Tuesday, July 02, 2013
by Timothy J. Dailey, Ph.D.
This article was originally published by the Family Research Council in 2002.
HARMFUL ASPECTS OF OHE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE
The evidence demonstrates incontrovertibly that the homosexual lifestyle is inconsistent with the proper raising of children. Homosexual relationships are characteristically unstable and are fundamentally incapable of providing children the security they need.
Studies indicate that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime, a lifestyle that is difficult for even “committed” homosexuals to break free of and which is not conducive to a healthy and wholesome atmosphere for the raising of children.
A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with five hundred or more partners, with 28 percent having 1,000 or more sex partners.29
In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101–500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners.30
A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than 100 sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than 1,000 sexual partners.31
In his study of male homosexuality in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, M. Pollak found that “few homosexual relationships last longer than two years, with many men reporting hundreds of lifetime partners.”32
Promiscuity among Homosexual Couples
Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of “committed” typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.
In The Male Couple, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison report that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years: Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.33 Most understood sexual relations outside the relationship to be the norm, and viewed adopting monogamous standards as an act of oppression.
In Male and Female Homosexuality, M. Saghir and E. Robins found that the average male homosexual live-in relationship lasts between two and three years.34
In their Journal of Sex Research study of the sexual practices of older homosexual men, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that only 2.7 percent of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.35
Comparison of Homosexual ‘Couples’ and Heterosexual Spouses
Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing: In Sex in America, called by the New York Times “the most important study of American sexual behavior since the Kinsey reports,” Robert T. Michael et al. report that 90 percent of wives and 75 percent of husbands claim never to have had extramarital sex.36
A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.37
In The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, E. O. Laumann et al. conducted a national survey that found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.38
A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.39
While the rate of fidelity within marriage cited by these studies remains far from ideal, there is a magnum order of difference between the negligible lifetime fidelity rate cited for homosexuals and the 75 to 90 percent cited for married couples. This indicates that even “committed” homosexual relationships display a fundamental incapacity for the faithfulness and commitment that is axiomatic to the institution of marriage.
Unhealthy Aspects of ‘Monogamous’ Homosexual Relationships
Even those homosexual relationships that are loosely termed “monogamous” do not necessarily result in healthier behavior.
The journal AIDS reported that men involved in relationships engaged in anal intercourse and oral-anal intercourse with greater frequency than did those without a steady partner.40 Anal intercourse has been linked with a host of bacterial and parasitical sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.
The exclusivity of the relationship did not diminish the incidence of unhealthy sexual acts, which are commonplace among homosexuals. An English study published in the same issue of AIDS concurred, finding that most “unsafe” sex acts among homosexuals occur in steady relationships.41
Of paramount concern are the effects of such a lifestyle upon children. Brad Hayton writes: Homosexuals . . . model a poor view of marriage to children. They are taught by example and belief that marital relationships are transitory and mostly sexual in nature. Sexual relationships are primarily for pleasure rather than procreation. And they are taught that monogamy in a marriage is not the norm [and] should be discouraged if one wants a good ‘marital’ relationship.42
Violence in Lesbian and Homosexual Relationships
A study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined conflict and violence in lesbian relationships. The researchers found that 90 percent of the lesbians surveyed had been recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to this study, with 31 percent reporting one or more incidents of physical abuse.43
In a survey of 1,099 lesbians, the Journal of Social Service Research found that “slightly more than half of the [lesbians] reported that they had been abused by a female lover/partner. The most frequently indicated forms of abuse were verbal/emotional/psychological abuse and combined physical-psychological abuse.”44
In their book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, D. Island and P. Letellier postulate that “the incidence of domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population.”45
Rate of Intimate Partner Violence within Marriage
A little-reported fact is that homosexual and lesbian relationships are far more violent than are traditional married households: The Bureau of Justice Statistics (U.S. Department of Justice) reports that married women in traditional families experience the lowest rate of violence compared with women in other types of relationships.46
