National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality

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The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is an organization that offers conversion therapy and other regimens that purport to change the sexual orientation of individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction. NARTH's leaders describe their organization as "dedicated to the service of persons who experience unwanted homosexual (same-sex) attractions (SSA)."[1] NARTH was founded in 1992 by Joseph Nicolosi, Benjamin Kaufman, and Charles Socarides. Its headquarters are in Encino, California, at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. Julie Hamilton is the current president of NARTH.[2] NARTH's leaders disagree with the holding of the world's major mental health organizations that homosexuality is not a disorder.[3][4][5][6]


NARTH was founded in 1992 by Benjamin Kaufman, Charles Socarides, and Joseph Nicolosi. In an article titled In Defense of the Need for Honest Dialogue, Kaufman wrote that the three of them founded NARTH because the American Psychiatric Association and similar professional organizations "had totally stifled the scientific inquiry that would be necessary to stimulate a discussion [about homosexuality]."[7] NARTH's leaders argue that the political atmosphere had changed, making it politically incorrect even to suggest the need for a dialogue that considers the question of the normality of homosexuality. Kaufman states that NARTH was formed in response to censorship of scientific investigation of politically unpopular views.[8][9]

The organization had 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, which was revoked by the Internal Revenue Service in September 2012 due to ongoing failure to file required paperwork.[10]


NARTH claims to be a secular organization, differentiating it from other ex-gay groups that are primarily religious in nature. Nevertheless, NARTH often partners with religious groups,[11] such as Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing and Evergreen International in Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality. The NARTH website contains a resource list of theological articles.[12]

In July 2011, NARTH failed to pay its dues to the California Board for Behavioral Sciences and was removed from the list of groups that provide continuing education credits to therapists in California. NARTH had been an approved continuing education provider since 1998.[13]

Sigmund Freud Award/President's Award[edit]

Beginning in 1996, NARTH has given an award in recognition of a researcher's work, called the NARTH Sigmund Freud Award. In some years, the award is called the NARTH President's Award. The award is presented at NARTH's annual conference.

Recipients of the Sigmund Freud Award/President's Award
Name Year Reason Note
Abraham Freedman[14] 1996 Therapeutic Attitude in the Treatment of Male Homosexuals[15]
Eleanor Galenson 1997
Harold Voth 1998 One of the founders of NARTH
Loretta Loeb 1999 Member of NARTH "Scientific Advisory Board"
George Rekers 2000 clinical works on childhood gender-identity disorder[16] Ex-NARTH member, Resigned 2010 from the board of NARTH after discovered hiring a male escort from a gay escort service for two weeks, According to Rekers, to help him with carrying the luggage, and converting the escort to heterosexuality. According to the male escort, for sex.[17][18]
Richard Fitzgibbons 2001 for his prolific writings and work in the field of reorientation therapy[19] Member of NARTH "Scientific Advisory Board"
Warren Throckmorton[20] 2002 Broke with NARTH 2006 due to perceived racism,[21] and has become a strong critic of them and many of their claims[22]
Christopher Rosik 2003 Member of NARTH "Scientific Advisory Board"
Robert L. Spitzer 2004 research on the ability of gay people to modify sexual orientation[23] declined to accept the prize, and has apologized for his previous claims NARTH awarded him for.[24]
Nicholas Cummings (APA president 1979) 2005
Benjamin Kaufman 2006 One of the founders of NARTH
Stanton L. Jones 2007
Robert Perloff, (APA President 1985) 2008
Joseph Nicolosi 2009 One of the founders of NARTH
Michel Lizotte (Canadian journalist) 2011


A. Dean Byrd is a past president.[2] Notable members of the Scientific Advisory Committee include Hillel Goldberg, Nathaniel S. Lehrman and Jeffrey Satinover.[25] Robert Perloff, former president of the American Psychological Association, was a notable supporter of NARTH.[26][27][28]


In 2003, PATH's leaders made NARTH a member of Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality.

Position of professional organizations on sexual orientation change efforts[edit]

In 2009 an American Psychological Association research summary[29] included the following statements:

The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.

SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] has been controversial due to tensions between the values held by some faith-based organizations, on the one hand, and those held by lesbian, gay and bisexual rights organizations and professional and scientific organizations, on the other.

