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The Scope and Nature of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts: A Systematic Review Protocol

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BackgroundSexual orientation and gender identity and expression change efforts (SOGIECE) are a set of scientifically discredited practices that aim to deny and suppress the sexual orientations, gender identities, and/or gender expressions of sexual and gender minorities (SGM). SOGIECE are associated with significant adverse health and social outcomes. SOGIECE continue to be practiced around the world, despite denouncements from professional bodies and survivors, as well as calls for legislative advocacy to prohibit SOGIECE and protect SGM. There are substantial gaps in the availability of consolidated international research to support and refine legislative proposals related to SOGIECE, including those currently underway to enforce bans in Canada and elsewhere.We therefore propose the first systematic review of international data on SOGIECE that will outline the scope and nature of these practices worldwide. Specifically, we aim to estimate how many SGM have been exposed to SOGIECE, which sub-groups of SGM experience higher rates of SOGIECE, and how estimates of SOGIECE vary over time and place. In addition, we aim to describe when, where, how, and under what circumstances SGM are exposed to SOGIECE.MethodsTo locate an interdisciplinary swath of papers, nine (9) bibliographic databases will be searched: Medline (OVID), Embase (OVID), PsycInfo and Social Work Abstracts via EBSCO, CINAHL, Web of Science Core Collection, LGBTQ+ Source, and Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global and Sociology Collection (ProQuest). A gold standard search will be developed for Medline and adapted to the other databases. Grey literature will be searched at relevant websites, and reference harvesting will be performed in relevant SOGIECE scientific consensus statements. Two authors will independently screen abstracts/titles, screen full texts, abstract data, and apply risk of bias assessments. A narrative synthesis will be implemented to summarize findings.DiscussionThis review will address the gap in synthesized data regarding the prevalence of SOGIECE, social correlates of SOGIECE, variations of SOGIECE over time and place, and the circumstances, settings, and time-points of SOGIECE exposure. Findings from this review will directly inform ongoing and new legislative efforts to ban SOGIECE and other interventions that aim to stem SOGIECE practices and support SOGIECE survivors.
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