A report by the Medical Institute for Sexual Health concurred: It should be noted that most studies of family violence do not differentiate between married and unmarried partner status. Studies that do make these distinctions have found that marriage relationships tend to have the least intimate partner violence when compared to cohabiting or dating relationships.47
High Incidence of Mental Health Problems among Homosexuals and Lesbians
A national survey of lesbians published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that 75 percent of the nearly two-thousand respondents had pursued psychological counseling of some kind, many for treatment of long-term depression or sadness: Among the sample as a whole, there was a distressingly high prevalence of life events and behaviors related to mental health problems. Thirty-seven percent had been physically abused and 32 percent had been raped or sexually attacked. Nineteen percent had been involved in incestuous relationships while growing up. Almost one-third used tobacco on a daily basis and about 30 percent drank alcohol more than once a week; 6 percent drank daily. One in five smoked marijuana more than once a month. Twenty-one percent of the sample had thoughts about suicide sometimes or often and 18 percent had actually tried to kill themselves…More than half had felt too nervous to accomplish ordinary activities at some time during the past year and over one-third had been depressed.48
Substance Abuse among Lesbians
A study published in Nursing Research found that lesbians are three times more likely to abuse alcohol and to suffer from other compulsive behaviors: Like most problem drinkers, 32 (91 percent) of the participants had abused other drugs as well as alcohol, and many reported compulsive difficulties with food (34 percent), codependency (29 percent), sex (11 percent), and money (6 percent). Forty-six percent had been heavy drinkers with frequent drunkenness.49
Greater Risk for Suicide
A study of twins that examined the relationship between homosexuality and suicide, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that homosexuals with same-sex partners were at greater risk for overall mental health problems, and were 6.5 times more likely than their twins to have attempted suicide. The higher rate was not attributable to mental health or substance abuse disorders.50
Another study published simultaneously in Archives of General Psychiatry followed 1007 individuals from birth. Those classified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were significantly more likely to have had mental health problems. Significantly, in his comments in the same issue of the journal, D. Bailey cautioned against various speculative explanations of the results, such as the view that “widespread prejudice against homosexual people causes them to be unhappy or worse, mentally ill.”51
Reduced Life Span
Another factor contributing to the instability of male homosexual households, which raises the possibility of major disruption for children raised in such households, is the significantly reduced life expectancy of male homosexuals. A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the mortality rates of homosexuals concluded:
In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age twenty for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.52
Concern about children placed in homosexual households who are orphaned because of the destructive homosexual lifestyle is well founded. In 1990, Wayne Tardiff and his partner, Allan Yoder, were the first homosexuals permitted to become adoptive parents in the state of New Jersey. Tardiff died in 1992 at age forty-four; Yoder died a few months later, leaving an orphaned five-year-old.53
Sexual Identity Confusion
The claim that homosexual households do not “recruit” children into the homosexual lifestyle is refuted by the growing evidence that children raised in such households are more likely to engage in sexual experimentation and in homosexual behavior.
Studies indicate that 0.3 percent of adult females report having practiced homosexual behavior in the past year, 0.4 percent have practiced homosexual behavior in the last five years, and 3 percent have ever practiced homosexual behavior in their lifetime.54 A study in Developmental Psychology found that 12 percent of the children of lesbians became active lesbians themselves, a rate which is at least four times the base rate of lesbianism in the adult female population.55
Numerous studies indicate that while nearly 5 percent of males report having had a homosexual experience sometime in their lives, the number of exclusive homosexuals is considerably less: Between 1 and 2 percent of males report exclusive homosexual behavior over a several-year period.56 However, J. M. Bailey et al. found that 9 percent of the adult sons of homosexual fathers were homosexual in their adult sexual behavior: “The rate of homosexuality in the sons (9 percent) is several times higher than that suggested by the population-based surveys and is consistent with a degree of father-to-son transmission.”57
Even though they attempted to argue otherwise, Golombok and Tasker’s study revealed in its results section a clear connection between being raised in a lesbian family and homosexuality: “With respect to actual involvement in same-gender sexual relationships, there was a significant difference between groups…None of the children from heterosexual families had experienced a lesbian or gay relationship.” By contrast, five (29 percent) of the seventeen daughters and one (13 percent) of the eight sons in homosexual families reported having at least one same-sex relationship.58
These findings have most recently been confirmed in a study appearing in the American Sociological Review. Authors Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz alluded to the “political incorrectness” of their finding of higher rates of homosexuality among children raised in homosexual households: “We recognize the political dangers of pointing out that recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of children of lesbigay parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity.”
