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Bogus “American College of Pediatricians” distributes deliberately fraudulent anti-gay propaganda to schools

Timothy Kincaid

April 5th, 2010

In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics, an association of 60,000 pediatricians, voted to adopt a position in support of gay parents. Six pediatricians who opposed this policy on religious grounds rallied like-minded friends and, on October 19th, about 15 people founded the American College of Pediatricians. It would be accurate to describe this organization as a vehicle through which a small minority of anti-gay doctors advocate in opposition to gay rights, abortion rights, and euthanasia.

According to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, at the end of March, the ACP sent out a letter to school superintendents. They don’t say how many schools received the letter, but even one is too many.

Despite the name, ACP is not a institute of higher learning. Nor is it a professional organization for pediatricians. This is an advocacy group dedicated to political goals which is using an authoritative sounding name to fool the unaware.

Yes, their officers and their board are all pediatricians (usually older gentlemen in the South), but their “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee” reads like a members roster of the virulently anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

The connections don’t stop at the committee level. One ACP board member, Quentin Van Meter, was a featured speaker at the 2009 NARTH Convention. And Michelle Cretella, a real nasty piece of work, sits on both boards. She is also listed as the “chair of the Sexuality Committee, American College of Pediatricians”.

With connections this deep to an organization whose primary function is to generate anti-gay propaganda masquerading as scientific research, it should not be too surprising that the American College of Pediatrics uses the same tactics. Their letter to the schools is rife with lies, misrepresentations, distortions and outright fraud. In fact, there is little there that has any distant relationship to truth.

The letter – and the website it directs the reader – makes a number of claims. And the ACP has adopted Paul Cameron’s tactic of lengthy footnotes. But, as with Cameron, the supporting documents do not support the claims. Let’s take a look at the first three.

Homosexuality is not a genetically-determined, unchangeable trait.

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically influenced, it is “… not hardwired by DNA, and (that) whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predetermination[s].” He also states that “…the prominent role of individual free will choices have a profound effect on us.”

Well that’s not the first time that Byrd has twisted Collins’ work to support his own agenda. And Collins has refuted this misinterpretation. Twice.

The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

Misquoting once is perhaps an error in judgment. Repeating the process after you have been refuted is fraud.

Next:

Homosexual attraction is determined by a combination of familial, environmental, social and biological influences. Inheritance of predisposing personality traits may play a role for some. Consequently, homosexual attraction is changeable.

Consequently? Oh please dear God don’t let our nation have school superintendents so stupid that they don’t immediately burst out laughing.

First, while we know that genetics plays a role for at least some gay men (there’s less study performed on women), we do not know whether the other contributing factors include family, environment (in utero, social, chemical, or other), or social. Interestingly, other than a book by a NARTH member, all other footnoted sources were support for the role that genetics plays.

But as for “changeable”, the evidence suggests quite the opposite. And to find that orientation has a number of contributing factors does not “consequently” support that claim.

This is simply bait and switch deception.

Third,

Most students (over 85%) with same-sex attractions will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. Most questioning students are experiencing temporary sexual confusion or are involved in experimentation.

Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25. In one study, as many as 26% of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3% of adults actually identify themselves as homosexual. Therefore, the majority of sexually-questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity.

Impressive, right?

Except that the source they use for the “26% of 12-year-olds” doesn’t quite say what they pretend.

From the article:

The percentage of students who were “unsure” about orientation steadily declined with age from 25.9% in 12-year-old persons to 5% in 18-year-old students.

But what does this “uncertainty” mean? Are these same-sex attracted kids?

The percentage of students reporting predominantly homosexual attractions steadily increased with age, while the proportion with bisexual or predominantly heterosexual attractions decreased.

In fact, only 2.2% of 12-year-olds reported predominantly homosexual attractions.

These kids were not “sexually-questioning youth”. And they were not “students with same-sex attractions”. Rather, these 12-year-olds were not yet “sure” about their sexual orientation. Frankly, they probably weren’t exactly sure what it all meant. But they did figure it out over time.

And were they “involved in experimentation”? Not according to this study.

Overall, 1% of respondents reported some homosexual experience; and 52%, some heterosexual experience… For males, but not females, the prevalence of reported homosexual experiences increased with age, from 0.4% at 12 years to a peak of 2.8% at 18.”

Everything that ACP claimed is refuted by going to the source they credit. This isn’t a “perspective” or a “way of reading the data”. This is a lie.

They go on with the usual litany of lies. You know, that homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle wrought with physical and mental illness caused by sexual abuse. But therapy has proven to be effective in curing homosexuality (and behavior is a choice anyway) so you shouldn’t allow support groups on campus (they aren’t good for kids). It’s pretty evil stuff.

