NARTH, the New Epigenetic Model and Confirmation Bias

Last week, I wrote briefly about the new paper from William Rice et al which describes an epigenetic model of homosexuality. In that post I reported a quote from National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) spokesman David Pruden regarding the study. Here is Pruden's statement which was cited in the Christian Post:“The theoretical model itself attributes only 10-14 percent of the factors to genetics or epigenetics. That leaves the remaining 85 percent or so of the … [Read more...]

NARTH Report: Suicide attempts increase during sexual orientation change therapy

Writing in the second edition of NARTH's (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) Journal of Human Sexuality, Neil Whitehead proposed a reanalysis (NARTH summary here) of a paper by Ariel Shidlo and Michael Shroeder on potentially harmful outcomes of sexual orientation change efforts. NARTH's headline describing the paper isSexual Orientation Change Efforts Do Not Lead to Increased Suicide Attempts.Contrast NARTH's headline with the title of my post. After … [Read more...]

Brain plasticity and sexual orientation: Wrapping up with a couple of experts

Earlier this month, I posted three times regarding an article by Neil and Briar Whitehead with the title, “Brain Plasticity Backs Up Orientation Change.” This is a wrap up for those posts to indicate that very little backs up the Whiteheads' article.I asked Adam Safron and Norman Doidge to comment about the Whitehead article. Dr. Doidge is the author of the book (The Brain that Changes Itself) misrepresented by the Whiteheads. As I noted in a previous post, the Whiteheads failed to cite Doidg … [Read more...]

My Genes Made Me Do It and brain plasticity

Just a postscript to my earlier posts on brain plasticity and sexual orientation…Neil Whitehead first authored his signature work, My Genes Made Me Do It in 1999. Now he maintains the book on his website saying that “It is under constant review to keep it up-to-date so readers can be asssured (sic) of its on-going relevance.”In chapter 8, on page 6, Whitehead recommends Norman Doidge’s book on brain plasticity. He takes some of the same liberties with Doidge’s book that he does in the Ang … [Read more...]

NARTH authors again mislead readers: More on brain plasticity and sexual orientation

This post is a follow up to the one about Neil and Briar Whitehead's article titled, "Brain Plasticity Backs Up Orientation Change" published on the Anglican Mainstream.In their article, the Whiteheads liken sexual reorientation to learning to play a musical instrument and proclaim that science leads us to this assumption:Our assumption now should be, change is possible in many behaviors – sexual orientation not excluded – and extraordinary effort will produce extraordinary cha … [Read more...]

Brain plasticity and sexual orientation: Train it to gain it?

This article about brain plasticity by Neil and Briar Whitehead posted on Anglican Mainstream caught my attention for several reasons. Some relate to classes I teach but for this post, I am interested in discussion surrounding the main reason the Whiteheads wrote about neuroscience: sexual reorientation.I have a few questions.Sex and gender researchers working in the belief that the brain and its functions were more less set, believed they might find evidence that homosexuality was … [Read more...]

Ariel Shidlo comments on NARTH’s use of his research

Back in December, 2008, I posted a critique of Neil Whitehead's re-analysis of Shidlo and Schroeder's study of harm from reorientation change efforts.In that post, I noted that Whitehead said Shidlo's study actually demonstrated the value of reparative therapy because suicides were reduced. In her report on the 2008 NARTH convention, NARTH president Julie Hamilton wrote:Regarding the claims that reorientation therapy harms clients, Dr. Whitehead cited studies that found suicide rates … [Read more...]

Confirmation bias, NARTH and the use of research

I quoted Nickerson in my prior post on confirmation bias. His article is quite good and can be reviewed here. I like this quote in the article attributed to Francis Bacon:The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else … [Read more...]