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National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality

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NARTH encouraged gay clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as "dude"

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is an organization established to promote "conversion therapy" of homosexuality, and to challenge the consensus that homosexuality is not a disorder. The group has deep ties to religious organisations but claims to be secular. NARTH was founded by three psychologists/psychiatrists in 1992, the most notable being Joseph Nicolosi. NARTH does not actually do any therapy, however they fund "research", provide referrals to therapists, provide a journal for the woomeisters, and (sadly) send out copious amounts of material to high schools and colleges to help them "help the gay". As with many organizations with dubious agendas, it's more about outreach than about actual research.

Beliefs[edit]

NARTH's existence is hinged on all of the following beliefs:

  • Homosexuality is the most misunderstood sexual disorder.
  • There are no such things as "sexual orientations"; all people are either heterosexual or engaging in sexual deviancy.
  • Male/female social relationships are "crucial" to society.
  • Being "gay" is caused by child abuse or incompetent parenting.
  • Homosexuality can be cured in adults and can be prevented in childhood.

Acceptance by the larger psycho/therapy community[edit]

In 2000, NARTH presented a study on their techniques and their success rate to the APA (American Psychological Organization). The study followed over 800 clients and 200 therapists. NARTH claimed that the study was reliable, but the study was purposefully biased due to the case selection method, never differentiating between gays and bisexuals, never receiving peer review, and never show[ing] the actual success rate for the conversion therapy. NARTH still whines about being rejected.

NARTH claims that their staff of 1,000 members (compared with the APA's 132,000 members) are diverse in religion, but very few statistics have been shown to prove this. Despite that claim, NARTH has close ties with conservative churches and evangelicals while struggling in their battle for prominence and respect in the world of secular psychiatry. Unsurprisingly, the group has neither value and continues to suggest that a conspiracy is at work to delegitimize their field of research.

Did Nicolosi steal his "reparative therapy" framework?[edit]

Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder of NARTH, took credit for the development of reparative therapy. However, Elizabeth Moberly - a Christian theologian and self-proclaimed psychoanalyst - strongly asserted that Nicolosi plagiarized portions of her work and took credit for the development of reparative therapy which she believed rightly belonged to her. It has been reported that there was a "six year feud" between the two conversion therapists, involving complaints to psychological boards and letters to the editor of academic journals to attack one another.[1]

Since Moberly is likely the inspiration of Nicolosi's work, it is important to note:

  • Moberly's "research" did not involve psychotherapy with any gay or transgender people, and admits she had done NO new research.
  • Moberly simply did a review of the previous writings of Irving Bieber, Lawrence Hatterer, and Sigmund Freud. No trained psychologist or psycho-analyst would restrict themselves to just these three writers.
  • Her writings were never peer-reviewed by any psychologists or psycho-analysts.
  • The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics have all condemned reparative therapy as ineffective.

Sigmund Freud Award[edit]

In a moment of sad or delicious (depending on your personal take) irony, NARTH has established the "Sigmund Freud Award" and honors one person per year for the furtherance of a gay-free world! Likely Siggy, with his focus on human sexuality and the effects of sexual repression, would have been honored to know his name was being used to push more people into a world of deep, deep denial.

Actual effects[edit]

NARTH does not really address the problems gay people have with being gay, other than to tell them "It's wrong", and "You should change", and of course "If you do not change, it's your fault for not trying hard enough". So instead of encouraging people to like themselves, and be stronger in a world that pushes them down, these people are told to hate who they are.

See also[edit]

References[edit]