Demand that Dr. Phil Publicly Apologize to the Ex-Gay and Faith-Based Community for his Intolerance Towards Traditional Biblical Views of Homosexual Behavior
Office of General Counsel
The Dr. Phil Show
Attention: Cynthia Teele
April 5, 2013
Dear Ms. Teele,
On April 1, 2013 Dr. Phil aired a show titled: “Shocking Mom Revelations.” As a part of this episode, Dr. Phil interviewed a mother whose daughter identified as a lesbian. During the episode, the mother shared about her disapproval of her daughter’s “lifestyle choice” and expressed a desire for her daughter to get help. While we do not condone this mother’s belief that homosexuality is simply a “choice” per se, science has recognized, through 100 years of peer-reviewed research, that homosexuality is in fact fluid for some individuals.
For example, a recent study published in the prestigious Archives of Sexual Behavior journal titled: “Stability and Change in Same-Sex Attraction, Experience, and Identity by Sex and Age in a New Zealand Birth Cohort” (Dickson, van Roode, Cameron, and Paul, 2013) showed the experiences of same-sex attraction significantly decreased among women and men with increasing age. Similarly, prior research has shown that exclusive opposite-sex attraction is approximately 17 times more stable than exclusive same-sex attraction for men and 30 times more stable than exclusive same-sex attraction for women (Whitehead & Whitehead, 2011).
There is an abundance of scientific peer-reviewed research that shows homosexuality is not an enduring and immutable characteristic, thus proving the very statement that Dr. Phil said at the end of the episode: “I don’t believe there is any such thing as an ‘ex-gay’” as categorically false, unscientific, and defamatory to the thousands of former homosexuals, persons with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families.
Further, Dr. Phil’s comment to the mother: “Your thought is, if she sees a competent counselor, they will unravel all this confusion for her and the false sense of security she has in romantic relationships with women and this will be clear to her that she’s straight as a string and get on with her life” is an overly-simplistic statement for an esteemed psychologist such as Dr. Phil to make.
Finally, Dr. Phil went onto say to the young woman: “given that you have been molested, that really changes who you are. It causes you to think about things differently, and when it happens at a very young age, it can create some cognitive patterns that are just inaccurate and program you to make some bad choices in your life, it creates a wound that needs healing, and you really do need help with that.”
It is entirely possible that this young woman’s feelings of same-sex attraction are a result of this childhood abuse, yet, Dr. Phil completely left this theory out for a politically-correct explanation to the mother that “this is who she is” – implying that her daughter was born a lesbian.
Please allow me to remind Dr. Phil what the American Psychological Association said in 2008 regarding the etiology of homosexuality:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
For Dr. Phil to not explore ALL the possible reasons why this young woman may be experiencing homosexual feelings is to directly contradict the best evidence from scientists, and thus, mislead the general public. I am certain that he would not do this intentionally. Therefore, Voice of the Voiceless respectfully requests that Dr. Phil:
1. Publicly apologize to the ex-gay community for implying that "we do not exist."
2. Set the record straight on a future broadcast that his statement about former homosexual and the etiology of homosexuality was his opinion, not scientific fact.
3. Invite myself and other former homosexuals and ex-gays, and their families, on a future episode of the Dr. Phil show so that we may tell America about our lives.
Christopher Doyle, M.A.,
Co-Founder and Acting Director, Voice of the Voiceless