National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality

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The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH for short) is a non-commercial association based in Encino , California, USA , which is part of the ex-gay movement . The association regards homosexuality as a changeable orientation and sees itself as representing the interests of homosexuals who wish to change them. NARTH sees the criticism of her treatment methods as mainly politically motivated. Members say they are primarily psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who deal with psychological treatment and research on homosexuality, as well as other individuals who support the goals of NARTH.


Psychiatry professor Benjamin Kaufman and psychologists Charles Socarides and Joseph Nicolosi founded NARTH in 1992 for scientific studies on problems associated with homosexuality and "reparative therapy". Based on their experience and the politically motivated attitude of the American Psychological Association (APA) , they no longer saw its scientific integrity guaranteed. In the meantime, representatives of other theories about the cause and variability of homosexuality have joined in.

In 2003, the association joined the Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH) initiative together with other organizations of the ex-gay movement .

At the end of March / beginning of April 2007, all relevant references to former therapist and teacher Richard Cohen , who had fallen out of favor in large parts of the scene because of his television appearances, and which could previously be found on the NARTH website, were edited out and his articles deleted.

The board currently consists of nine members, four of whom are heads of other religious organizations involved in the issue.

function Surname job other engagement
president Joseph J. Nicolosi psychologist
Vice President Jerry Harris Marriage and family therapist Director of LDS Family Services
Chairman of the Supervisory Board Benjamin Kaufman psychoanalyst
Treasurer David C. Pruden Director of Evergreen International (LDS)
Executive Secretary Arthur A. Goldberg Co-Director of JONAH (Jewish)
Assessor Janelle M. Hallman Licensed consultant Director of Desert Hope Ministries
Assessor Mary Beth Patton Psychotherapist
Assessor Julie Harren Marriage and family therapist
Publications Director Linda Ames Nicolosi

There is also a 28-person scientific advisory committee that includes Jeffrey Satinover and Gerard JM van den Aardweg .

View of homosexuality

On its homepage, NARTH states that it agrees with the American Psychological Association (APA) that "biological, psychological, and social factors" shape sexual identity in most people at an early age. NARTH, however, puts more emphasis on the psychological influences. Problems in the early family relationship, sexual seduction and a perceived disproportion with same-sex peers are cited as exemplary examples of psychological factors, which can lead to a disorder of gender identity . In NARTH's view, society encourages unsettled young people to describe themselves as gay. This encouragement could also represent an influence that would lead to homosexual development. NARTH recognizes that biological factors such as prenatal hormonal influences or genetic factors can influence sexual orientation, but also says that such factors do not mean that homosexuality is normal, part of human design , inevitable or unchangeable. According to NARTH, the results of scientific research support the idea that homosexuality is not a healthy, natural alternative to heterosexuality. NARTH sees this idea as an “ancient cultural norm ”.

Since NARTH mainly represented reparative therapy when it was founded, it still plays a major role. The Washington Post reports that reparative therapy advocates agree that they "do not view homosexuality as innate and that they never consider it normal." Reparative therapy psychologists, who always try to emphasize that they support the “free choice” of their clients, do not see this as contradicting their view that homosexuality is pathological. From their point of view, homosexuals have "fallen victim to the fate of leading a miserable, unhealthy life". However, NARTH emphasizes on its website that only some of the therapists represented on it consider homosexuality to be pathological, while others leave the question of the pathology of homosexuality open.

According to David Leaman, one should not call oneself homosexual until one has actively chosen a " homosexual lifestyle ", because certain doubts about one's sexuality do not mean that one is homosexual.

There are different views among members about the exact causes of homosexuality.

  • Some consider the condition to be a developmental disorder , especially a “ gender identity disorder ” according to their interpretation, which leads to a romantic idealization and sexualization of those characteristics that the individual experiences as deficient. This view is widespread among representatives of reorientation therapies in the ex-gay area.
  • Others, such as Uriel Meshoulam, abstain from judgment on pathology and suggest that one should simply address the client's subjective problems and help them with their unfortunate constructions and attitudes towards their sexuality. Many learn to redefine themselves and their sexuality and expand their potential.
  • Still others like Mark Stern see homosexuality not as a dysfunction, but as a failed potential - homosexuals shut themselves off to a part of themselves and said "no" to procreation.

