Conversion therapy

Attempts to modify sexuality or gender identity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to align with heterosexual and cisgender norms.[1] There is a scientific consensus that conversion therapy is ineffective at changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity and that it frequently causes significant, long-term psychological harm in individuals who undergo it.[2]

Historically, conversion therapy was the treatment of choice for individuals who disclosed same-sex attractions or exhibited gender nonconformity, which were formerly assumed to be pathologies by the medical establishment.[3] Modern-day practitioners of conversion therapy—primarily from a conservative religious viewpoint—disagree with current evidence-based medicine and clinical guidance that does not view homosexuality and gender variance as unnatural or unhealthy.[2][3]

Common methods of conversion therapy are counseling, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapy, and spiritual interventions. Other methods that have been used include lobotomy and other forms of brain surgery, chemical castration with hormonal treatment, aversive treatments such as electric shocks and nausea-inducing drugs, and masturbatory reconditioning or hypnosis.

An increasing number of jurisdictions around the world have passed laws against conversion therapy.[4] Conversion therapy may constitute fraud and has been described by experts as torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and contrary to human rights norms.