Thursday, 07 June 2012 09:54

Former APA President Says Homosexuals Can Change

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The former president of the American Psychological Association says political correctness and homosexual ideology rule the organization, and that leaving the homosexual “lifestyle” is indeed a possibility, a position contrary to that of the APA.

Dr. Nicholas Cummings, the man who led the movement to have homosexuality declassified as a mental illness, told an interviewer with NARTH, an organization of psychology professionals dedicated to helping homosexuals stop their self-destructive behavior, leave the “lifestyle,” and lead happy lives as normal adults, stresses that he is “lifelong champion” of “gay rights.

Yet he also flatly stated that homosexuals can change, and that the current stance of the APA that homosexuals cannot change is false.

Cummings Latest Remarks

Psychologist Joseph Nicolosi interviewed Cummings, APA president 1979-1980, who said it is “absurd” to say homosexuals cannot change. He flatly stated that leaving the homosexual lifestyle is quite possible.

“I’ve experienced more than one,” he said. In the past, he has said 20 percent of the homosexuals who came to him to change did so.

Cummings said he had to “latch on” to a patient’s determination, such as that energized by their religion. But he said the “gay rights” movement and others claim these patients should leave their religion and accept their “lifestyle.” Those who push for patients to dump their desire to stop the erotopathic, he said, do not respect the patients’ psychological needs.

Cummings said some homosexuals leave their lifestyle and return, much like “falling off the wagon” in a manner similar to an alcoholic or drug addict. But “there are successes.”

Cummings said an APA committee that considered the possibility of successful reparative therapy would not permit supporters of that therapy on the committee. “[T]his kind of bias prevails in the APA all under the scientific aura,” he said. “[T]he APA has become a monolith. ...The APA  has become politically correct. Political correctness rules not science.”

In a second interview, Cummings described his resolution to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. “I made the resolution that being gay was not a mental illness, that it was characterological,” he said.

And it passed the Council of Representatives. And that was the first issue that came up. I also said with that, that the APA, if it passes this resolution, will also vote to continue research that demonstrates whatever the research demonstrates. Unbiased, open research. It was never done.

During this time at the top of APA, Cummings said, the headshrinkers' group adopted the Leona Tyler Principle, which mandated scientific proof for the organization’s public positions. That principle was “paramount,” he said.

Cummings said the APA “abided by the Leona Tyler principle. All of the sudden things began to change as things became more political than scientific” and the principle “disappeared.” “The principle was never withdrawn,” he said, yet it is nowhere to be found in the “annals” of the APA and “was absolutely forgotten” by the mid 1990s. Politics rule science at APA, he said, with its members “cherrypicking results” to fit their leftist political ideas. A search of the terms "leona tyler" at the APA website does not return results.

He said the “gay rights movement sort of captured the APA.”

It’s very interesting the way it happened. The APA bent over backwards to be understanding and open … it left an open door for people to rush in and use it for other than scientific purposes, for political purposes. ... It became part of the movement for ... diversity. You want to bring all underrepresented peoples into psychology. And this is a very lofty idea on the surface of it. ... but when it becomes a bias. ... If I had to choose now, I would see a need to form an organization that would recruit straight white males, which are underrepresented today in the APA.

The change occurred because the same group of leftist officers rotate leadership positions in the APA.

“For years, about 200 to 250 people were running the AP,” he said, “and they were a very select, inbred group.”

They were ultraliberal. And anything that wasn’t ultraliberal was anathema, so that things like questioning some of the statements about gay and lesbian rights was not being accepted. It became a civil rights issue rather than a scientific issue. 

Cummings stressed that he favors “gay rights” and “gay marriage,” but he says an individual must decide what to do with his or her orientation, not the APA or homosexual activists. He says people have a right to disagree about “gay rights” and “gay marriage,” but that among the APA leadership “that’s not allowed. You only hear one side of the issue.”

Cumming said APA needs “no holds barred” research and an open dialogue about the topic of reparative therapy.

APA Out Of Touch

In 2006, Cummings spoke at the APA convention. Cummings offered a long list of APA positions that show the APA is completely out of touch with normal Americans, and said the group has essentially become a laughingtock. APA even took a position on the name of mascots for athletic teams.

“I resent my APA squandering what little public respect that remains on a pronouncement about the names of athletic team mascots,” he said. “We were not only a public laughing stock, colleagues, this is NOT the burning issue facing the beleaguered profession and science of psychology.” He then offered a long list of “disconnect[s] between psychology and the American people.”

Although “[a]  large body of evidence outside psychology reveals that children of single parents are several times more likely to be in trouble with the law in adolescence or early adulthood,” he said. “Why is psychology not studying this?”

