Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Christopher Moua
Hr. 3 Hatten English 10C
Persuasive Research Essay
Reparative Therapy: An Aim At Sexual Orientation Satisfaction

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you homosexuality, you have to be gay? Many people would argue that homosexuality is an innate characteristic and can’t be changed. However, just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be changed. Outside of the mainstream society and abandoned by the gay community, dwell those who have a desire to change what most people would declare unchangeable. And for these individuals to meet their demands, they seek reparative therapy, the conversion from homosexuality to heterosexuality by eliminating homoerotic feelings. Regardless of reparative therapy’s best intentions, it has sparked conflicts surrounding its patients, success and overall purpose Opponents of reparative therapy have rebuked this process as a “cure” for homosexuality. Nonetheless, supporters claim that it offers a chance of satisfaction to self-selected, non-gay homosexual individuals who want to become heterosexual. Reparative therapy doesn’t intend to purge or debase homosexuality, instead it provides guidance for sexually conflicted individuals to aid stabilization of their fluctuating sexual desires and maintain a constant heterosexuality throughout each individual’s life.

In order for anyone to even have a stir in this pitcher, one must accurately know why non-gay homosexuals seek reparative therapy and understand that reparative therapy grants the patient the right to achieve self-satisfaction, in this case, becoming heterosexual. Joseph Nicolosi, Ph. D. and author of Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach, explicates in his book that many homosexual men who seek reparative therapy aren’t really gay at all. They have an internal conflict, their daunting homosexuality, that is currently conflicting with their daily lives, whether it be “coming out of the closet,” their religion or dealing with pressure from the media and society (Nicolosi par 6-17). Furthermore, society aims to encourage embracement of one’s homosexuality. Hypocritically enough, society has not stopped its harassment on homosexuality, especially with the word “fa****.” At the previous Golden Globe Awards, Grey’s Anatomy star, Isaiah Washington ridiculed one of his cast member by calling him a “fa****,” who just so happened to be homosexual (Ingrassia par 5). This in itself derogatively denounces homosexuality. Now, who in their right mind would want to “come out” as something society seeks to parody and criticize at almost every single chance they get. For this reason, most patients of reparative therapy don’t have the desire to embody homosexuality in all its free essence. Instead, they channel towards the growth away from the homosexual spectra and gear their wants towards heterosexuality within their sexuality continuum, as described by Nicolosi and his treatment of over 400 conflicted individuals (Nicolosi par 1-6). Moreover, Nicolosi himself, also Executive Director of NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuaily) and psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Jeffrey Satinover, address that reparative therapy offers its sessions for self-selected individuals who are completely aware of what may or will happen as a result of reparative therapy. This grants the patient the right to decide if he wants to undergo reparative therapy, at his own costs, to satisfy his sexual orientation and does not obligate the individual to do anything he is not comfortable with (Berlau par 8).In this way, proceeding with reparative therapy is a completely individual decision made by self-selected individuals who feel that their homosexuality can be treated, therefore achieving their ultimate satisfaction as being heterosexual; more importantly, being free and content with who they really want to be and truly are.

