Talk:Conversion therapy/Archive 12

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Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13

Recent reorganisation

I think that treating Europe together, rather than nationally, looks OK. One problem though. United Kingdom is in Europe. How do you propose dealing with that? Mish (talk) 07:30, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

The arrangement of sections is provisional. It can and no doubt will be changed. I have yet to work out the details; the point of my recent edits was only to remove the material that most obviously does not belong in the article. Born Gay (talk) 07:35, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Is NARTH a reliable source?

Here is my source: What Research Shows: NARTH's Response to the APA Claims on Homosexuality(Summary). My quotation is from line 2. Please say why this is not a reliable source. (And thanks for helping me work this through). Hyper3 (talk) 07:59, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Firstly, it's not a reliable source because NARTH is a fringe group. Reliable sources represent the mainstream views about topics, not fringe views. Secondly, even if were a reliable source, it wouldn't be relevant because it is not concerned with trying to define conversion therapy. Born Gay (talk) 08:35, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE does not support your standpoint, where, for example Creation Science is not considered fringe. It is worth bearing in mind that the article is about a theory which NARTH and Nicolosi are significant proponents. Therefore I do not think that this quotation could be excluded under the terms of WP:FRINGE. It would be like ignoring major proponents of Creation Science in the Creation Science article. Indeed Joseph Nicolosi coined the term reparative therapy, and has his own wikipedia page.On this page, something like my proposed sentence currently exists without controversy. Hyper3 (talk) 20:43, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE does not say that Creation Science is not fringe, and it would be irrelevant if it did, as the issue here is NARTH, which holds views (eg, that homosexuality is a mental disorder) that are clearly outside the scientific mainstream. In any case, the quotation is not a definition of conversion therapy, and should not be presented as one. Born Gay (talk) 21:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
In fact, WP:FRINGE does refer to creation science.
The way WP:FRINGE operates should not exclude a minority view like those of NARTH. In fact, an article whose subject matter is the examination of a minority view, is the very place that such views should be discussed, and WP:FRINGE is clear about that. The inclusion of the views of adherents to minority views should not be excluded.
I would argue that the common acceptance of views like NARTH amongst the global Pentecostal Evangelical and Charismatic community (making up as much as 10% of the world's population) means that this is far from a fringe view, although it may not be accurate. The scientific research done by NARTH members is commonly referred to (albeit often disparagingly) by the dominant scientific community when engaging with the subject of reparative therapy. There's no real way to avoid this, and the article needs to admit such sources, because the standard is not truth, but verifiability. Hyper3 (talk) 23:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
NARTH's views are already mentioned in the article. The lead can have up to four paragraphs, and as the current version only has three, an additional paragraph could be added, but there's no special reason why that particular quote from NARTH should be part of it, since it does not represent one of the main points in the article. Born Gay (talk) 00:02, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
NARTH isn't fringe. If it were fringe, why would the APA publish the work of NARTH members? [1][2] Joshuajohanson (talk) 00:09, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Publishing the work of someone who happens to be a member of a given organization is not an endorsement of the views of that organization itself. Born Gay (talk) 00:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Joshuajohanson is not making the point that the APA agrees with NARTH, just that NARTH are part of the mainstream conversation, and therefore not fringe. Well put. Hyper3 (talk) 00:18, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
The fact that the APA publishes publishes something by someone who happens to be a NARTH member does not mean that NARTH itself is part of any conversation. Born Gay (talk) 00:24, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
True, but you haven't provided any evidence that it is a fringe group either. I don't see how you can make that claim. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:08, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
NARTH is well known for holding a position - that homosexuality is a treatable mental disorder - that all mainstream medical and scientific groups in the United States have strongly repudiated. Trying to claim that NARTH is not fringe or is a reliable source really is a waste of time. Take it to the reliable sources noticeboard if you like, but it should already be clear what the outcome of that will be. Born Gay (talk) 21:33, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
To Hyper3: yes, WP:FRINGE does refer to Creation Science (I never said it didn't). But note that it does not say that Creation Science is not fringe anywhere in the quote from it you offered, and that the issue is irrelevant, as this is an article on a different topic. Born Gay (talk) 21:39, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Where does NARTH say that? I'm looking at the position statements, and I'm not seeing that. [3] It does say "But none of these factors mean that homosexuality is normal and a part of human design, or that it is inevitable in such people, or that it is unchangeable." It argues that there is a lack of evidence to say that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. It does not officially believe that homosexuality is a treatable mental disorder, as you claim. The position statement says it believes that it has biological influences. There are members who believe homosexuality is a mental disorder, and NARTH will publish some of their views, but it also publishes other view points. You still haven't convinced me that NARTH is a fringe group. Joshuajohanson (talk) 22:30, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
They're called the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. One doesn't advocate "therapy" for things that are not diseases or disoders. See this [4], which argues that it was a mistake to remove homosexuality from the DSM. They may not openly hold that as an official position, but that's what they're suggesting nonetheless, and whether they think that biology plays some role is not germane to the issue. Born Gay (talk) 23:15, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Seems like synthesis. They complain that it was removed because of advocacy, and argue that shouldn't be a reason to change the DSM. No where did they say it is a disease.Joshuajohanson (talk) 00:53, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
NARTH promotes therapies that are rejected by all mainstream medical and scientific bodies in the United States as potentially harmful and based on discredited theories. This means that NARTH is not a reliable source - along with the fact that there has never been any reason to think it is a reliable source. Try raising the issue on the reliable sources noticeboard if you disagree, but I'm sure what the outcome will be. Born Gay (talk) 01:16, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
What seems to be forgotten, is that when the topic of the article is what people like NARTH say, NARTH is a reliable source; even if they espoused fringe views (which they do not, they espouse a minority view.) It is pov to assert that NARTH statements cannot be heard in an article that requires the examination of their views. Hyper3 (talk) 17:56, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Born Gay - I have taken your advice and put it on the reliable source noticeboard. Thanks for the idea. Hyper3 (talk) 18:27, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
So far I have had two comments, both saying that NARTH is a reliable source for comments about itself and its views. This is all I have been asking for. Hyper3 (talk) 21:29, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
You are wrong about the topic of this article. It is not "what people like NARTH say". It is conversion therapy, and that is a practice, not what "people like NARTH" say about that practice. I have never said that NARTH's views cannot be simply mentioned in the article, and have several times said in past discussions that they should be. I reject the notion that NARTH is necessarily a reliable source for "comments about itself"; this organization should not be allowed to dictate how it is presented. It may be used as a source for what its own stated views are, but that has never been in question. Born Gay (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I have left a comment at the discussion you referred to. Most of the comments there supported NARTH being used as a source for its own views (which, again, has never been in question) but not necessarily for "comments about itself" in general. I think you are misinterpreting the comments there if you think that there is agreement in favour of NARTH being allowed to control how it is portrayed in general. Born Gay (talk) 01:48, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I feel that I am arguing for the use of NARTH based material at all, and so am heartened by this turn of events. In other words, if I use something sourced from NARTH, if it is an appropriate comment about NARTH or its views, it cannot be removed for WP:FRINGE. I understand that other comments can be made, and that it must be put in context according to WP:UNDUE. It is not susceptible to WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT. Hyper3 (talk) 10:36, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't remove the quotes from NARTH from the lead because NARTH can't be used as a source for its own views, or even because it is fringe; I removed them because they were misleading and unhelpful. Born Gay (talk) 19:02, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Arbitration cases