No school should rely on this bogus organization for truth. They have none to offer.

But what they have done goes beyond opinion. It goes beyond faith or values or religion. This was a deliberate attempt to deceive. It twisted the work of legitimate researchers and sought to establish positions in educational institutions that are the opposite of what their research found to be best for the kids. If school superintendents rely on this information, it could harm the lives of children.

The board of directors of this organization are licensed medical doctors. They are pediatricians. It is unconscionable what they have done.

Comments

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a. mcewen
April 5th, 2010 | LINK

The site is sick. It’s like every anti-gay talking point (including “gay bowel syndrome” and “feces eating”) slapping us in the face.

It’s definite desperation from the anti-gay folks but it drives me mad to think some youth is may read that mess.

David Roberts
April 5th, 2010 | LINK

I just saw this thing — PFOX sent out an email about it naturally. I’m glad you wrote something already, it made me sick. There seems little doubt that ACPED wants to be confused with the real thing (AAP), but this scheme shows that is only the beginning of the deception.

Perhaps by the time those superintendents have time to read it, if they even bother, the web will be full of posts pointing to the facts. If not, I’m pretty sure a member of their staff or faculty will enlighten them before it goes very far.

And that Collins distortion, I agree — at this point it can only be taken as intentional. Collins went above and beyond to make his views clear to us, and I found him to be incredibly concerned that he not mislead. If only more were so inclined.

Lynn David
April 5th, 2010 | LINK

For a scientific group their mathematics/statistics seem lacking in reliability. For instance;

They say 85% of those students experiencing SSA will actually end up straight. That means for men that the remaining 15% must be that 3% of young American men who are gay after age 25. Ok, so divide 85% by 5 to see how many students experienced SSA but ended up straight. Why that’s 17% of all American men. Kinsey only said that 10% experience SSA and might act on it. And they’re saying more (20%)experience SSA, but criticizing Kinsey? Laughable.
_____________________________

From their website:
http://americancollegeofpediatricians.org/About-Us/

The American College of Pediatricians:
Recognizes that there are absolutes and scientific truths that transcend relative social considerations of the day.

There is no such thing as scientific truth. There is only facts and evidence from which hypothesis and theory are drawn. These are not scientists. It goes downhill from there and sounds more like a profession of Christian faith rather than the ordinances of a scientific organization.

The American College of Pediatricians cautions educators about the management of students experiencing same-sex attraction or exhibiting symptoms of gender confusion. These concerns are outlined in a letter and fact sheet sent by College president Thomas Benton, MD, to all 14,800 school district superintendents in the U.S.

They sent it EVERYWHERE. 14,800 school superintendants. See:
http://americancollegeofpediatricians.org/College-Cautions-Educators-About-Sexual-Orientation-in-Youth.html

Why are they asking for donations? Sounds more like a ministry.

Lynn David
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

BTW… on the “Facts About Youth” website, why should all the ‘facts’ be about sexuality? Certainly, our children are about more than sex. What about sports medicine, drug addiction, ADD, autism, and the myriad of other afflictions which might befall children?

Admittedly they do have 5 position papers on health issues, but 3 (Abstinence, HPV vaccine, Morning-After Pill) are based in their somewhat single-mindedness on sex. One is about marijuana; but the last is on “freedom of conscience” concerning the work of their membership not to engage in something they might consider not ‘right.’

Their number of other position statements all deal with sociological conditions not medical ones. Some intersect with the medical but it looks like most do not; or if they do it is only quite tangentially.

Lynn David
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

Whoops, my first statement was about the “Facts About Youth” website; however, I think started analyzing the ACPED website. I guess the whole statement is qualified against both since one is the subsidiary of the other.

Don
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

How about BTB sending a letter refuting this nonesense to the school superindentns? I would contribute money to support this.

Fergie
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

I hope the American Academy of Pediatrics makes some sort of rebuttal against these zealots.

Thanks BTB for shining some light on this deception now, before it gets posted, echoed, and celebrated in every right wing/focus on the family/pfox outlet known to man.

Autumn
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

Just to remind people that the name of the mainline pediatric professional organization is American Academy of Pediatrics. While I’m sure AAP has been less than perfect over the years…I don’t want this hard right fake group confused with the AAP.

This is a terrific Blog and I’ll be following it in the future!

justsearching
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

I’d call them masters of distortion if they were good at what they did. As it is, I don’t think they are. Hopefully most superintendents will this garbage for what it is.

“It is not the school’s role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not the school’s role to “affirm” a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation.”

