InterVarsity Press to Publish Research on Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation

Here is the official announcement of the release of research regarding religiously mediated changes in aspects of sexual orientation. Conducted by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, this study will likely influence the discussion of this topic for quite some time. Next week will be a big week in Nashville with the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference, the Exodus Regional Conference and several other events around town. Watch the blog for more information and events.


InterVarsity Press to Publish Controversial Research

Westmont, IL — In September, InterVarsity Press will publish the results of a longitudinal study conducted by researchers Stanton L. Jones (Wheaton College) and Mark A. Yarhouse (Regent University). Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation directly addresses two of the most contentious and disputed questions of our day—Is change of sexual orientation possible? and Is the attempt to change harmful?—and the findings of the study appear to contradict the commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment. InterVarsity Press will hold a press conference at the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) World Conference on September 13, 2007, in Nashville, Tennessee, to announce the results of this study.

In a joint statement, Jones and Yarhouse explain the reasoning for their research: “We are evangelical Christians committed to the truth-seeking activity of science. In conducting and reporting this study, we took seriously the words of one of our heroes, C. S. Lewis, who said that science produced by Christian persons would have to be ‘perfectly honest. Science twisted in the interests of apologetics would be sin and folly.’ ”

Stanton Jones is provost and professor of psychology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and served on the Council of Representatives, the central governing body of the APA, representing the Psychology of Religion division from 1999-2001. He has published many other professional and popular articles and books, including Modern Psychotherapies, coauthored with Richard E. Butman.

Mark Yarhouse is professor of psychology and director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity ( at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he has taught since 1998. He has written extensively for professional publications and has authored several books, including Modern Psychopathologies, coauthored with Richard E. Butman and Barrett W. McRay, and Sexual Identity Synthesis, coauthored with Erica S. N. Tan.

The InterVarsity Press book, scheduled to be published in September 2007, is the most scientifically rigorous study of its kind to date, and uses multiple measures regarded as “industry standards.” Knowing their results would generate controversy, Jones and Yarhouse have thoroughly described the rationale for their procedures. George A. Rekers, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, states that the study “meets the high research standards set by the American Psychological Association that individuals be validly assessed, followed and reported over time with a prospective, longitudinal outcome research design.” The study will set the standard for all future work in this field and demands a serious reading from social scientists. Publisher Bob Fryling comments, “In a highly politicized environment, this book is another ‘inconvenient truth’ of scientific research data countering prejudice and ignorance.”

Founded in 1947 as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing thoughtful Christian books that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life.


American Association of Christian Counselors Conference

September 13, 2007

Opryland Hotel

2800 Opryland Drive

Nashville, TN 37214

Room: Jackson E/F 3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time


PRINT: Heather Mascarello, 630.734.4012, [email protected]

ELECTRONIC: Heather Mascarello, 630.734.4013, [email protected]

Although results of the research are embargoed until the press conference, my endorsement of the book is as follows:

Can some motivated people alter aspects of their sexuality through religious ministry? With the publication of Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation, Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse have produced the most rigorous study to date to address this question. Knowing their results would generate controversy, the authors have thoroughly described the rationale for their procedures. While the authors fully acknowledge that change in sexual attractions did not occur for some individuals, they offer cogent and compelling reasons to believe that participation in religious ministry resulted in durable changes for others. The Jones and Yarhouse study will set the standard for all future work in this field and demands a serious reading from social scientists. For anyone interested in the study of sexuality, values and human change, this book is a must read.

63 thoughts on “InterVarsity Press to Publish Research on Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation”

  1. Eddy,

    BTW – I don’t ever remember using an online source like Encarta (which I NEVER use) to define Ex-Gay. If I did, please refresh my memory. When I listed out the 4 items that I believe encompass the term Ex-Gay, or the different ways people have told me they understand ex-gay, I was just going from memory. Is that what you were talking about?

  2. Eddy,

    Sorry – No Go – I have absolutely nothing to hide, but I’m not going to share all that personal information about myself on a public forum – If you like, I can send the answers to Warren and he can get them to you.

    Possibly know all that?????

  3. Eddy,

    Anybody of the ex-gay side who begins to blog here endures Timothy’s ‘background quiz’.

    This is an offensive and unfounded accusation. I’ve let the past few snide comments about me slide, Eddy. But this time I think you owe me an apology.


    Jim Burroway looked at Yarhouse and Jones’ last collaboration here

  4. Jayhuck==

    LOL…MAJOR flub on my part. Expedia is my online travel connection…I mixed the name up with Encarta, the online dictionary.

