Blog & Events

The Trevor Project Publishes New Journal Article on the Dangers of Conversion Therapy

TODAY The Trevor Project announced that its research team has published a new peer-reviewed article in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) — the first study to look at associations between undergoing conversion therapy and suicide outcomes among LGBTQ youth. Conversion therapy is the discredited and dangerous practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Entitled, “Self-Reported Conversion Efforts and Suicidality Among US LGBTQ Youths and Young Adults, 2018,” the study is included in the AJPH’s July 2020 issue.

Key Findings:

  • LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year compared to those who did not. These findings add empirical data to support the professional consensus that sexual orientation and gender identity conversion efforts are inappropriate and harmful.
  • LGBTQ youth with lower family incomes, from the South, whose parents use religion to say negative things about being LGBTQ, who are Hispanic/Latinx, and who are transgender or nonbinary were overrepresented in reports of undergoing conversion therapy. This data highlights that young people who report undergoing conversion efforts are not a homogeneous population and that efforts to address this issue must be inclusive in terms of the diversity of identities affected.

“This study is the first to examine conversion therapy among LGBTQ youth and it adds to the overwhelming consensus that conversion therapy is detrimental to mental health and a clear risk factor for suicide. It is in the best interest of public health for lawmakers to enact protections for LGBTQ young people against this dangerous practice and to increase access to LGBTQ-affirming mental health care,” said Amy E. Green, Ph.D. (she/her pronouns), Director of Research at The Trevor Project.

“Despite what some might think, the population of LGBTQ young people who report undergoing conversion therapy is not a monolith. LGBTQ youth with lower family incomes, from the South, whose parents use religion to say negative things about being LGBTQ, who are Hispanic/Latinx, and who are transgender or nonbinary were all overrepresented among youth who report undergoing conversation therapy. These data underscore that efforts to address this issue must take an intersectional approach,” said Myeshia Price-Feeney, Ph.D. (she/her pronouns), Research Scientist at The Trevor Project.

Conversion therapy is widely opposed by prominent professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

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ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

MEDIA CONTACT

Rob Todaro
The Trevor Project
212.695.8650 x403
[email protected]