crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
Imagine my surprise Sunday morning when I was on AOL and saw the following:
Study: Gay Parents More Likely to Have Gay Kids
Walter Schumm knows what he's about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.
When one such researcher, Paul Cameron, published a paper in 2006 arguing that children of gay parents were more likely to be gay themselves, the response from the academic press was virulent, to say nothing of the popular press; the Southern Poverty Law Center, for instance, equated Cameron to a Nazi.
Not all of the vitriol was hyperbolic. Cameron does not tolerate gay people. He believes that “homosexual practice is injurious to society.”
The gay press, as far back as the 1980s, labeled Cameron “the most dangerous anti-gay voice in America.” Though Cameron was the first to publish papers on the dangers of secondhand smoke, the scientific community has abandoned him. The American Psychological Association long since dropped him from its membership for an “ethical” violation.
The article makes it sound as if Cameron is a victim of a “politically-correct” scientific community. And though the article's author, Paul Kix, does provide links which refutes that notion including the work of Cameron critic Dr. Gregory Herek (whom he labeled as part of the “gay press”), he was highly derelict in his responsibility to give a complete picture of Cameron's problem with credibility and why many in the scientific community have denounced him. It has nothing to do with political correctness, just the simple fact that Cameron couldn't be believed if you pumped him with a truckful of truth serum:
“(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children . . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” – Dr. A. Nicholas Groth in 1984 after discovering that Cameron distorted his work.
“Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – American Psychological Association, 1983
The science and profession of psychology in Nebraska as represented by the Nebraska Psychological Association, formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality. Further, the Nebraska Psychological Association would like it known that Dr. Cameron is not a member of the Association. Dr. Cameron was recently dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – Nebraska Psychological Association, 1984
Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” – American Sociological Association, 1985
The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality. – Canadian Psychological Association, 1996
The crux of the AOL article was about a study by Schumm claiming that children of gay parents are more likely to be gay themselves. Now while in the article, Schumm asserts that he doesn't “go” for Cameron's type of research, he neglected to say that he has defended Cameron's methodologies in the past.
According to the site Box Turtle Bulletin:
Schumm is considerably more circumspect in how he uses Cameron’s research, but he did publish a 2000 article in Psychological Reports, Paul Cameron’s favorite publication outlet, defending Cameron’s research methods against Dr. Gregory Herek’s criticisms. Schumm is also listed as a member of Cameron’s “Editorial and Scientific Review Board” for the EJSSB (Empirical Journal of Same Sexual Behavior.)
The Box Turtle Bulletin 2008 article in question was talking about how Schumm testified in support of Florida's anti-gay adoption ban. In the AOL article, Schumm gave a bizarre defense as to why he testified for the adoption ban:
Schumm tells AOL News that he agreed to testify as one of the state's witnesses only if his evidence was not “slanted” for or against gay rights.
That is a hilarious assertion, seeing that Susan D. Cochran, a professor of epidemiology and statistics at UCLA and a witness against the ban, accused Schumm of distorting his own data. By the way, Florida's other witness in this case was the now infamous George Rekers.
And a recent post in Box Turtle Bulletin accused Schumm of distorting data in the same manner as Cameron in this supposed new study of his:
Schumm’s study is currently making a big splash on AOLNews, where, according to an article by Paul Kix, Schumm has supposedly conducted a new “robust” study examining whether Cameron was right: Do gay parents make gay children? Cameron’s paper, also published in JBS, was just another example of the shoddy “scholarship” and deliberate distortion of other publications that we’ve come to expect from him. Schumm’s paper seeks to replicate Cameron’s work while acknowledging some of the criti
cisms of Cameron’s 2006 paper. It’s important to emphasize however that Schumm only acknowledges some of the criticisms. The most important criticism — the completely non-random nature of the so-called “dataset” that Cameron used — Schumm not only ignores, but he repeats that same flaw and embellishes it in a grandly enlarged form.
So basically not only is Schumm's study not new but it's also not accurate. The real question is why was it so difficult for the AOL reporter, Kix, to do some real background research before writing this article.