Pharyngula

The fundamentalist community has a strong interest for some bizarre reason in converting homosexuals into heterosexuals. They consider homosexuality nothing but a bad personal choice, and therefore all gay people need is a little Jesus and they’ll switch back to finding the other sex more attractive.

It never seems to occur to them that that implies that their own sexual orientation would then be an arbitrary matter of a trained esthetic, and that that would imply that they should be easily flipped into homosexuality themselves (probably with a little Satan). It’s strange: I’d be rather upset if a group of Baptists tried to brainwash me into thinking Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was a hot dude I ought to fantasize about.

Anyway, the fundies love to cobble up ‘scientific’ studies that back up their claims of successful conversions. These typically defy common sense and the results of work by real psychologists, but that doesn’t stop them. Their latest result claims a program of Christian counseling has a 53% success rate. Unfortunately, even in the press releases that crow about this answer, they have to admit some bothersome details. Like that their sample size was less than a hundred, that over a third of their subjects dropped out and refuse to talk to them, and that even those they managed to retain in the study are very evasive and reluctant to talk to the researchers, all stuff you’d expect of a program that doesn’t work in any way other than instilling guilt in their subjects.

Worst of all, credible scientists don’t accept their results, for an amusing reason.

“They selectively apply rigorous scientific standards,” he said. “So when it comes to examining the evidence that sexual orientation change can occur, they apply extraordinarily rigorous standards, and those standards allow them to disregard significant evidence that sexual orientation change can occur. That’s what happens with our study. They, I think, invalidly applied several methodological concerns to dismiss our study.”

Curse you, Science, for your rigorous standards and methodological discipline that prevent us from getting the answers we wanted ahead of time!