Claims that sexual orientation can be changed through therapy have no scientific credibility, finds a new report by the American Psychological Association. The group reviewed 83 journal articles published over several decades and found that many studies purporting to show successful changed sexuality "contain serious design flaws." The APA tells mental health professionals to instruct their patients that they cannot change their sexual orientation—already the widely held consensus.
"Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose," the report says. "At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions," but that research ignores "long-term mental health effects," including depression and suicide attempts.