    Re answering the 3 questions offline (approximate age, amount of actual exposure to Exodus and Ex-Gays, and education) I’m not at all comfortable with that. I’ll raise the questions again if it’s clear that they speak to your credibility on an authoritative statement. In other words, if they address a real question of ‘how could he KNOW that’. Might not even come up.

  5. Ken,

    I think the listings above indicate a broader publishing record than your assessment makes.

    Lynn David,

    No, joke. This is what real research looks like, incomplete, suggestive and often requiring further inquiry.

    Cynicism does not serve us, especially when people are working hard to provide the best data available and comment on it realistically.

  6. The study is a joke, no wonder they put it in a book. It has no more importance than the Spitzer study of a few years ago.

    But likely, the funda-conservative right will make hay will the sun yet doesn’t shine on it.

  7. David Blakeslee wrote:

    I believe Yarhouse and Jones have been published in scholarly journals prior to this book publication. So they know what scholarly writing is.

    I did a search on their publications (looking to see if they had published any interim results – apparently not). It looks like most (all) of their published papers were in religious (christian) publications: ex. the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. Personally, I don’t really think religion and science make a good mix.

  8. Just a thought: Should we discount every book published by every publisher if it has books in its distribution that we disagree with? Why are people continuing to make such leaps??

  9. Jonathon,

    The success rate of any therapuetic intervention is about 30-50%. Depression never really gets solved (a person learns new coping skills), Borderline personality never gets cured (a person just learns to manage better) etc.. 30-50 is kind of high – in my estimation. And if a person is really concerned about their sexuality in that sense then those odds are worth the investigation. It is better than 0 chance.

  10. More Jones: from

    Jones authored the lead article, “Religion and Psychology,” for the Encyclopedia of Psychology, jointly published in 2000 by the American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press.

    His article in the March 1994 American Psychologist, titled “A Constructive Relationship for Religion with the Science and Profession of Psychology: Perhaps the Best Model Yet,” was a call for greater respect for and cooperation with religion by secular psychologists.

    Jones has also written, with his wife, Brenna, a five-book series on sex education in the Christian family called God’s Design for Sex.

    He is also the coauthor of Modern Psychotherapies (with Richard E. Butman) and Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate (with Mark A. Yarhouse) and editor of Psychology and Christianity: Four Views. He has published many other professional and popular articles and chapters.

  11. Hathaway, W. L., & Yarhouse, M. A. (under contract). Integration of Psychology and Christianity.

    Yarhouse, M. A., & Sells, J. (in press). Family Therapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

    Yarhouse, M. A. (in press). Narrative sexual identity therapy. American Journal of Family Therapy.

    Yarhouse, M. A., & Nowacki, S. K. (2007). The many meanings of marriage: Divergent perspectives seeking common ground. The Family Journal, 15 (1), 36-45.

    Russell, S. R., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2006). Training in religion/spirituality within APA-accredited psychology pre-doctoral internships. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37 (4), 430-436.

    Yarhouse, M. A., & Seymore, R. L. (2006). Intact marriages in which one partner dis-identifies with experiences of same-sex attraction: A follow-up study. American Journal of Family Therapy, 34, 1-11.

    Yarhouse, M. A., & Tan, E. S. N. (2005). Addressing religious conflicts in adolescents who experience sexual identity confusion. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36 (5), 530-536.

    Liszcz, A. M., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2005). A survey on views of how to assist with coming out as gay, changing same-sex behavior or orientation, and navigating sexual identity confusion. Ethics & Behavior, 15 (2), 159-179.

    Yarhouse, M. A. (2005). Same-Sex Attraction, Homosexual Orientation, and Gay Identity: A Three-Tier Distinction for Counseling and Pastoral Care. Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, 59 (3), 201-212.

    Yarhouse, M. A., Butman, R. E., & McRay, B. (2005). Modern Psychopathologies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

    Jones, S. L., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2000). Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

  12. Jones, Stanton L (1994). A Constructive Relationship for Religion with the Science and the Profession of Psychology: Perhaps the Boldest Model Yet. American Psychologist, 49 184-199.

  13. Eddy,

    I’ve answered all the items you brought up above before – I’m going to try very hard to stick to task.

    If you want to email me privately I’ll be happy to share all that information with you, but I won’t do it here 🙂

    BTW, who and or what is Expedia?

  14. Jayhuck,

    1) I believe the record will show that, for the most part, I’ve only criticized you when you were criticizing others. It only seems like a lot because you criticize a lot.

