As the LGBTQ community gains traction and support, some have developed the ideology that homosexuality is a disease, disorder or even a ‘disorientation’ problem. And of course, if it is a disease, there is, therefore, a cure. This was the claim by a Sexologist from Kerala.
Titus P Varghese is a sexologist and psychologist. He practices in Kozhikode, a city in Kerala. The doctor has faced criticisms for his bold statement that homosexuality is “curable”. He claims his qualifications to include MA, MPSW, PhD, DHRT, DABS (USA), according to his website. Furthermore, on his website, he lists programmes under ‘friendly support’. And, one such ‘support’ is “Psycho-sexual personality development programmes.”
On YouTube, the doctor has posted dozens of videos, from titles such as “Treatment for homosexuality,” and “Lesbianism” to “Wet Dreams”. In such videos, he claims that he can “treat and correct” homosexuality. His theory is that individuals are not born gay. Instead, become gay because of their childhood experiences. Hence it can be “corrected”.
In one of his videos, in 2016, he said, “Homosexuality is not a disease but is a simple behavioural peculiarity that a sexologist can easily treat.” He continues to say (incorrectly) that since “cancer and AIDS can be cured” why can’t homosexuality. Clearly, he is misinformed, since neither of the two, cancer or HIV, have a cure.
His Theory to Homosexuality:
He also has a theory about how someone becomes gay. According to the doctor, it is a fact that men who have a weaker relationship with their father, show homosexual traits. In most cases, according to him, the youngest son of the household is usually gay. This is because this child is closer to their mother than father. He says, in a 2017 video,
“Only a man who is not influenced by his father, psychically or mentally, can think about another man – who belongs to the same sex as that of his father – in a sexual way.
-As reported by The News Minute
He continues to say that when the image of a father weakens in the eyes of their son, he is able to think about other men sexually, resulting in them becoming gay. He claims, in his video,
“In such boys, the figure of their father becomes weak and so there is no barrier for him to think about another man in a sexual way. So when a man touches him, he will comply, because he will not feel like resisting it. That is one type. Another type is people who enjoy homosexuality. Those people want to propagate it. But people who want to move away from homosexuality can be cured with treatment,”
– As reported by Pink News
Therefore, according to this doctor, an individual will want to have to get rid of their homosexuality to receive successful treatment.
Complaints raised against the Doctor:
With all the theories proposed by Dr Varghese, it is established that he is ill-informed. His illogical and unscientific claims, and knowledge, about homosexuality, made LGBTQ group Queerala raise complaints. In an interview with The News Minute, Vihaan Peethambar from Queerala said that a complaint will be launched with the Health Minister KK Shylaja, the Human Rights Commission and the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
Rajashree Raju, a board member of Queerala, said that the counselling methods adopted by this doctor range’s from subjecting the patient to a room filled with different lights, asking them to write their sexual encounters, to telling their parents that this is their mistake. Vihaan said:
“We have had many guys whose parents have taken them to this doctor for treatment. Because of the social stigma involved, they go there… and this doctor is basically ripping them off. He charges anything from Rs 25,000 for one sitting alone and keeps asking the men questions about their sexual encounters. His claims do not make sense in any way. “
– As reported by The News Minute
The treatment he delivers does not involve any form of medication. However, the methods employed could prove to be more harmful. For example, asking your patients to divulge information about their past sexual encounters can be very scary. Firstly, they are shamed for having indulged in such experiences. But also, he can use this information against the patient, often forcing them to ‘quit’ homosexuality out of fear.
The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) held a complaint against Dr Varghese, for such false advertising, claiming to cure homosexuality. It was seen as “false, misleading, and unsubstantiated claims.”
Sexologist can’t cure homosexuality anymore?
After complaints and criticisms, the doctor has changed his claims on YouTube. Now he maintains that he never said he could cure, correct or treat homosexuality. Instead, his stance now, is that this is a behavioural problem, such as paedophilia. According to him, it is caused by “extreme sensory experiences in childhood” that will “subside if there is an acceptance and confirmation of these experiences.”
It is very important to understand that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder. It is normal and is simply a sexual orientation. Being gay or lesbian, for example, is not a conscious choice that can be or should be “cured”. It is natural and not a “condition”, and is prevalent across species, a point emphasised by the LGBT+ group from Kerala.
Even Psychologists have explained that sexuality cannot be pinned to either black or white. It is instead, a spectrum. Humans’ being naturally wired to have an attraction to only the opposite sex, is a wrong notion. The spectrum ranges from heterosexual and homosexual to asexual and pansexual. However, these are still only a part of the entire spectrum of sexualities you find among species. Love is Love, and that needs to be respected.
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Source Credit: ED Times, Pink News, The News Minute, Times of India,