Revised Position on Reparative Therapy


AASECT recently revised our position statement on reparative therapy which has been updated to include transgender and gender non-conforming identities and not only sexual orientation. 

 

Position on Reparative Therapy

Revised 2.9.17

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) takes the position that having a non-heterosexual sexual orientation, that being transgender, and that being gender non-conforming, are not mental disorders. We oppose any “reparative” or conversion therapy that seeks to “change” or “fix” a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. AASECT does not believe that non-heterosexual sexual orientation or being transgender or gender non-conforming is something that needs to be “fixed” or “changed.”

The rationale behind this position is the following:

  • Reparative therapy (for minors, in particular) is often forced or nonconsensual
  • Reparative therapy has been proven harmful to minors
  • There is no scientific evidence supporting the success of these interventions
  • Reparative therapy is grounded in the idea that non-heterosexual orientation, transgender gender identity, and gender non-conforming expressions are "disordered”
  • Reparative therapy has been shown to be a negative predictor of psychotherapeutic benefit 

We define reparative or conversion therapy as:

-services or interventions purporting to “cure” any sexual orientation that is non-heterosexual or gender identity/expression that falls under a transgender umbrella

-services that seek to change non-heterosexual orientation because of the assumption that homosexuality or bisexuality are mental disorders

-services that seek to change transgender gender identities/expressions because of the assumption that being transgender is a mental disorder

Our position is consistent with our professional colleagues, including but not limited to: American Medical Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Academy of Pediatrics, American School Counselors Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Bar Association, American College of Physicians, Canadian Psychological Association.

 

For more information please visit the AASECT website

 

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