    2) Don’t take silence as agreement…some weeks back, no one took you to task for using expedia to define ‘ex-gay’ and then defending expedia’s reputability. Not two weeks later, bloggers from ‘your side’ were making light of Mary (I think) for referencing expedia. I noticed two things: First, THEY didn’t object when YOU defended expedia the first time and second that YOU didn’t step up and defend expedia the second time. That’s Bias with a capital B!

    3) As I’ve stated several times, I followed your link to the press release topic on EGW…I read both the topic and the comments. (You even posted there with a comment similar to your earliest one on this thread.) Since I’ve also read this topic and MOST of the comments, please be sure that I NEVER miss anything JAG has to say.

    4) Please dig up and repost my spelling errors. I think I can live with the shame. I do admit that I had a reason for bringing them up. I’m trying to determine why you seem so bright and insightful at times and, at others, you’re ‘all over the map’. Sometimes, I get the impression that you’re repeating something you’ve heard rather than your own thoughts. That would explain the ‘read’ for ‘red’ thing…which happened twice BTW. So, I was researching ‘very young’ or ‘ADD’ as possibilities. I’ll admit I should have come right out and asked. My bad.

    I’d settle for the answers to 1) your approximate age 2) how much personal exposure to Exodus or ‘ex-gays’ 3) how much schooling or related experience. (LOL. Anybody of the ex-gay side who begins to blog here endures Timothy’s ‘background quiz’. I hope you’ll tolerate mine; it’s far less intimately personal.)

    I’m not sure from your latest post whether you’ll respond to this since it isn’t an attack on your motives or if you’ll ignore it since it doesn’t speak to the topic. But I did feel your post warranted more of a reply than I had time to give it this morning. If you don’t want to reply, that’s cool. I’ll catch up to you with the ‘background quiz’ on another thread. The rest can slide.

  15. David,

    I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what scholarly journals have they been published in and what studies or sorts of article did they have published? I read somewhere on EGW that even Paul Cameron told people he had been published in peer reviewed journals, but they turned out to be publications that almost no self-respecting researcher read. I don’t mean to say that that is the case here, but it does make me wonder about the “scholarly journals” in which you say Yarhouse and Jones have published.

  16. I believe Yarhouse and Jones have been published in scholarly journals prior to this book publication. So they know what scholarly writing is.

    Secondly, with Wallerstien study on divorce (longitudinal) was published in book for three different times. Very useful information.

    Regaring IVP…I don’t know if they shopped it around elsewhere…who in their right mind would take it in the secular world?

  17. I’ve been reading EVERYthing…including following the link to EGW. I ‘proofread’ as part of my work; it’s my nature to read something and actually evaluate whether it’s true or makes sense. (We had a mailing that asked the people not only to respond but to include a photocopy of the postmark to prove it was submitted on time. Does anyone see the problem with that? Anyone? How about the fact that you don’t get your postmark until you turn the letter over the USPS? How then do you get to make a photocopy of it and include it? The form had been in use for months before anyone noticed this.) I look for things that just don’t ‘ring true’.

    Gotta drop this though. Time for work.

  18. Eddy,

    For the sake of keeping us on task, I am going to ignore future attacks on the reasons I write what I do and stick to posts that deal with the press release or book itself.

  19. Eddy,

    I’ve done no backpedaling. And I’m just as sure that if I said the earth was round you’d try to devalue my comments by saying I’m being disagreeable to you or Mary or Warren because, goodness knows, I just simply can never agree with any of you – there is no proof of that anywhere, right? – LOL.

    I’m far from the only one that has concerns with the press release and the little we know of the book to date. If you need further proof of that, please visit EGW or read Jag’s post on here. I can repost any several of them if you have been so focused on me you didn’t see them.

    I’m not sure why you feel the need to make fun of my spelling errors on here, but I think its speaks poorly of what you have to say about me. If you want, I’ll be happy to dredge up some of yours.

    Eddy, it wouldn’t matter if I were the most frequent poster on here or not – you seem intent, no matter how many other people agree with me, to set me up for ridicule because I speak my mind. I’ve agreed with you, and Mary and Ann and Warren on many occassions – yet when I don’t agree, you make huge generalizations about what I do and don’t do. There are real concerns about the press release and the little we know of the book Eddy, and if all you can do is call into question my spelling and my intent, and not address these concerns, then I think the problem with the word Red, as in herring, may lie with you.

  20. I published my entire interview with Bob Spitzer as well as the lenthier video interview because I wanted his work in context. The PFOX clip is misleading and I wish they would remove it from their site — Bob does as well. Jennifer, if you are going to link to Spitzer, I would recommend the longer and more complete interview.

