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Focus on the Family Spreading Misinformation on APA Gay Views

Focus on the Family posted an article on their 'citizenlink' website with an exuberant Randy Thomas, executive vice president of "ex-gay" group Exodus International, claiming that the American Psychological Association is shifting in its attitude that homosexuality is inborn in a new brochure.

Thomas_2Thomas takes his joy from a passage that states "there is no consensus" among scientists about what makes a person gay which ultimately says no conclusions can be drawn.

What the article to the Fundie flock does not include, however, is the huge section that says "ex-gay" therapy is basically a crock.

More at Good As You...

American Psychological Association: No Consensus on Cause of Homosexuality [citizen link]
APA Brochure on sexual orientation [pdf]
Yea, 'ex-gays'? You seriously see this as a win? Odd. [good as you]

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Comments

  1. Well, at this point they'd see anything as a win.

    Posted by: David D. | Mar 20, 2008 11:10:00 AM


  2. > "... claiming that the American Psychological Association is shifting in its attitude that homosexuality is inborn"

    They wouldn't need to shift their attitudes, because they've never said sexual orientation is already decided at birth. They've only said sexual orientation becomes fixed before puberty.

    The professionals still don't know how a person's sexual orientation is decided. They even leave open the possibility that sexual orientation is a decision (made at a young age that becomes fixed).

    Lots of gay people and gay friendly people claim gay people are born gay. But there is no evidence to support that. So stop lying already.

    I don't understand why so many people want to think sexual orientation is already decided at birth. What if it's e.g. decided randomly between ages 3 and 5? Would that be worse? What's so great about it already being decided at birth?

    Posted by: James Justin Harrell | Mar 20, 2008 11:26:24 AM


  3. Focus on the Family seems to have trouble focusing on the evidence. I can't speak for all gay people, but for me, I'm not so concerned about whether sexual orientation is "inborn." What's objectionable is when ignorant people claim it's a "choice," like picking out shoes. Not that I object if someone chooses to be gay (the more the merrier!), but that simply isn't the way it works for most people, and that bogus theory is what ex-gay quackery depends on to survive.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 20, 2008 11:39:15 AM


  4. Why is it that people who identify as heterosexual believe they can speak for homosexuals and claim that our sexuality is a choice? Wouldn't we know better than them whether or not our sexuality is inborn rather than chosen?

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 20, 2008 11:49:54 AM


  5. It's not just psychological research. The religious right has a long history of misrepresenting and distorting all kinds of scientific research. By the time Bush Co. and AFA gets through a journal article or consensus statement, it will have lost any of the subtlety embedded within the orginal.

    For example, in August 2004 the American Sociological Association voted against endorsing the Federal Marriage Amendment. Part of that resolution read:

    "sociological research has repeatedly shown that systems of [familial] inequality are detrimental to the public good"

    But when Bush started talking about social science perspectives on homosexuality a few days later, it somehow became:

    "sociological research has shown that discriminating against nuclear families will result in grave consequences for civilization"

    Talk about changing the meaning of words to suit your agenda!

    Posted by: John | Mar 20, 2008 12:14:26 PM


  6. What's so great about it (one's gayness) being decided at birth? It completely invalidates any argument that a gay person can "change", that's what! And, how in the hell can a 3 or 5 year old child "decide" to be gay? What nonsense! There is no "nurture" involved. People are born gay or straight. Period. And, no one can change their sexual orientation--not honestly anyway. I know. I've been through the whole gamut of therapies and religion. I'm still gay--and I am becoming VERY intolerant of groups like Focus on the Family.

    Posted by: mike | Mar 20, 2008 12:17:02 PM


  7. Is it just me or does Randy Thomas look like a big ole queen who loves cock as much as the rest of us? How many "ex-gay" leaders have to "fall" before this crock of "reparative therapy" is exposed for the snake oil that it is?

    I HIGHLY recommend a great book documenting the empty promises of "change" in the ex-gay movement: it's called _Straight to Jesus_.

    Posted by: joe | Mar 20, 2008 1:33:14 PM


  8. @Mike

    > It completely invalidates any argument that a gay person can "change", that's what!

    No more so than sexual orientation becoming fixed before puberty.


    > how in the hell can a 3 or 5 year old child "decide" to be gay?

    I didn't say that, I just said it hasn't been ruled out. Perhaps it is determined by a subconscious process.


    > People are born gay or straight.

    There is no evidence to support that. (Although there is much evidence to support at least a slight predisposition.)


    All we know so far is that sexual orientation becomes fixed before puberty. Why do not know it was already fixed at birth (though that is definitely a possibility).

    Posted by: James Justin Harrell | Mar 20, 2008 3:12:41 PM


  9. JAMES,

    I understand what you’re trying to say but I think you're really splitting hairs here, at least as it relates to the "culture war" (which is what this particular article is REALLY all about) where one side says that sexual orientation is innate (regardless of when it becomes manifest) as opposed to the other side that claims that their is NO such thing as a homosexual orientation (innate or otherwise) and that homosexual behavior is nothing more than the chosen perverse and ungodly acts of misbehaving heterosexuals.

    As for the "is it set at birth" versus "is it set at 3 to 5 years old or at sometime before or during puberty" debate…

    I don't think you are considering the possibility that the latter, as it relates to ANY sexual characteristic, is ALMOST ALWAYS determined by the former. For example, at puberty my voice got deeper, I started to grow facial and body hair, I got acne, I developed body odor and I got horny. Were these sexual characteristics "decided" after my birth or before my birth? I would argue that, though they didn't manifest themselves until long after my birth, they were SET, by some combinations of genetics and hormones, before my birth.

    I also believe that we have to separate the difference between when a characteristic is set and when a person becomes aware of it. NO CHILD is fully conscious of their sexuality before a certain point in life. That doesn’t mean that their sexuality isn’t already set before they are conscious of it. I believe this applies equally to transgender people whose gender identity is set at birth even though they might not become fully conscious of it until later.

    Is there an example of a SEXUAL characteristic that you can think of that ISN'T, at least preliminarily, set before birth?

    Why would sexual orientation, especially homosexual orientation, be the one anomaly?

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 21, 2008 3:49:07 PM


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