What is Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ?

 "What is Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ"

Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ ichhori.com

The practise of "reparative" or "conversion" therapy, which targets LGBTQ adolescents and attempts to modify their sexual or gender identity, is hazardous. Conversion therapy, sometimes known as "reparative therapy," is a collection of dangerous and discredited techniques that incorrectly claim to change a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Despite the fact that conversion therapy has been condemned by every professional medical and mental health organisation for decades, some practitioners continue to practise it due to ongoing discrimination and societal hostility towards LGBTQ individuals.Conversion therapy has been linked to depression, anxiety, drug usage, homelessness, and suicide among minors. 

Conversion therapy, sometimes known as "reparative therapy" or "gay cure therapy," is a treatment that aims to modify a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. All forms of conversion therapy, it and other professional organisations have cautioned, are "unethical and potentially hazardous." In practise, this involves attempting to prevent or restrict someone from being gay, or from living as a gender other than their biological gender. It can involve activities like counselling and prayer. "Exorcisms, physical violence, and food restriction" are examples of more extreme forms.

Commonness of Conversion Therapy

It's difficult to say with certainty how common the practise is. It is unclear what constitutes conversion therapy, and victims may be hesitant to discuss their experiences. In the United Kingdom, about 5% of the 108,000 people who responded to a 2018 LGBT government survey stated they had been offered conversion therapy, and 2% had gone through it. Those who were born into an ethnic minority were twice as likely to be affected. In comparison to 6% of non-religious respondents, 10% of Christians and 20% of Muslims indicated they had experienced or been given conversion therapy.

Religious organisations advocate the idea that a person's sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed via prayer or other religious endeavours, as well as through so-called "reparative" or "conversion" therapy. The efficacy of such attempts has been disproven, and they have also been shown to be actively harmful, according to study. Beyond studies focusing solely on reparative therapy, broader research clearly demonstrates the significant harm that societal prejudice and family rejection has on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, particularly lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) children.

Methods used in Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy is practised in a variety of ways. They range from ‘talk therapy,' which includes counselling, psychotherapy, and faith-based interventions like prayer, to physical ‘aversion therapy,' which involves the person being exposed to a distressing sensation while also being exposed to a stimulus associated with their sexuality or gender identity. Torture, including so-called corrective rape, is also practised.

Who provides Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy is still available in various nations, both in public and private medical facilities. Religious organisations have mainly taken up this role in other countries, giving ‘therapy' that typically entails prayer - frequently in public humiliating ways – as well as ‘counselling.'

Family members frequently encourage or pressure LGBTIQ people to undergo "conversion therapy." More than 50 survivors of these "treatments" in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania reported their families threatened their safety, threatened to publicly denounce them, or threatened to stop paying their school fees if they refused to participate in the "therapy."

Some LGBTIQ people prefer to go through their own ‘conversion therapy,' which is a manifestation of both social and internalised homophobia and transphobia (OutRight Action International).

Implications of Conversion Therapy

Gender and sexuality transformations are inherently degrading and discriminatory. According to research, these practises have long-term psychological consequences. According to a 2018 study conducted in the United States, young LGBTIQ people who had undergone 'conversion therapy' were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide.

In 2007, an American Psychological Association task committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the existing research on the efficacy of conversion therapy. Their assessment stated that there was little methodologically sound research on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCEs), and that the outcomes of scientifically credible studies show that SOCE is unlikely to diminish same-sex or boost other-sex sexual inclinations. 

Furthermore, the task force discovered that no methodologically sound studies of recent SOCE exist that would allow the task force to make a conclusive conclusion about whether recent SOCE is safe or detrimental, and for whom. In short, there is overwhelming evidence that conversion therapy does not work, as well as some compelling evidence that it is detrimental to LGBTQ people.

On the other hand, there is abundant evidence that societal prejudice causes LGBTQ persons severe medical, psychological, and other damage.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds no evidence to support the use of any "therapeutic intervention" based on the assumption that a certain sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is pathological. Furthermore, the AACAP claims that such "conversion treatments" (or other interventions imposed with the goal of promoting a specific sexual orientation and/or gender as a chosen outcome) lack scientific credibility and clinical utility, based on scientific data. Furthermore, data suggests that such therapies are detrimental. As a result, "conversion therapies" should not be used in the treatment of children and adolescents with behavioural health problems.

Calling action against Conversion Therapy

Human rights organisations are urging action against practises that claim to ‘change' a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. These practises, which range from "talk therapy" to physical "treatments," have been prohibited in Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, and Malta. These treatments have been labelled "harmful" and "ineffective" by international health and human rights experts. However, they are still widely used in many parts of the world. Undercover reporters have been offered or recommended to providers of anti-gay ‘therapy' in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, including some supported by foreign aid money. The core premise, according to medical specialists, is meaningless: LGBTIQ identities are not disorders that can be 'fixed' by psychological or physical 'treatment.' 

Along with legal measures, individuals and groups are striving to raise awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ patients among mental health professionals. The battle will continue to be difficult until fundamental changes are made to medical education curriculum that still stigmatise LGBTQ+ identities. The most difficult task, however, is to change social and cultural attitudes against LGBTQ+ people. The desire for such "therapies" stems from a combination of ignorance and anxiety—fear of social stigma, concern that their children would never marry or have a reasonable quality of life.

Families are forced to take great attempts to “normalise” queerness due to the widespread belief that it is an aberration "their children Media and political discourses that continue to condemn queer sexuality amplify these worries. There is still more work to be done in terms of getting people to appreciate the importance of respecting people's sexuality and personal choices. This kind of intervention has been conducted for 10-15 years, and just getting it to the point where there's a public conversation and everyone understands what's going on has taken so long.

Some believe that a prohibition of conversion therapy would violate traditional religious teachings, such as the concept that any sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage is sinful. If they question young individuals who are struggling with their gender identity, some mental health professionals fear being accused of conversion therapy. All countries that have banned conversion therapy in some manner have included gender identity in their definitions.


1. https://www.livemint.com/v/s/www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/the-pain-and-cruelty-of-conversion-therapy/amp-11591975439448.html?amp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D

2. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/explainer-what-is-conversion-therapy/

3. https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy

4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/explainers-56496423.amp

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