By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2012 10:36 AM ET
Scientist Robert Spitzer's retraction of his 2001 study that claimed gays could switch their sexual orientation has been on the record first with The American Prospect, then in a profile in The New York Times, and now an LBGT rights group has gone to Spitzer's home to get his explanation on video.
“I was quite wrong in the conclusions that I made from this study," he tells Truth Wins Out. "The study does not provide evidence, really, that gays can change. And that’s quite an admission on my part.”
The research had been published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior and claimed that "highly motivated" gays and lesbians could reverse their sexual orientation.
Spitzer said he had long worried that the study was flawed but only admitted it publicly after being contacted by reporter Gabriel Arana, who wrote a piece for the Prospect about having undergone so-called reparative therapy.
“It made me think if I really have all these doubts about the study, I had to face up to whether I had a responsibility to acknowledge that,” Spitzer said in the video.
Truth Wins Out, whose primary mission is to combat the notion that reparative therapy is effective, had previously posted a letter from Spitzer online in which he apologized for the study. And again he issues an apology in the video to people like Araya who underwent damaging therapy because of the conclusions in his flawed study.
“I felt that I needed to not only say that, the study is not valid, but I thought I should also say to the gay community, that I apologize for any harm I have done to them because of the study and my initial interpretation," he said. "And I certainly apologize to any gay person who because of this study entered into reparative therapy and wasted their time and energy doing that.”
Watch the interview below.