The Instigator
ScarletGhost4396
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Resolved: Ex-gay therapy ought be banned.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,281 times Debate No: 23632
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

ScarletGhost4396

Pro

Not just trying to test out this new topic I want to debate, but I want to get rid of the ugly reputation of me just forfeiting every single one of my debates. If you see this debate and want to argue it, give me another chance...

First round acceptance.
Danielle

Con

Let me be clear: I strongly oppose ex-gay therapy. However I also strongly oppose Christianity. That doesn't mean that I think either of these things ought to be banned. In this debate, I'll argue that although ex-gay therapy certainly has the potential (and even probability) to cause harm, that there are several good reasons why it ought-not be banned.

Thank you to my opponent for beginning this debate and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

With the consideration of my opponent's debating record, I'm very certain that this will be an interesting and fruitful debate. Pardon for the lateness of my response, by the way. In this debate, I will affirm the resolution and stand on the PRO. Before continuing in this debate, I have some parameters to establish:
Definitions

Ex-gay therapy (n.): a type of sexual orientation change effort that attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual.

Ban (v.): to prohibit especially by legal means

Observation: This debate questions the moral evaluation of ex-gay therapy and the banning thereof based on the specific definition of the word "ought." Henceforth, the center focus of this debate should be morality.

Contention 1: Ex-gay therapy and the provision of it are immoral.
When analyzing the effects of ex-gay therapy and its provision in society under the scope of consequentialism, we see that ex-gay therapy is morally wrong and requires immediate termination in order to establish moral order.

Sub-point 1a: The onset of ex-gay therapy is inherently immoral.
Because the general idea of ex-gay therapy inherently condemns homosexuality in general and aligns itself with a mindset prejudiced against this group of people, ex-gay therapy is inherently immoral in reason. The Pan-American Health Organization commented: "Health professionals who offer “reparative therapies” align themselves with social prejudices and reflect a stark ignorance in matters of sexuality and sexual health. Contrary to what many people believe or assume, there is no reason — with the exception of the stigma resulting from those very prejudices — why homosexual persons should be unable to enjoy a full and satisfying life. The task of health professionals is to not cause harm and to offer support to patients to alleviate their complaints and problems, not to make these more severe. A therapist who classifies non-heterosexual patients as “deviant” not only offends them but also contributes to the aggravation of their problems."

Sub-point 1b: The methodology effects of ex-gay therapy make the practice immoral.
The practice at which ex-gay therapy is done and its effects further invalidate ex-gay therapy as anything moral. The APA reports: "The APA's Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation reached its conclusion based on a lengthy (137-page) review of over 80 studies conducted from 1960 to 2007. They found an overall abysmal state of research, with "serious methodological problems" in most of the studies. The reputable studies, they found, overwhelmingly show that long-term change in a person's sexual orientation is "uncommon." Those who underwent such therapies frequently reported subsequent difficulties, including loss of sexual feeling, suicidality, depression and anxiety. As a result of these findings, the group passed a resolution warning its over 150,000 members not to advise clients to attempt to use therapy to change their sexual orientation...Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, chairwoman of the task force that presented the report at the group's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. "At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex." The inefficiency of this practice further contributes to the idea that this practice is impractical and immoral with consideration that it receives money in order to do a practice that is potentially harmful and generally dysfunctional.




Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

Before we begin, I again wanted to clarify that not only am I completely against ex-gay therapy, but I am also gay myself (woot woot!). I just wanted the audience to know that my position in this debate is not coming from a place of anti-gay sentiments, but rather a place of devil's advocacy.

[[ REBUTTAL ]]

1A. The onset of ex-gay therapy is inherently immoral.

Before we accept this contention, Pro must provide us with a moral framework that he is using to reach this conclusion. Utilitarianism? Objectivism? Hedonism? By what standard is this "inherently" immoral?

Pro bolds the main point of this contention when he notes, "There is no reason - with the exception of the stigma resulting from those very prejudices - why homosexual persons should be unable to enjoy a full and satisfying life." I completely agree, though this does not affirm the resolution. People should be able to decide for themselves what will make them have a fuller and more enjoyable life. Even if it turns out to be wrong, they should not be banned from seeking "treatment" for what they may consider harmful to themselves or lifestyle.

It seems that the point Pro is trying to make is that there is nothing wrong with gay people, and again I agree with this sentiment (obviously). But while I personally don't believe that gays should have to change their sexual "preference," that does not establish why they should not be allowed to try if they so choose. Therefore this is irrelevant and ought to be dropped.

1B. The methodology effects of ex-gay therapy make the practice immoral.

- The APA found "serious methodological problems" in most of the studies.
- Studies show that long-term change in a person's sexual orientation is "uncommon."
- Those who underwent such therapies frequently reported subsequent physical and emotional difficulties.

First, Pro must be more specific about the "methodological problems" the studies use. The reason why will become clear further in the debate. Second, it doesn't matter if changing one's sexual orientation is uncommon. In commercials that sell diet pills or home gyms, they frequently advertise people who have lost a ton of weight allegedly due to the product being sold. On the bottom of the screen you'll notice a disclaimer that says "Results not typical." This is a legitimate disclaimer to potential consumers. If ex-gay agencies present factual statistics to potential clients (to the best of their knowledge) about the results, then it doesn't matter that the conversion rate is low - just as it doesn't matter if most people don't lose a lot of weight very quickly thanks in part to any given product. Instead, some people might claim that something helped them, and companies are allowed to use those testimonials - however uncommon they might be - to promote their product.

