Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy

Sexual orientation conversion therapy, also sometimes known simply as “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy,” is a term that encompasses a broad range of psychotherapeutic and spiritual interventions intended to replace same-sex attractions and behaviors with opposite-sex attractions or celibacy in gay men and lesbians. Since the majority of such endeavors are not actually conducted in a psychotherapeutic environment but rather in a religious or social group context, the acronym SOCE (for “sexual orientation change efforts”) has become more widely used in the literature in recent years. Nearly all major mental health and medical organizations have issued statements opposing SOCE on the basis of lack of empirical support and potential harm to patients. Yet, years after the demise of the mental illness model of homosexuality and ...

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