual intercourse was reported in 28 (90 percent), including the previous nine subjects. Three (10 percent) have had neither *** nor heterosexual intercourse.
(A. Cantom-Dutari, "Combined Intervention for Controlling Unwanted *** Behavior," 1973, as cited by Satinover, p. 187.)
A study by Masters and Johnson, one of the nine studies with a composite of 341 subjects mentioned above, reported a success rate of 65 percent in a five-year follow-up study of treated *** (M.F. Schwartz and W.H. Masters, "The Masters and Johnson Treatment Program for Dissatisfied *** Men," American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 141, pp. 173-181, 1984, as cited by Satinover, p. 186). The abstract of this article, available online, describes the treatment process as a ***-term, intensive program to overcome maladaptive belief systems and to help the patient foster a positive self-image.
Satinover further explores some intriguing but preliminary results in which medication appeared to have promoted change. The advent of the chill effect on research into treatment of *** roughly coincided with advances in psychiatric medicine that offer many new avenues for helping people deal with biochemical imbalances and internal stresses that may, in some cases, be part of the many factors associated with the abnormal condition ***.
While many pastors and ministers have experienced the positive role that religion can play in helping *** change their lifestyles and their personal orientation, many would be surprised to know that this effect received at least a small amount of attention in the professional psychiatric community. A small 1980 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry reported that religious influence had helped some *** lose their *** identity and become heterosexuals "without explicit treatment and/or long-term psychotherapy" (E.M. Pattison and M.L. Pattison, "'Ex-***': Religiously Mediated Change in ***," Amer. J. Psychiatry, Vol. 137, pp. 1553-1562, 1980). This work dealt with only 11 former-*** males who claimed to have become heterosexual through participation in a Pentecostal church. Though minor in scope, it again hints at the possibilities for overcoming ***.
In spite of the evidence that *** can be treated and that at least some former *** have changed, *** activists such as Brian McNaught still boldly proclaim that science teaches that orientation is innate and unchangeable, that "no one has ever changed their orientation," that some babies are born "hardwired" to be ***, and that *** cannot be cured ("*** Issues in the Workplace," presentation by Brian McNaught to Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wisconsin, Oct. 30, 2001). That position will not change, I suspect, in spite of abundant evidence, because it seems to be a critical premise in the quest for legitimacy and especially in the quest for financial benefits for domestic partners. If *** is as innate, as natural, and as unchangeable as gender, then *** a *** union be condoned and provided with all the benefits afforded to traditional marriages?
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