How to change your sexual orientation. Sexual Orientation.



How to change your sexual orientation

How to change your sexual orientation

By Peter Ould A number of developmental models have been proposed by certain therapists, who suggest that homosexuality may be connected with a lack of bonding to the same-sex parent. Living Out does not support efforts to change people's sexual orientation, and we explain why in this article.

Why are some people same-sex attracted? Many have argued both that such therapy does not work and indeed harms the clients who undertake it. A paper by Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder in interviewed a number of those who had undergone such therapy, to find out about their experiences and whether it had been harmful.

They reported that many of the participants had not experienced orientation change and felt wounded by the process.

They set out to recruit participants who felt that they had been harmed by their therapy. This is the statistical equivalent of conducting a political opinion poll by only interviewing people in the headquarters of the Labour party. However, this challenge was picked up by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, who carried out a longitudinal study of those going through reparative therapy to see whether they could answer such a question.

In this way they could track how participants felt about what was going on, and use psychotherapy industry standard measures to assess not only whether sexual orientation had changed, but also whether there was any psychological harm to the participants from their participation in the programmes.

However, for those who began the therapy self-reporting as almost exclusively homosexual in their attractions, there was a more noticeable shift in orientation that was significant. We should note that at this time, sexual orientation was usually measured on a single bi-polar scale between exclusively homosexual and exclusively heterosexual the so-called Kinsey Scale.

But when participants were asked to measure homosexual attraction and heterosexual attraction on separate scales i. For the whole population there was a significant reduction in homosexual attraction. However, there was no significant increase in heterosexual attraction, even though on average participants did record some increase. Jones and Yarhouse also asked participants to report what they felt the results of the therapy were.

Over two-thirds of the participants reported that they felt they had seen a positive desired change in their sexual orientation, in that they felt that they were now able to live a chaste life, or that they were positive about continuing in therapy.

Only 1 in 8 of the participants reported that they had rejected the premise of the therapy and were definitely gay, or that they were confused about their sexual identity.

That is, not only was there no clinical evidence that reparative therapy caused harm, but there was evidence that it was of benefit to the participants in lessening their distress. There is also the question of sexual identity change versus sexual orientation change. Recent theoretical and empirical work on sexual identity among religious sexual minorities suggests that attributions and meaning are critical in the decision to integrate same-sex attractions into a gay identity or the decision to dis-identify with a gay identity and the persons and institutions that support a gay identity.

In light of the role of attributions and meaning in sexual identity labelling, is it possible that some of what is reported in this study as change of orientation is more accurately understood as change in sexual identity? Some may see these results as reflecting not a change in sexual orientation for most participants who reported such change, but rather a change in sexual identity. This might also explain to some why the Truly Gay subpopulation showed more dramatic change, as their shift was away from a more pronounced gay identity.

Such a departure may have been measured as a greater movement away from something that had previously been more salient to them. It is possible that this data reflects both persons who experienced a more powerful change in orientation as well as persons who experienced a change in sexual identity.

The shift itself appeared to be consolidated and sustained over time for those who reported a successful outcome. What Jones and Yarhouse are suggesting is that what seemed to be more important in people leaving homosexuality behind was not a reduction in homosexual desires themselves but rather the way the person with these desires views themselves.

This is not to say that the person is now heterosexual! Orientation or identity change without therapy On the subject of orientation and sexual identity change, it is also interesting that many people experience a shift in sexual attractions from homosexual to heterosexual or vice-verse without ever engaging in therapy or even seeking by other methods to change their orientation.

To check this the researchers asked the same questions again, this time asking people to describe themselves as gay or lesbian rather than homosexual.

This transition matrix is fascinating. In , Mock and Eibach reported on an attempt to use a 10 year US longitudinal study data set to explore the same issues. Again, the results were very interesting. Without discussing them in detail here, this study built up a picture of a bi-polar sexual orientation spectrum with transition both ways. This effect is even more pronounced amongst women than men. Homosexual women were five times more likely to make a transition in their sexual orientation then heterosexual women compared to homosexual men being around two and a half times more likely to change then heterosexual men.

Specifically, female homosexuality seems to be much more fluid than male, and this fits in with the twin studies that suggest a much higher environmental factor for homosexuality amongst women than men.

Where people have tried to change, we see evidence that such sexual orientation change efforts may have some effect, although we still have serious concerns with making this a goal, as we explain in this article.

See also [1] A.

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How To Figure Out Your Sexual Orientation -Spectrum



How to change your sexual orientation

By Peter Ould A number of developmental models have been proposed by certain therapists, who suggest that homosexuality may be connected with a lack of bonding to the same-sex parent. Living Out does not support efforts to change people's sexual orientation, and we explain why in this article. Why are some people same-sex attracted? Many have argued both that such therapy does not work and indeed harms the clients who undertake it. A paper by Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder in interviewed a number of those who had undergone such therapy, to find out about their experiences and whether it had been harmful.

They reported that many of the participants had not experienced orientation change and felt wounded by the process. They set out to recruit participants who felt that they had been harmed by their therapy.

