Straightness 101

Christian Conservatives Take Their Antigay Campaign to the Schools

Indeed, mainstream psychology dismisses make-them-play-football approaches like Nicolosi's as ridiculous. "They take us 30 years backwards," says Karen Anderson, director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education for the American Psychological Association.

Sexual-orientation conversion efforts are both futile and crushing, says Manhattan psychologist Ariel Shidlo, coauthor of a forthcoming study of 201 people who have been through conversion therapy. "It's equivalent to a black family trying to teach their child to pass as white," says Shidlo. "It teaches a child that an important part of them isn't desirable, and that's a very hard feeling to shake off."

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