Peter Ould has done an excellent analysis of the new Yarhouse and Jones' Ex-Gay Study.
The latest results from Yarhouse and Jones’ ExGay Study have been published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy and are accompanied by a brand new website allowing for greater interaction with the authors.The entire article is available here.
The response has been typical. Box Turtle Bulletin (normally a place where one expects a modicum of rigour in their analysis) have essentially ignored any attempt to read the academic paper itself and instead launched into a polemic of straw men and bad science. The usual criticisms are levelled – that the “poor success rate” (23% reported some degree of movement in their sexual orientation, characterised by defining their position on the Kinsey scale) is sign that ex-gay therapy doesn’t work rather misses the point that similar success rates in other areas of psycho-analytics are routinely accepted as evidence that a therapy works for some people. On top of that, probably the most significant outcome that Jones and Yarhouse record is that there is little evidence that ExGay therapy produces long-term psychological harm, even amongst those for whom it isn’t succesful.
Let’s take a closer look at the actual paper, rather then the straw-men. The authors recorded attraction, infatuation and fantasy using the Kinsey scale. For all three markers there was a noticeable shift in the average values recorded across the populations.