SFU health sciences professor Travis Salway.

issues and experts

SFU expert available on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression conversion therapy legislation

March 09, 2020

Travis Salway, Faculty of Health Sciences, 778-782-7201, travis_salway@sfu.ca

Federal legislation on banning sexual orientation conversion therapy is being introduced to the House of Commons on Monday, March 9.

Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Travis Salway is available for interviews on sexual orientation conversion therapy.

Salway was the lead author in a recently published a study analyzing the prevalence of conversion therapy in Canada.

Published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, the study found that at least four per cent of Canadian gay and bisexual men have been exposed to conversion therapy, which includes scientifically discredited practices that try to repress, discourage, or change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. These numbers are based on a survey of gay and bisexual men across Canada, led by the national Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC).

This survey was repeated in late 2019, using a more inclusive definition of conversion therapy, suggesting that the actual figure of gay and bisexual men exposed may be as high as 8 per cent, corresponding to approximately 47,000 individuals across the country.

“The ongoing practice of conversion therapy in Canada threatens the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ2 people,” says Salway. “For this reason, the federal government is introducing legislation to amend the criminal code to ban conversion therapy across the country.”