The Ex-gay theory (according to Living Waters)

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Understanding Homosexuality (according to Living Waters)

In this article you will understand

  • varying and complex reasons for the development of same sex attraction
  • the Godly and social reasons homosexuality undermines wholeness
  • areas for examination in the healing process
  • varying factors causing varying outcomes on the journey to wholeness

Homosexuality in perspective:

Homosexual sin is no worse than heterosexual immorality. The brokenness of seeking to fulfil normal need for love, acceptance, and identity, through sexual intimacy, outside marriage is at the heart of both. Both seek to fill legitimate illegitimately. Certainly, the homosexual, in seeking wholeness and freedom, has extra challenge, and needs a particular grace, above that of overcoming heterosexual addiction. Changing sexual orientation is no small feat. The factors that contribute to the development of sexual orientation are complex and subtle.

Mostly, the attraction for the same sex begins before the age of ten; it is emotional, non-sexual, and involuntary. As sex drive is released through adolescence, attraction becomes eroticised and sexual intimacy becomes a primary means for feeling loved and affirmed. Sexual activity offers a sense of feeling accepted. Need fulfilment is mistaken for love, the male extending this ‘love’ is idolised. As neediness is covered with pleasure, a momentary sense of self-esteem is felt, providing temporary relief from identity confusion.

However, efforts to meet needs homosexually ultimately leave loneliness, a sense of greater fragmentation, and feeling more ill-at-ease than ever. Emotional brokenness increases.


Increasing incidence of modern homosexuality is traced back to the Industrial Revolution. Boys were separated from their fathers and extended male family members. Men were siphoned away from the farm to the factory, and boys were sent as cheap labour down mines. The severance of male bonding intensified after the wars of the 20th century, when fathers returned, emotionally deadened by the trauma of trench and modern warfare, witnessing the deaths of mates, the compromise of prostitution and the torture of P.O.W. camps. Back home, they could not open their hearts to tell. They became cardboard cut outs of whole men. Their sons had no cues on which to base their emotional development. In the search for legitimate masculine bonding, sex drive took over, and became disoriented. The sexual revolution of the late 20th century ‘legitimized’ it, while social engineers normalized it.

The causes of homosexuality have been shown to be mostly social, but some are affected physiologically. A leading researcher summarised, “Sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA. Whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predeterminations.”1In a minority of cases, where men seem to be more effeminate or feel more female, a hormonal wash in the last trimester of pregnancy, may have deposited higher oestrogen levels. However, psychotherapists tend to agree that the major factor in the emergence of same sex attraction is defective gender identification in childhood and teen years.2 Basically, homosexual men, feeling inadequate in masculinity, admire masculine qualities in others and seek to absorb them through sexual union. Same Sex Attracted people stagnate in psychosexual development at the early teen stage of seeking same sex peer affirmation.

Insecure gender identification can occur in men when there was boyhood emotional detachment from their dad, or a lack of safe male role model figures through childhood and adolescence. Security in masculinity does not develop naturally. It needs to be modelled and nurtured. Dad is the usual source of this.

Dad’s role is to

* bond with his children,

* model healthy, winsome masculinity: physically, intellectually, emotionally spiritually & sexually (relating lovingly with Mum, and modelling how to relate to women with purity)

* affirm sons in the good of their gender, and to call them away from mother’s apron strings,

* help them develop healthy gender identity through appropriate gender activities together,

* be a safe friend and mentor to anchor sons through the ‘wobbly’ adolescent years,

* ‘land’ them securely in early adulthood, confident, independent yet interdependent,

* bless and send his sons out into the world to make their worthwhile mark.

Where this has not occurred well, or been abused, sons may emotionally detach from their father. This is to judge him as unworthy and to defend against taking the things which characterize him into their own being. Usually a generalization is made, which blocks out dad’s masculine traits, leaving a deficit in the son. The son is then driven to find a new source for masculine fulfilment, bonding and love. Part of the homosexual confusion is ambivalence about his gender. He has the psychological need to identify with masculinity, yet has made judgements against it, judging his dad, and detaching from masculinity. The power of sex offers relief from the confusion and lack, while at the same time promising new identity, however superficial and temporary. He seeks completion through intimate connection with other men. It should be stressed at this point that while many men turn to homosexuality at this point, others find identity through heterosexual promiscuity.

Relationship with Mum

may also contribute to homosexual orientation. If the son detaches from a domineering or enmeshing mother, despising her, or finding emotional intimacy with her distasteful, he may generalize his judgements to all women, and balk at the thought of intimacy with them. On the other hand, if he detached from dad, he may over identify with mum. Instead of internalising dad’s masculine traits, he will tend to internalise mum’s feminine characteristics. Feeling more feminine, he may be attracted to men as icons of what he is missing. He seeks completion through his own gender.

