Preview of coming attractions

Here is a preview of posts for the next couple of weeks.
1. New research – Commenter Evan pointed out two new studies of interest, one a twin study and the other related to the the role of gender atypical behavior in adult mental distress. In additional to those two papers, there are two other studies on childhood gender nonconformity that I want to review as well.
2. Q&A with Michael Bailey – Dr. Bailey will comment on the new Finnish twin study. He will also speak about the mistakes those on the right and left make in interpreting these studies.
3. Rebuttal to the Pink Swastika – I will be providing a guest post, a difficult to locate response to arguments which form the basis for the Pink Swastika and primary sources which contradict Scott Lively’s view that the Nazism was animated by homosexuality.
I suspect those posts will lead to several follow ups that should keep us busy.

WorldNetDaily suddenly finds year old NARTH article newsworthy

A reader emailed me to say that the American Psychological Association had recently changed the official view on homosexuality causation to endorse an environmental set of causes. The prompt for the email was this article from WorldNetDaily: “‘Gay’ gene claim suddenly vanishes
To arrive at this startling conclusion, the WND writer, Rob Unruh quotes an article published more than a year ago from NARTH titled, “APA’s New Pamphlet On Homosexuality De-emphasizes The Biological Argument, Supports A Client’s Right To Self-Determination.”
In the article, Dean Byrd notes that the APA document shifts emphasis on causes to a more nuanced and complex view. Byrd cites this quote:

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles…”

However, oddly, Byrd leaves this last phrase from the APA website out of his quote:

…most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Also in the APA paper, reparative therapy is discussed. The APA says
What about therapy intended to change sexual orientation from gay to straight?

All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.
Helpful responses of a therapist treating an individual who is troubled about her or his same-sex attractions include helping that person actively cope with social prejudices against homosexuality, successfully resolve issues associated with and resulting from internal conflicts, and actively lead a happy and satisfying life. Mental health professional organizations call on their members to respect a person’s (client’s) right to self-determination; be sensitive to the client’s race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, language, and disability status when working with that client; and eliminate biases based on these factors.

From these paragraphs expressing concern, Byrd pulls out this sentence to portray a greater openness to change therapy than is warranted:

“Mental health organizations call on their members to respect a person’s [client’s] right to self-determination.”

I blogged about this article last year when it came out, commending the APA for their nuanced account of the research to that point. I think NARTH should do what the APA did a year ago and issue a statement about environmental causes. Then I wondered:

…when NARTH would make an APA-like statement about theorized environmental factors such as child abuse and same-sex parenting deficits. What if NARTH acknowledged “what most scientists have long known: that a bio-psycho-social model of causation best fits the data?” Wouldn’t there be a need for a statement cautioning readers of their materials that evidence for parenting playing a large or determining role is meager? Paralleling Dr. Byrd’s assessment of the APA pamphlet, shouldn’t NARTH say with italics, “There is no homogenic family. There is no simple familial pathway to homosexuality.”…
I wrote Dean and asked him about NARTH’s stance. He answered for himself by saying,

I think that the bio-psycho-social model of causation makes it clear that there is neither a simple biological or environmental pathway to homosexuality.

NARTH is widely known for championing a view of homosexuality that requires some kind of trauma as a causal factor. In point of fact, SSA can occur without bad parenting or abuse. Shouldn’t NARTH follow the APA’s lead and issue an official statement such as suggested above?
UPDATE: OneNewsNow and AFTAH have joined the echo chamber.
The ONN account begins:

The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there’s no homosexual “gene” — meaning it’s not likely that homosexuals are born that way.

I wonder if NARTH will correct this misunderstanding of the APA’s publication. In fact, no knockout punch has been delivered to any theory, except perhaps for those dogmatic views that stress one pathway. Let’s see leaving aside extreme biological determinism, who else gets a knockout punch here? The APA statement cuts both ways but NARTH, and the people quoted in this report only want to see it go one way.
The APA (over a year ago) handled the research with integrity. When will NARTH and related groups do the same?

Fathers, sons and homosexuality

Today, Crosswalk.com published my article, “Fathers, sons and homosexuality.” It is also up at the Christian Post blog and soon a few other places. In this piece, I examine Joseph Nicolosi’s reparative drive theory via a very specific claim made recently in London while speaking to the Anglican Mainstream conference, Sex in the City. In an interview with David Virtue, Nicolosi said:

In other words, that fact remains that if you traumatize a child in a particular way you will create a homosexual condition. If you do not traumatize a child, he will be heterosexual. If you do not traumatize a child in a particular way, he will be heterosexual. The nature of that trauma is an early attachment break during the bonding phase with the father.