Stacy and Biblarz also reported “some fascinating findings on the number of sexual partners children report,” that: The adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste. . . . In other words, once again, children (especially girls) raised by lesbians appear to depart from traditional gender-based norms, while children raised by heterosexual mothers appear to conform to them.59
Incest in Homosexual Parent Families
A study in Adolescence found: A disproportionate percentage–29 percent–of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6 percent of adult children of heterosexual parents having reported sexual relations with their parent…Having a homosexual parent(s) appears to increase the risk of incest with a parent by a factor of about 50.60
29 A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp.
308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).
30 Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.
31 “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998, p. 20.
32 M. Pollak, “Male Homosexuality,” in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejin, translated by Anthony Forster (New York, NY: B. Blackwell, 1985), pp. 40–61, cited by Joseph Nicolosi in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc., 1991), pp. 124, 125.
33 David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 252, 253.
34 M. Saghir and E. Robins, Male and Female Homosexuality (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1973), p. 225; L. A. Peplau and H. Amaro, “Understanding Lesbian Relationships,” in Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues, ed. J. Weinrich and W. Paul (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).
35 Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile,” p. 354.
36 Robert T. Michael et al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1994).
37 Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170.
38 E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 ), p. 217.
39 M. Clements, “Sex in America Today: A New National Survey Reveals How our Attitudes are Changing,” Parade, August 7, 1994, pp. 4–6.
40A.P.M. Coxon et al., “Sex Role Separation in Diaries of Homosexual Men,” AIDS (July 1993): 877–882.
41 G. J. Hart et al., “Risk Behaviour, Anti-HIV and Anti-Hepatitis B Core Prevalence in Clinic and Non-clinic Samples of Gay Men in England, 1991–1992,” AIDS (July 1993): 863–869, cited in “Homosexual Marriage: The Next Demand,” Position Analysis paper by Colorado for Family Values, May 1994.
42 Bradley P. Hayton, “To Marry or Not: The Legalization of Marriage and Adoption of Homosexual Couples,” (Newport Beach: The Pacific Policy Institute, 1993), p. 9.
43 Lettie L. Lockhart et al., “Letting out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9 (1994): 469–492.
44 Gwat Yong Lie and Sabrina Gentlewarrier, “Intimate Violence in Lesbian Relationships: Discussion of Survey Findings and Practice Implications,” Journal of Social Service Research 15 (1991): 41–59.
45 D. Island and P. Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p. 14.
46 “Violence Between Intimates,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings, November 1994, p. 2.
47 Health Implications Associated With Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p. 79.
48 J. Bradford et al., “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 62 (1994): 239, cited in Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality, p. 81.
49 Joanne Hall, “Lesbians Recovering from Alcoholic Problems: An Ethnographic Study of Health Care Expectations,” Nursing Research 43 (1994): 238–244.
50 R. Herrell et al., “A Co-twin Study in Adult Men,” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (1999): 867–874.
51 D. Fergusson et al., “Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (October 1999).
52 Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.
53 Obituaries, The Washington Blade, July 16, 1992.
54 A. M. Johnson et al., “Sexual Lifestyles and HIV Risk,” Nature 360 (1992): 410–412; R. Turner, “Landmark French and British Studies Examine Sexual Behavior, including Multiple Partners, Homosexuality,” Family Planning Perspectives 25 (1993): 91, 92.
55 F. Tasker and S. Golombok, “Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families,” p. 213.
56 ACSF Investigators, “AIDS and Sexual Behavior in France,” Nature 360 (1992): 407–409; J. M. Bailey et al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” Developmental Psychology 31 (1995): 124–129; J. O. G. Billy et al., “The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States,” Family Planning Perspectives 25 (1993): 52–60; A. M. Johnson et al., “Sexual Lifestyles and HIV Risk,” Nature 360 (1992): 410–412.
57 J. M. Bailey et al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” pp. 127, 128.
58 Tasker and Golombok, “Do Parents Influence the Sexual Orientation?” p. 7.
59 Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter,” American Sociological Review 66 (2001): 174, 179.
60 P. Cameron and K. Cameron, “Homosexual Parents,” Adolescence 31 (1996): 772.
Monday, July 01, 2013
by Frank Worthen
Source: Collected Papers from the NARTH Annual Conference, Saturday, 29 July 1995.