Other sources of Gender Confusion can be

*  Parental desire for a daughter, compensating for the birth of a son by treating him as the daughter they didn’t get.

*  Childhood molestation, identifying with the molester, whether male or female, leaves imprints on developing sexuality. Imitating the male molester, or identifying with the female.

*  Adolescent seduction. Even as an insecure adult, powerful homosexual experience can overwhelm immature heterosexuality. The homosexual community aggressively proselytises, often challenging any detection of insecurity with, ‘you must be true to your inner gay self.’

*  Rebellion, “lets try it out.” Peer pressure, experimentation, gender insecurity leading to bi-sexuality or homosexuality, flirting with the gay lifestyle: clothing, hairstyle, music, the “scene”. Glamorous forms of androgyny or gender ambiguity are fashionable in youth culture.

*  Relational laziness. Some broken men find it easier to relate sexually with men because they view women as too complex and too hard to work out and relate with.

*  Homosexual spiritual strongholds over cities or areas can interact with gender insecure people to lure them into homosexuality.

*  Generational sins and/or curses descending through ancestry can influence gender insecure boys towards homosexuality.

Why should I change?

Made in God’s image.

When God made us He made us male and female, in His image.  He ordained that a man would leave his parents and bond to his wife, to create family. Bonding and creating are God’s ultimate purpose for human sexuality. (Gen 1:27,8, 2: 24) Any variation fails to imitate His image, actually repudiating it. A basic reading of Scripture, without doing exegetical gymnastics, clearly declares heterosexuality as God’s intent, and homosexuality, and all other gender bending variations, as a departure from His intent, as broken, and as sinful. The simple truth is that the penis was made for the vagina. Deep within every homosexual knows this. This is probably an unconscious foundation of his insatiable yearning.


Many social factors reinforce the spiritual truth.

Male Homosexuality tends to be far more promiscuous than heterosexuality because men are more visually wired and less relationally dependent, than women. When men converge sexually, visual drive and sexual experience are reinforced. The absence of a woman and her  more relational and emotional values in the relationship, providing more of the God intended balance, increases the rate at which homosexuals pursue sex at the expense of relationship.

Though there may appear to be loving, supportive homosexual relationships, a very small minority last longer than 5 years, and even then do not tend to have fidelity. Consider this quote from the leading Australian homosexual blog, written by a finalist in the 07 Mr Gay Australia competeition:

It’s official. While I would dearly love to find someone special, I’m starting to truly believe it’s not possible for gay men to survive happily together forever. ?Two couples that I’m friends with are on the brink of falling apart. Mr X and Mr Y have been together for about 3 or 4 years and Mr Y wants to open the relationship up. I don’t understand open relationships but know some couples make them work quite happily and if I though X&Y could do that, then I’d be supportive, but they are barely hanging in as it is and opening it up is almost certainly the death knell for them. I actually think Mr Y just wants out but can’t say it. ?These days it feels like no one is willing to make any sacrifices in a relationship and it’s easier to just walk away than work on the relationship.?I hope I’m wrong but when I try and think about the gay couples that I know that are long term, happy and monogamous I’m struggling to come up with any and that is starting to break my heart. Perhaps I’ll never know true love.

Evidence shows that there are increased risks of drug abuse, partner violence, suicide and other problems associated with the homosexual lifestyle, which indicates that same sex relationships struggle to meet emotional needs or provide fulfilment and stability.

The homosexual lifestyle causes increased incidents of some diseases such as anal cancer, herpes, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis types B and C. These diseases are virtually unknown among heterosexual men. Syphilis, though found among heterosexuals is far more prevalent among homosexuals. Anal intercourse causes increased frequency of hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anorectal trauma and extremely high rates of parasitic infections.

Life expectancy has been shown to be lower for homosexuals. Scandinavian research shows that married gay and lesbian lifespans are 24 years shorter than heterosexual couples.

Steps to Wholeness

Jesus Christ is the alternative. He lifts sexual strugglers above the fallacy of finding fulfilment through sex or idolatry of people. He provides the way to find fulfilment in God, His purpose for us and His provisions for wholesome relationships. Releasing us from dictates of the past, Jesus frees us to live as new men. The Holy Spirit works the process of change into our lives. His grace is sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. He provides the mooring point for a new identity, the centre out of which a true sense of well-being can be enjoyed.   As we draw close to Him, we are enabled to reflect His image in our humanity more fully.

The goal of growth is freedom to love well and relate intimately, but non-erotically with other men, and to be able to relate with women as a needed counterpart, without fear or disinterest.

