National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality


National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a non-profit organization that offers reparative therapy and other regimens that purport to change the sexual orientation of individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction. NARTH's leaders describe their organization as "dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality."[1] NARTH was founded in 1992 by Joseph Nicolosi, Benjamin Kaufman, and the late Charles Socarides. Its headquarters are in Encino, California, at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. Julie Hamilton is the current president of NARTH.[2] NARTH's leaders disagree with the mainstream scientific consensus and the holding of the world's major mental health organizations that homosexuality is not a disorder.[3][4][5][6]

Contents

History

NARTH was founded in 1992 by Benjamin Kaufman, Charles Socarides, and Joseph Nicolosi. In an article titled In Defense of the Need for Honest Dialogue, Kaufman wrote that Socarides, Nicolosi, and himself founded NARTH because the American Psychiatric Association and similar professional organizations "had totally stifled the scientific inquiry that would be necessary to stimulate a discussion [about homosexuality]."[7] NARTH's leaders argue that the political atmosphere had changed, making it politically incorrect to make even the suggestion of a dialogue that opens up the question of the normality of homosexuality. Kaufman states that NARTH was formed in response to "censorship of a politically unpopular position."

Activities

NARTH's activities include providing referrals to reparative therapists, conducting research, hosting lectures, publishing literature, distributing literature to schools and libraries, promoting awareness of issues of homosexuality, and increasing public awareness of people who seek change in their sexual orientation.[8][non-primary source needed]

NARTH is a secular organization, differentiating it from other ex-gay groups which are primarily religious in nature. Nevertheless, NARTH often partners with religious groups,[9] such as its partnership with Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing and Evergreen International in Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality. The NARTH website contains a resource list of theological articles.[10]

In July 2011, NARTH failed to pay its dues to the California Board for Behavioral Sciences and was removed from the list of providers that provide continuing education credits to California therapists. NARTH had been an approved continuing education provider since 1998.[11]

Sigmund Freud Award

Beginning in 1996, NARTH has given one researcher per year an award in recognition of the work they have done. This award is named the "Sigmund Freud Award," and is presented at the NARTH annual conference.

Recipients of NARTH's Annual Sigmund Freud Award
name year reason note
Abraham Freedman[12] 1996 Therapeutic Attitude in the Treatment of Male Homosexuals[13]
George Rekers 2000 clinical works on childhood gender-identity disorder[14]
Richard Fitzgibbons 2001 for his prolific writings and work in the field of reorientation therapy[15]
Robert L. Spitzer 2004 research on the ability of gay people to modify sexual orientation[16] declined to accept
Warren Throckmorton[17]  ?  ? date and reason unpublished

Mission Statement and Beliefs

NARTH's mission statement reads:[18]

We respect the right of all individuals to choose their own destiny. NARTH is a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality. As an organization, we disseminate educational information, conduct and collect scientific research, promote effective therapeutic treatment, and provide referrals to those who seek our assistance.

NARTH upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care. We welcome the participation of all individuals who will join us in the pursuit of these goals.

NARTH's leaders argue that there is today a widespread propaganda in favor of normalizing homosexuality in law and education. NARTH believes that clients have the right to claim a gay identity.[19]

NARTH differs with the American Psychological Association on their views of the nature and development of sexual identity.[20] NARTH states that they agree with the American Psychological Association that "biological, psychological and social factors" shape sexual identity at an early age for most people. Nevertheless, while the American Psychological Association emphasizes biological influences, they say that NARTH places more emphasis on the environmental influences.[20]

Affiliations

Dr. A. Dean Byrd is a past president.[2] Notable members of the Scientific Advisory Committee include Hillel Goldberg, Nathaniel S. Lehrman and Jeffrey Satinover.[21] A notable supporter of NARTH is Robert Perloff, a former president of the American Psychological Association.[citation needed]

