from About NARTH
We believe that clients have the right to claim a gay identity, or to diminish their homosexuality and to develop their heterosexual potential.
The right to seek therapy to change one's sexual adaptation should be considered self-evident and inalienable.
We call on our fellow mental-health association to stop falsely claiming to have "scientific knowledge" that settles the issue of homosexuality. Instead, our mental-health associations must leave room for diverse understandings of the family, of core human identity, and the meaning and purpose of human sexuality.
Groups such as the American Psychological Association currently recommend that schools censor all "ex-gay" materials, and prohibit discussion about those who have chosen to change their orientation. Respect for diversity, however, requires teaching about all principled positions. We live in a multi-cultural society where tolerance for differences is essential.
And when homosexuality is discussed, it must not cross the line into lifestyle advocacy. Ultimately, sexual lifestyle decisions hinge on matters of deeply held values. Schools should respect the right of families to convey their own social values to their children.
However, the data remains inconclusive for several reasons.
Studies have not always been able to determine the sexual orientation of the same-sex molester (was he a heterosexual man crossing over into same-sex behavior? a bisexual? or a homosexual?) Also, clinical reports suggest that a very substantial proportion of homosexual molestation is not reported to adults or legal authorities because the child was ashamed, fearful or considered the same-sex contact with an older person to have been "consensual."
For these and other reasons, it is difficult to come to a conclusive answer on the basis of the evidence now available.
Tolerance must also be extended to those people who take the principled, scientifically supportable view that homosexuality works against our human nature.
But the difference is one of emphasis. We place more emphasis on the psychological (family, peer and social) influences, while the American Psychological Association emphasizes biological influences--and has shown no interest in (indeed, a hostility toward) investigating those same psychological and social influences.
There is no such thing as a "gay gene" and there is no evidence to support the idea that homosexuality is simply genetic. However, biological influences may indeed influence some people toward homosexuality; recent studies point to prenatal-hormonal influences, especially in men, that result in a low-masculinized brain; also, there may be genetic factors in some people -- both of which would affect gender identity, and therefore sexual orientation. But none of these factors mean that homosexuality is normal and a part of human design, or that it is inevitable in such people, or that it is unchangeable.
Numerous examples exist of people who have successfully modified their sexual behavior, identity, and arousal or fantasies.