This article was originally posted by narth.com and can be viewed at http://www.narth.com/docs/1995papers/worthen.html
Frank Worthen came out of the gay lifestyle at age 44 when he recommitted his life to Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Love in Action, one of the largest ex-gay ministries in the world, and a co-founder of Exodus International, a worldwide umbrella ministry. He is founder and current director of New Hope Ministries in San Rafael, California, and has written several books on coming out of homosexuality.
I had the family background of the majority of homosexual people, absent father, controlling mother. When my father was present, there was no peace, only chaos. I grew up fearful and isolated. At 13 my father died and I lost the chance to ever know him.
My pastor took up the role of father, and he was everything my father was not. He took a great interest in my life, hugged me and instructed the church to help us financially.
One day near my fourteenth birthday, my pastor called me into his office and said: “Frank, you are a homosexual.” I had never heard the word, having grown up in a small farm town, but I was sure that it wasn’t good. When he explained homosexuality to me, I had the sinking feeling that he was right, he had read me correctly. But, he then went on to say that my homosexuality was a gift from God, that he himself was homosexual and that many of our denominations’ pastors were also homosexual. I knew I was different, but I sure didn’t want to be different, and this was not good news. I asked God to change me, but I still was attracted to other males. My one hope was that I was just late in developing an interest in the opposite sex and that soon change would occur.
At 18, I fell in love with a young lady and was overjoyed that my homosexuality was gone. At last, I had matured into heterosexuality. After a one year relationship, I took my lady friend to a fine restaurant and asked her to marry me. Her reply was: “There are only two things I can love, horses and other women.” By this time, I knew I was not alone in my struggle with homosexuality, but I had never thought about women also being homosexual. She left, and I have never seen her again.
I returned to my pastor and he comforted me, saying: “Why don’t you listen to me? I have told you over and over you are homosexual. You were not in love with a woman, but in love with the man inside the woman. You’ve got to face it, you’re homosexual.” That day, at 19, I entered the gay lifestyle. I spent twenty-five years as an active gay in San Francisco. I have lived through a lot of history in the gay movement.
At 44 I was suicidal and wanted out, but I had never seen anyone leave the gay lifestyle, except by death. Everyone said: “Once gay, always gay.” I was so miserable that I took a desperate leap of faith, I returned to the faith of my youth. I realized that it hadn’t helped me when I was young, but I had no other choice outside of suicide. I had only the smallest degree of faith that anything would happen, but to my surprise, that thimble of faith was enough to work miraculous change. I am now in my 23rd year of helping people escape the gay lifestyle. I have been married for 11 years and would never go back to the misery and lies of the gay lifestyle. I am thankful every day for my new life. There is more happiness now in one day of my life than all the twenty-five years I spent in that lifestyle of treachery and deceit.
All Homosexuals Can Change
The first issue I would like to address is that there is no one, no matter if they have had a sex-change operation, or have lived crossed dressed for years that cannot change. Change is available to every person struggling with homosexuality. There are no special classes of inverts and perverts. Any motivated person can change. Age may play a factor in motivation. Contrary to the apparent findings of Lawrence Hatterer (Changing Homosexuality in the Male) I have found that the older person is more motivated toward change. He has seen all the aspects of the lifestyle and it no longer holds any mystery for him. By 40, many are ready and willing for change, they are completely disillusioned with the lifestyle.
Uh, you might say: “There is the rub. The unmotivated homosexual cannot change, so not all homosexuals can change.” Let me remind you that the unmotivated person cannot accomplish anything whether he is learning the computer or attempting to drive a truck. There are unmotivated homosexuals, a high percentage of them, but this does not mean if they find the motivation that they cannot change.
It is the work of the psychological community to instill hope, this is one of the most basic premises of counseling. If the counselor or therapist does not offer hope, where will the counselee find hope? The field of psychology is for the most part telling the person struggling with homosexuality that change is impossible and unnecessary. Most of the mainline churches are in agreement with the psychological community. Without hope the people perish.
