Dobson Latches onto Ex-Gay study – Exaggerates Results

Why can’t people just be bigots and not demand science reinforce their bigotry? James Dobson is promoting the Exodus Ex-Gay study (reviewed by Jim Burroway here). You remember the study? The one where they ignore all the people that dropped out? The one where success also included chastity, or merely staying with the program despite not changing sexuality? The one where “conversion” left participants still sexually conflicted? Yeah, that one, is being promoted as proof that Dobson is right.

Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based Christian media ministry, on Monday endorsed a recent study finding that it is possible, through religious mediation, to change one’s sexual orientation.

“This study bolsters our position of advocating for people’s right to self-determination,” said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus’ Gender Issues Department, in a statement.

Focus on the Family is a worldwide media ministry broadcasting in 26 languages.

The results were more promising than expected, with 67 percent of study participants reporting “a change toward heterosexual orientation or … successfully continuing to work towards that goal,” Fryrear said.

Study findings were first released last week in a book, “Ex–Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.”

Only a tiny minority of participants actually experienced a meaningful change and they were still conflicted. This is a gross inflation of success. The study, read accurately, suggests exactly 0% of gays can be converted to heterosexuals, was flawed in execution, and manipulated to pose the brightest possible picture for the cranks.

This is why family values associations are so disgusting. That in the name of values they unabashedly lie and mislead to suit their bigotry.


  1. If they can’t fix their own (Haggard)… why should they fix anyone else. Speaking of getting fixed…

  2. Why can’t people just be bigots and not demand science reinforce their bigotry?

    Because deep down they know their bigotry is evil and they are looking for a way to justify their own hate.

  3. Ashley Moore

    Honestly obviously isn’t a Family Value.

  4. Science is wrong and evil, except for when it’s not.

  5. Unfortunately, this is an issue to which atheists should pay close attention, because it’s an example of poorly-executed “framing” in action.

    The question is not whether homosexuality is a choice or an invariant trait. The question is, and always has been, whether there is any compelling reason to be bigoted against homosexuals, and the answer is an emphatic “no” no matter how you slice it.

    However, in an attempt to make rhetorical headway with the religious nuts, among whom are found the most strident bigots, someone decided that asserting “God made me this way” was a clever way to disarm the bible-based detractors. They “framed” the issue in an attempt to make it fit into their opponents’ worldview, and the result has been to derail the entire issue in a pointless direction for decades.

    The correct response to bigots, religious or otherwise, is of course “my orientation is none of your business; now kindly fuck straight off.”

    Frankly, I don’t think I ever chose to prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate, but neither do I think I carry a “vanilla gene.” However, as this has always been my preference, it is practically indistinguishable from an innate trait for me. Good thing nobody is trying to force me to justify my preference for vanilla, because such an argument would just be silly — just like it is for homosexuality.

    Unfortunately, the entire gay rights issue has become inextricably linked with a red herring “nature versus nurture” debate, to the point that legitimate and valuable science becomes politicized and people on both sides cling desperately to dogmatic claims they feel support their position.

  6. Dr. Oscar

    I guess it’s a good time to regurgitate this Daily Show segment:

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