Even though most homosexuals live successful, happy lives, some homosexual or bisexual people may seek to change their sexual orientation through therapy, often coerced by family members or religious groups to try and do so. The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable.
A subject of great debate for many years, a growing number of researchers are leaning towards the idea that we all possess at least the possibility to be attracted to the same sex, and that these desires may surface or recede during different times of our life. There is also considerable evidence that sexual preferences can change over time --and that earlier attractions to one sex may be just as real as current attractions to a different sex. While some say this is just a case of being a “late bloomer” -- someone who never recognized their true sexual identity -- others believe that changes in sexual orientation can and do occur.
Some therapists who undertake so-called conversion therapy report that they have been able to change their clients' sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Close scrutiny of these reports, however show several factors that cast doubt on their claims. For example, many of these claims come from organizations with an ideological perspective that condemns homosexuality. Furthermore, their claims are poorly documented; for example, treatment outcome is not followed and reported over time, as would be the standard to test the validity of any mental health intervention.
The American Psychological Association is concerned about such therapies and their potential harm to patients. In 1997, the Association's Council of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming psychology's opposition to homophobia in treatment and spelling out a client's right to unbiased treatment and self-determination. Any person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation has a right to expect that such therapy will take place in a professionally neutral environment, without any social bias.
Source(s): apa.org, webmd.com,