Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sexual Conversion Therapy

Sexual Conversion Therapy edited by Shidlo, Schroeder and Drescher is a collection of articles on Reparative and similar therapies. It gives a scientific perspective on both the religious and psychological programs. One of the major problems with all reparative therapies is the lack of clinical studies. While there are many anecdotal accounts of cures and clear evidence that for some those attempts to change were harmful, there are no clear evidences of change that happens as part of clinical or religious therapies. There is evidence that some people change in sexual orientation through their life-time, but this is not the same thing is clear evidence that any of these programs can bring about such change.

This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is worthy of careful reading and thought.

A final note from one of the articles...
"I don't for a moment doubt that Irving Bieber regarded me with affection and
wanted only the best for me. Unfortunately, and tragically, that does not
alter the dominant reality that his intended good did me in fact literally
irreparable harm"

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And I don't doubt for a moment the sincerity of many in the change movements, but it's not just whether someone wants to change their sexual orientation that is important. More important is will they be harmed by the attempt to change especially when the success rate - even with the most positive of reports - is so low and with that possibility of harm should something with a low success rate be attempted?

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