Many have left the homosexual lifestyle, showing that genuine healing is possible. While it is a slow and constant process, many thousands of former homosexuals testify to their substantial healing and freedom. Like all sexual addictions, it takes much effort to break free. Not only can we cease from homosexual activities and lust, many have found that even the orientation towards homosexuality can be reduced, if not eliminated. Conclusive evidence for the possibility of change is given in Professor Dr Robert Spitzer’s 2001 study “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?”3 Spitzer himself had led the task force in 1973 which removed homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders, citing the condition was both normal and unchangeable.  Challenged by reformed homosexuals to study the authenticity of their change, he did so.

The 200 chosen participants had suffered predominant homosexual attraction for many years. Since their therapy each has sustained a decrease of at least 10 points in their homosexual attraction, over 5 years. 143 men (av age 42) and 57 women (av age 44) participated in the study.  85% of the men, 61%of the women had same sex attraction as teenagers. 62% & 42 % respectively had no opposite sex attraction in their teens. 13% and 4% had never participated in consensual homosexual sex. 34% & 2% had engaged homosexually with more than 50 partners. 53% & 33% had not experienced consensual heterosexual sex before their therapy. Their therapy was not of one particular type, and included different mixes of group work, individual counselling and mentoring in different settings. Spitzer wrote in his conclusion, “Many patients, provided with informed consent about the possibility that they will be disappointed if the therapy does not succeed, can make a rational choice to work toward developing their heterosexual potential and minimizing their unwanted homosexual attractions.”3

Another researcher psychologist has written, “If there’s significant self-knowledge, forgive-ness and a spiritual component to the treatment… we find the emotional pain that causes the Same Sex Attraction can be healed…..the inner emptiness can be filled, the loneliness healed and the confidence strengthened. No longer does the person feel angry with his father or peers for not building or for damaging male confidence.  Instead, he appreciates that his male gifts and identity are special, God-given and meant for a particular mission in life.4

The Dynamics to be taken into account for successful re-orientation:

Age: the younger the man, the less entrenched the habit, the easier to break. On the other hand, the younger the man, the more he idealizes  and glamorises homosexuality. The older he is the more he is likely to be disillusioned with it.

Will: The only starting point can be to make a firm reckoning. Often the ambivalence of seeing the need to cease, but enjoying the adrenalin highs of acting out and the comfort of lust after men, clash. Resolve is necessary to break through.

Degree of Gender Rejection and Depth of Homosexual Identity. The greater this, or the more entwined with physiological drives, are, the deeper the struggle, the longer the healing process and the more the need for new thought processes.

Openness to receive from the Lord. Words, gifts of healing and encouragement from the Lord are essential for change and freedom. (Subtle) Resistance to God undermines these.

Support structure. It is vital to have a group of whole men and women supporting the overcomer, to hear confessions, frustrations, and deep pain, to pray and to stand along side

Complexity & duration of sexual relationships and embracing of the lifestyle.

Issues to work through:

* Spiritual: the overcomer’s concept of God, His grace, purpose, power and character;

Spiritual vows, demonic points of entry. (these need to be processed once the emotional damage has been largely healed)

* Gender Identity and insecurity: Ensuring that masculine traits become his primary gender characteristics, and that feminine characteristics are both healthy and secondary.

a) When secondary characteristics are more dominant he yearn for completion through men

b) when insecure in the primary gender characteristics, he ‘needs’ to ‘ingest’ them through sexual connection with other men.

c) where inner vows have cut men off from the good of masculinity, because of detachment from dad, there remains the  need to rediscover it in adult relationships. Turning from seeking these sexually to learning them through wholesome male relationships is key.

* Love deprivations need to be counselled or prayed through to be realised in healthy ways, * Abuse needs to be healed following the guidelines of chapter 22

* Belief systems Rethinking and re-learning old patterns of behaviour

* Relationships, behaviours & addictions need to be repented of, renounced and changed.

The aim is to continue the healing process to become whole enough in our gender, where we are more aware of our completion as men, than of gender confusion, insecurity and driven-ness, whether successfully re-oriented, or peacefully resisting occasional lustful attraction to men.

[1] Neil Whitehead

2 RC

3 Dr Robert Spitzer

4 RC


Producer and Presenter: Dean Beck
Producer and Researcher: Nathan Despott

Guests: David Lograsso, Rachel Goff, John McIntyre, John Capper, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Cathryn McKinney, Matt Glover, Timothy Jones, Nicole Conner and Kathy Baldock.

Podcasts of each radio interview are jointly owned by the program's researchers and contributors and are available freely at the owners’ discretion.


Special thanks to JOY 94.9, Stephanie Powell, Seona Coster, Susan Hose, Cathryn McKinney, Nicole Conner, Kathy Baldock, Colin Baillie, Rachel Goff, Andrew Boyle, Lesley Taylor, John Capper, David Lograsso, Timothy Jones, John McIntyre, Louise Karch, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Daniel Leighton, Allison Menzies, Sally Tonkin, Andrew McNamara, Gavin Henderson, Sam, Brian Coogan and Zoe Williamson for their support and assistance in planning and development.