Many straight New Warrior brothers will tell you that they had attachment breaks with their fathers during this period. In fact, many straight men go to men’s groups to address those matters. On the flip side, this article focuses on a father’s perspective on his relationship with his same-sex attracted son.

Fathers, sons and homosexuality
The causes of homosexuality continue to both fascinate and divide people. Recently, in London, a conservative group of Anglicans, called the Anglican Mainstream hosted a conference to discuss the causes of homosexuality and promote change from gay to straight. Featured at the conference was American psychologist, Joseph Nicolosi. Dr. Nicolosi stirred much controversy when he said, without research support, that most of his clients show some degree of change in their sexual orientation.
Nicolosi’s views regarding causes of homosexuality are also controversial. In response to a question about the existence of a gay gene, Nicolosi said:

In other words, that fact remains that if you traumatize a child in a particular way you will create a homosexual condition. If you do not traumatize a child, he will be heterosexual. If you do not traumatize a child in a particular way, he will be heterosexual. The nature of that trauma is an early attachment break during the bonding phase with the father.

In a popular book written with his wife, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Nicolosi pegs the “crucial period” for bonding between father and son at “between one and a half to three years.” Elsewhere, Nicolosi argues that fathers of homosexual sons are unavailable, detached and/or hostile. To fathers in London, he advised, “If you don’t hug your sons, some other man will,” suggesting that male homosexual attraction is a search for a father’s love.
The father-deficit theory is considered outdated by mainstream sexuality researchers, but is popular among conservative Christians. This evangelical acceptance has always puzzled me because Nicolosi’s statements regarding the origins of homosexuality can be discounted not only by research but by common experience. His theory is contradicted in at least two ways. The first way should be quite obvious to Nicolosi’s audiences: there are many men who experienced poor fathering not only during the first six years of life but throughout childhood and are nonetheless, exclusively heterosexual.
Since many in Nicolosi’s audiences are either unhappy with their homosexual attractions or do not know many secure gay people, the second problem might not be so clear. In contrast to Nicolosi’s depictions of the typical family of gay males, many such men experienced loving, close relationships with their fathers throughout childhood with no break in attachment. Listen to one such father who spoke to me recently about his gay son.

When my son was 18 months to 3 years old (and on into childhood), we enjoyed a wonderfully close relationship. We explored the world behind the YMCA and called it travelling, looking for creatures in nooks and crannies. When it would snow, we bundled up and follow the same path. We hunted for snakes together in the creek, built a swamp world for various amphibians and generally loved each others’ company. Wherever I was, there was my son; as my wife would say, we were like “Peel and Stick.”
As he got older our relationship changed, but in a way that it should change. It matured into a friendship as father and son. After our son came out to us, our relationship did not change.

Does this sound like an uninvolved, detached father? This man’s son concurs with his dad’s assessment of the relationship. They were and are close, with no breaks during the period Nicolosi theorizes should cause homosexuality.
Devout Christians, the family attended conferences put on by conservative Christians who believed parental deficits were responsible for homosexuality. The answers they heard were very much like what Dr. Nicolosi promotes. These parents also took their son to a reparative therapist (i.e., counselor who holds to Nicolosi’s theory) who evaluated the potential for sexual orientation change. The father reported that it wasn’t helpful.

Not understanding the nature of his condition, we did take our son to a counselor. After several weeks of “therapy,” our counselor told our son that he didn’t know what to do. None of the stereotypes fit. Our son told his counselor that he had a wonderful and close relationship with his father and mom.

Although the parents hold the traditional Christian, non-affirming view of homosexual behavior, parents and son have maintained their relationship. What they all do much less often now is become preoccupied over causes and self-blame. The father sees a bigger picture.

Dr. Nicolosi gets it wrong to reduce the thorns in our sides/lives to a human event where we have but one chance to get it right. Does that sound like the relationship we have with our heavenly Father? God has allowed all of us to experience thorns, some painfully obvious, others less so. No doubt the thorns God allows are refining our character and leading us back to Him.

