Joy to the World; He is Risen!
Joy to the World; He is Risen!
Joy to the World; He is Risen!
The Christian Post published my op-ed this morning regarding the deleterious effects of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill on AIDS work. I was able to interview Edward Green, who is the Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University. Green is widely known respected among AIDS researchers and prevention specialists for his work in primary prevention. As noted in the op-ed, Dr. Green worked with Martin Ssempa to craft policy which emphasize abstinence and fidelity. I didn’t add in the op-ed that Stephen Langa was also a co-author.
About the bill, Dr. Green told me:
The bill sounds dangerous and completely inhumane. As a practical matter, such a bill is unenforceable and would only drive homosexuality underground, terrorize gay men and women and their loved ones, and justify witch hunts.
I also was able to interview Karen Moul of the Catholic Relief Services. CRS has received millions to prevent and treat AIDS around the world. She noted that their efforts are hampered by stigma now; this bill will make the situation worse.
Also, go on over to Christian Post and read this article…
Adding D to ABC: How a Proposed Ban on Homosexuality in Uganda Will Undo AIDS Progress
Relevant to AIDS relief work, there is no exemption in the bill for professionals.
Tue, Nov. 03, 2009 Posted: 07:23 PM EDT Continue reading “Harvard’s AIDS expert Edward Green condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009”
Alisa Harris at World Magazine has a web only article out today discussing the APA task force report. I am quoted along with David Pruden at NARTH. There are a couple of points in the NARTH information that are incorrect.
Psychologist Warren Throckmorton once met a woman who was in a lifelong lesbian relationship and suddenly, with no prefaced desire to leave her lesbian lifestyle, fell in love with a guy at work. She left her lesbian partner and married the man.
The American Psychological Association just published a report on whether therapists can make this change happen. In examining change therapy, which claims that people with homosexual desires can switch to heterosexual desires, the report says there is insufficient evidence that the therapies work.
This kind of story is a good argument for control groups if you really want to rule out spontaneous change from the claims that therapy produced it. If this woman and others I know like her were in therapy, perhaps they would have attributed the change to the therapy.
NARTH of course is skeptical:
The panel surveyed 83 peer-reviewed studies, most of which occurred before 1978 and had methodological flaws, according to the panel. But the 138-page report left out certain key studies by Jones and Yarhouse, Karten, and Spitzer, said Pruden, adding that there was no minority report and a lack of ideological diversity on the task force. In a response to the APA report, NARTH argued that “homosexuality is more fluid than fixed” and that there’s substantial evidence someone can change his sexual orientation.
This comes from the NARTH press release in response to the APA report:
NARTH appreciates that the APA stressed the importance of faith and religious diversity. Unfortunately, however, the report reflects a very strong confirmation bias; that is, the task force reflected virtually no ideological diversity. No APA member who offers reorientation therapy was allowed to join the task force. In fact, one can make the case that every member of the task force can be classified as an activist. They selected and interpreted studies that fit within their innate and immutable view. For example, they omitted the Jones and Yarhouse study, the Karten study, and only gave cursory attention to the Spitzer study. Had the task force been more neutral in their approach, they could have arrived at only one conclusion: homosexuality is not invariable fixed in all people, and some people can and do change, not just in terms of behavior and identity but in core features of sexual orientation such as fantasy and attractions.
At least one problem here is that the task force report did consider Jones and Yarhouse, Karten and Spitzer. I would have preferred that the criticisms of the Jones and Yarhouse study would have been considered in a different manner (not in a footnote) but I do not think the outcome would have been much different given the APA distinction between orientation and identity.
On the claims of omission, a quick search of the APA report demonstrates how misleading the NARTH press release is. The Jones & Yarhouse study is referenced 17 times, Karten’s dissertation is mentioned three times, and Spitzer’s study is referenced 19 times.
I was glad Ms. Harris included the following:
The idea that people develop homosexual tendencies because of sexual abuse or distant parents is “one of the easiest theories to falsify,” he argues. “There are many gay people who have perfectly fine relationships with their parents and are not sexually abused.” Instead of telling his gay clients that they can become straight, Throckmorton helps them figure out how they want to live and then helps them get there.
If you are so inclined, you can vote for yours truly in a blog competition (just click the plus sign in the green circle) or nominate this blog in another category.
If you nominate in another category, here is the info to place in the comment section:
Warren Throckmorton – A College Psychology Professor’s Observations About Culture, Mental Health, Sexual Identity, and Religious Issues
There are many other great blogs being nominated as well. Go have a look…
What a difference a day makes.
The American Psychiatric Association program Homosexuality and Therapy: The Religious Dimension has been pulled by chair David Scasta. My understanding is that he was asked (by whom, I am still not clear) to pull the program because of increasing concerns about it. I am still hearing more about the reasons and hope to know something more clearly soon.
Dr. Scasta did tell me that the APA’s position is that the program was not pulled because gay activists were unhappy with it. At this moment, I am skeptical.
More to come…