Dr. Christopher Rosik interviews Dr. Neil Whitehead on important new study on SAFE-Therapy
Are Planned Children from Lesbian Couples more likely to become Lesbian or Bisexual?
New Research Challenges the “No Differences” Conventional Wisdom.
Reviewed by Christopher H. Rosik, Ph.D.
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Status Report on the Forthcoming Longitudinal SAFE-T Outcome Research
Many Alliance supporters have been asking about the current status of the outcome research on sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T), tentatively titled, “Sexual attraction fluidity and well-being: A therapeutic outcome study.” Data collection for the study was completed in April of 2018.
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The major mental health associations and most universities cannot be relied upon to provide balanced information on sexual orientation, particularly in arenas where advocacy interests are high.
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Sexual orientation is not immutable and many people experience significant fluidity and change in their same-sex attractions, including those engaged in sexual attraction fluidity exploration in therapy (SAFE-T).
Research suggests 26-45% of men and 46-64% of women report experiencing change in sexual attractions over time. Moreover, of those reporting such change, 50-100% of men and 55-91% of women reported change toward heterosexuality over time. (Diamond & Rosky (2016, May-June). Scrutinizing immutability: Research on sexual orientation and its role in U. S. legal advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities.The Journal of Sex Research, 53(4-5):363-91).
Change in unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors through SAFE-T is likely to some extent. Improvement of comorbid traits (self-esteem, depression, sucidiality) through SAFE-T is likely to a large extent. Rates of effectiveness and deterioration or harmfulness for SAFE-T appear to be similar to what is reported in psychotherapy for other conditions. (Santero, Whitehead, & Ballesteros (in press). Effects of therapy on U.S. men who have unwanted same sex attraction. Linacre Quarterly.)
“People with changing sexual attractions may be reassured to know that these are common rather than atypical.” (Dickson, Paul, & Herbison (2003). Same-sex attraction in a birth cohort: Prevalence and persistence in early adulthood. Social Science & Medicine, 56 , p. 762)