Wednesday, August 03, 2011

“Reparative Therapy” & the Fluidity of (Some People’s) Sexuality

“Reparative Therapy” & the Fluidity of (Some People’s) Sexuality: "
In a thoughtful critique/commentary of my post on On Marcus Bachmann and “conversion therapy”*, Jim Burroway explores those programs’ supposed one-third success rate.  Let me stress that in my post, I provided multiple caveats because I believe it to be inflated.
While I don’t agree with everything Burroway says in that post, I do recommend it as he raises a number of important issues.
In his first paragraph, he writes that I “didn’t exactly defend ex-gay therapy per se”.**  I trust he recognizes that my expression about the right of Christian groups to set up such programs stems from my basic libertarian principles, the rights of individuals to establish their own organizations and associate with whom they please.
That said, as per my previous post, I remain dubious about the effectiveness of these programs.  I believe it is an open question whether their “therapy” is even effective in the handful of successful “conversions.”  Were they successful in changing these individuals sexuality or would that change have occurred organically, that is, without their intervention?
Given the complexity of human sexuality, I lean toward the latter view, that some people have a more “fluid” sexuality than others.  And these individuals seek out such programs because they feel that while the word “gay” once described their emotional/sexual longings, it no longer works to describe their changing emotions.
*I should perhaps have used the term “reparative therapy” in quotes.
**In a subsequent post, I will address his point about coercion.
FROM THE COMMENTS:  rusty offers an observation well worth considering:
Frankly, I find that a gay person’s degree of self-loathing and personal insecurity is directly related to their vehemence against reparative therapy. It’s almost as if they have to demonize it as an excuse for their own inability to accept their own choice and responsibility for their behaviors.
If we’re comfortable in our own sexuality, why would we feel threatened by “reparative therapy”?

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