The role of religion in sexual orientation change efforts and gender identity change efforts

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



American Psychological Association


The various religious and spiritual traditions have provided thoughtful reflection and guidance regarding the biggest questions and concerns of life since perhaps the dawn of humans on the planet and the formation of group identities. This chapter focuses on the role of religion in sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOCE and GICE, respectively). It provides a general overview of the most common religious perspectives on sexual orientation and gender identity. The chapter also examines some of the diverse religious perspectives on this topic from a variety of religious traditions, with a focus on the Abrahamic traditions. Finally, it discusses ways that mental health professionals may be able to work productively and collaboratively with religious institutions and leaders to best serve their clients and patients.

Chapter of

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