Curing Homosexuality

First, let’s dispense with the obvious.  Outside of being a sexual predator or a pedophile, a person’s sexuality is nobody Else’s business.  Legislating morality has proven to be counterproductive in so many ways that it would take a series of lengthy articles just to skim the surface.

Beyond the political bullshit that surrounds homosexuality lies the murky depths of something known as “reparative therapy”, which is an attempt to “cure” homosexuality. It is a religiously motivated pseudo-science based on the premise that homosexuality is an unnatural disease that needs to be eradicated.  This premise is so blatantly wrong it should be dismissed along with Hitlers “final solution”.

The facts remain that homosexuality is both common and highly essential in the lives of a number of species.  In fact, no species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, aside from those species which are asexual, in which case, homosexuality is not a factor.

For more than twenty-five years, mental health practitioners and researchers have recognized that homosexuality is not a mental illness. Moreover, they are highly critical of attempts to change sexual orientation. These professional associations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers.  These are not fringe groups. They represent roughly a half-million health and mental health professionals who support the fact that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus, there is no need for a cure.  Furthermore, the American Psychiatric Association rejected reparative therapy as not only ineffective, but potentially destructive.  The risks include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.

Reparative therapy is nothing more than religious homophobia disguised as science, much like “Intelligent Design” is a clever disguise for creationism.  At the core of these “ex-gay” ministries is the fundamental belief that god deems homosexuality to be an abomination and those who are found guilty are to be punished by death.  Period.  End of story.  The blinders that some of the religious zealots wear could cover an area the size of Texas. They completely ignore the fact that all the leading medical associations have condemned “ex-gay ministries” as harmful practices that can cause severe emotional damage, including suicide after unsuccessful attempts to change and adapt to an adverse society.

Science does not yet fully understand how a particular sexual orientation presents in any individual. There are many hypothesis being studied, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors and complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors. What we do know is that sexual orientation is not a choice.  It emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Psychologists do not consider sexual orientation for most people to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed, which is the main reason why mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or emotional problem. In fact, research conducted for almost forty years has revealed that homosexual orientation is not associated with any emotional or social problems.  However, thanks to the relentless misinformation being disseminated by religious zealots, mental health professionals continue to fight the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder.

The fact that homosexuals in many parts of the country are denied the right to adopt children flies in the face of the results of many comparative studies between homosexual parents and heterosexual parents. These studies have found no developmental differences between the two groups of children in their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, popularity with friends or their sexual orientation.

I won’t even bother to insult you by refuting the ridiculous and audacious belief that some of these wingnuts hold about gay men having more of a tendency than heterosexual men to sexually molest children.

Reparative therapy is not based on science, but religious dogma.  The reported success rates of the conversion of  homosexuals to heterosexual orientation proves false under close scrutiny.  These reports are from an ideological perspective on sexual orientation, not from the scientific perspective of real mental health researchers. Their treatments are poorly documented and the post-treatment follow-up time is too short. Again, scientific evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can do more harm than good and any attempt at sexual orientation conversion should be ethically questioned.

The fact remains that it is not possible to change someones sexual orientation, but the religious zealots make it very possible to make homosexuals miserable over it.  Reparative therapy ‘ministries’ prey on the spiritually and emotionally wounded. Many who turn to these conversion ministries end up with a life of continual guilt and despair. It is no wonder that 30% of homosexual teenagers attempt suicide over this kind of guilt ridden and self-loathing education that is the result of two-thousand years of church-inspired homophobia. Unfathomable is the number of homosexuals that have suffered rejection of their families, been driven to suicide due to depression,  have been discriminated against by anti-gay laws and even condemned to death for sodomy.

Attempts to change sexual orientation are nothing more than religiously motivated behavior modification. Reparation therapy is relabeled snake oil and is being sold to our gay community for a disorder that does not exist.  Those who profit from selling the snake oil for money, power or fame and those who support the idea that homosexuality is a disease should be ashamed of themselves.

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