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Friday, December 27, 2013

Ex-gay Ministries Harmful Affects on the Gay Community




    Despite what is though, mainstream society has yet to fully embrace homosexuality. Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals continue to have a difficult time growing up in America. This, of course is without regard to any social, economic, or religious dynamic being taken into consideration. With regards to religious dynamics, LGBs, depending on the level of religious upbringing they had growing up, may experience increasing difficulty being accepted. Because of the increased stress LGBs experience due to their religious upbringing, may attempt to find ways relieve stress and anxiety; so as to be accepted back into the environment of their upbringing (Folkman and Lazarus 1980). According to the American Psychological Association ex-gay groups appear to alleviate stress, and that doing so does not truly change ones orientation but rather their sexual orientation identity and sexual behaviors (APA Task Force 2009). The APA states that in doing so ex-gays seek to "relieve" earlier social conflict brought about because of their primary religious affiliation ("Ponticelli"). It can be inferred that one of the primary reasons for LGB people to join these ex-gay groups is to acquire a sense of belonging that would be otherwise unattainable conventionally. If this is the case, then it is a combination of factors from the straight and gay communities that drives some LGBs to adhere to ex-gay narratives. It is because of this isolation that LGBs would feel such an inclination to change  their orientation (APA Task Force 2009). In attempting to change their orientation, LGBs  will undoubtedly encounter failures. In many ex-gay groups these failures are an integral part of  effectively changing one sexual orientation (APA Task Force 2009).  However, these failures are rarely seen as such. Instead LGBs will begin to view their failure negatively, and in the process develop negative views of themselves. These self imposed negative views lead to self-loathing. The self-loathing that ex-gay LGBs develop translate to homophobia, and in extreme cases self-destructive behavior. Because of the propensity for failure, many ex-gays become ex-ex-gays. After becoming ex-ex gays, LGBs do not fully recover from their ordeal. In fact many continue to carry the emotional stress acquired prior to their enrollment in ex-gay ministries with them long after. According to various ex-ex gay sources, low self-esteem and lack of love and support are the primary reasons that LGBs attempt to alter their sexual orientation ("Philip Lowe, Jr." ).


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                                                             Works Cited 



n. page. Print. <APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual      Orientation. (2009). "Report of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses  to Sexual Orientation." Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.[1]        Accessed August 2, 2011>.



print. <http://www.beyondexgay.com/narratives/Phillip >.


 print. <ponticelli, C. M. (1999). Crafting Stories of Sexual Identity Construction. social psychology Quarterly, 62, 157-172.

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