The arbitration cases on fringe theories are very relevant; at one point it says:

I believe that the views being quoted by Joshuajohanson, are just this: significant alternatives, and are not pseudoscience, as studies can be found in appropriate journals. Hyper3 (talk) 21:27, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

How is that comment relevant to the particulars of this discussion? Joshuajohanson wants to include a study by NARTH supporters in a consensus section even though NARTH is not part of the medical consensus - in what way would that be fair? Born Gay (talk) 02:15, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Obviously any talk of consensus deals with the current state of play, both where there is consensus and when there is not. By all means change the title if required to something that expresses this better. Hyper3 (talk) 10:41, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand the first sentence of your comment, so I cannot really reply to that. I don't think that destroying the consensus section or turning it into something else is going to get much support here. Born Gay (talk) 19:06, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Ex-gay section

Born Gay, this has numerous problems. 1] "outside the scientific community" - you know there are people within the scientific community who agree with this. 2] you characterise the testimony of those who claim to have been helped as suspect without source. 3] weasel words - who are you saying has suspect ethics? Please source 4] Several have been disgraced - whilst this is true you do not source 5] you use one example, cherry-picked from many, and therefore this is WP:UNDUE.

Hyper3 (talk) 20:45, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

In the first edit summary in which I restored that content, all of it sourced, I stated that your removal of it was borderline vandalism. I take that back - I regard it as vandalism, full stop. Please cease vandalizing immediately. Born Gay (talk) 20:48, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
There is only one quotation - how is it sourced? If it is all sourced from one place, that does not stop it from being WP:UNDUE. Merely quoting other people's weasel words does not make it fit for an encyclopaedia project. Please address these issues before inserting the content again, and seek consensus, as per WP:WAR, as quoted to me above by your good self. Hyper3 (talk) 20:54, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree that [5] is returning improperly sourced claims and analysis and that the content is not at all up to Wikipedia policy standards. Very very many claims made without proper attribution to who is making them, many many conclusions made that are not assigned to the source making the conclusion etc. WP:SYN seems to be rife in the content that is returned in that section. I would suggest removing it from the article, working it up to standards in a user sandbox and then returning it because I believe that the content DOES represent mainstream and views of the subject, but not Wikipedias standards of how to show it. -- The Red Pen of Doom 22:28, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
A Nice Cup of Tea...

Could I interest anyone with a nice cup of tea? -- The Red Pen of Doom 21:08, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

My comments are here: WP:A nice cup of tea and a sit down#September 2009

Nothing in that section is a direct quotation. It is a brief summary of an article in the source used, John Gonsiorek and James Weinrich's Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy. The material there is not undue, is not synthesis, and is properly sourced. The concept of weasel words does not apply to material based directly and closely on a reliable source. There is no need to attribute the statements to the source in this case, as I believe it represents the mainstream view of the issue in reliable sources. The article can say as fact that ex-gay ministries are of questionable ethics and professionalism since, so far as I know, there is no dispute about that in reliable sources. However, if there are reliable sources which state that ex-gay ministries are in fact ethical and professional, then please present them. Born Gay (talk) 23:33, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

:What in the book backs the statement: "Ex-gay ministries are the main advocates of sexual orientation outside the scientific community." ? A search only shows ministry or ministries appearing in "there are creative and affirming Catholic ministries". -- The Red Pen of Doom 03:15, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I am concerned that Gonsiorek and Weinrich are as agenda driven and fringe as they come. Kind of like having a big quote from the Exodus website.--Knulclunk (talk) 03:22, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Discussing who is agenda driven and who is not is not helpful here, Knulclunk. Gonsiorek and Weinrich represent the mainstream view of this subject and appear to be perfectly respectable. They can be assumed to be a reliable source unless there is some reason to think otherwise; you have provided none. I have reverted your unexplained removal of sourced information about some ex-gay leaders being disgraced and having sex with their clients. Please use proper edit summaries in future; a comment like, "un like.... uh .... psycologists are anyone else in any profession?" is inappropriate and explains nothing. Born Gay (talk) 08:32, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
The RedPenofDoom has removed this content again. I won't restore it right away, but it is important, properly sourced information and there is no good reason for it to be removed. The article cannot give a precise count of the number of people who have done this, and nor does it have to, so "several" is an appropriate word (it is based upon the statement that, "more than one religious group leader has 'fallen from grace' for having sex with clients who are themselves in treatment for conversion of sexual orientation.") I do not understand the comment that, "wording makes it appear as if it is somehow improper relations between conversion therapists and clients, and not between gay positive therapist or strait therapists." What are you trying to say? Born Gay (talk) 08:40, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
To answer the question The RedPenofDoom crossed out: what supports this is the statement, "Apart from the efforts of the scientific community, the primary proponents of sexual orientation change have been pastors and religiously-oriented lay persons." That is on page 156 of Gonsiorek and Weinrich. I provided a reasonable summary, as this does not need a direct quote. Born Gay (talk) 08:46, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I have reverted the removal of the material about es-gay leaders having sex with clients - but have tagged it as dubious and in need of specificity. 'More than one' is not the same as 'some', and as the lack of clarity is from the source, the claim needs to be clearly stated as being the view of the source, not us. In fact the whole section needs to be more explicit that this is the view of the source, as the way it reads now it comes across as our view. I am not sure that this rhetorical device is necessary. If one or two therapists do something, what does that say about about the movement generally - why is it relevant? Because there is already a main article on Ex-Gay linked at the head of the section, all this section should be is a brief summary of that article. At the moment there is a war of attrition on this article, with a group of editors making multiple edits throughout the article. This is not the way to proceed, and will inevitably result in people being reported and article protection. Changes need to be discussed here first, revised edits suggested here and worked on before insertion. Mish (talk) 10:56, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
The material itself is not dubious; the source used clearly supports this statement. I don't think that there is a need to qualify this as the view of the source, because there are no reliable sources stating that it has not happened. In fact, since reliable sources do not contradict what is there, there should be no need to qualify anything as the view of the source used. Such incidents show something important about the ex-gay movements failings, and I do not think that this information should be removed. It would be a mistake to conclude that the ex-gay section in this article should be a brief summary of that article, as here we are discussing the ex-gay movement as a form of conversion therapy - which is not necessarily the purpose of the main article. I was careful not to add too much information about ex-gay scandals, because that would have repeated too much information already in the main ex-gay article. Instead, I added different content (about the Pattisons' study) that wasn't already to be found elsewhere. Born Gay (talk) 20:34, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Therapists having inappropriate relationships with their clients has ZERO to do with whether the therapists are Coversion Therapy believers or Gay positive therapists. That statement cannot stay until you provide a source that clearly links the Conversion Therapy itself to the inapproprate behavior. Just because something is printed in a source somewhere does not give it carte blanche to be used in any Wikipedia article. It must be used appropriately and that claim is not. -- The Red Pen of Doom 01:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
How can you suggest that Gonsiorek and Weinrich are mainstream, reliable sources?[6][7]--Knulclunk (talk) 03:21, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Take it to the reliable sources noticeboard, if you seriously wish to dispute this. I'm satisfied they are reliable sources. They both have PhDs, they were published by a respectable publishing house, etcetera. Born Gay (talk) 04:28, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
To reply to TheRedPenOfDoom: Your concerns seem misguided to me. The article by Haldeman in Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy that is the source for this clearly indicates that ex-gay ministries have ethical problems, and that the risk of sexual exploitation is one of them. He describes several cases of such abuse at some length, clearly showing that it's important, so the article should cover this. That sexual exploitation may also happen to occur in other kinds of psychotherapy is an irrelevant objection to including this content. I'm not engaging in any kind of synthesis of sources here - everything is based straightforwardly on one source and if you dispute this, then look the source up and see for yourself. Born Gay (talk) 04:40, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Pseudo science

