Truth Wins Out Urges Skepticism of New 'Ex-Gay' Sham Study Released Today by Right Wing Therapists

Sep 13, 2007, 01:00 ET from Truth Wins Out

    NEW YORK, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Truth Wins Out warned
 news organizations today to be highly skeptical of a biased "ex-gay" sham
 study that will be released by right wing therapists in Nashville this
 afternoon. The "research," which was conducted by Stanton L. Jones of
 Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of Pat Robertson University,
 reportedly will show that a significant percentage of gay people can become
 straight through religious- based counseling.
     "It comes as no shock that anti-gay 'researchers' at Wheaton College
 and Pat Robertson University would release a study that claims you can pray
 away the gay," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "I
 suppose their next study will provide support for Pat Robertson's theory
 that homosexuality causes meteors and hurricanes."
     Caution should be taken in prematurely critiquing the study until the
 full methodology is available. However, based on unconfirmed reports there
 is great concern that these notorious anti-gay researchers did little more
 than telephone professional ex-gay lobbyists and ministers from Exodus
 International and ask them if they had "changed." If this is the case, it
 is likely that the study results are not only suspect, but wholly invalid,
 says Truth Wins Out.
     "It appears as if this study is the equivalent of the Phillip Morris
 'research' team interviewing members of the company's public relations team
 on the safety of cigarettes," said Besen. "This study may be a deceptive
 sham with the goal of making it appear as if science backs fundamentalist
 beliefs on homosexuality."
     There is also the concern that the study sample is unusually small.
 Additionally, there is no indication that key physical measures or tests
 were included, such as a "No Lie MRI," which is a scientific
 truth-detecting brain scan.
     "Any 'ex-gay' study that does not include physical components that
 measure truth are essentially meaningless," said Besen. "After several key
 ex-gay leaders have been caught in sex scandals, their tales of
 transformation lack credibility," said Besen. "It is folly to suggest that
 telephone interviews can be considered genuine research. News organizations
 should be extremely skeptical of such a mockery of the scientific method."
     Jones and Yarhouse have made a cottage industry of attempting to mold
 scientific conclusions so they will conform to their devoutly held
 religious beliefs. Commenting on a 1991 debate over the ordination of gay
 Episcopal priests, Jones told the Associated Press that those who support
 ordaining homosexuals are trying "to normalize a pattern which is
 destructive and abnormal."
     In a Sept. 14, 2004 interview with The Virginian-Pilot, Yarhouse
 explained that he tells clients that their homosexual feelings do not mean
 they have to identify as gay. "Christ, or God, has a pre-existing claim on
 their sexuality" that trumps same-sex attractions, Yarhouse said.
     In an April 2006 interview for the anti-gay website NARTH.com, Jones
 and Yarhouse explain the motivation for their work. "As evangelical
 Christians, it seemed to us that homosexuality is the area where more
 pressure is being put on the church to depart from the explicit moral
 teachings of scripture than any other area."
     The release of their study results in Nashville coincides with a
 regional conference of the ex-gay organization Exodus International and the
 American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference. The full
 study results will be distributed on Oct. 10, in the form of a book by
 Christian publisher InterVarsity Press.
     Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing
 propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
 For more information, visit http://www.TruthWinsOut.org.
 
 

SOURCE Truth Wins Out
    NEW YORK, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Truth Wins Out warned
 news organizations today to be highly skeptical of a biased "ex-gay" sham
 study that will be released by right wing therapists in Nashville this
 afternoon. The "research," which was conducted by Stanton L. Jones of
 Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of Pat Robertson University,
 reportedly will show that a significant percentage of gay people can become
 straight through religious- based counseling.
     "It comes as no shock that anti-gay 'researchers' at Wheaton College
 and Pat Robertson University would release a study that claims you can pray
 away the gay," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "I
 suppose their next study will provide support for Pat Robertson's theory
 that homosexuality causes meteors and hurricanes."
     Caution should be taken in prematurely critiquing the study until the
 full methodology is available. However, based on unconfirmed reports there
 is great concern that these notorious anti-gay researchers did little more
 than telephone professional ex-gay lobbyists and ministers from Exodus
 International and ask them if they had "changed." If this is the case, it
 is likely that the study results are not only suspect, but wholly invalid,
 says Truth Wins Out.
     "It appears as if this study is the equivalent of the Phillip Morris
 'research' team interviewing members of the company's public relations team
 on the safety of cigarettes," said Besen. "This study may be a deceptive
 sham with the goal of making it appear as if science backs fundamentalist
 beliefs on homosexuality."
     There is also the concern that the study sample is unusually small.
 Additionally, there is no indication that key physical measures or tests
 were included, such as a "No Lie MRI," which is a scientific
 truth-detecting brain scan.
     "Any 'ex-gay' study that does not include physical components that
 measure truth are essentially meaningless," said Besen. "After several key
 ex-gay leaders have been caught in sex scandals, their tales of
 transformation lack credibility," said Besen. "It is folly to suggest that
 telephone interviews can be considered genuine research. News organizations
 should be extremely skeptical of such a mockery of the scientific method."
     Jones and Yarhouse have made a cottage industry of attempting to mold
 scientific conclusions so they will conform to their devoutly held
 religious beliefs. Commenting on a 1991 debate over the ordination of gay
 Episcopal priests, Jones told the Associated Press that those who support
 ordaining homosexuals are trying "to normalize a pattern which is
 destructive and abnormal."
     In a Sept. 14, 2004 interview with The Virginian-Pilot, Yarhouse
 explained that he tells clients that their homosexual feelings do not mean
 they have to identify as gay. "Christ, or God, has a pre-existing claim on
 their sexuality" that trumps same-sex attractions, Yarhouse said.
     In an April 2006 interview for the anti-gay website NARTH.com, Jones
 and Yarhouse explain the motivation for their work. "As evangelical
 Christians, it seemed to us that homosexuality is the area where more
 pressure is being put on the church to depart from the explicit moral
 teachings of scripture than any other area."
     The release of their study results in Nashville coincides with a
 regional conference of the ex-gay organization Exodus International and the
 American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference. The full
 study results will be distributed on Oct. 10, in the form of a book by
 Christian publisher InterVarsity Press.
     Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing
 propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
 For more information, visit http://www.TruthWinsOut.org.
 
 SOURCE Truth Wins Out