New research into harm caused by gender identity conversion therapy
Conversion therapy includes medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural or any other interventions that seek to erase, repress or change the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person.
New research, overseen by an independent research monitor, has revealed that gender diverse people – normally children or young adults – are severely harmed by so-called “conversion therapy”.
The ground-breaking study was conducted last year by a coalition of LGBT+ charities in conjunction with Richard Matousek, an independent research monitor, and shows that Gender Identity “Conversion Therapy” (GICT) is more widespread and often more violent than has previously been understood.
Many respondents reported going through conversion practices as children, in some cases when respondents were younger than 12. Whilst many of the respondents who went through GICT did so in a religious context, there were also historical reports of some NHS providers recommending certain conversion practices.
The research involved 450 respondents who stated that their gender identity did not match the sex assigned to them at birth. This included 170 respondents who identified as non- binary. In total 64 people had been offered Gender Identity “Conversion Therapy” and 39 had undergone it. Of those, nearly half had been forced through it.
This report presents ground-breaking data on the effects of GICT in the UK. Its publication comes at critical period for the LGBT+ community as the current Government is designing a way to “ end conversion therapy against LGBT+ people”, as it set out in its 2018 LGBT Action Plan. In March 2021, the Minister for Women and Equalities stated publicly that the government will “shortly be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy”. However, it is not yet clear that any such ban will cover gender identity conversion therapy. The objective of this research was to explore whether GICT occurs in the UK, how and who conducts it and also to explore the impact it has had on people. A secondary aim was to capture people’s views about whether the practice should be banned.
At the end of March 2021 it was 1000 days since the UK Gov promised to ban conversion therapy. We join a coalition calling to #BanConversionTherapy! Your voice can make a difference, email your MP today https://www.banconversiontherapy.com/