Last week, we saw that Exodus was still promoting Paul Cameron’s junk science. Even though this wasn’t the first time an Ex-Gay Watch author raised this issue, last week’s post prompt some remarkably swift corrective actions from Exodus president Alan Chambers. In a commendable act of transparency, Exodus’s FAQ on life expectancy was replaced with this statement: “This article has been removed due to the inaccuracies surrounding the research of Paul Cameron.”
Now it’s time to turn our attention to NARTH.
A quick search of NARTH’s web site reveals that they have been just as willing to promote Cameron’s so-called “research.”
For our first example, NARTH member Ross Olson sent a letter to the Pediatric Annals, a letter that was published on NARTH’s web site (I don’t know if that letter was ever published by Pediatric Annals). In that letter, Olson criticizes an article that described a thirteen-year-old transgender MTF. Because the original article described the teen’s sexual activities, Olson jumped to the conclusion that the teen was being sexually abused, and that allowed him to bring up the familiar charge that ties homosexuality to pedophilia. For support, he cited Cameron’s “research” as though it has been presented in a professional journal. Here’s the screen-shot of that paragraph:
This citation is one of the more amazing ones I’ve ever seen. The Journal of the Family Research Institute? It doesn’t exist, at least not as Olsen implies. The link actually goes to a quasi-monthly newsletter that Cameron published for several years called the Family Research Report (hence the “FRR” in the URL). It’s not a journal by any stretch of the term, let alone a peer-reviewed one. Maybe Dr. Olson aspires to be the Dr. Cameron of pediatrics.
But the worst offense has to be an article by Christopher H. Rosik that appeared in the Journal of Pastoral Care. The article carries the ironic title, “Conversion Therapy Revisited: Parameters And Rationale For Ethical Care.” Ironic, because he deploys a number of unethical distortions to provide rationale for a supposedly ethical care. The article, which purports to be a wide-ranging review of gay sexual practices, follows many of the common practices authors use to write lesser anti-gay tracts.
Rosik cites Cameron’s discredited “obituary study,” the same study that Exodus cited without attribution on their FAQ.
Rosik also cites Cameron’s “randomly sampled 5,182 adults” to claim that incestuous sexual relationships during childhood were disproportionately reported by homosexual respondents.” But that so-called “random” survey was riddled with problems, including an abysmally low response rate (about 23%), biased questions and puzzling results among the heterosexual population (for example, 52% of straight men have shoplifted; 12% committed murder or attempted murder.)
When Cameron’s work was publicly brought to Exodus’ attention a second time they finally did something about it. Exodus removed the discredited content and left a public note about the problem for all to see. Will NARTH show the same integrity as Exodus and publicly acknowledge their error? Or will they fall back to their familiar patterns of behavior we saw last year by defending the indefensible and denying responsibility for the content of their own web site before finally eliminating these embarrassments and pretending they never existed?