Issue Summary
a. Issue Number 16
b. Title of issue Is Treating Homosexuality Ethical?
c. Author and major thesis of the Pro Side Christopher H. Rosik
“Motivational, Ethical, and Epistemological Foundations in the Treatment of Unwanted Homoerotic Attraction,” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (January 2003)
d. Author and major thesis of the Con Side Robert-Jay Green
“When Therapists Do Not Want Their Clients to Be Homosexual: A Response to Rosik’s Article,” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (January 2003)

Critical Issue Analysis Questions
1. Briefly state, in your own words, two facts presented by each side.

Rosik states that there appears to be a considerable mass of unwanted homosexual desirability that comes from a traditionalist religious environment. Later he says that statistics imply that nonmonogamy is at an elevated intensity in homosexual and bisexual male couples in relationship to lesbian and heterosexual couples.

Green states that research shows that external prejudice (homophobia) and internalized homophobia are strong predictors of depression, suicidality, and HIV-risk behaviors among gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons. He goes on later to state that there is significant documentation of the disparaging effects that particular conversion treatments have in which they can intensify internalized homophobia and all of its correlates; such as self-hatred, depression, suicidality, drug abuse, and HIV-risk behaviors.

2. Briefly state, in your own words, two opinions presented by each side.

Rosik explains that it is religious beliefs that help a person return to the heterosexual functioning for one and that traditional marriage and family are another reason for people to seek out conversion therapy (or reparative therapy as it is some times called).

Green describes that there are several minority human traits that are unwanted in our society, such as homosexuality, ethnic appearance and body shapes that do not obey the rules of the media. He gives his view that with the numbers included in several of the sources cited by Rosik, that there is merely an extremely minute fraction of exclusively gay or lesbian individuals that could undertake a noteworthy measure of heterosexual involvement and feel realistically comfortable in doing so.

