CNA Staff, Dec 19, 2023 / 08:00 am
A widely-cited study purporting to show a link between the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” and increased suicidal ideation is seriously flawed from a scientific perspective, according to an analysis from a Catholic priest and researcher.
Father Paul Sullins, a married priest who holds a doctorate in sociology and who previously taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., highlighted his findings in a press conference organized by the Ruth Institute, a Catholic organization that advocates for the freedom of counselors to engage in “client-chosen, client-directed talk therapy.”
At issue is a 2020 study often referred to as “Blosnich et al” (after the name of its lead researcher), which purports to study the effects of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) on people who identify as LGBT. That study concluded that undergoing SOCE was associated with “twice the odds of lifetime suicidal ideation.”
This study, Sullins said, has had a “tremendous effect” on efforts around the world to ban conversion therapy. He pointed out that the American Psychological Association (APA) and other leading medical organizations have in recent years disavowed conversion therapy, many of them citing this exact study.