  21. Jennifer Andrews wrote:

    Dr. Robert Spitzer an avowed atheist is a perfect example of what one may happen to any one who goes against the grain.

    A common complaint given against Dr. Spitzer was that many of the clients belonged at some point in time to an ex gay ministry or had mental problems. Yet these same people have no problem when studies that tried to prove a genetic cause for homosexuality had connections gay activist and gay periodicals.

    Yeah, and on your MySpace page you run the same highly-edited video of Spitzer that PFOX uses in their own pages. YouTube video;

    You ignore those other statements of Spitzer, some of which Dr Throckmorton had herein published:


    YouTube video:

    Where Spitzer stated about his own study:

    Now, of course, this study was not a study of how often, because we only started with people who had made a change. My own sense of this is that we had a great deal of difficulty getting those 200. It took us about two years, and we had several sources where we could make it known that in the study we wanted people who had changed to participate. Since it was so hard to get those 200, and we were not flooded with hundreds of people, my own view and I, there’s no way that I can be sure, is that probably a relatively rare experience that people change as much as these people did. …

    The only thing I can say is that I’m impressed; the twin studies show that there must be, at least it convinced me, that there’s a genetic component. But I assume that like with almost everything else that both biology and environment are important. Well what particular environment, well, I know the theories, but I don’t know which is correct.

    Nor would you link to that video in which Spitzer decries the political use by PFOX of his work:

    In which Spitzer said he believed that the possibility for change (he meant a complete change of orientation) is “quite small.”

    …some people can change, but how likely is it if I go into some therapy and program. Umm…so my study i think does indicate that some gays can change, but it’s probably pretty rare…the likelihood of success is probably quite small.

    So… your side isn’t seen as speaking much in the way of truth about homosexuality – ever.

  22. Warren,

    I am also concerned and curious about the author’s use of the phrase “religiously mediated change in sexual orienation” – Isn’t the change simply one of sexual identity?? Aren’t the author’s of this book the same ones who have helped author Sexual Identity Therapy? My understanding is that Ex-Gays – as defined and understood by conservative Evangelicals – only serve to prove that change in sexual identity is possible (and I agree with this) – there is no proof that there is a change in sexual orientation, right?

  23. Jayhuck,

    I have been reading your posts and I’ve noticed–for someone who repeatedly infers that Exodus makes words mean whatever they want them mean–that you’ve gotten pretty careless with your own words. I maintain that you likely do have a pretty good grasp on the language so I wonder when you say things like “for a more balanced view of the book and the press release” go to EGW. As I suspected, you back-pedaled when challenged and are now indicating that you meant either simply ‘another view’ or ‘to add more balance to the discussion’. In the future, please consider your words more carefully. (Your answer(s) BTW didn’t really clear things up…in one you seemed to say you meant simply ‘another’ view but in another you railed pretty strongly against Warren’s bias.) I believe you intended the negative inference towards Warren’s own views. I believe, in doing so, you set your words up to be challenged.

    We’ve got enough to deal with in our differing opinions–we simply don’t need careless rhetoric thrown in to further muddy the waters. I get the impression sometimes that you really don’t know what point it is you’re trying to make. (That’s one of the reasons I suggested some time back that you ‘slow down’ a tad when posting…say what you mean to clearly–and completely.)

    You are currently the most frequent poster on this site. That, in itself, sets you up for special notice or focus from me and other bloggers. On this blog, we’ve now heard the opinions of you and Timothy far more than we’ve even heard the opinions of Warren. You, in particular, seem to have something to say on almost every topic and, often, to my dismay, don’t actually speak to the topic at all. It’s more like ‘free association’ than discussion.

    What’s most disheartening is that you seem to wear your bias on your sleeve. (I swear if Warren, Mary or I said “The earth is round”, you’d counter with “I’m not sure what you mean by ’round’ and then launch into whatever it is that you want to talk about.)

    I’m addressing it 1) because you are the most frequent poster 2) because I’m tired of irresponsible statements that aren’t thought through 3) because I don’t believe that generalizations have much part in an honest discussion 4) because I want others to find the courage to address these and other all-too-frequent derailments and detours…and 5) because I still believe that there are people blogging here who are endeavoring to find some common ground while you seem intent on making sure that the wedge stays firmly in place.

    BTW: I’m pretty sure that you know how to spell the color “RED”. If so, it’s a good indication that YOU often don’t even understand the words you are using. You’ve mentioned the ‘read flags’ going up several times. (A ‘read flag’ could be the checkmark you put next to an e-mail to indicate that it’s been read; a ‘red flag’ is what goes up when your cautions hit high gear.)

