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English 121
18 October 2014
Nature V.S. Nurture

Are people born to be homosexual or do they learn and choose to be homosexual as they
grow and learn throughout life? This question, Nature vs. Nurture, is posed in many different
subjects: biology, chemistry, sociology, and psychology. There are no found genes inside of
humans, as of yet, to determine if a person is gay or will be born gay. Not all children who grow
up around homosexual parents become homosexual themselves. And children who grow up with
heterosexual parents can find themselves to be homosexual. Conversion Therapy is a
controversial topic among many conservative and religious groups today. It is often condoned by
religious groups who strongly oppose homosexuality. As with most things, there are two
thoughts behind this therapy. Pro- conversion therapy views are that homosexuality is a choice
made by a person and that choice can be changed. Anti-conversion therapy views are that
homosexuality is not a choice, but merely who an individual is that cannot be changed due to
religious or societal beliefs.

Conversion therapy, mainly pro-conversion therapy, is an extremely controversial topic.
There are many people in favor of this and many who are opposed. Pro-Conversion Therapy is
often condoned by religious groups who are opposed to homosexuality. The views within the
pro-conversion therapy are that homosexuality is a choice that can change an individuals sexual
orientation. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have anti-conversion therapy. The views
expressed in anti-conversion therapy are that homosexuality is not a choice but merely who an
individual is and cannot be changed due to religious or societal beliefs. Pro-Conversion therapy
is often praised in religious groups that do not condone homosexuality. This form of therapy is
considered a safe and moral way to help those with orientation confusion. Those that support
conversion therapy have a tendency to feel that homosexuality is a choice that can be changed.
Exodus upholds redemption for the homosexual person as the process
whereby sin's power is broken, and the individual is freed to know and
experience true identity as discovered in Christ and His Church. That process
entails the freedom to grow into heterosexuality. Exodus International's statement
of belief (
They also tend to believe that homosexuality is an abomination and those who have convinced
themselves that they are gay are being tempted by the devil; there very souls are at stake. Often
times this conversion therapy attempts to pray the gay away. However, this is not always
effective and sometimes convincing a homosexual to become celibate is substituted or
encouraging a bisexual to only engage those of opposite gender in intercourse.
The American Psychological Association states that harassment and abuse, as
well as pressure from family, peers, and religious groups who are ignorant and
prejudiced against homosexuality, may cause high levels of emotional stress for
[lesibian, gay, and bi-sexual] people. These pressures may lead people to feel
forced into attempting to change their sexual orientation. Other researchers have
found that social pressure plays a key role in a person's desire to change his or
her sexuality. (wiki)
Conversion therapy has been defined by the American Psychological Association
as therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation, and by the American
Psychiatric Association as "psychiatric treatment which is based upon the
assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori
assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.
Techniques that have been tried include behavior modification, aversion therapy,
psychoanalysis, primal therapy, EMDR, and reparative therapy. (Wiki)
It is an unproved therapy that has a tendency to cause lifelong damage. California became the
first state to ban therapy aimed at changing a minor's sexual orientation from gay to straight
after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Sunday prohibiting the so-called conversion therapy
(Denver post).The banning of Conversion therapy on minors will prevent the suffering of many
youth. Conversion has not been proven effective and [n]o mainstream medical organization
endorses conversion therapy (wiki). Often times Children and teens are forced into these
programs by their parents and/ or guardians. Sadly enough parents are often urged by religious
leaders to enroll their youth into these programs. Many of the worlds most prominent religions
are opposed to homosexuality. Conversion therapy is a terrible thing put into place by religions
and society to deter, control and attempt to change an individuals choice. It destroys the human
spirit and psyche. Many states are looking to ban this therapy and help to protect many youth
from psychological harm it can cause. Children, teens, and young adults are often forced into
these programs by their parents or guardians, who are often pressured by their own religious
leaders and religious beliefs. This program and others like it attempt to change an individuals
way of thinking and behavior. In other words, individuals are brainwashed into being what others
want them to be and what religion wants them to be. This often creates depression and lifelong
emotional damage while increasing the risk of suicide.

In conclusion, pro- conversion therapy takes away the freedoms that so many individuals
and organizations fight for and continue to fought for. The freedoms of speech and expression
are often at times governed by the freedom of religion on matters such as being a
homosexual.The freedoms that homosexuals seek are conditional through this therapy and
often in times banned because of religious preference and stigmas. The freedom these
individuals choose is taxed heavily when facing a religion and possibility of losing a family. If the
choice they make is wrong they are cast out of homes and religions for their choices. While if
the choice is to defy, society, outside of the religious whole, has embraced this lifestyle; fighting
for equal rights, ensuring hate crimes are punishable, and expecting the same freedoms as if
the individual were a heterosexual experiencing the same intolerances set out by religions.

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