Homosexuality and Mental Health (Refs)
At 138 pages, this book by a professional counselor from Singapore distills many years of experience working with men who grapple with same-sex erotic attraction. Shen gets it as he dedicates his book to those who he continues to serve with this quote: “while the rest of the world tries to remember that ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’, they have a guillotine consciousness that ‘to err is unforgivable’.” Shen aims to change the views of leaders—whether they be religious, social, political, or cultural—in regard to those affected by homosexuality. With a forward by the president of the Singapore Counseling Association, Shen is respected among the helping professionals in Southeast Asia. With a brief review by a doctoral
candidate priest at the Catholic University of America, Shen’s Catholic worldview is revealed; however, this book is by no means a religious approach to this topic, and Shen brings insight from not only the Christian viewpoint but also Muslim and Hindu viewpoints with whom he frequently interacts.
A Research Review of Ryan et al.’s Parent-initiated Sex Orientation Change Efforts with LGBT Adolescents: Implications for Young Adult Mental Health and Adjustment
This study no doubt is intended to fill the void that has heretofore existed regarding research on adolescents who have undergone sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). The 2009 APA Task Force’s report acknowledged that there was no empirical literature to evaluate adolescent change efforts, which always should have been somewhat of an embarrassment to proponents of therapy bans for minors. Hence, the Ryan et al. study was enthusiastically welcomed by ban proponents and quickly adopted in the legislative efforts to prohibit SOCE among minors, including minors who have a self-determined goal to explore their sexual attraction and behavior fluidity. Because this research has clear political advocacy aims, great caution should have been taken by the authors to exercise restraint in order to not overstate the scientific implications of their work. Unfortunately, there are some worrisome signs that such caution has not been sufficiently exercised.