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Sarah, The Bringer of Tea - Why Ban "Ex-Gay" Therapy But Allow Sex Reassignment?
17th January, 2011
01:14 pm

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Why Ban "Ex-Gay" Therapy But Allow Sex Reassignment?

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From:auntysarah
Date:17th January, 2011 03:28 pm (UTC)
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I have heard of gay people seeking reparative therapy voluntarily. Usually it's because of the standards of their peers, which they have internalised, so the extent to which they are an "unwilling recipient" probably depends on whether you include subconsciously unwilling.

Anyway, I don't think you should stop people doing stuff that's bad for them, if they really want to do it and are fully informed that it's bad for them. I also fully support and applaud professional psychology bodies kicking out people who provide this sort of "therapy" though. Their "services" should come with a health warning, like cigarettes. "Warning, this therapy doesn't work and will probably damage your mental health", that sort of thing.
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From:jessie_c
Date:18th January, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
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...Usually it's because of the standards of their peers...

In other words, their "willingness" is coerced, in this case by "peer pressure" or "moral suasion" or however else you wish to define brainwashing to pressure someone to adhere to an outside standard.
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From:auntysarah
Date:18th January, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
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In other words, their "willingness" is coerced, in this case by "peer pressure" or "moral suasion" or however else you wish to define brainwashing to pressure someone to adhere to an outside standard.

Where does one draw the line? Don't most os us spend large portions of/our entire lives trying to deal with the expectations subconsciously instilled in us by our parents, for example?
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From:jessie_c
Date:18th January, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
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Indeed we do, and many of us are broken by the effort. One should draw the line where the expectations cause harm to the person trying to live up to them. The question should be asked "Is it reasonable to expect this person to strive to meet $_social standard?"

So, the test:

Is it reasonable to expect a person to wear clothing appropriate to the season and their social standing?

Is it reasonable to expect a person to starve themselves in order to meet their damaged perception of how they should look?

Is it reasonable to expect a trans person to seek medical help to correct their condition?

Is it reasonable to persuade, coerce, or otherwise force a person to attempt to change their sexuality because someone speaking for their invisible friend 2500 years ago in a desert didn't like same-sex attraction?

I leave the answers to the student.
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From:auntysarah
Date:18th January, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
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Is it reasonable to persuade, coerce, or otherwise force a person to attempt to change their sexuality because someone speaking for their invisible friend 2500 years ago in a desert didn't like same-sex attraction?

It's not, but if someone following that religion wants to engage in quack therapies because of their beliefs, it's absolutely not the job of the state to try and save them from themselves. That way lies authoritarianism.

You can't stop people making bad decisions, that's illiberal.

Edited at 2011-01-18 01:11 (UTC)
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From:jessie_c
Date:18th January, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
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This is true. However, the State establishes Governing Bodies who in turn issue licenses to practitioners in the expectation that they do no harm in their work. When in fact they do harm, it is the Governing Body's responsibility to revoke their license and announce that fact.

Note that Mr Helmer's tweet was seemingly prompted by just such a case. He is twisting the facts to suit his apparent bias. Reparative therapy has not been banned, a practitioner or same merely lost hir license.
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From:auntysarah
Date:18th January, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
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I agree that it is entirely proper for professional bodies to throw out quacks.
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From:jessie_c
Date:18th January, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
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The whole case is akin to changing methodologies of treatment. Much more recently than 2500 years ago, the standard of treatment for mentally ill people was to chain them naked in cages. More recently still they were given straight jackets, lobotomies, drugs and electrical shocks. These have all been superseded when evidence came to light that they did more harm than good. Reparative therapy needs to fall into that category.
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From:biascut
Date:18th January, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
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"Reasonable" is just as culturally dependent and subjective, so I don't think that's a particularly good test either.

The best objective test is the one Sarah proposed: evidence-based, with long-term follow-up and all information about success or lack of success publicly available.
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