[Editor's Note: Excerpted letter, Dr. Paul Cameron]
As you may be aware, the homosexual movement has made me one of its prime targets. It has sold academia on the notion that “Your sexuality is so important that it is the ‘core’ of who you are. Therefore, everyone should be supported — as a Constitutional right — in his choice of sexual activities.” The U.S. Supreme Court has bought into this notion. Consequently, not only do I have great difficulty publishing in scientific journals, but I am often criticized in scientific journals as well as on the Internet.
Some of these criticisms have consequences. I have lost expert witnessing placements and speaking engagements because of these lies. Indeed, those supposedly on ‘our side’ often attack me with the same lies and exaggerations, even though they were perpetrated by homosexuals in the first place.
Today I am pleased to share with you a significant victory!
Last year, while reviewing the literature on homosexual parents, I came across a Ph.D. dissertation called Gay And Heterosexual Fathers: A Comparative Analysis Of Child Behavior And Well-Being. It was issued by Capella University, one of the largest degree-granting institutions on the web. All doctoral dissertations are supposed to meet the high standards of having a critical committee of learned scholars examine, correct, and eventually endorse the degree candidate’s research effort. So I was aghast to read the following in the August 2005 dissertation:
“Paul Cameron, an opponent of gay fatherhood, was not only denounced by the American Sociological Association, but he was also expelled from the American Psychological Association for willfully misrepresenting research on the punitive effects of gay male parenting on children. Despite the psychological community’s condemnation of Cameron’s unethical practices, numerous publications and court proceedings have continued to rely upon his research (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001).” (page 42)
“Personal and political motivations have influenced the research on gay and lesbian parents as well. Some of the research in gay and lesbian studies does not use careful, respectable research practices. One example is research by Paul Cameron. Paul Cameron was expelled from both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association for willfully misrepresenting research on gay and lesbian parents. However, it is unlikely that the vast majority of misrepresentations in research on gay and lesbian parenting are intentional.” (page 96)
Now, in 2009, an amended version of this dissertation has been issued. After each of the preceding paragraphs is the statement:
“[For a correction of errors in this paragraph, please see page 119]”
On page 119, the following correction has been added:
“Dr. Paul Cameron was not expelled from the American Psychological Association or the American Sociological, nor is there any evidence that he ‘willfully misrepresented research.’ Toby Canning and his dissertation committee (Malcolm Gray, Bob Jacobs, Cyd Strickland, and Thomas Vail) sincerely regret these inaccuracies. We acknowledge that Dr. Cameron’s extensive research on homosexuality and homosexual parents (e.g., 38 articles listed on PubMed) appears in peer-reviewed journals.” (Page 119)
When I found the original statements, I knew that if they were not retracted, they would be used by the homosexual movement against me. I also knew that if they were retracted, I would be able to point to a difficult but vindicating decision by the dissertation committee, the administrators and scholars associated with Capella University, along with the administrators and scholars from the University of Michigan-associated institution that hosts (and profits from) all Ph.D. dissertations in the United States.
The August 2005 dissertation came to my attention in January of 2008. It brought excessive propaganda into a scholarly publication, but by being approved without correction, had a stamp of ‘academic truth.’ I decided to appeal to the author and his committee as representatives of fairness and truth. I wrote to him after we spoke by phone:
“Thank you for your phone call and your promise to retract and correct the false statements about me and my work in your dissertation. I believe you have chosen unreliable sources on which to base your statements. In addition, I conclude that you have been poorly served by your dissertation committee, which should have given you better guidance in the choice and use of scholarship.
“Unfortunately, each of the statements about me which you published and continue to publish on the world-wide web, contains demonstrable untruths (copied above):
1) “It is true that in the interests of children I oppose gay fatherhood. It is also true that ‘numerous publications and court proceedings have continued to rely upon his research’ — why shouldn’t they? After all, they are all published in peer-reviewed journals.
“The following statements are untrue. Specifically:
2) I was not ‘expelled from the American Psychological Association.’ As you can see from our website (). Having no APA charges against me, 26 years ago, on November 7, 1982, I resigned and got a letter of acknowledgement from the President of the APA November 29, 1982. My letter explaining my reasons for my resignation, as requested by the APA President, was published in the Monitor in March 1983. My letter said that I believed the APA had abandoned its scientific stance and become an advocate for abortion and gay rights. Following the publication of this letter, the APA informed me I had been dropped from membership while under charges. I have since been asked at least three times to rejoin.
