The New York Times on Saturday covered Dr. Robert Spitzer’s retraction of his 2003 study on the supposed effectiveness of ‘ex-gay’ reparative therapy, concluding that it “failed the test of scientific rigor” and was irredeemably flawed. Reparative therapy, also known as sexual orientation conversion therapy, has been deemed ineffective, harmful, and unethical by leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association and the Pan American Health Organization (a division of the World Health Organization).
But that doesn’t stop Religious Right activists from parroting blatant falsehoods about reparative therapy, as Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute told talk show host Janet Mefferd on Friday that the effectiveness of such therapy is “at least over 80%,” citing discredited “therapist” Joseph Nicolosi. Speaking about a bill in the California state legislature that would place limits on reparative therapy, Dacus claimed that if the legislation passes it will mean that “many hundreds of thousands or millions of youths who will be led down a path of death and destruction.”
Mefferd: Brad, is there overwhelming evidence that reparative therapy is a fraud?
Dacus: Actually it’s contrary, there’s overwhelming evidence that reparative therapy actually works. It’s not 100% because you have individual will and every person has their own issues. But Dr. [Joseph] Nicolosi and other famous psychiatrists who have treated this, thousands and thousands of patients, report a very high success rate, I know it’s at least over 80%, I believe it’s 80-85% success rate. These are people who leave the lifestyle, get married to people, have children, and enter heterosexual relationships. It’s a big mass of deception that they are trying to carry out at the expense of many hundreds of thousands or millions of youths who will be led down a path of death and destruction, unfortunately, if they get away with this.
Dacus, who earlier called the bill a “gross and outrageous violation against humanity,” also dubbed the bill “diabolical” and maintained that being gay is a result of child abuse or strained parental relationships, and that gay men have “an average lifespan of the age of 40.”
Dacus: This attempt to politicize this issue is going to leave a huge number of casualties and victims in its wake in the form of children and even adults.
Dacus: It’s very diabolical, it’s undermining parents. The assumption of those who are pushing this lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual movement, is that the average parent out there is ignorant, is harmful, is dangerous to children when they don’t affirm the child’s sexual orientation. Of course parents want what’s best for their children, parents love their children, and parents know that the homosexual lifestyle gives for boys an average lifespan of the age of 40. It’s worse than being a chain cigarette smoker. Parents who love their children are going to want to do everything they can, especially in the developmental, preadolescence, to steer them in the right direction. In fact, the majority of children work it through. But when you have children who have been sexually abused or youth who have not had any kind of bonding with their father or affirmation of their father, they are very subject to this and are in need of counseling.