Monday, February 12, 2007

New York Times on Change Therapy

A Mormon man and a BYU-trained therapist are among those featured in "Reining in Desires Proves Complex, at Best," a story on the front page of the Metro section of today's New York Times.

(Free registration with the New York Times is required to read the article.)


-L- said...

From the article:

"There's not a debate in the profession on this issue," said Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychiatrist and former chairman of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues of the American Psychiatric Association. "This is like creationism. You create the impression to the public as if there was a debate in the profession, which there is not."

Now me again:

I heard Jack Drescher speak a while back and he was unbelievable bigoted against religious people (which I always find ironic in someone so in favor of diversity and equality). The thing about this quote that irritates me is the sophist implication. He's right that there's no debate in the profession, but he implies that that's because the questions have already been answered. He himself acknowledges that there is inadequate data to prove the risks or benefits. The fact that there's no debate in the profession is actually an indictment of the closed-mindedness political activists like him have managed to impose through their bigotry.

Chris said...

That aside, what did you think of the article?

Anonymous said...

i was surprised at the balance in the article. the final comment about the burden being lifted is a poignant reminder that many of us are uncomfortable with the extremes of drescher and the christian right.

I hope Corey can balance his version of mormonism and his nature. when i manage it i'll let y'all know.

Chris said...

I thought the piece was well written and well balanced. I could quibble about how some things were characterized, but overall I thought the reporter treated the topic and his interviews with respect.

Beck said...

There was no miracle answer from either side. I liked that the reparative stories were not left to be "cured", but that it is a long and hard process if you choose to go down that road. I didn't feel condemned from the article for trying to sort it out and work it out in my own way instead of a pre-described, pre-determined fits-all solution.

Thanks for sharing and bringing to light the article.

mark said...

I listened to the two audio clips of Corey. Towards the end of the second, he talked about how his goal is progress rather than change, and how, while he does not have marriage as a goal, he has a deep longing to be a husband and a father. I can certainly relate to that feeling, and it was certainly something that helped keep me from considering the possibility of living life as an out gay man. I'll bet a lot of us have felt that way. But it is not this black and white "either/or" dichotomies that Corey thinks it is or has been led to believe it is. I hope that he will get the opportunity to see that there are other options open to him.

-L- said...

I'm with everything that has been said, more or less. The article seemed like a pretty good one to me (other than I despise Drescher who ends up being the representative of the medical community over and over again).

I have never felt that I've been "promised" a changed sexual orientation from reparative therapy. I've been told the risks and benefits, that some men report having a complete change in orientation, others a partial change, and others just an increased ability to cope. I was also told that the therapy only works if you are of a certain "type" of gay and that some people have been very resentful after failing therapy and having spent so much time and money without results.

In my opinion, that is precisely what we do for heart patients, cancer patients, and diabetes patients when we offer them therapies with mixed success rates. It's a matter of informed consent whether the patient chooses to go for it or not. That's the same concept that was left out of the ridiculous Boston Legal clip I saw recently.

Uncle D. said...

I knew David Matheson and his wife Peggy when they were here in NY -- he went to Columbia. Then they were out in Utah -- he started Evergreen, I believe.

They are very nice people, with nice singing voices, and they were in the Ward and the Ward choir that I directed then, in the late 80s.

Even if one believed that one's sexual preference could be changed, or at least "diminished," (I'm not a believer), it still begs the question... why does one need to? Why does one need to love only one gender? Why does one need to change one's natural sense of attraction? Ultimately, what's wrong with gay love, except that no babies can come from it? Are potential babies confirmation of real love?