Embarrassing Bodies doctor puts shocking gay cures to test
GAY 'cures' including shock therapy and induced vomiting have been put to the test by the gay host of Embarrassng Bodies, Dr Christian Jessen.
In the British documentary, Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay, Dr Jessen explores the so-called 'aversion therapy' and 'gay rehab' methods used in the UK and US.
In one segment, Dr Jessen is in a room with pictures of naked men and given a syrup to drink that induced vomiting.
At the same time a tape is playing telling him that being gay is evil and that he should have sex with women.
The therapy, which was developed by doctors in the 1920s, saw patients given vomit and diarrhoea inducing injections every two hours, the Daily Mail reports.
The documentary also took Dr Jessen to America's deep south, the Bible Belt.
Here church leaders preach that being gay is a state of mind - and needs to be treated.
"The most shocking thing was that these religious leaders do not believe we were born gay, but that it's a condition caused by childhood trauma," said Dr Jessen.
Two teenage girls tell Dr Jessen that being gay "happens when bad spirits are inside you.''
The doctor breaks down, responding: "Imagine being gay and being told that?"
Dr Jessen has spoken about prejudice before, telling anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label how he was "exposed to off-the-cuff homophobic comments from other doctors", particularly while training in sexual health.
"I never hid my sexuality but never wove a flag either; I don't see it as being relevant," he told The Independent. "I am a doctor and not a 'gay doctor'."
'Reparative' techniques used across the world, primarily by some extreme right-wing organisations, have included electric shock therapy, exorcism, hypnosis, and even sessions with prostitutes.
One historical therapy, disturbingly reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange, involves inducing nausea while exposing the patient to explicit homoerotic images and audio.
The widespread belief among professional doctors is that sexual orientation is not something that can or should be altered.