The Psychological Harm of Gay Conversion Therapy

Featuring: Sheldon Helms · At: CSICon 2017 · Topic(s): , , ,

Gay conversion therapy is a psychologically harmful practice that attempts to turn gay people straight. Religious groups use a mixture of prayer and pseudoscience to meet their agendas. Many professional medical organizations have come out against the use of gay conversion therapy, but it’s still legal in many states.

Sheldon Helms describes the history of religious and medical community’s attempt to define homosexuality as an illness and to make gays go straight.

As our country tackles the issues of marriage equality, gays in the military and the inclusion of gays and lesbians into mainstream society, and as Russia and other nations enforce laws limiting the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens, fringe religious and therapeutic organizations have operated mostly in the shadows. Organizations like NARTH use an improper understanding of the DSM 5 to push their agenda of gay to straight therapy.

Interested in finding out what you can do to stop gay conversion therapy? Visit

Sheldon W. Helms is a professor of experimental psychology at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, where he serves as senior faculty member in the psychology department. Sheldon is the vice president of the Bay Area Skeptics and serves on the planning committee for the annual SkeptiCal Conference.

Want to find out more? Read CFI’s interview with Sheldon:

This talk took place at CSICon in Las Vegas, on Saturday, October 28th, 2017