There’s been an increase in news reports concerning reparative therapy for homosexuals, even such heinous methods as exorcisms being performed to “loose the gay demon” from the alleged victim. The goal, of course, is to “cure” the individual of homosexuality. Reparative therapies are even touted sometimes as medical science and there are several organizations that present themselves as legitimate practitioners of mental health. This is in spite of the fact that every single legitimate mental health organization has repositioned itself to state that homosexuality is not a mental illness, thus requiring no cure. These “therapies” are religiously motivated pseudo-sciences based on the erroneous premise that homosexuality is an unnatural disease or disorder. These programs run the gamut from lengthily structured sessions in a clinical atmosphere which include immersion in prayer, bible study and repetitive mantras all the way to decidedly unstructured programs involving a call to “repent” or suffer a cure that has a very familiar “final solution” ring.
For the last quarter century or so, mental health practitioners and researchers have been highly critical of attempts to change sexual orientation. Not only have reparative therapies been summarily rejected as ineffective, but they have been cited as destructive, in most cases resulting in depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.
Reparative therapies are mainly offered by “ex-gay” ministries which are usually run by actual homosexuals who are in denial of who and what they are. It is not uncommon for religious homosexuals to be homophobic themselves, and the recent exposure of several prominent anti-homosexual ministers caught with their pants down, so to speak, screams fabulously about the futility of lying not only to yourself, but to everyone else except, of course, the people you are having sex with.
At the core of these “ex-gay” ministries lie the doctrinal statements that homosexuality is an especially egregious sin, and thus an abomination to god. In many countries, those who are found “guilty” are punished by death. While 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, and psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice nor associated with any emotional or social problems.
There have also been many comparative studies between homosexual parents and heterosexual parents that reveal no developmental differences between the two groups of children in their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, popularity with friends or their sexual orientation. In fact, it has been shown in many cases where children of homosexual parents have fared better in several areas of development. 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.
This issue rings like an organized crime scheme where the mob collects protection money from local merchants to pay for protection against the mob. It’s circular logic, which is a cornerstone of religious belief. The church offers reparative therapy to homosexuals to cure them of an imaginary illness that has been invented by the church. Homosexuals are not broken, and thus do not need to be repaired. These reparative therapy “ministries” prey on those who have been emotionally wounded by religion and many who turn to these conversion ministries end up with a life of continual guilt and despair. It has been estimated that 30% of homosexual teenagers attempt suicide due to being guilt ridden by the self-loathing education that is the result of two-thousand years of church-inspired homophobia. Reparative therapy is nothing more than relabeled snake oil and is being sold to the homosexual community as a cure for a non-existent illness.