William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Gay-conversion Therapy Bans And The Origin Of Homosexual

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When “gay” or “homosexual” meant somebody who predominately engaged in same-sex activities, the words had some use, but with an inherent and real danger that people, via this language, would come to assume that “gay person” or “homosexual person” was a real, distinct creature, something different than a “heterosexual person”, almost another species, which is impossible. People are now quite surprised when they learn, for instance, “homosexual” is a neologism only a century or so old. The OED reports 1892 for the first inclination, 1912 for the first creature. But why this innovation? Good question, that. Before answering, a short journey.

People now identify themselves, not as man or woman, the only biological possibilities (barring gross malfunction), these forming the (part of the) essence of human being, but as “gay” or “bisexual” or “hetero”, or one of a dozen, and growing, list of designators, and all “born that way”. (Don’t forget Yours Truly is created with inventing woofies, an untoward bit of satire that will probably turn around and bite him in the ass.) That this is proved false, not just by appeal to biology, which is sufficient, but by observing identical twins report same-sex attraction rates similar to non-twins, is everywhere ignored. If “orientation” were genetic, or people were “born that way”, both twins would report the same attractions; they do not, therefore, etc.

This proves the adage that when we lose our grip on language we lose the ability to think. Propaganda works. Consequences?

It is often observed, and therefore true, that some individuals engage in same-sex activities in their lives, usually in their youth or in prison or on a lonely mountain, only to turn later to wholly opposite-sex activities. People—many people—report, that is, being “gay” then not being “gay”. “Conversions”—itself the wrong word since it assumes “orientation” is a nature—happen. (Enter the distressing No True Gay-person fallacy: skip it.) The evidence for the fluidity in sexual behavior is overwhelming, and, anyway, used to be, for all of human history, common knowledge.

Before that common knowledge began to be banned, that is, in part because of the corruption of language. We have reached the point where to assert what is true is called “hate” or “hate speech”. Truth-sayers are routinely chased from society, hounded by spittle-flecked, shrieking mobs who belch, “Hater!” Hilarious, in its way. Words matter.

People have now become so frightened of being screeched at, that we have reached the point where this headline is not surprising: “Gay-conversion therapy ban to be introduced in House“.

The push to end so-called “conversion therapy” against homosexuality is expected to gear up Tuesday with the introduction of a House bill to ban the therapy nationally.

The bill comes a few weeks before a consumer fraud lawsuit described as a “David and Goliath” battle over the therapy begins in New Jersey, and in the wake of a request for a federal probe into whether the therapy’s marketing and practices are “deceptive” and “dangerous.”

Opponents of sexual orientation change efforts, such as Reps. Ted W. Lieu and Jackie Speier, both California Democrats, say being homosexual is not a disorder or illness, and efforts to change one’s sexual orientation are wrong and harmful.

See? It’s right there: “being homosexual”, as if this state represented a race or subspecies of humanity. So common is this locution that it’s almost impossible to see the truth behind it. And notice—particularly notice—that the discussion of whether same-sex acts are moral is missing in action. That is the only question of interest. It is. Just think: if all persons who claimed to be “gay” were celibate (and believed to be) then nobody would care one whit about what people called themselves or their reported unacted-upon desires.

What has happened with the corruption of language is that the morality debate has been bypassed: tacitly, folks believe that if people are “born that way”, then they have “no choice” but to engage in same-sex acts. Since that is an obvious fallacy, it is never stated. (If you don’t see the fallacy, apply the same argument to murderous psychopaths, woofies, etc.) People want same-sex acts to be moral, but don’t want to or don’t know how to say so, and so engage in this end-around. (Perhaps that accounts for why people wildly over-estimate the percent of people who engage in same-sex acts.)

It’s worth quoting another paragraph:

“I am ecstatic that the leader of the free world has called for an end to gay ‘conversion’ therapy. And I commend President Obama for recognizing ‘reparative’ therapy for the crappery that it is,” Mr. Lieu told a reporter for Frontiers Media on Monday.

