Family Sent Their Effeminate Son To 'Sissy Boy' Therapy Sessions — Is This OK?

Wed, June 8, 2011 4:00pm EST by 6 Comments

Years later the boy, aged 38, committed suicide and now his siblings blame the child therapy for the untimely death of their brother.

When he was only five-years-old, Kirk Murphy‘s parents sent him to a government-funded experiment at UCLA, where he underwent therapy sessions to help “rid him” of his effeminate behavior with an anti-gay professor, Dr. George Rekers. Now after agonizing over his suicide, his family believes this so-called “sissy boy” experiment directly contributed to his death.

Kirk’s younger sister Maris explains to CNN of the treatment, “It left Kirk just totally stricken with the belief that he was broken, that he was different from everybody else. He even ate his lunch in the boy’s bathroom for three years of his high school career, if you want to call it that.”

His mother, Kaytee admits she started to worry about five-year-old Kirk after she realized he possessed some female traits and would prefer to play with dolls over trucks.

“It just bothered me that maybe he was picking up maybe too many feminine traits,” she explains.”That’s when she decided to enroll him in the government-funded program with Dr. Reker. Well, him being the expert, I thought, maybe I should take Kirk in. In other words, nip it in the bud, before it got started any further.”

The sessions are documented in a series of research papers which refer to Kirk as a boy named ‘Kraig.’

But this therapy was anything but helpful to Kirk, who had no idea that he was “different.” At the sessions, Kirk would be placed in a room, behind a one way mirror, where he would have to decide between girl toys and clothes or boys items. If he went to the “masculine side” of the room, he would be complimented by his mom, if he went to the “feminine side,” he would be ignored.

And this sort of practice was also done at home. Kirk was given blue poker chips for his masculine behavior and red ones for his feminine behavior. If he had more blue chips than red, he was given a treat. If he had more red than blue, he was chastised with “physical punishment by spanking from his father.”

Once, Kaytee said her husband hit Kirk “so hard that he had welts up and down his back and on his buttocks.”

His brother Mark and sister Maris say this treatment left Kirk very troubled, even throughout high school, and they believe it led him to take his own life at the age of 38.

“The research has a postscript that needs to be added,” Maris says. “That is that Kirk Andrew Murphy was Kraig and he was gay, and he committed suicide.”

NOTE: Tune in tonight at 10 ET on CNN TV, as “AC360º” examines the shocking “experimental therapy” designed to make feminine boys more masculine. See what the Murphys have to say about the devastating result in a special report, “The Sissy Boy Experiment.”

–Leigh Blickley


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Posted at 2:50 PM on June 9, 2011  

It was 30 yrs ago, no its not really excuse. But it was a different time period. The mom said it herself, what was disipline then is abuse now. I think they feel bad about it, but they were doing what they knew.
I don’t feel charges are needed, they didnt try to kill their son. They were trying to protect him from what the world sees as wrong.

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Posted at 2:04 PM on June 8, 2011  

I don’t belive in same sex relationships but it is not my place to judge. I think his parents should be brought up on charges for what they did. They should of accepted him for the way he was and not tried to change him. People need to walk a mile in other people shoes before they judge.

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Posted at 2:54 AM on June 9, 2011  


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Posted at 2:13 PM on June 9, 2011  

Wow, I think you should re-read your last sentence as your entire comment is completely judgmental. First of all, this took place in the late 60’s and early 70’s when homosexuality was still listed by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder. Also at that time, homosexuality was still against the laws of most states. Given that information — and hopefully you understand that the times were COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than they are NOW (homosexuality was in no way, shape, or form acceptable then) — if you had a son who was exhibiting feminine tendencies and you were told that there was a US GOVERNMENT FUNDED THERAPY PROGRAM taking place at a prestigious university near your home that offered to “cure” your son of his feminine tendencies would you not take your son to participate in that program? I think these parents loved their son immensely, wanted him to be happy, and were fearful of what his life would be like if he grew up to be gay (REMINDER: being gay was against the law and considered a mental disorder at the time — who knew that would change and 30+ years later being gay is NOT a mental disorder NOR against the law?). Also, there is the issue of the physical punishment used against Kirk. As the mother stated, “today it would be considered abuse,” but at the time this situation took place, today’s child abuse laws DID NOT EXIST! There were no reporting requirements of teachers, doctors, social workers, etc. Parents were allowed to physically punish their children and if marks were left, it was not against the law. The tide was starting to turn and it was becoming less socially acceptable to “beat” your children, but it was not against the law as it is today. And this physical punishment is what the expert doctors at the prestigious university, with US government funding, were telling these parents needed to be done to “fix” their son! It’s a horrible and sad story from all angles. And here’s the scary part, which is what the family is trying to change by going public with the story, THIS “THERAPY” IS STILL GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY when the times ARE different than they were in the 60’s and 70’s! Now, with a little more clarity and information, perhaps you can see what it would have been like to “walk in the parents’ shoes” at the time when this occurred, and not judge them so harshly. Perhaps you would have made a different choice, but they thought they were making the right choice for their son at the time — a choice I’m sure they now regret but, unfortunately, cannot change.

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Posted at 2:53 PM on June 9, 2011  

Thank you!!!! Better worded version of what I wrote, I don’t feel the parents did anything wrong. In a way the dr. didnt either, yes hes an ass who got busted for ordering a male escort a few yrs ago. But in his eyes his ‘cure’ worked for a period of time.

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Posted at 3:34 PM on June 9, 2011  

GEORGE REKERS NEEDS TO STOP HOLDING OUT HIS RESEARCH AS SUCCESSFUL (in my opinion that is what he is doing wrong today) as it obviously was not — the “therapy” had a devastating effect on Kirk and his entire family. This type of therapy needs to STOP but it won’t if it doesn’t get the attention it deserves so that society becomes educated about its horribly negative effects. Thank God parents today CAN love their children for who they are without fear that their LBGT children will be labeled deviants destined to grow up to lead unhappy and unfulfilled lives. Hopefully the cessation of this type of therapy will be Kirk’s legacy.

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