The LGBT Health & Development Program

Author of Controversial Study on Therapy to Change Sexual Orientation Apologizes to the Gay Community


Posted on May 11th, 2012 by Dr. Mustanski in Research Blog. No Comments

In 2003, Dr. Robert Spitzer published a paper in the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior claiming that therapy to change sexual orientation works with some individuals who are “highly motivated.” The study produced a blizzard of media attention because Dr. Spitzer was the same person who had led the charge in 1973 to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.

I recently received a copy of Dr. Spitzer’s letter from the editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior and the letter will soon be published online. In the letter, Dr. Spitzer writes, “I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize 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 with some ‘highly motivated’ individuals.”

Read the details on the study and Dr. Spitzer’s apology on my Sexual Continuum blog at Psychology Today.





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