Conditioned aversion applied to the treatment of homosexuality and compulsive ruminations

Jacobs, Maxie
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The aim of this research ^voject was to test the eFficar.) of aversion therapy in the treatment of homosexuality and compulsive ruminations respectively. A review of the literature indicated that the most suitable paradigm for aversion therapy was response contingent aversive stimulation, used with high intensity shock and one hundred per cent reinfo ement. 'Holistic* aversion therapy, i.e. therapy directed at behavioural, cognitive and motivational components of homosexuality, was distinguished from 'monistic1 aversion therapy, i.e. therapy directed mainly at behavioural components. It wos submitted that therapy based on the holistic model was more effective than therapy based on the monistic model. Subjects consisted of 80 homosexuals and 60 compulsive ruminators. Homosexuals were divided into a nocontact control group, a psychotherapy group, a monistic aversion therapy group and an holistic therapy group. Subjects in the three experimental groups were encouraged to make heterosexual contact, to avoid homosexual contact, to use heterosexual masturbation fantasies and were counselled as regards the elimination of heterosexual fears. In addition, subjects in the monistic group were treated by monistic aversion therapy and clients on the holistic group were given aversion therapy based on the holistic model. Compulsives were divided into a minimalcontact control group, a psychotherapy group and an aversion therapy group. Subjects on the two experimental groups were treated by thought-stopping, logotherapy and relaxation. Subjects in the aversion therapy group were in addition given aversion therapy. The results showed that holistic aversion therapy was significantly more effective, in eliminating homosexual behaviour than no-treatment, psychotherapy and monistic aversion therapy. Monistic aversion therapy was not significantly more effective than psychotherapy. It was concluded that holistic
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Arts University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Johannesburg 1974