Text of letter sent by David Fishback to the Washington Times, published 9/27/05

I guess the editors at the Washington Times wanted more on "the other side" after yesterday's article. Note, however, the last paragraph:

"In 2002, researchers Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder recruited 182 men and 20 women for a study on the negative effects of reparative therapy. They found that 176 subjects said reparative therapy was harmful, while 26 said it was successful."

And if a reader read yesterday's Times article, quoting Robert Rigby as saying that if HE had been asked years ago if it had been successful for him, he would have said yes, that reader should be quite skeptical about the 26.

If families feel so strongly about their views -- however misguided -- they have the option of not letting their children take the Family Life and Human Sexuality Unit. If that unit eventually has proper basic information from the AMA, etc., those parents will be able to keep their children from the unit. And if any of their children turn out to be gay, and they are put into reparative therapy then there will "only" be an 87% chance their children will be harmed, assuming the accuracy of the Shidlo study is accurate and none of the 26 were Robert Rigbys. I suspect many of the 13% were in Robert's situation. If parents wish to play such dice with their children's emotional well-being, that is their choice. But the public schools should not be complicit in such extremely risky notions. I hope this on-going discussion will help people understand that putting children or adults into "reparative therapy" is both dangerous and unnecessary.

David Fishback