Nashville, TN--Leaders of the world's largest outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality commended recent research showing change in sexual orientation to be possible at a press conference today in Nashville.
The study, released by InterVarsity Press yesterday, is the first longitudinal, peer-reviewed, scientific research of its kind on this topic to date. Researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse released the results of a three-year study during an address at the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference. Their findings indicate that religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on average. These conclusions directly contradict the claims of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association that state that change in sexual orientation is impossible and attempting to pursue this alternative is likely to cause depression, anxiety or self-destructive behavior. The major findings of this study are reported in full in the book Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press).
Former American Psychological Association President, Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., praised the research methods of Jones and Yarhouse, "This study has broken new ground in its adherence to objectivity and a scientific precision that can be replicated and expanded, and it opens new horizons for investigation." In the absence of any scientific, peer-reviewed research on this topic, Exodus International funded the research conducted by Jones and Yarhouse.
Alan Chambers, a former homosexual and President of Exodus International, responded to the study findings at today's press conference, "Finally, there is now scientific evidence to prove what we as former homosexuals have known all along - that those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction can experience freedom from it.
For years, opponents of choice have said otherwise and this body of research is critical in advancing the national dialogue on this issue. Chambers, who was joined by researcher Dr. Stanton Jones at the press conference today, added, "Anyone who has undergone the life-changing process of leaving homosexuality behind will tell you that it is not an easy one. However, for thousands of us, the journey has been well worth it and we are grateful that these study findings give credence to our existence as men and women whose lives have been transformed by Jesus Christ."