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Conversion Therapy and Its Affects

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Conversion Therapy and It’s Effects
Parents should learn to accept their child for who they are and for the person they are going to become, not by their sexual identity. Oklahoma has recently released a bill called HB1598. HB1598 is a bill that states that that mental health counselors may engage in “sexual orientation change efforts” with any patient—including those under 18 who are forced into the “therapy” by their parents. The bill also consciously refrains from outlawing the use of aversion therapy to change patients’ orientation, then helpfully outlines what such treatments might involve: Aversion therapy means any counseling by a mental health provider that exposes or asks a client or patient to undergo physical pain, such as electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy, touch therapy, pornography exposure or vomit-induction therapy, in order to change sexual behaviors or gender-identity expressions and/or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. Often homosexual kids’ look for their parents’ approval and guidance. They want to be accepted by their parents. Some parents support their kids and others do not and go to the extremes of conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization of decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBT people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. Giving the right to parents to put their children through something as scaring and as torturous as aversion therapy is not okay. It should not be the parent’s decision. Studies have proven that therapies that us the practice of aversion therapy have more harmful effects on the children. . In the article “The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” written by the Human Rights Campaign, homosexual kids of parents who disowned and or tried to “cure the gay” the kids were “8 times as likely to commit suicide, more than 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression, more 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than 3 times as likely to be at a higher risk for HIV and STDs.” Many right-wing religious groups promote the concept that an individual can change his or her sexual orientation, either through prayer or other religious efforts, or through so-called "reparative" or "conversion" therapy. The limited research on such efforts has disproven their efficacy, and also has indicated that they can be affirmatively harmful. Conversion therapy is Conversion therapy is treatment aimed at converting lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality. Such treatments are controversial and have been criticized as a form of pseudoscience. Reparative Therapy is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.
Deb Cuny wrote about her experience with the religious side of the conversion therapy. She says that “It is an extremely isolating experience to come out as a teenager in an Evangelical Christian family in a small Southern town.” She talks about being gay in the Christian community. She states “I felt my life shatter as I witnessed this church family I trusted most reject me.” She says later on in her paper that she underwent a “Deliverance” or exorcism. She says that “Over a period of six hours, I went through intense prayer and extraordinary anger as the ministers physically and aggressively handled me while they screamed in my face, believing they were confronting the Demon of Perversion inside me.”(NCLR)
Kids who go through conversion therapy come out with more mental problems. There are reports of kids who are forcibly attending who get raped by their therapist. That can cause those children to have severe mental problems. For example it can cause them to have PTSD and can cause phobias and fears and mentally scar that child for their life and they won’t be able to live a normal healthy life because their parents forced them into conversion therapy. Conversion therapy can cause that child to become depressed and feel hopeless which cause them to commit suicide. Some people believe that homosexuals should kill themselves and that they are a burden to their family and the world.
In the article “My Hellish Youth In Sexual Change Therapy and how I Got Out” the writer talks about his experiences about being bullied and how his religion tought him how to hate himself. He states “I was bullied and harassed in middle school and at Los Angeles Baptist High School. I would stand on cliffs, fantasizing about killing myself.”(Time) Due to his religion he was bullied and depressed. They told him that it was his distant relationship with his father that has helped caused this. He attended individual therapy sessions which the therapist was trying to get him to remember a “sexual abuse or rape” which he says “…did not happen”(Time).
Some conversion therapy that was not done in a church with “exersisims” or therapy was done in mental hospitals. One story of Sam Brinton he talks about the horrible things that had happened to him during some of his “sessions”. He states that “My hands were tied down and ice was placed on them while I was shown pictures of men. Later sessions would include copper heating coils, needles in my fingers, and electric shocks,”(HRC) all while Sam was shown homosexual porn.
Not all conversion therapy is as bad as people portray it. There are many different types and methods. Although many methods are inhumane and should not be done to anyone let alone a child who has to live through the pain of that treatment. The more known methods of conversion therapy are: Electroshock therapy, vomit inducing therapy, and touch therapy. Many people used to think it was a mental illness and tried to treat it as such. The lesser known methods which aren’t as dramatic and inhumane are: hugging, behavioral management and marriage to “treat” homosexuality. There is a company known as Exodus Global Alliance. They are a group that tries to “cure” homosexuality and treats it as a mental illness. They use practically all methods of conversion therapy and say that they can cure homosexuality.
Although not all forms of conversion therapy are inhumane they can still leave mental scars on children and anyone who is forced into therapy. Homosexuality is not legally classified as a mental illness anymore and should not be treated like one. Putting a child through that kind of pain and torture should not be legal and the parents should be charged with child abuse and child neglect. Parents should learn to accept their child for who they are and for the person they are going to become, not by their sexual identity.

Works Cited
"#BornPerfect: The Facts About Conversion Therapy." National Center for Lesbian Rights. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

"The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity." Human Rights Campagin. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

"My Hellish Youth in Sexual Conversion Therapy and How I Got Out." Time. Time. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.

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