Conversion therapy the approach of striving to alter a person’s sexual identity or orientation, bisexual or homosexual, to heterosexual, by applying psychological, spiritual, and physical therapies (Sullivan, 2017). There is no reliable evidence indicating that one can change their sexual orientation, and health institutions and professionals argue that conversion therapy practices are potentially harmful and ineffective (Bothe, 2020). Government, scientific and medical organizations across the U.S. and U.K. have conveyed concerns about conversion therapy’s efficacy, validity, and ethics. And globally, several jurisdictions have enacted laws that prohibit conversion therapy. Conversion therapy sometimes called gay cure or reparative therapy, which seeks to apply therapy or religious activities to alter a person’s sexual identity or orientation, is a highly controversial practice that some people, particularly survivors, have equated to torture. Besides, the practice raises ethical concerns, including discrimination against LGBTQ and is ineffective and causes harm. Hence it has received increasing concerns leading to legislative calls to ban the practice in some countries.
ORDER A CUSTOM ESSAY NOW
HIRE ESSAY TYPERS AND ENJOT EXCELLENT GRADES
Conversion Therapy Is A Torture Not Therapy
Conversion therapy has one primary goal; to suppress or change a person’s sexual orientation. Most major mental and medical health experts have fated the act arguing that it lacks a scientific basis and is harmful (Sullivan, 2017). Conversation therapy is a global challenge that inflicts severe psychological and physical suffering to the victims. Most researchers and medical experts conclude that the type of conversion therapy practiced in over 69 countries globally is unscientific, and violets worldwide ban ill-treatment and torture. Conversation therapy inflicts suffering and pain that might last far beyond their manifestation, leaving the victim with indelible scars on the mind and body (Bothe, 2020). Besides, the combined impact of feeling extremely humiliated and powerless leads to profound feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, and self-disgust, resulting in enduring personality changes and damaged self-concepts (Bothe, 2020). In several cases, the therapy incorporates extreme measures, including aversive treatment through electroshock, electroconvulsive therapy, corrective violence, forced nudity, forced confinement, and isolation, which are examples of severe forms of conversation therapy of which are discussed in the subsequent subheadings. Others, such as religious-led therapy, LGBT individuals are encouraged to abstain from sex.
Research shows that at least 13 nations have their health experts implementing aversive therapy combining electric shocks to the individuals’ heads, hands, stomach, and sometimes genitals to present homoerotic stimuli. Individuals are also made to snap electric bands around the wrist to inflict pain when the person is stimulated by same same-sex thoughts or imagery. The strength of electric shock used in the process is not clear, but some researchers have argued that people often experience severe pain, and sometimes they are strapped down or tied during the practice. (Bothe, 2020). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has on several occasions recommended a ban on aversive therapy approach that adopts electric shocks on different categories of persons, including developmentally disabled who engage in self-injurious behavior. FDA argues that electrical stimulus devices inflict substantial pain and risks of injury and illness. The sensation resulting from the electric shocks has been categorized as a prick to as severe, causing sharp pain, and the therapy is linked to emotions that sometimes range from agonizing, horrible, and unpleasant, according to a report by FDA (McCarthy, 2014). Such descriptions suit a therapy that causes more harm than good to the patients. The United States adopted an aversive conditioning approach involving nausea-inducing drugs and electric shock for conversion therapy when presenting same-sex erotic images before American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1973 (Drescher, 2015).
Forced Confinement and Isolation
Sources indicate that in some countries such as China, Nigeria, Ecuador, Uganda, and Mauritius, people are subjected to forced confinement and isolation, including in psychiatric facilities (Mauritius and China) and clinics (Ecuador) as a form of conversion therapy. Some are even abducted by their families for religious cleaning, as in Nigeria’s case, and are forcefully isolated from the rest of the world, made to pray and fast. Some parents also confine their children, separating them from the rest of the world. In 2015, a survey by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights established that once people were taken to conversion clinics in Ecuador, most of them were subjected to humiliation, systematic verbal abuse, rape threats, and yelling. The housing environment was also overcrowded, and the victims were isolated from the rest of the world for a long time, denied food for several days and forced to act or behave like prostitutes to learn feminine, and others forced to play sex with male interns frequently as part of the therapy (Bothe, 2020). Such acts of molestations, rapes, isolations, and forced to stay in dirty places deprived of food in no way relates to therapy but torture.
