Sexual identity counseling subject of series of articles
Alex Johnson of MSNBC covered the recent Love Won Out conference Seattle recently. His articles were broader than the conference however, in that he made a good effort at conveying the alternative of reorientation counseling and as such are important reading. Further, I want to thank Mr. Johnson publicly for correcting his portrayal of my views on the subject in one of the articles.
In the earlier version of the article, he wrote that I was a proponent of the view that homosexuality results from weak identification with the same sex parent. However, my view is much broader than that. My views are better described in a letter to the editor to published on MSNBC.com. Here is the letter:
To the editor:
I am writing regarding the article "Alternative view says homosexuals can change" by Alex Johnson. First, I congratulate Mr. Johnson for his balanced and fair reporting on this matter. However, an earlier online version of the article gave an inaccurate portrayal of my views. The article referred to me as "a leading proponent of the theory that homosexuality is a learned response to weak identification by a child with the same-sex parent..." Although I have counseled people who describe such backgrounds, I by no means believe that all same sex attractions are due to deficient relationships between children and their same sex parents. In fact, I hold to a much broader view of sexuality that distinguishes between sexual attractions and one's preferred sexual identity. All who experience same sex attraction do not have the same life experiences; all such people do not identify as homosexual. I believe the research regarding both genetic and environmental determinants of sexual attractions to be weak and inadequate to permit dogmatic statements about causation. However, whatever the individual causes of sexual attractions, I have observed a variety of difference resolutions to sexual orientation distress in my clinical work with people, including changes in sexual attractions. A fuller examination of these issues can be found at www.drthrockmorton.com. I appreciate Mr. Johnson and MSNBC providing an examination of alternatives for those who are in conflict over their sexuality.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology
Fellow, Center for Vision and Values
Grove City College
Grove City, PA