Is change of sexual orientation, particularly of homosexual orientation, possible at all?
Is it harmful to attempt such a change?
Researchers Stanton L. Jones (Wheaton College) and Mark A. Yarhouse (Regent University) have introduced a groundbreaking study that addresses these questions in the recent release from InterVarsity Press, Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.
Utilizing methods regarded as “industry standards,” Ex-Gays? is the most scientifically rigorous study of its kind to date. And as their results will certainly generate controversy, Jones and Yarhouse have been careful to share their rationale behind this study—which includes assessments of the psychological distress levels of a large group of individuals seeking sexual orientation change through a variety of religious ministries.
Organizations like The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have issued seemingly absolute statements on this matter, warning that change is impossible and attempting change is psychologically harmful.
Jones and Yarhouse report that their findings “appear to contradict the commonly expressed view of the mental health establishment”:
We found empirical evidence that change of homosexual orientation may be possible through involvement in Exodus ministries. Further, we found little evidence of harm incurred as a result of the involvement of the participants in the Exodus change process.
is on its way to setting the standard for all future work in this field and demands a serious reading from social scientists, counselors and interested laypeople—whether Christian or secular.
For more information see www.ivpress.com.