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Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are methods that aim to change a same-sex sexual orientation. They may include behavioral techniques, psychoanalytic techniques, medical approaches, religious and spiritual approaches. All major American, European and Australian medical organizations have spoken critically of SOCE, and the American Psychological Association advises people to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth." The APA reports of insufficient evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work and that "practitioners should avoid telling clients they can change from Gay to Straight". A task force commissioned by the APA determined that there is insufficient to conclude whether or not such efforts can work in changing a person’s sexual orientation. There are reports of both harm and benefit, but there is insufficient evidence to determine any causal relationship between either the benefit or the harm. A task force commissioned by the APA determined that the reported benefits from SOCE could be achieved through other means and instead recommends sexual orientation identity exploration for patients distressed by their sexual orientation.

There is extensive debate in professional media and popular media about ethics, efficacy, benefits, and potential for harm of SOCE. Debates include whether SOCE should be available to people who request it, accusations of people being forced to undergo SOCE against their will, and how the promotion of SOCE affects LGBT rights.

History

Medical attempts to change homosexuality included surgical treatments such as hysterectomy, ovariectomy, clitoridectomy, castration, vasectomy, pudic nerve surgery, and lobotomy. Substance-based methods included hormone treatment, pharmacologic shock treatment, and treatment with sexual stimulants and sexual depressants. Other methods included aversion therapy, the reduction of aversion to heterosexuality, electroshock treatment, group therapy, hypnosis, and psychoanalysis.

Richard von Krafft-Ebing

Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing with his wife Marie Luise


Krafft-Ebing was a German-Austrian psychiatrist and one of the founders of scientific sexology. His first systematic work on sexual pathology was published in 1877 in a German psychiatric journal. His influential work, Psychopathia Sexualis was published in 1886. Numerous expanded German editions followed, and it was widely translated. Krafft-Ebing became a proponent of the sickness model of homosexuality.

Section IV of Psychopathia Sexualis, “General Pathology“, discussed homosexuality in “Diagnosis, Prognosis and Therapy of Antipathic Sexual Instinct.” Krafft-Ebing believed that homosexuality could be either innate or acquired. In his view, it could sometimes be treated through prevention of masturbation and cure of the neuroses “arising out of the unhygienic conditions of sexual life”, but these methods would work only in rare cases “where acquired antipathic sexual instinct has not progessed far”, and would therefore usually be ineffective even when homosexuality was not inborn. Krafft-Ebing believed that hypnosis was therefore the "only means of salvation" in most cases. He stated that he knew of only a single case in which self-hypnosis had proven successful, and that hypnotic suggestion by another person was usually necessary to change homosexuality.

Krafft-Ebing wrote about this method that "... the object of post-hypnotic suggestion is to remove the impulse to masturbation and homosexual feelings, and to encourage heterosexual emotions with a sense of virility". Krafft-Ebing described three cases in which he believed it had proved satisfactory, writing that they "seem to afford a proof that even the gravest cases of congenital sexual inversion may be benefited by the application of hypnotism". He warned however that "only when hypnotism produces deep somnambulism decided and lasting results may be hoped for".

He rejected castration as a cure for homosexuality, and the internment of gay people in asylums, except in cases involving sex crimes. Krafft-Ebing cautioned that the success or failure of treatments for homosexuality proved nothing about its causes. He defended the right of patients to receive such treatment. Krafft-Ebing criticised several objections to medical treatment of homosexuality, including the charges that it was ineffective and that it gave an opportunity "to tainted individuals to propagate their perversions". In his view, physicians had a duty to provide such treatment if it was requested.

He concluded his discussion of methods of curing homosexuality by remarking that “in the majority of cases, the patient is quite satisfied when he becomes sexually neutral, and under these circumstances medical skill has rendered a great service to both society and the individual himself.” Later editions of Psychopathia Sexualis included an increased number of autobiographies by gay people who made it clear that they did not wish to change their sexual orientation.

