Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Research Council sneaking misleading studies back onto its webpage

Back in late 2008, I noticed the following studies missing from the Family Research Council's webpage: Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,
The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality, and Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk 

I emailed the organization and received the following response in early 2009:

Thank you for contacting Family Research Council.
The papers that you inquired about have been removed from our website indefinitely due to the fact that they have outdated sources. However, we have other resources on our website that contain similar information, such as the
Getting It Straight
What's wrong with letting same-sex couples legally "marry?"
Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy
Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples
Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex 'Marriage'
Alvin, we appreciate your interest in these important issues. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.
Kathy Athearn
FRC Correspondence

At the time, I was disturbed by the fact Ms. Athearn did not indicate which sources were outdated because the resources she gave me contained, not similar information as the removed studies, but the same information.

That is a moot point now because the studies in question have returned to the FRC webpage, albeit secretly.

If you were to look up the studies through FRC's webpage search engine, you would come up with the titles and other FRC work which referred to the studies. However, but if you clicked on the titles of the specific studies, you wouldn't be able to pull them up.

You would only be able to retrieve the studies if you knew the specific link to the page which contained them, like so:

Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse

The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality

Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk

What's more, FRC is aware that the information contained in these studies are outdated not only because of the email sent to me in 2009, but also because of the fact that archived versions of two of the studies, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse and Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk, say the following:

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note: this article is an archived item on Family Research Council's website; the information contained therein may be outdated.

However, this proviso is gone when one pulls up the reposted studies, even though the information is the same, word-for-word.

But more to the point, all three studies which FRC removed and then placed back on its webpage contain  propaganda and distortions which led the Southern Poverty Law Center to declare FRC as a hate group including the following inaccuracies:

  • Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.
  • Same-sex parents harm children.
  • Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

One particular study, Homosexual Parenting - Placing Children at Risk, stands out because it cites the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron (endnote 60), to make the case that same-sex household are not simply bad places to raise children, but actually places them in danger (by making them susceptible to incest) - an assertion refuted by more credible researchers and medical bodies.

Cameron leads the Family Research Institute, which is considered to be another anti-gay hate group by SPLC. As many lgbts know, Cameron has made a name for himself creating a bogus studies which accuse lgbts of all sorts of nasty behaviors. According to SPLC, one of Cameron's studies, What Homosexuals Do, claim that 17 percent of lgbts consume human feces.

Indiscretions like this are what led Cameron to be either censured or dismissed from several groups including the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Maybe FRC didn't get the memo.

Another study from FRC, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse, stands out because it furthers the belief that if a man molests a boy, that automatically means the man is gay. Not only is this notion disputed by reputable sources (American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America) but it was also put forth by the discredited researcher Paul Cameron in another one of his bogus studies.

In 1984, A. Nicholas Groth complained that Cameron was distorting his work to push this theory:

“(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children . . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” -  Letter written to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists on August 21, 1984

That point is important to remember because in 1992,  Dr. Groth wrote FRC a letter demanding that his work be removed from its study on homosexuality and pedophilia for the same reason he complained about Cameron:
If you are, in fact, familiar with my research, you must realize that my studies have indicated that homosexual males pose less risk of sexual harm to children (both male and female)--from both an absolute and a percentage incidence rate--than heterosexual males. Your statement that "the evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners" appears to come from the assumption that if an adult male is attracted to a male child, this adult male's sexual orientation is ipso facto homosexual.
Since your report, in my view, misrepresents the facts of what we know about this matter from scientific investigation, and does not indicate that my studies on this topic reach conclusions diametrically opposed to yours, I would appreciate your removing any reference to my work in your paper lest it appear to the reader that my research supports your views.

FRC claims that it wants to debate the issue of whether or not it deserves to be named a hate group.

I agree. And let's start with why the organization is knowingly placing bad studies on its webpage.

For more in-depth detail on just what exact distortions are contained in the three FRC studies, read Religious right can lie about gay community without George Rekers.  Just about every distortion contained in FRC's outdated studies are refuted in this piece.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you Alvin for giving so much of your time to expose the foul lies of the "Family" Research Council. Having to resort to deceit to argue their case is proof that they have no legitimate case - out of their own mouths.

Yet FRC pretends to be Christian. What a mockery of Christ! And "family" values? That is as shamelessly hypocritical as it gets.

Again, thanks. You are appreciated,
a fan

Chris McQ said...

As a straight advocate of Gay Rights, I have been arguing with homophobic fools on-line for more than a decade. Even when it is pointed out to them that the "research" they are using is not only faulty, but in many cases out right lies, they don't care! They are really not interested in the truth, instead searching for anything that says what they already think. I got verification of this just the other day in one forum I frequent, when several people posted links to studies by the APA, AMA and such reputable agencies. Those arguing the "other side" came right out and admitted that they don't trust the APA or AMA because they consider them "part of the gay agenda!"

Now, don't think any of that means I'm going to give up on this battle, because I'm not. I just wanted to point out one of the things that makes this battle so doggone hard.