3. Briefly identify as many “problems” on the Pro Side as you can.
Dr. Rosik starts out on the first page stating that the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) clients need to be examined in a more conservative value schema. On the second page at the main opening of his thesis, he says that there are a limited number of studies of clients that have sought out conversion therapy and that the first motivational theme in doing so is religious conflict.
He goes on soon after to quote a client that had nothing to do with the religious factor in the beginning of his statement but has everything to do more with sado-masochistic behaviors. This immediately suggested that the client needs therapy in regards to this sexual disorder as related to the DSM IV-TR.
He also talks about nonmonogamy in sexual partners but gives no real statistical data as to any set type of sexual couples; rather heterosexual couples, bisexual couples, lesbian couples, or gay couples. He just says that nonmonogamy is much higher in the gay and bisexual male couples.
Next he discusses AIDS. Now although this could be and most likely is a legitimate reason to not want to be gay, he delves heavily into this with statistical data in regards only to gay men. He also discusses issues that cause the transference of HIV and AIDS; such issues as unprotected sex and condom failure (in which he does not discuss in any further detail, but can commonly be attributed to the ignorance of not reading lubricant and condom labels.) {It is later that Dr. Green states (p. 334), “the fact is that homosexuality does not cause AIDS. Unsafe sex with HIV-positive partners (heterosexual and homosexual) cause AIDS.}
He later on clearly states that “much of the criticism has focused on the issue of sample bias, as most of the participants are religiously conservative,” (p. 320).
Finally he writes that Dworkin affirmed that “sexual identity is defined by the client, and is important for therapists to respect that,” (p. 322), however he seems to contradict this quote through his beliefs and thesis.
4. Briefly identify as many “problems” on the Con Side as you can.
First problem that I see is his statement on page 332 that the clients should set the goals for their treatment, although I believe this to be true to a vast majority of the extent, I also believe that if it is harmful for them, the therapist should intervene and help them choose a more appropriate goal for treatment.
Secondly, Dr. Green seems to believe that Rosik and other conversion therapists advocate “discrimination and abandonment” who wish to remain gay-identified. This was not necessarily stated in Rosik’s thesis. He also fears that when the client is given the “choice” to adopt Rosik’s views or not, and should they choose to not accept his views, the clear implicating to “leave treatment” is brought about thus causing the therapy to be terminated in which the termination stage has three primary functions (Hansen, 1972/1994).
5. Identify, in your own words, the propaganda techniques used, if any, by each side.
The propaganda techniques that Dr. Rosik used were all based on Biblical beliefs. His research was prominently from religious groups that conducted conversion therapy. On the other hand, I did not see any propaganda techniques used by Dr. Green, although it is could be seen as propaganda since Dr. Green works with the LGBT community and has written numerous pro-gay articles in the field of psychology for more than fifteen years.
6. Identify the evidence for any logical fallacies in the arguments.
Dr. Rosik seemed to have different fallacies that he presented his thesis with. 1) ad ignorantium: He tried arguing that homosexuality can be changed, but only used chosen research to prove his point. 2) He then tries to appeal to the homosexual that they need to go through conversion therapy because of the emotional problems that they have, specifically the hatred that they feel as a gay person; appeal to emotion. 3) It appears that he is begging the question by arguing that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. 4) He tries to argue that some of these individuals choose to go through the therapy in order to keep their marriage together. When this fails, it appears that he is denying the antecedent. 5) He is slanting his thesis by giving a misrepresentation of all the research that has been compiled. 6) The unfortunate part is that he is also card stacking by suppressing the true statistical numbers given in Shidlo and Schroeder’s study in 2001.
Dr. Green’s thesis easy could have some fallacies, but after reading it and reviewing the fallacies, if there are any fallacies he may have been guilty of, it would have most likely been hasty generalization, which Dr. Rosik would have been guilty of as well, and ad hominem, however I really did not read anything to suggests that Dr. Green was attacking Dr. Rosik.
7. How credible were the authors. What were the author’s credentials for writing this presentation?
After researching both authors online as well as in the back of the text, both authors have distinguished backgrounds in psychology. Christopher Rosik is a Christian counselor and has written extensively on the subject of homosexuality and therapy, has been a past president of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, former chair of the Psychological Standards Committee of the University of Minnesota Hospital, has clinical and research interests including AIDS, anxiety disorders, sexuality and psychotherapy. Dr. Rosik is based in Fresno, California and is licensed as MD PHD PSYC PSYD. For more information on Dr. Rosik, you can go to the following link, https://www.healthline.com/doctors/psychologists/christopher-rosik/3750165.
Robert-Jay Green is a distinguished professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at the California School of Professional Psychology. He is also a distinguished professional contributor from the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies- Division 44 of the American Psychological Association (APA). Currently he is serving as the Executive Director of the Rockway Institute in San Francisco, California. Mr. Green is licensed with his PhD and his LMFT. He received his Post Doctoral Fellow in Family Psychology at University of Rochester Medical School and his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University. More information on Dr. Green can be found at http://www.therapistlocator.net/MembersDetailUS.asp?TCode=44974.
8. Which author impressed you as being the most empirical in presenting their argument thesis?
I believe that Dr. Green was more empirical in his counter point against Dr. Rosik for a couple various reasons: (a) Dr. Green informs the reader of a vital an impertinent reference that was conveniently omitted by Dr. Rosik, (b) he also provides Kinsey’s bipolar continuum where Dr. Rosik also failed to use for his research, and (c) Dr. Green offered the idea that the theorist Klein had a framework that could have been beneficial in Dr. Rosik’s research as well.
Another pertinent factor is that Dr. Rosik discussed the subject of homophobia, biphobia and related terms with the acronyms, EOA, EOC, and EOD. Nowhere in his thesis did he define what the terms meant. This was very confusing during the initial reading of his thesis. It was not until Dr. Green defined the terms (p. 341) that he defined for the reader what Dr. Rosik was actually referring to. These three terms that were included were: the ethics of autonomy (EOA), the ethics of community (EOC), and the ethics of divinity (EOD). This should have been addressed for the student psychologist or lay person that would read his thesis.
9. Are there any reasons to believe that the author’s represented any bias or prejudice in their thesis?
After reading both arguments, I believe that Christopher Rosik was more biased as he appears to come across from a religious stand point using beliefs that he feels from the Bible.
10. Which side do you personally agree with and why?

I feel that both sides are right in their thoughts and ideas. To pick one over another would say that I am swaying to either side for reasons that would be more than likely are biased. I feel that both sides are equally right in this issue.
I personally do not believe in trying to change someone tenaciously because of religious practices, however, I do not believe in not trying to help someone change what they believe is wrong and against their religious beliefs, if it is their decision to do so.
This is more than just an ethical matter. It goes beyond the boundaries of ethics and ultimately comes into the ball field of morals. Should a therapist choose to help an individual in conversion therapy, I believe that they should be willing to know exactly what they need to do for the client and that they should be willing to be completely assistive through the entire process. However, if the therapist does not agree with conversion therapy, they should first seek out a colleague that they are familiar with, who would be unbiased, to help the client with their treatment.
As far as ethics and my beliefs, I personally would have to find a clinician who was willing to unbiasedly assist the client in conversion therapy as I do not personally agree with it. (As a youth, I had two counselors who tried to get me into conversion therapy to no avail. I also tried to contact Exodus International for help without anyone seeming to care about contacting me back.) However, besides the fact that I was asked to go into conversion therapy as an adolescent, I have seen too many gay individuals try conversion therapy and it cause more harm to them than the good it was intended to do.

11. What needs to be done next to clarify the issues for you?
Both issues appear clear in their theses, however, I believe that each one could be clearer by using empirical use of theoretical types, such as Rogerian thought or Behaviorism; whatever theory that they believe that would back up their ideas about this topic. Although Dr. Green’s presentation is more to counter what Dr. Rosik wrote, I believe that he is trying to come at it from the stand point of an eclectic theoretical position than from a prominent one.

{References were removed to prevent plagerism.}

Advertisements