Although I personally agree that conversion therapy is pseudoscience, I have nevertheless reverted the addition of this category to the article. The category page states that, "This category comprises highly notable topics that are generally considered pseudoscientific by the scientific community (such as astrology) and topics that, while perhaps notable, have very few followers and are obviously pseudoscientific (such as the modern belief in a flat Earth)." Conversion therapy is widely criticised within the scientific community, but so far no one has provided sources to show that they generally regard it as pseudoscientific. In fact, I'm aware of only a single article, by Douglas Haldeman, that calls it a pseudoscience. The various statements about conversion therapy by professional bodies in the United States do not use the term "pseudoscience", and we cannot attribute such a view to them unless they specifically use that term, as it would be original research. Mentioning that conversion therapy has been called pseudoscience would be helpful, but the category should not be added without more evidence to support it. Born Gay (talk) 20:18, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Jones and Yarhouse

Knulclunk has just made an undoubtedly good faith, but still inappropriate addition to the ex-gay section [8]. It concerns psychologists Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, who in their study of ex-gay movements are absolutely explicit (on page 374) about the fact that they do not consider ex-gay treatments of homosexuality to be a form of conversion therapy and that they regard their study of ex-gay treatment as having no direct relevance to conversion therapy. This material is extremely misleading and must be removed (and note that despite the edit summary used, the addition was not discussed on the talk page first). Born Gay (talk) 05:47, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

This brings us to the point of the entire article structure. Some time ago the article was rewritten to absorb what is often called "reparative therapy" under the umbrella of "conversion therapy", basically treating the the two concepts as synonyms. As pointed out by Born Gay, this does not easily allow a separation between psychological or religious counseling that is chosen by a patient with unwanted homosexual sexual desires form the awful history of forced therapy that is usually associated with "conversion therapy". Suggestions?--Knulclunk (talk) 05:57, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Nothing you say makes your addition relevant or remotely appropriate. You cannot use a source that explicitly and directly states that it is not about conversion therapy to make claims about conversion therapy. No how, no way. Please stop this, because it is utterly misleading and inappropriate. I am going to do everything I can, while remaining within Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, to remove that material and keep it out. Born Gay (talk) 06:00, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Since the sourced article is specifically about "reparative therapy" and Wikipedia considers "reparative therapy" and "conversion therapy" the same thing, I don't follow your reasoning...--Knulclunk (talk) 06:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
The title of the article is "Conversion therapy", not reparative therapy. "Wikipedia" has no position on whether reparative therapy or conversion therapy are the same thing. Perhaps you mean that Wikipedia articles contain content about this issue, but that's another matter entirely. And no, the article does not say that reparative therapy and conversion therapy are the same thing - it says they sometimes are used to refer to the same thing, and sometimes they are used differently. Finally, none of this has anything to do with the issue at hand, as the Jones/Yarhouse study is about the ex-gay movement, not reparative or conversion therapy. Born Gay (talk) 06:13, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Also, please keep this issue separate from the American Medical Consensus section. Reverting that should be done in a different edit, because it's a different issue. Your revert of me there re-introduced an inferior version of that section that uses quotations instead of a proper summary, and which also does not appear to be properly sourced. If a direct quotation were to be used, it should be immediately followed by a source, but that isn't the case in the version you prefer. Born Gay (talk) 06:30, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I will make separate edits next time!--Knulclunk (talk) 14:54, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Next time, don't add inappropriate and distorted content. In addition to the reasons already given why the Jones/Yarhouse study should not be mentioned here, I question whether that source is reliable enough to use here in the way you're doing. It was published by IVP Academic, which is a division of an explicitly religious publishing house that wouldn't have the same kind of credibility than an ordinary academic publisher would. Born Gay (talk) 20:20, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

NARTH citation in the lead

The statement:

  • 1. it is supported by many conservative Christian political and social lobbying groups and by the ex-gay movement,[3][4]

is followed by this quote from NARTH:

  • 2. who believe that "providing psychological care to those distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions" is appropriate. [5]

This is a problem, because the next quote about NARTH is:

  • 3. The main organization advocating secular forms of conversion therapy is the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).[7][8]

Here is the problem. 2 relates to 1, but 3 states that 2 is not the same as 1. The quote from NARTH is its position, not the position of "conservative Christian political and social lobbying groups" and/or "the ex-gay movement" - because NARTH is a not a representative of these groups. Using a different citation from NARTH which quotes the chair of the APA (and which is not included in the more recent 2009 position) only applies to psychotherapeutic responses, not Christian and ex-gay groups support for conversion therapy. Mish (talk) 22:23, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

The sentence "Despite this it is supported by many conservative Christian political and social lobbying groups and by the ex-gay movement,[3][4] who believe that "providing psychological care to those distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions" is appropriate" does not seem appropriate to me. It looks like WP:SYNTH, in fact, since the quotation is from NARTH and describes only their view of what they are doing; there is no evidence that it is also the view of the conservative Christian political and social lobbying groups and the ex-gay movement. If someone wanted to add statements about what they think or support, they would have to come from them, not NARTH, but adding them would make the lead too long and complicated. In my view the lead was satisfactory before all these changes, and would suggest just reverting it back. Born Gay (talk) 22:32, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Discussion on American medical consensus

