More on Conversion Therapy

August 16, 2006

The American Psychological Association released a statement on Thursday as follows:

“For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”

As one commenter mentioned in a previous post, we should not get our APAs mixed up.  This APA is not the American Psychiatric Association, the community charged with creating the diagnostic codes, and the organization which removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the early 70s.

This is the American Psychological Association; in my “small world”, focused my on solving problems behaviorally (cognitively) instead of through medication, although I’m probably wrong there.  At any rate, this is their position, and I welcome it.  It is one more fact in the fire- one more piece of evidence against “reparative therapy”- which incidentally claims to be a cognitive therapy.  Note that reparative therapists have been asked for evidence of their therapies, and have presented all sorts of wacky treatments with no scientific, quantifiable, research studies behind them to back them up.  In other words, they say “believe in reparative therapy because we say so” instead of the other side, which says “believe that homosexuality is not ‘curable’ and is a normal condition because we can cite you study x, study y, and studies z, a, b and c which all independently came to the same conclusion.”

For more on this topic, see the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s paper, Youth in the Crosshairs:  The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism.

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One Response to “More on Conversion Therapy”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Another great link, from the American Counseling Association. Its very interesting to me that there isn’t one independent organization in favor of reparative therapy, yet the religious right still continues to claim it is not harmful:

    http://www.counseling.org/PressRoom/NewsReleases.aspx?AGuid=b68aba97-2f08-40c2-a400-0630765f72f4


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