Current status

In the last two decades of the 19th century, a different view began to predominate in medical and psychiatric circles, judging such behavior as indicative of a type of person with a defined and relatively stable sexual orientation. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, pathological models of homosexuality were standard.

In 1992, the World Health Organization replaced its categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness with the diagnosis of ego-dystonic homosexuality. The UK Government followed suit in 1994, followed by the Ministry of Health in Russian Federationmarker in 1999 and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry in 2001. The trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had previously voted unanimously to remove homosexuality as a disorder from the Sexual Deviancy section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-II in 1973. This decision was officially confirmed by 58% of the general APA membership in 1974, who voted to replace the diagnosis with a milder category of "sexual orientation disturbance", which was then replaced in the DSM-III with "ego-dystonic homosexuality" which, in 1986, was deleted from the DSM-III-R. The APA now classifies persistent and marked distress about one's sexual orientation under Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified. Therapy to change sexual orientation is still permitted, with the self-determination of the client being one of the most frequently cited arguments in support of the therapy.

Methods

Behavior therapy

Types of behavior therapy used to change sexual orientation include aversion therapy, covert sensitization and systematic desensitization. Aversion therapy associates negative stimuli with homoerotic pictures and positive stimuli with heteroerotic pictures. A series of 1966 experiments appeared promising, and the practice became popular, but when reports were shown to be flawed, it fell out of favour. Since 1994, the American Psychological Association has declared that aversion therapy is a dangerous practice that does not work, but it is still in use in some countries.

Bioenergetics

Bioenergetics is a therapeutic technique developed by Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, who were students of Wilhelm Reich. It has been used to attempt to convert gay people to heterosexuality by Richard Cohen, who has been called one of America's leading practitioners of conversion therapy. Cohen holds male patients in his lap with the patient curled into the fetal position, and also advocates methods involving shouting or slamming a pillow with a tennis racket.

Conversion therapy

The American Psychological Association defines conversion therapy or reparative therapy as therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association states that conversion therapy or reparative therapy is a type of psychiatric treatment "based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation." Psychologist Douglas Haldeman writes that conversion therapy comprises efforts by mental health professionals and pastoral care providers to convert lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality, and that techniques include psychoanalysis, group therapy, aversive conditioning involving electric shock or nausea-inducing drugs, sex therapy, reparative therapy, and involvement in ex-gay ministries such as Exodus International.

The ethics guidelines of major U.S. mental health organizations vary from cautionary statements about the safety, effectiveness, and dangers of prejudice associated with conversion therapy (American Psychological Association) to recommending that ethical practitioners refrain from using conversion therapy (American Psychiatric Association) or referring patients to others who do (American Counseling Association). It may be harmful if the client is egosyntonic and does not wish to change their sexual orientation.

Ex-gay groups

A task force commissioned by the APA found that ex-gay groups act like support groups, in that they help counteract and buffer minority stress, marginalization, and isolation.

Most ex-gay groups focus on abstaining from homosexual relationships rather than a complete sexual orientation change from homosexual to heterosexual. Exodus International believe reparative therapy can be a beneficial tool in addressing unwanted same-sex attraction, but advises members not to go to therapists who imply that they will be able to change sexual orientation. Evergreen International teaches that it is unlikely therapy can erase all homosexual feelings, and does not advocate any particular form of therapy.

Marriage therapy

People with a sexual relationship disorder have difficulty forming or maintaining a relationship because of their sexual orientation. A significant number of men and women experience conflict surrounding homosexual expression within a mixed-orientation marriage. People may turn to a marriage therapist for help to change their sexual orientation. Although a strong homosexual identity was associated with difficulties in marital satisfaction, viewing the same-sex activities as compulsive facilitated commitment to the marriage and to monogamy.

