What started gay conversion therapy?

I’ve heard plenty about the Evangelical Christian community pushing some form of “conversion” therapies for homosexuals in order to “change” their orientation from gay to straight. And from what I’ve seen here on CAF, most of us are strongly against that. What I want to know is what started this whole movement with Evangelicals? When did it all begin? And if it’s really as unsuccessful and harmful as it seems to be, then why do they continue with it?

The Wikipedia article on “Conversion Therapy” might answer some of your questions:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy

Out of curiosity, why would anyone be against conversion therapy if it’s efficacious. My niece says she is a lesbian (and she’s in a relationship) but knowing her as I do I can see that her upbringing and the abuse that was part of it may play a huge part of who she is.

From what I’ve heard and seen here on CAF and outside articles/research, conversion therapy is not effective and is, in many cases, more harmful to homosexuals as opposed to if they went without the therapy. That’s why I want to know why so many Evangelicals continue to push it when it’s, I hate to say it, mostly quackery. I wish I could say it was effective and that people could turn “straight” but more often than not that doesn’t happen. Evangelicals are just giving Christians a worse name, in my opinion, when it comes to this issue when they’re pushing fake psychological treatments rather than just having homosexuals practice abstinence and chastity.

And yes, most of the homosexuals I’ve known come from abusive backgrounds as well. Most women I know of who are lesbians had bad/abusive relationships with their fathers and men in general.

Maybe the bisexuals are to blame.

Here’s an entry in Conservopedia which gives a different point of view.

Until Freud, people who committed homosexual acts were not considered a certsin type of person, as they are today, just people who engaged in certain acts. Their reasons for doing so appeared to many to be stem from lack of self-restraint in sexual matters and being either isolated from members of the opposite sex or sunk into depravity.

Freud suggested that people who did a lot of this were a certain type of person and now the paradigm is that people who commit these acts are homo- or bi-sexual.

Since these acts were outside the social norms of western society (not to mention illegal), therapy tended to be along the lines of getting it cured. This went on until the APA’s change in diagnosis, which was, according to witnesses who were there at the time, more of a political decision caused by forceful protest than a truly diagnostic decision.

Now conversion therapy is considered to be politically incorrect. After all, CT would be based on the idea that homosexual tendencies indicate some malfunction in the person, and this is not a politically correct idea, and is in itself considered “shaming.”

However, a therapy used in the past, aversion therapy, did use methods which could be considered torture under other circumstances, since it involved a negative reinforcement when an unwanted stimulus occurred (for male homosexuals: an electric shock when pictures of men showed on a screen). So some therapies have indeed been, like frontsl lobotomies and electro-shock, rather awful.

Proponents of CT for those suffering from same-sex attraction claim some success, which is denied by those considered to be more mainstream.

Already as early as the 1850s, the German doctor Johann Ludwig Casper argued that for some people with same-sex attractions this is an innate, biological condition. In August 1867, the German lawyer, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, addressed the Association of German Jurists in Munich to protest various German anti-sodomy laws that criminalized homosexual behavior. Ulrichs also believed that homosexuality was an inborn characteristic. For those interested, there is a new book on how new views of homosexuality first appeared in Germany in the 19th and early 20th century by Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2014).

Thanks for this information; I had no idea (obviously).

You know, I actually think that it is true that people are innately attracted to certain people or sex. The church’s position (and what we have done wrong for a long time) is to condemn them and close off any hope of a possible reconciliation with God. My sister’s ex, the first time he heard about his daughter, said to her, “You’re going to hell.” How is that going to help her make a decision about her life and how she can make her life a blessing for God.

It’s clear in the Bible that it’s a sinful act but just as people live chaste lives as heterosexuals so can someone who is attracted to someone of the same sex. I read a blog and I LOST the website address of a man and woman who were married and had children. He said that he struggles with same sex attractions but he wanted to live his life in the manner that Christ would have him live it.

We have to stop denouncing people for their sins because we have sin in our own lives that may not be as upsetting (couldn’t find the right word) and lead them to the path of Jesus and help them choose a path that will build their spiritual journey with Him.

There are those who do want the option of having some kind of therapy for themselves. It appears there may be cases where individual adults would want this. It has been blocked. The question is, why would this be the case since a desire to seek treatment should be based on a case by case basis.

nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/11/judge_dismisses_lawsuit_against_gay-to-straight_conversion_therapy_ban.html

Ed

Your linked article has nothing to do with what you just said above. You said, “It appears there may be cases where individual adults would want this.” But the New Jersey law does not ban conversion therapy for adults. As the linked article says:

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit challenging the legality of New Jersey’s newly enacted ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors, saying the law does not violate anyone’s freedom of speech or religion.

You are right. However, even a minor has been granted rights to use a restroom or locker room based on his gender identity. Minors are also getting sex change treatment.

huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/20/sexchanging-treatment-for_n_1288871.html

Thank you for the clarification.

Ed

From: Homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed of

In 1935, the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was contacted by a worried mother who was seeking treatment for her son’s apparent homosexuality. Freud, who believed that all humans are attracted to both sexes in some capacity, responded with…advice.

