Thursday, September 29, 2016

John Hopkins faculty cry foul over distorted report on lgbt health

Paul McHugh sacrifices his prominence for prejudice.

As many of you already know, this blog began in 2006 as a way to call out how the anti-lgbt right either rely on junk science or cherry-pick legitimate science in order to demonize the lgbt community. By doing this, they create a pseudo-scientific reason to oppose lgbt equality because a solely religious reason never flies in courtrooms.

It has been a fun, albeit too quiet to the mainstream, fight to expose these liars. And it has also been successful because other entities with more access and prominence have joined in the struggle. Because of this, religious right lies about the lgbt community and those who push them have less power than they did over 10 years ago.

But that doesn't mean the religious right are stopping their efforts. I've noticed that there has been a stronger effort to, not rely on junk science or cherry-picked science, but replace legitimate science about the lgbt community with the help of some who should know better.

And it would seem that John Hopkins University is one of the ground zeros of this effort.

From Media Matters:

Faculty members at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health disassociated themselves from a recent report on LGBT health published by fellow Hopkins colleagues in a non-peer review journal, condemning the “troubling” report in a op-ed in The Baltimore Sun for “mischaracterizing” scientific evidence in a way that will “further stigmatize and harm the health of LGBTQ communities.”

Three faculty members from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published an op-ed on September 28 in The Baltimore Sun criticizing a new report on LGBT health that they say is cause for “concern” because it “mischaracterizes the current state of the science on sexuality and gender.” The recent report is written by current Hopkins “scholar in residence” Lawrence Mayer and faculty member Paul McHugh. McHugh has long peddled anti-LGBT pseudoscience and refused to accept medical consensus on LGBT health, having previously written op-eds for The Wall Street Journal in which he lamented the increasing visibility of transgender rights and warned that transgender identities should be treated as "confusions" and illnesses.

The authors of the op-ed cited concerns with the report’s analysis and conclusion, noting that previous research was inexplicably excluded from the study. Additionally, the report was published in a journal -- The New Atlantis -- that that is not “subject to rigorous peer review” normal of scientific research. The New Atlantis is published by the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which is dedicated to “applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy.” The Hopkins faculty also expressed their fear that “the report's findings could further stigmatize and harm the health of LGBTQ communities.”

You can read an excerpt of the op-ed at Media Matters.

One thing is clear. I doubt this will be the last time we hear of such efforts and I think our community should do more to educate ourselves because it will probably get worse.

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