Is Treating Homosexuality Ethical and Effective

1940 Words8 Pages
Homosexuality reorientation therapy is a controversial topic. Its effectiveness as well as the ethics involved stir up much debate. Since homosexuality is not an illness, "The American Psychological Association reiterated the ‘long-standing official position that homosexuality and bisexuality are not mental disorders, (APA, 1998)" (Slife, 2004), can it be treated? If it can, how, and under what circumstances it should be used, are important questions.

Before discussing treatment, original orientation must be understood. "Kinsey suggests that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum from exclusively homosexual (Kinsey rating "6") to exclusively heterosexual (Kinsey rating"0") (House and Miller, 1997)" (Slife, 2004). There are
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These therapists often encourage that women take cooking or sewing classes and men to participate in team sports or groups to develop their true feminine or masculine identity (Evans, 2003). If one can embrace these identities, then it is believed that they will have healthy sexual lives and views.

Therapists and Psychologists who practice these therapies argue that clients who want to change should not be told that they cannot; thus, it is not certain that they are settled on a fixed trait (Slife, 2004). Some patients who enter therapy with a wide range of unhappy constructions and attitudes toward their sexuality, learn to redefine themselves and their sexuality, and thus enhance their potential (Nicolosi, 2005).

Conversion therapy is a term used to designate an array of counseling techniques designed to effect a shift in sexual preference (Throckmorton, 2005). Reports of patients seem to show positive results from treatment, even if there is no change in sexual orientation (Slife, 2004). Those who request conversion therapy often do so because of conflict between their homosexual feelings and the culture surrounding them. Counselors who practice conversion therapy attempt to understand the cultural background of clients who have deep conflicts over sexual impulses and deeply held moral convictions. Counselors are required to inform clients of the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations and
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