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Ex-Gay Watch Analyzes The Spitzer Study

Jim Burroway

February 5th, 2007

At the 2001 Annual Convention of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Robert Spitzer presented the preliminary results of a study that he had been working. For the previous year and a half, he looked for and found two hundred “ex-gays” to interview to determine whether they had actually changed. Based wholly on their self-reports in telephone interviews, he concluded that some of them had.

The issue of “change” (I only put it in quotes because there hasn’t been a consistent definition of exactly what supposedly changes) is extremely complex and contentious. It’s one that I will be dedicating considerable energy in exploring in the near future. It is impossible to discuss the many claims that ex-gay leaders make concerning change without understanding what the Spitzer study did and did not say.

My friends and compatriots at Ex-Gay Watch have put together an excellent video that makes a very good primer on the Spitzer Study. Contributing author and ex-ex-gay Daniel Gonzales delves into how the study was done, what its weaknesses and limitations are, and how Dr. Spitzer has denounced the way the study has been misused by those who seek to limit or roll back civil liberties for gays and lesbians. It’s worth a watch.

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