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07/11/2007

Militant 'ex-gay' agenda forces APA to waste time

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 18-14Next week, an American Psychological Association task force will begin reviewing that organization's policy regarding how they counsel those wishing to "change" their sexual orientation. There are several potential outcomes that could result from the endeavor:

(1) They will change their 1997 policy -- which currently opposes any counseling that treats homosexuality as a mental illness, but does not explicitly denounce reparative therapy -- so that it is even more critical of any and all "ex-gay" concepts.

(2) They will change their 1997 policy -- which currently opposes any counseling that treats homosexuality as a mental illness, but does not explicitly denounce reparative therapy -- so that it is far more open to the ideas of "ex-gay" counseling and reparative therapy.

(3) They will leave the policy standing as is.

Though considering the APA is a body based in science, research, facts, and truth, and that the "ex-gay" movement is, well, not, then we would be even more shocked to see them go with option number 2 then we would to see Ellen Degeneres kissing a man. We guess it is possible they, practitioners of the science of the mind, could, in theory, give credence to those whose entire crusade is based on the religious idea that gays are immoral. It's just far more probable that they would rather retain their position as a credible body of science.

The task force could submit a preliminary report to the APA's directors by December, but it might be as long as next March before a final report is released. Here's just hoping that in that span of time, the field of science will not decide that ideological rhetoric is a better basis for decision-making than tangible empirical evidence.

American Psychological Association to review gay counseling practices [AP via Advocate]

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Your thoughts

I also hope the APA decides that science is the key rather than ideology. If this was true the task force would suggest that research focus on what is harmful and what is helpful about therapy where religious alignment is the goal. Current research is not at all clear about what is harmful or what is helpful but it does point to both outcomes for various people.

Religious belief is one dimension of personality that the mental health professions are committed to respect and I hope that the APA crafts guidance that is respectful of all religious perspectives on sexuality.

Posted by: Warren Throckmorton | Jul 11, 2007 4:29:10 PM

They are committed to RESPECT religious belief, and I believe they do. However, no religious belief should inform their stances on scientific matters.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 17, 2007 7:19:23 PM

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