Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

Ross 1 Jordan Ross English 1C Professor Ramos 21 May 2013 Love thy Neighbor, but Destroy or Convert the

Queers Religion indoctrinates the concepts on love, yet a vast number of religious groups denigrate and condemn homosexuals, and few religious organizations use reparative therapy. Religious organizations, often time, support the idea that homosexuality can be fixed and changed by the use of reparative therapy, but this idea has various negativistic repercussions that ripple through society and individuals. Homosexuality, in contemporary society, is projected to be sinful, iniquitous, and immoral; the homophobic and hateful society creates shame and pressures among homosexuals. The constant pressures and social ostracizations of homosexuals lead to atrocious treatment of people based on sexual orientation. A vast number of people dehumanize and degrade homosexuality and use their religion as a justification for their intolerance and prejudiced acrimony. As a result of a homophobic and hateful society, homosexuals are subjected to religiously justified mistreatment. The origin of sexual orientation is one of the fundamental principles that establish the allowance and justification for reparative therapy. Believing in the sociocultural theories and the psychological idea rejects that homosexuality is biologically bound to an individual from birth. Thomas S. Serwatka in the book Queer Questions, Clear Answers: The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientations, states the various theories on the origin of homosexuality. The idea is that [c]hildren have basic identity needs that can be satisfied only by the same-gender parent, and if these needs are not met as the child approaches puberty, she or he will sexualize the unmet needs, eventually trying to fulfill them in relationship with same-gender partners (Serwatka 48). This leads the belief and the claim that homosexuality is something developed and can be treated as a disorder. Reparative therapist such as Irving Bieber state, [i]f a father has a kind, affectionate, and

Ross 2 constructive relationship with his son, he will not produce a homosexual son (Bieber qtd. in Serwatka 47). Another go-to argument for the claim that homosexuality is a choice is that homosexuality is unnatural. The definition of unnatural would need to be specified, if it refers to not found in nature then this claim would be false. In Can Animals be Gay by Jon Mooallem, it is stated that various forms of same-sex sexual activity have been recorded in more than 450 different species of animals by now, from flamingos to bison to beetles to guppies to warthogs. The dominance of homosexual behavior is ubiquitous in nature and it is even noted there are few cases of individual animals engage in it [homosexual sex] exclusively (Mooallem). Continuing on the biological aspect of homosexuality, there are numerous studies showing the juxtaposition between homosexuality and biology. In the documentary For the Bible Tells me So it is stated, when one identical twin is a gay man, the other twin is gay up to 70% of the time, far higher than if genes played no role. A counter-argument would be that if it was solely genetic than the percentage should be 100%. But, Jason Koebler, in the article Scientist may Have Finally Unlocked the Puzzle of why People are Gay, discusses the new biological relationships with homosexuality. Koebler writes that there is compelling evidence that epi-marks contribute to both the similarity and dissimilarity of family members, and can therefore feasibly contribute to the observed familial inheritance of homosexuality and its low concordance between [identical] twins (Rice qtd. in Koebler). Evolutionarily speaking it is sensible because these epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males" (Rice qtd. in Koebler). This supports the biological aspect and supports that homosexuality is something that is inherited. The topic of the origination of homosexuality is more scientifically in favor of biological factors, but the topic in general is highly controversial. But, the acceptance of the sociocultural and psychological theory allows the acceptance of reparative therapy. The main justification for reparative therapy would be the misinterpretation of religion,

