SEE UPDATES BELOW…
Last week I blogged about a homosexuality conference in London hosted by the conservative Anglican Mainstream, and featuring Joseph Nicolosi, Jeff Satinover and Arthur Goldberg. One attendee was David Virtue who runs Virtueonline.com. His website is popular among conservative Anglicans. Virtue had much to say about the conference but one quote stood out. The quotes within this segment of Virtue’s article come from Nicolosi.
Nicolosi said he has been helping people to “increase their heterosexual potential” for 25 years, and puts his success rate among men at about two out of three. “75% of our clients are completely cured, the 25% who are not usually have other factors that are not brought into the counseling situation.”
“It is not the absent father, but the non-responsiveness of the father. It is when the father shuts downs and rejects the boy’s masculine striving and he shames the boy in his strivings to become a man. That boy will find some male to connect with. It is the negative experience of the father that destroys him and pushes him towards men who offer him homosexual sex as a way out.”
Something happened on the way from 2/3 to 75%. In either case, this is an astounding claim and represents an inflation from previous statements. In a NARTH conference report, Nicolosi is reported to have proposed that the change rate was 1/3.
Joseph Nicolosi gave the following counsel in closing the meeting: we should study the literature, obtain good training, get to know the arguments (from both sides), and be aware that research indicates about one-third of those who persevere in therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions are successful in making a significant change in behavior and identity and developing heterosexual responsiveness. Even if the change may not be complete, there is substantial improvement along with greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem and improved relationships with others.
UPDATE: Linda Nicolosi emailed this evening to say the 75% figure was a misquote. She said, “Joe has never made such a claim.” Earlier today, I checked the number with David Virtue who was in attendance and who interviewed Nicolosi here. Mr. Virtue confirmed that Nicolosi gave the 75% figure during his remarks in London. So at this time (late Monday night) there is some dispute about what is being claimed.
UPDATE (4/28/09) – David Virtue changed his article regarding the the claims of cure without notice. The current version is here. The paragraph in question has been changed to read:
Nicolosi said he has been helping people to “increase their heterosexual potential” for 25 years, and puts his success rate among men at about two out of three.