Pooves and closet cases: May 2010 Archives

May 26, 2010

Fundies: let's misrepresent research then kill people over it

United States: Scientists have complained that anti-gay religious groups are pretending to be legitimate scientific organisations, and presenting deliberately distorted versions of their research as fact. This is nothing new—the Prattle dissected one example back in 1998. The most recent case involves Dr. Gary Remafedi of the University of Minnesota, whose work on adolescent sexuality has been appropriated and misrepresented by a bogus paediatrics organisation, the American College of Pediatricians, trying to deny any support whatsoever to LGBT kids in school.

The letter, and the Facts About Youth website it pointed school officials to, was dense with footnotes citing scientific studies. Remafedi's research was at the top of the list.

The ACP argues that schools shouldn't support gay teens because they're probably just confused. Most adolescents who experience same-sex attraction...no longer experience such attractions at age 25, the letter says, citing a 1992 study by Remafedi.

Except that's not what Remafedi's research suggested at all. His work showed that kids who are confused about their sexuality eventually sort it out—meaning many of them accept being gay.

That's not the only example of this organisation lying about Remafedi's research. They took his finding that people who come out earlier are more likely to experience stigma and isolation, leading to an increased suicide risk, and twisted it to claim that identifying as gay itself was the problem. As Remafedi noted, It's obvious that they didn't even read my research. I mean, they spelled my name wrong every time they cited it.

Alvin McEwan has summarised the problem in a posting at the Huffington Post, and also links to Respect My Research—a Truth Won Out site dedicated to highlighting such abuses.

Evangelists treat the distorted research as the truth when they need to justify hate speech against LGBT people. Bradlee Dean looks like a 1980s hair rocker, a particularly naff one. His You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry uses allegedly punk music (with hair that long?!) to corrupt young minds with his imaginary friend. He has recently praised Islam for its murderous intolerance of homosexuality, and urged Christians to kill LGBT people. And he uses falsified scientific research to justify his violence.

On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?

As The Freethinker points out, this claim is bollocks, based on misrepresentation of research. Perhaps he was confused and thinking about the child abuse scandals involving Christian clergy (of several denominations) which have recently come to light?

University of Minnesota professor's research hijackedCity Pages, 26th May 2010; 'Let's threaten gays with death as the Muslims do', says Christian wingnutThe Freethinker, 26th May 2010.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Pooves and closet cases category from May 2010.

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