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Sexual and Gender Identity Institute Books

These are some books by Dr. Mark Yarhouse that are particularly relevant to sexual or gender identity.


General Content VariantSexual Identity and Faith: Helping Clients Find Congruence (Spirituality and Mental Health)

by Mark A. Yarhouse

Christians who struggle with a conflict between their sexual and religious identities have few therapeutic options available to them. ‘Sexual orientation change efforts’ (SOCE) have rightly fallen out of favor and are no longer practiced by most clinicians. At the same time, the common approach of gay affirmative therapy (GAT) can at times present challenges and may not be a good fit when clients hold to conventional religious beliefs and values.

An alternative to these methods is Sexual Identity Therapy (SIT)—an approach that aims to provide individuals with a safe therapeutic space to explore the tension between their sexuality and their faith. Working within the SIT framework, clients are able to resolve their inner conflict to their personal satisfaction and to freely choose a coherent identity that enables them to move forward in life.

SIT has several stages, each designed to enable the client to make meaning out of his or her same-sex sexuality. At no point in the process is the client encouraged to choose one sexual identity over another. The ultimate goal of SIT is congruence. Congruence is achieved when a person freely adopts an identity and lives it out in ways that are in keeping with his or her beliefs and values.

View Sexuality and Faith on Amazon.com >


General Content VariantUnderstanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture

by Mark A. Yarhouse

*Foreword Reviews' 18th Annual INDIEFAB Honorable Mention for Psychology

Few topics are more contested today than gender identity. In the fog of the culture war, complex issues like gender dysphoria are reduced to slogans and sound bites. And while the war rages over language, institutions and political allegiances, transgender individuals are the ones who end up being the casualties. Mark Yarhouse, an expert in sexual identity and therapy, challenges the church to rise above the political hostilities and listen to people's stories. In Understanding Gender Dysphoria, Yarhouse offers a Christian perspective on transgender issues that eschews simplistic answers and appreciates the psychological and theological complexity. The result is a book that engages the latest research while remaining pastorally sensitive to the experiences of each person. In the midst of a tense political climate, Yarhouse calls Christians to come alongside those on the margins and stand with them as they resolve their questions and concerns about gender identity. Understanding Gender Dysphoria is the book we need to navigate these stormy cultural waters.

View Understanding Gender Dysphoria on Amazon.com>


General Content VariantUnderstanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry

by Mark A. Yarhouse

Today’s youth struggle with difficult questions of sexual identity. How can a youth worker offer wise care and counsel on such a controversial and confusing subject? Mark Yarhouse, director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity, equips youth ministers so they can faithfully navigate the topic of sexual identity in a way that is honest, compassionate, and accessible. Reframing the focus away from the culture wars, Yarhouse introduces readers to the developmental considerations in the formation of sexual identity―all of which occurs in the teen years. He offers practical and helpful ways to think about homosexuality along with suggestions for talking with people who experience same-sex attraction. He also helps parents and youth volunteers learn to graciously respond to children and teens who struggle with questions of sexual identity, and discusses how youth ministry can become more relevant in the lives of youth who are navigating these issues.

View Understanding Sexual Identity on Amazon.com >


General Content VariantHomosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends

by Mark A. Yarhouse

Honest, accurate answers to questions about homosexuality from the leading Christian expert on the topic. Also explains current research and whether homosexuality can be overcome.

View Homosexuality and the Christian on Amazon.com >


General Content VariantCostly Obedience: What We Can Learn from the Celibate Gay Christian Community

By Mark Yarhouse & Olya Zaporozhets

Though we often hear about the "gay problem" today, there is an even deeper problem in the church today--one that we often overlook. The call to follow Christ is a call to costly obedience for all, not just for gay Christians. Far too often, the church has elevated homosexuality above other sins and required a costly obedience from gays that it is unwilling to demand of others. And yet, the answer is not to weaken the demands of obedience. Instead, gay Christians who make the difficult choice to align their lives with the biblical view of sexuality are a gift to the church, reminding all of us that spiritual growth and maturity is costly. There is a price to pay in following Christ and devoting our lives to the call of the gospel, and it is one that we all must pay--gay and straight Christians alike.

Through the stories and struggles of gay Christians who are reorienting their lives around the costly obedience required to follow Christ, Mark Yarhouse and Olya Zaporozhets call the church to reorient as well, leaving behind the casual morality that is widespread today to pursue the path of radical discipleship. Unlike any other book on homosexuality and the church, this is a call to examine your life and consider what God is asking you to lay down to take up your cross and follow him.

View Costly Obedience on Amazon.com >