More than 75,000 teens aged 13 to 17 in the United States will face conversion therapy before adulthood. The information comes from a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
UCLA is a university located in Los Angeles, California. They provided the study to GSN.
According to the research, around 20,000 LGBTI youth will receive the controversial treatment from health care professionals. Another 57,000 will receive the treatment from religious or spiritual leaders.
Williams Institute’s state and local policy director, Christy Mallory, led the research.
It further found that approximately 698,000 LGBTI adults already received conversion therapy. 350,000 of them received it as youth.
People saved by laws
Conversion therapy posits that pseudoscience and/or religion can ‘cure’ people of homosexuality.
Most professional health associations condemn the practice and have consequently called on Congress and politicians to pass laws against it.
‘Our research shows that laws banning conversion therapy could protect tens of thousands of teens from what medical experts say is a harmful and ineffective practice,’ said Mallory.
Indeed, the study reveals 6,000 people would have received conversion therapy before 18 if it hadn’t been for state laws banning it.
So far, nine states, Washington D.C., and 32 localities have banned health professionals from practicing it.
Recently, New Hampshire failed to pass a law banning the practice.
The harm comes from people’s experience with it. Professionals link the practice to mental health problems and suicide.
Kerith Conron, another author of the study, said: ‘With such a large number of teens at risk of conversion therapy, we must ensure that families, faith communities and service providers have accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity and work to reduce stigma and promote acceptance of LGBT youth and their families.’