Clearly, the whole gay-straight thing is a false dichotomy anyway…

And the APA has decided that changing sexual orientation is impossible. That is quite a shift in policy form the days when the information about homosexuality in the psychology literature was all about “abberent” behavior or “perversion” and Teh Gay was confined, in textbooks, to the “Abmormal Psychology” volume.

Lousy Canuck and Ed Brayton have coverage and conversation on the topic.


  1. #1 Spiv
    August 7, 2009

    …I thought it was removed from the DSM-IV back in the 80s? Like the first R?

    All I have is the -TR at this point and I’m pretty sure there’s no ‘teh ghey’ as a disorder in it.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    August 7, 2009

    Spiv, then or a bit later in textbooks. But actually, in other lit, not so much. “Abnormal” and “perversion” are still words to be found in the 90s literature. I’m mostly aware of this from having reviewed papers and requesting that this be changed.

  3. #3 Martin
    August 7, 2009

    Homosexuality was removed, i.e. no longer listed as a disorder, but the APA didn’t make any statement concerning the efficacy or ethics of therapy to change sexual orientation. This is the first time they’ve made a statement regarding “conversion” therapy.

  4. #4 Spiv
    August 7, 2009

    Aaaah. Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I got the majority of my psych education in the current century, and have been lucky enough to get only instructors who tossed in condescending comments about the silliness of it having ever been in there in the first place.

    Either way declarations are good things. Sadly I still know lots of fellows who thing it’s a disorder. And a few who think it’s an infection of some kind. Every time a major governing body makes a good statement like this it helps to punctuate their absurdity.

    I recently learned one of the last instructors I had left his wife for another man. Not that the “other man” part is importaint, but it admittedly is interesting.

  5. #5 Eric Michael Johnson
    August 7, 2009

    Don’t tell that to Ted Haggard. Isn’t he still going for his Masters degree in counseling to help other Christians not be gay? Someone should let him know that a degree in psychology is not for self-help.

  6. #6 Ken Shabby
    August 7, 2009

    Does this mean that belief in ‘curing gays’, whether through conducting therapy or casting spells on spirits, should be covered under Abnormal Psychology? The sooner the afflicted are correctly identified, the sooner they can get the treatment they need.