Ross 3 specifically Christianity and the Bible. Literalist religious followers follow religion dogmatically and state homosexuality is an abomination and the Bible prohibits such behaviors. Religious scriptures that relate to homosexuality are Leviticus 18:22 which states, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination and 20:13 which states, if a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman. Both of them have committed and abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Bible qtd. in Serwatka 75). The first misinterpretation of these passages is the word abomination, according to For the Bible Tells me So, when abomination is used it is referred to something as against ritual or tradition and it is never referred to as something as immoral. Another apparent problem are the other questionable scriptures; it is stated in Leviticus 11: 9-12 that people should not eat shrimp; in Leviticus 21: 9 it is stated that the daughter of any priest, if any profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire (rather a stiff penalty for a ministers daughter who is having sex before marriage) (Bible qtd. in Serwatka 76). But in todays society it would be obscured to follow this rule and burn a preachers daughter for having premarital sex, yet people still believe and follow the verse on homosexual behavior. Again, in Leviticus 25:44 it is stated, as for your male and female slaves whom you may have-you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you (Bible qtd. in Serkwatka 76), why is that these scriptures are not enforced and followed through but the passages relating to homosexuality is applied to denounce homosexuality. People use certain holy codes only to reinforce their own ideological beliefs, but fail acknowledge the irrefutable concept that either all codes should be followed or the codes do not fit in contemporary society. The other scripture that many anti-gay religious individuals promote is the story on Sodom and Gomorrah. The basic outline of the story is that two angels go into a town and find themselves threatened by guards and are shown cruel treatment; the guards threaten to, to put it bluntly, gang rape them. As a consequence of the behavior exhibited in the town god supposedly destroys the town. According to the documentary For the Bible Tells me So, anal rape was a great way, in ancient mind, to humiliate,

Ross 4 demean and punish. Armies that would defeat other forces, would not uncommonly rape the defeated members of his army; the Sodom story is not about license or promiscuity or even perversity. Sodom, according to the rabbis is about cruelty, its about inhospitality. Religion should not be blindly followed but it should be questioned, especially when religion is used for the suppression and condemnation of homosexuals. Falsified and misinterpreted literature is being projected into societal ideologies; when a lie is ubiquitously persistent it becomes commonality, and then it becomes the unquestionable truth. Reparative therapist can sometimes use unscrupulous ethics and can manipulate homosexual patients that inevitably reinforce shame and self-hatred. Reparative therapy, also known as conversion therapy, is based on the premise that homosexuality can be changed or repaired. In the article Deconstructing Reparative Therapy . . . by Chuck Bright, it is stated that reparative therapists have consistently kept their focus exclusively on male homosexuals. Lesbians, bi-sexual, and transgender persons are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the reparative therapy literature. This nearly exclusive male therapy could have development because contemporary society is very patriarchal and the threat of male gender identity being boundless is threatening to the preconceived masculine identity. Regardless, one general technique of reparative therapy is to elude patients to believing falsified information so a foundation can be provided to further help the development of homosexuality to heterosexuality. In the book Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspective, Ariel Shidloh and Michael Schroeder in the article Ethical Issues in Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapies: An Empirical Study of Consumers discuss individual incidents and experiences in conversion therapy. Reparative therapist often times claim that homosexuality is a disorder; one participants stated, [He said there was] no such thing as a true homosexual. People were just confused and had a mental disorder that had to be cured (Shidloh and Schroeder 143). The idea of homosexuality being a disorder is outdated; The American Medical Association, The American Psychiatric Association, The American psychological association, and The American