In fact, sexual orientation is quite complex. Most likely, multiple pre-and post-natal factors are involved in different ways for different people. One size does not fit all. What this means for Christian groups, however, is the stuff of controversy. For some, it means that homosexuality should be affirmed and Scripture reframed. For others, it does not lead to a change of orthodoxy, but rather to greater humility regarding the need for spiritual support to live a different and often difficult calling. What is not needed is adoption of simple, but misleading, answers.

Prejean keeps crown; holds same position as President Obama

Must have been a heady moment to be with Donald Trump and keep her Miss California crown. Carrie Prejean reminded people that she and the President hold the same position on same-sex marriage…(well probably not exactly the same if you consider his approach to Prop 8).
And a nice trifecta today: keep the crown, hang out with Trump and featured guest again on the Focus on the Family radio show. All in all a better day than some of the last few.

Miss California officials accuse conservative groups of exploiting Carrie Prejean

The Miss California pageant held a news conference today on the topic of Carrie Prejean. Many reported in advance that her Miss California crown would be removed during the press conference today. However, according to Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler, Directors of the Miss California pageant, a decision about firing Prejean will come tomorrow from brand owner Donald Trump. I wonder if Trump’s press conference will come from the boardroom.
It certainly sounded like the two directors recommended her release although they refused to make it explicit. Essentially, they said Prejean had skipped scheduled Miss California events and that she was only available through her “handlers.” They stressed that if she was dismissed, it would not be because of her views on marriage but how she had related to the pageant since Miss USA.
The harshest criticism however came from Keith Lewis and was aimed at Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage. Lewis claimed 42% of NOMs funds went to Gallagher and that NOM engaged in copyright infringement by using Miss California footage for a NOM ad campaign.
Lewis also addressed other unnamed Christian organizations saying, “Shame, shame, shame” for exploiting Miss Prejean and placing her in a situation where she had breached her contract. He accused these groups of encouraging her to speak on their behalf even though it meant she was at risk of losing her title.

Carrie Prejean's Miss Cali fate decided today; Dobson speculates she will lose crown

Lots of reporting out today on the subject; Prejean and her mother are featured today and tomorrow on Focus on the Family broadcasts.
During the opening of the broadcast, Dr. Dobson said Carrie would be stripped of her crown today. According to the Prejean camp, that is not known at this time. Prejean representative, Melany Ethridge emailed to say the pageant has not notified them of what will be announced.
Also, prior to the broadcast, Dobson mentioned the semi-nude picture of Prejean at age 17. That picture surfaced since the interviews were recorded. About that photo, he said,

We agree with you in the audience who oppose that kind of sensuality. Focus on the Family has been a strong supporter of modesty and righteousness in the culture for many years. And yet we have chosen to go ahead and air these two programs after Carrie explained that the pictures were taken when she was 17 years old; she’s now 21 and in fact will be 22 on Wednesday and she regrets doing it and said she would not do it again.

Prejean also said on Friday that she would not take some of the more recent work she has done as well.

Carrie Prejean has second thoughts about recent Blisss Magazine pic

On the heels of defending revealing photos as part of the job of a model, Carrie Prejean has had second thoughts about a recent photo published in Blisss Magazine (spelled Bl!sss on the mag website). Miss Prejean’s pic is a “Super Taste” centerfold of the month and is the lead photo on her Otto Models page. (warning: not workplace friendly)
The recent controversy surrounding Miss Prejean’s modeling work has focused on pictures of her taken when she was 17. She has expressed regret publicly about those photos.

Her publicist, Melany Ethridge, confirmed a comment she gave to celebrity Web site TMZ in which she said Prejean was just 17 when she posed for the photos, hoping they would land her a job model for the Victoria’s Secret lingerie line.
“In her naivete, an agent convinced her to pose for this photo to submit to a lingerie company, claiming they could make her the next Victoria’s Secret model,” Ethridge told TMZ. “She has since learned what a lie that was, and what a mistake it was to have the photo taken.”

However, she defended lingerie modeling as recently as Tuesday when she issued a statement saying:

I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.

More recently, she posed for the centerfold of Bl!sss, an action sports oriented magazine which features young women in various states of undress. She touts the Blisss modeling assignment on the Miss California website as part of her resume. However, through her publicist, I have learned that Prejean regrets the Blisss Magazine photo. Her publicist, Melany Ethridge, said that Miss Prejean has had second thoughts. Late yesterday, Ms. Ethridge told me that

…she would not do the Blisss mag photo shoot, if asked now.