Crappery. Get that man a pitchfork.

As said, “conversion” is the wrong word, and so is “reparative therapy”. They, too, are a diversion of the real argument. “Converters”, if you like, believe same-sex acts are immoral; “banners” believe they are not. It is Victorian-puritan squeamishness, I think, that accounts for the polarization and the creation of “homosexuals.” People who desired to engage in same-sex acts were forced into the word, so to speak, not so much by biology, but by rationally concluding they could get what they wanted were they to assume an identity. And don’t forget there are cultures (still!) where there are no such thing as “homosexuals”—mainly in Africa and remote South America where the squeamishness was never present.

Anyway, once these bans become common, how long before it is ruled illegal for a man to claim he is a “former gay” or to tell children they have a “choice”? Well, these are just the kind of things you can expect in a democracy. “Truth” is decided by vote.

Extra. A small article on the types of therapies: Show Us the Facts on Homosexual Therapy

Update This article has been reprinted at The Stream.

30 Comments

  1. People now identify themselves, not as man or woman, the only biological possibilities (barring gross malfunction), these forming the (part of the) essence of human being, but as “gay” or “bisexual” or “hetero”, or one of a dozen, and growing, list of designators, and all “born that way”.

    I learn something new everyday! So Mr. Briggs, what do you identify yourself? Hetero?

    Now, I come to think of it, I have never had to tell others my sex, though I have identify myself as female on various forms. In fact, I just did this morning. My gender is none of your business. (There are differences between sex and gender.)

    If “orientation” were genetic, or people were “born that way”, both twins would report the same attractions; they do not, therefore, etc.

    I don’t know whether people are born to be certain ways. However, what does the ‘etc’ entail? Therefore, it might be epigenetic?

    Do you know why every mother can tell her identical twin babies apart?

  2. The psychological “illness” homosexuality was VOTED out of existence because homosexual psychologists and psychiatrists could not be openly gay and practice. This show most definitively this is NOT physical–it’s nothing more than a term voted upon and a condition assigned to it. You cannot vote to change physical characteristics–only the irrational do things like this. All of this is comparable to letting people believe there are giant, silver spiders everywhere outside their house and they cannot leave the house. This was considered irrational–now it’s completely normal and fine with those in charge. And a sign of complete insanity on the part of those making the claim. I fully expect the House to introduce a bill saying we cannot label anyone mentally ill or treat them. After all, calling someone schizophrenic is just plain mean.

    I remember a story about two identical twins raised apart (male) and when the straight twin found out his sibling was gay, he “converted”. Note the straight one changed, not the other one. That is a socio-political action, not biology. There was no reason to assume the gay twin was not wrong and he should go straight.

    Again, all evidence indicates pedophilia is just as biological as homosexuality or any other orientation. How can we jail for one orientation and legalize for another? That’s totally unfair and mean. (Yes, every time we discuss biology and sexual orientation, I will bring this up. It’s a fact and one most people simply chose ignore or try to dismiss.)

    Many who were married and then “turned gay” actually claim they were always gay but hiding the fact. It’s an easy out. It’s probably already illegal in California to tell kids sexual orientation is a choice. Hopefully they will remember that when their teacher decided to do some off book education about the birds and the bees and not rat out the poor pedophile who had no choice.

  3. Alas, symptomatic of our diseased society is the perversion of what used to be a fine word, “gay”, as in the “gay 90’s”… The Oxford dictionary gives the alternative meanings (now used very little):
    “Brightly colored; showy; brilliant:
    a gay profusion of purple and pink sweet peas”
    or
    “Lighthearted and carefree:
    Nan had a gay disposition and a very pretty face”
    and what would make of this quotation from Milton’s Comus (line 790)
    “Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
    that hath been so well taught her dazzling fence”.

  4. Briggs

    May 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Bob,

    My favorite chapter in Jaynes (well known probability book) is “Queer uses of probability.”

  5. I never cared for the “born that way” argument and always thought it would come round to bite it’s proponents in the ass, or at least take an annoying nibble.

