So, after being in discourse hell for a long time and I’ve seen a bunch of stories (which I 100% believe and think are valid) where people have been afraid of being forced into treatment for their asexuality or have even been told to seek said treatment. And those stories are then used to terrify young ace people into thinking that treatment is a real threat. But, as far as I’ve seen, not a single one of those stories have ended with actual coerced treatment.
And that is because… there are no institutions that coercively treat asexuality. In fact, there are no institutions that treat asexuality, period.
Asexuality is not and has never been in the DSM. There is no recommended treatment for asexuality. And there is not a single institution that advertises that it will treat adults to “fix” their asexuality, let alone literal minors.
On the flip side, that simply isn’t true for LGBT conversion therapy. Stories don’t end with “I was afraid this would happen,” more often than not if someone is talking about their experience with conversion therapy… it actually happened. It was a fear made real.
LGBT Conversion Therapy is legal FOR MINORS in 45 states. It is legal for adults in every state. Institutions like NARTH (now ATSCI) brag about successful pray away the gay programs.
Asexual Conversion Therapy is not a thing. Conversations that imply it is real:
Do not understand what conversion therapy actually entails
Confuse HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder) treatment with conversion therapy
Confuse the definition/symptoms of these illnesses with asexuality
Harm survivors/actually ill people by implying seeking treatment for HSDD is anti-ace and a product of internalized aphobia when HSDD does not deal with asexuality at all
Aces are spreading these stories to convince people that aphobic oppression is real and it has another side effect: it ends up scaring actually ace people and creates a toxic environment where young people feel unsafe and can easily be manipulated. This is dangerous for people who are trying to figure out their identity and feel secure in it. You are hurting ace people by implying your irrational fear of treatment is based in a lived reality.
So, below the cut, I am going to:
Clarify what conversion therapy actually entails (trigger warning for medical abuse, obvs)
Compare that to the treatments of HSDD
Clarify what HSDD actually is
Talk about the timeline of asexuality becoming more known in the mental health field and how quickly the APA accommodated the ace community’s concerns
WITH! all my sources cited
so that instead of spreading stories where ace people (who have genuinely hurt by their parents and maybe do not know this fear of treatment is unfounded) only ever FEARED the POSSIBILITY of conversion therapy, people can understand there is no coherent reason to insist there is systemic medical abuse against aces. Spread this knowledge instead.
To sum it up (you don’t really need to read below the cut, it’s just clarifying information): no one is lying when they say their parents maybe forced them into therapy or even to see a doctor for their asexuality. That may even qualify as abuse in and of itself in some contexts. But there is no medical treatment for asexuality and especially no forced treatment for asexuality in minors. Convincing young people it’s a real threat is harmful and doesn’t prove ace oppression anyways. It hurts aces and it hurts actual survivors of conversion therapy and it hurts people with certain conditions who need to be diagnosed so they can have treatment.