"Gay cure" therapies still used by few in UK: study
Michael King states that there is "very little evidence" that this form of therapy has worked and that it can also be dangerous. So why do therapists continue to use this form of therapy? The reasons are due to the "therapists religious and moral views about homosexuality and the patient's anxiety over discrimination."
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A sixth of British therapists said they had tried to help gay, bisexual and lesbian patients become heterosexual, even though evidence suggests such therapies can be harmful, according to a survey released on Thursday.
Michael King of University College London, who published his findings in the journal BMC Pyschiatry, said the number of therapists who said they had tried to help a person change their sexual orientation was surprising.
"There is very little evidence to show that attempting to treat a person's homosexual feelings is effective and in fact it can actually be harmful," King said in a telephone interview. Such an approach could provoke greater anxiety and confusion.
The survey showed that 17 percent of therapists and psychiatrists working in Britain had sought to help their patients reduce "gay or lesbian feelings" through therapy, the researchers said.
There have been a few cases of patient deaths due to "aversion therapy." Here is one such story which came to light on BBC2 in 1996:
A 29 year old gay man died after being given aversion therapy to cure his homosexuality. The authorities covered up his death, falsely claiming it was due to "natural causes".
Thirty-four years later, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem confirms that Billy Clegg-Hill died from coma and convulsions resulting from injections of apomorphine, a potent vomit-inducing drug. He had been given apomorphine as an aversion therapy treatment which was designed to turn him straight.
These shocking revelations were made in a dramatic television documentary, Sexual Aversion, which was broadcast on BBC2 on Thursday 8 August 1996 at 9.30pm.
John W. Santrock in his book Life-Span Development gives one explanation as to why people are born as homosexuals. His explanation is quite interesting.
No matter which set of genital organs have developed in the body whether the embryo is physically male or female the brain s wired-in pattern of sexual behavior is female. Long after the genes and hormones have dictated a male body, additional sex hormones must act upon the brain and make it a male. If they do not, the embryo will develop a female brain in a male body and the boy will grow up to act feminine.