Doctors Come Out Against Gay Conversion Therapy
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 -- So-called "conversion therapy" can trigger depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and attempts, and it should be banished in the United States, medical experts say in a new report.
Conversion therapy is used in an attempt to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, most typically to turn someone who is gay into a "straight" person.
Electroshock therapy, chemical drugs, hormone administrations and surgery are among the methods that have been used in conversion therapy, noted a team of experts reporting Aug. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While the use of such extreme methods has declined, other types of conversion therapy can still harm U.S. children, teens and adults, according to the report.
Only 18 U.S. states have banned conversion therapy for people younger than 18, and no states have banned conversion therapy for adults.
"As a result of the lack of regulation on these 'therapies,' many adults and children continue to be defrauded, harmed and traumatized in the U.S. every day," said report lead author Dr. Carl Streed, Jr. He is a primary care physician at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.
"In addition to the health problems associated with conversion therapies, these practices also carry serious economic burdens for LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning] people and the country at large, including low educational achievement, lower income and lower work performance," added Streed, who treats patients at the Center for Transgender Medicine & Surgery at BMC.
It's important for doctors to be aware of this issue because many victims of conversion therapy keep silent about it, and doctors need to be taught how to identify patients who've had or may be undergoing conversion therapy, the report's authors said.
They also believe that medical schools and training programs need to better prepare future doctors to care for LGBTQ people, including identifying and treating trauma caused by conversion therapy.
"Put simply, these practices need to end," Streed said in a medical center news release. "We need to work across sectors to focus on ensuring that all individuals of all ages receive appropriate, comprehensive care by trained medical professionals in a supportive environment."
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: August 2019
Read this next
THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2020 -- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)may significantly increase the risk of dementia later in life, according to a new study. The researchers found...
MONDAY, July 27, 2020 -- Talk therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn't appear to increase addiction treatment patients' risk of relapse, a small new study...
TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 -- As many as 40% of LGBTQ youth and more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth contemplated taking their life in the past year, according to a new...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.