Religious methods

Some people with unwanted homosexual attractions turn to their faith for help. Exodus International has as its purpose to promote the message of "Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ". Some conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is a result of a broken world and that faith can change sexual orientation. Some report that their sexual orientation has been changed through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Syntonic therapy

Syntonic therapy, a method developed by Robert Kronemeyer, was based partly on the work of Wilhelm Reich.

Kronemeyer agreed with Janov that, "...the homosexual act is not essentially a sexual one but is based upon the denial of real sexuality; it is, through sex, the acting out symbolically of a need for love." However, Kronemeyer criticised Janov's methods for over-relying upon catharsis, stating that it was not the only important part of therapy. Kronemeyer also stated that patients should be allowed to continue in their neurotic crutches until their defenses were strong enough for them to abandon them voluntarily since not doing so was inhumane, that primal therapy was excessively expensive, and that many of the patients who screamed did so only to please their therapists. Kronemeyer contrasted his idea of cure with Janov's, stating that while Janov regarded it as the emergence of a primal person, he regarded it as the integration of all aspects of a person, including body, emotions, mind, and spirit.

Kronemeyer rejected some earlier methods that were used in attempts to change homosexuality, including lobotomy, electroshock treatment, and Aesthetic Realism.

Reasons why people seek to change sexual orientation

A majority of people who attempt to change their sexual orientation come from conservative religious backgrounds. A study by Spitzer found that 79% of 200 men and women who said they changed their sexual orientation were motivated by religion, with 93% indicating that religion is "extremely" or "very" important. Others indicated their desire came from moral or social values, which may be independent of their religion. Many people also say they wish to remain faithful to a spouse, or wish to enter into an opposite-sex marriage. Spitzer's study indicated that 67% of the men and 35% of women listed this as a reason.

Many people may seek to change their sexual orientation as a way to avoid behaviors which they perceive as being associated with homosexuality, such non-monogamy. Some men perceive that men who have sex with men are at higher risk for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases, and seek to change their sexual orientation to avoid what they see as risky sexual behavior.

An APA task force found that people often sought out SOCE due to (a) a lack of other sources of social support; (b) a desire for active coping and (c) access to methods of sexual orientation identity exploration and reconstruction. The American Psychological Association states that harassment and abuse, as well as pressure from family, peers, and religious groups ignorant about and prejudiced against homosexuality, may cause high levels of emotional stress for LGB people. These pressures may lead people to feel forced into attempting to change their sexual orientation. Other researchers have found that social pressure plays a key role in a person's desire to change his or her sexuality.

Effects of SOCE

The medical consensus in US, Europe and Australia consider sexual orientation change potentially harmful. Participants have reported both harm and benefit from such efforts, but no causal relationship has been determined between either the benefit or the harm. The American Psychiatric Association has stated that "anecdotal reports of "cures" are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm" and supports and encourages further research on the risks versus benefits. and cautions that “[t]he potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.”

Malleability of sexual orientation

The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state that "Sexual orientation has proved to be generally impervious to interventions intended to change it”. The APA states that there "are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation." In 2009, an APA task force reported: "Given the limited amount of methodologically sound research, claims that recent SOCE (sexual orientation change effort) is effective are not supported. We concluded that the early high-quality evidence is the best basis for predicting what would be the outcome of valid interventions. These studies show that enduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon. The participants in this body of research continued to experience same-sex attractions following SOCE and did not report significant change to other-sex attractions that could be empirically validated." They also reported that "given the limited amount of methodologically sound research, we cannot draw a conclusion regarding whether recent forms of SOCE are or are not effective."

One of the reasons is that there are no randomized clinical trials to validate claims of effectiveness. Without these, it is impossible to determine whether the reported changes were caused by therapy, or by another factor such as will power. The Royal College of Psychiatrists and United States Surgeon General David Satcher and American Psychological Associations have all concluded that there is insufficient evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.

