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A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality Paperback – October 30, 2002

2.8 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Every concerned parent will benefit from this practical parenting advice on how to help a child develop a secure gender identity that leads to a normal heterosexual orientation in adulthood. Joseph Nicolosi is an internationally recognized professional expert on therapies that promote normal heterosexual adjustment. He is known for his long-standing leadership in a key professional association that applies scientific findings to psychosexual adjustment. But his breadth of technical scientific knowledge is combined with years of extensive clinical experience helping everyday people. This combination has enabled the authors to explain psychological research findings to parents in a very practical way. Their book provides clear guidance on what parents can do to promote their child’s sexual adjustment." (George A. Rekers, Ph.D., professor of neuropsychiatry and behavior science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine)

"Utilizing an eclectic form of psychotherapy based on psychoanalytic principles, Nicolosi has shown how homosexual impulses and enactments can be modified or, in some instances, removed. This gives hope to parents of gender-disturbed children who have previously succumbed to despair. There are numerous clinical vignettes throughout the book presented in a highly readable and scientific manner. I most heartily recommend it." (Charles W. Socarides, M.D., former clinical professor of psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, New York, 1978-1998, and Fellow, American Psychiatric Association)

"To get to [the issue of sexual-identity disorder and what can be done to help], we will turn to the very best resource for parents and teachers I have found. It is provided in an outstanding book entitled A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, written by clinical psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. Nicolosi is, I believe, the foremost authority on the prevention and treatment of homosexuality today. His book offers practical advice and a clear-eyed perspective on the antecedents of homosexuality. I wish every parent would read it, especially those who have reason to be concerned about their sons. Its purpose is not to condemn but to educate and encourage moms and dads." (Dr. James Dobson, President, Focus on the Family, quoted in Bringing up Boys: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Men)

In his latest book, A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, based on his many years of specialization, Joseph Nicolosi has translated the vocabulary of research science into plain English, easily understandable to the lay public. Though the book is primarily oriented to the needs of dads and moms concerned about a child’s gender development, it is also a guide for good parenting in general. In well-described, clear accounts of his clinical sessions and discussions of the theories he does and does not support, Nicolosi has contributed a most valuable addition to the sexuality literature. More important, it should prove invaluable to all those concerned with child rearing, development and education." (Toby B. Bieber, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and coauthor of Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study of Male Homosexuals)

"As a clinical professor of psychiatry, I heartily endorse the Nicolosis' effort at the prevention of homosexuality. Parents should be aware of the warning signs and the possibility of modifying their child’s gender identity, thus making the choice, should they desire it, to maximize the child’s likelihood of growing up heterosexual. Making this choice is not 'homophobic.' It is a commonsense approach to parenting that fits the value systems of many families. In writing this book, the authors have broken important ground." (A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D., MBA, vice president of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH))

"Joseph and Linda Ames Nicolosi have written a wonderful, accurate book on homosexuality and the significance of the parental role. Human beings who are born with one type of sexual equipment do not attempt to change unless there are serious problems in their early experience, especially in relation to parents. I believe it is imperative that at the very first signs of deviance parents take themselves to a psychiatrist knowledgeable about this problem and make every effort to become aware of what may be damaging in their relationships with the child in question. I conclude with a 'bravo.' " (Natalie Shainess, M.D., psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and author on sex and gender issues)

"With such sagacity acquired over years and thousands of hours of working with gender-identity disorders, Joseph Nicolosi utilizes acumen with theory and practicality to present a most readable book explicit in its purpose in the prevention of gender-identity disorders. I commend it as a primer in infant and child rearing for all parents concerned with the appropriate sexual orientation of their growing children." (Benjamin Kaufman, M.D., clinical professor, department of psychiatry, University of California at Davis School of Medicine)

