Conversion therapy

Can conversion therapy (CT) change a person's sexual orientation without creating harm? The directors of "What We Know," a public policy portal based at Cornell University, have compiled 47 scholarly studies exploring this question.

Based on their survey of the 47 scholarly studies, the directors of the "What We Know" project conclude: "[T]here is no credible evidence that sexual orientation can be changed through therapeutic intervention . . . There is also powerful evidence that trying to change a person's sexual orientation can be extremely harmful." (What does the scholarly research say . . . p. 4)

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Learn about the research behind these conclusions. You can access the 47 studies here, along with a summary of their findings.

What does the scholarly research say about conversion therapy?

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.