Ross 5 Psychoanalytic association all agree that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, and they all oppose attempts at reparative therapy (For the Bible Tells me So). Chuck Bright states, reparative therapists continue to unjustly represent homosexuality as a pathological and curable mental illness, choosing to rely solely on their pernicious personal beliefs and emotions rather than risk exposure through legitimate research. Reparative therapists are using their power and prestige authoritarian figure to create disillusionments on the perspective of homosexuality. One former participant in reparative therapy states, he told me that homosexuals are quite promiscuous, and their lifestyles lead often to drugs crime, and molestation of children (participant qtd. in Shidloh and Schroeder 144). The statement made is just a fabricated lie to reinforce the shame and guilt already highly present in the patient. The fear tactic is used in various forms but it creates the same type of negativistic effect, another therapist got more creative, according to the video Curing Gays: Understanding Conversion Therapy, one therapist told Samuel Brinton that Sam youre the last one left, the government finds gay children and kills them, and somehow you got through. We think it might have been god, we dont know what it was, but if the government finds out what we are doing here they will kill you. This tactic was to keep Sam in the closet and make him feel alienated and immoral, and this type of falsified work is horrendous. These techniques of reparative therapy are to instill fear, anxiety and falsified information to shame the homosexual behavior away. These type of work and chicanery from psychologist [v]iolates standard 1.06 of the APA Ethics Code (1992) which states that Psychologist rely on scientifically and professionally derived knowledge when making scientific or professional judgments or when engaging in scholarly or professional endeavors (Shidloh and Schroeder 145). Reparative therapy is built upon chicanery and unscrupulous work ethics to cure something that is non-curable. Reparative therapy also uses more radical and aversive techniques that dictate what the patients should and should not do; aversion therapy can be used to condition negativity with homosexuality. First, reparative therapists tell their clients that they should participate in more

Ross 6 exaggerated heterosexual gender-expectations; this is called gender modification therapy. Douglas C. Haldeman from the article Therapeutic Antidotes: Helping Gay and Bisexual Men Recover from Conversion Therapy in the book Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical and Research Perspectives, states that, in these conversion therapies, the desired shift to heterosexuality is strongly connected to stereotypically male social activities (Haldeman 125). Although, according to Frank Hagler, professional boxed Orlando Cruz, football athlete Wade Davis, Olympic silver medalist Ji Wallace, and Olympic gold medalist Lori Lindsey are all gay or lesbian. Furthermore, a man participating in gender stereotypical masculine roles is not essentially key to becoming heterosexual. Another technique that is one of the more radical and extremely harmful techniques used in reparative therapy is aversion therapy. Aversion therapy is a reward and punishment system that molds the mind to associate a feeling to a behavior, for instance pain and negatively can be associated with homosexuality after treatments. One former aversion patient states, Aversion therapy treatment was where I was brought into a room and exposed to sexually explicit stimuli of pictures of naked men and injected with some substance which would induce vomiting (Shidlo and Shroeder 149). Aversion therapy can have extreme negativistic consequences that can last through an individuals life. In one case a patient named Jim would have to [ v]iew the pictures while an electric shock was simultaneously delivered to his hands and genitals, after treatment he became troubled with chronic erectile dysfunction because for him sexual arousal was associated with an aversion experience (Haldeman 124). Reparative therapy using these immoral and unethical techniques does not change the sexual orientation of the individual but it attempts to conditions a certain behavior. Aversion therapy can cause physical torment, erectile dysfunction as stated from the patient Jim, and it can cause horrendous psychological repercussions. Another patient named Sam who went through aversion shock therapy states that my very first kiss was excruciatingly painful, I kissed and ran o ut of the room and puked (Curing Gays: Understanding. . .). The forbidden behavior that was being done stimulated the pain undergone through the aversion therapy; this can lead to the avoidance or

Ross 7 struggle of potential romantic partners. Reparative therapy is not established to help gay and lesbians but it is established to make individuals feel compunction towards homosexuality. Reparative therapy dehumanizes, denigrates, and instills shame on homosexual behavior, in the hope that it will silence and suppress homosexual behavior. The most astonishing part of reparative therapy is that some individuals can be forced into the domineering and anti-homosexual therapy. NARTH is an organization that represents reparative therapist and they claims that we believe that treatment should be offered to those who voluntarily seek it [. . .] we respect their wishes not to seek therapy (NARTH qtd. in Shidlo and Schroeder 153). Yet, forced therapy is given to children and Chuck Bright states, legally, reparative therapy has come up in the context of alleged child abuse when parents force minor age children into the more radical treatment interventions utilized by reparative therapists to cure a child s homosexuality (Hicks summ. in Bright). Children forced into reparative therapy can be extensively harmful, especially since if they are not voluntarily deciding to be there. According to the article Reparative Therapy: The Adolescent, the Psych Nurse, and the Issues by Hein and Matthews, Abuse-related deaths, abuse, and neglect began to occur frequently enough to draw the attention of congress and in October 2007, they found that during 2005 alone, 33 states reported 1,619 staff members involved in incidents of abuse in residential programs (U.S. Government Accountability Ofce qtd. in Hein and Matthews). Children were forced into aversion therapy and psychoanalytical therapy which can indefinitely affect their lives for the worse. They also found that [m]any of these facilities are uncertied, unlicensed, and unregulated (U.S. Government Accountability Ofce summ. in Hein and Matthews). Other unwilling participants of reparative therapy can be students; Shidlo and Schroeder state, [l]esbians and gay students are being forced into treatments or face expulsion from their religious academic institutions (153). One consumer of reparative therapy states, [t]his therapy is currently being mandated . . . [largest religious university] as a condition for me to continue and graduate . . . this therapist is a Nazi and is more radical about it (Shidlo and Schroeder 153).