"A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality meets a great need of the hour for parents. It offers insights into the parent-child conflicts and personality mismatches that can set the stage for same-sex attractions. Nicolosi's use of parents' diaries in describing successes, struggles and even failure provides down-to-earth, practical advice for addressing prevention at the root level. The understanding that can be gained from this book will go a very long way toward eliminating pain and frustration in families while defining the healthy nurturing that is so essential to reinforcing every child's unique personality and sexual identity." (Don Schmierer, author, An Ounce of Prevention and What’s a Father to Do: Facing Parents’ Tough Issues)

"This book meets a great need. It is sound scientifically, countering the abundant misinformation on the subject of homosexuality with which the public is currently inundated. What it provides that no parent can find in any library, however, is what to do when one's own child seems to be developing in a homosexual direction. Joseph Nicolosi draws upon many years of clinical experience to offer parents clear guidelines on evaluating and then reacting constructively to the situation. The authors' points are practical and down-to-earth but always respectful of parents in their struggle to help their children. I believe this book will become a classic in the literature that parents will consult far into the future. It may be an eye-opener to many in the mental health professions as well." (Johanna Krout Tabin, Ph.D., ABPP, board and faculty member of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, and former chief psychologist, Chicago Psychological Institute)

"The Nicolosis have written a groundbreaking book. The authors challenge the American Psychological Association, rightly, on their narrow, totalitarian attitude about homosexuality. The authors make an excellent case that a significant number of homosexuals develop their identity from defective parenting, and that many such homosexuals later wish to change their orientation. They also lay out useful strategies to help parents both prevent, and in some instances reverse, homosexual development. For parents concerned with this issue, their book is a must." (Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D., author, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self Worship, Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious and Faith of the Fatherless)

"I am pleased to give my strong endorsement of the book A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Joseph Nicolosi is an experienced psychologist who is an expert in treatment of persons with gender-identity disorder, both children and youth, and also adults who seek to overcome unwanted feelings of same-sex attraction. He is the president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, the leading national association of professional psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists devoted to providing professional help and treatment to individuals struggling with undesired same-sex attraction, gender-identity disorders and other homosexual behavioral issues. Thus highly respected by his peers, Nicolosi is eminently qualified to write this book. To help children and youth today cope with the tremendous stresses that create ambiguities and confusion regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, parents need to have more understanding of the process of gender development than earlier generations had. A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph and Linda Nicolosi provides that kind of useful information for parents in the twenty-first century, not only for family and friends of children and adolescents who may be struggling with gender identity but also for lawmakers, policymakers, schoolteachers, lawyers and judges who need to understand the complex processes of gender-identity development that are challenged today as they have never been in the past. I highly recommend Nicolosi's extremely interesting and very readable guide." (Lynn D. Wardle, professor of law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and secretary-general, International Society of Family Law)

From the Author

IVP: Many people think that homosexuality is part of a person's natural identity. Is homosexuality really something that can be prevented?

Joseph Nicolosi: Homosexuality is understood by the majority of mental health practitioners working in this field to result from the interaction of biological, social and psychological factors. The social and psychological factors can be modified. What parents can do to make a homosexual outcome unlikely is to lay the best possible foundation for their child's secure gender identity. IVP: Homosexuality as a developmental disorder has been taken out of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Why do you still say that it is a developmental disorder?

Linda Nicolosi: Psychiatry says a disorder is characterized by distress and disability. We see a lot of subjective distress in homosexually-oriented people which cannot be attributed solely to social discrimination. We also believe there is evidence of a "disability" in the homosexually-oriented person's feeling of not being comfortable with members of their own sex, of feeling "different" and inadequate, and of course, in not being able to function according to their biologically mandated sexual design.

There is a proven higher level of psychiatric disorders suffered by homosexually-oriented people, even in very gay-friendly countries like The Netherlands. This, including the high level of gay promiscuity and the interest in perverse practices--the search for what gay men call "sexual variety"--is suggestive, we believe, that nature's design is heterosexual. Furthermore, the gay world is very destructive to our communal understanding of healthy gender identity and gender roles, to the stability of the traditional family, and to our integrity as persons who are designed to live in accordance with our created natures.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (October 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830823794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823796
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all, I'm ashamed that so many of the one-star reviewers here don't seem to have actually read the book, but instead are relying on hearsay and name calling. I've read the book extensively, and it's quite easy to condemn on its own merits.

