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Therapy will "turn gays straight", says study
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Thursday 2 October, 2003 16:08 | More from this date | Today's headlines

PROMOTION

A new report claiming that therapy could "cure" gays and lesbians and make them straight has come under fire from both scientists and gay rights groups.

The research, published in the well-respected Archives of Sexual Behaviour journal, claims that of the gay people who underwent "reparative therapy", 78% of men and 95% of women turned straight.

According to author Professor Robert Sptizer, the study "questions the politically correct view that once you're gay, that's it and suggests that there is more flexibility than many people have assumed"

But the study has been attacked by other researchers, who claim that the information was gathered from "patients" that were part of ex-gay ministries and reparation organisations in America.

Speaking to today's Guardian, a specialist in sexual orientation and lecturer at the University of East London Dr Qazi Rahman criticised the report and discredited the way the information was gathered.

"My main concern is the method," he told the paper.

"Spitzer relied on self-reports from a select sample of individuals. They were not your average gay man or lesbian.

Additionally, a member of the International Academy of Sex Research, a supporter of the journal, resigned yesterday offer its decision to publish the report.

Professor Sptizer is already known to the gay world, albeit in a different light. He was central to the American Psychiatric Association's decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973.

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