conversion therapy


plural conversion therapies
: the use of any of various methods (such as aversive stimulation or religious counseling) in an attempt to change a person's sexual orientation to heterosexual or to change a person's gender identity to correspond to the sex the person was identified as having at birth

Note: Conversion therapy is generally regarded as having no scientific basis and as being both ineffective and harmful.

Conversion therapy is both pointless and painful. At its best, it can inflict considerable psychological damage on a child without changing their sexual orientation or gender identity whatsoever. At its worst, it can lead to suicide …Samantha Allen
Momentum has been building in legislative sessions this spring for the bans, which prohibit state-licensed mental health professionals from practicing conversion therapy for anyone under 18.Susan Miller

called also reparative therapy

Examples of conversion therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His mother collapsed in tears while his father set him up with conversion therapy. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 20 Sep. 2023 Some controversial bills are still moving forward, including legislation that would ban flying the pride flag at government buildings, a bill that could require private insurers to cover conversion therapy and legislation that would prevent local leaders from removing Confederate monuments. Romy Ellenbogen, Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 For instance, asexual people are sometimes subjected to conversion therapy, a practice aimed at changing someone's sexuality or gender identity. Allison Parshall, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2023 The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against conversion therapy bans, which means that any bans on the practice can’t be enforced in Georgia, Alabama and Florida, the states the circuit court covers. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023 Supreme Court declines challenge to Washington state's conversion therapy ban In: Rudy Giuliani Donald Trump Robert Legare Robert Legare is a CBS News multiplatform reporter and producer covering the Justice Department, federal courts and investigations. Robert Legare, CBS News, 11 Dec. 2023 Those who carry out conversion therapy will also face up to two years in prison. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Aug. 2023 On the legislative level, bans on conversion therapy should explicitly reference asexuality, Benoit says. Allison Parshall, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2023 Half a century later, the medical establishment is pushing a new kind of conversion therapy under the guise of transgender identity. Roy Eappen, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conversion therapy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of conversion therapy was in 1973

Dictionary Entries Near conversion therapy

Cite this Entry

“Conversion therapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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