The “Trojan Couch”

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The Epidemiology of Change It would be a mistake to think that the point of this section of the essay is to debate the merits of therapeutic change of “sexual orientation” in the fashion of almost all public argument to date. A far more important point was made once again by the authors’ own cited authority, Laumann — though they hid it carefully. Laumann concluded that quite apart from therapeutic change, all the evidence points to the fact that homosexual ity is not a “stable trait.” Furthermore, as was already evident in the data concerning prevalence of homosexuality—however measured, whether by action, feeling, or identity—before age eighteen and after age eighteen, Laumann et al., found to their surprise that its instability over the course of life was one -directional: declining, and very significantly so. “Sexual orientation” wasn’t just not a stable trait, homosexuality tended spontaneously to “convert” into heterosexuality as a cohort of individuals a ged, and this was true for both men and women—the pull of the normative, as it were. (See Laumann et al., chapters eight and nine.) So striking and unexpected was this finding that it led researchers all over the world in subsequent years to see if it was really true by performing even larger -scale studies. Their research has so far involved literally hundreds of thousands of people and it only strongly confirms what Laumann et al, had found. Most of this work had been completed, published and discussed extensively in the scientific literature long before the Lawrence brief experts began their writing. Yet, they fail to mention any of it. In fact, they claim the scientific literature supports the exact opposite. A review of portions of that literature now follows, showing the findings of the Laumann study itself as well as some of those that followed in subsequent years. I urge the reader to consult the remainder. To make reading a bit easier, I have provided the main citation once and have added additional individual page numbers only for very lengthy publications in parentheses following the extract proper. Spontaneous Instability of Sexual Orientation with Age in Laumann et al. 29 “[T]he rate for men [having any kind of same gender sexual experience eve r]…is 9.1 percent. [M]en who report same-gender sex only before they turned eighteen, not afterward, constitute 42% of the total number of men who ever report having a same – gender experience. [3.8% of all men have same-gender sexual experience before age eighteen and never again] Our final measure has the lowest prevalence…only 2.8 percent of the men report identifying with…same -gender sexuality” (p. 296-297, emphasis added) “[O]verall we find our results remarkably similar to those from other surveys of se xual behavior that have been conducted on national populations using probability sampling methods. In particular two [earlier] very large large – scale surveys in France (20,055 adults) and Britain (18,876 persons )” (p. 297). Spontaneous Instability of Sexual Orientation with Age in Other (Later) Studies 1. New Zealand Study30: The Effect of “Social Influences.” Direct citations with emphasis added in italics:

Footnotes: 29 Laumann et al., op. cit. 30 Nigel Dickson, Charlotte Paul, Peter Herbison, Same -sex attraction in a birth cohort: prevalence and persistence in early adulthood. Social Science & Medicine 56 (2003) 1607– 1615