Last updated on: 2/1/2012 | Author:

Richard A. Isay, MD Biography

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College
Pro to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"

“On the basis of my clinical work, I have come to believe that although most of their gender atypical behavior is inborn, some homosexual children may emphasize their opposite gender characteristics in order to attract and sustain the attention of the father…

A boy who grows up with a dominant mother who uses him to fulfill ungratified needs of her own will have the same chance of becoming gay as he would if he were raised by a mother who ideally nurtures his growth and development…”

Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development, 1989

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Attending Psychiatrist, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Lecturer, Psychiatry, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Psychiatric Residency, Yale University
  • MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1961
  • AB, Haverford College, 1956
  • First openly gay member of the American Psychological Association
  • Left his wife after coming out as gay
  • Father of two sons
  • Sought treatment in the 1960s for his lack of attraction to women and spent 10 years trying to change his orientation