Elizabeth Moberly is a British research psychologist and theologian.
Moberly is the author of Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, in which she suggests several possible causes of male homosexuality and a therapeutic cure.
Moberly was involved in ministry to homosexuals as Director of Psychosexual Education and Therapy for BCM International. She subsequently became involved in cancer research.
Moberly is a theologian and self-proclaimed psychoanalyst. She thinks that the primary cause of homosexuality is the failure of bonding with the same-sex parent, and that homosexuality is a reparative drive to repair this lack of affection. She advocates homosocial bonding instead. She implies that gay activists are basically dishonest.
She coined the term ‘reparative therapy’ to describe her therapeutic approach to restore one’s sense of gender identity. Where the failure of bonding is particularly severe, ‘a defensive detachment from the same sex implies disidentification: not just an absence of identification but a reaction against identification’. In other words, transsexuality is extreme homosexuality.
Her research did not involve psychotherapy with any gays or transsexuals.
She simply did an extensive review of the previous writings of Irving Bieber, Lawrence Hatterer, and Sigmund Freud. No trained psychologist or psycho-analyst would restrict themselves to just these three writers.
She admitted that she had done no new research.
Her work was never peer-reviewed by any psychologists or psycho-analysts.
The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics have all condemned reparative therapy as ineffective.
She was invited to speak at ex-gay conventions in the US in the movement that produced NARTH (National Association for Recovery and Treatment of Homosexuality).
Moberly’s opinions continue to be endorsed in Christian circles as ‘scientific’.
She now works in cancer research.
Elizabeth R. Moberly. Psychogenesis: The Early Development of Gender Identity: London & Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1983.
Elizabeth R. Moberly. Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic. Cambridge: James Clarke 1983.
Jeffry G. Ford. “Reparative Therapy is Neither”. http://jgford.homestead.com/Fordessay.html.
Elizabeth Moberly. “Homosexuality and The Truth”. Leadership U. March 1997.www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9703/opinion/moberly.html with reponses at www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9706/correspondence.html.
I was unable to find a clear statement of what qualifications, if any, Moberly has. No writers claim that she has any qualifications in either psychology or psychoanalysis. The assumption is that she has a degree, a PhD even, in theology. Sometimes Cambridge is mentioned, sometimes Oxford. Or maybe she was a child in Cambridge.
No respected scientist or medic nowadays supports the designation “disordered” to homosexuality.
More interesting scientific study will be done into the whole area of sexual orientation and what determines it.
Father Marsden & Co must reach back 40 or 50 years to find “experts” that back their positions.
We must never allow our own, even unrecognised, prejudices to inform out theology or psychology.
From the theological and pastoral perspectives there are serioys and important questions to be asked about the development and presence of the homomafia in the church.
From the spiritual and even mental and physical health point of view the behaviours of some homosexual priests and seminarians is a very big problem that has to be addressed.
But the answer is not to be found in putting people back in societal chains or in telling them they are going to hell.
A NEW ORATORY RESIDENT