ERIC Number: ED275919
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Is Changing Sexual Orientation a Viable Option for Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality?
Keener, Dana Ray
This paper addresses the issue of homosexuals who want to change their sexual orientation. It is noted that many ego-dystonic homosexuals who want to become heterosexual, despite encouragement from psychotherapists to accept their homosexuality, are turning to self-help groups in an effort to change their sexual orientation. Studies that have attempted to change sexual orientation are reviewed in this paper. Problems with defining and measuring change in sexual orientation are considered and the importance of therapies for changing sexual orientation is discussed. Studies involving psychoanalytic therapies are reviewed. Several studies on behavior therapies are examined, including studies of aversion therapy, classical conditioning, and systematic desensitization. Studies dealing with group therapy are discussed under the headings of heterogeneous groups, homogeneous groups, and self-help groups. Problems associated with each type of therapy are noted. The paper concludes that studies in which changes in sexual orientation seem most complete involve a change in lifestyle whereby the person takes on a new social and sexual identity. It is asserted that psychotherapists can offer better help to homosexuals desiring to change their sexual orientation as aspects of sexual identity and lifestyle are more fully addressed. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Psychology Research Paper, Biola University, California.