Friday, April 13, 2012

I bet this won't get much attention in media

The psychiatrist behind a prominent 2001 study declaring people can go from gay to straight has retracted his original claims.
Although the research is still cited by anti-gay organizations as proof that so-called ex-gay therapy works to change someone's sexual orientation, the study has endured scientific criticism for years.
Now, Robert Spitzer, who led the research, told American Prospect that he wants to publish a retraction.
"In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct," Spitzer said....The paper Spitzer published concluded that the therapy worked "for a highly select group of motivated individuals" without providing any definitive success rate...."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." (Source)
This is bad science acknowledged. The sad thing with such bad science is that people don't remember the confession about how it was wrong, they remember the claim that they liked. It's the same thing with the non existent link between autism and vaccines. Many remember the claim, fewer know that it was bad science that proved nothing.

This is how the study was done:
Spitzer’s study is still cited by ex-gay organizations as evidence that ex-gay therapy works. The study infuriated gay-rights supporters and many psychiatrists, who condemned its methodology and design. Participants had been referred to Spitzer by ex-gay groups like NARTH and Exodus, which had an interest in recommending clients who would validate their work. The claims of change were self-reports, and Spitzer had not compared them with a control group that would help him judge their credibility.
I told Spitzer that Nicolosi had asked me to participate in the 2001 study and recount my success in therapy, but that I never called him. “I actually had great difficulty finding participants,” Spitzer said. “In all the years of doing ex-gay therapy, you’d think Nicolosi would have been able to provide more success stories. He only sent me nine patients.

My So-Called Ex-Gay Life by  Gabriel Arana is sad to read. He's not just telling his own story, he's telling the story of many homosexuals in this world, not just in the past but also in the present and the future. Yes, life as a homosexual is better today, in most places, but society, culture and people's predetermined ideas still have a long way to go.

It's a shame that people feel the need to be "ex-who-you-truly-are" in any case. Why can't being yourself be good enough?

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