Friday, July 27, 2007

Reparative Therapy Guise?

***Note*** My intention in this blog entry is not to put down the work of Warren Throckmorton but to explain why I see concepts of reparative therapy throughout his work as a result of his statement that "his work does not have elements of sexual reorientation".

Warren Throckmorton posted what he believes to be my "misinterpretation" about his guidelines of his work. I blogged on July 26 this:

The problem is that when you read on both Throckmorton and Yarhouse talk about homosexuality as being able to be changed. Like reparative therapy they promise to make straight soldiers out of homosexual men....... I do wish Throckmorton and Yarhouse would stop promising to change peoples sexual and romantic orientation.

Throckmorton took issue with what I wrote on his blog writing:

Puzzled, I am. In fact, here is what we say in the framework:

Prior to outlining the recommendations, let us define what they are not. They are not sexual reorientation therapy protocols in disguise.

But throughout Warren Throckmorton's work on both his website and blog he does mention that change is possible. It may not be in the guidelines but it is throughout his body of work.

Here are just a few references from Throckmorton's work supporting and believing that change from gay to straight is possible:

In the video, "I Do Exist"

"Produced by Dr. Warren Throckmorton, I DO EXIST is a documentary about homosexuals who have changed their identity to one that is heterosexual. The documentary explores the different types of homosexuality from the people who dabble in it and people who adopt a gay identity...The most important part of the documentary is interviews with people who had identified as gay for many years and decided to change...

He is the producer of this video and still sells it and endorses it today. That means he supports the concept that sexual reorientation from gay to straight is possible.

Next, on Throckmorton's website he sites Exodus and PFOX as appropriate resources for those struggling with homosexual behavior. These groups promote the concept of changing from gay to straight. This is anti-gay and harmful.

That would be like me saying the KKK is a resource being for people struggling with Judaism!

And finally, Throckmorton's support of Yarhouse's work, which talks about changing from gay to straight, shows his support in that type of work.

It is important in anyone's work not to isolate a guideline or a book without looking at the entirety of one's body of work. Throckmorton cannot deny that while the main thrust of his work is not about changing sexual orientation, he does support those who do in his writings, videos and website.

Where does the concept of changing from straight to gay start and stop within Throckmorton's work. Hopefully he and his colleagues will work out these bugs within their work.

Men struggling with same sex attractions, desires and sexual behaviors should not be told, promised or guided to resources that speak of change of sexual orientation if they are, in fact, gay. This is harmful and a lie.

Wayne Besen (and numerous others doing research in sexual reorientation) have dispelled this work of the false concept of changing from gay to straight time and time again.

Where Throckmorton and I overlap is in helping men make sense of their same sex behaviors and assisting them in living congruent lives with integrity within themselves and others.

I believe Throckmorton's work is the best work out there at this time in helping men live within integrity with themselves if coming out is not an option for them. But they are still homosexuals. The one's who "change" were not gay from the start. Period.

1 comment:

Warren Throckmorton, PhD said...

Joe - I think it would be good for you to distinguish between reparative therapy and religious or other therapeutic change efforts. Reparative therapy posits a specific rationale for all homosexual attractions (absence of same-sex identification via lack of adequate same-sex parenting). I do not hold this view. One does not need to in order to believe that sexuality may changed to varying degrees. I believe it can but in a way similar to you. What is different about us is that you hold the essentialist view and I, the constructionist view, regarding the concept of sexual orientation.

Thus, while I believe sexual identity changes for some under some conditions, I do not believe that the reparative drive theory is a validated general theory of all things homosexual and in fact have been pretty vocal about that.