Ex-gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture

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Jack Drescher, Kenneth J. Zucker
Harrington Park Pres, 2006 - Law - 352 pages
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Defenders and critics of the controversial Spitzer study analyze its methodologies and findings

In 2001, Robert L. Spitzer, MD, presented his study on sexual conversion therapy with its controversial findings that some homosexuals can change their sexual orientation. The resulting media sensation and political firestorm enraged the study's critics and emboldened its supporters. Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture presents leading experts examining Spitzer's research methodology and findings to discern whether the study itself deserves deeper consideration or outright dismissal. Every facet of the study is reviewed to discuss the positive or negative aspects of the results, its significance in political and social terms, and the implications for the future.

Dr. Spitzer himself was an instrumental figure in the American Psychiatric Association's decision in 1973 to remove homosexuality as a mental illness listing from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III. His later study that states that in some individuals, homosexuality may be more fluid than previously thought stirred controversy in the psychiatric community and society at large. His study is presented here to allow the reader to evaluate and consider it for themselves. Leading experts then voice their own pro or con views on the methodology and findings. Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture fearlessly illustrates the sometimes fuzzy boundary between science and politics, courageously spotlighting the culture wars now dividing our society.

Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture discusses:
  • the ex-gay movement
  • the nature of scientific inquiry
  • the relationship between science and politics
  • the results of sexual conversion therapies
  • gay and lesbian rights

Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics, and Culture is essential reading for sex researchers, mental health professionals, pastoral counselors, political activists, and any person asking if one can truly “change” his or her homosexuality.

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About the author (2006)

Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D., is Head of the Child and Adolescent Gender Identity Clinic and Psychologist-in-Charge at the Child and Family Studies Centre, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. He is also Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto.
Susan J. Bradley, M.D., is Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Hospital for Sick Children and Head of the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She is the Consultant Psychiatrist at the Child and Adolescent Gender Identity Clinic, Child and Family Studies Centre, of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry.

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