Well, the world is changing, science is changing, there’s just no question about that. We’re learning more, but is it all helpful? What we’re going to do is put up links about this transgender issue, so you can go and hear both sides. And don’t just go to the side that you agree with, go to the side that you don’t agree with. Read, hear, see what they have to say, so you can consider everything and make an informed decision. You know I clearly have stayed on neutral ground here, because what I want to do is advance the dialogue, advance the debate. So I know I’ll hear from you on the message boards.Dr. Phil, do me a fave, try this on for "side."
Wayne Besen: Truth Wins Out went to Salt Lake City to interview Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah. Diamond says the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, known as NARTH, distorted her research on human sexuality. NARTH manipulated Dr. Diamond’s work to say that people can choose to change their sexual orientation. Her work said no such thing.And just in case you didn't quite catch the impact of it the first time, Dr. Phil, Let’s listen to the most pertinent part of that interview again:
Dr. Lisa Diamond: The women who I’ve studied, have experienced changes in the way that they characterize and experience their sexuality over time, are quite clear about the fact that they don’t experience those changes as willful. And if anything, sometimes they actively resist them. So the notion that they’re chosen simply because there’s variability, is simply isn’t consistent with what I find. If NARTH had actually read the study more carefully, they would find that that isn’t supported by my data at all.
I started my study, I knew that it was potentially controversial and I knew that it was potentially open to distortion. I have bent over backwards to make it difficult for my work to be misused, and to no avail. When people are motivated to twist something for political purposes, they’re going to find a way to do it.
Wayne Besen: Dr. Diamond has a message for NARTH’s co-founder, Dr. Nicolosi, for distorting her work.
Dr. Lisa Diamond: Dr. Nicolosi, you know exactly what you’re doing. I have been more than explicit in my work about what constitutes a misuse of my findings, what conclusions can and cannot be drawn from my research. So there’s no chance that this is a misunderstanding, or simply a different scientific interpretation of the data, that’s simply not possible. This is a willful misuse and distortion of my research. Not an academic disagreement, not a slight shading of the truth, it’s willful distortion. And it’s illegitimate, and it’s irresponsible, and you know that, and you should stop.
Wayne Besen: Dr. Diamond has a few words to say about so-called reparative therapy.
Dr. Lisa Diamond: The APA has found that the majority of these therapies are being misrepresented, that therapists are saying, we can change your orientation, when in fact all of the data, all of the data, suggests that that’s not the case. Sometimes they’re successful at helping people to change their behavior, just like any of us can alter our behavior at will, but they say that the attractions, the same-sex attractions will disappear, they don’t.
These therapies are marketed inaccurately. They don’t actually have the effect that the therapists claim that they will have, and they do additional damage, by using these sort of aversive techniques that leave people feeling greater shame, greater guilt, feeling worse about themselves as a result. So they do, do harm.
Wayne Besen: Dr. Diamond said she would like if NARTH stopped using her research.
Dr. Lisa Diamond: My choice would be that they don’t use it at all. If there’s any upside to this at all, it may be that it actually introduces some people to real science, on these topics, which can give them a lot better information, than the non-science that is being perpetrated on a lot of these websites.
Wayne Besen: Dr. Diamond urges scientists to speak out when the research is distorted.
Dr. Lisa Diamond: There are a lot of scientists who would say, you know what, I just produce the data and then how it’s used is not my problem, but I think knowing that we have a culture that actually treats scientific findings very seriously in terms of support for public policy, that would be inappropriate. We have to be very vocal about what constitutes an unscientific use of the data, and that’s why I think it’s important to speak out.
I’m pretty accustomed at this point to the fact that these sorts of distortions will occur. My hope is that by doing something like this, we can hopefully have a more scientifically literate society, and sort of consumer culture, that will get better at recognizing distortions when they occur, and will not simply take the citation of a scientific paper as evidence that that paper has been appropriately used. My hope is that readers and thinkers in general will take a look at the sorts of work that’s presented on NARTH, and say well, maybe I better look at that work myself before I take at face value, what they are telling me that it says.
Wayne Besen: If you are a scientist, and your work has been distorted, misrepresented, cherry-picked, or misquoted by the right wing, contact TruthWinsOut.org
Dr. Lisa Diamond: “Dr. Nicolosi, you know exactly what you’re doing. I have been more than explicit in my work about what constitutes a misuse of my findings, what conclusions can and cannot be drawn from my research. So there’s no chance that this is a misunderstanding, or simply a different scientific interpretation of the data, that’s simply not possible. This is a willful misuse and distortion of my research. Not an academic disagreement, not a slight shading of the truth, it’s willful distortion. And it’s illegitimate, and it’s irresponsible, and you know that, and you should stop.”
Still wanna play the “neutral ground” card, Dr. Phil?
Remember, the Google is your friend.
Oh, and PS, all that just scratches the surface of Nicolosi's ethical meanderings. And I haven’t even gotten to the slitherings of Glenn Stanton yet.
And what the hell, one for the road. This is my favorite Nicolosi moment of all time. I've seen this nigh on a hundred times now, and my jaw never ceases to drop. He's standing there, nodding his head to the interviewer, and then suddenly, without warning, just walks off camera in a huff and throws a hissy fit. Let's watch:
God that's funny!