  24. Dr. T-

    My father is a conservative, evangelical pastor and speaker for an international radio ministry. Recently he and I were discussing the percentage of success that Alan Chambers and others have alluded to. According to reports I’ve read about this forthcoming book, the rate of success will run between 30% and 50%. My father’s comment to that was that he isn’t real impressed with any organization that claims a success rate that hovers around the percentages that Exodus (and presumably this book) claims.

    In the past 20 years since my parents invested a great deal of $$ seeking to align my sexuality with my faith, I’ve seen my father progress to a point where he’s not nearly as willing to invest in ministries like Exodus with such low success rates. I guess my first question is if that number is pretty accurate given your research and if it is, isn’t that a problem? That’s a pretty high failure rate, if it is correct, which can’t be blamed solely on lack of motivation, etc. My own sexuality never changed and I spent years and a ton of money (not to mention weekly trips to the altar) trying to do just that. I guess I’m kind of like my father and wonder if perhaps a majority of evangelical people aren’t more in line with my dads thinking on this.

    Your thoughts (assuming my ramblings made sense to you).


  25. Eddy,

    If you had been reading my posts, you would have seen that I am saying there ARE a few things we already do know about the book, and there are huge read flags that have already come up in the press release – I am well aware that the book hasn’t come out yet, but the start of the book coming out isn’t promising.

  26. Eddy,

    The fact of the matter is that Warren is a biased person. He has certain religious views that bias him in this area of research. XGW ALSO has its own bias. My point is, if we want to get a more BALANCED, and not biased view of what we know about the book now and about what was in the press release, we should read BOTH Warren’s site and XGW – THAT is balanced – reading only one site or opinion is not. Does that makes sense?

  27. Jag,

    I absolutely agree with you. The vast majority of the people who are going to buy into this research or see it as something resembling true science, are going to be those who wanted to believe it in the first place.

  28. Jennifer,

    I think the scientific picture that is beginning to emerge is much bigger than orientation just being developmental or just genetic. Whether you are gay or straight, the signs are pointing to the fact that our makeup has BOTH genetic and developmental elements. I think this is what we are going to see more of in the future.

  29. Jennifer,

    I think you might want to re-read the justifiable concerns that have been expressed on Ex-Gay Watch and here, by Jag and a few others. The concerns go beyond this simply being an Exodus study.

  30. First let me start by saying I have seen no evidence to suggest that this is an “Exodus Study’. Before we make judgments about the research, we should read the book and find out more information. Trying to make the study an Exodus I, study is unfair and only seeks to trash a study that has yet to be read.

    A common complaint given against Dr. Spitzer was that many of the clients belonged at some point in time to an ex gay ministry or had mental problems. Yet these same people have no problem when studies that tried to prove a genetic cause for homosexuality had connections gay activist and gay periodicals.

    In many gay periodicals, there are ads in the back section that encourage people for money to do research on the possible genetic causes for homosexuality. The point is that just because a young gay male participated in one of these studies does not mean he lied or that researchers like Dr. Levay tried to distort the truth. Both groups will try to use research for there own causes. Exodus will surely do this but gay advocacy groups will do the same. They are not above using science for political purposes.

  31. Primarily editors select submitted manuscripts to decide the awarding of grants. In this case, I am not sure if this is what the authors were seeking. Not every book on this subject pro or con found its way to a peer review! Also a book dealing with something as controversial will get peer reviews no matter what.

    The bigger problem is that there are few people in this particular field. The fact is that most research done have been to prove the existence of a genetic cause for homosexuality not the other way around. Most of this research has been done by homosexual’s themselves often who reside at liberal Colleges. Because of the harsh political environment, researcher’s might pause before undergoing research into the possibility of change.

    Of course to do any thing that remotely favored a developmental cause could be seen as homophobic. The campus political activist could lead to boycotts of that particular professor and could lead to his or her never getting tenure. In addition, the emotional toll would be enormous. His or her name could be dragged in the mud and called a bigot.

    Dr. Robert Spitzer an avowed atheist is a perfect example of what one may happen to any one who goes against the grain.

    It may just be that a religious based school that tend to believe homosexual to be developmental may have more academic freedom this type of research . The data over time while not peer reviewed will in time add up. Assuming the the data is done I believe a picture will emerge that will give credence to the developmental causes for homosexuality.

  32. Warren said:

    Publishing the full report in a book does not preclude publishing in a journal. I suspect they will. Furthermore, other authors have gone this route: Bieber et al, Bell & Weinberg, Wallerstein, Saghir & Robins, Laumann et al. Publishing large studies in book form has precedent and does not preclude peer review for an abbreviated report.

