FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Study Shows Homosexuals Can Change
Some homosexuals do shift orientation
May 10, 2001 --
A study released Wednesday which shows that some gays and lesbians can experience a significant shift in sexual orientation is making media headlines across the nation. This study further validates outreaches like Reclamation Resource Center, a local member of Exodus, North America. Mike Levenhagen, Director of Reclamation Resource Center said, "While we will never coerce anyone to accept our understanding of homosexuality, we believe everyone should make their decisions based on all the facts. This includes the fact that thousands have found freedom from homosexual attractions."
Reclamation Resource Center operates out of Menasha,WI to help individuals find freedom from unwanted homosexual attractions; it also serves as a resource center for education about gender identity issues (including homosexuality and the church, discrimination, and teen gender issues).
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, Chief of Biometrics Research and Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City, announced the results of his research in a presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. "Contrary to conventional wisdom, some highly motivated individuals, using a variety of change efforts, can make substantial change in multiple indicators of sexual orientation," Spitzer said.
Dr. Spitzer, a leading figure in the 1973 APA decision that removed homosexuality from the official diagnostic manual of mental disorders, said that he began the study as a skeptic. "Like most psychiatrists, I thought that homosexual behavior could only be resisted, and that no one could really change their sexual orientation. I now believe that to be false. Some people can and do change," he said.
Spokespersons for various national pro-gay organizations issued statements Wednesday attempting to discredit both Dr. Spitzer and the study's results. "This study has little scientific value because the sample was largely drawn from organizations with strong anti-gay missions and appears to be a reflection of the researcher's personal bias," said Wayne Besen, Human Rights Campaign's Associate Director of Comunications. Levenhagen dismissed those claims, "I understand Dr. Spitzer is a self-proclaimed humanistic atheist. If anything, his bias was against change."
ABC News confronted Spitzer with the claim by some gays that "change therapy" causes damage, depression and even suicide among clients who are not successful in finding change. Spitzer told ABC News that some of his subjects had been despondent and even suicidal for the opposite reason"...they had been told by many mental health professionals that there was no hope for them, they had to just learn to live with their homosexual feelings."
The ABC report continued, "A well-designed survey, [Spitzer] said, can determine whether or not a respondent is credible. And his respondents, each of whom was asked some 60 questions over 45 minutes, have all the earmarks of credibility.
"In fact, he said, to dismiss his survey would be to dismiss an awful lot of psychological and psychiatric research. The methods used in designing his study are the same as those used to determine the effectiveness of drugs, he says."
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