Warren Throckmorton and I have sparred verbally via e-mail for some years now. He was especially peevish when I worked with Wayne Besen to expose ex-gay poster boy, Michael Johnston, as a fraud. For a while, Throckmorton appeared to be maneuvering to become the new high priest - or perhaps priestess given his inordinate hysteria over homosexuality - of the reparative therapy crowd. But then he began backing off, perhaps concerned that the American Psychological Association might throw him out for pushing what legitimate mental health professionals increasingly deem to be an unethical type of therapy.
Given his past activities, it is most interesting to see Throckmorton writing about a study that appears to largely debunk the favored story line of the wingnuts - e.g., James Dobson, Robert Knight, Tony Perkins, and the tired handful of "ex-gays for pay" employed by Christianist organizations - that an absent father is one of the causes of male homosexuality and that "reparative therapy" can cure same-sex attraction/sexual orientation. Here are some highlights from Throckmorton's column on the Christian news service, Crosswalk.com:
A new study by Andrew Francis of Emory University in the Journal of Sex Research casts doubt on both the fraternal birth-order effect and reparative drive theory of male homosexuality.*
This study undermines reparative drive theory due to the unremarkable performance of the parental variables to predict orientation. One would expect to find great differences between male heterosexual participants and same-sex attracted participants if fathering/mothering were crucial to male sexual orientation as Joe Nicolosi teaches. In fact in this YouTube video, Nicolosi says that the main factor in the development of male homosexuality is a distant or hostile father, no matter what else is true in the life of the child.
The Francis article finds very little predictive power in family dynamics of any kind. There is no predictive power at all for those whose parents are separated. Living with dad should insulate against a homosexual outcome and living with mom alone should enhance the likelihood of same-sex attraction and/or behavior. In this sample, it does not.
[T]his study demonstrates that there is no ability to predict adult same-sex behavior or attraction by knowing that a boy is/was in a fatherless home. Recall that the sample size is large and representative U.S. young adults. While there is a lot we do not know about the fatherless state of those taking this survey, if fatherlessness was massively related to same-sex attraction, one would expect at least a modest relationship to show up in this sample.