Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sexual Orientation

When sexual orientation conflicts with religious faith, counselors are being told not to offer "reparative therapy" which seeks to change sexual orientation. A new report says there’s no evidence to suggest such a change is possible. The American Psychological Association’s governing council has voted 125-4 to accept the study and go on record against telling gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments. The group suggestions that mental health professionals should offer options ranging from celibacy to switching churches.

Psychologist Mark Yarhouse, who teaches at Regent University, will present a study that offers the opposite conclusion at Friday’s APA meeting. He studied people who went through programs with Exodus International. Yarhouse says most of the people switched to heterosexuality or pulled away from homosexuality.

Exodus is one of the largest organizations promoting change of sexual orientation. President Alan Chambers says parts of the APA report are encouraging. Chambers says, "It's a positive step.. simply respecting someone's faith is a huge leap in the right direction.”

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