A longitudinal study of attempted religiously mediated sexual orientation change

J Sex Marital Ther. 2011;37(5):404-27. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.607052.


The authors conducted a quasi-experimental longitudinal study spanning 6-7 years examining attempted religiously mediated sexual orientation change from homosexual orientation to heterosexual orientation. An initial sample was formed of 72 men and 26 women who were involved in a variety of Christian ministries, with measures of sexual attraction, infatuation and fantasy, and composite measures of sexual orientation and psychological distress, administered longitudinally. Evidence from the study suggested that change of homosexual orientation appears possible for some and that psychological distress did not increase on average as a result of the involvement in the change process. The authors explore methodological limitations circumscribing generalizability of the findings and alternative explanations of the findings, such as sexual identity change or adjustment.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Christianity*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Female / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Young Adult