FAIR, a volunteer organization that provides information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has prepared a thorough explainer regarding aversion therapy, Brigham Young University (BYU), and President Dallin H. Oaks.
President Oaks was president of BYU from 1971 to 1980. During that time, psychology graduate student Max McBride conducted research on aversion therapy, or the use of weak electric shocks to the arm to decrease unwanted homosexual attraction. McBride’s research was overseen by BYU professor Eugene Thorne. Thorne also used aversion therapy as part of his private psychology practice. Both used nearly identical methods, and McBride’s research was intended to finesse the techniques used by Thorne and other mainstream psychologists.
Some church critics have made unsupported claims about the research and about President Oaks. The accompanying explainer provides thorough documentation showing why those claims are misleading and irresponsible.