Paul Cameron’s “Scandinavian Gay Lifespan” Study Debunked

Jim Burroway

April 9th, 2007

Paul CameronIn 1993, Paul Cameron, of the Family Research Institute, began touting a paper he said he presented at the Eastern Psychological Association entitled, “The lifespan of homosexuals.” Using obituaries from various gay newspapers around the country, Cameron claimed that the average lifespan for gay men was a mere 42 years. For lesbians, the average was 44.

While that study was roundly criticized for its ridiculous methodology, those statistics have persisted as a sort of macabre urban legend among some anti-gay activists. Among them include Christopher Rosik, a California psychologist who cites Cameron’s lifespan figure as justification for sexual orientation conversion therapy.

Well, Cameron’s at it again, hijacking the Eastern Psychological Association’s reputation once again to claim that gays and lesbians in registered partnerships in Denmark and Norway experience a lifespan up to 24 years shorter than their heterosexual counterparts. His latest claims are already being picked up by anti-gay activists, conservative news organizations, blogs, and pundits. Conservative columnist Armstrong Williams commented on Cameron’s claims and asked, “Considering these statistics, do you now believe that vulnerable children should be raised in such an unstable environment?” It’s only a matter of time before these statistics make their way into the mainstream media.

Cameron’s paper, “Federal Distortion of Homosexual Footprint,” is filled with all the strange and bogus statistics we’ve come to expect from him. I examined his methods and in my latest report, “Paul Cameron’s Footprint,” I show you why the claims he makes based on data from Denmark and Norway are completely worthless. My conclusions:

Yes, Cameron is up to his same old tricks again. You can bet that this won’t be the last time we hear from him. And no matter how ridiculous his methodologies may be, he will continue to provide statistical fodder for the anti-gay lobby. But with his latest paper on the “Homosexual Footprint,” he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. This time, as always, his “footprint” is planted firmly in his mouth.

You can read my full report here.

Michael Ditto

April 9th, 2007

I would add a couple of things to the analysis:

In the obituary “study,” the Blade and other gay papers tend to wrote only about local notables, but people’s notability fades in old age. Sadly, in gay or straight press, the good works of people are often unnoticed when they die old. As such, profiles of those who have passed often deal with those who have had an untimely death, and those who live to be octogenarians are simply forgotten.

In the age studies, it is harder for anyone single (gay or straight) to find a partner as they age. There are also many practical reasons older partners may not want to register with the government, such as reduction of pension or government benefits. The “marriage penalty” exists in other countries besides the US, and it’s not just a tax thing.

Jody

April 9th, 2007

ARGH!

Just simply ARGH!

Kevin

April 9th, 2007

It wouldn’t hurt to send an email to those who run the Eastern Psychological Association and let them know that the Camerons are using the EPA to advance their fake science and hurt gays and lesbians in the process:

Philip Hineline, President, Temple University | hineline@temple.edu

Robert Sternberg, President-Elect, Tufts University | robert.sternberg@tufts.edu

Stanley Weiss, Past-President & Chair of Elections, American University | sweiss@american.edu

Jim Burroway

April 9th, 2007

I have already been in contact with the EPA. They seem rightfully concerned. I can’t disclose our communications at this time, but hopefully there will be a statement coming from them soon.

homer

April 9th, 2007

Excellent study Jim. I’m glad someone is uncovering the pathetic science of these “scientists.”

Kevin

April 10th, 2007

Hey Jim, That is good news about the EPA. I sent them an email yesterday as well. I hope you are talking to them about having your most recent expose of the Cameron’s printed in one of their journals…

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