Changing the Things We Can

From Juicy Ecumenism


[…]  In fact, there’s good reason to believe—particularly given that Tim Schaefer was sixteen at the time—that homosexuality was not only a choice, but a choice he hadn’t yet made.


Robert Carle recently wrote in Public Discourse about the legislative overreach in California and New Jersey insisting that therapists may only counsel teens to accept their homosexual feelings and desires even if those teen would rather resist those feelings and desires. The article deserves careful reading, but here I want to highlight two studies cited by Carle regarding sexual orientation in teenagers.



The first, the National Health and Social Life Survey done in 1992, he writes, “found that, without any intervention whatsoever, three out of four boys who think they are gay at sixteen don’t think they are gay by the age of twenty-five.”



That kind of flies in the face of increasing societal pressure to assign a fixed homosexual sexual orientation to sixteen-year-olds and even younger children. Leave it alone and in 75% of all cases, it goes away on its own.



The second study reveals more of the same. Carle writes, “The University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed 10,000 teenagers and found that the vast majority of sixteen-year olds who reported only same-sex sexual attractions reported only opposite-sex sexual attractions one year later.” Carle goes on to say that since no one expected this, the studies have been replicated time after time with “almost identical” results.



Carle also sites Dr. Nicholas A. Cummings, former president of the American Psychological Association and former chief psychologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. In an article published in USA Today, Cummings, who has a great deal of experience counseling people with same-sex attraction, wrote that the idea that same-sex attraction can’t change has been politicized: “Gay and lesbian rights activists appear to be convincing the public that homosexuality is one identical inherited characteristic.”



“But,” he goes on, “contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality.” Some people with homosexual desires can and do change.



Yet without this “distortion of reality,” the claims of gay rights activists become incoherent. That’s the primary reason you and I haven’t heard of these studies before.



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