3) “I was not ‘expelled’ from the APA for ‘willfully misrepresenting research on the punitive effects of gay male parenting on children.’ Indeed, the first professional journal article I published on homosexual parenting was in Adolescence in 1996. Indeed, I have published a number of articles on this topic, all in peer-reviewed journals.
4) “The phrase ‘willfully misrepresenting’ [emphasis added] assumes an insight into my motives without offering evidence to support such a conclusion. I have yet to read anywhere a detailed analysis of my studies or evidence of their inaccuracy; much less one that proves I knowingly misrepresented or distorted the data or its meaning.
“Disagreements over the interpretation of raw data are inevitable in the social sciences. The only proper response to scholars whose conclusions disagree with your own is to question either their methodology or their conclusions. In fact, people with different perspectives often draw opposite conclusions from the same data. Those who disagree with the findings of a contrary study should respond by attacking the data or its use. Ad hominem attacks — allegations of base motives — have no place in scholarly discourse. I am the frequent victim of such attacks, particularly on the Internet. However, I don’t expect to find them in university dissertations.
5) “I am not a sociologist and have never been a member of the American Sociological Association. Here you can see how unreliable your sources are. Again, your dissertation committee (Malcolm Gray, Bob Jacobs, Cyd Strickland, and Thomas Vail) seems to have served you poorly. The writing of a dissertation is the final step in a candidate’s preparation to join the larger community of scholars. That preparation should include instruction in the severe scrutiny of sources.
6) “The ASA actions against me did not and could not have occurred for ‘willfully misrepresenting research on gay and lesbian parents.’ The criticisms of me by the ASA and its committees commenced in 1985 and ended in 1987. The attacks were ad hominem (you can find them on the Internet), and never mentioned my research on ‘gay and lesbian parents.’
“You must understand that my livelihood depends on my reputation as an authority on these matters. I have published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and three books. When my competence and integrity are attacked in gay blogs, the source impugns their veracity and I try to ignore the distortions and untruths. However, when some of the same misinformation appears in a scholarly publication, I can’t let the matter pass.
“The question remains: ‘How do we fix this problem?’ Since in our telephone conversations you have indicated your willingness to correct these errors, I am reluctant to cause you excessive embarrassment. However, I believe a retraction of these false statements in order. Let me suggest the following: that both offending passages be followed by a bracketed statement directing the reader to a special note at the end of the volume.
“I believe some such statement, placed as I suggest, would retract what I consider to be a series of statements in a scholarly work significantly damaging to my professional career.”
Dr. Canning’s Reply
“I sincerely appreciate how thoughtfully you have addressed this issue with me. I am agreeable to your recommended solution and will attempt to implement it verbatim. Furthermore, I have contacted the publisher and have been informed that they are willing to publish the retraction, but that Capella needs to take some steps in order to do so. I am in the process of preparing the changes and once I have received approval from Capella I will forward the amended document to you as well.
“In defense of my dissertation committee, I think this was a case of oversight, rather than an endorsement of my writings regarding you. In fact, I expect that each one of my committee members will endorse the retraction you have suggested. I can only ask that if you need to discuss this situation with others, that you place the blame on me.
“Back in 2004 and 2005 when I was writing my dissertation, I had attempted to read everything I could get my hands on regarding gay and lesbian parenting. I am sorry that I bought into those few allegations against you without calling you and allowing you to present your side of the story. I should have remembered that this is a very controversial topic and that biases run deep in controversial topics. My error further illustrates the need for impartiality in conducting research in areas like these.
“I would like to end this letter with my apology to you. I am sorry for any hurt I have caused you or your family, and I sincerely apologize for how I interpreted those unsubstantiated statements against you without first contacting you to get your side of the story. I did not get into this profession to hurt people, but rather to help them. It is always disappointing to me when my own imperfection gets in the way of helping others.
I must give these academics and their institutions credit. They did what was right and just, and got the correction added almost a year to the day I discovered their defamation.