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Friday, December 15, 2006

Dobson Twists Research -- Researchers Cry Foul

Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Dr. -- professional liar for

Mary Cheney's pregnant. Those words are enough to send christian conservative leaders into apoplectic fits. As the openly lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, Mary's bad enough all on her lonesome. But now that she wants to start a family with partner Heather Poe, she's positively evil.

For the life of me, I can't figure out gay Republicans like Cheney. With gay bashing a party cornerstone, Mary Cheney and groups like the Log Cabin Republicans are pretty hard to understand. You'd think they'd be Libertarian or something. But Mary sold out a long time ago -- becoming a PR flack and token lesbian for the brewer Adolph Coors. The Coors family are intolerant lunatics, but they still wanted to sell beer to gays, who they'd turned off with Coors' association with antigay hate groups. To give you an idea how nuts these people are, William Coors once told an african american audience, " of the best things they [slave traders] did for you is to drag your ancestors over here in chains." Sweet fella.

So, you'd imagine she's used to this kind of crap and took it into account in her decision to start a family. But other people aren't as lucky and the haters are using her to attack all lesbian and gay families. In a guest column for TIME titled. 'Two Mommies Is One Too Many,' the evangelical leader James Dobson did just that. In that piece, Dobson called on findings by Dr. Kyle Pruett and educational psychologist Carol Gilligan. Here's the relevant snippet of BS:

...The fact remains that gender matters--perhaps nowhere more than in regard to child rearing. The unique value of fathers has been explained by Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale Medical School in his book Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child. Pruett says dads are critically important simply because "fathers do not mother." Psychology Today explained in 1996 that "fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children." A father, as a male parent, makes unique contributions to the task of parenting that a mother cannot emulate, and vice versa.

According to educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, mothers tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty. Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences. Other researchers have determined that boys are not born with an understanding of "maleness." They have to learn it, ideally from their fathers.

And that's when Dobson's argument hit the fan. Both Gilligan and Pruett denounced his citation of their work as distortion and have asked Dobson to never refer to their findings again. The first was Gilligan.

Truth Wins OUT:

Dear Dr. Dobson:

I am writing to ask that you cease and desist from quoting my research in the future. I was mortified to learn that you had distorted my work this week in a guest column you wrote in Time Magazine. Not only did you take my research out of context, you did so without my knowledge to support discriminatory goals that I do not agree with. What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work.

Then, Pruett joined in the fun:

Dr. Dobson, I was startled and disappointed to see my work referenced in the current Time Magazine piece in which you opined that social science, such as mine, supports your convictions opposing lesbian and gay parenthood. I write now to insist that you not quote from my research in your media campaigns, personal or corporate, without previously securing my permission. You cherry-picked a phrase to shore up highly (in my view) discriminatory purposes. This practice is condemned in real science, common though it may be in pseudo-science circles. There is nothing in my longitudinal research or any of my writings to support such conclusions. On page 134 of the book you cite in your piece, I wrote, “What we do know is that there is no reason for concern about the development or psychological competence of children living with gay fathers. It is love that binds relationships, not sex.” Kyle Pruett, M.D. Yale School of Medicine

Oops! Not so ethical. Dobson's a licensed psychologist, so he knows better. His distortion of the two works is deliberate. He's using it to lie. "James Dobson should start to wonder if there is something inherently wrong with his stance on gay issues if the only way he can support his positions is outright lying," says Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins OUT, a group that counters antigay propaganda.

"[T]here is nothing in my research that would lead you to draw the stated conclusions you did in the Time article," Gilligan wrote. "My work in no way suggests same-gender families are harmful to children or can’t raise these children to be as healthy and well adjusted as those brought up in traditional households."

"I trust that this will be the last time my work is cited by Focus on the Family," her letter closes.

I wouldn't count on it, Carol -- dishonesty's a major weapon in the holy warrior's arsenal. Dobson and company believe they are literally fighting the devil. When you're fighting the greatest evil in the universe, ethics don't matter, honesty is irrelevant, and justice is the concern only of God. Asking Dobson to stop lying and accept reality is asking him to cave in to Satan. If you think your enemy is literally the devil, you're going to fight dirty.

Asking Dobson to worry about professional ethics is useless.