A Dangerous Form Of 'Therapy' That, Believe It Or Not, Is Legal In 48 States

And get this: Not only has the research been debunked and abandoned by its lead researcher, but the practice itself has been rejected by the every major mental health profession. So why's it still happening?

WARNING: There is a graphic testimonial by a person who went through this so-called "therapy" from 1:40 to 2:25 and in the text below. If that might be triggering for you, I recommend skipping over it.

Conversion therapy claims to convert homosexual people to heterosexual people and transgender people to cisgender people.


Seriously.

We know that conversion therapy does not work.

And that makes what these so-called "therapists" put their "patients" through so much worse. For example...

Patients are forced to adhere to traditional gender roles.

For example, male patients are told to participate in manly things like sports (and beer drinking and farting contests, probably) and attend men's church group meetings and avoid activities that are super gay like going to museums or the opera or having sex with other men.

Male patients should also avoid women "unless it is for romantic contact." The patient is considered "cured" when he gets married (to a woman) and has children (with a woman).

Of course, this line of thinking totally ignores the difference between gender expression and sexual orientation:

And anyone who doesn't conform to strict, traditional gender roles is given the cold shoulder.

This. Is. Not. Real. Therapy.

Some patients are forced to endure painful sessions of physical aversion therapy.

TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic description of aversion therapy in the next three GIFs.

Unfortunately, aversion therapy *does* work. Kind of.

A hug could probably do a lot more good in this situation than ice blocks. Just sayin'.

To recap: "Ex-gay" or "conversion" therapy is basically torture and does not work. And yet...

It's still legal in 48 states.

Even though it's been rejected by pretty much every major body of mental health experts.

The American Psychological Association found that patients come out of conversion therapy with all sorts of psychological side effects:


And these are just the things I could fit on one gif.



My sarcasm detector is pinging off the charts right now.

It's not all bad news, though.

Exodus International, one of the leading proponents of conversion therapy, closed its doors in 2014 and issued an apology from their president for all the pain, suffering, and death that their "therapy" had caused (emphasis added):

"I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced. I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry I didn't stand up to people publicly 'on my side' who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him, I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God's rejection.

I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives."

But it's not enough for just one organization to shut down.

There are still organizations out there using these same horrifying methods in a futile attempt to "cure" something that can't be changed. There are still parents out there willing to subject their children to this — and people out there willing to subject themselves to it — because they're growing up in a society that tells them they're broken or wrong, but they're not.

Take it home, Laci:

The answer, of course, is zero more kids.

You can help end LGBTQ+ conversion therapy by signing this White House petition to enact Leelah's Law, named in honor of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old trans girl who committed suicide in December 2014 after her parents pulled her out of school and forced her into conversion therapy.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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