National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), formerly the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, is a non-profit organization "dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality."NARTH Home Page They advocate conversion therapy, which they refer to as reparative, or reorientation therapy as a method of changing the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. NARTH opposes the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 declaration that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.The A.P.A. Normalization of Homosexuality, and the Research Study of Irving Bieber

NARTH was founded in 1992 by Joseph Nicolosi, Benjamin Kaufman, and the late Charles Socarides. Its headquarters are in Encino, California, at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. A. Dean Byrd is the president of NARTH.


In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Kaufman says that he, Socarides, and Nicolosi founded NARTH because the APA and similar professional organizations "had totally stifled the scientific inquiry that would be necessary to stimulate a discussion [of understanding the nature of homosexuality]."In Defense of the Need for Honest Dialogue NARTH argues that the political atmosphere had changed, making it "politically incorrect" to make even the suggestion of a dialogue that opens up the question of the normality of homosexuality. Kaufman states the reason they formed NARTH was in response to "censorship of a politically unpopular position."

Mission statement and activities

According to its mission statement, NARTH "is a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality. As an organization, we disseminate educational information, conduct and collect scientific research, promote effective therapeutic treatment, and provide referrals to those who seek our assistance. NARTH upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care.NARTH Mission Statement

NARTH's stated activities include providing referrals to conversion therapists, conducting research, hosting lectures, publishing scholarly literature, distributing literature to schools and libraries, promoting "teen awareness that homosexual attractions do not necessarily make one a homosexual", and "[making the public aware] that some homosexual people do seek and achieve change. The change is neither quick nor easy, but many believe---as we do---that the goal is a worthy one."What We Offer

NARTH identifies itself as a secular organization. As such, it does not use the Bible as justification for its positions. Nevertheless, NARTH often partners with religious organizations at ex-gay and conversion therapy events. Co-founder Nicolosi of NARTH is a consistent speaker at Focus on the Family's ex-gay Love Won Out conferences.]


While its members may hold different views, NARTH holds to some key positions on the origins and nature of homosexuality. These views serve as both a basis for their advocacy, as well as a source of controversy in the psychological profession, among activists and in the media. NARTH argues that there is today a widespread propaganda in favor of normalizing homosexuality in law and education.

Position statements

On the nature of sexual identity

NARTH differs with the APA on their views on the nature and development of sexual identity.

Conversion therapy

NARTH advocates the use of conversion therapy (also known as reorientation therapy) to help clients who seek to diminish their same-sex attractions. This view garners controversy, with various claims that reorientation therapy is ineffective, unethical or harmful.Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel

Affiliations with Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family (FOTF, or FotF) is an American evangelical group. The non-profit organization was founded in 1977 by Dr. James Dobson, and is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Focus on the Family is one of a number of evangelical parachurch organizations that rose to prominence in the last decade. A major component of the American Christian right, it is active in promoting interdenominational work for a social conservative public policy.

Focus on the Family's Love Won Out ministry claims to exhort and equip the church to respond in a Christ-like way to the "condition" of homosexuality from, "a biblical point of view." The conference bases its Prevention of Male Homosexuality session on NARTH research. In the session Prevention of Male Homosexuality: "Contrary to the popular myth that homosexuality is genetic, same-sex attraction is a preventable and treatable condition." Love Won Out questions if Homosexuality may be unhealthy. Love Won Out shows in a statistic according to a study by (NARTH) The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality: "500 studies show self-destructive, maladaptive behavior associated with a gay lifestyle." (NARTH is engaged in the research of homosexuality as an illness. They advocate reparative therapy as a method of changing the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. NARTH opposes the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 declaration that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.)

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, on November 4, 2006, represented NARTH at the Love Won Out Conference speaking on "Prevention of Male Homosexuality" and on "The Condition of Male Homosexuality". "Dr. Nicolosi is the president and principal research investigator for the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)""Dr. Nicolosi is the clinical director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, Calif., where he specializes in the treatment of men with unwanted homosexuality.

Medical view of conversion therapy

The medical and scientific consensus is that homosexuality is not a disorder and "there have been no scientifically rigorous outcome studies to determine either the actual efficacy or harm of "reparative" treatments", and the American Psychiatric Association supports additional research to determine risks versus benefits.

The ethics and efficacy of these methods have been challenged by all mainstream mental health associations that have taken a position on the topic. Their stance is that "sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime", but promoting reparative therapy in schools exacerbates the risk of harassment, harm, and fear of LGBT students. The American Psychiatric Association states that "ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation."Youth in the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism

Major organizations that have issued precautionary statements against reparative therapy include the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association.

The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, issued a press release in 1999 saying that NARTH President, Charles Socarides, had:

NARTH counters, arguing the psychological/psychiatric professional associations have become little more than the research arms of the gay rights movement.The APA Vote On Same-Sex Marriage: The Inside Story "Gay advocates have created fraudulent studies and misused, misquoted, and mischaracterized other research studies for political gain. These reports are frequently used in court cases to bring about victories for gay activism."NARTH Publishes Report on Mental Health Organizations and Gay Advocacy

As the keynote speaker at NARTH's 2004 Annual Conference, Robert Perloff, a past president of the APA, said:

"The individual's right for self-determination of sexuality -- or sexual autonomy -- is, I am happy to see, inherent in NARTH's position statement: 'NARTH respects each client's dignity, autonomy, and free agency... every individual has the right to claim a gay identity, or to develop their heterosexual potential. The right to seek therapy to change one's sexual adaptation is considered self-evident and inalienable.' I subscribe fully to the aforementioned NARTH position statement."Former APA President Supports NARTH's Mission Statement, Assails APA's Intolerance of Differing Views


See also

External links

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