(The letter was later passed on to Alfred Kinsey and reproduced in The American Journal of Psychiatry in 1951, hence the note attached to its foot.)

From the last paragraph of the letter:

What analysis can do for your son runs on a different line. If he is unhappy, neurotic, torn by conflicts, inhibited in his social life, analysis may bring him harmony, peace of mind, full efficiency, whether he remains a homosexual or gets changed.

Freud’s aim in therapy was not to “cure” homosexuality but to bring about peace of mind whether there was change or not. The aim of conversion therapy is to change the patient whether he/she is capable of change or not.

The letter to Freud and his response.

with grace from God any one can direct their thoughts toward or away from any particular subject, object, objective, course of action, etc. etc. etc.

that includes what sexual attracts or sexually arouses us.

Because it doesn’t work.

To Evangelicals any information that doesn’t support CT is lies perpetrated by the gay agenda

Did you just seriously cite Conservapedia?

Puberty blockers are not sex change treatment, they just stall puberty until the person is considered old enough to make an informed decision (16 with parent’s consent, 18 without).

Which does not means that God will make people heterosexual.

How do you know?

To Evangelicals any information that doesn’t support CT is lies perpetrated by the gay agenda

Given your comment to me, I’d say that the feeling is mutual: advocates of the pc form of being Gay say that any information that the condition of homosexuality is not set in stone is lies perpetrated by homophobes.

Did you just seriously cite Conservapedia?

Yeah, I thought is was better than linking to 2+ hours’ of talk from the Institute of Catholic Culture.

… Which does not means that God will make people heterosexual.

Even the wicked Conservopedia doesn’t claim that, but good therapy has helped a lot of people suffering from SSA to living a life closer to the one they want. About 1/3 are able to maintain a heterosexual relationship, marrying and having children, one third are helped to easily live chastely, and the last third feel themselves to be essentially unchanged.

That’s exactly right Eddie.

“Conversion Therapy” is confusing and needs a new name. I think a lot of the bickering that goes on regarding conversion therapy is that one side “hears” one thing, while the other side means something else. The gay-sensitive side thinks the poorly-named “gay conversion” therapy means the person will completely lose any and all interest in homosexual acts. But really the goal of these therapies is to reduce and manage homosexual urges so the person can live a chaste life. Prayer of course can be combined with any endeavor to increase success, that should also be a no-brainer for us Christians. Some of these men and women are in opposite-sex marriages already, so it is not so much “conversion” as managing unwanted urges. Would you call them “bisexual”? I don’t know. The definitions vary depending on what one wants to emphasize, or what point of view one wants to put forth. The gay-sensitive people have a sort of phobia that anybody could possibly decrease or turn away from their homosexuality, because they think if people find that out, that will make sympathy for practicing homosexuals evaporate. And while it is true that some people are “100% gay” and have absolutely zero interest in the opposite sex, those people will probably also not want this therapy. That is another point of contention, that people are compelled to take this therapy under a false understanding, which they should not be of course. It has to be a free choice.

So Yes, of course people can and do modify their behavior, and over time even their desires to some extent, through prayer and therapy, and just plain old PRACTICE. The less you do a sin, the less allure it tends to have for you, and you can learn ways to do this. It’s different for everybody, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and the mischaracterizations and lack of clarity or lack of accuracy are what’s causing so much suffering on this issue.

Dozens of studies have show CT to be either net neutral or downright harmful, additionally the vaunted cases of orientation change do not appear to be more frequent than the background rate of orientation change.

Actually I think sexuality (in the secular, not theological sense) is fluid to some degree, more in women and men. That said just because it demonstrated some fluidity does not necessarily mean that it can be made to change.

Conservapedia has a notoriously bad reputation for producing truly awful articles bearing little semblance of the truth.

Being able to maintain a heterosexual relationship means very little to me as celibacy is better than marriage and also that being “able to maintain a heterosexual relationship” doesn’t necessarily mean an improvement in quality of life either physically or spiritually.

Actually I think sexuality (in the secular, not theological sense)

What is “sexuality in the theological sense” Or was that one of those spell-checker hijackings?

is fluid to some degree, more in women and men. That said just because it demonstrated some fluidity does not necessarily mean that it can be made to change.

I think the situation is more fluid than either of us knows.

Conservapedia has a notoriously bad reputation for producing truly awful articles bearing little semblance of the truth.

Among liberals, I am sure :wink: I had never seen the site before, so I don’t really know.

Being able to maintain a heterosexual relationship means very little to me

Do you want to impose this on all people with SSA? Maybe other people with SSA have ideas which differ from yours, and maybe they should be allowed to make the decision for themselves?

as celibacy is better than marriage and also that being “able to maintain a heterosexual relationship” doesn’t necessarily mean an improvement in quality of life either physically or spiritually.

Just because it doesn’t necessarily doesn’t mean it necessarily doesn’t.

Our sexual identities as male and female.

Pardon?

The site used to be filled with drivel both in terms of against science and the Church.

Marriage is overrated and I say this as a someone who views the Republican Party as a bunch of liberals.

Indubitably.

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