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family's Love Won Out ministry claims to exhort and equip the church to respond in a Christ-like way to homosexuality from "a biblical point of view." The conference bases its "Prevention of Male Homosexuality" session on NARTH's leaders' research. Love Won Out believes homosexuality to be developmental and questions if it may be unhealthy.[22][23] Love Won Out shows in a statistic according to a study by NARTH:[23] "500 studies show self-destructive, maladaptive behavior associated with a gay lifestyle."[24]

In 2006, Joseph Nicolosi represented NARTH at the Love Won Out conference speaking on "Prevention of Male Homosexuality" and on "The Condition of Male Homosexuality".[23][25] Nicolosi is the president and principal research investigator for NARTH and the clinical director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, where he specializes in the treatment of men with unwanted homosexuality.[26]

PATH

In 2003, NARTH's leaders made NARTH a member of Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality.

Criticism

Gerald Schoenewolf controversy

NARTH received criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center for Gerald Schoenewolf's essay, Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History,[27] in which the member of NARTH's Science Advisory Committee argued that "Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle... Life there was savage ... and those brought to America, and other countries, were in many ways better off." He also stated that the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, and the gay rights movement were all "irrational" and "destructive."[28] Schoenewolf later on clarified that "No person is better off enslaved, obviously... What I tried to say, before my words were twisted by that reporter, is that despite the clear and obvious evil of that practice, we tend to forget that many of the enslaved people had been first been sold into bondage by their fellow countrymen; so coming to America did bring about some eventual good. No social issue has all the 'good guys' lined up on one side and 'bad guys' on the other."[29]

George Alan Rekers

George Alan Rekers was once listed on NARTH's website as an advisor,[30] but this is no longer true as of June 2010. Rekers has testified in court that he believes homosexuality is a sin.[31]

On May 4, 2010, press reports alleged that Rekers had hired a gay male prostitute from rentboy.com to accompany him on a ten-day European vacation. Rekers explained that the companion had been brought on the vacation so that he could carry Rekers' baggage.[32][33] On May 6, NARTH issued a statement on their website saying, "NARTH takes seriously the accusations that have been made, and we are currently attempting to understand the details behind these press reports."[34]

Truth Wins Out

In 2006, gay rights activist Wayne Besen launched the Truth Wins Out project to criticize NARTH and related ex-gay groups. He has strongly criticized NARTH's academic literature as falling short of accepted standards for peer review.[35]

Position of professional organizations on sexual orientation change efforts

Main Article: Sexual orientation change efforts

In 2009 an American Psychological Association research summary[36] included the following statements:

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] has been controversial due to tensions between the values held by some faith-based organizations, on the one hand, and those held by lesbian, gay and bisexual rights organizations and professional and scientific organizations, on the other.

There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether recent SOCE do work to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Some individuals and groups have promoted the idea of homosexuality as symptomatic of developmental defects or spiritual and moral failings and have argued that SOCE, including psychotherapy and religious efforts, could alter homosexual feelings and behaviors. Many of these individuals and groups appeared to be embedded within the larger context of conservative religious political movements that have supported the stigmatization of homosexuality on political or religious grounds.

No major mental health professional organization has sanctioned efforts to change sexual orientation and most of them have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. These include the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers in the USA,[37] Royal College of Psychiatrists,[38] and Australian Psychological Society.[39]

The American Psychological Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists expressed concerns that the positions espoused by NARTH are not supported by science and create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.[38][40]

NARTH argues that mainstream health and mental health organizations have, in many cases, taken public positions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage that are based on their own social and political views rather than the available science.[41][42][43][44]