    It shouldn’t matter what the biology of it is. We know this much: same-sex attraction is deeply programmed in the human mind, may sometimes be programmed at the genetic level, and there really isn’t anything we can “do about it” at this time in history, and we probably shouldn’t anyway. It doesn’t matter. If people are happy that way, leave them be.

    JMJ

  6. It is often observed, and therefore true, that some individuals engage in same-sex activities in their lives, usually in their youth or in prison or on a lonely mountain, only to turn later to wholly opposite-sex activities.

    You’d do well to be less ignorant of the actual real lives of real homossexuals rather than this ridiculous caricature of it that is only written this way as a kind of relief to the writer (“ah these foul creatures, there must be nothing good in them, there must be nothing true in them, so I can write how false they are”).

    Not to say there isn’t something very serious and important in your ruminations of identity and destiny. Gender fluidity and the “I was born this way” mottos all run against each other, but even still, there are many worrying things about these ideas that should be fleshed out. To this end, these shows of ignorance of your part do no help for you. People simply feel they are incredibly driven for their own gender as I am to the female gender. People that still today cling to believe these people are lying in the 21st century reeks of absurdity, yet here we are.

    It’s not that your scientific sources are wrong. It could well be true, but there are two main problems in the way you approach this. First, it’s just too easy to see your prejudices coloring your interpretations here. You’ve been doing this for as long as I’ve seen your writings. You just fall to your own biases so easily and so predictably that it’s disappointing to watch in a statistician so skeptical as yourself. Second, it’s a profound philosophical mistake to rely on sketchy empirical evidence for your moral claims. You have no qualms in detecting this mistake when it comes from liberaland but you repeat it non stop yourself. The problem in here is that then all of your moral edifice relies on scientific truths, when it should be obvious that it should preclude them: your moral judgements should be true, whether homossexuals truly feel bound to their own gender or not. That is, your reasoning should be impervious to these scientific arguments.

    Regarding your own interpretation of the science regarding gaydom and so on, I find it incredible that you still seem to implicitly cling to this “homossexuality is a choice” paradigm of thought. Is this fair? Is that what you think? Because if it is, then the whole pathetic (and traumatic) history of christian-based attempts to “cure” homossexuality should absolutely steer you away from those interpretations. Regardless of “the problem” being “well diagnosed” or not, the christian “solution” to the “problem” has failed through and through and that’s undeniable. But even taking your scientific source at its face value, it should nevertheless be clear that many other “models” could well fit that data. If indeed “gayety” is not coded in the DNA, it could well be determined by epigenomics, or any other kind of epiphenomenal biological process, or even by the environment. That these people do not feel any real “choice” being given to them as I don’t feel any real “choice” being given to me regarding what I feel towards women’s bodies, should also prove to be a good indication that your own model seems terribly flawed.

    What has happened with the corruption of language is that the morality debate has been bypassed: tacitly, folks believe that if people are “born that way”, then they have “no choice” but to engage in same-sex acts. Since that is an obvious fallacy, it is never stated.

    This is a much better line of reasoning.

  7. jmj, were you being consciously or unconsciously witty when you said
    “bite its proponents in the ass”?

  8. There are differences between sex and gender

    This is the very point in question. You can’t just assert that to be true! And think about what that means. What you are saying is that there are differences between a biological reality and a subjective perception of that reality and that the subjective perception must be tolerated and (as we see happening these days) applauded.

    Whenever a difference exists between reality and the perception of reality, we have generally called that a mental issue, not a physical one! As has been stated around here many times, society has lost the idea of essence. Maleness and femaleness are no longer valued by anyone. Until the uniqueness and value in the complementarity of sexual dimorphism is once again recognized, no amount of pleading will stop the continuing disconnect between reality and perception.

    If I said to you “well, physically I am a male, but my gender is that of an asexual reproducer”, you would have no argument to say I am wrong! Once the disconnect is stated to be ‘normal’ or ‘good’, then no amount of self-identification can be refuted. It doesn’t matter that when I sit on the couch all day straining to split in two it won’t work, because I am not the kind of being who asexually reproduces!