Strangely, the psychological community has overlooked one of the most powerful tools available to them, that is faith. Mankind was created to worship. If man will not worship God, then man will worship man. Is it any surprise that gays often call a hunky man, “A Greek God”? A look through past history will show that until recently, worship of the Creator was a central theme in man’s daily life. Faith and worship are the greatest motivational factors that can be found. How is it possible to help a counselee if you work only with the body and the soul and ignore the spirit?
People marvel at the success of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. What is their central theme? Faith in a “Higher Power.” To Christians, this higher power is Jesus Christ. I am often asked about the method I use. Yes, to some degree, there is a structured program or method, but it is not this structure that brings the change, it is faith that changes lives.
Change Is Extremely Difficult
None of this is to say that because one has faith and a structured program that leaving the gay lifestyle is easy. It may be one of the most difficult adjustments ever required of a person. There are a number of misbeliefs or lies that must be challenged. The foremost of these is that change is impossible. The one thing that breaks through this deeply embedded belief is that while much may be impossible for man, nothing is impossible for God.
Many would like to continue on in their contacts with the gay world. Unless a complete break is made, change will be impeded. This reluctance to break with friends, move from a gay ghetto area, perhaps quit a job and leave behind clothing and all articles connected with the gay lifestyle, prevents change from taking place, the old continues to reinforce itself and the new has no chance of developing.
The First Step: A Decisive Decision
As we have said, motivation for change is a difficult thing to find. Generally, the trials of the gay lifestyle will not produce sufficient motivation for change even though there has been great suffering. A desire to conform to the standards of society and to be well thought of will not produce sufficient motivation to carry the person through the rapids of the change process. Only a deep abiding faith in God is strong enough to produce the motivation to make a decisive decision that will hold up through times of temptation and ridicule from fellow gays.
Working Through The Primary And Secondary Issues
The homosexual person will come to you because his attempts at finding peace and happiness have failed. He comes because he is in pain. He usually comes because the secondary issues have become overwhelming and he can no longer function. He has come to hate himself and everything about his life. Yet, his concern is only with the product or symptoms of his abnormal lifestyle and he has no knowledge of the root causes of his problem.
If you attend to his presenting problems, he may go away temporarily happy, but this relief will not last. What are some of the presenting problems? Rejection, a lover just left, someone significant has discovered his homosexual nature and broke relationship with him, he may be addicted to alcohol or drugs which he uses to escape the trials of his lifestyle. He may have become very irresponsible, abandoning his responsibilities, like paying rent, meeting credit card payments, keeping old friendships alive, feeling guilty for letting down his parents and friends, there can be a number of discomforting problems that have caused his unhappiness. But none of these are his root problems and unless they are addressed discomfort will return.
The primary issues that counselors seldom address are those long term issues that cannot be quickly resolved. These are the issues that berthed homosexuality in the first place. Lack of affirmation, lack of a sense of belonging, abuse/molestation, the effects of labeling, unfairness, victimization, and fear.
The immediate family of the counselee may be non-existent, dysfunctional, or hostile. The very people that should have supplied him with the affirmation needed to mature into a heterosexual person have instead, robbed him of these primary ingredients to a healthy life. He has sought to find these things in the gay lifestyle, but the results were similar, there is no rejection stronger than gay to gay. I know of no better family replacement than the church. An enlightened church group can supply the things that have been missing since early childhood, the affirmation, sense of belonging, concern for his victimization, release of his guilt feelings, and general love and acceptance. The wise counselor will realize that counsel alone is inadequate, there must be an affirming group outside of the counseling session that can supply what the counselor cannot.
How Ex-Gay Ministries Fill The Gap
Because the church may be less than it should be, ex-gay ministries fill the gap, and prepare the way for entry into the church. Some ministries, like New Hope have year-long residential programs. Here, the needs for affirmation and a sense of belonging are met. There are now somewhere around 200 ex-gay ministries around the world. Only a few, however offer a residential program, but it remains the most effective program for change.
A Long Journey
The gay person seeking help will be embarking on a long journey. We are not talking weeks or months, but years. Since everyone proceeds at their own speed, it is difficult to project the amount of time for change to take place. The minimum times span I have seen has been three years, maximum can be a lifetime. It largely depends on the willingness to make hard choices and to hold to the initial decision for change. Every failure pushes victory further into the future. He must not lose sight of his goal.
