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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