Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A clip of discredited researcher Paul Cameron making a fool of himself on the Donahue show

Anti-gay spokesperson Robert Knight once told me that I was obsessed with discredited researcher Paul Cameron. I found, and still find his comments to be ironic seeing that Knight has on occasion freely cited Cameron statistics even after he knew of the man's dubious history.

However, in viewing my behavior these few days, I see that Knight may have had a point. I've been on a tear about Cameron. However, it's only because I feel that the lgbt community don't know as much about him.

A short recap is in order. Paul Cameron is the man I consider directly responsible for a vast majority of religious right discredited studies about the lgbt community. When the AIDS crisis began, he made a career out of creating bad studies accusing the lgbt community of things like molesting children at a high rate, eating feces, and using gerbils as sex toys.

He has been discredited on numerous occasions but his work still continues to haunt the lgbt community via contemporaries like The Traditional Values Coalition, Americans for Truth, Concerned Women for America, and other religious right groups.

As I understand it, Cameron allowed Sascha Baron Cohen to make a fool out of him in the new movie Bruno. I haven't seen it yet but I hear it's good.

However, as the following clip from a past episode of Donahue demonstrates, Cameron needs no one's help in being made a fool.

His comments just defy description and would be funny if it weren't for all of those who took him seriously and caused the lgbt community so much harm:

Other HB/HM articles on Paul Cameron in Poland:

More homophobic lies from the Paul Cameron Poland tour

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

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Mixed bag for hate crimes legislation, Oklahoma Baptists try to put one over on everyone, and other Tuesday news briefs

Senate voted to strike funding for F-22 - Double hot damn! The one thing that could cause hate crimes legislation problems is gone!

Senate adopts amendments to hate crimes measure - Then again, the poison pills seem to be in effect.

Anti-gay Clue: It's fellow conservatives' support of Mike Heath that's the real mystery - A gay man accidentally kills another and the wolves feast. Of course they don't want to do anything considered "un-Christian," such as encouraging prayer for the parties involved.

Baptists apologize to Okla. governor for error - This is funny. They talk about morality then falsely pushes the idea that the Governor signed it.

Gay night draws 2,100 to Nats' game - Funny. I remember when the religious right used to flip out over stuff like this.

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More homophobic lies from the Paul Cameron Poland tour

"Whereas two-thirds of the population are worker bees . . . generally those who engage in homosexuality belong to the other third, the third that so to speak exploits society." - Paul Cameron

Discredited researcher Paul Cameron (and one of the co-stars of the movie Bruno) seems to have gotten a lot of attention during his tour of Poland in May of this year.

Yesterday's clips of an interview with him was disturbing enough but today's clip is even more disturbing. He seems to be lecturing to a full auditorium and no one is challenging him when he says vicious inaccuracies like the statement at the beginning of this post.

And if anyone did want to challenge him, they would definitely have a lot of material to work with. From viewing the clip, I found things that were basically inaccurate.

The bulk of the clip is Cameron making the inaccurate claim that gays and lesbians molest children at a high rate. As proof of this, he cites two studies (funny how he didn't cite his own work) that according to him comes from the "homosexuals themselves."

One study he cites is the Bell and Weinberg that formed the basis of the book Homosexualities published in 1978. Homosexualities was produced by the Kinsey Institute. Cameron considers this to be a study conducted by gays since according to him, Alfred Kinsey was a gay man.

But the authors of the study, Alan Bell and David Weinberg, said their work could not be used to generalize about the entire gay community:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

Cameron then claims that "around the same time" (his words), researchers Karla Jay and Alan Young sent out questionnaires around the country regarding sexual habits of gays and lesbians.

Now the answers to these questionnaires formed the basis of the 1979 book The Gay Report.

According to one of the best online sites when it comes to debunking Paul Cameron's lies, Box Turtle Bulletin:

The Gay Report was modeled after many other informal sex surveys which were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Magazines like Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Playboy often conducted reader surveys.

Twenty-five hundred responses came from a gay magazine questionnaire. The magazine, Blue Boy, was a softcore porn magazine. Because of this, said Box Turtle Bulletin, the authors of The Gay Report:

. . . have virtually guaranteed an exceptionally heavy biased towards the opinions and experiences of those who are much more sexually experienced.

In other words, it is the equivalent of claiming that those who respond to a sex survey in an issue of Hustler magazine are indicative of the American heterosexual population.

Even the authors of The Gay Report said:

We agreed at the outset not to pretend that these percentages represented the practices and views of all gay people—they reflected only our respondents.

And according Box Turtle Bulletin, the number of respondees in proportion to how many questionnaires sent out is too low:

To prepare for this study, the authors distributed “hundreds of thousands” of 16-page surveys across the country, with an abridged version printed in the adult magazine Blueboy, which is sort of a gay equivalent to Playboy or Penthouse. Out of this massive distribution, they received only 5,400 responses. While that may seem like a sizeable response, it is quite low when you consider the response rate. The authors estimate that 400,000 gay men and 100,000 lesbians saw at least one form of the questionnaire.5 That means the response rate for this survey is barely 1%. A negligible response rate like this would render any survey statistically meaningless.

I should point out that these two studies (both conducted over 30 years ago) was the only proof Cameron gave to justify his claim about the lgbt community and child molestation.

Pointing out the errors in Cameron's tour is important for two reasons:

1. I've seen these references to Homosexualities and The Gay Report in work by other religious right groups. I've had to debunk the Bell and Weinberg distortion on this site more times than I can count. So while it's safe to say that many religious right groups no longer cite Cameron by name, there is enough evidence to see that they are still using his distortions.

2. It bothers me that Cameron is able to go to a foreign country that is totally ignorant of his dubious history and pass his lies off for truth. It amazes me that a man who has been dismisssed from so many medical groups, who has faced censured so many times can still attain any type of credibility anywhere. This will no doubt have ugly repercussions for the worldwide lgbt community.

The reason why not enough people are aware of just how influential and dangerous Paul Cameron is has to do with those who have the power to expose him not doing their job. We have got to get on the ball with this one.

Other HB/HM articles on Paul Cameron in Poland:

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

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