After giving up sexual acting out, many homosexual strugglers move on to the next step, which is developing emotionally dependent relationships. In fact, many main-line churches who disapprove of homosexual acts encourage these kinds of relationships, however, necessary step that it might be, it is still unhealthy and must be worked through. We often refer to these relationships as emotional vampirism. These relationships suck the live-blood out of the person who feels the need to minister to the homosexual struggler. Sadly, some Christian counselors still cling to the belief that one person can meet all the needs of the struggler, this just isn’t so. It is a set-up for disappointment and failure. It is too great a burden for any one person to carry and results in unrealistic expectations. The struggler needs at least three or four people that are willing to become friends and offer their help. These dependent relationships are unhealthy for the struggler and the caregiver.
Is Heterosexuality Possible?
Yes, there is something beyond celibate homosexuality. Same-sex attractions do fade and opposite attractions do emerge as a result from a clean break from the old lifestyle. It is of vital importance that the counselee hold to the belief that change is possible. Proverbs 23:7 reads: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This is a wise proverb. We are today where our thoughts of yesterday have brought us. The one that can view the change process as an adventure filled with excitement and challenge will find change developing at a consistent rate. The one who still believes that change may be impossible will not see the change he desires.
Certainly no one should entertain the idea of marriage until sufficient healing has taken place. I would never suggest marriage for anyone who has not had at least three years of absolute celibacy. Because the process of change is a long process, there may come times of deep disappointment when old desires and fantasies return. Often change is a three steps forward, two steps backward kind of process. The counselor must allow for times of failure but view the overall progress. Are the failures coming further and further apart, despite the failures are their still signs of progress. Are the failures met with guilt feelings and despair? Is the person growing through their failures?
I am a pastor of a small church and I see many straight men fearful of marriage and commitment, so it is to be expected that an ex-gay person might be doubly fearful of marriage and sexual performance in marriage. We must not make marriage the ultimate goal for every ex-gay person. Yes, we are delighted when our men marry and raise a family, and it is healthy and good, but success can also be a responsible, fulfilling single life as well. We must not assume that if a person is still single, change has not taken place. We must be aware that marriage alone is no sign of change.
A New Life
All homosexual people can enjoy a new life. None are excluded from entering into a healthy, wholesome new lifestyle. Almost none make it alone, it requires the help of others along the way. I find that those whose faith is weak or non-existent generally do not make it. Those with a strong, abiding faith have the motivating force to carry them through years of difficulties and into a wonderful new existence they never thought possible.
Monday, July 01, 2013
The process requires more than forgiveness.
by Stephen Arterburn
The following article was originally published by Christianity Today in 1995.
My brother and I both struggled with sexuality. His brokenness led him through many painful years of homosexuality. Mine led me into promiscuity. My brother died from AIDS; I killed my unborn child with an abortion.
Decisions have consequences; both of ours led to death. Sexual sin always has serious ramifications. Those who are caught in sexual sin need pastors and Christian leaders willing and able to restore them in a spirit of gentleness. Any sexual behavior that violates Scripture, of course, is sin. But when someone repeatedly violates his or her moral standards and is unable to stop, that is besetting sin. That is sexual addiction. Therefore, all sexual addiction is sin, but not all sexual sin is addiction.
Sexual addiction is a powerful, destructive force in a person’s life, whether voyeuristic or active, alone or with another person. People may be addicted to masturbating while using pornography, fondling women’s underwear, visiting an adult bookstore, entertaining sexual fantasies, or doing anything else for sexual stimulation and escape.
When sexual sin has moved to the level of addiction, it must be treated in a different way. It’s often easier to confront sin and work through forgiveness than work through issues related to sexual addiction. In pastoral care, for example, we lead the sinner to repent, confess, make amends, and go on with life. But if the sinner is also a sex addict, failure to confront the issue of addiction may leave the person on a downward spiral toward destruction.
One woman was shocked to learn that her husband, an associate pastor at a large church, was addicted to pornography and had engaged in numerous, anonymous sexual encounters during their marriage. Even more distressing was that the senior pastor had known for more than a year.
The senior pastor had treated the issue as a simple issue of sin and repentance. He had soothed the guilt-ridden staff member but not seen the signs of ongoing sexual addiction (the use of pornography, for example, hidden in the home). Because issues of sexual addiction were never addressed or resolved, it was only a matter of time until the man began sexually acting out again. That time it involved another member of the church staff.