The founder and leader Joseph Nicolosi takes the position that homosexuality is a developmental disorder and potentially avoidable. It is based on a kind of gender identity deficit and represents an “ urge to repair ” this deficit.

Most of the NARTH statements relate to male homosexuality. Female homosexuality is rarely mentioned.


In contrast, leading psychiatric and psychological societies are of the opinion that homosexuality is not a disorder. Timothy Kincaid, a member of Ex-Gay-Watch, sharply criticizes the views of NARTH. Some members of NARTH showed a startling ignorance of contemporary homosexual people, and some demonstrated a disgust expressed by terms he describes as hateful.

There are several documents on the NARTH website in which Paul Cameron, who has been excluded from the APA since 1983 and who has acted in numerous studies with scientifically highly controversial methods, even unscientific , is cited as a co-author of sources without any indication of his scientific questionability.

In an article by Dean Byrd, "president-elect" of NARTH, the geneticist Francis Collins is quoted in a way that gives the impression that Collins believes that homosexuality can be changed because it is not genetically determined. Collins then corrected that the current state of research does indicate that homosexuality has a correlation with genetic factors. There are other factors than DNA involved, but he did not imply that these factors could be changed. According to reorientation therapist Warren Throckmorton, the latter statement of the current state of research is the one that should be shared with the audience. In particular, it should be remembered that there are also irreversible forms of learning, e.g. B. the imprint , i.e. behavior that is not innate or genetically fixed, but still not changeable.

In three documents, as is common in many conservative media, a study from 2003 by Maria Xiridou from an Amsterdam clinic for sexually transmitted diseases is cited as if it were statements about the extremely short partnership and virtually non-existent loyalty of average homosexual men do. The study is based on a cohort of explicitly non-monogamous and a relatively large number of HIV-positive men who were selected in order to identify trends more quickly.

NARTH's therapy concept

The target group of NARTH are clients who have a strong desire to reduce their need for same-sex intercourse and same-sex two-way relationships. Since NARTH's therapists understand homosexuality as a disorder, they encourage this desire for a sexual reorientation and offer reorientation therapies for this . Unlike the other psychotherapist associations, they consider such therapies to be effective, ethically justifiable and not questionable. NARTH claims to defend the right of clients to determine the direction of treatment themselves. The client's suffering from the dissonance between their sexual orientation and their other worldview is therefore not treated openly with different means - including affirmative approaches - even if this would be more promising from the therapist's point of view .

Nicolosi derives from his clinical experience that addressing deeper-lying emotional needs and alleged identity deficits leads to a decrease in same-sex fantasies and behavior. For many it follows an awakening of heterosexual responsiveness. The change is slow and usually takes several years. A third of his patients would be "cured": They would no longer have same-sex sexual contacts and the intensity and frequency of same-sex desire would be reduced, but would not necessarily go away. Another third have experienced significant changes. They understand their homosexuality, have a degree of control, and still have same-sex sex. The last third does not experience any changes. There are no statements about the further course of life of the former patients about further "healing progress" or possible "relapses", since the clinical experience is only limited to the period of the current treatment.


Nicolosi's supposed experiences contradict the consensus of all major national technical and professional associations, which states that sexual orientation can no longer be decisively changed after early childhood. This is determined biologically in early childhood and possibly also through psychological influences. They do not regard such influences as harmful if they should lead to homosexuality.

