‘Gay cure’ doctor admits fault

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on May 19, 2012 0 Comments

Dr Robert Spitzer apologises to gays for ‘fatally flawed’ study published in 2001 which was seized upon by conservative groups

 

Psychiatrist who championed ‘gay cure’ admits he was wrong

“Dr Robert Spitzer apologises for ‘fatally flawed’ study, published in 2001, which claimed gay people could be ‘cured’ if properly motivated

In the history of psychiatry I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a scientist write a letter saying that the data were all there but were totally misinterpreted. Who admitted that and who apologised to his readers. That’s something, don’t you think?’ Spitzer told the newspaper.

Gay rights group Truth Wins Out published the full text of the letter on its website and hailed the moment as a major step forward. ‘Spitzer’s apology to the victims of ‘pray away the gay’ therapy … marks a watershed moment in the fight against the ‘ex-gay’ myth,’ the group said “

Paul Harris in New York

One of the most influential figures in modern psychiatry has apologised to America’s gays for a scientific study which supported attempts to “cure” people of their homosexuality.

The survey, published in 2001, looked at “reparative therapy” and was hailed by religious and social conservatives in America as proof that gay people could successfully become straight if they were motivated to do so.

But Dr Robert Spitzer has now apologised in the same academic journal that published his original study, calling it “fatally flawed”. “I believe I owe the gay community an apology,” his letter said. “I also apologise to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works.”

Spitzer’s letter, which was leaked online before its publication in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, is sure to cause delight among gay civil rights groups and stir up anger among social conservatives, who have used the study to combat the acceptance of homosexuality as a normal part of human society.

Reparative therapy is popular among Christian conservative groups, which run clinics and therapy sessions at which people try to become heterosexual through counselling. Gay rights activists condemn such practices as motivated by religious faith, not science, and call them “pray away the gay” groups….  >>>>>

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/19/psychiatrist-admits-gay-cure-study-flawed

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