Ross 8 Religious universities are coercing students to partake in reparative therapy, and this seems to violate [s]ection 4.02 on informed consent of the APA Ethics Code (1992) which states that patients express consent freely and without undue influence (Shidlo and Schroeder 153). Reparative therapy is not only offered to individuals who seek it but it is mandated and coerced to people who dont want or need the destructive therapy. The efficiency of reparative therapy is questionable and with the combination of negative effects therapy cause, it can be seen that reparative therapy has little reasoning to maintain its place in contemporary society. The success rates for reparative therapy are controversial but nearly all the numbers are low percentages, success rates are [r]eported to range from 11% (complete change in females) to 37% (complete change in males) (Spitzer summ. in Hein and Matthews). A number of problems arise from accepting these numbers, first is the methodology of obtaining these numbers, another is the definition of success. In one study, a group of 47 participants went through aversive therapy and 12 claimed heterosexuality, several years later the same 12 men were contacted and the results were, [t]hey found [] that all but two of the participants had gone back to having same -sex relationships or to using homosexual fantasies when engaging in sex with their wives. One participant couldnt be found for follow-up, and the 12th participant said he was living a heterosexual lifestyle but wouldnt let the researched interview his wife (Serwatka 98). This shows that if the success rates are taken initially without taking a follow-up test observing if heterosexuality maintained, then the test are skewed and biased. In the article Overview of Ethical and Research Issues in Sexual Orientation Therapy by Marshall Forstein, it is stated that [a]ll claims that there is any form of sexual orientation conversion therapy that is effective are without any scientific foundation. To date, not one peer reviewed research study, much less prospective one that uses reliable and reproducible criteria, has been published in a respected peer reviewed scientific journal (Forstein 173). The scientific research and peer-reviewed study to support reparative therapy are lacking, which brings to question of how and why reparative therapist praise and continue their

Ross 9 practices. Participants in reparative therapy speaking publicly about success can also be questioned as Shidlo and Schroeder states, Another participant, who ultimately failed conversion therapy, reported that his clinician, a nationally known conversion therapist, encouraged him to take part in a panel in an ex-gay conference to present his successful struggle with homosexuality (152). The efficiency of reparative therapy can be greatly questioned as the social/public and scientific groundwork is both manipulated to present a one-sided argument. The allowance and justification of the continuation of reparative therapy is minimal. Reparative therapist only aid and reinforce the negative feelings of shame, self-disgust, and denial of their true identity. Some of the harmful effects from reparative therapy that last through an individuals life are: anxiety, depression, avoidance of intimacy or sexual dysfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, demasculinization, lack of selfconfidence and self-efficacy, shame/guilt, self-destructive behavior, and suicidal tendency (Hein and Matthews). Moreover, reparative therapist fails to acknowledge these possible side-effects, and instead focuses on the manipulated success rates and the benefits of reparative therapy. Reparative therapist are only aiding and justifying in the rejection of homosexuals. Acco rding to Family Rejection as a Predictor of. . . by Caitlin Ryan and others, it is states that: LGB young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to report illegal drug use, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse, compared with peers from families with no or low levels of family rejection. The statistics of suicide and depression are severe, and reparative therapy is not providing help for homosexuals but it is providing homosexuals reinforcement to anti-homosexual ideologies. When a therapists anti-homosexual attitudes and values are a part of scientific and psychological work and research, the results will indefinitely become unethical, immoral, and devious. Reparative therapy creates an everlasting calamitous effect on individuals which inevitably

