Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wayne Besen does it again

Another nail in the anti-gay industry coffin courtesy of Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out:

Dr. James Dobson
Focus on the Family
Colorado Springs, CO 80995

April 30, 2008

Dear Dr. Dobson,

I want to draw your attention to a gross misrepresentation of our research at the website of "Focus on the Family" (see In the third paragraph of the article, "Myths and Facts," our research is cited in support of the statement: "During early adolescence, many children experience a period of sexual-identity confusion when they can easily be influenced in either direction."

First, please note that the citation itself is incorrect. The original article was published in Pediatrics, not Journal of Pediatrics. The correct reference is: Remafedi G, Resnick M, Blum R, Harris L. Demography of sexual orientation in adolescents. Pediatrics. 89(4):714-721, 1992. More important, had the authors of "Myths and Facts" actually read the article, they would have found no support for their contention that "many children experience a period of sexual-identity confusion when they can be influenced in either direction." The word confusion does not appear in our article; nor did we find that anyone can influence a young person's sexual identity.

The purpose of our study was to explore patterns of sexual orientation in a representative sample of more than 34,000 Minnesota students in grades 7 to 12. We found that the percentage of student who reported being "unsure" about their orientation steadily declined with age from 25.9% in 12-year-old persons to 5% in 18 year-old students (p. 716). Youth who were "unsure" were more likely than others to entertain homosexual fantasies and attractions and less likely to have had heterosexual experiences (p. 720). These and other data suggested that uncertainty about sexual orientation "gradually gives way to heterosexual or homosexual identification with the passage of time and/or with increasing sexual experience" (p. 720).

Please ask the authors of the misstatements to correct them as soon as possible. In the interest of accurate translation of research into practice, a copy of this letter will be posted at Thank you for your attention.
Respectfully yours,

Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Minnesota
428 Oak Grove St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Riddle me this: how long will it take before Dobson, Matt Barber, Peter LaBarbera and company claim that this doctor was "pressured by radical gay activists?"