I am going to state my objections to this at length on the talk page - working out the details of this section requires a proper discussion on the talk page between responsible editors, not more cavalier editing on the article. My first comment on it is simply that it's a confusing and unappetizing mess. Maybe Joshuajohanson is simply trying to be fair to both sides, but if so the result of his attempt is a disaster. The various statements that make up that section are not harmonized with each other in any comprehensible way. Born Gay (talk) 01:13, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, it appears written in a complex way that seeks to present as 'neutral' a point that is made by cherry-picking through the latest position, but fails to convey the substance of the report, which is actually quite straightforward. There is no evidence that SOCE works, and the best evidence is that SOCE doesn't work, there is as much evidence for it as causing harm as helping, and therapists should not be promoting therapies that claim SOCE works. If we need to include what is said about other approaches which seek to change sexual orientation identity in this article, that needs discussion as well. Mish (talk) 07:12, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
The basic problem I see with that section, in the version that Joshuajohanson has edited it into, is that it does not really describe a "consensus." A consensus would be a group of positions that all the mainstream groups can agree upon, not a collection of, "on the one hand this, on the other hand that" sort of statements. If the consensus section does not present a consistent view on the issue, then it's no longer a consensus section but a debate section with a very misleading name. In addition, I think the writing is dubious. A statement like, "The reports of harm and cure counterbalance each other" could be read in different ways and is dangerously ambiguous. Born Gay (talk) 07:26, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Reference 11 in the section above is a study by NARTH supporters A. Dean Byrd, Joseph Nicolosi, and Richard W. Potts. I believe this is the same study that Destinero removed from the article a while ago. One may make the argument that the study should be mentioned somewhere in the article, but it certainly shouldn't be part of American medical consensus. Born Gay (talk) 07:38, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Certainly not part of any consensus, because this study is addressed in the recent APA report, and the reasons for excluding it were detailed. It is a view that runs contrary to consensus. The consensus is that it harms, the position that runs counter to consensus is that it may be helpful rather than harmful. Mish (talk) 08:00, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
The consensus is that there is no evidence for harm, but there is potential for harm. There is no evidence for benefit, and the two counterbalance each other. If there is no consensus, then we should rename the title. There is extensive debate. Joshuajohanson (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
No, that is what the report found - the consensus is not the same thing as a systematic review. The consensus is what the various policy statements say. There is consensus, and the advocates of this type of therapy are outside it - that is why all major professional bodies do not support any therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation. That is the consensus. They don't support it because there is no evidence that it works, and because the best available (earlier) evidence is that it harms. There is no reason to go into more detail, as I have tried to explain before. Consensus can, and has, been reached on this basis, because it is not down to those who form the consensus to prove or disprove anything - it is up to the advocates, who have failed to do so. Mish (talk) 17:14, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I reverted the NPOV tag on this section, for the reasons discussed above, as well as detailed on the reverting edit - but, there is another reason why this tag is not appropriate, the entire article is already tagged as NPOV, so this sort of over-tagging in that light could be seen as vandalism. Either tag the section(s) that need attention, or the whole article if it needs attention throughout - but there is little point tagging both the article and section (if the article needs attention, it adds nothing to point out one particular section). Mish (talk) 17:44, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I feel that JoshuaJohanson has done a great job with this edit, and am amazed to find that it is being criticised when it is so scrupulously neutral. Wrinkles should be ironed out by editing, not reverting. Hyper3 (talk) 18:38, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Mish, that isn't just the most recent study. The 2001 study, which specifically addressed conversion therapy said "To date, there are no scientifically rigorous outcome studies to determine either the actual efficacy or harm of "reparative" treatments." Just like there is nothing to determine the efficacy, there is nothing to determine the harm. Why is Nicolosi not representative of a consensus, but Shidlo & Schroeder 2002 are? I would point out that the ACA referenced Nicolosi's study when passing their resolution.[9] See ref 4. The ACA resolution states "if clients still decide that they wish to seek conversion therapy as a form of treatment, counselors should also help clients understand what types of information they should seek from any practitioner who does engage in conversion therapy." Why isn't self-determination mentioned in this? Joshuajohanson (talk) 20:11, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
You ask why he is not part of the consensus. The answer is in the recent policy document. The consensus of professional and psychiatric and psychological associations are that therapies like he promotes have no sound basis. Obviously, he is not part of that consensus. Him and three or four other people in the profession in the USA. That is OK, but it does not make his view part of the consensus. His view runs contrary to the consensus, and it would not be appropriate to include somebody whose views runs contrary to the consensus in a section that is called 'the consensus...', would it? His view would have to be in a section about views outside the consensus (although if these are fringe views, they may not warrant inclusion at all - but that is a different discussion). His views might hold a certain consensus amongst some religious groups, but that does not make them part of the mainstream psychological consensus, especially when the association representing that consensus has spelled out the problems with any approach that seeks to change sexual orientation. Mish (talk) 21:36, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
That seems like SYNTH. The APA published his work, and then the ACA quoted it. It is hardly fringe. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:41, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

It seems that there is no agreement at the moment on this part of the article. Perhaps it needs to be changed in important ways, but, simply to state the obvious, we need to discuss whether or how to do that before making major changes. Discussion is the way to resolve things. Also, I agree with Mish that tagging both the article as a whole and one section of it in particular is excessive, unnecessary, and may potentially even be seen as vandalism. Born Gay (talk) 02:11, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I have left the tag off. You say there is no agreement, but you do not address my concerns. You say the Nicolosi paper is fringe, and then I pointed out that it was printed by the APA and then the ACA quoted it. You not being able to come up with a response does not mean there is no agreement and it should be left out. Give me a good reason why you removed Nicolosi's study and I will drop it, otherwise, I will put it back in. Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:25, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I have a response. Nicolosi's views don't represent the APA's views, whoever printed them. They aren't the APA's positions or part of their policy, and it's absurd to pretend they are. Born Gay (talk) 21:55, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
How come Shidlo & Schroeder's findings that "Participants are at increased risk for guilt, depression, anxiety, confusion, self-blame, suicidal gestures, unprotected anal intercourse with untested partners, and heavy substance abuse" gets a part in the consensus section then? My main beef is that accounts of harm are not being counterbalanced with accounts of cure, like the source says. We either need the Nicolosi survey to balance the Shidlo paper, or talk about the cures found in the Shidlo paper, or remove the Shidlo paper altogether, but to reference only the most negative part of the more negative paper is not NPOV. Joshuajohanson (talk) 16:35, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I did suggest we discuss the changes one by one, and I for one do not have the time to engage with them all at the same time. Can I suggest you do this - go through each change, one by one, to give other editors time to respond - rather than chucking everything in the pot all at once. Nicolosi is not part of the section on the medical consensus because NARTH is not part of the medical consensus. How many ways does this need saying before this makes sense? The medical consensus specifically addresses Nicolosi. If you feel it is unfair, then take it up with the APA. Mish (talk) 22:34, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not 100% sure Shidlo and Schroeder should be in that section, but it's not without some justification, since their views are generally in line with the mainstream view. Nicolosi obviously does not belong. The details of what should be there and what should not are complicated, and need patient discussion and consideration - otherwise there will be a lot of editing that will be reverted, quickly or over the longer term, without the article being improved. Born Gay (talk) 23:30, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I fund a quote from the recent APA report that covers 'both sides', and averts the need to quote either directly, but I have placed it here: Conversion therapy#Changing Sexual Orientation, as that is where it seems more appropriate, as that is what it is describing (rather than being the consensus itself). Mish (talk) 23:41, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Personally I would place the quote somewhere else. I'm not sure how it relates to that specific study. Born Gay (talk) 23:46, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, I put it at the start of the section about studies. Mish (talk) 00:26, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

