World Association for Sexual Health commends American Psychological Association report on sexual orientation
New York, NY, August 7, 2009 − The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) supports the content and conclusions published by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. This report clearly states that there is insufficient, sound, scientific evidence supporting the claim that attempts to modify a person ́s sexual orientation actually works and are helpful to people.
It is more than thirty years since the classification of sexual orientation per se was removed from scientifically credible diagnostic criteria of mental illnesses. In many countries such recognition has been reinforced by legislation that has decriminalized homosexuality and protects the sexual rights of mutually consenting adults.
It has long been recognised that while sexual orientation per se is not a mental disorder, discrimination and other life stresses may induce emotional and mental stress that may lead people to seek professional help. WAS emphasises that all professionals have a duty of care to their patients and clients and are morally and legally obliged to conform to evidence based practices. When undertaking experimental treatments, research protocols and strict ethical guidelines should be ensured. Due attention should be given to the risk/benefit ratio for each participant.
Best practice sexuality education is the optimal means for ensuring healthy sexual development. It provides individuals with knowledge and skills to exercise their right to enjoy meaningful relationships responsibly and safely. Through good sexuality education positive attitudes, non- discriminatory behaviour and mutual respect is enhanced.
WAS strongly recommends that persons in need of professional advice in reference to their sexual orientation avoid using services that offer changing the direction of one ́s sexual orientation.
Professionals who provide sexual health services should have undertaken specialist training in sexology. Individuals requiring professional help are advised to consider carefully the qualifications and experience of those from whom they seek assistance.
The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) promotes sexual health throughout the lifespan and through the world by developing, promoting and supporting sexology and sexual rights for all. WAS accomplishes this by advocacy actions, networking, facilitating the exchange of information, ideas and experiences and advancing scientifically based sexuality research, sexuality education and clinical sexology, with a trans-disciplinary approach.
- Sexual Rights