Subjective and Penile Plethysmograph Responses Following Aversion-Relief and Apomorphine Aversion Therapy for Homosexual Impulses

N. McCONAGHY

Abstract

Forty males who were aware of having homosexual impulses and wished to have them reduced or eliminated were given aversion therapy while hospitalized for one week. As an objective index of sexual orientation, changes in penile responses to moving pictures of male and female nudes in 20 subjects at two weeks following therapy were compared with the changes in such responses 20 subjects over the same period of time but without treatment intervening. There were significant changes in the heterosexual direction in the treated group. However some subjects who showed a heterosexual orientation before treatment showed a change in the homosexual direction. No satisfactory explanation could be found for this.

Patients were treated with either aversion-relief or apomorphine aversion therapy. There was a trend for more patients to report reduction in homosexual feeling after apomorphine therapy, and significantly more patients reported they had resumed homosexual relations after aversion-relief therapy.

It is pointed out that reduction in homosexual feeling cannot be regarded simply as a conditioned response set up in the treatment situation.