Kerala psychiatry groups condemn therapy that claims to 'cure' queer people

The statements call the therapy that claims to ‘cure’ queer people as illegal, unjustifiable and dangerously harmful.
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Several psychiatry groups in Kerala have issued statements against conversion therapy, an illegal, inhuman and pseudoscientific attempt that claims to ‘cure’ queer people.

The Branch of Indian Psychiatric Society (Kerala) wrote that 'any attempt to treat a person to change sexual orientation or gender identity is unjustifiable and illegal'. The statement says that offering conversion therapy, admissions against the person's will, illegal detention etc amount to human rights violation and may result in legal action.

The society attributes the attitude as partly due to the lack of inclusive sex education.

It also gives a reminder that such deviations are not a diagnosable mental disorder according to ICD (International Classification of Diseases) -10, ICD-11 and DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) 5. "The Mental Health Care Act 2017 (MHCA) states that mental illness shall not be determined on the basis of non-conformity to moral, social, cultural, work or political values or religious beliefs prevailing in the person's community. The Hon. Supreme Court of India has struck down Section 377 of the IPC, and thereby decriminalised homosexuality."

The Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists also released a statement saying that conversion therapy is dangerously harmful and discredited but is still widely practised among mental health professional aimed at 'allegedly changing sexual orientation and gender identity'.

Acknowledging that many a time, these methods are advocated as a choice of the individual, the statement adds that this 'choice' is in the context of systemic oppression and rejection.

The Association of Psychiatric Social Work Professionals in its statement pointed out that research has pointed towards serious negative consequences of conversion treatments that include 'lowered self-esteem, increased self-hate, guilt, shame, feelings of being dehumanised, internalised homo negativity and trans negativity, suicidal ideations, self-harm and death by suicide of young LGBTQ persons'.

The Psychology Circle - an organisation of psychology professionals and students in Perunthalmanna - also issued a statement against conversion therapy.


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