    If someone came to me and said “I understand that you feel that you are an asexual reproducer. However, it is physically impossible for you to achieve that goal, and you will always be unhappy because of that”, society would call them bigots and hateful even though everything that person said is true.

    When someone who is actually a male says “I am a woman”, they need to know (for their own health) that that cannot ever be true. No amount of pleading (or surgery) will allow that male to become female. They will not be able to have a child with their mitochondrial DNA.

    “But!”, some may respond, “that person identifies as a female, and the physical reality isn’t important to that!” If a man can say “i’m a woman”, then maleness and femaleness have zero meaning. All the man is really saying is that they feel like some stereotype of a woman, or that they want to behave in stereotypical female ways. How could it be otherwise? Again, if gender is just a social construct or a subjective perception then, rather than becoming incredibly important, it becomes incredibly meaningless! Not only that, but it’s pretty sexist. If a man says that they identify as a woman, and they put on dresses, well that’s just them following societal conventions that women have to wear dresses. Maybe some women don’t want to wear dresses, but still identify as women! Who is that man-who-feels-like-a-woman to tell that woman-who-feels-like-a-woman what feeling like a woman is supposed to mean? What a bigot and misogynist!

    Oh, but man-who-feels-like-a-woman is actually man-who-feels-like-the-kind-of-woman-who-likes-dresses. But why isn’t he man-who-likes-dresses? So you see how the meaning of any of those words is completely erased.

    For those who acknowledge a disconnect between sex and gender, there are additional problems. First, if sex is the biological reality and gender the mental reality, then when a person of the male sex says “I am a female”, they cannot ever actually mean that their sex is female. To do so would be to contradict the sex/gender distinction. But, if that person then goes on to get surgery, they are implicitly saying that sex and gender either are or should be the same, another contradiction.

    The odd thing is, if someone said to that person “I agree that sex and gender need to be aligned” and suggested that therapy to align the gender with the sex is the right path, society would call them hateful and bigoted. But for what reason? For agreeing with the premise that sex and gender must be aligned?

    The whole thing is so convoluted and nonsensical. It’s a complete destruction of the meaning of anything related to the physical reality of human sexual dimorphism and its fundamental purpose, creating the next generation of people. It’s now just self-centered pleasure seeking and prideful affirmation of the primacy of subjective perception over the truth of reality and the obligations that such truth imposes.

  9. James,
    Well said.

  10. james, masterful analysis!

  11. RE: “And notice—particularly notice—that the discussion of whether same-sex acts are moral is missing in action. That is the only question of interest. It is.”

    WRONG. It is not. Under U.S. law & Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, a citizen has certain rights — and absent of a violation of law–state law, not religious law, guaranteed freedoms preserve the right to “sin.” Many need to come to terms with that.

    The dopey analysis gets worse — it misses the obvious real legal issue touched on by some lawmakers:

    “Opponents of sexual orientation change efforts, such as … say …. efforts to change one’s sexual orientation are wrong and harmful.”

    If one is gay and want to pursue such ‘orientation change therapy’ legally-protected freedoms guarantee, or ought to per well-established legal doctrines on the theme of freedom, that person’s right to pursue such therapy. Certain lawmakers are pursuing, aggressively, a legal quagmire to take away such an individual freedom.

    The corruption of law and the encroachment of legal rights that [once upon a time] formed a legal foundation for the country ought to the issue du jour of concern relative to the topic presented because, if lawmakers they can do that (take away a gay’s right to pursue conversion therapy), they can do similar with other freedoms that are not so controversial from any perspective.

    Though, the piece does, if inadvertently, illustrate this concept: “This proves the adage that when we lose our grip on language we lose the ability to think. Propaganda works. Consequences?” — Focusing on a behavior thought to be immoral and icky completely distracted from a fundamental legal issue with much broader dire ramifications….

