In a recent television show discussing “ex-gay” therapy, renowned author and psychiatrist Jack Drescher put the discredited practice in its proper perspective: “This is so far outside the mainstream it’s practically on Mars.”
Unfortunately, the media keeps putting on its space suit and blasting off with “ex-gay” propaganda that places its debunked theories on par with legitimate therapy backed by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.
We’ve come to expect such farce from the Fox “News” Channel, run by the reprobate Rupert Murdoch. However, the elevation of “ex-gay” junk science all too often occurs in the allegedly “liberal media.” (Or is it Lazy Media?)
For example, NPR aired a segment this week that inexplicably claimed, “The debate about the value of conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, has been raging in psychological circles for more than a decade.”
In reality, the debate began to ebb in 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. In 2009 the American Psychological Association conducted an exhaustive study on the efficacy of “ex-gay” therapy. The press release said it all: “No evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work, says APA,” and “Practitioners should avoid telling clients that they can change from gay to straight.”
What about this vivid APA statement isn’t clear to media outlets like NPR?
There is absolutely no “debate about the value of conversion therapy” taking place among real scientists. What we have on one hand are genuine researchers who believe the issue has long been settled, and on the other hand a politically motivated marketing campaign by the “ex-gay” industry with the goal of tricking news outlets into thinking a controversy is actually occurring.
It is depressing that NPR, a top-notch news organization, was so easily hoodwinked and ended up parroting the antigay party line. I can only imagine the exuberant high fives at the headquarters of the “ex-gay” group People Can Change when they realized that NPR had bought their baloney.