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Conversion Therapy Ethics

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The Ethics of Conversion Therapy Well conversion therapy aims to do just that, at an extreme cost. Humans all around the globe are forced to undergo such a process, most before they even turn eighteen. This practice is not only unethical, but intensely detrimental to a person’s mental health, and it needs to be stopped. Conversion therapy, also known as “sexual orientation change efforts”, or SOCE, is an attempt by a therapist to condition someone’s state of thinking to make them attracted to the opposite sex, or to change their sexual identity, in the case of transgender men and women. It finds its origins in the 19th century, arising out of religious beliefs that homosexuals were not accepted by the Catholic God. It began as an extremely…show more content…
Due to their parents having legal ownership of the child, they can decide for their child to participate in this practice, without the child’s consent. This is harmful because it means that even children of all ages can be subjects in this malpractice, if their parents decide. A landmark example of the failure of conversion therapy is the story of Kirk Murphy, a five year old victim of the practice. From a young age, Kirk exhibited behaviors that were stereotypical to women. Psychologist George Rekers prescribed that his parents take the approach of praising him when he acted stereotypically male, and ignoring, spanking, or punishing him when he exhibited feminine behavior. The parents were assured that this method would “prevent the boy from becoming gay”. Rekers later was found to claim Kirk as a success story, and the case was used for many years as proof that the method actually worked. However, Kirk has a different opinion on the therapy he was forced to go through. Kirk turned out to be homosexual, contrary to Rekers assurance of the therapy, and claimed to struggle with the psychological damage of the SOCE’s long into his adulthood. And after one failed suicide attempt, he unfortunately took his life at the age of 38, citing the therapies he was put through as the cause of his mental state and suicidal nature. And Kirk is only one of the many examples of failed conversion attempts. LGBTQ members all…show more content…
Many states in the US are beginning to enact laws that prohibit therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or identity of anyone under 18, due to its crude and inhumane methods and reasoning. California passed legislature in 2012 protecting LGBTQ youth from state-licensed therapists attempting to change their sexual orientation or identity. California was the first state to do this in the US, and New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, New York, and a few other states were soon to follow, enacting their own laws to protect LGBTQ youth from the malpractice of conversion therapy. These laws prohibit state-licensed therapists from performing the therapies on anyone under 18. This way, no child is being forced into this barbaric method, and can make the decision for themselves at a later point in their
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