Ross 10 becomes a societal effect on homosexuality. People who actively seek reparative therapy are seeking help because they believe that homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of the religion or that homosexuality is a disorder. Gay, lesbian, and bisexuals that do try and seek help are vulnerable because they feel ostracized and rejected by religion, family, and/or society. Reparative therapist abandon scientific knowledge and base their judgment and therapy on their prejudice against homosexuality. By the interpretation of sexual origination and religious misinterpretation it allows the justification for the harsh treatment and pressure placed onto homosexuals. Society allows the mistreatment, dehumanization, and destructive reparative therapy to continue. Children and students can be coerced into taking reparative therapy that may involve barbaric therapys resulting in psychological and physiological damage, yet the basic human right of marriage is denied to homosexuals. Reparative therapists are able to manipulate and provide falsified information to their clients that inevitably lead to depression and self-hatred, yet homosexuals can be fired for just being homosexual. In contemporary society people can look back and know that lobotomies, justification for slaves, and suppression of women were a wrong, unethical and immoral standard of living. And the near future people will look back on todays society and questioned how people could be so immoral and unethical to a group of individuals and the unequivocal truth is there is no justifiable answer for the mistreatment and rejection of a group of people.

Ross 11 Works Cited Bright, Chuck. "Deconstructing Reparative Therapy: An Examination of The Processes Involved When Attempting To Change Sexual Orientation." Clinical Social Work Journal 32.4 (2004): 471-481. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 June 2013. For the Bible Tells me So. Dir. Daniel G. Karslake. Atticus Group. 2007. DVD. Forstein, Marshall. Overview of Ethical and Research Issues in Sexual Orientation Therapy. Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives.Ed. Ariel Shidlo, Michael Schroeder, and Jack Drescher. New York: The Haworth Medical Press, 2001. 167-179. Print. Hagler, Frank. 10 Courageous Athletes Who Came Out as Gay in 2012. policymic. Policymic. Web. 26 May 2013. Haldeman, Douglas C. Therapeutic Antidotes: Helping Gay and Bisexual Men Recover from Conversion Therapies. Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives. Ed. Ariel Shidlo, Michael Schroeder, and Jack Drescher. New York: The Haworth Medical Press, 2001. 117-130. Print. Hein, Laura C., and Alicia K. Matthews. "Reparative Therapy: The Adolescent, the Psych Nurse, And the Issues." Journal Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 23.1 (2010): 2935. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 June 2013. Koebler, Jason. Scientist May Have Finally Unlocked the Puzzle of Why People Are Gay. usnews.com. U.S News and World Report, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 May 2013. Mooallem, Jon. Can Animals be Gay. nytimes.com. The New York Times, 31 mar. 2010. Web. 25 May 2013. Ryan, Caitlin, et al. Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Young Adults. Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics 123.1 (2009): 346-352. Web. 29 May 2013. Schroeder, Michael., and Ariel Shidlo.Ethical Issues in Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapies:

Ross 12 Works Cited (Cont.) An Empirical Study of Consumers. Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives. Ed. Ariel Shidlo, Michael Schroeder, and Jack Drescher. New York: The Haworth Medical Press, 2001. 131-166. Print. Serwatka, Thomas S. Queer Questions Clear Answers: The Contemporary Debates on Sexual Orientation. California: Praeger, 2010. Print. Tim Urso. Curing Gays: Understanding Conversion Therapy. YouTube. 6 May 2012. Web. 23 May 2013.