Thursday, August 6, 2009

Psychologists Reject Gay "Therapy"

Recently, the American Psychological Association declared that attempts to "convert" homosexuals into heterosexuals through "therapy" has no scientific basis, and may actually cause harm to the patient.

From the New York Times report:

In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy, a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain that gay men and lesbians can change.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.
And CNN reports:

"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, chairwoman of the task force that presented the report at the group's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. The Washington-based association represents more than 150,000 members.

"At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."

In response, the group's governing Council of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods.

The group's Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation reached its conclusion after its review of 87 studies conducted between 1960 and 2007 and finding "serious methodological problems" in the vast majority of them.

This doesn't bode well for Ginny Maziarka's desire (ie, here and here) to include gay conversion literature in the young adult section of the West Bend library.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. While the library might include or exclude "ex-gay" literature for a variety of reasons, Maziarka's claim that including such books will help children or families just won't fly. It isn't just that there's an absence of evidence or even just that so-called "reparative" therapy does't work. There is increasing evidence, in reputable studies, that it causes harm.