Position on Sexual Orientation and Reparative Therapy

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) takes the position that same sex orientation is not a mental disorder and we oppose any “reparative” or conversion therapy that seeks to “change” or “fix” a person’s sexual orientation. AASECT does not believe that sexual orientation is something that needs to be “fixed” or “changed.”

The rationale behind this position is the following:

  • Reparative therapy (for minors, in particular) is often forced or nonconsensual
  • Reparative therapy has been proven harmful to minors
  • There is no scientific evidence supporting the success of these interventions
  • Reparative therapy is grounded in the idea that non-heterosexual orientation is “disordered”
  • Reparative therapy has been shown to be a negative predictor of psychotherapeutic benefit

We define reparative or conversion therapy as:

-services or interventions purporting to “cure” any orientation that is non-heterosexual

-services that seek to change non-heterosexual orientation because of the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder

Our position is consistent with our professional colleagues, including but not limited to: The American Medical Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Psychoanalytic Association, The American Counseling Association, The National Association of Social Workers, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The American School Counselor Association, and The Pan American Health Organization. The National Education Association, The School Social Work Association of America, The American School Health Association, The American Association of School Administrators, The American Federation of Teachers, The National Association of School Psychologists, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, and The National Association of Secondary School Principals.