Why a Gay Person Can't Be Made Un-Gay
The Truth About Reparative Therapies
by Martin Kantor, MD
November 2014, 252pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3074-7
$53, £40, 45€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3075-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Reparative therapy dates back to the beginning of the last century, or earlier.

Despite an abysmal "success rate," practitioners still use reparative therapy in an attempt to turn gays and lesbians straight. This text exposes the pitfalls that should be considered before gays embark on this journey that typically leads nowhere.

Although homosexuality is becoming less stigmatized in American culture, gays and lesbians still face strong social, familial, financial, or career pressures to “convert” to being heterosexuals. In this groundbreaking book, longtime psychiatrist Martin Kantor, MD—himself homosexual and once immersed in therapy to become “straight”—explains why so-called “reparative therapy” is not only ineffective, but should not be practiced due its faulty theoretical bases and the deeper, lasting damage it can cause.

This standout work delves into the history of reparative therapy, describes the findings of major research studies, and discusses outcome studies and ethical and moral considerations. Author Kantor identifies the serious harm that can result from reparative therapy, exposes the religious underpinnings of the process, and addresses the cognitive errors reparative therapy practitioners make while also recognizing some positive features of this mode of treatment. One section of the book is dedicated to discussing the therapeutic process itself, with a focus on therapeutic errors that are part of its fabric. Finally, the author identifies affirmative eclectic therapy—not reparative therapy—as an appropriate avenue for gays who feel they need help, with goals of resolving troubling aspects of their lives that may or may not be related to being homosexual, and of self-acceptance rather than self-mutation.


  • Presents thorough descriptions of the various reparative therapies, contrasts these techniques with traditional therapy, and exposes the faulty theoretical bases of this form of treatment
  • Details the author psychiatrist's unsuccessful 5-year-long therapeutic attempt to change his own homosexuality
  • Provides essential information that gays and their parents need to know before embarking on what the author feels is a futile course of changing sexual orientation. The content will enlighten politicians and reparative therapists themselves as well
  • Supplies an essential, informed counterpoint to the existing literature on reparative therapy
Martin Kantor, MD, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who has been in full private practice in Boston and New York City and active in residency training programs at hospitals including Massachusetts General in Boston, MA, and Beth Israel in New York, NY. He also served as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical School and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. Kantor is a full-time author of more than 20 books. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Now That You're Out: The Challenges and Joys of Living as a Gay Man; Homophobia: The State of Sexual Bigotry Today; and The Essential Guide to Overcoming Avoidant Personality Disorder.


"This book advocates for self-acceptance and supportive therapies to assist homosexuals in healing the harm done to them by negative religious, familial, and cultural systems. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."—Choice, July 1, 2015
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