NEW YORK — TruthWinsOut.org published exclusive comments today by Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, who claimed the “ex-gay” organization PFOX distorted his research findings.
On its website, PFOX expressed its displeasure with The Washington Post for publishing what it called “a sympathetic article about a 15-year-old boy named Saro who described his homosexual feelings and how Gay Straight Alliance student clubs help such gay teens to deal with discrimination and bullying in high school and middle school.”
“What the article failed to describe,” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs, “is the danger of young sexually confused teens self-identifying as gays at an early age. Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling.* Early self-identification is dangerous to kids.”
Dr. Remafedi’ study was the one cited by PFOX to back their unfounded conclusions. Today, Dr. Reamafedi released the following comments to Truth Wins Out:
“My work has been cited by PFOX in response to a Washington Post article on gay-straight alliances (GSA),” wrote Dr. Remafedi. “PFOX misuses one of my studies on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Our findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor is there any evidence that the availability of GSAs influences those developmental processes.”
Remafedi’ report was published in Pediatrics in 1992. The study explored patterns of sexual orientation in a representative sample of more than 34,000 Minnesota students in grades 7 to 12. PFOX, as well as Focus on the Family, distorted his findings to make the case that young people should not learn about homosexuality because they were sexually confused, and could thus be influenced by educational material.
Last year, several researchers held Dobson accountable for misrepresenting their work. Letters and videos from these scientists can be viewed at www.RespectMyResearch.org.
“We thank Dr. Remafedi for stepping forward and not allowing his research to be manipulated for political gain,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The right wing thrives on twisting legitimate research in its efforts to confuse people. We are doing everything in our power to stop this insidious practice.”
TruthWinsOut.org is currently working to find examples where right wing organizations have twisted scientific work. If you have a case that is worthy of investigation, please contact TWO’ Director of Research, Peter Cabrera, at firstname.lastname@example.org.