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Spitzer argues that highly motivated gays can in fact change that preference — with a lot of effort. But critics have challenged the study, even before it was formally unveiled at today's session of the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in New Orleans, which was jammed with television cameras reporting on the presentation.
Another study presented today even contradicted the finding.
Ariel Shidlo and Michael Shroeder, two psychologists in private practice in New York City, found that of homosexual subjects who received therapy to change their sexual orientation, the majority failed to do so. Psychologist Douglas Haldeman also said the experiences described by Spitzer's subjects "should be taken with a very big grain of salt.
What I am disputing is that is invariably the outcome. In fact, he said, many of his subjects had been despondent and even suicidal themselves, for the opposite reason — "precisely because they had previously thought there was no hope for them, and they had been told by many mental health professionals that there was no hope for them, they had to just learn to live with their homosexual feelings. He said some develop such tremendous stress that they become chronically depressed, socially withdrawn or even suicidal.
But Spitzer says his study shows that some homosexuals making some effort, usually for a few years, make the change. Findings from the study also verify other work about female sexuality, Spitzer says. It is known that female sexuality is more fluid. Haldeman, however, noted that some 43 percent of those sampled were referred by religious groups that condemn homosexuality. Another 23 percent were referred by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, which says most of its members consider homosexuality a developmental disorder.
But Spitzer says while the people in his sample were unusual — more religious than the general population — it doesn't mean their experiences can be dismissed. And, he said, it doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth. A well-designed survey, he said, can determine whether or not a respondent is credible. And his respondents, each of whom was asked some 60 questions over 45 minutes, have all the earmarks of credibility.
In fact, he said, to dismiss his survey would be to dismiss an awful lot of psychological and psychiatric research. The most common treatment for HIV involves taking between one and four pills a day.
The reason why straight men are having sex with other men, according to a sexologist
But there's no cure for HIV, so you'll probably need to take the medication for the rest of your life. Your treatment and medication will need to be reviewed on a regular basis. A simple blood test can determine whether you have HIV. It can take up to three months after being infected to detect the virus, so you may need to have another test to be sure. There are various places you can get tested, including your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic.
The reason why straight men are having sex with other men, according to a sexologist | indy
If you're a gay man and you've had unprotected sex, it's important that you have a test. If your test is positive, you'll be referred to an HIV clinic. Page last reviewed: Skip to main content. Sexual health. Talking about sex Before sex: Am I gay, lesbian or bisexual? Could I be pregnant?
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