Gay Pride Month: Conversion Therapy-S03E48

Recorded: 6/13/2021 / Published: 2/11/2022
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  • – In this week’s episode of The Krypt we are celebrating gay pride month by putting together an episode aimed at parents who want to send their children to conversion therapy. We are going to define it, get into what psychology thinks about it, go over some of the techniques used, tell you if it is still legal and where, and finally, report the unsurprising statics on its effectiveness, the number of self-harm cases caused by it, and whether it increases or decreases suicidal ideation in the gay population. 
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    3. “Submission is not about authority and it’s not about obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect.” -Wm. Paul Young
  • “Gay Pride Month: Conversion Therapy-S03E48” Sexual orientation: .
  • What is Conversion therapy:
      1. Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions. 
  • What does modern psychology have to say about it?
      1. There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. Medical, scientific, and government organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed concern over the validity, efficacy, and ethics of conversion therapy. Various jurisdictions around the world have passed laws against conversion therapy.
      2. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) opposes 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” and describes attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation by practitioners as unethical. The APA also states that the advancement of conversion therapy may cause social harm by disseminating unscientific views about sexual orientation. In 2001, United States Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report stating that “there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed”.
  • What are some of the techniques that have been used?
      1. Techniques used in conversion therapy in the United States and Western Europe have included ice-pick lobotomies; chemical castration with hormonal treatment; aversive treatments, such as “the application of electric shock to the hands and/or genitals”; “nausea-inducing drugs … administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli”; and masturbatory reconditioning. More recent clinical techniques used in the United States have been limited to counseling, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapy, and spiritual interventions such as “prayer and group support and pressure”, though there are some reports of aversive treatments through unlicensed practice as late as the early 2000s. The term reparative therapy has been used as a synonym for conversion therapy in general,[9] but it has been argued that, strictly speaking, it refers to a specific kind of therapy associated with the psychologists Elizabeth Moberly and Joseph Nicolosi.
  • Is Conversion Therapy legal? 
      1. For a complete list of states, counties, and cities:
      2. Conversion “therapy” laws prohibit licensed mental health practitioners from subjecting LGBTQ minors to harmful conversion “therapy” practices that attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. These laws do not restrict the practice among religious providers.
      3. Total state ban: 20 states (CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NV, OR, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA) and Washington D.C.
      4. Partial Ban: 2 states (NC, WI), 1 territory: Puerto Rico
      5. States in federal judicial circuit with a preliminary injunction currently preventing enforcement of conversion therapy ban: 3 (AL, GA, FL) 
      6. No state law or policy: 25 states, 4 territories
  • Is it effective and what are the statistics?
      1. Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder found in “Changing Sexual Orientation: A Consumer’s Report”, a peer-reviewed study of 202 respondents published in 2002, that 88% of participants failed to achieve a sustained change in their sexual behavior and 3% reported changing their orientation to heterosexual. The remainder reported either losing all sexual drive or attempting to remain celibate, with no change in attraction. Some of the participants who failed felt a sense of shame and had gone through conversion therapy programs for many years. Others who failed believed that therapy was worthwhile and valuable. Many respondents felt harmed by the attempt to change, and reported depression, suicidal ideation, and attempts, hypervigilance of gender-deviant mannerisms, social isolation, fear of being a child abuser and poor self-esteem. Of the 8 respondents (out of a sample of 202) who reported a change in sexual orientation, 7 worked as ex-gay counselors or group leaders.
  • Statistics:
      1. 8 times more likely to attempt suicide
      2. 6 times more likely to experience high levels of depression
      3. 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs
      4. 3 times more likely to be at high risk for HIV, STD’s, and STI’s
Important Links:
  1. Full show notes:
  2. National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
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