Despite the pro-patient philosophy of reparative therapy, psychologists and other associates of reparative therapy have struggled to obtain sufficient evidence and results to conclude reparative therapy as a reliable and effective treatment. This lack of credible data has proven reparative therapy as an inconsistent procedure and a down-the-road waste of time and money. Not only will it be a burden to those who try, Dr. Rodrigo Munoz, president of APA (American Psychiatric Association) states:
There is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. There is, however, evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive. (Kantz par 4)
Peterson Toscano, 42, is one among many patients who has experienced the failure and encumbering aftereffects of reparative therapy. As a gay man trying to become heterosexual, Toscano had undergone 17 years of reparative therapy and spent a whopping amount of $30,000 on the procedure, to later find out that he truly was a homosexual. In addition to his wasted efforts in becoming heterosexual, Toscano grew more and more melancholy as his life took a hard hit because of confusion derived from reparative therapy (Bane par 6-7). Toscano is not the only one who has experienced painful torment. Founder of Exodus International, Michael Bussee, is an active psychiatrist towards opposition of reparative therapy. Busee has filed countless reports about patients gone bad after reparative therapy. A couple of his founding includes a man who, after failed reparative therapy, brutally amputated his own genitals then followed up with a cleansing of the pain by using Drano, and a confused man who completely changed his sexual identity through transgender surgery in an attempt to be accepted by his religion (Wikipedia par 48). Without any care for what could possibly happen, reparative therapy gives patients wings then send them flying solo, deprived of any post-therapy practice, hoping to see them fly straight into heterosexuality, but when the patients hit rock bottom, it turns the other way and waits to gobble up future investments. Furthermore, without any tangible data that reparative therapy is effective, it relies on patient testimonies to prove its success. Unfortunately, relying on evidence from words is a fallible method. A study testing 200 individuals who qualified and agreed to do it, showed that some of the individuals who claimed to be heterosexual after reparative therapy had lied and denied their homosexuality. Most of the participants were thought to be telling the truth (Spitzer par 2). However, personal statements are less credible than factual evidence which can be acquired repetitiously with similar results. With reparative therapy’s lack of hard data to claim success and its deprivation of care for failed patients, it is an ineffective procedure inevitable to danger its fragile patients.
As unsuccessful as reparative therapy is, it is also perceived by the mainstream psychologists and psychoanalysts as a hopeless cause that is trying to “cure” homosexuality. About 30 years ago during the 1970s, homosexuality was voided from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a mental illness. Today, it is seen as a natural part of the human biology (Kantz par 4). Stubbornly, reparative therapy attempts to alter the natural behaviors a person is born with, despite various studies concluding homosexuality as a natural and unchangeable characteristic. One study carried out by psychology professors at the University of Chicago discovered that the homosexual male brain functions differently from that of a heterosexual one. By using technology to scan the brain of each participant, they found that the sex part of the brain, the hypothalamus, functions quite the same as if it belonged to an animal. Because animals use instinct to dictate their way of life, the study shows that sexual arousal in the participants are not by choice, rather it happens innately. The individual is naturally attracted to whatever stimulates his hypothalamus (Kotulak par 9-15). In addition to reparative therapy violating the science of homosexuality, it is also believed to rally movements against the gay community. In 1998, advertisements persuading conflicted homosexuals to engage in reparative therapy were growing abundant and quickly flared into a perception that only heterosexual people were capable of having a normal life. It also attempts to rid antidiscrimination laws that protect homosexuals. If a person’s sexuality can be changed from that of a minority group, such as homosexuals, into that of a majority group, such as heterosexuals, then homosexuals would not be able to claim laws prohibiting discrimination against minorities; they would not form a group qualified for protection laws because homosexuality is a choice (Haldeman p. 262). This clearly is not helpful for patients of reparative therapy, considering the fact that some patients during and after reparative therapy resume life as homosexuals. Reparative therapy has, in addition, given homosexuals the perception that they are dysfunctional and abnormal. It labels gays as mentally ill people and that in order to achieve happiness, they must become heterosexual. In 1998, the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees unanimously stated:
The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone ‘reparative therapy’ relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. (Herek p 3)
As reparative therapy continues to practice this malpractice, it has loss considerable support not only from the APA, the leading organization in sexual orientation therapy, but also from its failed patients’ families and friends as well. Kirsten Kingdon, the executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), upholds the opinions mentioned by the APA. She and other members of PFLAG have found reparative therapy as a very destructive procedure when executed on patients. Members of PFLAG have primarily seen what has happened to those they know who have undergone reparative therapy and the results are catastrophic. They rally behind the APA and other organizations against reparative therapy in a battle to eliminate the practice of changing one’s sexuality and the dangers that come from it (Kantz par 8-10). For reparative therapy, a prominent message has been clearly received by those who oppose it: homosexuality is not a disorder and cannot be cured.
For the most part, it sounds like unsuccessful sessions and increased demand to prohibit reparative therapy should have silenced this practice. But like day compliments night, unsuccessful attempts have triumphant victories and prohibition has approval. For most patients, approval from Christian supporters has led many of them to victorious change in their sexuality. One of those people is Ted Haggard, a former patriarch of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. After admitting to having a sexual relationship with a male prostitute, he was forced to resign. To save what was left of his dignity and move on with his life, he went through strenuous reparative therapy. Today, Haggard is still married to his wife, has four loving children and is seen by friends as “completely heterosexual” (Bane par 1). To some, Haggard’s story seems unbelievable, but to the conflicted individuals, it serves as a promise that reparative therapy makes and one that it intends to keep. Unlike other people who have struck reparative therapy as hopeless, Yvette Cantu is setting the record straight. As an analyst for the Washington-based Family Research Council and an ex-gay herself, meaning she has successfully gone through reparative therapy, she is crestfallen at why some would call reparative therapy a lost cause. She quotes, “It is unfortunate that the American Psychiatric Association has given up on homosexuals. I am living proof that homosexuals can change” (Kantz par 7-8). Cantu’s voice is not alone in the quest for reparative therapy. In a letter to defend reparative therapy from accusations made from the APA, NARTH president Charles W. Socarides writes:
To attack those who offer hope for homosexuals is to do harm to the patients and their families, and thus psychiatrists are used in the service of perpetuating a psychological disorder. It is an abuse of psychiatry to abridge the freedom of patients to seek help for a condition that they might find intolerable and painful. If they do not have psychiatrists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts to turn to, their despair increases. Not to offer them help is to be untruthful, cruel, and intellectually dishonest. (Socarides p 157)
The individual’s rights and beliefs are also taken into perspective. According to Douglas Haldeman, Ph. D. in psychology, if the patient’s religion is of high priority and is contradicting his or her sexuality, it is more important to guide the patient towards wholeness, even if that results in a different sexuality. The individual was raised and constructed on that moral foundation. It dictates how the individual lives his or her life. At times of despair, the individual’s religion may offer hope and comfort. To contend that would mean to dismantle everything that person believes he or she is (p 262). To restrict an individual from pursuing his or her happiness is a violation of his or her inalienable rights. There is really no one to edify the individuals on what is right or wrong. The decision to undergo reparative therapy is based on the individual’s divine laws that lie within each one. They constitute their own actions and beliefs, and that’s something no psychiatrist or outsider can change.
When the facts are given and the truth is told, oh behold one side is more ethical. Sure, one can argue that unsuccessful attempts, dangerous aftereffects and lack of hard evidence are enough to convey what’s right, but more importantly, all of these possible situational scenarios come after what goes before: the patient’s right to pursue his or her happiness; it is what the patient wants and how he or she chooses to do it that determines the outcome. To ease homosexual patients in choosing their own treatment, mental health organizations have integrated policies designed to give these individuals the protection of their rights to seek reparative therapy on the basis that they and their psychologists don’t misconstrue homosexuality as a mental illness. No matter how different each patient views his or her sexual identity, no one has the right to convince which one is better, only to provide guidance to the conflicted patients (Haldeman p 262).

