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Can Homosexual Orientation Change?

If homosexual orientation cannot change, then the apostle Paul would have been wrong when he stated in 1 Corinthians 6:11 that is what some of you were. Any proof that homosexual persons cannot change may also point towards the traditionalist view as being unbiblical and heartless. To claim, as some pro-homosexuals do, that homosexual orientation is immutable is to say that there has and will never be any change of homosexual orientation.

There are quite a few religiously based groups that provide support to homosexual persons seeking change. Some of the more prominent groups are Restored Hope Network, Homosexuals Anonymous, Hope for Wholeness Network and groups associated with Courage. These groups are based in the USA with offices or affiliates throughout the world. Further information regarding these organisations and their work may be obtained from their web sites. Studies done with regard to homosexual persons that received professional therapy and religious support to change sexual orientation, have shown without doubt that change is possible.

The National Association for Research and Therapy (NARTH) has recently published a study of the change experience for a large group of homosexuals seeking change. Eight hundred and fifty five persons were reported on in the study. The average age of awareness of homosexual tendencies was 12.4 years. A total of 503 persons reported having a childhood homosexual experience at an average age of 10.9 years with a person initiating the contact being an average age of 17.2 years. The following table show the results of the NARTH study:

 

Before therapy

After therapy

Kinsey scale 6

Exclusively homosexual

37%

5%

Kinsey scale 5

Nearly exclusively homosexual

31%

8%

Kinsey scale 4

More homo-as heterosexual

22%

23%

Kinsey scale 3

Equally hetero-en homosexual

9%

11%

Kinsey scale 2

More hetero- as homosexual

?

20%

Kinsey scale 1

Nearly exclusively heterosexual

?

18%

Kinsey scale 0

Exclusively heterosexual

?

15%

The participants reported substantial decreases in homosexual thoughts, masturbation to homosexual pornography and openly homosexual behaviour. Of those who participated 99% believing that homosexual orientation can be changed. The view that homosexual orientation is unchangeable is an invalid assumption.

The core issue for the church is not that all homosexuals should change to being heterosexual and marry someone of the opposite sex, but that they will be able to refrain from homosexual behaviour. However, such change in the homosexual is very possible and desirable and has been shown to happen.