If the associate pastor had been identified as a sex addict as well as a sinner, the senior pastor could have helped prevent further sin. He later confessed he let things slide because he did not understand the nature of sexual addiction.
The indicators of addictive sex are distinct; they follow the predictable pattern of other addictions.
Done in isolation.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the sexual addict performs certain acts alone. It means that mentally and emotionally the addict is detached, or isolated, from human relationship. Sex, the most personal of human behaviors, becomes utterly impersonal.
Addictive sex is “mere sex,” sex for its own sake, sex divorced from authentic human interaction. This is most clear with regard to fantasy, pornography, and compulsive masturbation. But even with sex involving a partner, the partner is not really a person to whom the addict is relating but a cipher, an interchangeable part in an impersonal, almost mechanical, process.
In effect, sex addicts develop a double life—practicing masturbation, using pornography, patronizing massage parlors or porn shops, engaging in sexual encounters. All this is secreted away from others—and in a sense, from themselves.
One person who engaged in anonymous homosexual encounters never thought of being tested for AIDS. He became so divorced from what he was doing that he deceived himself into believing that what the “other part of him” did could not touch the godly man, the husband of his wife.
The person begins experiencing uncomfortable feelings of pain, stress, or shame. Then, a sexually stimulating activity is used to medicate or distract from the uncomfortable feelings. The escapist nature of addictive sex is often one of the clearest indicators that it is present. Anyone who uses sex like a mood-altering drug has issues deeper than sexual sin needing to be addressed.
After the act, the sex addict feels intense guilt and self-reproach (often promising himself it will never happen again). Days or weeks later, the scene is repeated.
Over time, the addict becomes desensitized, needing more and more stimulation to produce the same level of results; eventually he does things that were previously off limits. Unless someone or something intervenes, the addict continues his downward spiral.
When married couples make love, they are generally more fulfilled for having had the experience. Addictive sex leaves the participants feeling guilty, regretting the experience, and filled with shame and remorse. Rather than being fulfilling, it leaves them more empty. This sets them up for another round in the futile cycle of trying to satisfy an insatiable sexual hunger.
Sexual addiction victimizes the family, the person who becomes an object of sexual arousal or expression, even a church (if the sex addict is in leadership). The obsession with self-gratification blinds sex addicts to the harmful effects their behavior has on others, and even on themselves.
FILLING THE NEW HOUSE
I know God can certainly do a miraculous intervention and sweep clean the inner house of a repentant sinner. However, if sex addicts are to stay free they must fill that empty inner house with new understanding and a new way of life. I know of no sex addict who has recovered apart from an ongoing support group prepared to handle the issues unique to sexual addiction. Sex addicts need the church and Christian treatment, which can involve counseling and support groups. The best and first thing a pastor should do is help a sex addict find a Christian therapist.
Sex addicts need tremendous support, given our sexually saturated culture. It’s difficult enough for men who aren’t sexually addicted not to give in regularly to lust and its inexorable pull. In Western culture, viewing sexually stimulating material is almost inescapable. Sex addicts must have the understanding, accountability, and support that is provided in the loving context of Christian treatment and follow-up care.
Recovery for sex addiction is a long and winding road. Addicts must be brutally honest with themselves and others. Sex addicts can experience withdrawal, which can cause painful emotional and even physical distress. They need companions offering support and accountability without condemnation, especially during times of failure.
In addition to encouraging the person to get treatment, pastors can provide ongoing care. Here are several things to keep in mind when walking beside someone battling sexual addiction:
- Reaffirm that God’s grace and power are available for all who turn to God for help.
- Reaffirm your love for the sex addict. You may need to ask God to give you true compassion for one who has disappointed you and may have done things you cannot fathom.
- Confront and intervene as necessary. If the person continues to act out in sexually sinful and dangerous ways, confront him. Most addicts become consummate liars. They’ve learned to lie convincingly to maintain their double life. Don’t trust everything they say. If a person has not begun treatment, make the goal for him to take that step. This is done similarly to interventions for alcoholics.
- Care for the addict’s family, especially the spouse. Some people will cast the spouse as a co-conspirator. Many times the spouse is kept entirely in the dark about errant sexual behavior.
