Campus Pride Blog

The American Psychological Association Finally Repudiates Gay-to-Straight Therapies

OK psych nuts, prepare to get excited. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, the American Psychological Association (or APA), which is the pre-eminent society and basically ruling body of psychology in the US, has released a report officially denouncing gay-to-straight therapies. This is huge, because there are a couple things to get from this. So, fellow psychology majors, and fellow argument/debate lovers, listen up. This is going to be fun.

First off, let’s get links out of the way:
Google News
APA Summary
The Full-On No-Holds-Barred Report

There we go. Now, what does this really mean to you and I? Let me point you to two specific things that this report states:

“…the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, regardless of sexual orientation identity…”
FUDGE. YES. This is something you can directly quote as coming from the American Psychological Association people. That’s a credible, accountable source. Write it in your papers, I don’t care if it’s a research paper on Darfur, scribble it in the margins and MLA format the crap out of that bibliography. Take up that debate on campus on whether LGBT students deserve housing, or a safe space, or a resource center, and when someone jumps and yells “But gay people are sick! With the devil!” whip out that PDF and highlight it. Highlight it every color of the rainbow. Heck, light a sparkler and wave it in front of it (This blog is not responsible for fire damage to property caused by following a hyperbolic blogger’s insane ranting). But really what this means is a major organization that deals specifically with issues of what is healthy and normative has in effect advocated on our behalf. And what’s more, it’s scientifically grounded. I don’t know if any of you have researched LGBT factoids all that often, but it is HARD to find hard scientific, objective data on us. This right here is a big one.

Remember when I said two things? OK, I cheated because the second thing is a list, but I won’t even go into explaining it. Just let it all sink in baby…
“• Same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality—in other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders.
• Homosexuality and bisexuality are stigmatized, and this stigma can have a variety of negative consequences (e.g., minority stress) throughout the life span.
• Same-sex sexual attractions and behavior occur in the context of a variety of sexual orientations and sexual orientation identities, and for some, sexual orientation identity (i.e., individual or group membership and affiliation, self-labeling) is fluid or has an indefinite outcome.
• Gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals form stable, committed relationships and families that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships and families in essential respects.
• Some individuals choose to live their lives in accordance with personal or religious values (e.g., telic congruence).”

So those are the highlights for me of the APA report, but give the entire thing a read. It’s something great to be educated about, and there are some other great gems in there. If you’re religious, the section on religion and homosexuality is of particular note. I for one agree with the idea that for some people religion will be more important than their sexual identity, and I actually really respect the outline the report gives on how to approach that paradox. For now folks, thanks for reading, and welcome to all our new bloggers!