Hmmmm, Valentine’s Day celebrations, senior study projects where couples have to raise a pretend-child, proms, and a whole host of teachers and administrators who are aware of and sometimes affirm the heterosexual relationships around them. We had better call our schools and prevent this inappropriate affirmation of youths’ sexual orientations.

TampaZeke
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

Submitted without comment, but with a couple of questions to consider while reading:

1) Notice the percentages at the beginning of the report. Do those numbers look at all familiar?

2) Does ANYONE believe that handedness ORIENTATION is not natural and inborn even if a person can make themselves act (unnaturally) against their natural orientation?

http://multiples.about.com/cs/funfacts/a/aatwinhand.htm

Grant
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

That Cohen guy from NARTH was on CNN this morning citing this bogus group of pediatricians, trying to defend the archaic law on California’s books regarding finding a cure for homosexuality. Anyone see that?

Dr. Matthew
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

I would also throw out there that one of the favorite bogus theories of sexuality promoted by these groups is the inclusion of “family” factors on the above list – arguably one of the longest touted and promoted pet theories of what causes homosexuality. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a decent study suggesting that the family system of LGBT persons differ, and heterosexual men are just as likely to have had distant or uninvolved fathers (it’s not exactly an uncommon situation).

Christine
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

Here’s more on Raney –

He’s a psychiatrist from Glendale, AZ.

He gave a presentation on “Same Sex Attraction” in 2006, I think it was at a Christian and Medical Dental Association Meeting (but let me verify the name of the conference) in which he highly recommends NARTH as a source of information.

He was on the CMDA Ethics Commission (prior to 2006) and helped them to develop their statement on homosexuality.

Here’s a nugget from that presentation on “Same Sex Attraction,” this is a quote:

The whole area of sexual molestations, and it seems very politically incorrect, however if we care about our children, I think we need to look in this area. We can’t allow ourselves to be silenced about important things. In fact there’s a quote from Martin Luther that kind of encouraged me. He said “we begin to die the day we become silent about things that matter.” And certainly the welfare of our children matters.

HE ALSO cites the now discredited Masters and Johnson study in this presentation.

I’ll get back to you about the exact source of this presentation.

John
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

Through their blatant dishonesty, starting with making up a fake name in order to appear credible, they have acknowledged that all they have is lies, and that what they produce has no scientific value.

Their actions loudly admit that the science isn’t on their side, so all they have left is their Arthur Golberg con game. At this point, they really should just stop. It is remotely possible that some of these people might actually have enough time left in their lives to make a positive contribution, if they leave this craziness now.

Maurice Lacunza
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

To be fair, I read the material at the fake Pediatrician website. Absolutely stunning. I wrote them a letter stating that sure use A LOT of words to say “anti gay”.

I asked them to tell me how they used their personal “free will” to “choose” heterosexuality. Did they eat certain foods? Wear a hat? I needed to know immediately because for god’s sake, I HAVE children. I need to KNOW!

I told them that they were shameful for educated men and that they were going to give pediatricians a bad name.

Can you believe that in the year 2010, educated men still hang on to ignorance? I am shaking my head in disbelief.

Burr
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

If these guys are so right, why do they keep hiding behind such BS names?

Burr
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

* Regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation, sexual activity is a conscious choice.

* It is in the best interest of all students to refrain from any sexual activity until adulthood; most optimally until they enter a life-long faithful marriage.

These two taken together, it’s nice to know that ACP supports gays waiting to have sex until they get gay married together.

Fraudulent Representation of Medical Opinion by Fundie Quacks « Dr. Pate's Blog
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

[…] For further reading about Dr Benton’s sleazy organization and its assertions I highly recommend the the excellent 4/5/2010 Box Turtle Bulletin post by Timothy Kincaid: “Bogus ‘American College of Pediatricians’ distributes deliberately fraudulent anti-gay p…“. […]

Regan DuCasse
April 6th, 2010 | LINK

First of all, this information seems to have gone out to schools UNSOLICITED.
The legitimate medical and psychiatric peers don’t send out letters like that, and even THEN they wouldn’t focus SOLELY on the issue of homosexuality.

And as Lynn David was saying, there ARE aspects of concern for children in schools like ADD, autism, learning disabilities and physical handicaps that might impede their learning process.

Homosexuality doesn’t do any of those things, but a gay child might have any of the aforementioned problems.
But these would be addressed by special ed teachers.
Just as the issue of support for a gay child would be addressed by a teacher expert on THAT. Like a teacher who was gay themselves or part of the network of teachers designated by a GSA.

