From Library Journal
In this self-help book, which contains a foreword by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, ex-gay therapist Cohen (the author of Alfie's Home, a children's book about a sexually abused boy) writes for gays and lesbians who want to transition to heterosexuality. His comprehensive, well-written, well-organized, and heavily referenced guide views homosexuality as a symptom of disrupted affiliation with the same-sex parent and incomplete feelings of maleness/femaleness, building on the psychological theories of Joseph Nicolosi and Elizabeth Moberly. At least 30 ex-gay platform books are in print, most religious but some primarily psychological see the web site of Exodus/Regeneration Books (www.exodusnorthamerica/org/resources) and NARTH, Nicolosi's organization (www.narth.com). Cohen's approach is sympathetic and rational and leans mostly on psychosocial factors, but he also assumes nondenominational religious affiliation. The ex-gay movement is highly controversial and its activities considered both damaging and misleading by many medical and psychological professional groups and by most gay/lesbian rights proponents. This book is thus recommended for libraries with large gender collections covering different perspectives, which should also stock Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves the Right's Attack on Democracy (a report from Political Research Associates, 1998), Finally Free: Personal Stories; How Love and Self-Acceptance Saved Us from "Ex-Gay" Ministries (Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2000), and Mel White's Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America (S. & S., 1994). Martha Cornog, Philadelphia
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gay activists' remonstrations have made therapy intended to make homosexuals heterosexual newsworthy and, they hope, notorious. To read ex-gay counselor Cohen is to wonder why they don't adopt a live-and-let-live stance. Yes, Cohen believes homosexuality is not inborn but the result of emotional traumas and developmental miscues in childhood that can be countered effectively by the therapeutics he lays out in the book's big second part and endorses with patient success stories. But in the third, concluding part, he writes that homophobia must be healed, too, and that homosexuals who don't want to shouldn't be coerced to change; rather, families and friends should continue in loving relationship with them, hoping for change. As an ex-gay, he acknowledges the truth in many homosexual advocates' complaints, and as a Christian, he pleads personal and social compassion for gays. Call this stance mistaken, especially since it is based in part on social science as dubious as the gay-supportive studies Cohen debunks. It isn't malicious. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved