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Do “Ex-Gay” recovery programs really work?

Posted by mandyf on January 22, 2009

Do ex-gay recovery programs work? Rick Warren seems to think so, enough that in fact he backs such enterprises with both his name and his money, but the general consensus among both people that have tried such things, doctors, and scientists is a resounding no. What helps paint a clear picture of whether or not such a thing is a success is to first start with the basics, who says they work and who says they don’t? What are their motivations for the side they choose, and finally what do people that have been through them think?

For anyone not aware of what these “gay cure” programs are the best way to describe them is to compare them to the type of deprogramming regimens used for people that have been in cults. Is that blunt enough of a description? The person in need of a “cure” is first segregated from their family in a facility with others that are receiving treatment. They then go through a somewhat ritualistic system of being broken down so they may be rebuilt in the heterosexual mindset. Denying contact with past gay or gay supportive friends is the first step. The second step is a system of positive and negative reinforcement for behavior. Actions and/or statements deemed to be “gay” are punished, those deemed to be “hetero” are rewarded. Television is generally forbidden as it is a “gateway” to homosexual acceptance.At most only reading of pre-screened books is allowed, generally the Bible. Placing people in gender specific tasks is another huge part of the program. Lesbians are molded into little Suzy Homemaker types, while gay men are encouraged to get into rough and tumble contact sports and other “manly” pursuits.

Pastor Rick Warren believes that these programs work, that even if homosexuality is biological it is simply a matter of impulse control. He believes that any sex that does not lead to procreation is wrong which means all gay sex is against the will of God. Oddly enough Warren does not have a quiver of children so we must assume he has had sex only to procreate which means he isn’t getting much. Warren incidentally operates a program through his Saddleback Church called “Celebrate Recovery” in which he claims they can “de-homosexualize” people. Here they treat homosexuals every Friday night in the same way they counsel drug addicts, alcoholics, and those addicted to pornography or other “self destructive” practices. Warren has not released any statistics to back up whether or not his program works, he only says it is doing God’s work. Read the rest here at: http://www.helium.com/items/1301576-do-ex-gay-recovery-programs-really-work


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