Dr. Robert Spitzer has repudiated his
own 2001 study which claimed that some gay people could alter their
He made his retraction in a story
published in the current issue of the American
The highly-criticized study, which was
published in the prestigious Archives of Sexual Behavior, alleged
that “highly motivated” gay men and lesbians could alter their
“In retrospect, I have to admit I
think the critiques are largely correct,” Spitzer, now 80, said.
“The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have
undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.”
He added that such therapy “can be
quite harmful” and asked the author to print a retraction of his
2001 study, “so I don't have to worry about it anymore?”
Wayne Besen, executive director of
Truth Wins Out, a group devoted to debunking the myth that gay people
can be “cured” of their sexuality, called Spitzer's repudiation
“an earthquake that severely undermines the validity of 'ex-gay'
“Spitzer just kicked out the final
leg from the stool on which the proponents of 'ex-gay' therapy based
their already shaky claims of success,” Besen wrote in
a blog post applauding Spitzer.
“Virtually every anti-gay
organization in the country quotes Dr. Spitzer's work,” he added.
“It will be an integrity test to see which groups remove citations
of his work in the coming week.”