The American Psychological Association has said that there is insufficient evidence for so-called “sexual orientation change efforts,” and has instructed mental health practitioners to avoid offering reparative or “ex-gay” therapy.
In a resolution adopted at its annual conference today, the APA officially rejected treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental disorder, and lauded approaches “that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”
The accompanying report made short shrift of recent ex-gay studies, saying they were based on “inadequate” research methods. The Chair of the APA’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, Judith M Glassgold, said:
At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects.
She called for therapists to be “completely honest” about the likelihood of change, and to acknowledge the “reality of their sexual orientation,” while respecting the client’s religious beliefs.
Ex-Gay Watch has already noted how hardcore supporters of reparative therapy steeled themselves for today’s announcement.