Homosexuality and Therapy

Science, technology, and life.
April 1 2009 8:41 AM

Homosexuality and Therapy

Homosexuality isn't a sin or mental illness. It needs no cure. In most cases, it's deeply ingrained and probably inborn. If you try to change your sexual orientation, you're more likely to end up at war with yourself than at peace. For these reasons, any systematic program to turn gay people straight, such as "reparative therapy," is futile and dangerous.

But therapy isn't about the big picture. It's about lots of little pictures: the worlds unique to each of us. You and I may have the same sexual orientation, but our lives are very different. You know nothing of my family, my religion, or my community. You don't even know how straight or gay I am. If I tell my therapist that I'd rather try to modify my feelings than give up my faith or my marriage, who are you to second-guess her or me?

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Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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