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Outline for Essay 5-03-07

Attention Getter: Start with a story? Thematic address? Psychology quote?

Link: Person's transformation story. Tie with topic...

Background: Reparative therapy sparks many conflicts surrouding its success, purpose and patients

Thesis/Roadmap: Reparative therapy does not attempt to "cure" homosexuality, instead it offers a chance for satisfaction to self-selected non-gay homosexual men who want to become heterosexual

I. Reparative therapy sparks a movement to "cure" homosexuality
A. Gay genome has been discovered, no longer classified as a mental disorder
B. Gay activist extremists believe reparative therapy denounces those who are homosexual
C. Gay activist extremists believe reparative therapy misconstrews homosexuality as a mental disorder that can be "cured"

II. Reparative therapy does not have enough sufficient results
A. Does not have enough evidence to support the outcomes of reparative therapy; little has been done
B. May have devastating after-effects on the patient
C. No scientific evidence or link that reparative therapy can turn a homosexual man into a heterosexual man

III. Reparative therapy grants the patient the right to achieve self-satisfaction; become heterosexual
A. Society ignores non-gay homosexuals and the Gay community rejects them
B. Offers the chance to explore and fix the internal problems resulting from childhood that could have possibly lead to homosexuality
C. The patient himself has the inalienable right to pursue happiness
D. Individual choice to find self-satisfaction

IV. Reparative therapy allows for the patient to "find" their orientation and/or avoid future problems as a result of their sexual confusion
A. Reparative therapy early on in life may help avoid future problems
B. Reparative thearpy during the present may help settle sexual confusion
C. Reparative therapy may, if not turned heterosexual, help the man become more comfortable with his homosexuality

V. Stance: Reparative therapy grants the chance to satisfy the non-gay self-selected homosexual men and does not attempt to "cure" homosexuality


Monday, April 23, 2007

Annotation 2- Robert L. Spitzer

The mental health organizations state that there is no scientific evidence that proves a person's sexual orientation can be changed through a process called "reparative therapy." Although this has been stated, after 200 homosexual individuals went through reparative therapy later declared that they had less homosexual feelings and more dominant heterosexual feelings; some even expierienced a complete 100% change that lasted for about 5 years. So, even though there are no scientific evidence, the changes found in these 200 individuals prove that change can happen and the world of psychology can defy the limits of scientific analysis.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Annotative Blibliography

After meticulous research and cross country interviews with men who dealt with negative homosexual feelings, it has been found that some negative feelings towards one's homosexuality was spawned from the person's background as a child. Out of 450 men narrowed down to 15 men from across the country who met the required standards, 73% of the participants felt greatly reduced or no homosexual feelings after intense reparative therapy, that's 3 out of every 4 men who feel negative feelings towards their homosexuality can be set heterosexual. The research conducted and information gathered was enough to hypothesize 19 factors that contributed to their development of homosexuality.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Favorite Place