- FAST HOMEWORK HELP
- HELP FROM TOP TUTORS
- ZERO PLAGIARISM
- NO AI USED
- SECURE PAYMENT SYSTEM
- PRIVACY GUARANTEED
Psychotherapy and Psychological Trauma
Psychotherapy or talk is another common conversion therapy practice, but its application leaves the victims psychologically tortured. About 25 countries use psychotherapy, according to (Bothe 2020). In such a case, homosexuality is perceived as a mental illness diverting a person’s sexual choices. Some therapists believe that non-heterosexual orientation is primarily caused by trauma. Hence it must be addressed. A therapist might examine the victim’s childhood and relationships to identify possible causes, including parental discord or sexual abuse. Because non-heterosexual orientation is seen as emanating from psychological disorder or trauma, it is likely to be treated as an illness that must be addressed. Hence, therapy is done with disregard of the victim’s feelings. In one of the interviews by the BBC in 2019, one of the U.K. survivors of Gay conversion therapy claimed, “we (the therapy process) were probing a sin myself purportedly done in a past life that might have turned me gay.'” “I thought being straight would make me happy” (Harvey 2019).
In some cases, be behavioral therapy is adopted, where individuals may be told to practice conformist behaviors and mannerisms of their gender identity given at birth, such as putting on makeups, having sex with opposite genders, masturbating to pictures or a person of the opposite sex, and sometimes heterosexual pornography. In one study in Iran, a survivor of lesbian conversion therapy reported, “My psychiatrist told me that I should find a boy and have sex with him” (Bothe, 2020, p11). The victim’s therapist wanted to see if she could be intimate with the male gender, so that girl looked for a well-built guy who agreed to the experiment. However, after several months of psychiatric therapy, the therapist noted that the girl could not be intimate with a man, suggesting a reassignment procedure (Bothe, 2020).
The Iranians believe that non-heterosexual orientation is deviant, and an individual might also be confined in a body of the mistaken sex. As such, homosexual people are forced to do gender reassignment operations. In one study, a survivor reported that his family threatened to kill her if she refused to take gender reassignment surgery, “You need to gender changed, or we will kill you “(Bothe, 2020, p 12), an indication that many people are forced to undergo such surgeries. Besides, research has shown that many of those surgeries meet international clinical standards, leading to severe, long-lasting medical conditions, including pain, chronic illness, loss of sexual desire, and infections (Bothe, 2020). This is traumatizing and amounts to a human rights violation. It is not therapy but psychological, emotional, and physical torture.
Another conversion therapy approach that is so dehumanizing is the corrective violence mechanism, defined as violence perpetrated on homosexuals, transgender, and diverse gender people to punish them or impose gender stereotypes. The therapy often assumes the form of sexual assaults, including rapes, known as corrective rape, homophobic or curative sex. The perpetrators often perceive non-heterosexual orientation as a choice. As such sexual violence, including rapes, will force a person to alter their so-termed as “chosen lifestyle.” In some instances, non-heterosexual people have to be raped to experience sexual intimacy differently, which may change their sexual desires. Besides rapes, some survivors have reported flogging, ritual cuttings, and other types of physical violence during the so-called conversion therapy (Sullivan, 2017). These are torture and not therapy as they violate the principle of human treatment. A therapeutic process should be characterized by effective communication, nonjudgmental attitudes, empathy, purposeful expressions of feelings, and non-emotional involvement. And most importantly, it should aim to protect the client’s wellbeing and not to harm them. The different forms of conversion therapy practices cause harm that benefits the victims.
