20 Comments on “Lesley Pilkington on Channel Four News

  1. “Interestingly she quotes the Spitzer research which is slightly dubious.” I drew attention to this on the first (of your now three) Pilkington threads and made comment there that it was a pity Jon Snow was not better briefed to pick her up on this. She possibly didn’t know that Spitzer had retracted and apologised for his study – let’s hope so and give her the benefit of the doubt. But why did she quote Spitzer rather than Yarhouse? Even she thought the name Spitzer carries more weight presumably.

  2. Nothing to add to the perceptive comments here and on the companion thread (especially good to have Martin Reynolds commenting here i feel…) …but can’t help thinking Lesley Pilkington was somewhat brave to do this interview, even if probably misguided. She might be better served by a little less publicity…. (by which i don’t mean to say she should be silenced or anything of the kind, just that perhaps she’s not helping her case much). 

    in friendship, Blair

  3. “God and politics” blog making similar comments about Christian Concern and its ‘spin’ http://godandpoliticsuk.org/  He quotes Titus:

    “Show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that
    cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed
    because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  (Titus 2:7-8)
    I think the need for self-justification drives a lot of Christian Concern talk.  Now, I’m not suggesting for one second that I’m not as prone as everyone else to the very human response of ‘he/she/they did that’ or ‘he/she/they threw a stone at me first!’, but the problem with this feeling that things are somehow unfair doesn’t stand up in court.  It won’t stand up in the courts of heaven either.  We’re not judged by what other people do.

    It’s true that when I look into the cases, I sometimes lose sympathy (for instance, the teacher who was suspended for walking out of the sexuality talk and writing an irate letter to the head of department telling her that homosexuals would experience the wrath of God: could he not have counted to 10 and then asked himself whether that would be the wisest way to proceed?).  However, my feeling is not that Christian Concern is creating this phantom secular threat to Christian freedom to live out their faith and teach it to their children.  These cases are only the tip of the ice-burgh.  We’ve got to find a better way of responding to them quick!  (unless we have a morbid martyrdom complex, that is!)

  4. The research by Jones and Yarhouse is not credible evidence for those who want to claim it proves homosexuals can be turned heterosexual, or even those who want to claim marginal sexuality change is possible. This is what Lesley Pilkington was attempting to perform in her psycho therapy practice. http://wakingupnow.com/blog/ex-gay-project-fails

    Overall, there was a 14% success rate. However, of this 14, Jones and Yarhouse write: “Most of the individuals who reported that they were heterosexual at Time
    3 did not report themselves to be without experience of homosexual
    arousal, and did not report heterosexual orientation to be unequivocal
    and uncomplicated.”Indeed, Jones and Yarhouse imply that more than a majority of the 14% could be described as bisexual. Jones and Yarhouse would claim that this still constitutes a form of sexuality change, but similar to a lot of the research into sexuality change efforts, and as the APA 2010 SOCE evidence review shows, those conducting research in this area consistently fail to distinguish between the homosexual research subjects and the bisexual subjects. Such a failing is also apparent in this research. This leaves an absolute maximum of six people who claim to have changed their sexuality from homosexual to heterosexual, if the term ‘most’ means slightly more than the majority of the 14% who could be described as bisexual. Indeed, ‘most’ could mean far more than a slim majority of 14%, and the figure of those who now claim to be heterosexual could be as low as three, two or none.Ironically, the aforementioned is summarised in the Jones/Yarhouse press release: 

    http://www.standardnewswire.com/news/949206628.htmlWhile this survey used more credible methods than their previous attempt in 2007, the NARTH article touting it certainly had no link to the press release by Jones and Yarhouse, which states:”…do not prove that categorical change in sexual
    orientation is possible for everyone or anyone, but rather that
    meaningful shifts along a continuum that constitute real changes appear
    possible for some.”Jones and Yarhouse did not find that sexuality could be transformed from homosexuality to heterosexuality. Their claim that sexuality can be modified is also dubious- crucially, bisexuals often experience their sexuality not just as an attraction to two genders, but as shifts or variations throughout their lives. A substantial portion of those studied were homosexual or bisexual women, who are more likely to report greater changes. This study was able to prove the obvious- sexual behaviour can be modified. However, a change of sexual behaviour is not the same as a change of sexual orientation. Those who seek to change their sexuality do so through quasi religious programs such as Exodus. Is it therefore not possible that a tiny ‘margin of error’ (one or two subjects), in a survey using self reporting, who have an overwhelming religious conviction to change their sexuality, exaggerated both the extent of change or ’emphasised’ the extent of changes in their sexual behaviour as opposed to bone fide changes in their sexual orientation?

    • David,

      IF J&Y were ONLY attempting to prove that those who were 100% homosexual could see a change in orientation, then you have a valid case. But the simple fact of the matter is that is not their claim. Rather, they deliberately took a number of men and women across the Kinsey scale in order to test whether Kinsey orientation OR self-perceived sexual identity change was variant across this spectrum.

      What they found was that where change was reported, it was more dramatic amongst those who began the study further along the “homosexual” end of the Kinsey scale.

      It is worth pointing out that the majority of these Kinsey shifts were not statistically significant (though some were). That means that we can’t be sure that the Kinsey shifts would have happened anyway (and there is enough research evidence to show that such shifts do occur to men and women who don’t undertake therapy). However, any statistician worth his or her salt know that the only adequate response to this observation is NOT to dismiss the study but rather to ask for it to be repeated with a larger sample. Larger sample, easier to be sure whether the changes are statistically significant.

