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J Sex Marital Ther. 2015;41(4):391-412. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2014.915907. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Sexual orientation change efforts through psychotherapy for LGBQ individuals affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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a English Department , Dartmouth College , Hanover , New Hampshire , USA.


This study reports the results of a comprehensive online survey of 1,612 current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of whom engaged in psychotherapy to cope with (i.e., understand, accept, or change) their same-sex attractions. Data obtained from written and quantitative responses showed that therapy was initiated over a very wide age range and continued for many years. However, counseling was largely ineffective; less than 4% reported any modification of core same-sex erotic attraction. Moreover, 42% reported that their change-oriented therapy was not at all effective, and 37% found it to be moderately to severely harmful. In contrast, affirming psychotherapeutic strategies were often found to be beneficial in reducing depression, increasing self-esteem, and improving family and other relationships. Results suggest that the very low likelihood of a modification of sexual orientation and the ambiguous nature of any such change should be important considerations for highly religious sexual minority individuals considering reorientation therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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