UK Psychiatrists Issue Historic Admission Of Harm Done By Aversion Therapy

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Patrick Strudwick writes at Buzzfeed:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has issued a historic statement acknowledging for the first time the harm done to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who were subjected to aversion therapy, the practice of using electric shocks or nausea-inducing drugs to try to “cure” people of their sexual orientation. “We hold our hands up,” it said.

Campaigners and victims have heralded the intervention, from Britain’s main body for psychiatrists, as a “milestone” moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement.

The statement, written by the president of the college, Professor Wendy Burn, was issued in response to an extensive interview BuzzFeed News conducted last month with Jeremy Gavins, who was given multiple hours of electric shocks every week for six months in the early 1970s. He told how the so-called therapy destroyed his education, career, mental health, and ability to form romantic relationships. He was one of many.

Burn expressed “profound regret” in her statement for the “lifelong impact that treatments such as ‘aversion therapy’ had on Jeremy Gavins and others”.

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