National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality
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The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a non-profit supposedly-secular (but with deep ties to religious organizations) organization established in 1992 by three psychologists/psychiatrists who founded the organization to counter the prevailing scientific consensus that homosexuality is not a disorder. NARTH claims homosexuality can be fully cured though "conversion therapy", and that homosexuality is a disease that should be cured. NARTH does not actually do any therapy; they fund "research", provide referrals, 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".
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
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.
Sigmund Freud Award
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 his duty to 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.
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.