The bottom line of what Nicolosi theorizes: We are gay because of a disruption in our relationship with our same-sex parent, which causes a gender dysphoria and incomplete sense of maleness/femaleness.

And this is garbage. Yes, one might say my relationship with my father was not as warm and close as with my mother, and I did indeed turn out gay. Yet in the very same household, my sister was openly combative with my mother from an extremely young age, and she is a raging heterosexual.

Furthermore, my best male friend has a father who rarely, if ever spoke at the home, and spent 45 weeks a year out on the road as a traveling salesman. This friend turned out heterosexual, and maintains an excellent relationship with his very smart, with-it wife.

I know of very few men, gay or straight, who have warm'n'cuddly relationships with their fathers. Of all my friends, the two who have always been closest with their dads are both -- wait for it -- gay themselves.

Nicolosi has developed all his techniques with that unique subset of gay people who are so mentally anguished at their homosexuality that they would do anything to "get over" it. These self-selected subjects are in absolutely no way representative as a sample of the larger gay population.

This is the main reason his work is utterly invalid as science.
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I am a therapist and I am very familiar with "Dr" Nicolosi's work. He is a deplorable man who makes up data. I read this book just to see what it was saying and the advice is very damaging to gays and lesbians and to their families. It places blame where there is no blame to be placed. People are BORN GAY. The data shows it. This book makes up data, skews results to meet his own agenda. This book is NOT academic. There is nothing about this book that is true. It is incredibly damaging. Avoid this gift and love your child. THAT is how you prevent depression, suicide, substance abuse, promiscuity, etc. Love your child.
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Ten years ago, I adopted a little boy who had been abandoned and then abused in the foster care system. To be the kind of dad he needed, I had to do an enormous amount of research in parenting. Some of the things that we do to children "for their own good" are the psychological equivalent of dunking stools for witches. The polite word is "counter-productive."

So when a close friend of mine with two young sons asked me to read this book and let her know if I thought it useful, I actually had some experience -- academic as well as hands-on -- against which to measure it. To be blunt, I found this book horrifying. Despite the author's pretentions of compassion, his attitudes seem to hark from the dark ages. What he writes in this book is fundamentally out of touch with modern mental health studies. It's worth noting that the Freud himself, once wrote to the mother of a homosexual that there was nothing wrong with her son, and that homosexuality is "no disgrace." Nicolosi apparently believes it is. So he apparently disregards Freud's opinion, and the opinions of the APA and everyone else who has done serious research into human sexual orientation.

Childhood is that time during which the child not only explores and discovers the world he lives in; it is also the time in which a child discovers himself and begins the tricky process of inventing his own identity. We know from dozens of studies that homosexuality occurs in the same percentage in all human populations, and even in animal populations as well. It is (apparently) a normal expression of human sexuality, with specific evolutionary value. Indeed, many cultures on this planet have recognzied and revered homosexuals as blessed.
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nicolosi has been discredited for his barbarism all over the internet, up to and including by one stephen fry, who visited him at his offices to ask him, for instance, why finding patients of his who have been 'cured' of their homosexuality is so difficult, when finding patients who 'did not respond to treatment' is so easy.

in other news, fundamentalists discover 'hungary' is a noun and onanism has no effect on presidential elections whatsoever--news at eleven.
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This book doesn't contain even one shred of truth. Everything about it has long been disproven by every single major Medical & Psychological association in the civilized world. Science has proven homosexuality is genetic & cannot be changed. This book exists to do one thing & one thing only: to hurt children.
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By Turtle on June 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
Therapist here. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that this type of treatment of gay children will change anything except they may change into a more self-hating person. Gay people are BORN gay. If I could give this book less than a star, I would.
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