Research indicates that it may be possible to accentuate heterosexual attraction among those who already experience some heterosexual attraction, but has found little support for those who had no heterosexual attraction at the beginning of the treatment. Non-experimental studies indicate that some people report an increase in heterosexual attraction, while others go on to heterosexually marry, but that the change cannot be validly attributed to SOCE. The highly religious nature of clients who seek SOCE makes it difficult to accurately measure increase in heterosexual attraction because many object to traditional methods of measuring sexual response, such as being exposed to pornographic images. After reviewing the accounts of participants reporting an increase in heterosexual attraction, Beckstead said that the accounts did not indicate a change of sexual orientation because the change in orientation was limited towards the spouse and was different than their homosexual attractions.

Aversive therapies show temporary reduction in same-sex attraction for some individuals, but no sustained change in the orientation of sexual attractions, though some showed lessened physiological arousal to all sexual stimuli. Non-aversive and recent methods have not been rigorously evaluated. Some individuals have appeared to learn how to ignore or limit their attractions.

The stories of people who have said they changed sexual orientation has been covered by several news sources. Clinton Anderson, director of the APA Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns Office, responded by saying: "I don't think that anyone disagrees with the idea that people can change because we know that straight people become gays and lesbians.... the issue is whether therapy changes sexual orientation, which is what many of these people claim." Dr Nicolosi argues Anderson's response doesn't make sense and that if sexual orientation can change outside of therapy, then therapy should be able to facilitate that process. In general, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) states that "some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime". Advocates of SOCE argue that evidence supporting malleability of sexual orientation should be considered when discussing whether SOCE can change sexual orientation.

There is disagreement among advocates of SOCE over what constitutes a change in sexual orientation. Some advocate that it is possible to change completely from homosexual to heterosexual, while some disagree. Nicolosi says that when a man changes orientation, he "doesn't immediately walk down a street and get a sexual charge from looking at a woman. But he will begin to notice women. He will begin to feel a desire to get married and have a family." Nicolosi admits a successful client may still have same-sex attractions, but adds "that sexual desire is greatly diminished."

Psychological effects

Participants who reported harm generally reported "anger, anxiety, confusion, depression, grief, guilt, hopelessness, deteriorated relationships with family, loss of social support, loss of faith, poor self-image, social isolation, intimacy difficulties, intrusive imagery, suicidal ideation, self-hatred, and sexual dysfunction. These reports of perceptions of harm are countered by accounts of perceptions of relief, happiness, improved relationships with God, and perceived improvement in mental health status". Participants also reported that SOCE supported celibacy, validated mixed-orientation marriage, and encouraging and supporting other-sex sexual behaviors, which the participants viewed as being positive. The task force determined that the benefits reported by SOCE could be achieved through other methods. Clients with an egosyntonic sexual orientation can feel shamed and emotionally hurt if therapists attempted to change their sexual orientation.

Change in sexual orientation identity

The APA states that psychotherapy, support groups, and life events can change sexual orientation identity (private and public identification, and group belonging), emotional adjustment (self-stigma and shame reduction), and personal beliefs, values and norms (change of religious and moral belief, behavior and motivation). The client may learn to accept an LGB identity, a heterosexual identity, reject an LGB identity (such as ex-gay) or chose not to have a specified sexual identity. Dr. Judith Glassgold, who chaired the task force, said there has been little research on the long-term effects of rejecting a gay identity, but there is "no clear evidence of harm" and "some people seem to be content with that path".

Some gay-rights activists are skeptical of the APA's position. Wayne Besen, who opposes SOCE, said the APA's stance was "incredibly misguided."

Inaccurate information

The APA has expressed concern over practitioners of SOCE that inaccurately represent homosexuality as a mental illness. Medical organizations view homosexuality as a normal variant of human sexuality and do not allow therapists to portray homosexuality as a mental disorder or as abnormal. The lack of information puts LGB people at risk for conversion treatments. Practitioners of SOCE may cause considerable harm and anguish for a client by reinforcing negative stereotypes about homosexuality, such as denying the viability of same-gender relationships as fulfilling and natural. The APA has expressed concern that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish. Patients may experience a significant amount of distress and a negative self-image if they believe that SOCE can change sexual orientaiton.

