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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Apr;62(2):221-7.

The practice and ethics of sexual orientation conversion therapy.


Sexual orientation conversion therapy was the treatment of choice when homosexuality was thought to be an illness. Despite the declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness, efforts to sexually reorient lesbians and gay men continue. The construct of sexual orientation is examined, as well as what constitutes its change. The literature in psychotherapeutic and religious conversion therapies is reviewed, showing no evidence indicating that such treatments are effective in their intended purpose. A need for empirical data on the potentially harmful effects of such treatments is established. Ethical considerations relative to the ongoing stigmatizing effects of conversion therapies are presented. The need to develop more complex models for conceptualizing sexual orientation is discussed, as well as the need to provide treatments to gay men and lesbians that are consonant with psychology's stance on homosexuality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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