Friday, July 21, 2006

People Can Change Survey

From the Exodus Blog, I read a brief synospis of a recent study conducted by "People Can Change," a group dedicated to helping people change from gay to straight.

The study looked at 200 same-sex attracted men that are pursuing a change to be straight and asked them why they were looking to change. One answer, "outside pressure" was listed very infrequently among the participants as a major motivator (only 22%) and only 3% listed it as among the top 3 reasons for seeking change. A Christian Newswire article picked up that story and ran with it, claiming that most gay folks blame internalized homophobia and outside pressure for forcing people to want to change.

Fair enough, but lets look at the other commonly cited reasons for pursuing change that the article used:

--personal spirituality – 68%
--desire for wife and children – 66%
--religious teachings – 63%
--desire for nonsexual male friendships – 63%
--conscience – 63%
--expectation of unhappiness in gay life – 63%

I'm not sure why religious teachings and "outside pressure" aren't in the same category, but it's pretty obvious that religious teachings come from outside influences. So, if religion is causing someone to want to be straight, it stands to reason that outside pressure is a major part of that.

I'd have to say that "expectations of unhappiness in gay life" is a pretty direct correlation with "outside pressure" too. Maybe no one from the outside directly said, "you must be straight," but telling someone if they are gay they will never be happy is a pretty strong motivator.

Some of the other reasons aren't so directly correlated, but there is certainly a decent implication in most of these responses that some sort of outside influence played a role in the decisions of these men more than the story is leading on to.

I haven't looked in-depth at this study, but right off the bat, that's what I noticed. Hopefully I'll have more time to look more deeply at the study and the site soon.


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