The American Psychological Association "encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others’ sexual orientation". Therapists may not portray LGBT people as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and accurately give information about sexual orientation, mental health, and appropriate interventions.

The American Counseling Association says that a counselor attempting to change the sexual orientation "must define the techniques/procedures as 'unproven' or 'developing' and explain the potential risks and ethical considerations of using such techniques/procedures and take steps to protect clients from possible harm." The counselor must also provide complete information about the treatment, offer referrals to gay-affirmative counselors, discuss the right of clients, understand the client's request within a cultural context, and only practice within their level of expertise.

Position of professional organizations on SOCE

The World Health Organization's ICD-10, which is widely used internationally outside of North America (where DSM-IV-TR is used), states that "sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder". It lists ego-dystonic sexual orientation as a disorder instead, the diagnosis for which is when "the gender identity or sexual preference (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or prepubertal) is not in doubt, but the individual wishes it were different because of associated psychological and behavioural disorders, and may seek treatment in order to change it." The APA dropped ego-dystonic homosexuality from the DSM-IV in 1987 and opposes the diagnosis of either homosexuality or ego-dystonic homosexuality as any type of disorder. They advise people to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder, but has no conflict with psychologists who help those distressed by unwanted homosexual attraction in a full, multifaceted therapeutic relationship and recommends sexual orientation identity exploration for patients distressed by their sexual orientation.

Mainstream health organizations critical of attempts to change sexual orientation include the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the National Education Association.

In Chinamarker, Western psychiatry and psychology were imported during a "Westernization Movement" in the late 19th century. At that time, the West viewed homosexuality as a mental disorder, and that became the prevailing view in China as well. During this period, homosexual sexual behavior was grounds for persecution, a marked change from the attitude of general (but not total) acceptance found in pre-19th-century China. These views lasted throughout the 1970s, despite changed theoretical models of sexuality orientation in the West, during a period when the Chinese government held a "closed-door" policy on information about human sexuality. After 1980, information became more available, and views began to change. In 2000 and under pressure from both the APAs and the ACA, the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders (CCMD-III) declassified homosexuality, but added a diagnosis resembling ego-dystonic sexual orientation. Attempts to change sexual orientation are rare in China.

In Indiamarker, psychiatry and psychology scholars have "preserved an almost complete silence on the subject of homosexuality". One paper discusses behavior modification methods used to treat the sexual orientation of thirteen gay patients. They use the WHO classification of egodystonic sexual orientation, but the People's Union for Civil Liberties reports that doctors will often diagnosis the patient as egodystonic even if the patient really is egosyntonic.

In Italymarker, little research has been conducted in the mental health community on homosexuality. Early work tended to describe homosexuality as a pathology or a developmental arrest. More recently, attitudes have begun to change: "with a lag of about ten years, Italy has followed ... the attitudes of American mental health professions toward homosexuality".

In Germanymarker, the psychiatry, psychology, and sexology establishment from the early 20th century viewed homosexuality as pathological. However, following the increased visibility of the homosexual community during the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s and the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the ICD-10, non-pathological, rather than pathological, models of homosexuality became mainstream.

Japanmarker's psychiatric body removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in 1995.

In Norwaymarker, a country known for its strong LGBT rights legislation, the shift from a pathological to non-pathological understanding of homosexuality began in the 1970s, following the APA's declassification in 1973. In 2000, the General Assembly of the Norwegian Psychiatric Association overwhelmingly voted for the following position statement on sexual orientation change therapy:
Homosexuality is no disorder or illness, and can therefore not be subject to treatment.
A ‘treatment’ with the only aim of changing sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual must be regarded as ethical malpractice, and has no place in the health system.


