UPDATE – 4th May 2013
I can’t believe I’m having to add this section, but I’m getting so many search engine terms leading to this post, I feel the following needs to be added.
Homeopathy does not work. It has been thoroughly disproven and if it did work, would go against all the relevant laws of physics as to leave us to reassess every understanding we have. It isn’t unproven, it’s disproven. Please do not use homeopathy to treat anything. As a side point, homosexuality is NOT an illness, despite whatever your cultural or religious beliefs tell you. If you are having issues with your own sexuality, I recommend you seek professional help from a qualified medical doctor or psychiatrist.
Well, well homeopathy. We meet again and so soon after my post about homeopathy for rape. I’m not even surprised. Just disappointed.
I have to thank in part H Jo (@SparkleWildfire) of the Healthy Dose of Skepticism Blog for mentioning this to me. I say “in part” because, well, I’m not that sure how thankful I am for her bringing it to my attention.
Mark O’Sullivan, an Irish homeopath, was kind enough to call me attention seeking and also remarked that he wasn’t able to read my last post because of the factual claims I made about homeopathy being disproven. So for his sake I’ll just provide a link here for you to go and read about it.
While using homeopathy as a cure or treatment for homosexuality doesn’t appear to be a widely held position, it is still held by some homeopaths. Here’s an example from the Hpathy website:
Posted by: mathew
i am a homosexual guy.
i was sexually abused by men in my childhood.
i dont feel attracted to girls.
i take the passive(girl’s)role in homosex.
i feel very dependent to males.
now i am 29 and want to marry.
any way i can change my behaviour?
i am fatty and heft, and depressed.. any homeopathic medicine? thankyou . mathew
Dr. Leela D’Souza is on hand to offer this poor chap a mixture of spiritual advice and homeopathic healing:
Wanting to change this behaviour requires a lot of spiritual healing in addition to homeopathic treatment. It could be possible, but you would need to work hard on it.
Post again if you are really serious and we’ll see what we can do.
dr. leela D’souza
Another example can be found on the ABC Homeopathy forum. This example is more interesting because there are obvious conflicts between members regarding the nature of homosexuality being an illness. The link is here, but I’ve taken some excerpts.
The question is asked:
did any homeopathy remedy help in let a gay be straight …?? thanks
One commenter adds:
i dont know why people want to ramin themselves as gay ,why they dont want to change themselves, i am gay i dont know why,from my childhood i had an attraction towards male.i want to change my self please help me ,i fell in love with a man ,where should i go he doesnt accepts me,i hate gayness ,no future ,gay means disableness and i dont think so there is no remedy for it,owe to the people who think it is just psyche ,please help me
Some advice is offered:
please take three doses of stramonium 30c at a gap of 4 hours.
day 2 to day 30
please take following bach flower remedies thrice a day at a gap of 4 hours
To take one dose of the above flower remedies you should add 2 drops each of above remedies to some 30 ml water and sip water slowly.
please report after 1 month.
Bach Flower Remedies are generally available at a homeo store.
please follow homeo restrictions like no coffee, no raw onion/garlic, no junk food and black drinks, no strong perfumes, not to eat or drink anything within 30 minutes before or after taking medicine.
Followed by more advice:
agnus, med, nux-v, plat, staph and thuja all are for homosexuality.
see which one suits you best, i personally think there always an undelying miasm in such cases and needs to be adressed first.
And a little more:
Platina is the appropriate drug for homosexuality.It is suited for perverted sexual desire.So anybody who have perverted sexual desire like homosexuality,lesbianism,mesochism,fetichism etc can try platina.
Some of this is genuinely troubling. Ignore the homeopathy for a minute. There are some truly troubled people here, for whom I have nothing but sympathy. They’ve reached out in a desperate attempt to find a treatment for what they perceive to be an illness. These people need real help and support. Not homeopathy.
There have been more publicised examples. Back in 2011 the blogosphere was abuzz after details emerged that The Union of Catholic Physicians of Germany were offering homeopathic treatments to keep homosexual “inclinations” at bay. The quote from their website and details regarding the use of homeopathy for homosexuality have since been removed, but many mainstream reports from the time report the following quote:
“homosexuality is not an illness,” a host of treatments are available to keep such “inclinations” at bay. Possibilities include “constitutional treatments with homeopathic tools … such as homeopathic dilutions like Platinum,” “psychotherapy,” and “religious counseling.” Among homeopathy’s controversial treatments are the prescription of “Globuli,” tiny pills that consisting mostly of sugar.
As you can imagine, The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) were outraged. I don’t really want to get into a religious discussion and, like I’ve said, this isn’t a mainstream viewpoint. I will say that where homophobia and general intolerance meet classical homeopathic practice, this is a possible outcome.
I guess there’s a few things that need to be addressed here. Working on the principles of homeopathy, what “illness” needs to be treated or cured? Well, nothing. Homosexuality isn’t an illness or a sickness or a lifestyle choice. It’s as unnatural as being white or black or straight. Which is to say, it isn’t. As for “inclinations”, well, if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. This is just word play to avoid addressing the belief held by the Catholic Physicians of Germany that homosexuality is a sin and offers them a back door to treat without flagging up the religious angle.
How about the law of similars? If like cures like, what would you use to treat homosexuality? Sperm? Highly diluted pictures of Stephen Fry? The tears of a man forced to live a lie because of the homophobic society he’s been raised in? Your guess would be as good as mine. I know my examples are a touch silly, but I’ve heard of parrot droppings and feathers being available, so it may not be that far fetched.
This is the kind of thinking that speaks to a belief system set in the past. 200 odd years in the past. Because homosexuality was viewed as an illness for many many years, there are homeopaths that believe there is a treatment for it. This shows the weakness of a disproven belief system that doesn’t update its approach based on new information.
It also allows for actual harm to happen. There are men and women in the world who believe that their own homosexuality is a moral problem and that also believe in homeopathy. By telling people that its an illness and providing homeopathy to help, homeopaths may only deepen the self blame and confusion.
There are people in this world being made to feel that homeopathy can cure them of a disease they just don’t have. A dangerous combination of misguided societal pressure to conform and a belief or desperate search leads them to homeopathy. No good can come of this and I feel desperately sorry for those who feel this way.
When your core belief is set 200 years in the past, you will find that this kind of issue arises. The reality is that a classical homeopath should believe that there’s a cure for homosexuality. The reason most don’t is because they’ve allowed the modern understanding of the nature of homosexuality to bias them. They have accepted the modern understanding of something and incorporated it into their beliefs and their homeopathic practices.
It’s just a shame they continue to ignore all the other medical and scientific evidence that has continued to mount over the past 200 years, which leads everyone else to the conclusion that homeopathy is a ridiculous, disproven and unjustified practice, that can lead to real psychological and physical injury and damage going untreated.