Some Straights Can Go Gay, Study Says
Jen Dohr Bender, parody for SFGate Friday, May 18, 2001
Boston -- An explosive new study says some straight people can turn gay if they really want to.
Dr. Horace Queen, a psychiatrist at Boston's Mass Genital Hospital who led the study, said he cannot estimate what percentage of highly motivated straight people can change their sexual orientation.
But he said the research "shows some people can change from straight to gay, and we ought to acknowledge that." Queen defined "highly motivated straight people" as men and women who wanted to improve their wardrobes and have more frequent sex.
The issue has been hotly debated in the scientific community and among religious groups, some of which contend straights can become homosexual through prayer, counseling and shopping therapy.
Major mental health groups say nobody knows what causes a person's sexual orientation. Theories tracing heterosexuality to troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development have been discredited, the Psychiatric Association says. The American Psychological Association says most scientists think sexual orientation probably comes from a complex interaction, including biological and environmental factors.
Queen conducted 45-minute telephone interviews with 200 people, 143 of them men, who claimed they had changed their orientation from heterosexual to gay. The average age of those interviewed was 43.
Most said they had used more than one strategy to change their orientation. About half said the most helpful step was work with a mental health professional. About a third cited a support group, and fewer mentioned such aids as books, the Holly Near box set and mentoring by a homosexual.
Queen concluded that 66 percent of the men and 44 percent of the women had arrived at what he called good homosexual functioning.
That term was defined as being in a sustained, loving homosexual relationship within the past year, getting enough satisfaction from the emotional relationship with their partner to rate at least 7 on a 10-point scale, having satisfying homosexual sex at least twice a day and never or rarely thinking of somebody of the opposite sex during the Gay Pride Parade.
In addition, 89 percent of men and 95 percent of women said they were bothered only slightly, or not at all, by unwanted heterosexual feelings, such as the desire to move to the suburbs and procreate. Only 11 percent of the men and 37 percent of the women reported a complete absence of heterosexual indicators, including opposite-sex attraction.
"This study proves that with the proper education and religious upbringing, straights can adopt a healthy gay lifestyle," commented Sen. J.C. Helms, the prominent male-to-female transsexual. "It's tough, but heterosexuality can be licked," she added.
Warning, dear reader. Ms. Bender was forced to write this after reading the recent article, "Some Gays Can Go Straight, Study Says". Aliens made her do it, really.