recent series of edits

I have reverted the recent edits, because the way to approach contested material is not to insert it and then seek discussion. With WP:BOLD, once the insertion is made, if it is then contested, the way to deal with this is negotiation through to consensus - not persistent re-insertion. The onus is on the inserting editor to convince other editors that the insertion is justified. What I say here cannot be WP:SYNTH, because this is a discussion. What is inserted in the article can be WP:SYNTH, and this recent insertion does appear to be so. The evidence is not the consensus, the consensus is arrived at based upon the evidence - the evidence is not the consensus.Mish (talk) 23:48, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

The consensus is what is contained in the statement below (references edited out for brevity, except the sole reference to Nicolosi in a way that shows his views are not accommodated within the consensus:

  • WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association expressly opposes prejudice (defined broadly) and discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status
  • WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association takes a leadership role in opposing prejudice and discrimination, including prejudice based on or derived from religion or spirituality, and encourages commensurate

consideration of religion and spirituality as diversity variables;

  • WHEREAS, Psychologists respect human diversity including age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and psychologists strive to prevent bias from their own spiritual, religious, or non-religious beliefs from taking precedence over professional practice and standards or scientific findings in their work as psychologists;
  • WHEREAS, Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that it is outside the role and expertise of psychologists, as psychologists, to adjudicate religious or spiritual tenets, while also recognizing that psychologists

can appropriately speak to the psychological implications of religious/spiritual beliefs or practices when relevant psychological findings about those implications exist;

  • WHEREAS, Those operating from religious/spiritual traditions are encouraged to recognize that it is outside their role and expertise to adjudicate empirical scientific issues in psychology, whilealso recognizing they can appropriately speak to theological implications of psychological science;
  • WHEREAS, The American Psychological Association encourages collaborative activities in pursuit of shared prosocial goals between psychologists and religious communities when such collaboration can be done in a mutually respectful manner that is consistent with psychologists’ professional and scientific roles;
  • WHEREAS, Societal ignorance and prejudice about a same-sex sexual orientation places some sexual minorities at risk for seeking sexual orientation change due to personal, family, or religious conflicts, or lack of information;
  • WHEREAS, Some mental health professionals advocate treatments based on the premise that homosexuality is a mental disorder (e.g., Nicolosi, 1991);
  • WHEREAS, Sexual minority children and youth are especially vulnerable populations with unique developmental tasks who lack adequate legal protection from involuntary or coercive treatment and whose

parents and guardians need accurate information to make informed decisions regarding their development and well-being; and

  • WHEREAS, Research has shown that family rejection is a predictor of negative outcomes and that parental acceptance and school support are protective factors for sexual minority youth;
  • THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association reaffirms its position that homosexuality per se is not a mental disorder and opposes portrayals of sexual minority youths and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that the benefits reported by participants in sexual orientation change efforts can be gained through approaches that do not attempt to change sexual orientation;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association concludes that the emerging knowledge on affirmative multiculturally competent treatment provides a foundation for an appropriate evidence-based practice with children, adolescents and adults who are distressed by or seek to change their sexual orientation;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association advises parents, guardians, young people, and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and to seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages practitioners to consider the ethical concerns outlined in the 1997 APA Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation, in particular the following standards and principles: scientific bases for professional judgments, benefit and harm, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages practitioners to be aware that age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, disability, language, and socioeconomic status may interact with sexual stigma, and contribute to variations in sexual orientation identity development, expression, and experience;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association opposes the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality by individuals and organizations seeking to influence public policy and public opinion and will take a leadership role in responding to such distortions;
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association supports the dissemination of accurate scientific and professional information about sexual orientation in order to counteract bias that is based in lack of knowledge about sexual orientation; and
  • BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Psychological Association encourages advocacy groups, elected officials, mental health professionals, policy makers, religious professionals and organizations, and other organizations to seek areas of collaboration that may promote the wellbeing of sexual minorities.

