Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Family Research Council and the Disappearing Studies on Homosexuality

While we are all anticipating an Obama Administration and while the religious right continues to compile inaccurate anecdotes about “gay persecutors,” something strange has taken place on the Family Research Council’s webpage.

Several “studies” about homosexuality are gone.

The following studies are no longer on the Family Research Council’s webpage - The Negative Effects of Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Child Abuse, and Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk.

If you click the following links (taken from here), you will see what I am talking about:

"Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse," Insight No. 247 (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council), May 17, 2002 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS02E3)

· "The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality," Insight No. 232 (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council), March 6, 2001 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS01B1)

· "Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk," Insight No. 238 (Washington: Family Research Council) November 1, 2001 (online at: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS01J3)

These studies were supposed to show the so-called “dangers of homosexuality.” All of the religious right talking points about lgbts are touched on including:

Gays molest children at a high rate,

Gays have a short life span,

Gays and lesbians don’t know how to be monogamous,

Gays and lesbians have high rate of domestic violence.

The author of these items, Timothy Dailey, is still employed with the Family Research Council and one of his areas of "expertise" is homosexuality. This is highly strange because according to his bio, Dailey’s Ph.D. and qualifications all fall under religion.

For the record, his studies about homosexuality were highly flawed.

In them, Dailey cited out-of-date data compiled in the early 1970s, distorted other studies (including the 1997 Canadian study concerning the “gay life span”), and relied on discredited work (i.e. discredited researcher Paul Cameron).

One of his papers in particular, Homosexuality and Child Abuse, got complaints from former director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, A. Nicholas Groth.

In 2002, Groth said that Dailey distorted his work to claim that gays molest children at a higher rate than heterosexual men.

The irony is that this was the same error Paul Cameron made with Groth’s work in 1984. Groth complained then too.

I don’t know when Dailey's studies was removed, but they were on the webpage in 2006. It was at that time on my blog I noted how some of them included the following proviso:

Please note: this article is an archived item on Family Research Council's website; the information contained therein may be outdated.

At the time, I called it a "cover your ass disclaimer."

I called the Family Research Council last week in order to get some answers. A very nice woman who answered my call told me that I would have to speak Dailey to get more details.

I left two messages via email and have yet to receive an answer.

So the question is are we seeing some quiet acknowledgment by the Family Research Council that some of their “studies” on lgbts were flawed?

Since I haven't spoken to Dailey, I cannot give a definite answer.

But if this is the case, then I think the Family Research Council owes the lgbt community more than an covert abandonment of these studies.

I would like to have something a bit more public from the Family Research Council. These studies are present on other unaffiliated sites and have probably been used numerous times in attempts to beat back pro-gay legislation.

Also they have helped form inaccurate images put forth about lgbts by the religious right.

In light of how we lgbts have been unfairly called terrorists for our reaction over the Proposition 8 vote, anything less than a full and public acknowledgement is unacceptable.

Anything less than a full and public acknowledgement would be a classic case of throwing rocks and then pleading innocence when those hit by the rocks react.