Some areas of the United States are now enacting laws to prohibit conversion therapy procedures towards the LGBTQ youth. Mental health and child welfare advocates protest against it because of the inhumane and risky conditions that could affect those who undergo the process.
Conversion therapy, according to human rights activists, is also known as reparative therapy or ex-gay therapy. The operation is done to make the LGBTQ change their sexual orientation through electroconvulsive shock therapy, paralysis while showing homoerotic images, and other strategies that try altering the patient’s behavior so that they act more stereotypically feminine or masculine.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) shared that one in three LGBTQ individuals underwent conversion therapy. They added that those who conduct it include licensed doctors, religious leaders, or trusted adults.
Mental health experts oppose the procedure because of the risks it poses to those subject to conversion therapy. Studies also showed that employing such processes do not have sufficient scientific proof of their effectiveness.
The American Psychological Association investigated that existing researchers regarding the effects of conversion therapy do not have valid scientific arguments. Instead, it only causes harm to mental health.
A study from Beyond Ex-Gay showed that instead of reparative effects, which conductors of conversion therapy claim, the system only gave feelings of depression, shame, and fear. The outcomes proved to be long-term, as other respondents said that until now they are still feeling the negative results of the so-called treatment.
Other researchers said that conversion therapy and different kinds of prejudicial acts towards the LGBTQ community caused these people to commit suicide, succumb to depression, and turn to substance abuse. Because of these hazards, organizations took a firm stand to oppose conversion therapy and other similar “remedies.”
The Human Rights Campaign also collaborated with NCLR to submit legislation to eradicate the dangerous practice. In connection with this, the groups said that people should not make efforts to try changing someone’s sexual orientation. Instead, understanding these individuals is the key to empower them, help them embrace their identity, and improve their self-esteem.