The statement is quite clear that there is no evidence of benefits, and that is not WP:SYNTH, and there is no mention of reports of harm or benefit, and so insertion of that as being part of any consensus is itself WP:SYNTH. neither is there mention of changes to 'sexual orientation identity'. Mish (talk) 00:01, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Our job is to present all the facts. What you say is great and dandy, but it doesn't contradict with anything I have added. Before you claim that what I have added is "contested", please contest the material. Just a general "I don't like it" or "It is contested" or "There is no consensus" does address the specific issues at hand. I had already brought up these problems and listed them under NPOV flag section, and you said nothing. If you would like to contest anything I added, please feel free to contest it, but in the absence of any contention to the material, I am adding it back in. Joshuajohanson (talk) 00:14, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I didn't contest it, somebody else did - and you re-inserted despite there being an ongoing discussion about it. When material is inserted within a series of edits, it is best to revert them so that the whole series can be proposed here and discussed one by one. I have yet to see this happen. The onus is on the one inserting to justify their edits, and as yet I have not seen any attempt to do that. You have been invited to discuss these edits, yet have gone on and resumed the serial insertions and reversions. Now, I am not going to revert your reversion, but I must warn you that if you persist in working this way you will find yourself reported for edit warring. I am going to suggest that you revert this material yourself, as a sign of good faith, and participate in discussion instead - and if you do not, it will work against you should this come to lodging a notice about you. Working this way will not improve the article. To be clear, what you inserted is not included in the above, so is not part of the APA consensus, nor any other position statment. You are welcome to discuss whether it is appropriate elsewhere, but Nicolosi and the discussion about benefits of conversion therapy does not belong in the section on consensus, because the consensus is that there is no evidence for any benefit - and the consensus specifically singles out Nicolosi's approach for comment. You may not like that - but that is what it says. Mish (talk) 01:04, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
The article should remain as it was before the latest war errupted if there is no agreement for the changes made by Joshuajohanson (Joshuajohanson may be right that the consensus section has various problems, but even if he is, his proposed solutions to them, such as including Nicolosi in the consensus, are only making matters worse). In any event, the article will be protected from editing again quite quickly, I think, if the edit warring does not stop. Born Gay (talk) 02:21, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
This would be the point were one of the contesting editors, Mish and Born Gay, would take Joshuajohanson's concerns and constructively work with him in getting them into the article. Mish: All your very verbose APA statement says is that the APA is opposed to prejudice and is concerned about furthering prejudice through therapy. Since this is already in the article, why did you have to spend 2 pages restating it? Joshuajohanson: We cannot claim there is significant debate about conversion therapy unless there are mainstream sources (like the NYTimes) that says there are. Please work to improve that or let it go. Born Gay: All this "mainstream medical research" crap is taken from a couple of press releases from the last 10 years (see WP:RECENT) by the admittedly liberal APA because of pressure from GLADD, NGLTF and others. The APA is important and should be quoted here, of course, but the fact that it is being held up as the STANDARD OF TRUTH and NO OTHER OPINIONS OR FACTS SHALL GET PAST is becoming a little frustrating. Obviously many people find counseling and spiritual counseling helpful with unwanted sexual desires. Now get over your agendas and work to make this article more accurate, better and useful.--Knulclunk (talk) 03:30, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not going to "take Joshuajohanson's concerns and constructively work with him in getting them into the article" because Joshuajohanson is egregiously wrong in most of what he has been arguing. A small number of his suggestions may have merit (the Nicolosi et al study should perhaps be mentioned in the Studies of Conversion therapy section, for instance), but most of them are harmful, some of them extremely harmful, such as his changes to the consensus section. Telling me to take his concerns seriously is useless if you can't or won't consider what I have said in response to him. Don't use scatology in your comments to me, because I don't appreciate it, and might even be tempted to say something nasty in response. Your complaints about how the APA is "liberal" and acting under pressure from GLAAD are irrelevant and show a failure to understand WP:NPOV. The APA is a reliable source, whether it states things through press releases or in any other way, and it does not matter why you think they take a particular position. Your views about what is "obvious" likewise are irrelevant. Born Gay (talk) 05:13, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Whilst we need to continue quoting the APA, (and no one is saying otherwise) it is important to work into the article the ongoing minority views of those who believe unwanted same-sex attractions can receive legitimate help. Just saying the APA doesn't agree with them is not really relevant; we know that already. This is the conversion therapy article, not the homosexuality page! This is what the page is for!! We must address the current state of play in conversion therapy, both for and against. Hyper3 (talk) 11:02, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the minority view of this subject should be mentioned here. It should not, however, be included in the medical consensus section, as by definition it's not part of the consensus. Born Gay (talk) 19:10, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Knulclunk. I stated the APA position in full as that is the consensus statement, and what he is seeking to add to the consensus is not there. That he does not accept this means the only way of showing that is to include it in full. If you don't think much of the APA, that is fine, but that is not NPOV. The APA is "The American Psychological Association", not "An American Psychological Association", it is the professional association, and this is very significant. Whether they are liberal or lobbied by GLADD is irrelevant - the were lobbied by lots of people, ex-gay groups included, and they determined a particular response which outlined what members should or should not be doing, and why. One thing they clearly state is that psychotherpists should not be claiming they can change people's sexual orientation, because there is no evidence that this is the case, and it could be harmful. You, Hyper and JJ might not like this, but this is what they said, and trying to present what they said as if they said something else runs completely contrary to what this encyclopedia is about. I also agree that the minority view needs to be addressed - but the whole point of the APA policy is to address that, and it only makes sense in relation to that. The way it needs to be dealt with is not as part of the consensus, as the consensus is not the minority view, but the majority view which sees the minority view as invalid, and present it for what it is, a minority view that very few professionals support. Mish (talk) 21:08, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Its not the first time Americans have claimed a monopoly on the truth, but this is surely a very good example. The rest of the world would like to play... Hellooo!!!! Hyper3 (talk) 21:25, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't get your point - do you mean the British Psychological Society's views should also be represented under the American consensus as well as NARTH's? Or does this relate to some other section? I am sure there is room for some other countries - we have the USA, Canada, Australia, much of Europe. Which region/country would you like to start a section for? Best way is to draft the section in a sandbox and get other editors to comment. Mish (talk) 22:13, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for quietly indicating I wasn't paying proper attention to what this exchange was about. I get the point now. Hyper3 (talk) 11:22, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Readdition of unused sources by Hyper3

Hyper3 stated in an edit summary, which restored several sources to the bibliography, "Make your case for these being superfluous on the talk page." OK. The reason why these sources are superfluous is because none of them is used to source anything in the article. That means they are not necessary. Born Gay (talk) 08:51, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Born Gay - we agree on something. I think you are right!!! I am happy for you to remove them. Thanks for waiting for some consensus. Hyper3 (talk) 10:44, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
One does not ordinarily wait for consensus before making routine edits that should be uncontroversial, even in an article like this. Born Gay (talk) 20:03, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
You have a funny notion of "uncontroversial". Joshuajohanson (talk) 21:57, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
It isn't controversial what the purpose of a bibliography is, or do you want me to explain that to you? Born Gay (talk) 22:01, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to all

Finally an edit I made has lasted twelve hours. After ten days of editing! Thanks for your forbearance. May it last another twelve hours... Hyper3 (talk) 09:08, 8 September 2009 (UTC)


In the Brill section, what does incorrectly mean here? "...the development of sexual attraction to the same sex was always related to narcissism, which he incorrectly defined as love for one‘s self"--Knulclunk (talk) 04:24, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

"Incorrectly" applies to Brill's understanding of the psychoanalytic concept of narcissism. He did not understand what it meant correctly. Born Gay (talk) 07:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Does it matter in this context, as we say this is his definition? --Knulclunk (talk) 12:25, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The material itself is probably undue however it is worded. The current wording is accurate, however. A reliable source states Brill was wrong on this, and there's no reason to alter that unless a different reliable source says Brill was right. Born Gay (talk) 23:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

