Volume 11 - 2020
Critique of the Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (2009), pages 34-59 DOI:
E. M. Freedman (Cleveland, Ohio)
In 2009 the American Psychological Association (APA) published a review of literature on homosexual sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) entitled, “Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation”, which concluded that such efforts are “unlikely to be successful.” This critique investigated the studies that were cited by APA as the basis for their conclusion and found that a good many of the studies reported encouraging results from sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and did not concur with the conclusion of the APA authors. Additional problems with the APA report included the almost unanimous presence of homosexual members on the Task Force (6 out of 7 members), with the 7th member consistently aligned with pro-homosexual causes, along with numerous instances of data presented that were directly contradicted by study statistics. The APA authors also arbitrarily excluded scores of books and scientific studies favorable to SOCE that were authored during the 1960 to 2006 window of investigation utilized to compile the review. Given the increasing trend for states to ban SOCE even for men who desire it, the harm engendered by the issuance of a potentially biased report by the prestigious APA cannot be overstated. Based on the evidence presented, the critique ends with a call for a research misconduct investigation into the APA Task Force report.
Keywords: SOCE; 2009 APA Task Force; homosexuality; sexual orientation; research misconduct