There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether recent SOCE do work to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Some individuals and groups have promoted the idea of homosexuality as symptomatic of developmental defects or spiritual and moral failings and have argued that SOCE, including psychotherapy and religious efforts, could alter homosexual feelings and behaviors. Many of these individuals and groups appeared to be embedded within the larger context of conservative religious political movements that have supported the stigmatization of homosexuality on political or religious grounds.

No major mental health professional organization has sanctioned efforts to change sexual orientation and most of them have adopted policy statements cautioning the profession and the public about treatments that purport to change sexual orientation. These include the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers in the USA,[30] Royal College of Psychiatrists,[31] and Australian Psychological Society.[32]

The American Psychological Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists expressed concerns that the positions espoused by NARTH are not supported by science and create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.[31][33]

Gerald Schoenewolf controversy[edit]

NARTH received criticism from the Southern Poverty Law Center for Gerald Schoenewolf's essay, Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History,[34] in which the member of NARTH's Science Advisory Committee argued that "Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle... Life there was savage ... and those brought to America, and other countries, were in many ways better off." He also stated that the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, and the gay rights movement were all "irrational" and "destructive."[35] Schoenewolf later clarified that "No person is better off enslaved, obviously... What I tried to say, before my words were twisted by that reporter, is that despite the clear and obvious evil of that practice, we tend to forget that many of the enslaved people had been first been sold into bondage by their fellow countrymen; so coming to America did bring about some eventual good. No social issue has all the 'good guys' lined up on one side and 'bad guys' on the other."[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^!about2/c1vor
  2. ^ a b NARTH Officers
  3. ^ R. L. Spitzer, "The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues", American Journal of Psychiatry 138 (1981): 210–15.
  4. ^ "An Instant Cure", Time; April 1, 1974.
  5. ^ The A.P.A. Normalization of Homosexuality, and the Research Study of Irving Bieber
  6. ^ Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts
  7. ^ In Defense of the Need for Honest Dialogue
  8. ^ "narth". narth. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  9. ^ "narth". narth. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  10. ^ IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check for National Association for Research
  11. ^ Ariel Shidlo; Michael Schroeder (PsyD.), Michael Schroeder, Jack Drescher, M.D. (2001). Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7890-1911-0. 
  12. ^ Theological Issues. NARTH. Accessed July 27, 2011.
  13. ^ NARTH No Longer Providing Continuing Education to California Therapists. San Francisco Chronicle, July 2011
  14. ^ "Introduction, Joseph Nicolosi, PhD". NARTH. 1996. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Therapeutic Attitude in the Treatment of Male Homosexuals". NARTH. 1996. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ Jim Lewis (2000). "Report: 2000 NARTH Conference Washington, D.C.". NARTH. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ [1] Caught renting male escort
  18. ^ [2] Escorts tale
  19. ^ "Therapists, Ex-Gays Gather for NARTH Annual Conference". NARTH. 2001. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ "New and Improved: Clinical Members Discussion List". NARTH. 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  21. ^ [3] Break
  22. ^ [4] postings about NARTH
  23. ^ "Spitzer Declines NARTH’s Sigmund Freud Award". NARTH BULLETIN (NARTH) 13 (3): 14. December 2004. 
  24. ^ Apology
  25. ^ NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee
  26. ^ "narth". narth. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  27. ^ "narth". narth. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  28. ^ Airhart, Mike (2004-12-01). "Former APA Chief Defends Exgay Therapy". Ex-Gay Watch. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  29. ^ American Psychological Association: Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts
  30. ^ Expert affidavit of Gregory M. Herek, PhD
  31. ^ a b Royal College of Psychiatrists: Statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Gay and Lesbian Mental Health Special Interest Group
  32. ^ Australian Psychological Society: Sexual orientation and homosexuality
  33. ^ Statement of the American Psychological Association
  34. ^ "Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History" (PDF). NARTH. April 4, 2005. Retrieved February 18, 2011.  Archived version hosted by Southern Poverty Law Center.
  35. ^ One More Enemy
  36. ^ Political Correctness Gone Amok: The Latest Controversy

External links[edit]