In a move that will no doubt rankle the efforts of anti-gay institutions, the psychiatrist who published a controversial 2001 study proclaiming that “highly motivated” gay and lesbian people could change their sexual orientation is now retracting his initial claims.
Psychiatrist Bob Spitzer, who had ironically led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973, told American Prospect that he now wants to retract his study, while addressing several of the ample criticisms against its findings.
“In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct,” said the 80-year-old Spitzer, who is now retired and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.”
After noting that failed attempts to rid oneself of homosexual attractions “can be quite harmful,” he then requested writer Gabriel Arana print a retraction of his 2001 study, “so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Interestingly, Arana claims to have undergone therapy for over three years with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder and former president of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), in an effort to change his own sexual orientation.