George Rekers responds to Kirk Murphy’s suicide in ‘Sissy Boy Experiment’

Kirk Murphy

In this second installment of CNN’s special report, the “Sissy Boy Experiment,” Dr. George Rekers learns of Kirk Murphy’s suicide.

In the 1970s, 5-year-old Kirk underwent therapy for his effeminate behavior — his parents enrolled him in a federally-funded experimental program at UCLA under Rekers’ supervision.

In numerous publications over the next 30 years, Rekers cited the experiment as a positive case study in reversing homosexuality, even though Kirk attempted suicide as early as age 17 because he “didn’t want to grow up gay.”

Decades later, a gay man at age 38, Kirk hanged himself.

Rekers eventually became a founding member of the Family Research Council, a faith-based organization that lobbies against gay-rights issues, that in 2010 was designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Rekers was also on the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an organization of scientists that says its mission is to offer treatment to those who struggle with what they call “unwanted homosexuality.”

In May 2010, Rekers was exposed for vacationing with a 20 year-old gay escort he met online at

After the scandal broke, Rekers resigned from NARTH. And the Family Research Council said in a statement they hadn’t had contact with Rekers in “over a decade.”

The “Sissy Boy Experiment” is Anderson Cooper’s three-part special report that examines the shocking “experimental therapy” designed to make feminine boys more masculine, and the life long effects on the patient’s mental health.

The first report aired Tuesday night on CNN’s “AC360.” The third and final installment of Cooper’s report airs Thursday night.

For additional, and extensive coverage, on Kirk Murphy and George Rekers’ experimental therapies, go to Box Turtle Bulletin.

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