Week 1 Blog: The Myth of Conversion Therapy

I chose to look at the pseudoscience of conversion therapy because it is near and dear to my heart. I am “openly” gay and out to my parents but not to the rest of my family because many of them are proponents of conversion therapy. I have a cousin that came out at the age of 26 and was so heavily scrutinized about it, she left the state and now most of us have no clue where she is. This is one example of how damaging pseudosciences can be.

Conversion therapy rests on the idea of homosexuality being a diseased state of mind that can be cured by psychological and/or spiritual intervention. In case there was any confusion, being homosexual is not like choosing a political party so experiences where a change of values or agenda changes the community a person sides with.

In order for conversion therapy to be even relatively possible (and not as psychologically damaging) we’d have to imagine there being maybe a gene for queerness that could be isolated and altered to align with heterosexual practices (?).

Prior to this introduction, i understood pseudo- as “fake”, like a pseudo-intellectual but now i am trying to think of it more fluidly like there is a possibility something could be slightly true if the question was altered and scientific method was applied.

2 thoughts on “Week 1 Blog: The Myth of Conversion Therapy

  1. I find this post to be extremely interesting. I seriously still don’t understand how people believe conversion therapy actually works? Being homosexual is not a choice in my opinion and you basically know when you know and it’s uncontrollable. I’m not positive if homosexuality is a gene but if it is one it would make sense because its a trait one can’t control. I solely believe that there should be no such thing as conversion therapy and instead a family should accept their son or daughter for who they are. I myself am not homosexual, but I have many friends who are and have been isolated from their family because of it. One of my friends was forced to do conversion therapy. You can’t just turn your sexuality off and it is the 21st century people need to start being more accepting. Conversion therapy shouldn’t be acknowledged as a pseudoscience or a science because it is highly unlikely that it’s proven to work.
    I’m also very sorry about your cousin. I hope one day her family realizes that she can’t control her sexuality. It is also heartbreaking to me seeing the emotional trauma my friend went through after conversion therapy and I would never wish that upon anyone.

  2. I found this as interesting as I found it sad. It hit close to home as my cousin came out as gay and her parents immediately started looking into conversion therapy. It still baffles me that people think that you can change a part of who someone naturally is. Questioning why someone is homosexual would be the same as asking why someone is heterosexual. But you did a very good job finding a great example of pseudoscience that still exists in the face of actual science. It is even worse as it causes so much harm that it could, in no way, be seen as successful.

    I also liked your closing paragraph, as I felt the same way coming into this project as well. I thought of pseudoscience to just be anecdotal or false information. But as you alluded to, many common day pseudosciences use what seems to be logical ideas or scientific principles. But much like what was discussed in the lecture videos, they have clear cut fallacies or inconsistencies. That being said, it is not hard to see that Conversion Therapy is in no way scientifically bound, but the exact opposite. Not only does it reject modern science and our understanding of sexual preferences, but also does so in a proven harmful way.

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