Sexual orientation cannot be changed by therapy says American Psychological Association

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APA In what is sure to be a shock to those who think faith cures all, the American Psychological Association has determined that ex-gay therapy simply doesn’t work, as reported by the LA Times:

There is no evidence to support the claims of some practitioners that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy, a special committee of the American Psychological Assn. reported today. Mental health professionals should not tell patients that they can change their sexual orientation and instead should help them “explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation,” according to the report, which was released at a Toronto meeting of the association and online.

Although the majority of scientists now believe that sexual orientation is genetically predetermined, many therapists have claimed to be able to change gay people into straight ones. Spurred by the controversy surrounding such claims, the APA in 2007 appointed a six-member committee of experts to examine the review and update the association’s 1997 report on the subject. Today’s 138-page report, approved by the APA’s governing council, represents their conclusions.

Exodus International, a primary player in the ex-gay therapy movement, responded as follows:

While Exodus does not fully agree with the APA’s crticisms of clinical techniques such as reparative therapy and its view of sexual orientation change, the report does recognize that some choose to live their lives in congruence with religious values. The report also encourages therapists to avoid imposing a specific outcome on clients.

A relatively tame response. Harsher rhetoric from other groups are sure to follow.

Post by ILO on 08/05/09 at 4:20 pm