Issued on behalf of Core Issues Trust
For Immediate Release
03 June 2014
Psychiatrists in climb-down on 'born gay' claim
In a dramatic policy change, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has altered its position on the nature of same-sex attraction. It now believes that same-sex attraction is not fully determined at birth.
According to a new position statement, issued quietly, the Royal College now believes that sexual orientation is "determined by a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors".
It also rejects the notion that sexual orientation is unchangeable, saying that "it is not the case sexual orientation is immutable". Instead it recognises that sexual orientation may vary during someone's life.
The statement represents a major shift from Royal College's previous position and contradicts other statements that remain on its website (e.g. "It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by genetic factors ...and/or the early uterine environment").
The u-turn follows strong criticsm of the College's previous stance and its handling of the scientific evidence by groups such as Core Issues Trust during the formulation of the Church of England's Pilling Report.
Dr Mike Davidson, Director of Core Issues Trust responded to the changes by saying:
"This is a remarkable development and underlines the need to hold influential professional bodies to account by confronting them with the reality of the scientific evidence so that those they represent can have full confidence in the positions they adopt.
"The assumption that people are 'born gay' has become deeply rooted in our society and has driven huge political, social and cultural change. As this latest statement reveals, that assumption is false and it is vital that professional bodies stand up against it rather than perpetuate it. Ideologically driven bias in this debate is damaging people's lives and freedoms.
"However, although the Royal College of Psychiatrists now recognises that sexual attraction can change it still opposes any efforts to try to help people change unwanted same-sex attraction. This seems irrational and cruel."
The issue will be discussed at the 'Debunking the Myths' Conferences in London and Belfast next week.
For more information/interview
Andrea Minichiello Williams: 07712 591 164
Notes for editors
Core Issues Trust (www.core-issues.org) is a non-profit Christian ministry supporting men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression. It respects the rights of individuals who identify as 'gay' who do not seek change, and supports dignity for LGBT persons.
The impact of the Royal College's change in position will be discussed at the 'Debunking the Myths' Conferences next week in London (13th June) and Belfast (14th June) - for more information: http://www.debunkingthemyths.com
Position Statement on Sexual Orientation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists is available here
Response Statement from Core Issues Trust' is available here (or at www.core-issues.org)