AASECT Statement about Reparative Therapy

Posted On: May 11, 2015

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary professional organization. In addition to sexuality educators, sexuality counselors and sex therapists, AASECT members include physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals, clergy members, lawyers, sociologists, marriage and family counselors and therapists, family planning specialists and researchers, as well as students in various relevant professional disciplines. These individuals share an interest in promoting understanding of human sexuality and healthy sexual behavior.

AASECT takes the position that same sex orientation is not a mental disorder and we oppose any “reparative” or conversion therapy that seeks to “change” or “fix” a person’s sexual orientation. AASECT does not believe that sexual orientation is something that needs to be “fixed” or “changed.”

The rationale behind this position is the following:

  • Reparative therapy (for minors, in particular) is often forced or nonconsensual
  • Reparative therapy has been proven harmful to minors
  • There is no scientific evidence supporting the success of these interventions
  • Reparative therapy is grounded in the idea that non-heterosexual orientation is “disordered”
  • Reparative therapy has been shown to be a negative predictor of psychotherapeutic benefit

We define reparative or conversion therapy as:

  • Services or interventions purporting to “cure” any orientation that is non-heterosexual
  • Services that seek to change non-heterosexual orientation because of the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder

AASECT’s position statement on conversion therapy acknowledges that the organization’s statement is consistent with:

  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Psychological Association
  • The American Psychoanalytic Association
  • The American Counseling Association
  • The National Association of Social Workers
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • The American School Counselor Association
  • The Pan American Health Organization
  • The National Education Association
  • The School Social Work Association of America
  • The American School Health Association
  • The American Association of School Administrators
  • The American Federation of Teachers
  • The National Association of School Psychologists
  • The Interfaith Alliance Foundation
  • The National Association of Secondary School Principals

As a certified sexuality educator as well as member of AASECT, I agree with and adhere to this statement.

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About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee decided to take it upon herself to right this societal injustice in 2007. She set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality, then launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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