  12. JMJ: So if people are happy believing there are huge silver spiders outside their house and they are happy that way, why bother to tell them they are delusional? What if drug addicts are happy as junkies? (NOTE: You cannot answer this as “They are not really happy”–a response I often hear–without also allowing others to say homosexuals are not really happy so we have to help them. Your only option is to agree to the spiders or take back the happy idea.)

    It’s good you recognized that “born that way” would come back and bite the proponents in the ass. Not many people were that forward-looking when the idea was first advanced.

    I am not in favor of trying to change the behaviour of someone who is gay and often groups that propose to cure the affliction don’t really care about whether the person wants this or not. It’s like trying to cure alcoholism while the person still believes they don’t have a problem.

    See James comment also. It is most interesting to note that if this were about telekinesis or someone claiming they could jump off a 10 story building without injury, every scientist out there would scream no. Yet somehow delusions about a male actually being female but in the wrong body are embraced.

  13. Bert and Bob,

    Thank you for your kind comments. If you want to learn more along those lines, I highly highly recommend the book “Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity” by Anthony Esolen. It contains within it a wealth of logic and reason about the essence of human sexuality. I pulled most of my comments from what it taught me, so credit to Mr. Esolen for that.

  14. sheri, it is not up to me, or you, whether someone else is happy. That is for them and them alone to decide. You happy being a nosy bigot? Fine. Don’t force me to be one.

    JMJ

  15. JMJ: Again, you did not address the question–should we make drugs, prostitution, gambling and all other sins legal so these people can be happy? If doing so makes other people unhappy, then you become the mean, nosy bigot who took away the happiness of those on the opposing side. You dance all around this and fling insults, but you cannot escape the reality that your behaviour and rules make me unhappy. Your own rules say that is BAD. I am not to be unhappy. So make me happy or else. Wait, you can’t and you know that, don’t you? And you don’t care. So why should I care at all if gays are unhappy? I shouldn’t because that’s YOUR rule–care nothing about stomping all over people you disagree with. Typical progressive hypocrite. Or just too blind to recognize the reality of your belief.

    Sylvain: Your second reference fails to mention they VOTED out the “illness”. Voting is political, not scientific.

  16. @ Sheri,

    “Do you know why every mother can tell her identical twin babies apart?”

    You know this how? Does it also apply to identical triplets, quads, quints?

  17. Matt: That was JH.
    My answer would be the amount of time she spends with them allows her to notice small differences. Identical twins are not identical in all things, an indication that DNA is not everything.

  18. Shiri,

    Homosexuality became unacceptable after it was classified as a disease and named. Back in the 1800s psychiatry concluded that the norm was the majority while anything outside of the majority was abnormal hence the need to try to heal it. Or the belief that it could be healed.

  19. Sylvain: So let’s just vote to remove schizophrenia, depression, anti-social behaviour and everything else from the DSM. It’s mean to label people and try to change them. Best to let them live on the street and eat garbage if they choose, right? Why label anything? Call everything good and problem solved. We were probably way to narrow when we foolishly thought there was such a thing as mental illness anyway. Look at the grief it has caused calling people crazy. Live and let live, as people say.

  20. Half of my genetic ancestry was female, half male, therefore …. from an inspection of the evidence of my own behavior one could assume my female genetic inheritance is celibate. This stuff is crazy.

  21. The morality debate is not being side stepped. Conservative Christians lost. There is no longer a morality debate because sexual preference is no longer understood by the majority as an issue over morality. Something similar happened with slavery. The morality debate ended when it was decided slavery was purely immoral.

  22. Will: Interesting that you believe only Conservative Christians oppose gay marriage–both Obama and Hillary did until they got more points for saying the opposite. Belief has nothing to do with this. In fact, Bill was responsible for DOMA and yet now I’m sure he’s all for gay marriage. My sister used to try and tell me this was a “change in perspective” but what it really is is opportunistic claims with no actual belief behind them. There was no “morally” decided, it was just convenient and made points to say you are for gay marriage.

    Morality is NOT decided by vote nor by majority, unless of course, you are arguing that if in the future Americans vote to make pedophilia legal because it’s not a problem anymore, that’s okay. Also, comparing this to slavery is a straw man and you know better. Of course, maybe you’re advocating a civil war to solve this???