- Maintain strict confidentiality: Do not tell anyone unless he or she is directly affected by the person’s behavior. It will be much easier when the repentant brother or sister is looking for acceptance and support within the church body if the details of the sin have not been rumored about.
- Create and follow a plan of restoration. Galatians 6:1 speaks of restoration being similar to the way a doctor sets a broken bone. The treatment process will help this person stop his sexually acting out and set his life to heal properly. Those in your congregation need to uphold the person until the broken pieces can heal. This takes a reaffirmation of love and a diligent commitment to walk alongside the person and family while they are being knit back together.
- Hold out hope to the addict of complete restoration. Dare to trust God for wholeness.
Sexual wholeness is possible. Sex addicts whom I have talked with, those who have not acted out for thirty days or more, express feelings of inner cleanliness. They feel right with God and right within themselves. Their chains have been broken.
Copyright (c) 1995 Christianity Today, Inc./LEADERSHIP Journal
Monday, March 25, 2013
by Phillip L. Hansen
The following is an excerpt from the e-book Inspiration to Live By: Power and Freedom to Choose.
Sexual pleasure is one of the most intense human experiences. Physically speaking, when a man or woman reaches sexual excitement, nerve endings release a chemical into the brain called “opioid.” “Opioid” means opium-like and is a good description of the power of this chemical. Apart from a heroin-induced experience, nothing is more physically pleasurable than sex. This is a wonderful thing in a committed marriage relationship, because it helps to bond two people together and bring joy to living together and building a relationship.
There can be a downside to the pleasure of sex, however. If sexual experiences happen outside of marriage and are constantly repeated, a sex act can move from being a simple pleasure to an addiction. Instead of being bonded with a person, you become bonded to the act itself. If the sexual experiences are pornography, your flesh will instantly recall the images you viewed for “re-lusting” purposes. These images are stamped into your brain with the aid of hormones released during sexual arousal.
If sexual experiences happen repeatedly with members of the same sex, a homosexual addiction will result. Sex will no longer be a matter of choice and the will, but will become a “must have at any cost” obsession. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist with degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas, and Harvard University, explains how sexual pleasures can overpower the will in Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. “In very short order,” writes Satinover, “unregulated sexual tendencies become habits, then compulsions, and finally something barely distinguishable from addictions.”1
The process is not simply a theory. There are actual physical changes that take place in the brain. Satinover points to the neocortex area of the brain — where the human will resides — comprising neurons or brain cells connected to each other by synapses. These neurons are slowly connected or disconnected from other neurons over time, depending upon one’s experiences. As a result, one’s choices of behavior and actions, especially if repeated, actually become imbedded in tissue changes. Satinover notes: “Behaviors become increasingly strengthened through repetition. This strengthening physically alters the brain in a way that cannot be entirely undone, if at all; it is modified with great difficulty.”2
The dangers for young people who are unsure of their sexual identity are especially serious. One study of Minnesota teens found that as many as 10 percent of the teens were uncertain of their sexuality until their later years.3 If you take a teenager who is wrestling with their sexual identity and put this together with experiments in homosexual behavior, a teen may find himself eventually trapped in an addiction that is difficult to break. A 1990 study of homosexual men showed that 37 percent had been seduced into same-sex relationships at an early age.4 According to psychiatrist Charles Socarides:
Childhood sexual seductions are an obvious cause of homosexuality. When these seductions give pleasure and comfort, the same-sex sex can become addictive, especially when it overtakes someone caught up in a traumatic family situation. The sex — too quick and easy — can help relieve a person’s anxiety. Thus, it becomes a kind of habit. Like any habit, smoking for instance, it is acquired by repeated acts. And, like smoking, it is a habit that can be hard to kick. That’s the way it is with addictions that give great pleasure.5
The earlier a person becomes involved in addictive sexual behavior, the more hardened the brain patterns become that reinforce the behavior. The result: an addiction that is difficult to overcome.
1Jeffrey Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), p. 142.
2Ibid., p. 136.
3Gary Remafedi and others, “Demography of Sexual Orientation in Adolescents,” Pediatrics 89 (1992): 714-721.
4Charles W. Socarides, Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far (Phoenix: Adam Margrave Books, 1995), p. 19.