Friday, April 24, 2009


This is a Scientific American excellent article [Thanks to] that indicates that William Masters might well have fabricated or distorted his findings regarding the ability of a Gay person to change to Straight; a "finding" that is often used by "ex-Gay ministries" to seek to legitimize their mind-set.

For example, Exodus International boasts the following:

For example, W. Masters and V. Johnson [ W. H. Masters and V. E. Johnson, Homosexuality in Perspective (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979)] conducted a study of fifty-four men and thirteen women who expressed a desire to convert or revert to a heterosexual orientation. Therapists chose candidates for their apparently high degree of motivation and for their accompaniment by an understanding opposite-sex partner who could serve as a support during the transition period. The treatment format consisted of an intensive two-week program followed by periodic follow-up over a five-year period. The client couple worked with a man-woman therapy team who focused on nonjudgmental identification and explanation of the influences that had led to the client's homosexual behavior.

The therapists then worked to reduce these influences within the context of the clients' value system and to encourage heterosexual function on the part of the client couple. About 20 percent failed during the initial treatment period, but the five-year follow-up revealed no more than a 30-45 percent total failure rate, much lower than even Masters and Johnson had expected.

Now, for some reality: Part of the above cited Scientific American article reads as follows [And I strongly urge you to read the full article.]:

When the clinic's top associate, Robert Kolodny, asked to see the files and to hear the tape-recordings of these "storybook" cases, Masters refused to show them to him. Kolodny—who had never seen any conversion cases himself—began to suspect some, if not all, of the conversion cases were not entirely true. When he pressed Masters, it became ever clearer to him that these were at best composite case studies made into single ideal narratives, and at worst they were fabricated....

With [Virginia] Johnson's approval, Kolodny spoke to their publisher about a delay, but it came too late in the process. "That was a bad book," Johnson recalled decades later. Johnson said she favored a rewriting and revision of the whole book "to fit within the existing [medical] literature," and feared that Bill simply didn't know what he was talking about. At worst, she said, "Bill was being creative in those days" in the compiling of the "gay conversion" case studies.

Regarding this article, a commentator by the name of qraal wrote what I consider to be one of the best statements on the issue concerning Christianity and being Gay:

Christians who have issues with homosexuality should have a look at the position statement of Conservative Jewish rabbis who look at what the Hebrew Bible really says, and what commentators have thought it meant. Only one homosexual act is mentioned in the Torah, sodomy. It's silent on all else, but that never stopped the learned filling the gap with their opinions. It seems several different points of view were current and St. Paul, as a Rabbi, was brought up with prepackaged views, not instant truth delivered by a divine messenger on this particular issue. Nothing he says in the Christian Bible is new or different to what some rabbis had already opined on the issue. Perhaps it's time Christians looked further afield for their understanding of Torah and listened a bit closer to what their historical brothers in the faith of Yahweh are saying now. Sexual immorality is the issue - if you're gay or straight - and needs to be avoided by both orientations. Wanting to convert gays to being straight does nothing about the sin on both sides. It's a tough call in this age of easy gratification, but both orientations are called to chastity, not "curing". Focussing on someone else's sin, and not tackling your own, is condemned a lot more harshly in the Christian Bible than any sexual sin. So stop the judgemental attitude.

Beyond the reason why any Gay person created by God would want to change to being Straight in the first place; beyond the fact of poor biblical exegeses; questionable translation errors; lack of contextual analysis; hateful and hate-mongering rhetoric by so many professing Christians, to the above comment one can only say, "Amen!"
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