See also

References

  1. ^ NARTH Home Page
  2. ^ a b NARTH Officers
  3. ^ R. L. Spitzer, "The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues", American Journal of Psychiatry 138 (1981): 210–15.
  4. ^ "An Instant Cure", Time; April 1, 1974.
  5. ^ The A.P.A. Normalization of Homosexuality, and the Research Study of Irving Bieber
  6. ^ Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts
  7. ^ In Defense of the Need for Honest Dialogue
  8. ^ What We Offer
  9. ^ Sexual conversion therapy: ethical, clinical, and research perspectives Ariel Shidlo, Jack Drescher; Published by Haworth Press, 2002, ISBN 0789019116, 9780789019110. Pages 21–4, 188–190; p.152.
  10. ^ Theological Issues. NARTH. Accessed July 27, 2011.
  11. ^ NARTH No Longer Providing Continuing Education to California Therapists. San Francisco Chronicle, July 2011
  12. ^ "Introduction, Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.". narth.com. NARTH. 1996. http://www.narth.com/docs/1996papers/introduction.html. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  13. ^ "Therapeutic Attitude in the Treatment of Male Homosexuals". narth.com. NARTH. 1996. http://www.narth.com/docs/1996papers/freedman.html. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  14. ^ Jim Lewis (2000). "Report: 2000 NARTH Conference Washington, D.C.". narth.com. NARTH. http://www.narth.com/docs/report.html. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  15. ^ "Therapists, Ex-Gays Gather for NARTH Annual Conference". narth.com. NARTH. 2001. http://www.narth.com/docs/gather.html. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  16. ^ "Spitzer Declines NARTH’s Sigmund Freud Award". NARTH BULLETIN (NARTH) 13 (3): 14. December 2004. http://www.narth.com/menus/NARTHBulletinDecember2004.pdf. 
  17. ^ "New and Improved: Clinical Members Discussion List". narth.com. NARTH. 2005. http://www.narth.com/docs/discussionlist.html. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  18. ^ NARTH Mission Statement
  19. ^ Position Statements
  20. ^ a b Anon. "7. On the Causes of Homosexuality". NARTH position statements. NARTH. http://www.narth.com/menus/positionstatements.html. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  21. ^ NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee
  22. ^ Love Won Out Conference Guide, pg 11
  23. ^ a b c Focus on the Family's Love Won Out Conference Guide Copyrighted 2005–2006
  24. ^ Love Won Out Conference Guide, pg 31
  25. ^ Focus on the Family's Love Won Out Conference Agenda
  26. ^ Love Won Out Conference Guide, pg 9
  27. ^ "Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History" (PDF (6  pages)). NARTH. 4 April 2005. http://www.splcenter.org/images/dynamic/intel/SchoenwolfEssay.pdf. Retrieved 18 February 2011.  Archived version hosted by Southern Poverty Law Center. Original on NARTH web site appears to be no longer available.
  28. ^ SPLCenter.org: One More Enemy
  29. ^ Political Correctness Gone Amok: The Latest Controversy
  30. ^ "NARTH Advisors". NARTH. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080617025223/http://www.narth.com/menus/advisors.html. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  31. ^ A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality Joseph Nicolosi; InterVarsity Press, 2002, ISBN 0830823794, 9780830823796.
  32. ^ Christian right leader George Rekers takes vacation with "rent boy"
  33. ^ Christian Right Leader Nabbed Traveling With Gay Escort
  34. ^ "NARTH Responds to the Recent Media Coverage of Dr. George Rekers". narth.com. NARTH. 2010-05-06. http://www.narth.com/docs/rekersresp.html. Retrieved 2010-05-10. "This document has been removed from the NARTH website as of June 4, 2010." [dead link]
  35. ^ Not peer-reviewed Anything But Straight: Rubbish in the Guise of Research
  36. ^ American Psychological Association: Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts
  37. ^ Expert affidavit of Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.
  38. ^ a b Royal College of Psychiatrists: Statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Gay and Lesbian Mental Health Special Interest Group
  39. ^ Australian Psychological Society: Sexual orientation and homosexuality
  40. ^ Statement of the American Psychological Association
  41. ^ The "Trojan Couch": How the Mental Health Associations Misrepresent Science
  42. ^ A Brief History of the American College of Pediatricians
  43. ^ When Activism Masquerades as Science: Potential Consequences of Recent APA Resolutions
  44. ^ On the APA Endorsement Of Gay Marriage

External links


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