Researchers Say Sexual Risk-Taking Due to Social Oppression
This nonexperimental quantitative study of 70 participants explored how father involvement during their gay sons’ childhood and adolescence was impacted by their levels of father-role confidence (FRC) and past father involvement experiences (PFIE). As hypothesized, the results indicated that participants’ past involvement with their fathers, and reported levels of father-role confidence, predicted father-gay son involvement (FGSI). Participants in this study predominately exhibited indirect, non-nurturing, or low-engagement types of father involvement activities with their gay sons rather than direct, nurturing, or high-engagement activities. Implications from the results of this study may be used to inform existing therapeutic approaches for fathers of gay sons, increase father-gay son engagement, and promote relationship reconciliation efforts between adult gay men and their fathers.
Keywords: gay sons, father involvement, parents, sexual minority, homosexuality
Recent legislative efforts initiated by politicians and activists have limited or threatened to limit the autonomy and self-determination of individuals desiring sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), claiming that SAFE-T is ineffective and harmful. The American Psychological Association has claimed that there is not enough rigorous research to draw conclusions about the efficacy or beneficence and nonmaleficence of SAFE-T. The present longitudinal study examined the sexual attraction fluidity (SAF) and wellbeing of psychotherapy clients while participating in SAFE-T. Participants were 75 adult male psychotherapy clients reporting both same-sex attraction experiences (SSAE) and the desire to participate in SAFE-T to achieve SAF. Well-being was measured with the OQ-45.2, SSAE, and opposite-sex attraction experiences (OSAE) with a Likert scale, and sexual attraction identity (SAI) with a Likert-type item. Results of t-tests of the means of baseline and final well-being measures revealed a clinically and statistically significant improvement in well-being. A linear mixed model was used to analyze the SSAE, OSAE, and SAI data obtained at baseline, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months, with results showing statistically significant fluidity of all three factors. SSAE decreased, OSAE increased, and SAI moved toward heterosexual identity.