    Of the longitudinal studies I’m familiar with (admitted a small sample) they all published interim results. This is a useful way to feedback for long-term studies to be sure you aren’t missing something important or just to get other ideas for acquiring useful data. Of these other books/authors you referred to, where they also long-term studies with no interim results?

  33. Warren –

    You are right that publishing in a book does not preclude publishing in a journal…but my question is…Was THIS study peer reviewed? If not, I think I’ll look elsewhere for information – how could we take it seriously?

    I mean seriously, an Exodus study is from a pool of gay or lesbian people who BEGIN by thinking that they are wrong, that they “need to” change, who believe that their eternal salvation may depend on it, etc. Do you think many will leave that group saying that they are simply “comfortable with who they are?” What we have seen is that many report change (the leaders themselves) and then later report that it was all a lie. I’m doubting the study will be including this as a disclaimer….but hey, we’ll see.

    I drone on every semester in Psychology 101 about the importance of the “scientific method, bias, replication, the importance of peer-review, etc…” Too bad my 18-year-olds have a better grasp of what true science should look like.

    Exodus is aware that their “study” could be used to fuel the fire further with respect to denying gay and lesbian people their rights…knowing this, wouldn’t you want to make doubly sure that your results were accurate? They don’t really care about this, and neither does their publisher (please, if you published Richard Cohen, you have no shame at all).

    Jayhuck stated “I think it is a HUGE read flag that the authors of this study didn’t publish their results in any peer-reviewed scientific journal – instead they published a book.”

    In this case Warren, he’s right on the money. Exodus hasn’t been taken seriously by any established medical or psychological association or seen as science for a very long time.

    They would have done better to attempt to build some legitimacy first. The only people who will read this or take it seriously are the people who already believe the “message” to begin with. It’s just silly, parading this as any type of legitimate research. I hope they realize that in the corners of academia everywhere (maybe not christian schools), professors consider this a huge joke.

  34. Mary,

    *Presicely*, that was my point: gay Christians or ssas who cannot have straight sex and therefore, typical marriages, are in a bind if they believe the traditional teachings. Or, they marry and live double lives — Ted Haggard being one of many examples. I am sure Dr. T. could vouch for the commonality of that phenomenon — the double life among gay or ssa Christians. And it underscores the lack of celibacy among gays — this difficulty you point out of celibacy in general.

    What Paul says does not trump whatever came out of the mouth of Jesus Himself: If one remarries except for the case of adultery, one *lives* in adultery with his/her new partner. Apparently, Jesus did not see lifetime celibacy at this point untenable, although many straight Christians do what they want and the Church supports them; although it will not support gays in relationships.

    Pick and choose strikes again.

  35. JAyhuck,

    If someone to gain religiously then it is for the right reasons. We rarely see that.

    And you’re right in my assumption that in this society it usually has politics, money, or fame behind it.

  36. Jayhuck said earlier “If anyone wants to obtain a more balanced view of the book and what has been said in this press release, I encourage you to visit Ex-Gay Watch.” LOL! No wonder we can’t discuss or come to agreement on anything–and no wonder we have such problems with how ‘THEY’ define words. I’d like to know YOUR definition of ‘more balanced’.

    I followed the link provided. (Yes, I’ve been over to Ex-Gay Watch several times.) All in all, it wasn’t a bad piece. I didn’t pick up on attempts to deceive. But, ‘more balanced’? balanced? (Please read Warren’s topic comments again. Most is the press release itself and bio on the authors. Warren does a brief intro and then his final paragraph. He does recommend reading the book. Is that his imbalance?) I’m sorry but we really must be defining ‘balance’ quite differently. Could you elaborate on what was ‘more balanced’ in the EGW view? As I recall, it was more than a few paragraphs of commentary. Very few quotes. That translates ‘editorial writing’. LOL! EGW wouldn’t be EGW without the editorial style commentary. People read EGW for, are you ready, its VIEWPOINT. To call it ‘more balanced’ than Warren’s single paragraph is simply ludicrous. (He made only one value judgement: “This book is a must read” while EGW discussed the reputation of IVP, guilt by association, etc.)

    Oh, and a more balanced view ‘OF THE BOOK and the press release”. The book isn’t out yet. No one we know has a pre-release copy. So, ANYone making a judgement re the book, is admittedly prejudicial. (Yeah, pre-judging…judging before the facts are in.)

    All that said, Jayhuck urged people once again to read the Ex-Gay Watch story. I urge you to read it too. Determine for yourself if Jayhuck’s perception that it is a ‘more balanced view’ has any foundation.

