Dr. Oz Show Fails to Televise a Balanced Gay Cure Reparative Therapy Debate
“On September 30th, a law was passed in California banning reparative therapy for minors. So today we are going inside the world of reparative therapy which some believe can turn gay people straight….and we ask the question ‘Could you change your sexual orientation and should you even try?’” says Dr. Oz as he provides a platform for a discussion about reparative therapy and whether you are born gay and whether you can you go from gay to straight.
Dr. Oz tells viewers that the question of homosexuality and whether it can be reversed has been a contentious subject for physicians and psychologists since the days of Sigmund Freud and that therapies have been tried involving both psychoactive medications and applying electroshocks to the brain.
In a landmark case 40 years ago, with changing social and cultural views and a review of past treatments and the results of such treatments on changing sexual preferences, the American Psychiatric Association ruled that homosexuality should no longer be considered a mental disorder.
However, in spite of the ruling by leading experts in the medical field, many gay men and women as well as their family members have sought myriad and some controversial therapies in an attempt to find a “cure” for being gay.
Today, the idea of gay cure and civil rights are being challenged once again with the recent passage of a California law that prohibits reparative therapy being practiced on minors.
To argue for reparative therapy, Dr. Oz has special guest Christopher Doyle, M.A. a psychotherapist who specializes in treating men who are attracted to the same sex--but don’t want to be. His other qualification that he credits himself with is that he himself was gay, but has been cured and straight for 8 years and is now married to his wife in a typical male/female marriage with 2 children.
Dr. Doyle describes his work as based on one that helps gay men who want to change by identifying what it is that causes their feelings of same-sex sexual attraction.
“Reparative therapy is when a client comes into my office and they feel that their sexual desires or attractions are in conflict with who they really are as a person. Many of my clients really do not believe that they are gay. They can see that there are specific causes for same-sex attractions, and we work with them and try to identify those causes with therapy,” says Dr. Doyle.
Dr. Doyle argues that research has shown that people are not born gay, but rather, that being gay is a complex process that involves a range of social factors that leads to becoming gay or perceiving one’s self as being gay.