Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation. There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Techniques used in conversion therapy in the United States and Western Europe have included ice-pick lobotomies and chemical castration with hormonal treatment. Fundamentalist Christian groups, and some other organizations, have used religious justification for the therapy.
About Conversion therapy in brief
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. There is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical institutions warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. Techniques used in conversion therapy in the United States and Western Europe have included ice-pick lobotomies and chemical castration with hormonal treatment. Fundamentalist Christian groups, and some other organizations, have used religious justification for the therapy. The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims describes conversion therapy as a form of torture. The history of conversion therapy can be divided broadly into three periods: an early Freudian period; a period of mainstream approval of conversion Therapy; and a post-Stonewall period where the mainstream medical profession disavowed conversion therapy. 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\”. The American Psychiatric Association opposes psychiatric treatment based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his sexual homosexual orientation. It also states that the advancement of conversion therapy may cause social harm by disseminating unscientific views about sexual orientation. In the 1920s and 1930s, analysts granted that homosexuality was non-pathological in certain cases, and the ethical question of whether it ought to be changed was discussed.
By the 1950s analysts assumed homosexuality was pathological and that attempts to treat it were appropriate, although psychoanalytic opinion about changing homosexuality was largely pessimistic. Analysts’ tolerant statements about homosexuality arose from recognition of the difficulty of achieving change. Beginning in the 1930s and continuing for roughly twenty years, major changes occurred in how analysts viewed homosexuality, which involved a shift in the rhetoric of analysts, some of whom felt free to ridicule and abuse their gay patients. Success meant making homosexual feelings possible, not eliminating them. Successful conversion meant making people convinced that they would seldom be convinced that homosexual feelings could be eliminated. In general, observing that homosexual people would seldom undertake to convert fully homosexual into a heterosexual does not offer much success than the reverse prospect of success. The term reparative therapy has been used as a synonym for conversion therapy in general, 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. The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality was the main organization advocating for conversion therapy, but there are some reports of aversive treatments through unlicensed practice as late as the early 2000s. It is not known if conversion therapy is still being used in the U.S. and other Western countries. It has been described as ineffective and often harmful and as ineffective in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.