  23. Will, are you saying that morality is determined by majority vote? And thus, in the 1930’s and 1940’s in Germany killing and torturing Jews, Gypsies and the non-master races was morally ok?

  24. Shiri,

    You realize that the vote was done amongst psychiatrist not general population. Why wasn’t the vote a problem when it declared it a disease.

    Treatment and causes of all the problem you listed are well known. When treated, the person with psychological problem becomes well adjusted to society. The problem is that for the general population, the simple fact of taking medication means you are crazy.

    Having to deal with PTSD, there is a huge difference between before I was treated and after, and I had to learn the signs of when my health degrading so I could avoid what can cause problem.

    For health care professional, psychiatric patient, in the majority of cases are only normal people that need to be treated like someone with a broken arm. It is society that impose a stigmas on these people.

    Gay people have no problem functioning in society. They only have problem when people try to change them in such things as conversion therapy which causes more problem than solving.

    Gays are the GW problem of the conservative. They see a problem where there is none.

  25. “Interesting that you believe only Conservative Christians oppose gay marriage”

    I doubt I believe that since I pointed out in an earlier thread that I also oppose gay marriage, or at least have serious concerns, although not for the same reasons as Conservative Christians. What I was reminding Dr Briggs was that moral issues were not under discussion in this debate because the moral issues have been debated and Dr Brigg’s side lost.

    Morality is decided by majority vote. I know you don’t like that being the case, because you believe morality comes out of a magical book. (Of which there are more than one, and the argument for why your magical book is superior to someone else’s magical book boils down to “it just is!”).

    Just a brief historical lesson for Bob. The Nazi party in the Weimar Republic was always a minority party appealing to the disgruntled and disenfranchised. Unfortunately, they had a ruthless and clever leader, staged a putsch by burning down the reichstag and declared a state of emergency to gain absolute power. The majority of Germans did not approve of them. They also had a private militia that beat the crap or killed anyone who opposed them. The extermination of the Jews was done as secretly as possible, to avoid public outcry. If the majority viewed the extermination of the Jews as a moral good, it would have been done publicly, and to some degree celebrated. So Bob, please try not to say things here that put your ignorance on public display.

  26. James,

    Our society has elected at least one person to the House of Representatives who shares your belief that sex and gender must be aligned. The same society also calls you a bigot? Well, I really don’t care who calls or labels whom (or me) what, which is not helpful.

    What is truth? Truth of reality?

    That there are distinctions between sex and gender doesn’t imply the disconnection between sex and gender. I actually think the distinction can be used to describe the situation in a more precise way. One might argue that the alignment of sex and gender is to hide another dimension of our reality and society.

    The younger generation doesn’t seem to have problems with the distinction. I don’t know the consequences of such distinction or without such distinction. Having lived through different cultures, I do see how our way of thinking can be affected by our personal life experience and the society as a whole.

  27. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 25, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Under U.S. law & Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, a citizen has certain rights — and absent of a violation of law–state law, not religious law, guaranteed freedoms preserve the right to “sin.”

    Depending on which sins are fashionable among the elite.
    http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/Complete_Father_Brown/chapter41.html
    Nice use of Popperian quotation marks.

    You happy being a nosy bigot? Fine. Don’t force me to be one.

    Too late! (LOL) Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Morality is decided by majority vote.

    So slavery was moral in South Carolina in 1860, but immoral in Pennsylvania in the same year?

    BTW, earlier mention of the Nazi death camps overlooks the prevalence of other laws on Jewish ownership of property, participation in society, etc. Or the widespread help received across Europe from the French, Poles, and others in gathering and deporting Jews. Does it really matter if they thought it was simply ethnic cleansing rather than genocide?

    distinctions between sex and gender

    Ganz bestimmt! The spoon is masculine, the fork is feminine, and the knife is neuter!

  28. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    They also had a private militia that beat the crap or killed anyone who opposed them.

