Anything But Straight: Rubbish in the Guise of Research

July 9, 2009 5:36 PM0 comments

besenmugIn a brazen effort to preempt an American Psychological Association report on human sexuality, scheduled for release in August, an anti-gay organization unveiled its own report, which amounts to rubbish in the guise of research.

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality’s (NARTH) “new” study, “What the Research Shows: NARTH’s Response to the American Psychological Association’s Claims on Homosexuality”, is so embarrassingly slipshod that no scientist would take it seriously.

But, the goal, of course, is not to impress researchers who would cackle at the kookiness. The real aim, according to Dr. Jack Drescher, a renowned psychiatrist and author, is to confuse the public and gullible media into believing the APA and NARTH are equally credentialed scientific bodies engaged in a legitimate dispute over homosexuality.

The truth, however, is that NARTH is a fringe group held in ill repute by anyone who has even a rudimentary knowledge of science. The organization is best known for encouraging male clients to drink Gatorade and call friends “dude” to increase masculinity.

The first clue that this study was utter trash was the fact that NARTH and Focus on the Family referred to it as “new”. Indeed, not one iota of fresh research took place. Not one moment was spent in the lab, nor were any subjects recruited to broaden the base of knowledge on the etiology of sexual orientation.

The study was basically a compilation of everything negative ever written about gay people, no matter how invalid, idiotic or biased the conclusion. NARTH essentially blasted sh** out of a cannon, hoping at least some would stick to the wall.

The second clue to the inanity of this report was that NARTH’s Scientific Advisory Board guided it. The last time this assemblage of reprobates appeared in the news, it was after one of their members (Gerald Schoenwolf) seemed to endorse slavery, while another (Joseph Berger) opined that gender variant children should be “ridiculed” by their peers.

The third clue was when NARTH claimed that its work appeared in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Human Sexuality.” They conveniently fail to mention that this is their own journal – staffed by other like-minded quacks. This is the equivalent of me offering a glowing review of my last book on my own personal website, while pretending it was an independent overview.

The fourth clue was that NARTH refused to rely on modern research. Instead, they elected to incorporate discredited and outdated century-old studies, where gay subjects were often recruited from prisons or mental hospitals. It is no coincidence that NARTH used work from the horse and buggy era, as no research in more than thirty years has supported their views on homosexuality.

Could you imagine how people would be howling if an organization used 125 year old studies on African Americans, climate change or even medicine? The idea is as shocking as it is laughable.

Most absurd, NARTH invoked the Stonewall uprising that ushered in the modern gay rights movement, on the event’s 40thanniversary, to highlight the alleged oppression of “ex-gays.” According to the group’s website:

“Those who have received help from reorientation therapists have collectively stood up to be counted-as once did their openly gay counterparts in the 1970s. The first time a formal demonstration against the American Psychiatric Association was protested against-not by pro-gay activists, but by a group of people reporting that they had substantially changed their sexual orientation, and that change is possible for others-was on May 22, 1994, in Philadelphia. A similar demonstration occurred…at the 2006 American Psychological Association Convention in New Orleans.”

Interestingly, NARTH writes this passage as if it is a casual observer witnessing an organic uprising. What NARTH conveniently fails to point out is that the group engineered and staged these protests as a public relations gimmick. I was at the so-called “protest” in New Orleans. The demonstrators were all professional “ex-gay” activists or members of NARTH – including the group’s president Joseph Nicolosi and his son.

So, let’s put this “study” in perspective.

NARTH is repackaging 125-year old research as new and unveiling its “findings” in its own publication, while trying to claim that it survived peer review. The group is also pretending to document a spontaneous popular uprising that they had actually staged. They are hoping to pull off this publicity stunt by creating an online echo chamber, with Christian news outlets mindlessly repeating their obvious lies.

NARTH is not interested in science. It’s real motivation is bigotry that can be best evidenced by a quote made by the group’s late co-founder Dr. Socarides: “Homosexuality is…a purple menace that is threatening the proper design of gender distinctions in society.”

If it quacks like a duck, it may just be quacks ducking out on reality.

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