    As for me, I’m going to read the book after it’s released AND THEN form an opinion.

  37. Warren,

    Knowing the authors’ own biases, the type of person they chose to speak for them and their methodologies in their press release, and the fact they chose to release these findings in a book, published by a conservative religious publisher – all these things should be red flags for those of us hoping, but not holding our breaths, for objectivity. And it doesn’t really matter how many times they quote C.S. Lewis, their bias is showing – and I wonder how many people, after even these few things, are going to be willing to take them seriously

  38. Publishing the full report in a book does not preclude publishing in a journal. I suspect they will. Furthermore, other authors have gone this route: Bieber et al, Bell & Weinberg, Wallerstein, Saghir & Robins, Laumann et al. Publishing large studies in book form has precedent and does not preclude peer review for an abbreviated report.

  39. Jennifer,

    I highly recommend you read the thread over on Ex-Gay Watch regarding the press release for this book. I don’t commend the obviously biased authors for writing any such thing.

    And I think it is a HUGE read flag that the authors of this study didn’t publish their results in any peer-reviewed scientific journal – instead they published a book, using a biased and conservative publisher. Not very scientific or respectable if you ask me.

  40. Mary,

    Don’t forget those people who have something to gain “religiously” either (although that usually turns out to be more political than religious I suppose) 🙂

  41. I shouldn’t say Besen’s book was lacking in facts; it just didn’t have the facts you wanted to hear. Besen’s book wasn’t a scientific study but rather a political tome, which attempted to make a point against and embarrass a movement.

    I don’t quite know what the Jones and Yarhouse book is meant to be. It’s title purports it to be scientific. But the press release seems to indicate that the book is meant to make a political point.

    Jones and Yarhouse immediately have to point out a caveat to their study… something to the point of ‘hey, we’re straight evangelical Christians and we can do science and publish it in a book from a Christian publisher of other anti-gay literature of somewhat ill-repute but it’s still good science as George Rekers, who has in the past praised the ersatz research of the Cameron’s, points out.

    I mean couldn’t Jones and Yarhouse have found a more neutral way to publish this research which would not politicize it? The manner in which it is published is highly politically charged. The only reason seems to be bolster the sagging ex-gay (or whatever they want to call it) movement pioneered by Exodus and provide a synergy by which book sales (mostly to parents of gay men) can be made.

  42. We should not trust blindly and instead do an investigation with the information that is provided. Question, evaluate, test, re-evaluate etc… Make changes – because by all means – we do not have all the information today! And stay away from the person who has something to gain – politically, financially, socially, etc…

  43. Jennifer,

    Bingo. I often wonder whose biases we are to accept. The gay research, the Evangelical Christian researcher, the non religious media reporter that much of the general public relies on for their information, the Christian televangilist, the editor of the magazine who screens what research is acceptable to publish, the peer reviewers who may have there own interest in the study being presented, or you and I? It seems to me we have to give a great deal of trust to someone. It also seems to me there is alot of blind faith involved the in the scientific process as it is being carried out today.

  44. The authors of this book should be commended for writing a book on such a thorny issue. I am sure the book will be allot more scholarly than Wayne Besen’s book “Anything but Straight”. His book while lacking in facts was probably the most means sported book I had even read on this subject.

    As regards the arguments against Intervarsity Press such arguments can and have been made against the Publisher of people like Dr. Dr. Dean Hamer who is himself a homosexual.

    I have read many of Dr. Hamers books and I think much of his research was fair and balanced. In time through many on the right attacked his work simply because he is was homosexual. The people attacking him had no idea what they were talking about.

    Serious people must not attack credible research in the basis of person’s sexuality or religion but on the research itself.

    I see a kind of absolutism going on in gay culture that one would expect in religious circles that when one fears research that may not adhere to an ideological bent there is a rush to judgment and instead of trying to look at it sceintifcaly one seeks instead to silence it.

  45. To AM,

    Well, can you imagine being celibate your whole life? I can’t. And even Paul says marriage is the next best thing.

  46. I’m still fascinated by this uber focus on sex to begin with, from yes, a Scriptural standpoint. The blog, Paradoxy, does a whole lot better job of summing this up, but in a nutshell:

    Does the Bible *guarantee* sex to Christians, anyway? From the writings of Paul, which surely Evangelical Christians would be quite familiar with, (barring the “pick and choose” phenomenon which all humans are prone to) he (Paul) seems to indicate that single (and by definition celibate) is better.