And it must be noted, that those children with ADD and so on, wouldn’t be a part of an entire socio/political campaign set up to discriminate against them. Nor is the ACP set up, nor is it trying to say they are expert on ANY OTHER mental or emotional or learning issue, nor are they offering any information that says OTHER behavior aspects can be controlled through PRAYER, or any other kind of Christian or faith based focused disciplines.

If there was a sham front established to say anything like this against ANY OTHER MINORITY GROUP, they’d be criticized as fostering this information for the purpose of BIGOTRY and discrimination exclusively directed at that group.

And they’d deservedly be run out of business.
Such enterprise WILL do damage to real lives and it’s not a theory or perception that it will.

A school that gets this information without asking for it, should be suspicious. What the information targets is suspect, as is the specificity of WHO the target of the ACP is.

I think there is sufficient proof for the purposes of the Prop. 8 trial that the law was motivated by anti gay animus.

That schools were targeted for this information is further proof of the nature of further animus towards gay people WHILE THEY ARE VULNERABLE CHILDREN.
This is evidence of that. It’s not compassionate, nor the intention towards better school environments for gay young people and their peers.

Keep compiling and reporting on what’s happening. It’s no less diabolical than how segregationists and Nazis operated.

Rational
April 7th, 2010 | LINK

Their name reminds me of names given to Scientology front groups, such as the “Citizens Commission on Human Rights.” And the intent to deceive is the same.

Hats off to BTB for great research and coverage of this outrage.

stan James
April 8th, 2010 | LINK

The christian taliban is alive and well in America. Its time to bring the troops home to crush these freakss.

Most of whom are either secretly gay and hate themselves for it.

Or are religious freaks hardly any different then the Islamic nut cases who gave us 9/11

Ben in Oakland
April 8th, 2010 | LINK

There is a difference.

Islamic nutcases wanted to destroy buildings and kill lots of people in one big blast.

Christianist nutcases want to destroy souls little by little until there is nothing left but soul dust.

Jason D
April 8th, 2010 | LINK

Ben, considering how many of those lovely tea party/birther/militia folks are both a)armed and b)fundamentalist Christians…the fact that buildings haven’t been blown up may very well change in the future.
One shot up a UCC church for being too liberal, and another murdered Dr. Tiller. Still another was arrested for molesting an 8 year old and they found a missle/grenade launcher in his home. There is talk of a million man armed march on Washington.

I have a theory that some of these folks, the more unhinged ones, are so certain and so very much looking forward to the rapture, to Armageddon, to the end of days, –that they aren’t above making it happen themselves. I’m sure there’s at least one or two self-righteous nutjobs out there who think that God wants them to do it. Or they’re the self-righteous types who think the only way to “save” the country is to destroy it, brutally and bloody, thereby sending the righteous to heaven, and (MORE IMPORTANTLY)the the sinners to hell.

NARNC60AC
April 8th, 2010 | LINK

to declare this group a “christian taliban” does a disservice to those Christians who are for equal rights for everyone regardless of sexual orientation
why not just call a spade a spade?
this group & others like it are simply a “hate group”

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April 8th, 2010 | LINK

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ebohlman
April 8th, 2010 | LINK

The ACP is even more sinister than that. dogemperor, a poster at Daily Kos and Talk To Action, has written an expose of the ACP. In particular, there are concerns that ACP-affiliated pediatricians have a reputation for not reporting scars caused by physical abuse to the authorities.

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April 9th, 2010 | LINK

[…] The American Academy of Pediatrics? Real, valid, and supportive of LGBT parents, as Timothy of Box Turtle […]

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April 12th, 2010 | LINK

[…] far they have done little to combat this anti-gay site – which is about as brazen a vehicle for misinformation as you will […]

Christine
April 13th, 2010 | LINK

Just wanted to confirm from my post above that Raney’s presentation was indeed from the 2006 CMDA conference.

Roland in El Salvado
April 15th, 2010 | LINK

Unfortunatly ACP crap works. Today in El salvador our largest Newspaper “El Diario De Hoy” published an op-ed written by Julia Regina de Cardenal. Quoteing this News release as the latest American Scientific findings by the AMERICAN College Of Pediatrics. Please help us! Send an Email to opine@elsalvador.com and inform them what the ACP is and to not take this consensus of the American Pediatrics. Please help us!

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April 16th, 2010 | LINK

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February 14th, 2012 | LINK

[…] For further reading about Dr Benton’s sleazy organization and its assertions I highly recommend the excellent 4/5/2010 Box Turtle Bulletin post by Timothy Kincaid: “Bogus ‘American College of Pediatricians’ distributes deliberately fraudulent anti-gay p….” […]

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