- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Oakhill Press (July 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1886939470
- ISBN-13: 978-1886939479
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 167 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,838,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Coming Out Straight : Understanding and Healing Homosexuality Paperback – July 1, 2001
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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 Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I would be interested to know how many of the people he has worked with are truly "cured." If Exodus International, Homosexuals Anonymous and CrossPower Ministries - all aimed at helping guys come out of the homosexual lifestyle - admit that very few of the men they work with experience complete transitioning, how can Cohen report such a high success rate? From what these ministries and others report, most men who seek to end their homosexual lifestyles, still deal with the attractions.
Cohen believes that the root of homosexuality is all nurture/environment and no nature/dna. With that perspective, he then seeks to explore, explain and heal the past so that men can be hetero. If you agree with his perspective, then this book may be for you. If you think that the causes of homosexuality are a mix of nurture and nature, [...] don't waste your time.
First, Mr. Cohen deeply WANTED to change and did not want to be gay. But even with his strong desire to change, it was extremely difficult.
Second, I learned that the gay man or woman--just like the straight person -- is really searching for love, not just sex. But same-sex love can never be completely satisfying in the deepest part of one's soul.
Third, I came to understand a little better the rage felt by homosexuals toward the straight world, a world which has caused them so much pain. Mr. Cohen helped me to understand that the path for many gays has been one of perceived rejection by the same sex parent (sometimes because of hypersensitivity, sometimes because of real rejection), early over-identification with the opposite sex parent, abuse from older siblings and/or peers, and -- to an astonishing degree -- sexual abuse at a very young age. This book is a keeper, an excellent resource for anyone looking to understand this issue. Above all, it promotes a compassionate understanding of a deeply complex problem.
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