Calling All Former Participants in Studies of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

Writing on Tuesday about Joseph Nicolosi’s new reparative therapy study got me thinking about the other studies of sexual orientation change efforts which have come and gone. I know a few participants in the Spitzer, Shidlo and Schroeder, Jones and Yarhouse studies who once told researchers they had changed orientation but now identify as gay. I suspect some have stayed about the same as they were when they participated in the research. It would be interesting to find out if there are any patterns in experience since those studies were published.
With that in mind, I am calling for subjects in any of the studies designed to assess sexual reorientation to contact me. If you participated in the Spitzer, Shidlo and Schroeder, Jones and Yarhouse, or any study which asked if you had changed orientation (including my 2005 study), please contact me at this email (SOCEFollowup@gmail.com). Those interested don’t have to reveal their identities at first and feel free to write with any questions about this effort.
It seems pretty clear to me that some erosion in the percentage of people claiming change has occurred since Exodus International shut down. Several former leaders in Exodus have recently come out as gay and there may be others who participated in studies from that era who have gone in a different direction. While this isn’t exact science, it may help to shed some light on the long term experience of those who once claimed to have changed orientation.
 

Ariel Shidlo comments on NARTH's use of his research

Back in December, 2008, I posted a critique of Neil Whitehead’s re-analysis of Shidlo and Schroeder’s study of harm from reorientation change efforts.
In that post, I noted that Whitehead said Shidlo’s study actually demonstrated the value of reparative therapy because suicides were reduced. In her report on the 2008 NARTH convention, NARTH president Julie Hamilton wrote:

Regarding the claims that reorientation therapy harms clients, Dr. Whitehead cited studies that found suicide rates decrease after therapy. In fact, he pointed out that Shidlo and Schroeder (2002) sought to prove the adverse effects of therapy by collecting stories of harm; however, instead of finding therapy to be harmful, they found it to be helpful, in that suicide attempts by these clients actually decreased after therapy. For more information on the content and references for Dr. Whitehead鈥檚 keynote address, see the NARTH Collected Convention Papers or soon-to-be-released book, What the Research Shows: NARTH鈥檚 Response to the APA Claims on Homosexuality.

In the original post I cited a number of reasons why Shidlo and Schoeder could not be used to make statements regarding the relationship between change efforts and suicidality. Also, along the way, I asked Ariel Shidlo his response to the NARTH claim and my critique of it. He recently responded:

The [NARTH] claims are obviously a wishful reading of data that does not lend itself to any such conclusions. You make these points eloquently in your column.
Thanks for educating readers to a critical reading of those who throw around “science” in their sermons.

In reviewing the original post, note that the topic was not merely the inappropriateness of the specific NARTH claim but the role of confirmation bias in making various claims regarding sexual orientation. Being aware of this should not prevent theorizing but we should be prepared to acknowledge data which contradict our theories and look for alternative perspectives with new and better research.