If you ever want to claim instant credibility for your opinion, all you have to do is come up with a scientific paper, written by some PhD or group of PhD’s, that seems to support it. You’ll probably find one, too, no matter how wacky your opinion might be. The reason? That’s easy. The findings of most scientific studies these days are false. This fact isn’t very well known in the lay community, but it’s common knowledge among scientists.
John P.A. Ioannidis blew the whistle on the reasons for this in 2005 in a published paper titled “Why Most Published Research Findings are False.” He’s far from alone in that position. Since that article, some in the scientific community organized the World Conference on Research Integrity which is convened every three years. The first was in Lisbon, Portugal in 2007, the second in Singapore in 2010, and the most recent was held in Montreal, Canada this past May.
After three world conferences and growing concern in the scientific community, not much has improved. This is not an insignificant issue. Changes instigated as a result of faulty science often have profound impact on our whole culture. Too often these changes have pushed us in the wrong direction, to the detriment of us all.
Most of this flawed science is not the result of mere mistakes. Instead, it is the end product of agenda driven research. The flawed science is not confined to any specific discipline. It spans all of them, but the social sciences are especially hard hit by the fraud, and the use of junk science to promote grand social changes is being stepped up.
Right now all across America our educational institutions are being assailed on multiple fronts by activists intent on reducing bullying in schools, improving sex education of our youth, redefining our understanding of sexuality, broadening our acceptance of what we consider to be normal sexual expression, embracing the notion that children have a right to decide when and with whom to have sex. Some of these sound like worthy goals, but it depends entirely on how the terms are defined. Some of these should raise warning flags in even the most trusting among us.
Believe it or not, there even is a movement to define pedophilia as being a sexual expression that falls within the normal continuum of human sexuality. Simultaneously, there is a movement to legalize sexual activity between an adult and a child. The justification for both (at least in part) is that pedophiles are “born that way,” and we should extend understanding and compassion toward them.
In a recent article in Atlantic Monthly, James Cantor, PhD, who is described as an “international expert on pedophilia” is asked “So are pedophiles ‘born that way?’” Cantor replies “In studies, pedophiles show signs that their sexual interests are related to brain structure and that at least some differences existed in their brains before birth.”
Cantor does not directly say, “yes they are,” but he strongly implies that the research gives at least some support for that interpretation. In reality, though, the bar for scientific proof is quite high. So the answer Cantor should have given is an emphatic “the evidence does not support such a conclusion.” At least he should have said that, if he wanted to be true to his professional standards.
Of course if he had given that answer it would have damaged his agenda, which is to persuade the public that pedophilia is an “orientation.” Instead of being oriented to the same or opposite sex, pedophiles are oriented to “age.” It’s determined by the way a person is wired; it’s in their brain from birth, so they say.
This is a load of BS. Very simply, the evidence does not support such conclusions. It is wishful thinking; it is an agenda that is being marketed.
One other fact is important to know. Eighty percent of pedophiles were, themselves, sexually molested as children. EIGHTY PERCENT. This figure was uncovered in the largest study of known pedophiles (involving thousands of them) that has ever been done. Now, not all children who are molested become pedophiles, but most pedophiles were molested as children. Because of the numbers, it is almost certain that molestation is a contributing factor in becoming a pedophile. We don’t know all of the factors yet. But it seems beyond question that the vast majority of pedophiles are certainly not “born that way.”
Let’s turn our attention to the homosexual issue for a moment. For years the homosexual activists, with the support of many in the scientific community, have insisted that homosexuals are born with an orientation toward the same sex. Unlike pedophiles, who supposedly are born with an orientation to a person of a certain age, male homosexuals are oriented toward—that is sexually attracted to—men, and women are oriented to women.
This “born that way” assertion is now being used to justify all manner of medical and social experimentation on prepubescent and post pubescent children, everything from allowing children to decide for themselves what bathroom and locker room they will use, to hormone therapy and sexual realignment surgery for children, to prohibitions against therapy for children who have same sex attractions. All of these issues are being promoted under the umbrellas of “anti-bullying,” “sex education,” and “sexual freedom for children.”
Once again, the evidence does not support such actions. There is not one single valid and reliable study that supports the contention that homosexuals are born homosexuals, that children’s mental sexual orientation is established in the womb, or that children experiencing same sex attraction cannot benefit from therapy.
What does cause homosexuality? We don’t know. What we do know is that about half of homosexual men report childhood sexual activity with a male, usually an older boy or an adult. We also know that not all people who have such same sex encounters become homosexuals. We have to conclude that child molestation cannot be considered the sole cause of homosexuality, but it could be a factor in many of the instances. There certainly is more evidence to support this than supports the “born that way” theory.
Regarding “conversion therapy,” or “reparative therapy” for children who experience same sex attraction, it is true that the American Psychological Association claims that such therapy can be harmful, as does the American Psychiatric Association. But it is only the committee members in these two organizations that make that claim. The general membership is divided. Additionally, these two terms, conversion and reparative, refer to a rather limited and specific type of therapy to reduce same sex attraction.
There are many approaches to address such unwanted attractions. To brand all such therapy as illegal (which the laws in California and New Jersey seem to do) imposes restrictions that are not supported by the science. There is no general agreement even among the experts on this. The fact is that such therapy has been successful in many documented cases, just as there are cases where it has been unsuccessful.
Transgender hormone treatments and surgery for children and adolescents who think they were born with the wrong genitals stretches the science beyond all boundaries. Johns Hopkins Medical Center was a pioneer in this kind of treatment. Surgeries were performed on both adults and children (surgery on children was performed only on those who were born with malformed genitals). In 1979, the director of the program ordered a study done on the long term psychological impact on all patients. As a result of the study, all such surgeries were stopped and have not been resumed since.
As a conservative with some libertarian leanings, I’m open to adults engaging in all kinds of activities that I don’t necessarily condone. And although I care about adult homosexuals, whatever they want to believe, or to do with their own bodies, well, that’s their business. Not so when it comes to children. I’m not willing to stand by and see them sacrificed in order to affirm the beliefs of homosexual adults who think they were “born that way.”
Think about this for a minute. We know that the brain is highly plastic. It changes, grows, forms new connections. It is flexible, resilient even in adults. MRI studies have demonstrated that beyond any doubt. Yet when it comes to sexual orientation, activists claim that pedophiles and homosexuals are born with their brains “hard wired” in a way that is counter to their biology. Trying to change that is damaging, they say.
On the other hand, our anatomy is fixed. Yet the activists contend that when it comes to carving up a child’s body to match the alleged wiring of the brain, that’s ok.
Does that make any sense at all?
The science is not even close to settling any of these contentious disputes. There isn’t even any consensus about how to design the studies or what underlying factors to examine in order to settle the differences. Science simply can’t give us conclusive answers yet.
So I ask, do we go along with the activists and experiment on our children? Do we launch a wide scale social engineering project to accommodate the agenda of a small group of zealots who use flawed, even fraudulent science as justification?
Not only is this wrong, it is evil.