On Helping Women With Same-Sex Attractions
A Research Review of Gartrell et al.’s Sex Attraction, Sexual Identity, and Same-Sex Experiences of Adult Offspring in U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study
As noted by Schumm (2018), “For decades some, if not most, scholars have denied any relationship between parental and child sexual orientation” (p. 113). He later goes on to observe,
One might well assume that with so many absolute denials in place for over forty years of scholarship (not to mention the imprimatur of the U.S. government, if not U.S. courts) that there would be absolutely no evidence of any association (much less a causal connection) between parental and children’s sexual orientation in the research literature, other than random chance results. (p. 116)
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.