May 21, 2012

Study used as basis for anti-gay bigotry recanted by author

The name of Dr. Robert L. Spitzer has for decades been associated with the advance of the study of psychiatry. It was synonymous with the very diagnostic manual used by psychiatrists everywhere as the tool for determining the cause of and therapy for mental disease. For more than 30 years, when it came to mental illness, Dr. Spitzer literally wrote the book.

He also authored a study that has proved very harmful to one segment of humanity; not so much for what it says, but for how it has been used. In 2001 Dr. Robert L. Spitzer presented the not-peer reviewed article entitled Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?  With this study, the myth of Reparative Therapy was codified in the minds of bigots everywhere.

Over the objection of his own colleagues, the study was later published. A group of 15 researchers at Dr. Spitzer’s own New York State Psychiatric Institute stood firmly against the study and very correctly predicted its effect. “We fear the repercussions of this study, including an increase in suffering, prejudice, and discrimination…”

Dr. Spitzer, although holding on to the results of his flawed study for 11 years, never ceased to have doubts. In each and every instance where the study was publically touted as proof of homosexuality’s sinfulness, Spitzer spoke out. It has done little good, and finally Spitzer has come forward to publically debunk his own flawed study.

I don’t expect the religious right or other homophobic bigots to give up on their campaigns of hatred, but this at least is a good start… and it is about time.



Old NFO said...

Meh- Once again somebody used his 'position' to put non peer reveiwed crap out there like it was gospel... Guess what, wrong again!