Ending Ex-Gay Therapy

Sep 5 2012 @ 8:26am

California is on the verge of doing so. Lindsay Abrams reviews the practice's dark history:

[In] Germany, replacing a patient's testicles like faulty light bulbs caught hold. It sounds like a sick Nazi experiment, because it was. Dr. Eugen Steinach, whose practice of removing one testicle from a homosexual male and replacing it with one from a heterosexual donor was, insists one writer, "a logical culmination of his experiments on the sex glands." Again, in the 1980s, this line of thinking was adapted to the idea that homosexuality begins in the womb, and a German researcher theorized that it could be prevented through the manipulation of sex hormones during pregnancy.

The same doctor who, in the 1950s, recommended brothels, also reported treating homosexuality by threatening patients with beatings. In 1963, aversion therapy went DIY, with the innovation of "a small electroshock device that would be suitable for home use." But the award for most creative attempt at convincing gays that their sexual preference is gross goes to British psychologist I. Oswald, who in 1962 "inject[ed] a man with nausea-inducing drugs, repeatedly playing audiotapes of men engaging in sex and surrounding the man with glasses of urine."