Ketki Ranade

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This report aims to explore the use of conversion therapy by healthcare providers in Western India to treat homosexuals, the criteria used for selecting clients for conversion therapy, the types of therapies employed, and perceived outcomes of such therapies. In contrast to most international guidelines for treatment of homosexuality, conversion therapy still seems to be practiced by many healthcare providers in India. Findings suggest that providers’ attitudes, understanding, and assumptions regarding normative and non-normative sexuality, homosexuality, marriage, procreation, and change or cure of homosexual sexual orientation makes up a complex belief system that has not incorporated some of the latest international health and human rights perspectives. Findings also suggest that a few healthcare providers nevertheless reported a change in their practice with respect to homosexuality, as a response to changes in the social and medical understanding of same-sex desires over time. The social, political, and legal contexts of same-sex desires in India intersecting with the realities of class, caste, gender, and other factors makes the lived experiences of individuals with same-sex desires extremely complex. The report notes the urgent need to integrate some of the guidelines and models of "affirmative therapy" used in the West into clinical practice in India, and offers recommendations for enabling healthcare providers to employ mainstream thinking in their treatment of homosexual individuals in India.






Health and Population Innovation (HPI) Fellowship Program