An Exploration of Conversion Therapy Practices in Ireland

Brian Keogh, Ciarán Carr, Louise Doyle, Agnes Higgins, Jean Morrissey, Greg Sheaf, Adam Jowett

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Conversion therapy is an umbrella term that describes a range of practices which specifically aim to change or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity expression (Mendos, 2020). While there was some anecdotal evidence that the practice exists in Ireland, there was no robust evidence that provides a clear understanding of the prevalence or nature of conversion therapy practices. Considerable research has largely concluded that sexual orientation change efforts are pseudo-scientific, ineffective, and harmful to the individual being ‘treated’ (Jowett et al., 2021). The American Psychological Association (APA, 2021b, 2021a) have denounced such practices and recommended affirmative, supportive treatment instead. Although conversion therapy and other
sexual orientation change efforts have been widely discredited, they remain legal in most jurisdictions and continue to be practiced on members of the LGBTI+ community (Haldeman, 2022). The National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 (Government of Ireland, 2019) outlined the Irish Government’s commitment to investigate the methods and prevalence of conversion therapy in Ireland and review international best practice and legislative responses to same. In preparation for any subsequent policy and legislation in the area of conversion therapy, a study was commissioned to gain an understanding of the forms and extent of conversion therapy practices in Ireland. This report provides
an overview of the findings from a research study, which sought to explore conversion therapy practices in the Republic of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTrinity College Dublin
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Number of pages111
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • LGBT
  • Conversion therapy
  • sexual orientation change efforts
  • gender identity change efforts

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