Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shocking! Mormons Use Electro-Shock to "Cure" Gays

They called it "electric aversion therapy" in 1976 at Utah's Brigham Young University. What it was was a kinky attempt at "curing" a condition that most psychologists consider normal.  Gay students at BYU signed up voluntarily for the therapy to change their sexual orientation by delivering an electric shock to their penis when they became aroused at visual images of men.

According to an ABC News report:
A mercury-filled tube was placed around the base of the penis and the students were shown alternating slides of men and women in various stages of undress.
When participants responded to images of men with an erection, the closed electric circuit was broken and they received three-second electrical shocks at 10-second intervals. Each session lasted an hour. Participants set their own pain levels.
One participant, playwright John Cameron explained experiencing the "therapy" in an interview.  He enrolled in the study and found himself delivering the highest levels of pain.
"I was always turning it up to get the most pain because I was desperate."
Homosexuals were seen as a "prurient, expendable population," according to Cameron. "To admit homosexuality in 1976 was the kiss of death. You could be targeted, lose your job, lose your income, lose everything."
 The entire article is here.

On a personal note, I think this kind of "therapy" is pure quackery.  Being into the kinky side of sex, I can tell you that just delivering a painful electric shock is not necessarily an aversion.  I have friends who regularly endure this kind of thing for fun, and that shows just how the brain often mixes the pain and pleasure responses.  Luckily this "therapy" has been discarded at BYU. 

Now I wonder if they have the equipment for sale?

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