Anti-gay researcher says homosexuality contagious
Paul Cam-eron, an anti-gay researcher who has published dozens of articles painting gay men and lesbians as dangerous and diseased perverts, has succeeded in getting one of his questionable studies published in the Journal of Biosocial Science.
The academic journal, which is published by the Cambridge University Press, presents Cameron’s “Children of Homosexuals and Transsexuals More Apt to Be Homosexual” in its May 2006 issue. The opening sentence of the article reads, “Common sense holds that homosexuality is contagious.”
Cameron’s article claims that his study of 77 adult children of gay parents reveals that 30 percent of the participants turned out to be gay because the “parent’s sexual inclinations influence their children’s.”
The publication of Cameron’s work by the journal is shocking, said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. He and his team of researchers monitor the activities of hate groups and their leaders.
The law center has long warned that Cameron, chairman of the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., publishes pseudo-scientific studies designed to denigrate GLBT people. A recent issue of the Intelligence Report profiled Cameron as a propagandist masquerading as a scientist. The article, “The Fabulist,” noted that Cameron self-publishes his work in bogus academic journals and that no respected scientific journal had ever published his studies.
That is, until now, Potok noted.
“It’s a travesty and a shame that Cambridge University would publish the work of a charlatan ideologue like Paul Cameron,” Potok said. “Cameron’s so-called studies, and in particular his claim that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children, have been shown repeatedly to be utterly bogus,” he said.
“It’s a tragedy that a serious academic journal would lend credibility to the rantings of a propagandist who lives to defame gays and lesbians.”
Neither the editors nor the publicity department of the Journal of Biosocial Science returned repeated telephone messages and e-mails seeking comment about the publication of Cameron’s article.
Jay Smith Brown, director of communication strategies for the Human Rights Campaign, said the publication of Cameron’s work shocked him also. He noted that Cameron’s memberships in both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association were revoked because he consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality and lesbianism.
“His work is highly suspect to say the least,” Brown said. “Cameron has been criticized by his peers for his unscientific, bias-based studies for years.”
In 1986 at the height of the AIDS panic, Cameron co-authored the book “Special Report: AIDS.” It claimed HIV could be contracted through casual contact and advocated the establishment of concentration camps for sexually active gay people.
Brown said that the recent article of Cameron’s published by the journal is also “far from scientific.”
“He’s chosen participants who self-selected to appear in books on being the kids of GLBT parents, hardly random and hardly representative,” Brown said.
Although so many scientists regard Cameron’s work as highly suspect, the statistics he publishes are widely quoted, according to researchers with the Intelligence Project. They are used by leaders of anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition.
Lawmakers, radio talk shows hosts, preachers and anti-gay activists nationwide use the same statistics.
When Governor Rick Perry signed an anti-gay-marriage ballot measure last summer in a formal ceremony at the Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Worth in June, Pentecostal faith healer Rob Parsley shared the stage with him. Parsley praised Perry for “protecting the children of Texas from the gay agenda.”
To substantiate his praise of Perry, Parsley quoted some of Cameron’s anti-gay statistics. They included “only 1 percent of the homosexual population in America will dies of old age, the average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States is 43 years of age and although homosexuals represent only 2 percent of the population, they’re carrying 60 percent of the known cases of syphilis.”
Intelligence Project researchers describe the statistics quoted by Parsley as “gross distortions lifted straight from the pages of pseudo-scientific studies by Dr. Paul Cameron, a crackpot psychologist and champion of the anti-gay crusade.”
Brown said that the Human Rights Campaign plans to reach out to the Cambridge University Press to discuss the publication of Cameron’s article in the journal.
“We hope to bring attention to his record of biased and unscientific body of work,” Brown said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 21, 2006.