Again and again, the bigoted perspective that calls homosexuality a sin in the eyes of God has reminded us that the American Psychological Association (APA) hasn’t said that homosexuality is necessarily genetic. Okay, so that means that there are also social factors at work in tandem with genetics. This would not be surprising.
The biggest issue in the reminder is their approach toward gays and lesbians that follows. Since the sinful impulses toward homosexual sex can be replaced with holy impulses toward the opposite sex, evangelical/fundamentalist psychologists feel justified in leading gays and lesbians struggling with sexual identity to programs that help them overcome their sinful (sic.) nature. Recent developments within the APA distinctly threaten that position.
It’s about time. It is well known the psychological damage “reparative therapy” does to human beings. It is immoral and destructive, and in some cases life-threatening or life-ending. I recognize that part of the framework from which a psychologist must operate is her or his belief system, even if that is a form of fundamentalism. Yet, I believe that psychologists need to be evaluated as to whether they are capable of operating in the psychological field ethically. This evaluation needs to includes their ability to suspend their own theological judgement of right and wrong in order to ask what is best for the patient. If those are their beliefs, then they need to be held accountable for effect that those beliefs have on the health and wellbeing of their patients. I’m glad the APA has taken this stand.
And, note that the vote was 125-4. That’s not even close to “debatable” within the community.