Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on
APA PRESS RELEASE
August 5, 2009
Contact: Kim Mills
(202) 336-6048 until Aug. 5
(416) 585-3800 – Aug. 5-9
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS WORK, SAYS APA
Practitioners Should Avoid Telling Clients They Can Change from Gay to Straight
APA’s Public Affairs Office or at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/therapeutic-response.pdf
Members of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation:
Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, Rutgers University – Chair
Lee Beckstead, PhD
Jack Drescher, MD
Beverly Greene, PhD, St. John’s University
Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Michigan State University
Roger L. Worthington, PhD, University of Missouri
American Psychological Association Convention –Toronto 2009
Note. We use the term sexual minority (cf. Blumenfeld, 1992; McCarn & Fassinger, 1996; Ullerstam, 1966) to designate the entire group of individuals who experience significant erotic and romantic attractions to adult members of their own sex, including those who experience attractions to members of both their own and the other sex. This term is used because we recognize that not all sexual minority individuals adopt a lesbian, gay, or bisexual identity.
2 Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation when the sexual stigma they experience is addressed in psychotherapy with interventions that reduce and counter internalized stigma and increase active coping.
The task force, in recognition of human diversity, conceptualized affirmative interventions within the domain of cultural competence, consistent with general multicultural approaches that acknowledge the importance of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. We see this multiculturally competent and affirmative approach as grounded in an acceptance of the following scientific facts:
• Same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality—in other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders.
• Homosexuality and bisexuality are stigmatized, and this stigma can have a variety of negative consequences (e.g., minority stress) throughout the life span.
• Same-sex sexual attractions and behavior occur in the context of a variety of sexual orientations and sexual orientation identities, and for some, sexual orientation identity (i.e., individual or group membership and affiliation, self-labeling) is fluid or has an indefinite outcome.
• Gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals form stable, committed relationships and families that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships and families in essential respects.
• Some individuals choose to live their lives in accordance with personal or religious values (e.g., telic congruence).Read Entire Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation