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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

About NARTH: The National Association for
Research & Therapy of Homosexuality

Study of homosexuality. Reparative therapy
safety & effectiveness. Racism. Rekers incident

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NARTH study of homosexuality:  

On 1997-MAY-17, NARTH announced the results of a two year study of 860 clients and their more than 200 psychologists and other therapists. The study is heavily biased, because the therapists appear to have supplied data only on their "success stories." Unfortunately, NARTH did not report the only data that truly matter: their success rate at converting all patients with a homosexual orientation to a heterosexual orientation that lasted for a significant interval. They did not differentiate between homosexuals and bisexuals among those entering therapy. Their report also did not differentiate between homosexuals, bisexuals and heterosexuals among those leaving therapy.

This study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It probably could not be because the data appears to be entirely composed of subjective  opinions. More details.

No data is available on longer term, post-therapy results. Only a longitudinal study extending many years after the conclusion of therapy will show how effective and safe it is. To our knowledge, such a study has never been done.

NARTH offered to join with the American Psychological Association (APA) in conducting a detailed study of the effectiveness of reparative therapy. The APA refused to cooperate. A debate over reparative therapy and the changeability of sexual orientation was scheduled for the APA's year 2000 convention. However, it was cancelled at the last moment.

Effectiveness and safety of reparative therapy:

Dr. Nicolosi said that this form of therapy: "...can only be damaging if the agenda of the therapist supersedes that of the patient." He claims that among the patients at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, of which he is founding director,

bulletOne third experience "significant improvement -- they understand their homosexuality and have some sense of control." However, they may engage in same-sex sexual behavior.


bulletAnother third are "cured;" they refrain from same-sex behavior and the strength and frequency of their same-sex desires is diminished, but not necessarily gone.


bulletThe other third fail to change.

He seems to admit that reparative therapy has a 100% failure rate in terms of converting persons with a homosexual orientation to a heterosexual orientation. All or almost all of his clinic's patients retain same-sex desires; that is, they remain either with a homosexual or bisexual orientation. However some -- presumably mostly made up of bisexuals -- do decide to abandon same-sex sexual behavior and confine their sexual activities to members of the opposite sex,

He commented: "We say to patients, 'Your true self is heterosexual'." He tells male patients: "Look at your body: It was designed to fit a woman, not a man." 1

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Race and NARTH:

About 2006-SEP-15, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) allegedly issued a letter to NARTH, objecting to an article by Gerald Schoenewolf -- a member of NARTH's Scientific Advisory Board. The article apparently appeared on the NARTH in website since mid-2005. It said, in part:

"With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman."

The article allegedly drew a parallel between the civil rights movement and the enslavement, destruction of families, and gross abuse of African Americans:

"The irony is that the Civil Rights Movement has been vehement about pointing out the hysterical lynchings that took place in the Old South, but completely blind to its own hysterical tactics."

NARTH apparently removed the essay from their website, and changed their website's disclaimer to read:

Opinions express on this web site are the views and sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of NARTH. However, NARTH values diversity of opinions and freedom of speech, and encourages individual writers."

The NBJC issued a second letter on 2006-SEP-23 which said in part:

"It has been exactly one week since Dr. Schoenewolf's article has been uncovered and no action has yet been taken on behalf of NARTH to distance itself from this divisive rhetoric. In lieu of such inaction, NBJC can only conclude that NARTH is in concurrence with such sentiments. Taking the offending article down off your website in the dead of night is no substitute for honestly and earnestly addressing this festering issue."

"In the name of propriety, respect, common decency and professional integrity, NBJC strongly urges NARTH to issue a public apology on the front page of its website for publishing such an outrageous and offensive article. We also hope that you reevaluate your relationship with Dr. Schoenewolf whose peculiar views have no place in civilized discourse."

"As the leader of NARTH and a prominent speaker on Focus on the Family's Love Won Out symposium, the messages imparted by you and NARTH have an impact on real people. We hope that you consider our concerns and contact us so we can hear NARTH's explanation on how such abhorrent and racially insensitive content found its way onto the group's website." 2,3,4

The George Alan Rekers incident:

Rekers (1948-) is a psychologist and a Southern Baptist minister. He is an emeritus professor of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Along with James Dobson, founder of the fundamentalist Christian group Focus on the Family, he was on the founding board of the Family Research Council. He is a former officer and scientific advisor to NARTH.

According to Wikipedia:

"Rekers has testified in court on the allegedly destructive and sinful nature of homosexuality, and the unsuitability of gay and lesbian people for parenthood, in a number of court cases involving organizations and state agencies working with children. ... His testimony has been strongly criticized by a number of parties including trial judges; the American Civil Liberties Union has asserted that his personal beliefs regarding homosexuality interfere with his ability to give an unbiased professional opinion on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) topics, including gay adoption. ... as a member of the Southern Baptists, he believes that the city of Sodom was destroyed by God as a punishment for allowing homosexuality and that active homosexuals face "eternal separation from God", i.e. perpetuity in hell."5

On 2010-MAY-04, the Miami New Times reported that Rekers had been photographed at the local airport in the company of a 20-year-old "rent boy" who went by the pseudonym "Lucien; he was later identified as Jo-Vanni Roman. Roman advertised his services on Rentboy.com, which bills itself as the "World's largest escort site... Find the right man for you!"

He has since separated from NARTH, and is not on the Family Research Council board.

horizontal line

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Sandra G. Boodman, "Vowing to Set the World Straight: Proponents of Reparative Therapy Say They Can Help Gay Patients Become Heterosexual. Experts Call That a Prescription for Harm," Washington Post, 2005-AUG-16, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  2. Mike Airhart, "National Black Justice Coalition Asks NARTH to Apologize," Exgay Watch, 2006-SEP-22, at:  http://www.exgaywatch.com/
  3. "NBJC Demands Apology from NARTH," National Black Justice Coalition, 2006-SEP-06, at: http://www.nbjcoalition.org/
  4. Mike Airhart, "NARTH Disavows Its Own Web Site; Black Coalition Publishes Its Protest," Exgay Watch, 2006-SEP-25, at: http://www.exgaywatch.com/
  5. "George Alan Rekers," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Copyright © 1997 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-APR-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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