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American Academy of Nursing position statement on reparative therapy

        Reparative therapies, sometimes called conversion therapies or sexual orientation change interventions, have been widely discredited by most major health care professional organizations for their lack of scientific justification, failure to achieve intended results, questionable clinical practices, disregard and lack of respect for normal human differences, and inherently harmful effects on mental and physical health of individuals being pressured to change (
        American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA)
        Report of the task force on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation.
        , ). The
        American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA)
        Report of the task force on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation.
        carried out a systematic review of the literature and “concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm…” (pg. v).
        Aversive techniques used in reparative therapies have included electric shock, physical violence, administration of emetics, and personal degradation and humiliation. Many lesbian and gay people have been coerced or forced into receiving reparative therapies, with minors being especially vulnerable. In violation of individual human rights, physical isolation and deprivation of liberty have also been used to facilitate “treatment” (
        Pan American Health Organization
        “Cures” for an illness that does not exist. Purported therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation lack medical justification and are ethically unacceptable.
        ). Although several states have passed laws banning the use of reparative or conversion therapy, the practice continues in many parts of the United States.
        The American Academy of Nursing strongly supports the position of the
        Pan American Health Organization
        “Cures” for an illness that does not exist. Purported therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation lack medical justification and are ethically unacceptable.
        and those of various other professional bodies such as the
        American Psychiatric Association
        Position statement on issues related to homosexuality.
        ,
        American Psychoanalytic Association
        Position statement on sexual orientation, gender Identity, and civil rights.
        ,

        American Psychological Association (1975). Discrimination against homosexuals (policy statement). From Conger, J. J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 633. doi:10.1037/h0078455.

        ,
        • Anton B.S.
        Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the legislative year 2009: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives and minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors.
        ,
        International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
        Position statement on reparative therapy.
        ,
        National Association of Social Workers, National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues
        “Reparative” and “conversion” therapies for lesbian and gay men.
        , and the
        Association of American Medical Colleges
        Implementing curricular and institutional climate changes to improve health care for individuals who are LGBT, gender nonconforming, or born with DSD.
        that same-sex sexual relationships between consenting adults are a form of healthy human sexual behavior. The Academy concludes that reparative therapies aimed at “curing” or changing same-sex orientation to heterosexual orientation are pseudo-scientific, ineffective, unethical, abusive and harmful practices that pose serious threats to the dignity, autonomy and human rights as well as to the physical and mental health of individuals exposed to them. Based on sound scientific evidence, its commitment to human rights and dignity, and its mission of promoting positive health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, the Academy concludes that efforts to “repair” homosexuality, by any means, constitute health hazards to be avoided and are to be condemned as unethical assaults on human rights and individual identity, autonomy, and dignity.

        Acknowledgments

        The position statement was prepared by the Expert Panel on LGBTQ on behalf of the American Academy of Nursing.

        References

          • American Medical Association (AMA)
          AMA policies on LGBT issues, H-160.991c.
          (Retrieved from)
          • American Psychiatric Association
          Position statement on issues related to homosexuality.
          (Retrieved from)
          • American Psychoanalytic Association
          Position statement on sexual orientation, gender Identity, and civil rights.
          (Retrieved from)
          • American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (APA)
          Report of the task force on appropriate therapeutic responses to sexual orientation.
          American Psychological Association, Washington, DC2009 (Retrieved from)
        1. American Psychological Association (1975). Discrimination against homosexuals (policy statement). From Conger, J. J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 633. doi:10.1037/h0078455.

          • Anton B.S.
          Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the legislative year 2009: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives and minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors.
          American Psychologist. 2010; 65: 385-475https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019553
          • Association of American Medical Colleges
          Implementing curricular and institutional climate changes to improve health care for individuals who are LGBT, gender nonconforming, or born with DSD.
          (Retrieved from)
          • International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
          Position statement on reparative therapy.
          (Retrieved from)
          • National Association of Social Workers, National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues
          “Reparative” and “conversion” therapies for lesbian and gay men.
          (Retrieved from)
          • Pan American Health Organization
          “Cures” for an illness that does not exist. Purported therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation lack medical justification and are ethically unacceptable.
          (Retrieved from)