My favorite place is where the winds whip through the trees and the earth wraps around your feet. It is where the summer sun illuminates the glowing shades of green. In this place, it may seem very simple and serene, yet it is encompassed by a chaotic growth of vines and leaves. With its roots so close to home it can do nothing but stay, grow and let its seeds give way. Adjacent to a field of lush green grass stands a threshold of white wood. Its skin a haunting gray and flowers blossom as branches decay. Just behind this place of Eden lays a sea of ragged rocks spilled into thousands of pieces among a dirty surface. It is home to many creatures of varying sizes. When the sun fades away and the moonlight takes the stage, a dark mass of something is all tha

Monday, March 19, 2007

R.A.F.T. 3rd Trimester "Spring Break"

My spring break was decent. Nothing different from a regular weekend. I did go see Pan's Labrynth though. That movie was really good. I have to give it a perfect score. The twist on Alice in Wonderland and the abundant use of foreshadowing is phenomenal. Though the entire movie is in Spanish, you can really feel no difference between an American movie. The inside of my house changed. My parents finally decided to renovate the house. I am so glad they did because I can not live without change and variety. I moved the stuff in my room around a bit as well. I do it everytime I feel I have a new goal and I do. This trimester I am going for all A's. I slacked really bad in the 2nd trimester and I want to finish this school year strong like I use to. This trimester looks really boring though, unfortunatley. There's really nothing different, except that I do have Grammar class 5th hour so that should be a change for once. I did Impromptu at my speech meet last weekend during spring break. I placed 8th my first time and I was really suprised. Somehow the meet left me out of Informative Speaking and I didn't place. I'm sure if they didn't I would've gotten 2nd place. Today is a bad day for me so the future of this trimester looks pesimistic. I'll try to be optimistic but school has just gotten so dry and plain. The procedure is the same thing everyday and there's no variety in some classes but I'm hoping things will start to mix up and change for the better and spark my interest.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Global warming is a fraud- an exaggerated scenario by the science community to attract attention. Human interaction is too minute for such drastic effects on the world's climate. So what, the world can repair itself like it always has in the past. Such an ignorant perception on the world's climate is exactly what will compel a country and the world to a point where the world of today will be only a memory. The world must not remain oblivious to the prominent facts that drastic climate shifts are occurring. With today's glaciers and ice sheets melting more rapidly than ever, the ten hottest years on earth occurring within the last fifteen years and proven statements of manmade climate changes backed up by world renowned scientists and environmentalists: drastic measures must be taken by the world to counter drastic changes within the world. These events have stockpiled into a spiraling conflict facing humanity and nature: a deadly climate change. By examining paleoclimatology, analyzing the present manmade contribution to global warming and identifying the effects on future generations, a wide spectrum of evidence will be provided to support the fact that threatening climate shifts are indeed happening and significant reforms must be executed to prevent global warming from escalating any further and becoming an inevitable death sentence.
Michio Kaku, professor of theoritical physics at City Univeristy of New York stated, "Of all the generations of humans that have walked the surface of the earth- for 100,000 years, going back when we first left Africa- the generation now alive is the most important. The generation now alive, the generation that you see, looking around you, for the first time in history, is the generation that controls the destiny of the planet itself." Yet, many people do not realize this and hold the future responsible for taking action. The future maybe uncertain, but it is nearing and there may not be a whole lot of time, as concluded by recent reports. According to a NOVA and Frontline report, "What's Up With the Weather," an increase of at least 20 feet in sea level will arise from the melting of all the great ice masses in the world, engulfing and destroying coastal civilization, rendering millions across the globe homeless. A meltdown can be tracked back to the increase of heat in the earth's atmosphere, mainly due to the increasing amount of greenhouse gases being emitted as a byproduct of human activities. In the article, "Raising the Climate Stakes," from world renowned TIME magazine, the U.N's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a thoroughly reasearched and evidence supported announcement that for the first time there is "unequivocal" evidence proving humans are responsible for at least 90% of the world's global wariming. Reports were made from 600 scientists from 40 countries around the world. Over emission of greenhouse gases can then be chained back to the use of CO2 contributors such as: non-fuel efficient cars, commercial jets, deforestation and industrial production. These factors all contribute to the pending threat of climate change that awaits in the coming tomorrow.
For as long as the earth has been spinning, mother nature herself has been a major contributor of concentrated greenhouse gases, shifting the climate back and forth. A striking natural contributor of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere are volcanoes. Though volcanoes may not augment the temperature, it would gradually create a "volcanic winter," a period of global cooling resulted by the relfection of sunlight from volcanic ash, sulfuric acid, and interaction of CO2 and water droplets. Take Lake Toba in Indonesia for example.