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Religious Tolerance logo

Part 3

1998 to 2000: Trying to Convert Gays to
heterosexuals using Reparative Therapy
.

LGBT flag 1

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This topic continues here from the previous essay

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1998 (Cont'd):

On 1998-DEC-14, the American Psychiatric Association rejected reparative therapy as ineffective and potentially destructive. 2, 3 Their Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a position statement opposing reparative therapy.

APA President, Rodrigo Munoz, commented:

"It is fitting that this position opposing reparative therapy is adopted on the 25th anniversary of the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the DSM. There is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. There is, however, evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive."

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a pro-equality group, responded positively to this stance. 4

The APA statement said, in part:

"The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.

Many patients who have undergone 'reparative therapy' relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. ... The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes that in the course of ongoing psychiatric treatment, there may be appropriate clinical indications for attempting to change sexual behaviors."

Also in 1998-DEC, the American Counseling Association (ACA) published an article on reparative therapy.

Mary Bart, a former editor of Counseling Today, wrote:

"...in many [reparative therapy] cases, ... purported successes are nothing more than bisexuals who are highly motivated to adopt heterosexual behaviors."

She quoted Bob Barret, past-president of the Association for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues in Counseling (AGLBIC) who said:

"In this so-called reparative therapy, I don't think they are changing sexual orientation. I think they are changing sexual identity and sexual behavior. ... In most of the anecdotal evidence, a lot of the 'ex-gays' will say that they still have same-sex attraction, but they don't act on it. And there are plenty of people like me who were married and had a sexual identity and sexual behavior that was heterosexual, but whose sexual orientation is gay." (AGLBIC is a division of the ACA.)

She quoted Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper who helped found Exodus International, the leading organization which tries to develop a heterosexual orientation in persons with a homosexual orientation. They said:

"After dealing with hundreds of people, [we] haven't met one who went from gay to straight. Even if you manage to alter someone's sexual behavior, you cannot change their true sexual orientation."

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1999:

On 1999-JAN-15, the American Psychiatric Association's Board of Trustees:

"... endorsed a position statement at its December meeting that opposes therapeutic techniques some psychiatrists and mental health professionals claim can shift an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. The Board acknowledged that there is no evidence that these so-called 'reparative therapies' have any efficacy in converting someone from one sexual orientation to another." 5

The statement points out that:

"...potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by a patient."

APA President Rodrigo Muñoz, M.D. stated:

"There is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. ... there is, however, evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive."

During 1999-APR, at its World Conference, the American Counseling Association adopted a position opposing the promotion of "reparative therapy" as a "cure" for individuals who are homosexual. 6

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During the year 2000:

The board of directors of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) adopted a statement on therapy designed to change a person's sexual orientation. It said, in part:

"The increase in media campaigns, often coupled with coercive messages from family and community members, has created an environment in which lesbians and gay men often are pressured to seek reparative or conversion therapies, which cannot and will not change sexual orientation.

"Aligned with the American Psychological Association's (1997) position, NCLGB believes that such treatment potentially can lead to severe emotional damage..."

"No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful..."

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a conservative group that still considered homosexuality to be a "sexual disorder." Some of the following beliefs are derived from NARTH's Statement of Policy. Others are derived from a speech that NARTH's founder, Dr. Nicolosi, gave to a OneByOne meeting on 2000-JUN-26. 7 

bullet Homosexuality is probably the most misunderstood "sexual disorder."

bullet Effective scientific study of homosexuality has been eroded by the gay/lesbian movement.

bullet Human sexuality researchers have been intimidated into silence by a conspiracy.

bullet "Social-activist groups...have portrayed sexual deviancy as an normal way of life."

bullet "There is no such thing as a homosexual person. We are all heterosexuals. Homosexuality is a description of a condition. It is not a description of the intrinsic nature of the person."

bullet Homosexuality "works against society's essential male-female design and family unit."

bullet Homosexuality is often caused by incompetent parenting and/or child sexual abuse:
bullet "The development of the male homosexual is basically someone who did not develop that strong sense of masculine identity and he is trying to fulfill that sense of masculine deficit by connecting with a man. But the only way he knows how to do it is sexually. What feels right and natural is the sex drive that is being displaced onto a person of the same sex for emotional needs."

bullet Homosexuality is often caused by early sexual abuse.
bullet Homosexuality is preventable in childhood and treatable in adulthood. 8
bullet Most gays and lesbians can successfully convert to heterosexuality through reparative therapy.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Image downloaded from Pixabay; (CC0 Public Domain).
  2. M.S. Katz, "American Psychiatric Association rebukes reparative therapy," APA, 1998-DEC-14. Text and news release on line at: http://www.psych.org/news_stand/rep_therapy.html
  3. "Position Statement: Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation," American Psychiatric Association, 1998.
  4. "APA bolsters condemnation of 'Reparative Therapy' to 'change' gays," Human Rights Campaign, at: http://www.hrc.org/feature1/apa22.html
  5. "APA maintains reparative therapy not effective," 1999-JAN-15, at: http://www.psych.org/ 
  6. "Action by American Counseling Association Governing Council," 1999-APR.
  7. "Homosexuality starts as a developmental disorder that can end with therapy," PCUSA NEWS, 2000-JUN-27; news release GA00064
  8. Joseph and Linda Nicolosi, "A parent's guide to preventing homosexuality," InterVarsity Press, (2002). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. This book has been given a poor rating (2 stars out of 5) by Amazon.com reviewers.

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Copyright © 1997 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2007-MAY-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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