Monday, July 18, 2005

It was a gay Sunday Part II

The other paper was the Sunday Straits Times. In the Focus section, there was a hard-to-miss headline, which read “Going straight?”. Dr Melvin Wong claimed yes, through prayers and guidance. He is a clinical psychologist and theologian.

Excerpts, and my comments in brackets:
"Bisexuals can change. Gays can change, too," says Wong, chairman of the board of Exodus Global Alliance, an international Christian organisation which helps people who are "sexually broken".
(What about straight people? Surely they can change too, if gays and bisexuals can their sexual orientation?)

"The degree of change boils down to motivation ... how much the person wants to change."
(Obviously he conveniently forgot to mention about ex-ex-gays)

Wong claims that EGA has helped tens of thousands of gays and bisexuals change their sexual orientation in its 30 years of existence but he could not provide any supporting statistics. "We don’t keep statistics. We don’t believe in success rates.”
(Surely, statistics are the most reliable tool to convince others of your claims. Doesn’t it sound fishy if they don’t keep statistics?)

The full article can be found here.

Surprisingly (at least to me, as I didn't expect a Malaysian academician to be as logical and objective in this issue), his points were negated by Dr Ismail Baba, a Universiti Sains Malaysia associate professor, whose area of expertise lies in social work, human sexuality and HIV/AIDS education.

Excerpts, and my comments in bracket:
He said, "Since Dr Melvin W. Wong is based in the US, he should know that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the 1970s," (Bravo, doctor!)

"I don’t think you can change a homosexual into a heterosexual. If that theory applies, then we should also be able to change a heterosexual into a homosexual.”
(Applause, applause!)

"Wong says homosexuality is caused by distant fathers and sexual abuse, but there are many heterosexuals who have had distant fathers or were abused sexually. I think Wong is speaking more from the perspective of his religious beliefs."
(You are absolutely right, Dr Ismail.)

There was actually another article on the next page, titled 'Born, not made'. The article was about a book which blatantly claims that homosexuality is born, based on the scientific studies available. The book is Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation, by Glenn Wilson and Qazi Rahman

Actually, to me, there was nothing new. It was more of a compilation of the studies done so far which support the theory that homosexuality is nature. I have always found the theory that testosterone (or the lack of) during pregnancy, thus affecting the 'sex' of the brain, to be the most convincing.

For the full text, click here.


anthony wong said...

yes, i read the articles, and i,like u , was impressed with Dr Ismail's very reasoned rebuttal. and the review of the book born gay, right next to the above articles, was excellent. I think most people are bi, and it is a choice they make whether they have sex with women or with men. The authors interpret bi-sexuals as 'Academics suggest that bisexuals may be omnisexuals with libidos so high that the gender of the target doesn’t matter.'Well, we can all interpret it according to our choice.
I also cannot help thinking that the availability of men or women can determine whether anyone has sex with men and women. u notice that i do not say they are gay or straight. it is not important to label yourself as such. My bf had sex and relationships with women for the first 40 yrs of his life, because he said older women were so easily available to him, now he found out about men, and decided men are even more available without the emotional baggage with women.
i like ur blog, and i hope u dont mind that i use it to express some of my thoughts. thanks. hope others will add to it.

Derek said...

anthony: Firstly, thank you for dropping by (and I hope you would come back often ;P). And thank you again for leaving your comments. Of course I don't mind you expressing your opinions here.

Personally, I can't really relate to bisexuals. I just can't imagine what it is like to swing both ways. As in most other things in life, I usually would prefer something over another, if given two choices. I don't like both equally.

And yeah, I think you have a good point there about availability of men or women.

More of my thoughts on this under "Some thoughts", posted in March.