Melany did not address my question about whether Miss Prejean would take such jobs in the future. However, this new statement may signal a broader evaluation of her work.
UPDATE: Earlier today, Melany Ethridge contacted me to say that the original statement above about the Bl!sss magazine photo was her belief about what Ms. Prejean would do. However, this afternoon, she now has confirmed with Prejean that “given who she is today,” she would not take the job.
UPDATE 2: Monday appears to be decision-day for Miss California.

Vote Today Ohio leader Tate Hausman discusses voter fraud conviction

As reported here last week, Tate Hausman co-leader of Ohio Obama get out the vote organization, Vote Today Ohio, was convicted of voter fraud. Mr. Hausman violated Ohio laws requiring new residents in the state to intend to remain in Ohio past the election. He had no intention of staying in Ohio.
Mr. Hausman, a Brooklyn, New York resident, spoke to the Brooklyn Paper about the conviction in an interview published today. He says he did not understand the law.

Hausman was hit with a $1,000 fine from a court in the Buckeye State, where he had relocated in order to get out the vote from students, homeless people and other under-represented voters.
Of course, he voted there, too.
That’s where the trouble began.
Hausman cast an early ballot for Obama on Oct. 4, believing he was allowed to do so because he had been living in Columbus for more than the 30-days requirement for voter eligibility.
But Franklin County Ohio Prosecutor Ron O’Brien argued successfully that the rules stipulate that any Ohio voter must intend to remain an Ohio resident — something any self-respecting Brooklynite would never agree to.
Hausman claims he didn’t realize he had broken one of Ohio’s most-sacred tenets until he received a letter outlining the law — but he received it three days after the deadline had passed for withdrawing an illegal vote without punishment.
“When I saw that letter, my stomach fell to my knees,” Hausman said.

Watching this Palestra.net report, a skeptical person might question Mr. Hausman’s account.
As Tiffany Wilson’s report indicates, other VTO workers registered in Ohio. According to Franklin County Prosecutor, Ron O’Brien, other prosecutions are on the way.
See also:
Vote Today Ohio out-of-state leaders register in Ohio

Carrie Prejean defends photos

This morning Carrie Prejean issued a statement via her publicist about naughty photos of her circulating on the internet.

SAN DIEGO, May 5 /PRNewswire/ — “On April 19, I chose to answer a question during the 2009 Miss USA pageant in an honest and personal manner that expressed my views of the long-established definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. That answer, and my commitment to stand by my beliefs, has since resulted in attacks on me and my integrity as a woman. We live in a great country; a nation that was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Yet my comments defending traditional marriage have led to intimidation tactics that seek to undermine my reputation and somehow silence me and my beliefs, as if opinion is only a one-way street.
“I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be. But these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive. While we may not agree on every issue, we should show respect for others’ opinions and not try to silence them through vicious and mean-spirited attacks.
“With that in mind, I will continue to support and defend marriage as the honorable institution it is. I will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of the American people and the voters of my home state of California. If this whole experience has taught me anything, it is our precious right to speak freely, and how we as Americans can never allow anyone or any group to intimidate or threaten us to keep silent.”
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Melany Ethridge 214.912.8934
melany@alarryross.com
Kristin Cole 615.289.6701
kristin@alarryross.com

I don’t know who really wrote the statement but either she or her handlers should do a focus group or take a poll or something. I don’t think they understand the disconnect between Christian role model and model.
The AP “covers” this story. As with Vanessa Williams, they may provoke the loss of her title. And now she has been invited to the Values Voters Summit…
Here is a previous post on the matter and some commentary from Christianity Today. Katelyn Beaty sums it well:

In an interview with the SBC-affiliated San Diego Christian College, where she attends, Prejean talks about the wonderful things she is already doing for Christ: serving women in the adult entertainment industry, volunteering at the local International Ministry Center to help refugees learn English, and working with a mentoring program to foster-care children. She says, “I especially have a heart for helping young girls with low self-esteem.” At this point, I would encourage Prejean to skip the beauty pageants, which set up the very standards of beauty that lead many young girls to devalue themselves, and focus on the far more lasting work she is already doing in the kingdom.