BAN SEXUAL ORIENTATION CONVERSION THERAPY

By Bob Katzen

This ban prohibits psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from providing conversion therapy to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender minors under 18. The therapy is designed to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Supporters of the ban say being gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease and therefore does not need a cure. They argue there is no sound evidence that this type of “junk therapy” even works and note it is known to have increased levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, homelessness and suicidal thoughts.

Opponents of the ban say the treatment has been successful for some children including those whose sexuality was influenced by sexual abuse. Others note that some people who underwent sexual reorientation therapy felt that they were better off afterwards — even if the therapy was not effective in changing their sexual orientation. Some note that the therapy should not be used on any patient who believes that he or she is simply born with a specific sexual preference

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