Journal of Human Sexuality

The Journal of Human Sexuality, the official publication of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI), is a scholarly journal dedicated to the dissemination of information in the field of human sexuality with a particular emphasis on sexual orientation and gender.  The chief aim of the journal is to publish thought-provoking scholarship by researchers, clinicians, and other like-minded scholars.  In keeping with the ATCSI’s mission, the journal particularly seeks articles relevant to the understanding and care of persons who experience unwanted same-sex attractions and/or gender dysphoria and the clinicians who provide this care.  Reasoned perspectives and theoretical approaches that may be unwelcome for political and ideological reasons within mainstream psychology are encouraged.  The journal welcomes empirical research (both quantitative and qualitative), theoretical and conceptual articles, in-depth reviews of the research and literature, clinical case studies, book reviews, and letters to the editor.  The journal is published annually, provided free to ATCSI partners, and is accessible one year after publication through the ProQuest databases and the journal’s web site.

Contents of the 2022 Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 13

Featured Articles:

 

Walter R. Schumm, James E. Phelan & Christopher H. Rosik – A Comprehensive Critical Review of the “2021 [American Psychological Association] APA Resolution on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts”

This is a comprehensive version of a shorter report by the same authors (Phelan et al., in press). We have examined the “APA [American Psychological Association] Resolution on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts” (APA, 2021) and while doing so have noted several problems. The APA (2021) Resolution report is largely flawed in terms of theory, logic, and science. The APA’s position features several examples of non-sequiturs for which we respond. It relies almost exclusively on sexual minority theory when many other theories might be useful. It relies upon seriously flawed logic, treating SOCE as unchanged and unimproved over the past six decades. In addition, it relies upon very weak and limited science, overlooking recent reports on SOCE outcomes, not considering effect sizes for SOCE treatments, treating correlational results as causal, and often overlooking ways of testing more complex models of SOCE. The same limitations apply to much of the material reported in APA’s book edited by Haldeman (2022a), therefore not deserving a separate review. As such, we concluded that readers of the APA (2021) resolution report or Haldeman (2022a) for that matter, would walk away with unequivocal, one-sided, and misguided information about the topic of SOCE, and therefore a fact-checked critical analysis is presented. We address the report’s main sections, respond to non-sequiturs, and we present summary results from several more recent SOCE studies.

 

Christopher H. Rosik – Assessing the Legal Landscape Regarding Therapy Bans: Three Perspectives from Three Experts from Three Continents

The legal environment regarding sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), often described less accurately as sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), is rapidly evolving. How do the proponents of therapy bans view their cause and what is their ultimate aim? Are politicians supporting these bans out of conviction or fear? Is the faith community waking up to how such bans can impact them? Where is the legal landscape heading for therapists and religious counselors who engage in SAFE-T? To answer these and other questions, I interviewed three well known attorneys from three different continents who are deeply involved in challenging legal efforts to prohibit SAFE-T in their countries. John Steenhof is the Principal Lawyer with the Human Rights Law Alliance, a not-for-profit law firm based in Canberra, Australia, that specializes in religious liberty and freedom of speech, thought, and conscience. Andrea Minichiello Williams qualified as a barrister in 1988. She is founder and Chief Executive of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre in London, England. Mat Staver is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and the Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization, dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989 by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. It maintains offices in Central Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C

 

Christopher H. Rosik – Ideological Gatekeeping or Quality Control? One Author’s Experience with Peer Review at the American Psychologist

In this article I utilize my recent experience with the peer review process at the American Psychological Association’s flagship journal, the American Psychologist, to provider readers with an opportunity to evaluate for themselves the integrity of this practice. My colleague, Paul Sullins, Ph.D, and I submitted a short comment to the journal challenging the global characterization of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) as invariably harmful in a published summary of the APA’s Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons. We cited emerging research as the basis for rethinking this conventional wisdom. Here I present in full both the comment we submitted and the responses received from the reviewers that formed the basis for rejection of the comment. These are followed by a second rendering of the reviewers’ feedback, but this time interspersed with my observations. Readers are encouraged to come to their own conclusions as to whether the basis given for the rejection best represents considerations aligning with either ideological gatekeeping or objective quality control.

 

Robert Schwartz & Christopher H. Rosik – The Right to Try Versus Closing of the Sexual Mind

This article contains a novel and much needed perspective regarding the growing restrictions on treating same-sex attraction. Legally prohibiting therapists from helping people, who for personal or religious reasons, want to modify their sexual attraction deprives them of their civil rights and violates the ethical principle of personal autonomy to define one’s treatment goals. These restrictions are allegedly based on scientific “proof” that such therapy is ineffective at best or harmful at worst. But are the “facts” firmly established enough to warrant this unprecedented, draconian social policy that creates a new, distressed sexuality minority deprived of their right to try? We review recent research that refutes the received opinion of “born that way, can’t change,” methodological flaws in existing research marshalled to support this conclusion, and polemical biases that influenced professional organizations to support bans on therapy, leaving those who wish to explore change without professional help.

 

Richard N. Williams, Edwin E. Gantt, Madeline R. Garrett & Jacob D. Tubbs – Agentic Sexuality: On Rescuing Humanity from the Tyranny of the Invisible

This paper refutes the common, non-agentic view that human sexuality and sexual activity is caused by any number of powerful constructs or forces acting upon them. The paper also briefly refutes traditional “free choice” theories of sexual and other human activities. Furthermore, the paper develops an alternative, essentially hermeneutic-phenomenological view of human sexuality, one which holds that human beings are, by virtue of their very ontology (i.e., their most essential being or nature), agentic in a fundamental and comprehensive way. Human agency, as it is defined and developed in this essay, is conceived as the constant “taking up” and “giving ourselves over to” various meanings, feelings, and possibilities as they are present and available to us in our own active being-in-the-world. The paper applies this understanding of agency to the question of human “sexuality” and sexual activity, articulating an alternative view in which human sexuality is seen as inherently agentic and, thus, free from the causal power of material of other hypothetical abstractions and constructs. Our account seeks thereby to preserve the intrinsic meaningfulness of human sexual desire and action. Finally, the paper briefly addresses some of the ways in which this view of sexuality as agentic could impact research and clinical practice.

 

Book Reviews:

Shirley E. Cox – Review of Evans and Evans’ Gender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Christopher H. Rosik – Review of Douglas C. Haldeman’s (Ed.) The Case Against Conversion “Therapy”: Evidence, Ethics, and Alternatives

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