Objection to involuntary gay-conversion therapy or voluntary

Right. The problem is worse than “it doesn’t work.” Gay conversion therapy has been shown to cause actual harm. Since it doesn’t work, the person winds up in a worse off than when they started.

There are plenty of things people want to do that are outlawed because of the harm they cause. It might be different if there was some benefit, but there just isn’t.


No, no and HELL NO. Insurance doesn’t even cover a lot of necessary treatments people need, and you think it should include something that has shone to be mostly bullshit and often harmful to individuals?

Interesting, to me, that you qualified your mention of heterosexuals with “a lot of” but did not qualify your mention of homosexuals at all. Those who are (I’m assuming) different from you must all be the same? Please ponder that for a while. Also I question the percentage of heterosexuals who actually do feel revulsion at gay sex.

The answer to your question is that, just as in any grouping of people, individuals are different. Just as there is a spectrum for sexual attraction there is a spectrum for sexual revulsion.

Here’s what is wrong with “gay-conversion” therapy: no-one knows or can prove scientifically what causes sexual attraction, gay or straight. The best that anyone has come up with so far is correlation, which is never predictively 100% accurate, but just seems to change the odds somewhat. It’s clearly a very complex set of factors. It’s also clearly something that is usually set pretty early (I realized it when I was 7).

So what kind of process could “gay-conversion” therapy possibly use that could overcome enough of the contributing factors that have been in place for any gay person for most of his/her life, to make such a fundamental change? And make no mistake, sexual attraction is very much a fundamental component of personality.

A gay person who dislikes being gay can be celibate; some can force themselves to have sex exclusively with the opposite sex; a bi-sexual person can presumably choose one sex over the other all the time. That’s not conversion, that’s just a strong force of will.

Your anecdote is just an anecdote. Please provide cites.

I submit that if someone feels bad about their same-sex attractions that is what they need to address with therapy rather than try to change who they are.

That would be my opinion as well, but we are talking about personal choice here. Much as I think conversion therapy is mostly harmful bullshit, I do tend to take a social libertarian stance on voluntary harmful bullshit.

Involuntary conversion therapy should be flat-out illegal. So should voluntary juvenile conversion therapy.

Voluntary conversion therapy for a legal adult( however you define it )should be as legal as going to a chakra cleanser, homeopath or crystal healer. It’s shitty woo IMO, but if I’m going to allow people the choice to kill themselves( and I do support that choice ), then I think it would be hypocritical not to allow folks to go fuck themselves up with lousy therapy. Over 18 and you want to eat a Tide pod? Be my guest. No law against being stupid.

However much like homeopathy I would support a law that prevents conversion therapists from making broad claims of success unless that can be proven in a rigorous way.

I agree that an adult should be able to choose their own path and if that includes woo then so be it.

It bothers me that society cannot outlaw snake-oil salesmen but I can not think of a good way we could outlaw it. The “cure” could be worse than the problem. So, some poor souls are doomed to be suckered because we deem it wrong to save people from themselves (in most cases).

And again…I get it. Saving people from themselves is fraught with trouble.

Sucks. Best we can do is educate and hope.

Instead of allowing these people to be defrauded, the other frauds should be shut down as well. They necessarily involve lies/fraud. None of them says, “this does absolutely nothing, but I want to make money, hand it over” or “this does absolutely nothing, you could get much sicker or even die, while you piss about with this nonsense instead of going to a qualified medical person, but I want to make money, hand it over”. All fraudsters should be in the same place, court or detention.

I sympathize. But one person’s woo is another’s efficacious alternative therapy. I tend to think much of the panoply of naturopathy including acupuncture and an awful lot of herbal medicine is crap as well. But many, many millions disagree with me.

I’d settle for much more rigorous truth-in-advertising laws myself.

Because it is.

Or that they are bisexual to some degree and unwilling to admit it?

I forget what it was I was watching but it was something about the FDA about to institute a truth in advertising ruling on homeopathy supplements and the vitamin industry ran ads that the government was going to take away their vitamins.

FTR vitamins are mostly worthless unless you have a vitamin deficiency. Other homeopathic supplements are truly worthless.

The FDA guy said the public outcry was massive and they relented.

People want their woo.

I read that recently in one of Paul Offit’s books. Mel Gibson was in one of the ads, where they arrested him for having Vitamin C. :rolleyes:

Fine. But in absolutely no way should insurance cover it.

Yup…that’s the one.

Found the ad: Mel Gibson expresses his concern on the growing danger of lo - YouTube

Seems crazy but that ad worked.

Yes, they have to tell you that your “efficacious alternative remedy” does absolutely nothing. That’s fine, then there’s no fraud. You are just handing money to somebody for nothing.

After they make it so they have to tell the truth to customers, they should publish a list of those customers. I’d love to get my hands on some of that money they like giving away. :slight_smile:

But who are you or I to tell them how they should feel or what to do?

Are you asking this in the context of a hypothetical where gay conversion therapy worked? I don’t want to speak for Whack-a-Mole, but it seems to me that he was saying that, since conversion therapy doesn’t work, they would be better off getting therapy to be comfortable with who they are because they are not likely to change.

Because in the real world, it doesn’t. So, while I don’t want to make it illegal (much…maybe better disclosures), I can still object to it existing and would never suggest it to anyone I know who is uncomfortable with their sexual orientation.

Once it seemed pretty clear from this thread that it’s all woo, then I’m not sure what your point is here anymore. Are you asking us to accept the counterfactual, where we pretend it does work and think about the consequences? I didn’t see that anywhere in your OP or subsequent posts.

We’re the same people who will tell cancer patients to visit reputable oncologists rather than basement quacks, and for the same reasons. Gay-conversion “therapy” is not only ineffective, but harmful, and should be outlawed. If gay people are having difficulties or challenges with their sexuality or identity, they should visit trained therapists and psychologists.