Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WTF??!! NPR story calls conversion therapy "controversial", suggests it might work.

Logo of NPR News.Image via WikipediaI may have to change the settings on every radio I own after hearing about this one. ThinkProgress reported yesterday that National Public Radio (NPR) aired a story on All Things Considered Monday about ex-gay therapy, which it described with words like "controversial".

Despite the fact that The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Medical Association and every other accredited medical organization on the planet have all agreed that sexual orientation cannot be changed and that so-called therapies claiming to do so are psychologically damaging to those people subjected to it, NPR presents the practice as just one side of the debate.

Zack Ford from ThinkProgress reported Monday:
A National Public Radio segment this morning suggested that ex-gay therapy is still up for “debate,” misrepresenting it as a “controversy” on which “the jury is still out.” Even though ex-gay therapy isroundly condemned by professional medical organizations as ineffective and harmful, the segment attempted to create a false balance by including stories from both sides of the “debate.” Ex-gay Rich Wyler, founder of People Can Change, had the opportunity to  reiterate many untrue ex-gay talking points, including unfounded “causes” for a gay orientation, the misguided notion that it’s ethicalto support a patient who wants ex-gay therapy, and a completely inaccurate comparison between ex-gay and transgender patients. Ex-gay survivor Peterson Toscano countered by explaining the traumatic harm he faced in ex-gay therapy, but many of Wyler’s points went unaddressed.
Um, NPR... just in case you missed it in your research, there is no fucking debate when it comes to brainwashing!

These are the facts, direct from The American Psychological Association:
Can sexual orientation be changed through therapy? No; even though most homosexuals live successful, happy lives, some homosexual or bisexual people may seek to change their sexual orientation through therapy, often coerced by family members or religious groups to try and do so. The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable. However, not all gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who seek assistance from a mental health professional want to change their sexual orientation. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people may seek psychological help with the coming out process or for strategies to deal with prejudice, but most go into therapy for the same reasons and life issues that bring straight people to mental health professionals.
What about so-called "conversion therapies"? Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports, however show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of these claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective that condemns homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented; for example, treatment outcome is not followed and reported over time, as would be the standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.
The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association's Council of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination. Any person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation has a right to expect that such therapy will take place in a professionally neutral environment, without any social bias.
There's going to be a shit-storm over this if NPR doesn't do the right thing and retract everything about this blatantly ant-gay propaganda. You can listen to the story here and express your outrage directly to NPR by leaving a comment.

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