News flash! Yesterday the California State Senate approved a bill with the purpose of limiting the usage of conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy or ex-gay therapy). If it gets signed in by the governor, California will become the first state to ban mental health professionals from using therapies with the aim of changing the sexual orientation of minors.
This news story quickly follows another major event regarding conversion therapy. Prominent psychiatrist Robert Spitzer is well known for his role in removing homosexuality from the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Despite this, for almost the past ten years advocates of conversion therapy have been using one of his studies to support their idea that sexual orientation can be changed. However, this is no longer true. In an unusual move for a scientist, Spitzer has published an apology for his study and its misuse by others. The realization of the harm conversion therapy has caused individuals prompted him to describe the study as “…the only regret I have; the only professional one” in a recent New York Times article.
Both Spitzer’s controversial article (“Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? 200 Participants Reporting a Change from Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation”) and his apology (“Spitzer Reassesses His 2003 Study of Reparative Therapy of Homosexuality“) are available for current IU, Bloomington students through SpringerLink (login is required for access).
It is also interesting to note that while some people identify as ex-gays, there are also others who identify as ex-ex-gays. Some also refer to themselves as dos equis (two X’s in Spanish).
Below is a listing of some relevant materials in the library’s collection.
[DOC FISH 2005]
[6.150 BESan 2003]
[6.514 RIXex 2010]
Pro-conversion therapy viewpoints can be found in these books available at Wells Library.
[RC558.3 .N533 2009 Wells Library]
Ex-gays? : a longitudinal study of religiously mediated change in sexual orientation
Jones, Stanton L.
[BR115.H6 J655 2007 Wells Library]
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