Homosexuality

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th February 2018.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an estimate of the number people who have undertaken gay conversion therapy.

Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the (a) psychological (b) emotional effect on people undergoing gay conversion therapy.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department does not hold an estimate of the number of people that have undertaken gay conversion therapy. In 2017, the Government Equalities Office carried out a survey of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United Kingdom, which included several questions about gay conversion therapy. Whilst not a statistically representative sample, the survey received over 100,000 responses and will help us improve our understanding of the numbers of people who have undergone, or have been offered, gay conversion therapy. This is an issue the Government is keeping under review and we are constantly working towards improving the evidence base.

The Government rejects utterly the notion that sexuality is something to be cured, and condemns gay conversion therapy. The evidence base is clear that conversion therapy is not only ineffective, but is potentially harmful to participants. That is why officials have worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy, to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to help put a stop to this bogus treatment.

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