Christian Post runs article lauding Paul Cameron’s fraudulent claims

Timothy Kincaid

September 4th, 2012

They should know better. They really should know better.

By this point, everyone in media from Mother Jones to the National Review, from the Catholic Register to the American Atheist Magazine, everyone should know that quoting Dr. Paul Cameron will bring embarrassment and make you the subject of public ridicule.

After Cameron was booted from the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association for distorting the research of others, it should have been obvious. After Bill Bennett stupidly relied on Cameron (and had to publicly apologize), it should have been obvious. After the Lincoln police called his bluff about a “four-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway [mall] in a restroom with a homosexual act”, it should have been obvious. After making a complete fool of himself in Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary film Brüno, it should have been obvious.

I guess it isn’t obvious. Or not to the Christian Post. They think that Cameron has discovered that gay folks are mentally ill.

Cameron has decided to “debunk” Dr. Evelyn Hookers seminal research into the mental health of gay men. Her study went like this: (APA)

She recruited 30 exclusively homosexual and 30 exclusively heterosexual men, matched for age, IQ scores and education. With the aid of the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay-rights organizations, access to homosexuals was no problem, but finding heterosexual men who would agree to participate was very difficult. She could not conduct the study on the UCLA campus in spite of pressure to do so. The nature of the research required strict confidentiality, so she used a small study on her spacious Los Angeles estate on Saltair Avenue. She approached firemen, policemen, maintenance workers, any heterosexual men she could persuade to participate. Her husband said, “No man is safe on Saltair Avenue.”

Each participant took three projective tests: The Rorschach, the Make a Picture Story Test (MAPS) and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). After scoring the tests herself, she then gave the test protocols with all identifying information removed to experts in those tests: Bruno Klopfer for the Rorschach, Edward Shneidman, the inventor of MAPS, and Mortimer Meyer for the TAT. An adjustment rating was assigned to each participant based on the test scores, and then the experts were given paired Rorschach protocols, one from a gay participant, one from a straight participant and asked to identify the homosexual. As with heterosexuals, homosexuals’ adjustment varied from superior to disturbed. Two-thirds of the research participants in each group were judged as having average or better adjustment. Further, experts were unable to identify the gay participant’s protocol from the matched pairs at better than chance accuracy. There was no association between homosexuality and psychological maladjustment. One of her experts, who was sure he could distinguish the groups, asked for another chance to review the protocols, but was no more successful the second time than the first.

Ah, but according to the Christian Post:

FRI’s close research, however, led the organization to believe in a different outcome.

“The Hooker study stands as the major reason for why they (homosexuals) are okay. We wanted to look at that very carefully, and we discovered that not only is it riddled with holes, but it is being covered for – not only by the American Psychological Association. Many other people either can’t read, or their mind glazes over, when they are told that this is an important study,” Dr. Cameron told CP.

He explained: “Hooker was a professor – she had friends who were homosexual and they implored her to do a study on them to prove that they were normal. What they were supposed to do was talk about pictures, talk about ink blots, without showing that they were homosexual. It appears that every single one of them was unable to talk for about two hours without revealing their homosexuality.”

Really. Truly. Stupid.

A three minute Google of Hooker would illustrate just how distorted that statement is from reality. Another three minute Google of Cameron would illustrate just how dishonest (and perhaps deranged) that Cameron’s claims have been over the years.

They really should know better.

UPDATE:

The Christian Post has doubled down on their stupidity, running a “disclaimer” that is more of a defense:

Disclaimer: Cameron, a former member of the American Sociological Association, left the organization in 1983 after branding it “more of a ‘liberal PAC’ than a professional society.” The ASA then passed a resolution in 1986 condemning Cameron for “consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.” The Nebraska Psychological Association also disassociated itself from Cameron and his work in 1984.

Grey

September 4th, 2012

It’s not that they don’t know.
It’s more that they don’t really care about facts.

CPT_Doom

September 4th, 2012

You can totally see the lack of scientific education among a sizable number of conservatives. Do they not understand that one study does not equal “science”? Even if they totally disproved Hooker’s research paper (which this doesn’t seem to), there is now a copious library of similar work that demonstrates unequivocally that being homosexual is not, in and of itself, evidence of any psychological or mental disease or defect.

It’s just like with the Regnerus study – even if his methodology hadn’t been laughably messy, his one paper cannot and would not overturn the consensus that at least some LGBT people can be good parents. In fact the presence of many subjects in Regnerus’ paper who did not have bad outcomes, but still had “gay fathers” and “lesbian mothers” as he defined them, means his study does not support a public policy aimed at stopping the formation of LGBT-headed families – as Regnerus himself notes.

Science is about consensus. It’s about enough researchers replicating and expanding on a finding over years, until that finding becomes the consensus. And it only is maintained as the consensus as long as it holds up to repeated experimental assessment.

Priya Lynn

September 4th, 2012

Grey said “It’s not that they don’t know.
It’s more that they don’t really care about facts.”.

Exactly. They think if you’re lying for a good cause there’s nothing wrong with it.

Richard Rush

September 4th, 2012

It’s no surprise that religion and anti-gay bigotry go so well together. Both require the wholesale dismissal of facts and evidence as irrelevant trivialities. “Truth” is simply created by fiat, and supported by factiness and evidenciness when required,

bls

September 5th, 2012

That is really, truly stupid, isn’t it?

But actually it’s a good thing when the anti-gay contingent can only come up with really, truly, stupid arguments. The more they talk, the more people will realize that we’ve been right all along – that it’s all a chimera, and mostly bigotry.

So by all means, folks: keep it up! You’ve been our best allies all along….

Tara TASW

September 5th, 2012

Time for a repost of the Cameron Rules, which I officially identified some years ago:

1. People are more easily suckered by crap with numbers in it than by garden-variety crap.

2. If you hear a “statistic” about GLBT people that sounds unbelievable, it is – and its source probably traces back to Paul Cameron.

3. If a person or publication uses Paul Cameron as a source, that person or publication is a crap source, and nothing they say should be taken at face value.

Michael C

September 5th, 2012

Fortunately the Christian Post article contains a disclaimer about Cameron’s lack of association with the ASA and the Nebraska Psychological Association and even includes an ASA statement condemning Cameron’s “consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.”

Why they would even publish this article (which basically says nothing) is beyond me.

esurience

September 5th, 2012

All the Hooker study was supposed to show was that there were indeed well-adjusted gay people capable of functioning normally in society.

Is that something the Christian Post is really disputing? I mean… we have gay celebrities now. It should be rather obvious that there are well-adjusted gay people functioning normally in society.

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