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Our understanding of the neurochemical bases of human love and attachment, as well as of the genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, and experiential factors that conspire to shape an individual's sexual orientation, is increasing exponentially. This research raises the vexing possibility that we may one day be equipped to modify such variables directly, allowing for the creation of "high-tech" conversion therapies or other suspect interventions. In this article, we discuss the ethics surrounding such a possibility, and call for the development of legal and procedural safeguards for protecting vulnerable children from the application of such technology. We also consider the more difficult case of voluntary, adult "conversion" and argue that in rare cases, such attempts might be permissible under strict conditions.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/21507740.2013.863242

Type

Journal article

Journal

AJOB Neurosci

Publication Date

01/2014

Volume

5

Pages

4 - 12

Keywords

Conversion therapy, biotechnology, gay conversion, love drugs, neuroenhancement, values