    Could it be that the focus is on orientation change because the likelihood of lifelong celibacy — even among Christians — is genuinely moot? Christians are going to be sexually active anyway, so let’s claim that they can be straight — whatever and/or regardless those parameters are for “success”.

    I need only harken to the multitudes of remarried Christians, according to Jesus, living in continued adultery, to show what little success the Church has had in discipline in celibacy. No wonder “change” is on the front burner.

  47. Jayhuck asks:

    I’m going to be a bit skeptical of any research conducted by these people who have such an obvious bias regarding this subject matter. … are there any studies in the works on this subject by people who aren’t Evangelical Christians with a stake in this area?

    I’m sure there are. But the question remains valid — do they have an obvious bias regarding the subject matter (evangelical christians)?

  48. LOL!! I didn’t see your link last night, bleary eyes, I guess.

    Last link on the IVP home page, bottom-right corner – MEDIA. Why the book didn’t show up under new or future books is beyond me though.

  49. Lynn David – The news release is out now on their website but I do not know when the book will be released. I assumed it would be next week but I do not know for sure.

  50. If anyone wants to obtain a more balanced view of the book and what has been said in this press release, I encourage you to visit Ex-Gay Watch:

    Click here to read the most current thread to date

    I’m honestly not willing to just cast aside this book without knowing more about it – I do want to read it – but neither am I simply going to embrace it without question. Color me surprised that two conservative Evangelical researchers would find evidence that supports their own views and negates those of a majority of the scientific establishment. What is going to be interesting is knowing exactly what this study does and DOES NOT say about some ex-gay people. I’m even more interested to see where they got their populations sample for the study, and to have somebody critically analyze their study.

  51. Warren,

    I guess I’m also a little confused here – I don’t think anyone, anywhere disputes that change has actually taken place – but unless these people have applied good biological scientific studies to their research, this isn’t going to be anything we haven’t heard before. I really think everyone agrees that change takes place – its like the discussion I had with Mary on another thread – feelings and behaviors obviously change – does anyone dispute that anymore – the question is, what is exactly changing – but if these researchers are only relying on self-reports of Ex-Gays along with observing their behaviors, this research isn’t going to teach us anything new. Are there ever going to be studies done that use less subjective techniques?

  52. Warren,

    I think this will be interesting to read, but I have to say, I’m going to be a bit skeptical of any research conducted by these people who have such an obvious bias regarding this subject matter. I don’t doubt that these people care about objectivity, but I’m wondering, are there any studies in the works on this subject by people who aren’t Evangelical Christians with a stake in this area?

  53. How many peer-reviewed papers has this research generated?

    What kind of peer review has this research undergone? I would hope George Rekers isn’t a typical example of their reviewers.

  54. I cannot comment about the book until reading it….however, the fact that it is published by the same press that published Richard Cohen’s “work” leaves me a bit, well, unhopeful? Intervarsity press has a bad reputation with academics because of their poor review process and slant in ideology, but hey, I’m willing to see what is being said.

    One thing I can say is that somehow, whatever they find, accurate or not, it will likely be used against the gay and lesbian population because of how it may be framed.

    I am genuinely interested in ongoing research into whether individuals “can” change, what change really means (thoughts, behaviors, etc..) and the process…but just because “some” may, doesn’t mean that all should. That’s a message that should be loud and clear.

  55. Availability: This product will be released on 10/10/07. You may order this item now and we will ship it to you when it arrives. If you are charging this purchase to a credit card, you will not be charged for this item and its portion of your shipping charges until it is shipped. (Both Books-A-Million and say this).

    Did you jump the gun? The book doesn’t show up anywhere on the IVP site either.

  56. Well, ok, the real question becomes why a book, and why IVP? A peer reviewed journal was too small? How does something that isn’t peer-reviewed become an across-the-board standard?

  57. We already know the supposed numbers, 30% – and what do Jones & Yarhouse define as change? Does one need to be “highly motivated?”

    Change what? What is sexual orientation? And what is sexuality? One can change your sexuality, in that, what you do, rather easily. If sexual orientation is something else again, being somewhat biologically determined, is that changed?

    Did Alan Chamber’ reactionary talk in the LA Times go against what Jones & Yarhouse discovered?

    Is Jones & Yarhouse going to clear this up or just muddy the water further? How long a longitudinal study? Years or decades?

    Yeah… I know…. read the book.

    Can I get a trade paperback?

  58. Warren–

    Do you think the common man could wade through this? LOL! The title certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue readily.

    I did read ‘The Warren Commission Report on The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’ when I was 13. By choice! I’ll muddle my way through. It does sound like a worthwhile addition to my home library. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

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