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There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.
Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation. In , APA issued a supporting statement that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. The APA adopted a resolution in August stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.
The approval, by APA's governing Council of Representatives, came at APA's annual convention, during which a task force presented a report  that in part examined the efficacy of so-called " reparative therapy ", or sexual orientation change efforts. The "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts" also advises that parents, guardians, young people, and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy , social support , and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support, and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.
The APA adopted a resolution stating that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant rights, benefits, and privileges.
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It also filed an amicus brief in the federal court case in which Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. In August , the APA clarified their support of same-sex marriage in light of continued research suggesting that the same community benefits accepted as result of heterosexual marriage apply to same-sex couples as well. Clinton Anderson, associate executive director of the APA and director of the Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, said that, prior to this research, "We knew that marriage benefits heterosexual people in very significant ways, but we didn't know if that would be true for same-sex couples".
Anderson also put forward the APA's view that merely allowing same-sex civil unions is an inadequate option: "Anything other than marriage is, in essence, a stigmatization of same-sex couples. Stigma does have negative impacts on people. The APA is the main accrediting body for U. Donald O. Hebb , the APA president in who was awarded the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in , defended the torture of research subjects, arguing that what was being studied was other nations' methods of brainwashing.
Former APA president Martin Seligman spoke upon the invitation of the CIA on his animal experimentation where he shocked a dog unpredictably and repeatedly into total, helpless passivity. Levant , upon visiting Guantanamo Bay , affirmed that psychologists were present during the torture of prisoners, arguing that their presence was to "add value and safeguards" to interrogations.
Constitution where appropriate , unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights. However, the APA has refused to sanction those members known to have participated in and, in some cases, designed abusive interrogation techniques used in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan interrogation centers. The APA directive was in contrast to the American Psychiatric Association ban in May of all direct participation in interrogations by psychiatrists,  and the American Medical Association ban in June of the direct participation in interrogations by physicians.
They recently stated their continuing disagreement with APA leadership in an open letter posted on their website on October 31, , in which they reiterated their condemnation of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques, and called for the APA to require its members to refuse participation in military conducted interrogations of any kind. In February , the APA's Council of Representatives voted to amend the association's Ethics Code  to make clear that its standards can never be interpreted to justify or defend violating human rights.
Following are the two relevant ethical standards from the Ethics Code, with the newly adopted language shown in bold:. If psychologists' ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict , make known their commitment to the Ethics Code and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the General Principles and Ethical Standards of the Ethics Code. Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.
If the demands of an organization with which psychologists are affiliated or for whom they are working are in conflict with this Ethics Code, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the General Principles and Ethical Standards of the Ethics Code. In its "Policy Related to Psychologists' Work in National Security Settings and Reaffirmation of the APA Position Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment the APA condemns the use of any of the following practices by military interrogators trying to elicit anti- terrorism information from detainees, on the ground that "there are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification.
In November , the APA ordered an independent review into whether it cooperated with the government's use of torture of prisoners during the George W. Bush administration , naming Chicago attorney David H. Hoffman to conduct the review. Farberman, APA's executive director for public and member communication. Anderson had been CEO since Prior to the release of the Hoffman report, which undermined the APA's repeated denials and showed that some APA leaders were complicit in torture, the dissidents were ignored or ridiculed.
On August 7, , just weeks following the release of the Hoffman report, the APA council of representatives met at the association's rd annual convention in Toronto , Ontario. At that meeting, the APA council passed Resolution 23B, which implemented the membership vote to remove psychologists from settings that operate outside international law , and banning the participation of psychologists in unlawful interrogations.
With votes in favor and only one vote against, the resolution passed with the near unanimous approval of council members.
This resolution further aligns the APA policy definition for "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in the and Council resolutions with the United Nations UN Convention Against Torture and ensures that the definition applies broadly to all individuals and settings; offers APA as a supportive resource for ethical practice for psychologists, including those in military and national security roles; prohibits psychologists from participating in national security interrogations; clarifies the intended application of the petition resolution The ban will not "prohibit psychologists from working with the police or prisons in criminal law enforcement interrogations".
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Not to be confused with the psychiatry organization, the American Psychiatric Association , or the philosophy organization, the American Philosophical Association. Main category: American Psychological Association publications. Main article: APA style.
APA Presidents from the present to Further information: Biology and sexual orientation , Environment and sexual orientation , and Homosexuality and psychology. Further information: Conversion therapy.
Further information: Same-sex marriage. Retrieved 1 March Retrieved American Psychological Association. Retrieved 1 May APA Dictionary of Psychology 1st ed. Encyclopedia of Psychology. Retrieved July 27, Purdue OWL. Council of Australian University Librarians. University of San Francisco : Gleeson Library.
Archived from the original on January Archived from the original on 20 January Retrieved 24 September Petersburg Times. February 1, Social Psychology Network.
September 10, Retrieved July 31, The School Psychologist. Society for Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. Retrieved May 19, Routh Clinical psychology since Science, practice and organization.
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