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Why Ban "Ex-Gay" Therapy But Allow Sex Reassignment? - Sarah, The Bringer of Tea
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: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: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: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: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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