Until recently, homosexuality was not only taboo, but it was considered a mental illness. I was watching the popular TV show American Horror Story, and there comes a part where a sadistic doctor is giving shock treatments to a mental patient to cure her homosexuality. As twisted as this was, it was not uncommon in the mid 1900's. "Treatments" given to these patients were various behavioral/hormonal treatments, surgeries, and overall abuse. None of these methods revealed any positive results.
Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Charles Silverstein noted, "Underlying these attempts by psychiatry and psychology to change sexual orientation is a basic philosophical belief: an assumption that human behavior and sexual orientation are potentially malleable" (Drcsilverstein.com). There were three main treatments used on patients, which were electric shock therapy, covert sensitization, and the use of the drug apomorphine. Electric shock therapy was used by placing jomosexual pornographic content in front of a gay man or woman, and if they responded erotically they were shocked. Covert sensitization is using disgusting images of vomit and other objects were used to resist sexual attraction. Finally, the drug apomorphine induces vomit, essentially punishing the patient.
Homosexuality was removed as a mental illness in the early 1970's. It has been scientifically proven to have not been a disease, and that no 'treatment' can be used to 'cure' it. However, even now people still attempt to treat homosexuality as a disease. There are 'pray the gay away' church camps, and even natural medicine treatment. People have scientific evidence that these methods do not work, but continue to attempt them.
By Kelly Lehman