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13/02/2019 13:16 GMT | Updated 13/02/2019 16:30 GMT

Amazon Criticised For Allowing Sale Of Parenting Guide To 'Preventing Homosexuality'

The book, written by an advocate of 'conversion therapy', has prompted outrage among users.

Customers have expressed shock and disgust that a book which claims to coach parents in “preventing homosexuality” in children is available to buy on Amazon. 

Damian Barr, an author and speaker, spotted the book, ‘A Parent’s Guide To Preventing Homosexuality’ for sale on the online retail site, and told HuffPost UK he thought it was “appalling and dismaying that Amazon are choosing to profit from titles like this.” 

Barr, whose own memoir tells the story of growing up gay in the 1980s, said seeing the book on sale in 2019 was horrific: “I am shocked.”

The book’s author, US psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, founded the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and advocated so-called conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific therapy that claims to assist people in exploring their “heterosexual potential”. Nicolosi died in 2017.

HuffPost UK contacted Amazon for comment but the company declined to comment. It also contacted the book’s co-author, Linda Ames Nicolosi.

Nicolosi’s book is available from multiple third-party sellers on the US and UK Amazon sites, both in new and second-hand editions.

HuffPost UK has found other books about “preventing” homosexuality on sale on Amazon including the book ‘Reparative Therapy of Homosexuality’, which claims to “help the non-gay homosexual”.

A code of conduct document for Amazon sellers appears to state that offensive material is not allowed to be sold on site. 

It states sellers should “never engage in any misleading, inappropriate or offensive behaviour... including but not limited to: Information provided in listings, content or images.”

It is not clear whether these books breach that policy.

One Amazon user commented beneath the listing: “If the possible ramifications of the existence of such a book were not so frightening, I would find this funny. However, there is nothing funny about the high rate of suicide among GLBT youth”. 

Another wrote: “This book has as its foundation completely debunked psychiatric nonsense about gender roles and the worst sort of stereotypes about what constitutes ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ behaviour and counsels unsuspecting parents to watch out for ‘tendencies’ in their children.”

A third review called it “a silly, extremely close-minded and paranoid work guaranteed to preserve the status quo of messing people up while they’re young.”