conversion therapy


Definition of conversion therapy

: 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 has or 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

First Known Use of conversion therapy

1977, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of conversion therapy was in 1977

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Dictionary Entries Near conversion therapy

conversion table

conversion therapy


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Cite this Entry

“Conversion therapy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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