Is it because it is politically incorrect to question challenges to traditional marriage? A woman has a right to be a single mom, but do we not have an obligation to help her make an informed decision about pregnancy?

Teenage girls who are sexually active are three times more likely to be depressed and three times more likely to attempt suicide than girls who are not sexually active. Where is the psychological research on why? Is it because it is politically correct to counsel teenage girls to use latex but incorrect to encourage them to refrain from early sex?

Cummings also wanted to know why psychologists are not studying the role played by oxytocin, a female hormone released after sexual activity, which “may account for why young women are more devastated by the casualness of casual sex than are males.” 

It should be of prime interest to psychologists that oxytocin release can be classically conditioned, often with unintended consequences, such as causing the female to be more susceptible to depression in superficial relationships than the male. Or to be overly trusting of undeserving and even violent males. Where is the psychological research? Is it politically incorrect to say women and men are not the same in this regard? Our physician counterparts do not hesitate to warn smoking women that they have twice the risk of lung cancer over that of men. They do not hesitate to tell women they are several times more likely to suffer illness from excessive drinking than do men. Are they more committed to science over political correctness than we?   

Another “disconnect” between psychologists and the American people involves religion, he said: “ 60% of physicists and chemists on college faculties profess a religious affiliation, while only 10% of their counterparts in psychology do.”

Religion is regarded as  unscientific. Are physicists less scientific than we who inhabit the so-called soft science, or are they less concerned with political correctness? Almost 90% of Americans express a belief in God. Is this disconnect causing more and more religious Americans to distrust psychotherapy and to ask for religiously affiliated counselors, resulting in a rapid proliferation of faith-based counseling centers?

And, he said, “[taboo is the study of intelligence that might reveal innate individual differences and thus lower self-esteem, preventing meaningful research that might address the so far elusive reason why so many children cannot learn.”

Gays Can Change

Cummings has also described his work with homosexuals in great detail. During his 20 years working with homosexuals in San Francisco, he said, he and his staff saw about 18,000 patients. 

Cummings said most of them did not want to change, but instead came “for a number of related issues and dissatisfactions concerning the life style that eventually elicited a desire to change. These issues included the transient nature of relationships, disgust or guilt feelings about promiscuity, fear of disease, a wish to have a traditional family, etc. Exactly how many presented with the initially stated wish to change I do not now recall, but I can say with certainty that it was a minority, possibly even less than 10% of the 18,000 patients. … 67% had satisfactory outcomes, the majority of these were able to attain a more happy and sane homosexual life style with stable relationships. This would have been a bit more than 10,000 of the 18,000 presenting, with another 2400 actually reorienting. About 1/3 of the 18,000 had unsuccessful outcomes (continued promiscuity, unhappiness, perpetually chasing after anonymous sex, drug addiction, etc.).”

3 comments

  • Comment Link Jere Reiter Tuesday, 06 November 2012 12:38 posted by Jere Reiter

    I was one of their "success stories" because I "left the homosexual lifestyle" and married a woman. After 26 years I finally admitted the truth: I was still gay and so were the thousands of other men I'd met along the way in therapy and in ex-gay ministries. The current president of Exodus International, the only worldwide evangelical ex-gay ministry, admits that reparative therapy does not work and that nobody changes his sexual orientation. Some can live a celibate life, but that is not the same as becoming heterosexual. That's why Cummings and Nicolosi are so deliberately vague in the article. They have seen men leave the "Homosexual Lifestyle" but they do not say that anyone ever becomes heterosexual.

  • Comment Link Kenton Forshee Friday, 08 June 2012 19:43 posted by Kenton Forshee

    The fatal flaw of the claim that homosexuals can "reorient" to become heterosexual is that it is entirely impossible to distinguish between a homosexual who has actually changed their sexual orientation to heterosexual, and someone who has only suppressed their homosexuality or is merely lying to themselves and others for fear of failure. And while there are people who want to believe that homosexuals can change may accept such an impression or deception because of their desire to see such change it is not science to draw the conclusions that Cummings is drawing because any demonstration will always be inconclusive and based on scientifically flawed data.

  • Comment Link REMant Friday, 08 June 2012 15:01 posted by REMant

    I don't doubt what he's said about the APA. The latest trend is to consider what Freud indicted as social problems, to be merely symptoms, to be treated like any so-called disease by direct physical intervention, which has morphed into a new variety of phrenology, seen for instance on Charlie Rose, and public broadcasting fund drives, with huge eugenic implications. The entire psychiatric diagnostic system has been changed to this end. While I don't doubt that there are physical components, the thought occurs to me that a lot of males have been taught to fear women, and vice versa, a secondary development, equally deserving of address. Many of these "liberals" are, in fact, fatalists, but even Darwin felt behavior a significant factor in evolution.

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