While it's unfortunate that people who undergo ex-gay therapy can suffer from a lot of psychological damage, that can be said about a ton of things people do in their everyday lives. Soldiers are known to suffer PTSD at alarming rates and are put in life or death situations overtly, yet joining the armed forces is not prohibited. Athletes perform jobs that put excessive stress on their body which affects their susceptibility for physical injury, yet sports are not banned. Fisherman, loggers, mining machine operators, roofers and police officers also work risky jobs with a potential for harm, yet these activities are not banned. Plenty of people do dangerous things that can severely negatively impact their mental health on a daily basis, yet these things are usually not banned. Most things aren't. Why? Because people are responsible for their own lives and decisions.

[[ ARGUMENTS ]]

1. The government cannot stop people from seeking therapy of any kind for any reason. To suggest otherwise would be a gross overestimation of their rights and responsibilities. At best you can say the government has a responsibility to educate its citizens to the best of its ability, but not make the personal decisions for its citizens.

2. Many gay people have good intentions for seeking out therapy, however harmful it might be to their well-being. For example, I know gay people who come from very traditional and conservative households whose families have a hard time accepting their sexuality. Sometimes these individuals themselves have a hard time accepting it due to their cultural upbringing. Some of them genuinely wish to suppress their sexual urges in order to avoid conflict. While it might be harmful to them (depending on the situation - not always) to do so, it might be worth it on a cost-benefit analysis to avoid the drama and negative issues that would arise if they chose to act on their sexual urges rather than assimilate into whatever role they want to play in their respective social circles. While this sounds silly to some, I believe it is a personal decision that each individual should be allowed to make on their own. We cannot determine what will maximize their happiness - only they can guess that.

Example: Two female friends of mine from HS used to only date girls. One of them comes from a traditional Catholic Italian background; the other moved to the ultra-conservative North Carolina. Both of them now date men. The latter is engaged, pregnant and has never been happier. I believe she is truly in love with her partner, which I assume means she enjoys their sexual relationship as well. The same goes for the Italian girl. Both of these women have assimiliated into hetero-normative lifestyles, and are thriving and happy. Is it possible they enjoy sex with women? Sure. But if they are happy suppressing it and believe that doing so will make them happiest, that's their prerogative in order to try and learn to do so. Which brings me to my next few points...

3. Sexuality is complicated. There is no black and white. I know A LOT of people who identify as lesbians yet enjoy sex with men. I tell them they're bisexual, and they usually make some comment about not being able to relate "emotionally" to men... yet sometimes I think they could. After all, what is romantic love other than love accompaniedby sexual attraction and/or gratification? Sometimes people think they are heterosexual their entire lives until they have an incredibly intense experience with someone of the same sex unexpectedly. Most people are probably bisexual to some degree. This means that once again, if heterosexuality is a significant part of one's culture, then an individual should be able to learn more and explore their options.

4. Unfortunately many people are brainwashed by their respective religions. According to world statistics, 86% of people are religious [1]. Most religions are anti-gay. I don't believe in religion influencing people's beliefs; however, they do - particularly when it comes to politics and personal relationships. That is why many Christians, Muslims, etc. are against homosexuality and gay marriage. People have the right to freedom of religious persecution. If Churches or religious groups teach anti-gay sentiments, that is their Constitutional right to do so.


[[ CONCLUSION ]]

People don't have to abide by ex-gay therapy, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to try it and see if it works for them. Individuals have various, often legitimate reasons for seeking out ways to come to terms with or reconcile their sexuality, which usually isn't black and white. The government nor anyone else has the right to prohibit these people from exploring their options. If ex-gay therapy doesn't work for them, it might strengthen their resolve that their sexuality is an innate part of who they are. This might even provide some relief and sense of comfort with their identity.

[1] http://richleebruce.com...
Debate Round No. 2
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

My opponent was having computer problems and thus unable to post his round in time. I've agreed to skip over this round and let him continue his rebuttal in the next. That's probably best anyway considering 5 round debates tend to get monotonous :) Back to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Mmk extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
ScarletGhost4396

Pro

ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Danielle 5 years ago
Danielle
No problem, Scarlet.
Posted by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
So much for overcoming your reputation :p
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 5 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
@Danielle Sorry about the forfeit. My Internet has been really bugging up lately, and my computer wasn't able to access DDO. Do you mind just skipping that previous round and reserving the next one for rebuttals?
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Inherency is a bitch. Really is. This will be interesting.
Posted by newbie28 5 years ago
newbie28
I do not believe it should be banned- people should have the right to change there preference as much as they feel. I believe these individuals are confused and need guidance.
Posted by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
Interesting, I will keep note of this debate.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 5 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
@Danielle By the way, this round is just acceptance of the debate. You can write your debate case in the next round if you wish.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Interesting....
I'll be watching this one for sure.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 5 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
@Zaradi It's therapy motivated toward the conversion of homosexuals to heterosexuals, to give you a general idea of what it is.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 5 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
@Danielle Yes, it does.
@socialpinko I was thinking of putting the defintions after the debate has started. I'm a bit liberal when it comes to the interpretation of debate resolutions considering that this is the way it's done in official debates in Lincoln-Douglas and whatnot. The resolution isn't defined for you.
@ConservativePolitico Yes, it does.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
ScarletGhost4396DanielleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Meh.
Vote Placed by yoda878 4 years ago
yoda878
ScarletGhost4396DanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I gave it all to Con b/c pro said he would not ff and he did. lol