April 24th, 2007
There has been some new developments in regards to Paul and Kirk Cameron’s “Scandinavian Gay Lifespan” study. This was the study that Paul Cameron presented in a poster session at the Eastern Psychological Association’s convention in Philadelphia last March. His subsequent press releases later drew a sharp condemnation in an official statement from the EPA’s president, Dr. Phil Hineline, in response to my inquires.
Dr. Warren Throckmorton has carried the ball further. As I mentioned before, he contacted Danish epidemiologist Dr. Morton Frisch, who responded with a strong rebuke of the Camerons’ methods and conclusion. This prompted Dr. Kirk Cameron, Paul’s son, to mount a rather weak defense (in my opinion) in a letter he sent to Dr. Throckmorton. (This is, as far as I know, the first time we’ve heard from Kirk directly. His father typically handles such communications.)
In that defense, Kirk continues to defend the “gay obituary” methodology without actually addressing its many weaknesses — except one. He does mention the problem of closeted gay men and women, but dismisses it this way:
It was partly because of the uncertainties in self-report that we decided to examine other kinds of data. Obviously, obituaries depend upon human reporting but are not ‘self-reports.’ To keep one’s past sexual behavior secret after death can be difficult unless no one else knows, presumably even one’s own partners. As Ben Franklin wisely said, “three can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.”
Is this to mean that when a closeted individual dies, his or her former lovers are going to come out of the woodwork and place an obituary in the Washington Blade? Does that even mean that the Blade will accept such an obituary? Remember, they don’t even publish a general obituary section.
Nevertheless, Cameron the younger has the audacity to conclude:
Further, careful examination of our work and of the charges against us reveals that — while no one is perfect, including us — we have performed our work with scientific integrity and honesty.
Today Dr. Throckmorton has responded to Cameron’s letter with a thorough analysis of the Camerons’ paper. In it, he highlights a long stream of unsubstantiated assumptions and glaring weakness, all of which builds toward what is both an unproven conclusion (that registered-partnered gays in Scandinavia die some twenty years younger than their heterosexual counterparts) and a decidedly unscientific publicity campaign:
To conclude, I have many objections to this study as well as the way you portrayed the results in the media. You define multiple assumptions which must be true in order to establish central tendency which I do not believe are reasonable to assume. The news releases convey a confidence in your findings which seems quite unscientific.
Further, I object to what appears to me to be your effort to establish the homosexually inclined as a distinct, monolithic group of people. It seems to me that gays and lesbians are quite diverse in their behavior and values. Being same-sex attracted tells me very little, if anything about the way one lives or the activities one chooses. One might find some small effect size for a risk factor, say depression, but that cannot say much about a “typical” homosexual. I think it fine to crusade against sexual promiscuity, risky sexual behavior, drug abuse, smoking, using seat belts, etc. You will have many people join you, both same-sex attracted and opposite-sex attracted. However, to say that being in a class of people is to expose oneself to risk via membership in that class is a misleading use of measures of central tendency, in my opinion. Hogg et al’s statement seems worth repeating here:
“It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive measure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor. (Hogg et al, 2001, p. 1499).”
You can read Dr. Throckmorton’s splendid analysis here.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.