Debate

Changing sexuality has become highly politicized, and the ensuing debates "have obscured the scientific data by calling into question the motives and even the character of individuals on both sides of the issue." The ethics, efficacy, benefits, and potential for harm of SOCE are under extensive debate, both in the professional literature and the popular media. Concerns have been expressed about forcing people to undergo SOCE against their will, blocking people who are seeking to change their sexual orientation from attempting to do so, and concern over the way SOCE is being promoted affects LGB rights.

Forced SOCE

In the early days , homosexuality was considered a mental illness and homosexuals were forced by the government to undergo treatment. Famous cases include Alan Turing. This practice is outlawed in most of the world, but human right groups have complained that in some parts of the world, treatment is still being forced upon unwilling patients. The APA requires that patients give consent before undergoing treatment to change sexual orientation.

In one of the few published U.S. cases dealing with conversion therapy, the Ninth Circuit addressed the topic in the context of an asylum application. A Russian citizen "had been apprehended by the Russian militia, registered at a clinic as a 'suspected lesbian,' and forced to undergo treatment for lesbianism, such as 'sedative drugs' and hypnosis. The Ninth Circuit held that the conversion treatments to which Pitcherskaia had been subjected constituted mental and physical torture. The court rejected the argument that the treatments to which Pitcherskaia had been subjected did not constitute persecution because they had been intended to help her, not harm her, stating that "human rights laws cannot be sidestepped by simply couching actions that torture mentally or physically in benevolent terms such as 'curing' or 'treating' the victims."

There have been few, if any, medical malpractice lawsuits filed on the basis of conversion therapy. Laura A. Gans suggested in an article published in The Boston University Public Interest Law Journal that this is due to an "historic reluctance of consumers of mental health services to sue their care givers" and "the difficulty associated with establishing the elements of... causation and harm... given the intangible nature of psychological matters." Gans also suggested that a tort cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress might be sustainable against therapists who use conversion therapy on patients who specifically say that his or her anxiety does not arise from his or her sexuality.

Another concern is unwilling patients, particularly children, being forced into SOCE. Children experience significant pressure to conform with sexual norms, particularly from their peers, and often lack adequate legal protection from coercive treatment.

In 2005, Love in Action, an ex-gay ministry based in Memphis, was investigated by the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for providing counseling and mental health care without a license, and for treating adolescents without their consent. There have been reports that teenagers have been forcibly treated with conversion therapy on other occasions. Several legal researchers argue that parents who force their children into aggressive conversion therapy programs are committing child abuse under various state statutes.

Some advocates of SOCE (including NARTH) have spoken in favor of a patient's right to reject SOCE and embrace a lesbian, gay or bisexual identity. Richard A. Cohen, an advocate of conversion therapy, has said, "If someone wants to live a gay life, that needs to be respected. If someone wants to change and come out straight, that too needs to be respected. Let us practice true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all."

Promotion of SOCE

The APA has expressed concern that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish. The Just the Facts Coalition, consisting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of School Administrators, American Counseling Association, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Counselor Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Social Workers, National Education Association, and the School Social Work Association of America, in 2008 released Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth. In it, they expressed concern that the advancement of SOCE may cause social harm by disseminating inaccurate views about sexual orientation.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has described the recent support for sexual orientation change efforts as "the Christian Right repackag[ing] its anti-gay campaign in kinder, gentler terms. Instead of simply denouncing homosexuals as morally and socially corrupt, the Christian Right has now shifted to a strategy of emphasizing ... the ex-gay movement. Behind this mask of compassion, however, the goal remains the same: to roll back legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ..."

Psychologist John Gonsiorek said the way in which the Christian right promoted SOCE was hypocritical. He wrote "some conservative Christian institutions actively foster social conditions to maximize distress for such clients about their sexual orientations, and these institutions simultaneously promote conversion therapy as the solution to this distress." Prominent ex-gay Joe Dallas, while opposing homosexual sex, called Christians to repent of their hostility toward homosexuals and reach out to them: "I find to this day that there is a certain wrath Christians often express towards this sin that they do not express towards other sins - both sexual and non-sexual. And that's a problem. It's an imbalance."

