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Dr. Warren Throckmorton Christian Blog and Commentary

Has the APA altered guidance on homosexuality?

  • Dr. Warren Throckmorton
    Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at ewthrockmorton@gcc.edu.
  • 2009 Jul 14
  • Comments

The Southern Voice has an article regarding the recent breathless, echo-chamber enhanced series of articles from some conservative blogs and news services about changes in the American Psychological Association statement regarding sexual orientation.

As I noted awhile back, the recent flurry was not new news. My first blog about it was when NARTH’s (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) Dean Byrd produced an article for the NARTH website.

In the Sovo article, the APA’s Clinton Anderson seemed bemused by the response to something they did over a year ago.

Clinton Anderson, director of the APA’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns office, said the change was so subtle that “from our perspective, there really hasn’t been any change.”

But some conservative groups have hailed the wording change as apparent affirmation that sexual orientation is not genetically defined.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, said the reason “so many people in the pro-family movement are delighted by this is that it seems to confirm our doubts that there’s a gay gene, that homosexuality is inborn.”

“A lot of gay activists have used the idea of genetic homosexuality as a convenient argument to further their case,” he said. “This makes it harder for them to do that, because they can chastise the religious right, but it’s harder for them to chastise the APA.”

I still wait for NARTH to issue a similar position statement regarding the nature of homosexuality – multiple factors, multiple pathways, we don’t know how any of this works very well, etc.

Instead NARTH trumpets a paper saying that research leads to a conclusion that homosexuality is not innate – despite the absence of any evidence to support the “conclusion” in the paper. Too often religious conservatives repeat what they hear from NARTH, not knowing that there is a good portion of spin in the message.