In the 1970s, the psychiatric diagnostic manual referred to homosexuality as a "sociopathic personality disturbance."
Dr. Robert Spitzer, once praised for his role in eliminating homosexuality from the manual as a mental disorder, later went on to study and advocate reparative therapy as a "cure" for homosexuality in the 1990s. His work was widely attacked and criticized. Now at age 80, Spitzer is offering an apology, according to The New York Times.
Spitzer was prompted to make amends with the gay community following an interview with a gay journalist who told the aging doctor that he had been a patient of reparative therapy at a young age and it evoked thoughts of suicide.
The doctor drafted a letter, which has been posted online. In it, he wrote, "I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy."
He went on to discredit his own research by revealing that he never had the credible evidence to say reparative therapy was successful.
"I offered several (unconvincing) reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject’s reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying. But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid," Spitzer wrote.
We guess an apology is better late than never, right?
More adventures in psuedoscience:
- Depressed people often don't have the urge to get out and do much, but they will chat online, even more than people who aren't depressed.
- Have a sweet tooth? It could make you an idiot, science says.
- In turtle news, the species have come along way as scientists have discovered they were once as large as a small car.