NARTH and J. Michael Bailey

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a conservative group which believes it can "cure" gays. NARTH frequently cites Northwestern University psychologist J Michael Bailey's work on their website.

 

NARTH was quick to weigh in with support of Bailey after he was criticized for an April 2003 lecture he presented at Stanford. They have also written a positive review of Bailey's book The Man Who Would Be Queen, discussed below.

NARTH claimed in a 5 July 2005 article that Bailey is gay, but changed this on 11 July 2005 to say Bailey is "gay-affirming."

30 April 2003

Gender nonconformity a distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals

Northwestern University Prof. Bailey’s message discussed in Joan Roughgarden’s column “Psychology lecture lacks sensitivity to sexual orientation” (April 25) may seem to promote an inaccurate stereotype to many people, but in my opinion, it does accurately reflect a key difference that distinguishes gays and straights: gender nonconformity. That difference between the two sexual orientations has been repeatedly shown in the scientific literature and confirmed by researchers who are gay themselves — including noted brain researcher Dr. Simon LeVay.

Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. President, National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)

Dean Byrd of NARTH on Bailey

On the same day Lambda Literary Foundation put out a message stating they planned to continue honoring Bailey's book, NARTH also put up a generally positive review of Bailey's book by A. Dean Byrd

The Man Who Would Be Queen, by J. Michael Bailey, Ph. D. A Review by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., MBA, MPH

A new book from the controversial researcher who said--in the Archives of General Psychiatry--that "homosexuality may represent a developmental error"

Byrd cites gems like this from Bailey's book:

"It is certainly an unfortunate state of affaris that gay men tend to be feminine... The designer of the universe has a perverse sense of humor."

Bailey, page 81

David Blakeslee of NARTH on Bailey

Here's an example of how NARTH and other ex-gay movements will use Bailey's book to oppose things like gay rights. This is from the Oregonian

http://www.oregonlive.com/commentary/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/ editorial/107978735970950.xml

Name-calling undermines search for truth in gay marriage debate

03/20/04 DAVID BLAKESLEE

Recent articles, news stories and letters to the editor have often been supportive of gay marriage. Those who disagree with that point of view are often discredited as bigots or religious zealots. Twenty years ago, courageous members of the Gay Rights movement embraced their most derogatory description, "faggot" and "fairy," in order to get their message out. Calling people names is a way to control the discussion of important social issues. The issue of gay marriage is too important for such tactics because our ultimate decision has wider ramifications for our society.

The argument for gay marriage is rooted in three popularized false propositions: 1) that same sex attraction is biologically determined; 2) that the challenges facing gays are primarily due to society's oppression of gays, and 3) gay relationships are essentially the same as heterosexual relationships. A recent book by professor J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D. ("The Man Who Would Be Queen") debunks these arguments, exposing them as myths of the politically correct. His book has been called, "Absolutely splendid," by preeminent gay researcher, Simon LeVay.

Before any analysis of the data is begun it is important to understand gay researchers dominate the research on gays. Bailey suggests that gays make up about 50% of the researchers in this field (whereas gays make up between 2-4% of the general population). We should look with skepticism on their results when they lead to conclusions that gays are no different than heterosexuals. It is sort of like Louisiana Pacific doing studies on the benefits of clear-cutting on wildlife habitat: their results may be true, but we should be skeptical because the research agenda can be easily dominated by bias. If Louisiana Pacific found the oppositewell, that would be quite another thing. The research in gay genetics and behavior is beginning to point in the opposite direction we would expect given the field's dominance by gay researchers.

After twenty years of research on gays it is now clear that there is no "gay gene." Attempts have been made to use animal and brain studies to establish strong evidence for a biological origin of and determination toward homosexuality. The most these studies suggest is that there are biological vulnerabilities to same sex attraction. There are some inherent problems with using animal studies to understand human behavior: "Pigs don't date, ducks don't go to church and mice don't fall in love," suggests Dean Byrd, Ph.D.

Furthermore, in twin studies genetic factors were less likely to "determine" same sex attraction than in other human characteristics such as criminality, bigotry, dyslexia and divorce. Genetic factors alone are a weak reason to accept and encourage behaviors and conditions that are unwanted by some of those who suffer from a "genetic vulnerability." Gay advocacy groups argue that since same-sex attraction has a genetic link, that those who see it as other than "a normal diversity in the expression of being human" are bigots. Although Bailey reviews the literature on genetics, the results are far from conclusive. Bailey suggests that searching for a gay gene remains, "intriguing but doubtful." Bailey overlooks respected social and developmental models described by other gay affirmative therapists (Bem) to describe how same-sex attraction occurs. In other writings Bailey has conceded, "One need not believe that homosexuality is a psychopathologic trait . . . to believe that evolution has worked to ensure heterosexuality in most cases and that homosexuality may represent a developmental error."

A recently published study has found same sex attraction can not only be minimized, but that change to strong opposite sex attraction can occur as well, to include marriage, sexual enjoyment and children. This study was written by Robert Spitzer, the researcher in the early '70s who worked successfully to remove Homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders 3rd Edition. Changing one's same sex attraction to opposite sex attraction is clearly possible in some cases. Coercing gays into treatment for their same-sex attraction is unethical and immoral; but so is telling them that their same-sex attraction is unchangeable due to their biology.

