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April 23rd, 2009

Those Homosexuals Masters and Johnson Said They Cured Back In 1979? Yeah…Guess What…

Scientific American finds the usual void of actual data behind the claim of successful ex-gay therapy

Back in 1979, on Meet The Press and countless other TV appearances, Masters and Johnson touted their book, Homosexuality in Perspective—a 14-year study of more than 300 homosexual men and women…The results seemed impressive: Of the 67 male and female patients with "homosexual dissatisfaction," only 14 failed in the initial two-week "conversion" or "reversion" treatment…During five years of follow-up, their success rate for both groups was better than 70 percent.

Not bad.  However…there was just one wee problem…

Prior to the book’s publication, doubts arose about the validity of their case studies. Most staffers never met any of the conversion cases during the study period of 1968 through 1977, according to research I’ve done for my new book Masters of Sex.  Clinic staffer Lynn Strenkofsky, who organized patient schedules during this period, says she never dealt with any conversion cases. Marshall and Peggy Shearer, perhaps the clinic’s most experienced therapy team in the early 1970s, says they never treated homosexuals and heard virtually nothing about conversion therapy.

When the clinic’s top associate, Robert Kolodny, asked to see the files and to hear the tape-recordings of these "storybook" cases, Masters refused to show them to him…

Kolodny began to suspect Masters had, at best created "composite" cases out of many individual ones at best, or at worst had committed outright fraud.  Virginia Johnson apparently had similar misgivings about Master’s conversion successes, but never spoke publicly about them.  She later regretted that the book had gone to the publisher in the form it had, saying, "That was a bad book."  She feared that "Bill was being creative in those days" in compiling the conversion case studies.

Masters insisted right up to his death in 2001 that his work had been based on "…10 years of work with five years of follow-up—and it works."  But he never showed anyone the actual data, and few who worked with him can saw any of the patients, let alone the work with them actually taking place.  Given how reliably such therapy fails to work for everyone else, it isn’t hard to figure why Masters never showed anyone the data.  He had the same reason Exodus, Love In Action, and a host of other conversion therapy quacks have.  The data doesn’t exist.  The human consciousness isn’t a blackboard anyone can scribble their will on.  It doesn’t work that way.  You can’t talk someone out of being homosexual any more then you can talk them out of being left handed, or having blue eyes.

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