The National Day of Silencing Science
April 16 is the National Day of Silence, where students nationwide refrain from speaking to bring attention to the mistreatment of homosexual youth in schools. It’s the brainchild of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), whose founder, Kevin Jennings, is now the nation’s “safe schools czar” at the Department of Education.
However, it’s not the LGBT students who are being bullied these days. It’s the thousands of young people who have unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA), the former homosexuals who have changed from gay to straight, and the researchers and therapists who dare to help them. If anyone is guilty of bullying, it’s the homosexual activists who are pushing their political agenda through the mainstream media, the educational establishment and the medical and mental health communities.
The sexual revolution in the 1960s espoused “free love” and tolerance. But many of the activists who came out of this era are presenting a singular message to youth: anything goes, except a return to traditional sexual roles. Young people growing up with same-sex attraction are being told they are biologically “gay” and pressured to identify as such from an early age. Rather than presenting all the facts, the activists give students a distorted, politically correct message, while disparaging the character of anyone who disagrees.
Take for example, the treatment of the American College of Pediatricians, which recently began a campaign to educate schools on sexual orientation and youth. The group’s report, “Facts About Youth,” cites research showing that over 85% of students with homosexual attractions ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity as adults. The College warns that homosexual behavior carries grave health risks (especially for boys), and also notes that affirming young people to engage in any type of sexual behavior is dangerous. The research links early sexual debut to a number of risks, including poor social and psychological health.
But liberal medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics refuse to recognize these risks, describing the College’s campaign as “not acknowledge(ing) the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education.” The Academy instead supports the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s report “Just The Facts,” which ignores the growing body of research demonstrating that changing one’s sexual orientation is indeed possible.
Among those ignored is Columbia University’s Dr. Robert Spitzer, whose 2003 landmark study was published in the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. To his surprise, Spitzer – who ironically spearheaded the removal of homosexuality from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973 –.found that the majority of his 200 subjects experienced significant change in their same-sex feelings through therapy and support groups: “Like most psychiatrists, I thought that homosexual behavior could only be resisted, and that no one could really change their sexual orientation,” Spitzer wrote. “I now believe that to be false. Some people can and do change.”
In 2009, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) published a comprehensive overview of research citing more than 500 scientific studies spanning nearly 100 years that demonstrates change is possible. These facts aren’t being communicated to young people, who are instead getting a steady diet of politically correct misinformation.
Meanwhile, anti-ex-gay activists such as Wayne Besen and organizations such as BashBack! are using the American Academy of Pediatrics and APA’s decrees to spread hate. Besen’s hateful group labeled the American College of Pediatricians an “anti-gay, Christian front group” and demanded that they be silenced. Besen and BashBack! routinely disrupt ex-gay meetings to intimidate and silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda.
These anti ex-gay groups, as well as the APA, are guilty of the very same offense they falsely accuse the College of committing – denying evidence. Instead, they label ex-gays, therapists and ministries that support youth with unwanted SSA as “dangerous” and “harmful.” A 2009 report issued by the APA on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) once again ignored a mountain of research demonstrating the efficacy of SOCE, while providing only anecdotal evidence of harm. The report was biased and unscientific.
Rather than engage in civil debate and promote true tolerance and diversity of opinion, anti-ex-gay groups engage in smear campaigns to discredit all those who disagree with their narrow-minded worldview. If that doesn’t work, they use their professional associations as pulpits to distort and disparage any divergence of opinion or research that challenges their agenda.
On April 16, militant activists will spread misinformation through the mainstream media, medical and mental health communities while instructing students to voluntarily remain mute. Those who dare to speak up and present an alternative view; one that is based on science, common sense and morality, will be the ones who are forced to remain silent.
Christopher Doyle is a research analyst on adolescent sexual health policy, therapist, and former homosexual. He is a member of the board of directors for the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX). For more information, visit www.pfox.org.