The idea of reparative therapy was accepted by various conservative organizations and advertised quite aggressively, which meant that various professional associations felt compelled to issue public statements on it. There were serious voices about possible disadvantages for clients. The United States Surgeon General David Satcher and the professional associations American Medical Association , American Psychological Association , American Psychiatric Association , the American Counseling Association and the Mental Health America have unanimously opposed the approach of reparative therapy and give any potential damage to concerns. However, two former ( Robert Perloff , 2004; Nicholas Cummings , 2005) directors of the APA affirmed that the American Psychologists Association has no problem with psychologists accompanying their clients therapeutically in order to help them achieve their self-determined goal of developing their heterosexual potential . The current APA President, Gerald Koocher (2006), has also spoken out on this topic, albeit in a somewhat more differentiated manner than his predecessors.

The American psychologist Lisa Diamond , who has published studies on the sexual identity of women and works at the University of Utah , fights against the abuse of her data by the NARTH in 2008. In particular, she accuses the American NARTH co-founder and psychologist Joseph Nicolosi of the misuse of her data and irresponsible misinterpretation.

Related organizations

After the American Academy of Pediatrics in February 2002 spoke out in favor of the legal possibility of adopting a child by the partner in a same-sex partnership for the benefit of children and saw no negative effects on the development of the children, dissidents founded the very name-like in October 2002 American College of Pediatrics (ACP), which, after its founder, sees itself in the Christian-Jewish tradition. The estimated number of members in 2010 is 200.

