American Psychological Association Course Correction: Johannes Jacobse 15 Comments In what could be called a stunning reversal, Dr. Lisa Diamond, a top researcher of the American Psychological Association APA and avowed lesbian activist, states that viewing sexuality as exclusively two types — heterosexual and homosexual — that are rigid and unchangeable no longer applies.
June 4, Dreamstime Gay Therapy Gay conversion therapyas it is known, supposedly helps gay people overcome same-sex attractions. But mainstream psychologists say the therapy is ineffective, unethical and often harmful, exacerbating anxiety and self-hatred among those treated for what is not a mental disorder.
Intwo cases involving the therapy to convert gay people into heterosexuals hit the courts, with one seeking to sue counselors who offer the therapy and the other seeking to defend them. Here are five things you need to know about the therapy and the current lawsuits.
Oleg Golovnev shutterstock Why psychologists say conversion therapy doesn't work Homosexuality is not considered a mental disorder, so the American Psychological Association APA does not recommend "curing" same-sex attraction in any case. Instead, societal ignorance, prejudice and pressure to conform to heterosexual desires are the real dangers to gay people's mental healthaccording to a statement on "conversion" or "reparative" therapy by the APA.
A APA task force found that conversion therapies, despite being touted by religious organizations, have little evidence to back them up. A review of studies from to found only 83 on the topic, the vast majority of which did not have the experimental muscle to show whether the therapies achieved their stated goals.
Many Sexual orientation conversion therapy essay the people studied in the early years were court-mandated to take the therapies, adding a coercive element to those outcomes.
The best-quality studies were more recent and qualitative, the APA task force found, meaning they focused not on the statistical effectiveness of treatment, but of the subjective experience. The participants continued to report same-sex attractions after the conversion therapy, and were not significantly more attracted to the opposite gender.
These studies did find that conversion therapy could be harmful, however. Negative effects included "loss of sexual feeling, depression, suicidality and anxiety. Image via Shutterstock What happens in conversion therapy? Because conversion therapy is not a mainstream psychological treatment, there are no professional standards or guidelines for how it is conducted.
Early treatments in the s and 70s included aversion therapy, such as shocking patients or giving them nausea-inducing drugs while showing them same-sex erotica, according to a article in the British Medical Journal. Other methods included psychoanalysis or talk therapy, estrogen treatments to reduce libido in men, and even electroconvulsive therapy, in which an electric shock is used to induce a seizure, with side effects such as memory loss.
His therapist blamed his parents for Arana's homosexuality, and urged him to distance himself from his female best friends. Chaim Levin, one of the men suing Jonah for deceptive practices, says that he quit conversion therapy after his therapist had him strip down and touch himself to "reconnect with his masculinity," according to the New York Times.
Two legal challenges are targeting conversion therapy. The first is a civil suit in New Jersey in which four former clients of a counseling group called Jonah are suing for deceptive practices.
The patients argue they paid thousands of dollars for therapies that did not rid them of same-sex attractions, and that they then had to pay for mainstream therapy to repair the damage done by the conversion therapy. The bill was signed into law in September Conservative legal groups claim the law is a violation of the right to free speechfreedom of religion and privacy.
DubovaShutterstock How did conversion therapy get started? The desire to turn gay people straight goes way back.
InSigmund Freud wrote of a lesbian patient whose father wanted to see her converted to heterosexuality. Freud echoed modern psychologists by responding that changing sexual orientation was difficult and unlikely. He offered to see the woman anyway, but later broke off the therapy due to her hostility.
InFreud went even further, writing to a woman who wanted her homosexual son converted that homosexuality "is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness.
One of the stranger attempts was an effort by Viennese endocrinologist Eugen Steinach to transplant testicles from straight men into the scrotums of gay men in an attempt to rid them of same-sex desires.
One of the most prominent advocates of conversion therapy in the s and 50s was Edmund Bergler, who saw homosexuality as a perversion and believed he could "cure" gay people with a punishment-based, confrontational therapy style.
Once the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder inconversion therapies lost support.
But religious-right organizations such as Exodus International and Focus on the Family's Love Won Out took up the charge, promoting their own "ex-gay" therapies. The group has religious links; for example, one of its founders and former president, psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, is a one-time spokesman for Focus on the Family.
One study says it works Groups that promote conversion therapy often point to a single study to support their work. Infamed psychiatrist Robert Spitzer, who spearheaded the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's mental disorder list inreported in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior that interviews with conversion therapy patients suggested that some people could change their sexual orientation.
The paper was incendiary and highly criticized, given that it relied on interviews with patients instead of measurable benchmarks of same-sex desires. Conservative groups were delighted to have support from Spitzer, who wasn't tainted with religious bias or anti-gay ideology ; gay organizations felt betrayed.
In the end, however, Spitzer came to agree with his critics. There was no way to confirm that what his interviewees said was true, he wrote in to the editor of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.American Psychological Association Course Correction: Sexual Orientation and ‘Gender Identity’ Not Fixed After All.
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(May ) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). Several organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, oppose sexual orientation change therapy, also known as conversion or reparative. So what does the science say about Born This Way?
There is a unanimous opinion that gay “conversion therapy” should be rejected. Let’s first be clear that whatever the origins of our sexual. Famous Psychologists - Sigmund Freud. Psychologist - Anywhere you need help Anytime you need it This one of a kind personal service by Dr Vincent Berger, an internationally recognized Board Certified Psychologist, is for those with a demanding lifestyle who don't have the time or inclination for typical appointments.