Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sorry, You're Only Allowed To Be Gay.

Queerty looks at reorientation therapy, the American Psychiatry Association, and discrimination:

"Not everyone who is gay is happy about being gay, and some gays feel deeply conflicted about it," Schoenewolf writes. "Such gays often go into psychotherapy in order to talk about this issue and work through the conflicts that prevent them from being straight. This is nothing new."

He's right. This is nothing new! Enter the new part: "What is new is that in recent years the gay rights movement has taken offense at this form of psychotherapy. They gay rights movement is demanding that sexual reorientation therapy be banned and that psychotherapists be prevented from assisting gays or bisexuals who want to be straight. They have even pressured the American Psychological Association to pass new ethical rules regarding this issue."

Alas, there is no way to "ban" a certain type of treatment. All the lobbying in the world can never get Congress to pass a law that forbids this therapy, nor does getting the APA to come out against it mean all the world's psychologists will adhere to the rules. But at least he understands why gay groups are so critical of the therapy: "The movement claims that helping a homosexual to become heterosexual is giving into societal bias. It says if someone is gay, a psychotherapist should help him to accept his homosexuality. They even claim that sexual reorientation therapy is a form of brainwashing that may do harm to the patient. (I have occasionally done reorientation therapy and never brainwashed anybody; actually it is the gay rights movement, in my opinion, that is doing the brainwashing.)"

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