‘Gay cure’ therapies: some facts to consider

Jul 1, 2017 by

A reply to Jayne Ozanne’s Private Member’s Motion – with reference to the commonly raised issue of suicide, suicidality and bullying. 

By Edmund Mann.

Editor’s note: This paper, written under pseudonym by a respected researcher in sociology, is one of the latest items to be sent to members of General Synod as they prepare for the debate on 8th July.

[…] Anecdotes and personal experiences are purely illustrative. A bane of science, they establish or prove nothing, despite the leverage of their emotional appeal. This easily leads to misguided policies which can cause more problems than they solve.

Even the substance of a heart-rending narrative should not be accepted at face value. Did Ozanne have to go to ‘spiritual healing’; what was the actual abuse and was her breakdown solely due to this or are there other underlying or contributory causes? Her word alone should not malign and forbid all interventions, secular and religious. Another anecdote could tell an opposing story….

… There has been no thorough scientific investigation of outcomes for therapeutic attempts to change unwanted sexual attractions. There is certainly no ‘evidence’ of actual harm. Ozanne’s assertions represent an ideological, not a scientific, standpoint. Research in some areas of same-sex issues is restricted by the advocacy interests who often dominate professional organisations. Anyone who produces objective results counter to LGBT perspectives is at personal and professional peril.

Elsewhere, there are many pseudo medical and psychiatric quack remedies for all manner of ills. These do not work and some can cause great harm – think of ‘recovered memory’ practices. Shouldn’t these be banned, if anything is? Even a proportion using run-of-the-mill psychotherapies get worse with treatment and many do not benefit from Alcoholics Anonymous, etc. Insisting that no change is possible or wrong to explore for unwanted sexual inclinations is at odds with interventions for many other behaviours and propensities people wish to change. Succeed or not, it is totalitarian to forbid help to anyone seeking to withdraw from same-sex relationships. It takes away freedom, choice, civil and human rights. Similarly, no one should have to ‘celebrate’ anyone for anything they might not wish to endorse.

According to large scale, representative studies, considerable proportions of those who earlier report same-sex experience or ‘orientation’ are later predominantly or exclusively heterosexual. Such fluidity suggests that psychiatric help might contribute to change for some who want this.

Read the full paper here Jayne Ozanne – a response

Read also:  Calling a spade a spade – the dangers of false teachings and Jayne Ozanne by Andrea Williams, Christian Concern


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