There is a growing body of evidence that mental illnesses of nearly every variety are more highly correlated with homosexuality. Gay advocacy groups have asserted that this is due to the oppressive nature of our society toward gays. Thankfully, they have picked up the banner to protect gays and lesbians: it is just wrong to persecute and devalue others because of their sexual identity. In their zeal they are pedaling incomplete science in our schools and to the general public which in turn motivates politicians to consider sweeping changes in public policy to alleviate gay suffering. Unfortunately, in more open societies where this advocacy has successfully shaped public policy the mental health of people who identify as gay is uniformly worse than heterosexuals' mental health (Archives of General Psychiatry 58: 85-91).

This brings us to the third fallacy: gay relationships are essentially the same as heterosexual relationships. Bailey cites, among other studies, research by McWhirter and Mattison that found that of 156 gay male couples most became non-monogamous within one year and all were non-monogamous within five years. Unfortunately, this and all the studies cited were from the era directly preceding the AIDS epidemic. It is unlikely that this level of sexual freedom persists among gay men; however, Bailey asserts that sexual freedom is still a cornerstone in gay male relationships. He reports that the gay community divides the definition of monogamy into emotional and sexual categories. A committed, lifelong gay male relationship is usually sexually open: that is, both partners often seek sexual satisfaction outside the relationship. Social scientist, Judith Wallerstein, Ph.D. suggests that for heterosexual couples going through divorce, romantic attachments often lead to egocentricity (selfishness) and a marginalization of children's needs. The effect may be the same or different in gay male relationships and should be explored further.

Undermining the importance and meaning of marriage destabilizes families, which directly harm children, and fragments our greater society. Forty years ago we began experimenting with this most fundamental institution of civilization: marriage. We stopped viewing divorce, cohabitation and promiscuity as shameful. Those who raised alarms were called: "Puritans" and "intolerant." We indulged the impulsive, the selfish and the reckless narcissistic heterosexual male in a social euphemism called: "the sexual revolution." The research is in and we are now reaping the consequences: women are more frequently severely abused in cohabiting relationships and are poorer after divorce, there are high rates of STDs (despite millions being spent on education and prevention), and children are more likely to be abused, engage in criminal activity and be raised in poverty because of illegitimacy and divorce. All of this in the name of tolerance.

We should not encourage our city, state and federal representatives to silence solid research and history in the name of tolerance alone. Instead we should apply all the virtues (fidelity/truth, duty, justice and moderation, to name a few) in having a complete and open debate on the risks and benefits of gay marriage before we change this fundamental institution in Multnomah County, Oregon or the United States; while we are at it, lets require premarital counseling, encourage parent training and discourage divorce: the next generation of children will be kinder, more generous, intelligent and courageous because we did.

David Blakeslee, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Lake Oswego, OR. His co-authors are Dean Byrd, Ph.D., a Clinical Professor at the University of Utah's School of Medicine; Benjamin Kaufman, M.D., a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, U.C. Davis, and Chairman of the Board of NARTH; Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, president of NARTH and author of several books on same sex attraction;

Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D. an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College.

NARTH comments on DIV 44 article

Dr. Madeline Wyndzen published an article critical of mental illness models of gender variance in the Spring 2004 newsletter of the Amercian Psychological Association's Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues (nicknamed APA DIV 44):

Transsexual Psychologist Urges Change In DSM

In a separate article in the Division 44 Newsletter, a male-to-female transsexual doctor, writing under a pen name, expressed his hope that someday the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would be changed to normalize transsexualism.

Madeline H. Wyndzen states: "As a psychologist and transsexual, I find that the mental illness label imposed on transsexuality is just as disquieting as the label that used to be imposed upon homosexuality." He said he looked forward to the day when his children will think that it was "unfathomable that I was once diagnosed and treated for 'Gender Identity Disorder.'"

Note the respectful pronouns typical of these militant groups and their allies. One of their favorite tactics is to call us "men trapped in men's bodies" (Lawrence 1998) or "man who would be queen" (Bailey 2003).

A.P.A.'s Society for the Study of Gay Issues Urges Psychologists To Become Political Activists 7 May 2004 http://www.narth.com/docs/urges.html

NARTH comments on Bailey's "male bisexuals are liars" study

After originally claiming Bailey was gay and then changing it to "gay-affirming," NARTH cites Bailey's "gay, straight, or lying" catchphrase originally used in publicity for his book The Man Who Would Be Queen. This time, it got used as a headline for an article climing male bisexuality doesn't exist, according to a study by Bailey, Gerulf Rieger, and Meredith Chivers.

"I'm not denying that bisexual behavior exists. But I am saying that in men there's no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation."

For more on this, please see the clearinghouse maintained by Lynn Conway.

http://www.narth.com/docs/alleging.html

NARTH comments on transsexualism

Following on the tone in the essay above, NARTH published an essay in October 2005 By Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D.

This article was first published in Ethics & Medics, October 2005, Volume 30, 10. It is reprinted by permission of The National Catholic Bioethics Center, which maintains the copyright. Ethics & Medics is edited by Edward J. Furton, M.A., Ph.D., Ethicist and Director of Publications. Web site: www.ncbecenter.org.

The overview cites Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins, Ken Zucker and Susan Bradley of the Clarke Institute, and other well-known authors whose work has been damaging to those seeking trans health services over the years.

Fitzgibbons concludes that religion and therapy that conforms with religious beliefs will lead to "healing":

Self-knowledge, forgiveness, skilled psychotherapy and good spiritual direction can all play a part in the healing process. Much more work needs to be done in this field. Parents, pediatricians and educators need to be able to recognize GID in children. Mental health professionals and priests should understand the origins of the condition, and know that successful treatment can occur in persons who come to them with the desire for a "sex change." Finally, professionals with positive experience in treating this problem need to share their expertise with others.

http://www.narth.com/docs/desiresch.html

Bailey references on NARTH site

(heavy citations in *bold*)

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