|Dr. Michell Cretella was called out in 2017 for an error-filled attack on the transgender community|
Just in case folks haven't noticed, there has been certain shift of attacks from the anti-LGBTQ industry. Seeing that they lost the marriage equality, they have taken on two new directions. One is to portray themselves as defenders of "religious liberty."
The other is to make the transgender community the scapegoat of their attacks. Just about every argument the anti-LGBTQ industry have used to demonize gay men as harmful to children and unhealthy have been slightly altered to focus on the trans community.
But with the shift comes the same thing which plagued them when they were making gay men scapegoats - they distort scientific information and get called out on it. The following incident from July 2017 (I apologize extremely for the lateness of me documenting the situation) proves my point. It involves Dr. Michelle Cretella. Cretella is the president of the American College of Pediatricians, an organization recently deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for how it attempts to legitimatize anti-LGBTQ lies under the veneer of science.
Cretella attacked the transgender community in a piece entitled “I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse”. But she was quickly called out by the The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM).
SAHM called out eight errors and distortions she made in the piece:
The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine strongly rejects the views of those in the medical community pushing political and ideological agendas not based on science and facts.
Recently, Dr. Michelle Cretella, the president of the American College of Pediatricians, penned a scathing attack on the transgender community thinly veiled as an argument against the dangers of transgender surgery and support; an argument based on medical omissions, circumstantial facts, hateful interpretation and peripheral context.
Earlier this month, the Adolescent Health News Roundup, compiled by Multiview and distributed by SAHM, included the article “I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse”. While SAHM welcomes opposing views and tries to include other perspectives in its weekly digest of news culled from around the internet, SAHM does not condone misinformation and hurtful, ideological opinion, not rooted in science or evidence-based medicine. The above-referenced article does not meet these standards and was included as “news” in error. It not only promotes a biased agenda, but does so with outright disregard for the facts. We sincerely apologize for including this alongside legitimate news stories and are currently revising our procedures to ensure this does not happen again.
Dr. Cretella begins with “What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.” She fails to reference historical medical errors with regard to mental illness such as hysteria, a catch-all diagnosis for outspoken women; nostalgia, an affliction to those who had left their home; or the color purple, once argued to drive people insane. She then lists eight “basic facts” which are anything but, and ends with a conclusion of “Transition-affirming protocol is child abuse.”
SAHM is dedicated to fighting this type of misinformation. To combat this hate speech and vitriolic deception, we would like to refute her points one by one.
You can read how SAHM broke down all of the distortions here. The point is what Cretella did wasn't unusual when it comes to folks on her side of the spectrum distorting or cherry-picking legitimate science to denigrate the LGBTQ community. Over the years, I've collected many instances in which the anti-LGBTQ industry and their allies have been called out for this.
I haven't pulled out the list in over a year. It's a delight to do so and to add Cretella to it:
In 2012, Seton Hall professor Dr. Theodora Sirota complained that Rick Fitzgibbons of the NARTH (the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) misused her work to make the case that children in same sex households are not raised better than children "in stable homes with a mother and a father."
In 2011, Tom Minnery, a spokesman from Focus on the Family, was dressed down by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during a Congressional hearing for deliberately misrepresenting a study. Minnery initially used the study to claim, as Fitzgibbons did in his misrepresentation, that same-sex households are inferior to two parent mother/father households.
In 2010, John Horgan, a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, also complained about how his work was being distorted.
National Institute of Health director Francis Collins called out the right-wing American College of Pediatricians for falsely claiming that he stated sexual orientation is not hardwired by DNA.
Six researchers of a 1997 Canadian study (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T. Schehter), complained in 2001 that religious right groups were distorting their work to claim that gay men have a short life span.
The authors of the book Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States (Professors Richard J. Wolitski, Ron Stall, and Ronald O. Valdiserri), complained that their work was being distorted by Focus on the Family.
University College London professor Michael King complained that the American Family Association was distorting his work on depression and suicide in LGBT individuals
University of Utah professor Lisa Diamond said that NARTH (the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), a group which also share board members with the American College of Pediatricians, distorted her research on sexual orientation.
Dr. Carol Gilligan, Professor of Education and Law at New York University complained that former Focus on the Family head James Dobson misrepresented her research to attack LGBT families.
Dr. Kyle Pruett, Ph.D., a professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, also complained that Focus on the Family distorted his work.
Dr. Robert Spitzer, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, has consistently complained that religious right groups distorted his study to claim that the LGBT orientation is easily changeable.
Judith Stacey, Professor of Sociology at New York University, has had to, on more than one occasion, cry foul over how religious right groups distorted her work on LGBT families.
Greg Remafedi, Professor at the University of Minnesota, complained several times about how religious right groups such as the American College of Pediatricians have distorted his work.