The Belfast News Letter reports that the World Health Organization has “affirmed the view of controversial groups which say it is medically orthodox to seek treatment for unwanted homosexuality.”
The News Letter continues:
A WHO spokesman said Ego Dystonic Sexuality is a disorder where “the gender identity or sexual preference (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or prepubertal) is not in doubt, but the individual wishes it were different because of associated psychological and behavioural disorders, and may seek treatment in order to change it.”
WHO was also clear that it does not consider homosexuality per se a disorder.
The suggestion that WHO has recently affirmed reparative therapy in light of the Core Issues conference is puzzling. The above is, in fact, simply a direct quote from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases. It is taken from F.66 of ICD-10 (2006), the most recent version of the index:
F66 Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation
Note: Sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder.
Egodystonic sexual orientation
The gender identity or sexual preference (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or prepubertal) is not in doubt, but the individual wishes it were different because of associated psychological and behavioural disorders, and may seek treatment in order to change it.
I can find no evidence outside the article that WHO has made any recent announcement. At best, what may have happened is someone queried WHO about this, and a WHO staffer simply sent them the relevant excerpt from ICD-10.
This makes the story rather misleading. It is true that WHO in the past has affirmed the right to seek treatment to change sexual orientation — without endorsing a particular reparative therapy — and it’s true that WHO denies homosexuality in itself is a mental disorder. What is questionable is whether WHO has made a new statement on the subject in direct response to Core Issues, which is certainly the impression the report gives.
Incidentally, the American Pyschiatric Association (APA) removed ego-dystonic homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1987, having removed homosexuality in 1973.