Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Will the Center for Arizona Policy please apologize now?

You gotta wonder how firm a ground an organization is standing on when they need to use outright lies to defend their position. The Center for Arizona Policy is the right-wing organization that is trying to put a very restrictive amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions on the Arizona constitution. They released the following statement in their March 3 e-mail newsletter:

HOMOSEXUAL MOLESTATION. Here's something you won't read in the homosexuality-promoting mainstream media - homosexuals molest children at much higher rates than heterosexuals. The latest evidence - a six-year study of sexual abuse committed by foster parents in Illinois found a highly disproportionate percentage of the cases were homosexual. While only about 3 percent of adults engage in homosexual behavior, 34 percent of the molestation cases in Illinois involving foster parents were homosexual. Based on this study, homosexual molestation occurs at a rate about 17 times higher than heterosexual molestation. Will everyone who accused the Boy Scouts of bigotry for blocking homosexual Scoutmasters please apologize now?

Oh, where to begin with such a ridiculous load of manure?

First, the "study" was conducted by The Family Research Institute. One glance at their website will reveal their bias.

Second, the researcher involved, Dr. Paul Cameron, was kicked out of the American Psychological Association in 1982, kicked out of the American Sociological Association in 1985, and had his credibility as an expert witness questioned by a judge in a Dallas Texas District court case about sodomy, all because of his "consistent misrepresentation" and "distorted interpretation" in his research.

Third, the heads of both the Arizona Sexual Assault Network and the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault called CAP's comments "long on hype, but short on facts" and creating "false panic allegedly on behalf of Arizona's families."

If a bogus study that flies in the face of real studies about the lack of relationship between sexual orientation and pedophilia is the best CAP has to offer in its attack on same-sex marriage, consider me unimpressed. If they want to offer any kind of real debate, let them first take their own advice and "please apologize."


At 11:22 PM, Blogger the-unintentional-blogger said...

ah, here's where the honeymoon ends, sis. It was nice agreeing while it lasts.

First off, I am not necessarily supporting Paul Cameron or his research. I am wary of research done by groups with an agenda, either from my side or the pro-homosexual side. I did a search on homosexual molestation and the only real reference I found was to a 2001 article in the New York Post, not the most reputable newspaper.

But I have little respect for the APA or the ASA when their guidelines and princibles are designed to not allow criticism of the homosexual lifestyle. From the Preamble to the APA Ethical Principals and Code of Conduct:

It has as its primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom psychologists work. It is the individual responsibility of each psychologist to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. Psychologists respect and protect human and civil rights, and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.I do not want the APA's primary goal to be the welfare and protection of civil rights. I want their primary goal to be scientific psychological research! I understand the desire to protect against bogus research, but this doesn't seem to even allow the POSSIBILITY of research suggesting that homosexuals have a higher molestation rate. That concerns me greatly. The ASA has a similar quote in their complaint against Paul Cameron.

WHEREAS the American Sociological Association is on record as opposing oppressive actions against lesbians and gay men and affirming its commitment to their civil rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: THAT the Association reaffirms its opposition to efforts to undermine the civil rights of lesbians and gay men through the distortion of sociological concepts and the falsifying of sociological research; and
Again, I applaud the organization for rooting out bogus research (although I'm not sure I trust their standard of "bogus"), but I still wonder if ANY study that identified homosexuals as having a higher molestation rate would pass their critera. Again, dangerous ground.

I hope both sides of this issue are willing to take their blinders off and accept good research.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Knitress said...

I'll do some digging tonight on Paul Cameron. Meanwhile, a few comments.

First of all, a note (for the unintentional blogger) on my own background. I'm not a psychologist or a sociologist. I *am* a social scientist -- an economist (Ph.D, tenured prof, etc. etc.) I don't do research on homosexuality. If it matters, I'm straight and a practicing Catholic.

The APA and the ASA are the big professional organizations for research oriented psychologists and sociologists. They are widely respected, and in general you'd expect that anybody actively involved in research will be involved with the organization -- dues paying member, attending the annual meeting at least occasionally, etc.

The quote you have from the APA's Ethical Principles isn't about the goal of the APA as an organization. It's about the goal of the Code of Conduct.

Since psychologists frequently do research on human subjects (eg, do experiments with people), the protection of individuals who participate in research has to be the primary goal -- of the code of conduct, not of the organization as a whole!

Also, there's nothing in that APA statement that rules out research on whether straight or gay individuals are more likely to molest children.

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous the_methotaku said...

The legitimate reserch has allready been done, and it has consistantly shown that children of gay parents are just as healthy as children of straight parents. The issue is closed.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous the_methotaku said...

Well, now Bad Methodist and I agree again.
Sorry if I came on a little strong, it's just that this issue gets me a bit hot under the collar. Ya'see, I'm bi, and I want to get married and have a family someday- and I shouldn't have to marry a woman to do it. I want to be able marry the person I love, regardless of their gender. Here is a site with a summery of the research results.I’m also very, very offended when someone suggests that I’m a risk to children because of my sexual orientation (more accurately, my lack thereof). Child molesters are monsters who deserve to go to prison for life, which is the worst penalty I’d apply to anyone. What they do has no relationship to what a married couple, M/M, M/F, or F/F, does in private.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

Child molesters are monsters who deserve to go to prison for life, which is the worst penalty I’d apply to anyone. What they do has no relationship to what a married couple, M/M, M/F, or F/F, does in private. Hear hear!


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