Archives for July 1, 2015

Overview of Conversion Therapy Survey

While conducting research for my books about the negative impact of conversion therapy, I met an influential man in this space – Jallen Rix, sexologist and author of Ex-Gay No Way.

Dr. Rix and his colleagues have conducted a survey of men and women who have undergone conversion therapy. The results of this survey are moving – and distressing. I’ve broken down my analysis of the results of his survey into several blog posts so you can digest the conclusions of the stories one by one. I’ve also linked to his website and the study results so you can read his original work as well.

This blog post is about:

The Survey of People Who Have Undergone Conversion Therapy

Thank you, Dr. Rix, for conducting this survey and posting the results online! May this result in positive change!

The Survey of Conversion Therapy Survivors

Dr. Rix and his colleagues conducted this survey to get answers from people who have actually endured conversion therapy. The survey asks questions that explore the following topics:

  • Why people engaged in conversion therapy
  • Why they stopped therapy
  • What they got out of it (or did not get out of it)
  • How conversion therapy affected them
  • How much therapy cost them
  • If they felt therapy was effective or delivered as promised
  • If they felt harmed by the experience, and if so, how
  • What demographics were affected by conversion therapy
  • How spirituality was linked to the experience

The survey was conducted online and the results tabulated and then published here at Beyond Ex-Gay.

You can read up about Dr. Jallen Rix here.

You can read up about his colleague, Peterson Toscano here.

The Results of the Survey

The evidence produced by the survey is that conversion therapy has harmed a good many people. The responses recorded in the survey are heart-breaking.

As you can imagine, any therapy that causes a person to try to change his or her sexual orientation is suffocating and demoralizing. This survey is a starting point for scientifically measuring the impact of such a practice.

If you’re interested in reading up on the American Psychological Association’s opinion of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, you can download a PDF on the subject here.

Why This Conversion Therapy Survey Matters to Me

As a writer exploring the impact of conversion therapy (or any SOCE methods), I am happy to see this sort of evidence being published online.

In my opinion, the acceptance of same-sex attraction and the celebration of GBLT orientations is essential for healthy societal health. If we attack, suppress, hate upon, abuse and ridicule this significant segment of our society, we all lose. Everyone deserves to be respected and loved for who he or she is.

I am particularly interested in helping religious organizations accept GBLT people who wish to worship a deity with full confidence that they are loved and accepted – by a creator and congregation alike – without having to change a single thing.

This mission is important to me because I was once a part of a radically religious group that believed (and still does believe) that people can choose to be gay or straight, and that any sexual encounter with someone of the same sex is sinful. I no longer believe this could possibly be true of a loving deity. As such, I want to promote acceptance, especially in the religious community, as much as is possible.