Dr Robert Spitzer apologizes for his controversial 'ex-gay' study
A psychiatrist in the US has apologized for claiming that 'highly motivated' gays could turn straight.
In his 2001 study, Dr Robert Spitzer stated that gay men and women can change their sexual orientation if they want to, endorsing so-called 'reparative therapies' which claim to 'cure' people of homosexuality.
However, earlier this month (April 2012) Spitzer retracted his claims and has now apologized.
'I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy,' the 80-year-old wrote in a letter to Dr Ken Zucker, obtained by Truth Will Out.
He added: '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.'
Ironically, the retired professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York had led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973.
Denouncing the study in the American Prospect, he said: 'In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct.'
'The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.'
He added that reparative therapy can be 'quite harmful'.