Position of SOCE advocates

Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality, a coalition of ex-gay groups, supports the right for individuals to pursue a non-homosexual identity if they so choose, the right to know information the coalition provides to make informed decisions, and the right of those conflicted by their homosexual attraction to self-determine their own goals in therapy. They advocate compassion and respect specifically for ex-homosexuals and those on that path, and policy neutrality in creating laws that would inhibit freedom of speech to discuss SOCE. They claim equal access to public forums to state their viewpoint, share their experiences, and to raise awareness of ways to reject a gay identity.




See also



References

  1. http://www.emaxhealth.com/2/48/32713/do-sexual-orientation-change-efforts-work.html
  2. http://www.apa.org/releases/therapeutic.html
  3. http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/therapeutic-resp.html
  4. CBS News: "China More Tolerant Toward Gays", BEIJING, March 7, 2001
  5. Time Magazine: "An Instant Cure", Monday, April 01, 1974
  6. Facts About Homosexuality and Mental Health
  7. See generally
  8. A Short Text Book of Psychiatry by Niraj Ahuja
  9. Seligman, p. 156
  10. Transcript of "USA - Gay Conversion, ABC TV Foreign Correspondent, 08-22-2006. Retrieved 04-07-2007.
  11. PATH: Positive Alternatives To Homosexuality
  12. The camp that 'cures' homosexuality
  13. Courage International: The Five Goals
  14. Five Truths About Same-sex Attraction
  15. Exodus International Policy Statements, Exodus International. Retrieved 04-07-2007.
  16. How to Find the Right Counselor for You
  17. Evergreen Therapy
  18. Evergreen Myths
  19. Exodus International - Who We Are
  20. Faith said to change sexual orientation
  21. Skepticism Over Validity of Ex-Gay Story Prompts 'Confessions'
  22. Nicolosi, Byrd, & Potts, 2000; Schaeffer, Hyde, Kroencke, McCormick, & Nottebaum, 2000; Schaeffer, Nottebaum, Dech, & Drawczyk, 2000; Spitzer, 2001a).
  23. Spitzer, 2001a
  24. Beckstead, A. Gay is not me: Seeking Congruence Through Sexual Reorientation Therapy. (Unpublished master's thesis, University of Utah, 1999).
  25. Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation
  26. Case No. S147999 in the Supreme Court of the State of California, In re Marriage Cases Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4365, Application for leave to file brief amici curiae in support of the parties challenging the marriage exclusion, and brief amici curiae of the American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, and National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter in support of the parties challenging the marriage exclusion
  27. Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
  28. Royal College of Psychiatrists: Psychiatry and LGB people
  29. Royal College of Psychiatrists: Statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Gay and Lesbian Mental Health Special Interest Group
  30. The Surgeon General's call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior", A Letter from the Surgeon General U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, July 9, 2001. Retrieved March 29, 2007.
  31. By Jack Drescher, Kenneth J. Zucker Ex-gay research: analyzing the Spitzer study and its relation to science
  32. Dennis Jernigan:: Shepherd's Heart Music
  33. Sexual Orientation Change Is Possible—But Only Outside Of Therapy, Says APA Office Of Gay Concerns
  34. Gay by choice? If science proves sexual orientation is more fluid than we've been led to believe, can homosexuality still be a protected right?
  35. A New Therapy on Faith and Sexual Identity: Psychological Association Revises Treatment Guidelines to Allow Counselors to Help Clients Reject Their Same-Sex Attractions
  36. "Reparative" and "Conversion" Therapies for Lesbians and Gay Men
  37. Statement of the American Psychological Association
  38. American Psychological Association: Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts
  39. APA denies any retreat on gay therapy
  40. American Academy Of Paediatrics
  41. NARTH Position Statements
  42. Diverse Coalition Forms to Support People Seeking 'Non-Gay' Alternatives to Unwanted Homosexuality
  43. Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality



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