As Brian at Right Wing Watch points out, the idea that reparative therapy is a discredited and ineffective practice is nothing new. Mainstream researchers have been showing in their work for years that “praying away the gay” simply doesn’t work, and that you can’t change your orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex [the “equality” that trolls like Bryan Fischer like to suggest that LGBT people already have]. But in a significant development, one of the Religious Right’s in-house studies seems to have just shown the same thing. A new study from Regent University [yes, Pat Robertson’s outfit], looked at mixed-orientation marriages, where one partner is straight and the other one isn’t, to measure changes in their actual sexual orientation vis a vis their sexual behavior, over time. What they found will not be surprising to any readers here:
Unsurprisingly, they found on the Kinsey scale that measured sexual behavior that gay, bisexual or queer spouses had more heterosexual behavior when they were involved in a monogamous marriage to someone of the opposite sex. But they found that heterosexual behavior did not mean changes in sexual attraction, emotions or fantasies in the Kinsey scale (Kinsey Expanded) which measured sexual orientation. Essentially, while their sexual behavior changed, their sexual orientation remained the same.
In other words, not only can you not pray away the gay, but you also can’t expect to marry someone of the opposite sex and fake it until you make it. [Haha.]
The idea that people’s sexual behavior changed is unsurprising. People force themselves to do things that are unnatural for them all the time. But for the Religious Right, this argument has always been about sexual behavior, as they like to claim again and again that sexuality is really about behavior anyway, and that it’s a choice. It’s significant for a wingnut school to release a study refuting that notion and acknowledging that sexual orientation is a separate entity and that it can’t be changed simply by modifying one’s behavior.
File this under “Look, they just moved the goalposts closer to our position again.”