Adolescents have a right to explore sexual orientation change efforts
More and more states are proposing to ban reparative therapy for minors. Many major medical groups, like the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and others, have moved to discourage the practice. But on what basis is their decision?
The scientific literature is clear: same-sex attractions are more fluid than fixed especially in adolescents – many can and do change. The outcomes for the treatment of unwanted homosexuality are similar to those outcomes for other difficult challenges. There is not a single randomized controlled study demonstrating universal failure and/or harm from Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE). However, there is a body of literature demonstrating a variety of positive outcomes from SOCE. Barring change therapy or SOCE will threaten the health and well-being of children.
Without any therapeutic options available, many young people will believe that they have no choice but to engage in homosexual behaviors. These behaviors place them at risk for both grave physical and psychological harm. Adolescents have a right to explore sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) with full informed consent and under the care of mental health experts in the field.
See Adolescents, Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity
See Press Release: Legislators Are Not Psychotherapists!
See Change Therapy for more information on this topic.
NARTH Objections to the California Bill SB 1172