      Simply put, if Jones and Yarhouse’s study could be repeated with a sample of around 200 men and women who were serious about wanting to engage in an “ex-gay” programme, we could give a much more definitive answer, one way or the other, as to whether reparative therapy works, even if just for some people.

  5. I argued that J&Y was not credible for “those who want to claim marginal sexuality change is possible.” 

    The 2010 APA SOCE review asserted that the only change evident across the spectrum is natural fluidity of sexuality. This is very different from those who wilfully attempt to change their sexuality through therapy. 

    Fluidity of sexual orientation, at least where there is a change of sexual orientation over the course of a lifetime, is itself a ‘fixed’ sexuality (the change was inevitable as part of their innate sexuality), just as some people may be exclusively homosexual and experience no form of fluidity have a ‘fixed’ sexuality. The idea that sexuality itself can be changed is absurd- sexual orientation, however, does change naturally in some people, as it is the very nature of their sexuality. This is not semantics- sexuality and sexual orientation are completely different things. In addition, there are those who are bisexual, and who experience shifts and variation in sexual orientation far more frequently. 

    That is why I believe the Kinsey scale is flawed, at least for the purposes of J&Y. It designates one person as 100% heterosexual, but it doesn’t distinguish between somebody who is 100% heterosexual and yet has a fluid sexuality. However, the Klein Sexual Orientation Chart does. 

    It is hardly surprising that a tiny handful of the 98 studied experienced fluidity of sexuality. It is absurd to assume that this constitutes sexuality change when fluidity of sexual orientation is a proven occurrence over time in some people, irrespective of whether they are 100% or 15% homosexual at a given point. It is equally absurd to claim sexual orientation changed as a result of an unproven, highly dubious form of talk therapy. Expanding the number of subjects studied would probably produce a similar result, and similar criticisms. The only improvement would be to make the study sample one gender, as fluidity of sexuality is more common in women. 

  6. “The 2010 APA SOCE review asserted that the only change evident across the spectrum is natural fluidity of sexuality”.

    I’m not sure which APA SOCE review you read that in, but it wasn’t the one published by the APA of the USA. What the APA actually said was that there was no good research evidence yet that reparative therapy worked to shift sexual orientation. At the same time, they made the obvious point that this does not disprove RT, just that we don’t have a killer evidence either way.

    I used Kinsey to see whether you had actually read Jones and Yarhouse. Yes, they use Kinsey but if you had read their research you would know that they used other scales that measured homosexual and heterosexual attraction on an independent basis. This is the very Klein chart that you refer to. I suggest that you actually read J&Y rather than just commenting on it without having the primary source.

    Let me say again what I wrote above. As a professional statistician, in my opinion the only way to see whether RT does not deliver changes in sexual orientation and other measures (i.e. Klein) over and above natural sexuality fluidity is to repeat the J&Y study with a larger sample and with a similar control sample. Surely you agree that without such an experiment we cannot say for certain that RT does or does not deliver changes in sexual identity beyond that which we would expect cateris paribus.

    • I tried google.  According to some sources some of the freemason secret initiation practices involve homosexual practices.  Freemasonry is a bit of a mystery to me.

      • Really? I very much doubt it. Geoffrey Fisher, the archbishop of Canterbury who crowned the Queen was a Freemason, as were many members of the Royal Family. The Duke of Kent is the current Grand Master…..

        • Don’t shoot the messenger, I haven’t got a clue what she’s on about either!  From what I’ve heard, the Freemasons are a bit of a shady bunch, so I’m surprised that any clergy could be a member, never mind an archbishop of Canterbury.  But, then, luckily I don’t have to be involved in making these appointments.

          • You can visit the Masonic Temple just round the corner from the Royal Opera House in the Covent Garden district of London. They conduct tours and there is a very interesting museum. My grandfather, father and all my uncles were freemasons and I don’t suppose there was a gay bone in their bodies! I did not join because I became a Catholic as a teenager and annoyed my father by leaving a copy of the Rev Walton Hannah’s Darkness Visible lying around. In those days even the King, George VI, the present queen’s father was a member, as were most other royals and bigwigs in the C of E. Unlike the Grand Orient of France which is atheistic, the Grand Lodge of England requires belief in “the Supreme Architect of the Universe”. The Catholic Church forbade membership because it was not Trinitarian and made no mention of Christ (hence Jews and Muslims can join) – not as the masons used to say because catholics would refuse to divulge the masonic secrets to the priest in confession.

            I am sorry if I appeared to jump down your throat nowconcerned, but Lesley Pilkington’s silly nonsense needs to be challenged.

  7. PS. It may come as a surprise that Mozart was a Mason and wrote music for masonic funerals. It was probably not a proscribed organisation in his day though by all accounts he was not all that observant as a Catholic and even disobeyed the papal injunction not to copy down Allegri’s Miserere and play it outside the Sistine Chapel.

    • No worries, Tom.  I was just adding my own bit of ignorance!  like you, I’m intrigued, but I don’t think I’m going to find out by reading random articles on google, so will have to remain ignorant.  I think that’s the problem with all these cases – you just get enough information from the press to be confused and not enough to really know what’s going on!

      It doesn’t surprise me at all that Mozart was a freemason or that he wasn’t a model of papal obedience.  He still wrote great music, though!

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