Five of the seven members of the Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee are or have been NARTH senior members (A. Dean Byrd, Joseph Nicolosi, George Alan Rekers, Arthur A. Goldberg, and Rick Fitzgibbons). John Raney is also the author and reviewer of the controversial Paul Cameron's magazine ., They were particularly noticeable in April 2010 with their website Facts About Youth and a related mailing to school principals. Warren Throckmorton does not share the self-assessment of the website as a "non-political, non-religious" presentation of current facts on the topic . He sees it as a one-sided representation with old research results and a dominance of reparative therapy . The AAP criticized the site and the broadcast because it did not take into account the scientific and medical knowledge. Some scholarly publications are misinterpreted at their own discretion and three scholars ( Gary Remafedi , Francis Collins Warren Throckmorton) have publicly criticized this misinterpretation of their work.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d position paper (English) of April 11, 2006.
  2. ^ Benjamin Kaufman: Why NARTH? The American Psychiatric Association's Destructive and Blind Pursuit of Political Correctness, Regent University Law Review, Vol. 14: 423, May 1, 2002, online as PDF ( Memento of November 27, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) earlier at
  3. See below under View of Homosexuality .
  4. David Roberts: NARTH and PFOX Quietly Rid Themselves of Richard Cohen ,, as of March 31, 2007
  5. Mike Airhart: Ex-Gay Purge at NARTH, PFOX Compared to Stalinist Era ,, as of April 7, 2007.
  6. a b c d e f NARTH Executive Board as of October 19, 2007.
  7. Scientific Advisory Board , as of October 19, 2007.
  8. a b c The Three Myths About Homosexuality ,, as of September 19, 2004.
  9. a b Sandra G. Boodman: vowing to Set the World Straight Washington Post, August 16, of 2005.
  10. a b c d e f g h Joseph Nicolosi: What is Homosexuality? - Reorientation Therapists Disagree ,, September 21, 2004
  11. ^ David Leaman: What do clinical studies say? - Questions and Answers , NARTH , April 20, 2006
  12. a b c Committee on Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Concerns: Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel (PDF; 259 kB) 2008, - With a list of supporting organizations. As of February 5, 2010
  13. Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality - Is Homosexuality a Mental Illness or Emotional Problem? Status: October 24, 2007.
  14. Timothy Kincaid, "Ex-gay" lies and God's love , The Advocate, October 9, 2006
  15. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Timothy Kincaid: NARTH's Justification of Slavery@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  16. z. B. Ross Olson: Pediatrician Says Childhood Gender Identity Disorder Requires Treatment - Not Sex-Change Surgery. Seen on on Oct 20, 2007.
    Christopher H. Rosik: Conversion Therapy Revisited: Parameters And Rationale For Ethical Care . The Journal of Pastoral Care, Spring 2001, pp. 47-67. Seen on on October 20, 2007.
  17. ^ Max Seigel: Letter from the American Psychological Association to Paul Cameron, dropping him from membership ., December 2, 1983.
  18. Jim Burroway: NARTH Web Site Promotes Discredited 'Research' of Paul Cameron ,, April 30, 2007
  19. ^ A. Dean Byrd: "Homosexuality Is Not Hardwired" - Concludes Dr. Francis S. Collins, Head Of The Human Genome Project , seen on on October 20, 2007
  20. a b David Roberts: Major Geneticist Francis Collins Responds to NARTH Article ,, May 25, 2007
  21. ^ Warren Throckmorton: Geneticist Francis Collins comments on Narth article ,, May 25, 2007
  22. ^ Richard Fitzgibbons: Gay Teens: Studies On Emotional / Relational Health ,, October 31, 2005
  23. MARANATHA COMMUNITY: STATEMENT ON "GAY AFFIRMATIVE THERAPY" - 3rd Homosexual lifestyle and promiscuity ,, July 23, 2007
  24. Dean Byrd: Gender Complementarity and Child-rearing: Where Tradition and Science Agree ,, May 24, 2005
    Text beginning with: A more recent study published in the journal AIDS (2003) ...
  25. Maria Xiridou; Ronalda Geskus; Johna de Wit; Roela Coutinho; Mirjam Kretzschmar: The contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam , AIDS Volume 17 (7), May 2, 2003
  26. Jim Burroway: Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples , Box Turtle Bulletin, January 9, 2006.
  27. Davison, GC & Neale, JM: Clinical Psychology. Psychologie Verlags Union, Weinheim 2002. ISBN 3-621-27458-8
  28. Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality - Can Therapy Change Sexual Orientation? Viewed October 24, 2007.
  29. APA: COPP Position Statement on Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation (Reparative or Conversion Therapies) , May 2000.
  30. ACA: Ethical issues related to conversion or reparative therapy ( Memento of the original of September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. May 22, 2006. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  31. MHA: Questions and Answers - What makes someone gay?, as of November 16, 2006.
  32. See NARTH Bulletin 2006, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 40.
  33. ^ Christl Ruth Vonholdt "Statement on the press release of the anti-discrimination office in Leipzig" (German summary) DIJG of November 7, 2006.
  34. Monisha Bansal: Update: APA Disputes Therapy, Not Homosexual Change  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. - Original quote with analysis by the right-wing conservative news service CNS from August 29, 2006, after relaunch dated July 7, 2008 ( original ( memento from September 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive ))@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  35. ^ APA president Gerald Koocher's statement about therapy and homosexuality
  36. The Salt Lake Tribune: Psychologist says group distorting her same-sex research ( Memento of the original of October 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  37. Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents ( Memento of the original dated February 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Pediatrics, Vol. 109, No. 2, February 2002, pp. 339-340 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  38. Ellen C. Perrin, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health: Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents ( Memento of the original from January 31, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Pediatrics, Vol. 109, No. 2, February 2002, pp. 341-344 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  39. History ( Memento of the original from July 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , American College of Pediatricians @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  40. ^ Pro-Life Pediatric Group Stands Contrary to Established American Academy of Pediatrics , Catholic Exchange, July 30, 2003
  41. a b Nick Pinto: University of Minnesota professor's research hijacked ( Memento of the original from November 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Citypages News, May 26, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  42. Timothy Kincaid: Bogus “American College of Pediatricians” distributes deliberately fraudulent anti-gay propaganda to schools , Box Turtle Bulletin, April 5, 2010
  43. a b Warren Throckmorton: A critical review ,, June 6, 2010
  44. Michael Airhart: Nation's Pediatricians Criticize Counterfeit Christian Group's Letter to Schools , Truth Wins Out, April 13, 2010
  45. ^ Warren Throckmorton: Francis Collins rebukes the American College of Pediatricians: A closer look ,, April 19, 2010