What is Conversion Therapy? Conversion Therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual or transgender to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual intervention. There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. This article will explore the dangers of conversion therapy and go into detail what is being done to prevent it. Medical, scientific and government organizations in the USA and UK have expressed concern over the validity, efficacy, and ethics of conversion therapy.
NARTH, The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and a major contributor to conversion therapy, advertises itself as secular. However, NARTH has major financial and programming ties to many fundamentalist churches in the United States and abroad. Some of the extreme treatments we hear about that happen everyday in conversion therapy are “icepick conversion practices” such as electroshock therapy, prayer, and partial removal of sexual organs can be attributed to conversion therapy. Conversion Therapy is not a normal daily wisdom word, but I feel so strongly about this, that I had to write about it and share my thoughts. In fact, one of the biggest motivators I had in writing about conversion therapy, is that all the research done, shows there is no reliable, (Forget SAFE), evidence or model that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective at best. Early roots of Conversion Therapy Go back to roots of Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis which is greatly questioned today as an effective method of therapy.
To date, sixteen states have mandatory laws “against” treating others with conversion therapy. Conversion Therapy, when cold hard numbers are put towards its success rate fails miserably. For anyone to believe in it to begin with, requires you to believe in its premises: Gay and Lesbian Individuals choose their sexual orientation. This promotes rejection of Gay and Lesbian Children from their families, their society and worse, themselves. Rather than accept themselves for who they are, Conversion Therapy promotes change in what most of the medical community feels is unchangeable: A person’s sexual orientation.
I put myself in their place, and think, how would I feel if all of society were gay, and I was not. Therefore, for me to conform to society, I had to get treatment because I preferred men to women. This would be absolutely impossible for me. Even though we have all the evidence to support laws in every state supporting doing away with conversion therapy, some 20,000 children in 2018 went through some form of conversion therapy. Sadly, some teenagers who experienced conversion therapy, hated themselves so much, they ended up committing suicide when they no longer felt they could be successful in this program. Many pre-teens/teens, have gone into conversion therapy in states in the bible belt more often than other residing states because they wanted to change their sexual orientation. It is hard enough for pre-teens/teens to accept who they are when discovering their sexuality no matter what that is, than not only discovering it, but finding out it is unacceptable for them to feel drawn towards same sex relationships.
When children are flippant in their decisions as far as their sexual orientation goes, that is when I begin to question whether this particular child was born with their preferred sexual orientation, if they are choosing to be gay, or if they are looking for more attention. Regardless, judging them no matter how they have come to believe the way they do, does nothing but promote low self-esteem. I feel we are born with our sexual orientation, and no, it is not a developed “taste” over time.
What is the conversion therapy process? 1. Time is spent spelling out the evils of being gay, lesbian or transgender. 2. Much time is spent causing the teen or adult going through it, making one question their identity. 3. Much time is spent trying to change the “core” of what makes up this particular human being and changing them.
There is obviously another way to think or conversion therapy would no longer be prevalent. It seems only time, education, and love will divert us from what I see as cruel and unnecessary punishment. How do you feel about “Conversion Therapy”? If you disagree with this article, please share with us why. You may do so anonymously in the comments section where it says, “Join the discussion”. Remember: if your a member of daily wisdom words, you qualify for free counseling by Neel Trivedi or myself. Although we are not licensed Counselors, both of us have had course study on psychology/psychiatry and are Mental Health Advocates. Set up a private or public appointment with us where you choose the communication method. IE., Phone, email, or Publicly for others to share input.
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