Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Loreto R. Prieto
Conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy, reorientation therapy, or transformational therapy) has been generally understood to have as its chief goal the cessation or changing of individuals' same-sex attraction and sexual behavior and the adoption of opposite-sex attraction and sexual behavior. Proponents and practitioners of conversion therapy base the rationale for such intervention on medical, moral, or religious traditions that regard homosexuality and homosexual behaviors as unnatural, psychopathological, or morally transgressive. However, since the 1970s, mainstream mental health organizations (American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association) have adopted nosology and policy that reject the idea that homosexual individuals are mentally unhealthy simply because of their sexual orientation. Beginning in the late 1950s, scientific research such as that generated by Evelyn Hooker clearly demonstrated that homosexuals do not suffer any greater frequency of psychopathology than heterosexuals and that common psychodiagnostic tests cannot identity or effectively discriminate between homosexuals and heterosexuals. In ...