Sexual orientation change efforts and the search for authenticity

J Homosex. 2013;60(6):801-27. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2013.774830.


This article is based on structured interviews of a sample of 15 former participants in sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), who currently identify as gay or lesbian. The primary research question for this study was, "What was the experience of self-identified gay men and lesbians who went through some type of SOCE and eventually asserted themselves as gay or lesbian?" The research concludes that participants sometimes identified as heterosexual during SOCE, but never changed their underlying homosexual orientation, and that suppression, disconnection, and a sense of inauthenticity were significant phenomena of this process.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Homophobia / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Young Adult