This is the statistical equivalent of conducting a political opinion poll by only interviewing people in the headquarters of the Labour party. However, this challenge was picked up by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, who carried out a longitudinal study of those going through reparative therapy to see whether they could answer such a question. In this way they could track how participants felt about what was going on, and use psychotherapy industry standard measures to assess not only whether sexual orientation had changed, but also whether there was any psychological harm to the participants from their participation in the programmes.

However, for those who began the therapy self-reporting as almost exclusively homosexual in their attractions, there was a more noticeable shift in orientation that was significant. We should note that at this time, sexual orientation was usually measured on a single bi-polar scale between exclusively homosexual and exclusively heterosexual the so-called Kinsey Scale.

But when participants were asked to measure homosexual attraction and heterosexual attraction on separate scales i. For the whole population there was a significant reduction in homosexual attraction. However, there was no significant increase in heterosexual attraction, even though on average participants did record some increase. Jones and Yarhouse also asked participants to report what they felt the results of the therapy were.

Over two-thirds of the participants reported that they felt they had seen a positive desired change in their sexual orientation, in that they felt that they were now able to live a chaste life, or that they were positive about continuing in therapy. Only 1 in 8 of the participants reported that they had rejected the premise of the therapy and were definitely gay, or that they were confused about their sexual identity.

That is, not only was there no clinical evidence that reparative therapy caused harm, but there was evidence that it was of benefit to the participants in lessening their distress. There is also the question of sexual identity change versus sexual orientation change. Recent theoretical and empirical work on sexual identity among religious sexual minorities suggests that attributions and meaning are critical in the decision to integrate same-sex attractions into a gay identity or the decision to dis-identify with a gay identity and the persons and institutions that support a gay identity.

In light of the role of attributions and meaning in sexual identity labelling, is it possible that some of what is reported in this study as change of orientation is more accurately understood as change in sexual identity? Some may see these results as reflecting not a change in sexual orientation for most participants who reported such change, but rather a change in sexual identity. This might also explain to some why the Truly Gay subpopulation showed more dramatic change, as their shift was away from a more pronounced gay identity.

Such a departure may have been measured as a greater movement away from something that had previously been more salient to them. It is possible that this data reflects both persons who experienced a more powerful change in orientation as well as persons who experienced a change in sexual identity. The shift itself appeared to be consolidated and sustained over time for those who reported a successful outcome. What Jones and Yarhouse are suggesting is that what seemed to be more important in people leaving homosexuality behind was not a reduction in homosexual desires themselves but rather the way the person with these desires views themselves.

This is not to say that the person is now heterosexual! Orientation or identity change without therapy On the subject of orientation and sexual identity change, it is also interesting that many people experience a shift in sexual attractions from homosexual to heterosexual or vice-verse without ever engaging in therapy or even seeking by other methods to change their orientation.

To check this the researchers asked the same questions again, this time asking people to describe themselves as gay or lesbian rather than homosexual. This transition matrix is fascinating. In , Mock and Eibach reported on an attempt to use a 10 year US longitudinal study data set to explore the same issues. Again, the results were very interesting. Without discussing them in detail here, this study built up a picture of a bi-polar sexual orientation spectrum with transition both ways. This effect is even more pronounced amongst women than men.

Homosexual women were five times more likely to make a transition in their sexual orientation then heterosexual women compared to homosexual men being around two and a half times more likely to change then heterosexual men. Specifically, female homosexuality seems to be much more fluid than male, and this fits in with the twin studies that suggest a much higher environmental factor for homosexuality amongst women than men. Where people have tried to change, we see evidence that such sexual orientation change efforts may have some effect, although we still have serious concerns with making this a goal, as we explain in this article.

See also [1] A.

How to change your sexual orientation

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5 Comments

  1. Specifically, female homosexuality seems to be much more fluid than male, and this fits in with the twin studies that suggest a much higher environmental factor for homosexuality amongst women than men. Other parents feel upset, disappointed, or unable to accept their teen's sexual orientation at first. If it is really OK, we should be as accepting of a person who has a relationship with a man and then a woman as we would of someone who usually eats vanilla ice cream and then decides to start eating pistachio.

  2. By Peter Ould A number of developmental models have been proposed by certain therapists, who suggest that homosexuality may be connected with a lack of bonding to the same-sex parent.

  3. However, in order to support the people in our lives who are struggling with their sexual orientations, we must reluctantly leave Utopia and remember that we live in a world that puts limits on people's sexual inclinations and punishes those who don't follow the rules.

  4. Homosexual women were five times more likely to make a transition in their sexual orientation then heterosexual women compared to homosexual men being around two and a half times more likely to change then heterosexual men. They often feel glad that their child chose to confide in them, and are proud of their child for having the courage to tell them.

  5. How Gay Teens Might Feel Like their straight peers, gay teens may stress about school, grades, college, sports, activities, friends, and fitting in. But these experiences, by themselves, do not necessarily mean that a teen is gay or straight. However, this challenge was picked up by Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, who carried out a longitudinal study of those going through reparative therapy to see whether they could answer such a question.

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