Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Laughably biased study claims that 'ex-gay' therapy works

Just pitiful.

Religious right groups and spokespeople are pushing a new study which claims that "ex-gay" therapy, or attempts to change one's sexual orientation, are mostly successful. This contradicts the scientific consensus (particularly from the American Psychological Association) that such attempts are dangerous.

Let's get to the facts up- the study is bull. It's pathetically fake and extremely transparent. Just read the article below taken from The Christian Post:

A new study is challenging the American Psychological Association's contention that therapies for unwanted same-sex attraction are harmful. 
The study, "Effects of Therapy on Religious Men Who Have Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction," which was first published July 23 in The Linacre Quarterly, finds that sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), often derisively called "conversion therapy,"improves the mental health of participants. Researchers surveyed 125 male residents of the United States. The men, mostly Christian, were at various stages of experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction. Some were sexually active while others were abstaining from sex.
Eighty-nine percent of respondents were Christians from a variety of traditions; 13.6 percent identified themselves as "non-denominational Christians"; 5 percent said they were Roman Catholic; 28 percent were Mormons; and 9.6 percent were Jewish. 55 percent of the sample reported that they attended religious services weekly. 
Fifty-four percent of the participants were single; 46 percent were married; and the sample had about the same number of those who were homosexually active as abstainers. Over 80 percent reported they had some degree of depression and suicidality at the beginning of therapy. 
Nearly 70 percent of respondents self-reported "some to much" reduction in their same-sex attraction and their behavior and an increase in their opposite-sex attraction and behavior.

Look where the study was publishedThe Linacre Quarterly. From its webpage:

The Linacre Quarterly is the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association. Continuously published since 1934, The Linacre Quarterly is the oldest journal in existence dedicated to medical ethics. The Linacre Quarterly provides a forum in which faith and reason can be brought to bear on analyzing and resolving ethical issues in health care, with a particular focus on issues in clinical practice and research.

And what about the Catholic Medical Association, which publishes The Linacre Journal? Its mission statement and vision are the following:

Our Mission: The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of healthcare professionals that informs, organizes, and inspires its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.  
 Our Vision: Inspiring Physicians to Imitate Jesus Christ

And what is the Catholic Medical Association's view of homosexuality? Well it's not supportive, that's for sure:

Also, on its webpage, CMA also peddles a pamphlet supporting "ex-gay" therapy.

So from the offset, The Linacre Quarterly is not a journal looking at science from an objective angle because it has a religious bias. And most specifically, the religion in question is anti-gay.  What would have been surprising is The Linacre Quarterly publishing a study supportive of homosexuality.

And what about the credentials of the researchers? The blog The Friendly Atheist points out discrepancies there, too:

“Dolores Ballesteros, PhD, is a retired educational academic at Southern California Seminary.” An educator at a seminary. Not a professional in the field of therapy. 
“Neil E. Whitehead, PhD, is a semi-retired earth scientist at Whitehead Associates.” An earth scientist! Not a professional in the field of therapy. He’s like an art student publishing a supposedly groundbreaking physics paper. Your first and only response should be “Huh?” 
“Paul L. Santero, PhD, is a therapist at Thomas Aquinas Clinic, Encino, California.” Okay, that’s something. Santero is a therapist. Maybe he actually knows something. But what is the Thomas Aquinas Clinic? Turns out it’s a tiny clinic founded by Joseph Nicolosi, the man who is literally known as the father of gay conversion therapy (and who died last year).

Of course none of this matters to the religious right and their supporters. I envision them citing this study numerous times in the future without the courtesy of giving much-needed background information on its origin. They tend to do little deceptive things like that. At any rate, I doubt any member of the APA will lose over this piece of tripe.