New Global Study Demonstrates the Dangers of Conversion Therapy

A new global study on conversion therapy highlights the dangers of this terrible, ineffective practice.

News Koelen Andrews

This article was published on October 24th, 2019

Study after study has conducted inhumane ways queer people are subjected to conversion therapy treatment. The results are in: A new study across over 80 nations reveals that conversion therapy is still widely practiced… with detrimental results.

Data was drawn 500 respondents from 80 nations, in addition to detailed interviews with survivors and doctors from 12 countries in the new study published and conducted by OutRight Action International. Most of the study findings yield negative results of having undergone conversion therapy. Most people who are in support of this “therapy” are religious leaders and family members, pressuring their loved ones to challenge their sexual identity.

Conversion therapy is a broad term, but the study showed shocking realities for people who undergo this supposed therapy, with methods that range from insane religious and spiritual ceremonies, electroshock, torture, violent abuse, isolation, psychiatric hospitalization, or even what is being referred to as “corrective rape”, where an individual is raped by a member of the opposite sex in order to “cure” them.

The study found that the principal advocates for conversion therapy are authority figures in religions or healthcare, who have, more often than not, coerced friends and family to go along with the treatment of their queer brothers and sisters. However, one-third of the respondents who experienced conversion therapy say they sought it out on their own; an indication of the immense societal and family pressure. Furthermore, that society’s beliefs directly contribute to an assurance and persistence of conversion therapy. And although conversion therapy occurs in all regions of the world, these practices never work and lead to irreversible harm.

While a number of countries are seeking bans on conversion therapy practices, currently only four countries have full bans. Those are Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan and Malta. A number of other countries, such as the US, Canada, Norway, South Africa and others have partial or policy bans in place. 

Maria Sjödin, Deputy Director of Outright Action International, said about the rising trend of banning these horrible practices:

“We welcome the efforts of a handful of governments around the world to ban so-called conversion therapy and urge governments in other countries highlighted in this report to take similar steps to safeguard their LGBTIQ citizens from these harmful practices. At the same time, it is clear that the demand for ‘conversion therapy’ will only diminish when social, family, and religious condemnation of LGBTIQ lives ceases, and LGBTIQ people are free to live their lives with access to their full human rights.”

Conversion therapy is wrong, pointless, and does irreparable harm to its victims. Stand up and fight this chillingly evil practice for the next generation of gay people to come along.

Access the full report here.

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