Description: What was considered a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association until 1973? Would you be surprised to hear that it was homosexuality? Despite this, there is still some strong sentiment out there that what LGBTQ youth require is not understanding support or affirmation but therapy to convert them “back” to heterosexuality. This article describes a recently released report that talks about this important issue and offers advice to parents youth and professionals against the use of conversion therapy with LGBTQ youth.
Source: Reuters RPT-U.S. report calls for end to ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ youth, Andrew M. Seaman
Date: October 15, 2015
Photo Credit: www.samhsa.gov
Links: Article Link — http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/15/health-lgbt-conversion-idUSL1N12F1GZ20151015
The idea that a non-heterosexual sexual identity is a typical and in need of therapeutic intervention and change is been around for a long time. The report discussed in this article focuses specifically on conversion therapies which are “therapies” or other actions aimed at changing individual’s sexual orientation and shifting their gender identity in the direction of heterosexuality. The report draws on substantial amounts of research in pointing out that conversion therapies are “not effective, reinforce harmful gender stereotypes and are not appropriate mental health treatments…. And furthermore, the practice is potentially harmful… [having been linked to] increases in depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and poor self-esteem”. The report suggests that bands need to be put in place against conversion therapy as is currently the case in four United States states.
Questions for Discussion:
- What is conversion therapy and who practices it?
- What sorts of ethical considerations arise in relation to the use of conversion therapy with LG BTQ youth especially in relation to help research evidence on this practice?
- What are some of the implications of this article and the report to which it refers for our parents, schools, communities, and peers want to be thinking about and responding to their LGBTQ children, students, citizens and friends?
References (Read Further):
SAMHSA (2015) Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Washington, DC. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Ending-Conversion-Therapy-Supporting-and-Affirming-LGBTQ-Youth/SMA15-4928
Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (2012) The history of psychiatry and homosexuality. Accessed October 18, 2015, http://www.aglp.org/gap/1_history/