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Discredited antigay psychologist Paul Cameron publishes again

Discredited antigay psychologist Paul Cameron publishes again

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Former psychologist Paul Cameron (pictured), whose discredited research is used by antigay groups, has published another set of phony statistics--but this time in a legitimate, if not widely known academic journal.

Former psychologist Paul Cameron, whose discredited research is used by antigay groups, has published another set of phony statistics--this time in a legitimate, if not widely known, academic journal. The paper appears in the May issue of the Journal of Biosocial Science, published by Cambridge University Press. It claims that a third of the children raised by gay people and transsexuals turn out gay themselves. Cameron came up with that figure by reading three books about gay families and counting how many of the grown children in them identified as gay. He says that of 77 children, 23 were "currently homosexual," and 25 were "currently heterosexual." He doesn't say what the other 29 were. But those 77 aren't a scientific sample. To be statistically valid, samples must be randomly chosen in a way likely to represent the entire population. Abigail Garner is the author of Families Like Mine, one of the books Cameron read. On her blog, she wrote, "because of the goals of my book, I deliberately aimed to have 50 percent of the kids interviewed to be queer. Not because it is statistically reflective of the population, but to give it balance of perspective." Judith Stacey is a professor of sociology at New York University who has studied lesbian parents. She says it seems reasonable that parents would have a little bit of influence on their children's sexual identity, but not to the extent Cameron suggests. Stacey calls his paper "garbage." "It's beyond ludicrous," she said. "It's baffling that this got published." Stacey says she's never even heard of the Journal of Biosocial Sciences. Editors of the journal did not respond to requests for comment. Cameron heads the antigay Family Research Institute. His claims have been widely debunked, but they are still cited in court cases and by people opposing gay rights. He was expelled by the American Psychological Association in 1983 and censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association for distorting research. Most of his previous antigay papers have appeared only on his own Web site, or in the pay-to-publish journal Psychological Reports. (Sirius OutQ News)

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