- FAST HOMEWORK HELP
- HELP FROM TOP TUTORS
- ZERO PLAGIARISM
- NO AI USED
- SECURE PAYMENT SYSTEM
- PRIVACY GUARANTEED
Conversion Therapy Raises Ethical Dilemmas
Leading mental and medical health associations, including American Psychiatric Association, have rejected conversion therapy as a valid medical treatment. Besides the clinical risks linked to the practice, the methods counselors and some healthcare providers direct the change process violate several ethical principles, including “no harm.” The administering change effort during conversion therapy is an integrally discriminatory procedure often marked by coercion and fraught with several ethical problems, including uninformed consent, patient discrimination, indiscriminate and improper treatment, and human rights violation in general.
Patient Discrimination and Indiscriminate and Improper Treatment
Conversion therapy reinforces discrimination, bias, and stigma against LGBTQ persons. The underlying assumption in conversion therapy is that gender nonconformity and homosexuality are mental conditions and that a person’s sexual behavior and gender identity can be changed. Such beliefs are not scientifically or medically proven but enforce pressure on LGBTQ persons to change their sexual orientation because of stigma. Besides, the caregiver’s nonjudgmental acknowledgment of and respect for the patient’s gender identity, sexual behavior, and orientation are critical facets in providing optimal health care. The recognition is particularly crucial to meet health care needs for individuals who may be or are LGBTQ as such groups experience significant disparities in accessing health care. Approximately 700,000 LGBTQ adults in the United States have undergone conversion therapy, and about 57,000 young people will undertake change struggles before turning 18 years old. Most of these people undertake the procedure because of the pressure caused by the underlying being that sexual nonconformity is a mental problem that can be altered (Graham, 2018).
Conversion practice, including religious and medical therapies, is significantly destructive to the LGBTQ+ people, predominantly adolescents. People who have undertaken the procedure exhibited increased mental health problems, susceptibility to drug abuse, and suicide. But despite being scientifically and medically discredited and overruled by mainstream mental and medical health organizations, including APA and American Medical Association, conversion therapy is still a global challenge facing LGBTQ+ people. It happens in different parts of the world, including the U.S. The U.N. experts in 2020 called for the banning of conversion therapy, termed as a damaging practice targeting the LGBTQ+ community (Alempijevic et al. 2020).
There is no empirical evidence supporting pathologizing or medicalizing differences in gender identity and sexual orientation. Researchers have established that sexual alignment is ubiquitous, and there is significant variability in gender expression and sexual expression patterns between people and across individuals throughout human existence. The World Medical Association (WMA) maintains that non-heterosexual orientation or homosexuality is not a disease but rather an ordinary difference with the dominion of human sexuality. The DMS also removed homosexuality from the list of disorders in 1973, almost half a century ago. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also desisted from classifying homosexuality as a disorder. World Health Organization declassified all diseases linked to homosexuality, including ego-dystonic sexual orientation, which were used to justify conversion therapy (Alempijevic et al. 2020). As such, grouping LGBTQ+ as a disorder and subjecting individuals to conversion therapy because is a discrimination against the group. We must have a society where everyone stands for equal rights regardless of sexual orientation.
Conversion Therapy Violates Human Rights
Conversion therapy incorporates unethical practices such as deprivation of food, subjecting one to electric shock, forcing a person to masturbate, or forcing LGBTQ+ to have sexual intimacy with the opposite gender against their wish and sexual harassment as a form of reconditioning. Such practices violate one’s rights, including freedom from torture, health and psychological wellbeing, right to life, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience. The conversation on conversion therapy is often framed around the larger concern of torture. It requires less effort to link accompanying practices such as aversive treatment to torture. The practices are also related to significant mental stress, including anxiety, depression, self-blame, sexual dissatisfaction, and many others, depriving a person of the right health and psychological wellbeing. In some cases, conversion therapy causes premature deaths due to stress, suicide, or injuries. The probability of having a right to consent to conversion therapies freely is another widely deliberated legal argument. (Graham, 2018). Conversation therapy often violates patient autonomy as the practice in many cases is done without consulting the victims, or sometimes they LGBTQ+ are coerced to undertake the treatment.