Early this month, Vjack mentioned that scientific studies have shown that attempts to "convert" homosexuals don't work. I asked for references, he gave them, and I eventually dug through them to find Douglas C. Haldeman's chapter in Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy. Good material, though not a book likely to be found in your average public library, so I thought it was worth typing up the skinny here.
First, to no one's surprise, Haldeman shows that it doesn't work, and studies claiming to show it does aren't very impressive. The first one he discusses is a study that only claimed a 27% success rate, based on therapist's judgement rather than more objective criteria. Worse, a large chunk of those involved in the study weren't homosexual to begin with but bisexual.
The most damning information, however, comes from admissions of those who administer the therapies. One admitted that "Most, if not all, people who have been homosexual continue to have some homosexual feelings, fantasies, and interests. More often than not, they also have occasional, or more than occasional, homosexual outlets, even while being 'happily married.'" What this enthusiast is describing are not ex-homosexuals, but homosexuals who've caved to social pressure to pretend to be straight. Haldeman also cites the analysis another researcher who focused on religiously based attempts at conversion: "Blair states that although many of these practitioners publicly promise 'change,' they privately acknowledge that celibacy is the realistic goal to which homosexuals must aspire."
Thus goes yet another bit of fundamentalist pseudoscience.