Homosexuals are not ‘born gay’ according to a recent statement by the Royal College of Psychiatristsi. They now consider, what they previously denied, that the causes are “a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors.” This is a major admission. It implies that if a child does not encounter such postnatal life experiences, he/she will grow up heterosexual.
The College has also modified its view on whether orientation can change. “It is not the case that sexual orientation is immutable or might not vary to some extent in a person’s life.” They also concede that bisexuals have “a degree of choice.” If such change is possible, the College has yet to explain why this might not take place in therapeutic contexts.
This important statement follows trenchant criticisms made by Core Issues Trustii and the Christian Medical Fellowshipiii which were reflected in the Pilling Report to the Church of England (2013)iv.
Yet the College supports current legislative efforts before Parliament to ban therapy for people who want help reducing same-sex desires. They imply that such therapy does not work, though a report by the American Psychological Association to which they appeal said, “there is little in the way of credible evidence that could clarify whether [therapy] does or does not work.”v They say it may be harmful – a truism that applies to all therapies. And they ignore the rights of clients who do not want to be affirmed in their same-sex attractions.
Core Issues Trust will continue to challenge other aspects of the Royal College’s statement, together with the College’s support of the UKCP’s ‘Conversion Therapy Consensus Statement’vi. Issues raised by the statement will be considered at a conference on Friday, 13 June 2014 hosted by Core Issues Trustvii in the Emmanuel Conference Centre, Marsham Street, Westminster.