“If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It”: Ethical Considerations Regarding Conversion Therapies
- Cite this article as:
- Halpert, S.C. International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies (2000) 5: 19. doi:10.1023/A:1010133501054
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Despite the unanimous adoption of a position statement by the American Psychiatric Association objecting to reparative therapy in December 1998, the decision was not without its critics. The current work examines the ethical considerations regarding “conversion” or “reparative therapies” in light of the extensive psychological literature documenting the societal stigma (homophobia and heterosexism) suffered by lesbian and gay individuals. Overall, there are two major concerns regarding conversion therapy, namely its ethical inappropriateness, and lack of empirical evidence supporting its efficacy. The author argues that no professional health associations support reparative therapy, homosexuality per se is not an illness and does not require treatment, and, the mental health profession must acknowledge its own role in the oppression of homosexual individuals.