A representative for Dr. Phil has confirmed that the talk-show host gave this advice on an episode that aired December 17, 2002.
Dr. Phil advises a parent whose son likes to play with girls’ toys and wear girls’ clothing to “take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys” on his website’s “Ask Dr. Phil” section.
Robbie tells Dr. Phil that her 5-year-old son likes to play with Barbies and likes to wear girls’ clothing, which she doesn’t think is normal. In the segment, she asks the talk-show host how to deal with his behavior.
“There are developmental stages in kids, and it is not unusual, particularly for young boys, to experiment and get stuck on certain stimulus items,” he says. “This is not a precursor to your son being gay.”
Dr. Phil, who recently has increased his support for gay and lesbian teens, particularly when it comes to bullying in schools, then suggests that the solution is to take the girls’ toys away from the boy.
“Direct your son in an unconfusing way. Don't buy him Barbie dolls or girls’ clothes. You don’t want to do things that seem to support the confusion at this stage of the game. ... Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys. Support him in what he’s doing, but not in the girl things.
"And if your son is gay, he'll learn that when he passes puberty and gets into a lifestyle and determines what his orientation is, and his lifestyle will flow from that. It won't be a choice; it will be something that he's pre-wired to do, and he'll know that in plenty of time if he's an adult. But you shouldn't take this as an indication of that at this point."