    “I had to shut down the Facebook page because of so many hate emails and phone calls and just, really nasty stuff,” he said.

    Not as physically brutal, perhaps, but the madness is the same.

  29. Following up on what Sheri said above:

    “Again, all evidence indicates pedophilia is just as biological as homosexuality or any other orientation. How can we jail for one orientation and legalize for another? That’s totally unfair and mean. (Yes, every time we discuss biology and sexual orientation, I will bring this up. It’s a fact and one most people simply chose ignore or try to dismiss.)”

    Agree totally, and may I add more:

    This is going to get me in trouble, probably, because it will be said that I’m making an improper comparison between two things that are not morally comparable. So let me get that out of the way first of all:

    Pedophilia has obvious harms to society, and to children, which (adult) homosexuality does not. Morally, they are two different things. So please don’t accuse me of saying they aren’t.

    Nevertheless, that’s irrelevant to my argument, because the morality of either is irrelevant to the issue of saying that orientation change can never be achieved and thus should not be attempted. The only thing homosexuality, and heterosexuality as well, have in common with pedophilia is that they refer to one’s tendency to be sexually attracted or aroused.

    Now, a question: When people argue that sexual attraction towards one’s own gender cannot possibly (in a scientific, not moral sense) be changed or even minimized , does this also apply to a person’s sexual attraction across the board?

    On what scientific grounds can we maintain that it is absolutely impossible to change a person’s sexual attraction where the attraction is morally accepted, such as homosexuality or heterosexuality, but possible to change a person’s sexual attraction where the attraction is morally unacceptable, such as with pedophilia?.

    What I’ve noticed in recent years is a disturbing tendency to take a “leopard who can’t change it’s spots” approach to people who were at any time in the past accused of or convicted of any sexual offense with a minor, no matter how minor the offense (sometimes, mere accusations of touching, not even in a private area, even when child and accused adult were fully clothed). I’ve had several neighbors who are treated like pariahs because people have learned and gossiped about events like this that occurred over twenty years ago, even when nothing like that has occurred since and when the person shows no evidence of improperness with kids.

    Have we (I mean, society, not any poster here) decided that a pedophile is a “leopard who can’t change it’s spots” because it is really hopeless for therapy to change this?

    Or have we decided this because we’ve decided that it must be impossible for society to change this?

    Have people decided that pedophilia has to be untreatable, because if we were to say that it was treatable, we’d thus be leaving the possibility open that homosexuality or heterosexuality were also treatable and possibly changeable, and we can’t say that? Therefore, to anyone who has unwanted attraction toward minors, sorry, we can’t help you, because we have to be consistent and maintain that the general object of one’s sexual attraction is immutable. All we can do is keep you far away from children.

    I don’t know, but I suspect this is one of the main reasons for the “they can never change” attitude toward accused pedophiles today, and why research into treatment for them will probably be hindered from here on.

    Again, yes, pedophilia is harmful where homosexuality and heterosexuality are not, but this is not relevant to the scientific question of whether objects of sexual attraction can be changed or not.

    And for what it’s worth, yes, I would also support the right of a heterosexual to seek and be able to obtain therapy to change to a homosexual, if they should wish to do so. Even if that number actually desiring such a change were infinitesimal, the principle is the same. I would not regard the availability of such therapy to be an insult to heterosexuals. Of course, unethical methods should not be allowed, and methods which don’t work should be discarded. But science works by looking to separate what doesn’t work from what does and working from there, not by just giving up.

    I’m sure I’m going to get some who reduce what I just said to an argument that “gays cause pedophilia”. No. I’m saying that insisting that homosexuality is impossible to change leads logically to a corollary that pedophilia, and any other sexual attraction, can also not be changed, and this is not a good thing where pedophilia is concerned. I’m saying no more or less. If you must reduce my arguments here, could we reduce them to this: It’s up to the individual whether they want treatment or not.

    If I feel a question must be asked, or a statement must be made, I will feel driven to say it even when it is extremely difficult to say it in a way that nobody cries foul.

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