In the aftermath of shock following the shooting at the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building last month, sexuality issues have become a popular discussion in the media. A number of articles of late have been focused on whether it is possible to ‘convert’ homosexual men and women to heterosexuals (for example click here.)

1069414_gender_symbols These articles cite the American Psychological Association’s (APA) recent statement that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation” and, moreover, attempting to alter a person’s sexual orientation through aversive treatments can cause harm, such as loss of sexual feeling, suicidality, depression and anxiety.

 Undoubtedly, articles such as these and the APA’s consideration of this can bring about important and helpful change. A resolution has been passed urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods. A Brazilian psychologist has been publicly reprimanded by Brazil’s Federal Psychology Council for suggesting she could “cure” homosexuals.

 However, these articles leave me with different questions: I am curious to think about why the focus has been on whether it is possible to ‘convert’ homosexuality, instead of thinking about the difficulties we have as individuals and as a society, regardless of who we are attracted to sexually, in managing this difference.

 

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