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He would find guys attractive and was surprised to find that he had never felt attracted towards any girl.

“Have You Considered Your Parents’ Happiness?”

He reported that he had fantasies and dreams about sexual encounters with only males. He had once had a brief affair with a girl, but it ended because he did not feel physically attracted to her.

He also revealed that he had had anal intercourse with his room-mate and said he had thoroughly enjoyed it. He was distressed when his room-mate refused to continue with the relationship. He felt comfortable about his sexuality, but was finding it difficult to gain peer acceptance. He was ridiculed for not being straight, and was at times mocked about being feminine.

A New Clinical Approach

He had started feeling distressed due to this social ostracism and had started contemplating changing his sexual orientation. This index case mirrors the unmet needs of homosexual people in India. The verbal and physical abuse often results in a deep sense of internalised stigma, which has adverse consequences on mental health.

The American Psychological Association has proscribed against conversion therapy, stating that its harms far outweigh its benefits 2. Nonetheless, psychiatrists continue practising it in some form or the other.

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These forms range from counselling, psychotherapy, conditioning, hormone replacement to electroconvulsive therapy 3. Homosexuality is currently understood as a variant of normal human sexual orientation 4. The sexual orientation of a person is currently understood to be determined by a complex interplay of biological, psychological, cultural and social factors, and to a great extent, is innate and immutable. India has yet to formulate guidelines for the management of people with a homosexual orientation.

The basic principles of biomedical ethics cannot be ignored while providing any form of psychiatric treatment. Conversion therapy violates all four basic principles of biomedical ethics. Trying to change the sexual orientation of people against their wishes is a serious breach of their autonomy as homosexuality per se does not cause any life-threatening risk to justify overriding the principle of autonomy. Coming to the issue of non-maleficence, conversion therapy is known to adversely affect mental health in terms of generating feelings of shame, which can further aggravate negative affective states such as depression and anxiety 2.

Ariel Shidlo and Dr.

Michael Schroeder, reported findings from a study of homosexuals who were recruited through the Internet and direct mailings to groups advocating conversion therapy.

Shidlo and Schroeder also reported that many respondents were harmed by the attempt to change. To better appreciate the potential flaws in Dr.

A Survivor Of Gay Conversion Therapy Shares His Chilling Story

Spitzer's study, consider an analogous situation. Suppose a pharmaceutical company claims that a new vitamin supplement can change left-handed people to right-handers.

Mainstream medical organizations express their opposition to the vitamin, saying that it causes harm to many people who use it, and noting that there is no reason for left-handed people to try to change. To test the drug company's claim, a researcher conducts brief telephone interviews with people who have used the product.

He recruits most of his research participants from a list provided by the drug company of individuals who claim to have used the vitamin and have given public testimonials on behalf of the drug company. Many of those people say that they tried the vitamin because they felt miserable as left-handers in a right-handed world, and that they are now functioning as right-handers although many report occasional thoughts about using their left hand.

The researcher's data consist entirely of the one-time telephone interviews. He does no follow-up interviews to assess the consistency of the users' stories.

Nor does he conduct face-to-face assessments with standardized measures to assess whether the vitamin users have actually become right-handed.

Meanwhile, another research team reports data from a different study, in which they found that the vitamin supplement did not change most left-handers to right-handers, and that many people who tried the vitamin suffered serious negative side effects.

In such a situation, we would want to ask several questions. How reliable are the reports of vitamin users who were recruited through the drug company?

What about the many people who were harmed by the vitamin?

Why is it important for left-handers to become right-handed in the first place? We can raise similar questions about Dr. Spitzer's study. For those who did change, how do we know that they would not have changed their sexual orientation anyway, even without some form of therapy? What about the many people who have been harmed by conversion therapies?

Why is it important for gay men and lesbians to become heterosexual in the first place?He noted that Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality was still available from its publisher. Methodology This report is based on interviews conducted between September and April Spitzer's study also appears to suffer from some of the same methodological flaws as the published studies discussed above.

I knew it would happen. He had become aware of his sexual orientation during his stay in hostel, when he had felt attracted to his room-mate.

Google Scholar Gonsiorek, J. For a time, therefore, the movement expanded rapidly. I knew it was not going to work if I kept resisting their pressure.