Monday, May 22, 2006

Defending 'Truth' By Telling Lies, Part 4

It never ceases to amaze me how those who claim to uphold "the Truth" (with a capital T) display so little concern for making sure they've got their facts straight. The latest case in point is Paul Cameron's most recent 'study' which alleges that a third of all children raised by gay parents will, themselves, grow up to be gay.

And this time Cameron's managed to obtain a facade of respectability by getting his work printed in an otherwise respectable publication, the Journal of Biosocial Science. Unfortunately, while this apparent endorsement provides Christian ideologues with a veneer of credibility, it doesn't change the fact that Cameron's methodology is as shoddy as ever.

Jim Burroway has already done a detailed analysis of Cameron's latest claims over at the Box Turtle Bulletin, so I'll just add an encouragement to those who parrot Cameron's 'facts' to take a closer look at the lies they've been fed.

In this case, Cameron's 'research' consisted of taking three books on children with gay parents that he found at Amazon.com and treating them like scientific studies, even though two of the three authors have no scientific credentials and none of the three claim to have gathered a sample that could be considered representative of the population as a whole.

It's true that there hasn't been a lot of professional research done on this particular topic, but that only underscores how reprehensible it is for Cameron to claim that he can draw any meaningful conclusions by reading a handful of books written from a human interest angle.

For those interested in doing their own fact checking, here are the three books that Cameron based his conclusions upon:

Families Like Mine : Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, by Abigail Garner
Out of the Ordinary : Essays on Growing Up with Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents, edited by Noelle Howey and Ellen Samuels
Sons Talk About Their Gay Fathers: Life Curves, by Andrew R. Gottlieb

In short, Cameron has once again produced a 'study' that nothing meaningful can be gleaned from. Even so, its conclusions are already being trumpeted by conservative commentators who treat it as though it were fact. Interesting, isn't it, that the same people who believe the Seventh Commandment should be broadened in scope as widely as possible would be so willing to play fast and loose with the Ninth Commandment.

1 comment:

nonsequitur said...

It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature that many of us conform/twist the truth into something that benefits us more than the common good of all people.

Check out this wikipedia entry for Paul Cameron. That, in itself is very telling of his research methods and ethical slant.