We need to be trying a different approach

It has becoming increasingly disgusting to me to watch the squabbling (which granted, I've participated in) over the American medical consensus section. That section is going to go on being contested, with edits modifying it back and forth without a stable solution, until it's re-organized in some sensible way. An especially awful example of bad content there is the statement, added by Joshuajohanson, that, "The evidence of cures of harm counterbalance each other." That piece of nonsense, which seems to imply that the idea that conversion therapy can cure homosexuality and the idea that it can't are equally valid, is apparently meant to be based upon the American Psychiatric Association's statement that, "Furthermore, anecdotal reports of "cures" are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm." Note the key word "anecdotal." The APA is being careful to refer to "anecdotal" reports so that no one gets the idea that it's real, scientifically valid evidence we're talking about - yet that wrong impression is exactly the one Joshuajohanson's wording leaves the reader with. The solution to this is not to have a direct quotation, which simply looks silly, but to reorganize "Medical, scientific and legal views" so that there are separate sections for the views of the American Psychiatric Association, and the other organizations. We don't need to attribute everything the American Psychiatric Association or any other one group says to the "consensus." Let the views of each organiztion be described separately in their own sections, with an appropriate summary for each that avoids the type of misleading rubbish that's there now. Born Gay (talk) 10:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I can't read your mind, Born Gay, though I am learning. I brought this up several times on the talk page and you said nothing. I thought it was clear that it only applied to anecdotal evidence, since there is no scientifically adequate research demonstrating harmfulness. I am trying to add that material in a way that is non-contentious. I have changed the edit to hopefully reflect that the evidence is indeed anecdotal. Hopefully that will suffice until we can reach some consensus on how to reorganize the consensus section. Joshuajohanson (talk) 16:39, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It should not be there at all. Not in the form of a direct quotation, not in the form of a misleading and distorted summary, and not even in the form of an accurate summary. It is a statement by a particular organization that represents the view of that organization, and there is not sufficient justification for including it in a "consensus" section unless it can be shown that all the other organizations have exactly the same position. The fact that the ethics guidelines of the various organizations are dealt with separately shows that there are differences of nuance between them, even though they share many positions in common. The different positions of individual organizations on other matters should likewise be dealt with in separate sections for each organization, and the "consensus" material should be strictly limited to statements that it can be demonstrated that all organizations fully agree upon. Born Gay (talk) 23:24, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
If that is the approach you want to take, then that is fine. It will take some work to describe the views of each organization in their own section. When that is finished, then I will be more than happy to move that quote into there, but not until then. Using that requirement, much of the third paragraph should also be moved into another section. At least it came from a medical organization rather than individual authors. Joshuajohanson (talk) 00:31, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I am glad that discussion seems to be producing at least some agreement. I am not sure what to do about the third paragraph - part of it is sourced to things I don't have access to. I don't find it difficult to look up books or things on the net, but journal articles are a different matter. Born Gay (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Aesthetic Realism

BornGay: I added Aesthetic Realism. You removed it saying it was unsourced. I added it back, heavily sourcing it. You removed it again, demanding that I prove it was part of the history of conversion therapy in the U.S. (ignoring the fact that that evidence was provided in the text you removed). Aesthetic Realism exactly fits the definition of conversion therapy, defined in the opening sentence of the article as, "Conversion therapy, sometimes called reparative therapy, involves methods intended to convert bisexual, lesbian and gay people to heterosexuality[1]." They published two books and one film on the subject, gave TV interviews, and purchased huge ads in the largest newspapers in the country to tout their "fix" for homosexuality. Moreover, countless people, seeing all this publicity, flocked to their headquarters to undertake AR's conversion therapy. If that doesn't count as both relevant and notable, I don't know what does. I rather think you have the burden of proof in this instance, making a case that AR was *not* relevant and notable in the history of conversion therapy in the U.S. MichaelBluejay (talk) 22:55, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there are only a handful of sources that describe the history of conversion therapy as a whole. In fact, there are only two main sources, an article by Jack Drescher and another by Kenji Yoshino. Neither of these mentions Aesthetic Realism. So, per policies of due weight, Aesthetic Realism does not belong in the history section (and note that I'm not concerned only with Aesthetic Realism - I have been steadily removing large amounts of material about other processes and theories that supposedly change homosexuality because they likewise fail the test of due weight). Describing Aesthetic Realism, or anything else, as conversion therapy, directly or by implication, is original research unless there are sources that specifically describe it that way. Since there are multiple definitions of conversion therapy, rather than a single definition, it is not clear what it is supposed to mean to call something conversion therapy anyway, which is why we have to follow reliable sources as closely as we can. The statement in the opening sentence of the lead is not a definition of conversion therapy at all, only an explanation of its most important feature. Burden of proof is always on the person adding the material. Born Gay (talk) 23:03, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I won't revert again right away, but Michaelbluejay's readding of this material again [10] is a serious mistake. None of the sources he uses appear to empoly the term "conversion therapy". We have to limit the history section to things that sources describe as conversion therapy - otherwise it will become much too long, full of original research and undue material, and ultimately completely unmanageable. This is an article specifically about conversion therapy, not about attempts to change homosexuality generally, which is a much larger phenomenon that includes many things that are not necessarily conversion therapy. I would respectfully suggest that Michaelbluejay consider the complex issues facing the history section as a whole rather than focus only on Aesthetic Realism. Born Gay (talk) 23:20, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Is there any WP:RS that describes AR using the phrase 'conversion therapy' or 'reparative therapy', or did they describe what they were doing as either of these? If so, it should stay in - if not then it would be [[WP::OR]] to include it. If it cannot be shown, and this is accepted, then Bergler ought to go back in, on the same logic. He did not describe himself as doing CT, nor are there any sources so describing his work, but if any attempt to change homosexual orientation is to be included, then he obviously should as well. We cannot arbitrarily pick and choose what is and isn't CT - there has to be a standard and it needs to be applied consistently. Mish (talk) 01:07, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
The term "conversion therapy" does not appear to have been used before the early 1990s. The Gonsiorek and Weinrich book is the earliest source I am aware of that uses it. Since Aesthetic Realism stopped promoting itself as a "cure" for homosexuality in 1990, it's most unlikely that there are any sources that describe it as conversion therapy, as the writers that produce the literature on the topic would have little reason to take an interest in it. Bergler is an entirely different question. It is true he did not describe his own work as conversion therapy, but that is not the point - the issue is whether reliable sources have described it that way. Yoshino includes Bergler as part of the history of conversion therapy in Covering, so there's no question it is relevant. Born Gay (talk) 04:22, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for discussing. It's rather bizarre to me that we can't use the explanation of the subject in the intro of the article itself as an accurate description of what the subject is. If the opening is truly inaccurate, then the solution is to fix the opening, not blot out added material that conforms to the opening.

You're right, the phrase "conversion therapy" wasn't used much before the 1990's, yet the U.S. history section goes back to 1909. It seems unfair to dismiss AR as not CT just because it wasn't described when it was mostly written about using a term that didn't yet exist. (And yes, it also seems unfair to expect others to have written about AR's CT posthumously using the new term.)

I don't know whether there are truly too many CT or CT-related programs for the history section, but certainly AR was rather notable, and one of the most visible in the the 1970's and 80's. In any event, it would be helpful to know exactly how you're defining conversion therapy, and exactly why AR doesn't meet the definition. (And again, I wouldn't say that AR's not being described as CT before the term CT even existed would count. I want to know why AR doesn't meet the definition of CT, whatever that definition is.)

Anyway, here are some sources that suggest that AR is indeed CT, though I again insist strongly that use of the term CT should not be the final arbiter of inclusion. The criteria should simply be whether the candidate meets the definition.

