From Lillian Kwon and Christian Post.
“Change for the homosexual is difficult, but still possible, researchers of a newly released study say.
“The Thomas Project: A Study of Religiously-Mediated Change in Exodus Group Participants” presents evidence that there are people who have successfully changed, or experienced “conversion,” from homosexuality to heterosexuality.
The study, conducted by longtime Wheaton College professor of psychology and provost Stanton L. Jones and Regent University professor Mark Yarhouse, followed about 100 people entering ex-gay programs under the umbrella of Exodus International – the nation’s largest Christian organization dealing with homosexuality issues – for over four years.
The researchers, who presented the results on Thursday in Nashville, found that not everyone experienced a successful change through the religious ministry.
“Not even a majority is successful,” Jones pointed out to CitizenLink, a publication of Focus on the Family, “but a very substantial group of people report fairly dramatic change.”
Results showed that 15 percent of the sample claimed to have successfully changed their sexual orientation, reporting substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction. These subjects were grouped as “Success: Conversion.”
There were also a higher percentage of people (23 percent) who experienced satisfactory reductions in homosexual desire as they embraced the Christian discipline of chastity. This group is described as “Success: Chastity.”
Together, 38 percent of the sample experienced significant change while another 29 percent experienced only modest change in the desired direction but expressed commitment to continue.
Additionally, 15 percent experienced no change and were conflicted about the future even though they had not given up; 4 percent reported no change, were confused and had given up but did not label themselves as gay; and 8 percent reported no change, no pursuit and had entered as gay – a group described as “Failure: Gay Identity.”
Jones pointed out that change does not come easy even for the successful ones.”
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