  • The article itself cites Kronemeyer as having reviewed AR, though he decided it wasn't effective. If the article trusts that Kronemeyer was relevant to CT, then things that Kronemeyer considered relevant to CT are indeed relevant.
  • Wresting with God and Men, page 293, refers to AR's program for change as "therapy", in a footnote from page 229, the subject of which is "reparative therapy" (a synonym listed in the intro to this WP article).
  • source This article contains the following excerpt:
Consider "Shalom," a gay Jewish physician in his early 40s who was in conversion therapy for 11 years....[After various other approaches] failed, he entered Aesthetic Realism, a New York-based group that works with gay people to change their sexual orientation.....[One day] he broke down in the cab and began crying. "I felt emotionally raped," he says. "I couldn't keep acting. I decided to accept it. At 31, I came out to myself." Conversion therapy, Shalom says, is emotionally destructive. He says a friend of his who was "cured" of gayness later tried to take his own life. "You don't change," he says. "You only end up hating yourself even more." MichaelBluejay (talk) 18:37, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Please see my project page [11] regarding the problems involved in creating a suitable lead for the article. Despite what you seem to be suggesting, the statement in the first sentence is indeed an accurate description of conversion therapy, as far as it goes. It is not a definition, because no one definition can be offered. The total absence of any direct mention of Aesthetic Realism in any source dealing with the history of conversion therapy means that the material you added about this does not meet the test of due weight. I doubt that Beliefnet is a reliable source, and in any case it does not say anything about Aesthetic Realism being a significant part of the history of conversion therapy. Determining what meets due weight should be based on proper academic sources rather than articles on a magazine-style website. Notability is irrelevant, because that concerns only what subjects may have articles created about them. That Kronemeyer (who is described as part of the history of conversion therapy by Yoshino) mentions Aesthetic Realism is the only possible reason why it might deserve a mention here, and any mention it might warrant would have to be extremely brief. Born Gay (talk) 20:01, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Wrestling with God and Men mentions Aesthetic Realism; it doesn't say it's conversion therapy, and similarly it doesn't show that it was an important part of the history of the subject. Born Gay (talk) 20:09, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
See also Talk:Conversion_therapy/Archive_7#Aesthetic Realism, Talk:Conversion therapy/Archive 8#Aesthetic Realism. I'll have to look, but I did find some sources from the 1970s that include AR among lists of therapies.   Will Beback  talk  23:18, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

BornGay, you keep ignoring what I'm saying (including, but definitely not limited to, the fact that you haven't demonstrated how AR supposedly doesn't meet the definition of conversion therapy), you ignore most of my sources, and you unfairly dismiss the rest. (e.g., The "Wrestling" article *certainly* implies that AR is conversion therapy, by name.) As such I will stop discussing and continue to re-insert the relevant, sourced, and notable content back to the article, as many times as necessary. MichaelBluejay (talk) 17:46, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

We shouldn't limit this article to sources that use the term "conversion therapy." We should allow anything that could be described as "conversion therapy." Don't give up Bluejay! Hyper3 (talk) 18:34, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Michaelbluejay: I have not ignored what you said. I paid careful attention. What you said, however, was mostly wrong. There is no such thing as "the definition of conversion therapy", something I would have thought was perfectly obvious, and nor is it crucial whether the material meets any particular definition, because the material you want to add is WP:UNDUE. If you stop discussing and continue to reinsert the material without consensus you will probably end up being blocked. Born Gay (talk) 21:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Hyper3: Your comments are irrelevant. Per NPOV, limiting the article to things that are important parts of conversion therapy is exactly what should be done. Born Gay (talk) 21:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree, otherwise we really will end up with African pastors, Catholic exorcists, witch doctors, voodoo priests, etc. casting out demons, primal scream therapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, chakra-balancing, Yin-Yang, aromatherapy and National Socialism. You gotta draw the line somewhere, and that line needs to be stuff called or referred to as Conversion Therapy (and that may include Reparative Therapy). Mish (talk) 22:22, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
A very small amount of that stuff may be relevant, but we shouldn't be making it out to be more important than it is. A brief mention of Aesthetic Realism, tied to Kronemeyer, should suffice. Born Gay (talk) 22:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Isn't it the case that the way articles should develop, is that when an aspect becomes too large for the page, it is spun off into a new page? We retain links to it from this page. Therefore all the stuff quoted above should be present on this page, some with whole sections and some with sentences or just links. Its impossible to sustain a technical definition of CT, and therefore we must be happy with the fact that a descriptive definition brings greater variety. Hyper3 (talk) 14:09, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

To BornGay:

  1. Please discuss here, not on my Talk page.
  2. Re: your saying "Please do not continue to edit war over this," why don't you take your own advice? Apparently your idea of my "not continuing to edit war" means "letting BornGay have his way with the article". No deal, no dice. You're clearly trying to assert ownership of the article.
  3. Re: your comment "There are no sources that support the claim that Aesthetic Realism has anything more than a very minor relevance to the history of conversion therapy." This is patently untrue. You continue to ignore the plethora of sources which show that AR's CT was *highly* visible, promoted on television interviews, two books, a short film, and multiple large ads in the largest newspapers in the U.S. (By the way, good job of ensuring you got the opening comment in the RfC, biasing everyone who visits with your false assertion that AR was only "minor".)
  4. Re: your comment "Refusing to discuss this is not acceptable, you must respect Wikipedia procedure." How many times have I asked you for a definition of Conversion therapy and for your argument of how AR does not meet that definition? I have tried to get *you* to discuss, but you tend to just ignore, obfuscate, and keep changing your positions (e.g., First you say there are no sources, then when I provide one, your argument against is suddenly different.) My meaning was that until *you* discuss in good faith, then I'm done discussing.
  5. I reject your spurious suggestion that the topic is inherently undefinable. In any event, it's impossible to have an article on *any* subject unless there's some consensus of what the heck the subject is in the first place.
  6. Until you provide a definition of CT (which is incorporated into the article) and show how AR does not meet that definition, I don't believe you have any basis for removing AR from the article.
  7. The best way to resolve this in your favor would be for the article to clearly and unambiguously state, "Conversion therapy is [definition]. It does not include [other definition] such as [Aesthetic Realism and other methods that are not CT]." That assumes that AR would not actually meet the definition of CT. Everything I've seen leads me to believe that it does.
  8. Your concern that different sources define CT differently can certainly be incorporated into the WP intro. In fact, if you believe that there is significant disagreement over the definition from reliable sources, that *ought* to be in the intro. MichaelBluejay (talk) 19:22, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I have formatted your post, which is directed to one editor. Please note: this is inappropriate. If you wish to address a comment to BornGay, you should use his talk page. This is not a forum; this is a talk page for discussion on how to improve the attached article. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 23:00, 11 September 2009 (UTC)