Individual researchers can be biased in the way they use language and define problems right from the start, the way they come to conclusions and the way they publish them. It is also possible that whole organizations of researchers by means of member selection share the same bias. In this article, we will look into the way social science is becoming ever more ‘politically correct’, the way that the American Psychological Association (APA) is heavily biased, and the way that APA statements and recommendations are affected and distorted by biased gay-lib activists who operate within this organization.
1. Bias in Social Science
In an article in “Behavioral and Brain Sciences” (2014), researchers discuss the noticeable reduction of political diversity in current psychological research in the USA and how there is now a tendency to steer clear of “important but politically unpalatable” research topics. They describe how psychologists who are not into strongly left-wing liberal and anti-right viewpoints are marginalized, ignored and excluded from the decision-making process:
“Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. This lack of political diversity undermines the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination.”
2. Bias in the APA
One such heavily biased organization is the American Psychological Association. In 2005, former APA President Dr. Nicholas Cummings co-authored a book about this subject, exposing this development in his organization.
The book is called “Destructive Trends In Mental Health”. On Amazon.com we read:
“This book states that the atmosphere of intellectual openness, scientific inquiry, aspiration towards diversity, and freedom from political pressure that once flourished in the American Psychological Association has been eclipsed by an “ultra-liberal agenda,” in which voices of scientific dissent, controversial points of view, and minority groups are intimidated, ridiculed and censored.”
In an interview in 2005 he was asked:
Question: “What is your basic premise in the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health?”
“The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct.”
Question: “What must be done to correct the situation?”
“At the present time, the governance of the APA is vested in an elitist group of 200 psychologists who rotate themselves in a kind of “musical chairs” throughout all the various offices, boards, committees, and the Council of Representatives. The vast majority of the 100,000 members are essentially disenfranchised. At the 2006 APA Convention in New Orleans I gave a speech, “Psychology and the APA Need Reform,” which was widely circulated on psychology list servers but has been totally ignored by the leadership of APA. It is not going to reform itself out of office!”
Question: “You have been critical of the psychological community for its part in distorting research on sexual orientation. Can you describe why you are critical of the APA?”
“First, let me say that I have been a lifelong champion of civil rights, including lesbian and gay rights. I appointed as president (1979) the APA’s first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues, which eventually became an APA division. In that era, the issue was a person’s right to choose a gay life style, whereas now an individual’s choice not to be gay is called into question because the leadership of the APA seems to have concluded that all homosexuality is hard-wired and same-sex attraction is unchangeable.
My experience has demonstrated that there are as many different kinds of homosexuals as there are heterosexuals. Relegating all same sex-attraction as an unchangeable, as if it were an oppressed group akin to African-Americans and other minorities, distorts reality. And past attempts to make sexual reorientation therapy “unethical” violates patient choice and makes the APA the de facto determiner of therapeutic goals.”
His criticism was ignored by the influential members in the organization.
3. Gay-lib activists in the APA
On its website, the APA claims to represent the science of psychology in the USA:
“APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.”
But for a long time now, it functions as an instrument of the radical gay-lib struggle in the USA. For example, in 2004 the APA lobbied to support the Democratic Party stance on same-sex marriage, a highly controversial ethical and cultural issue in the USA. In 2010, they issued this statement:
“APA has been a strong advocate for full equal rights for LGBT people for nearly 35 years, based on the social science research on sexual orientation. APA has supported legal benefits for same-sex couples since 1997 and civil marriage for same-sex couples since 2004. APA has adopted policy statements, lobbied Congress, and filed amicus briefs supporting same-sex marriage in legal cases in eight states. In California, the APA brief was cited by the state Supreme Court when it ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in May 2008.”
We are not writing this in order to oppose same-sex marriage, but the point is that, as we see above, the APA (which feigns to deliver and promote objective scientific research) is becoming a lobbying instrument for one special-interest group only. They lobby for radical gay-lib, and not for example, say Christian or orthodox Jewish or other groups who also have their reasons for taking sides on various issues. These other groups would no doubt also appreciate professional support when stating their points of view.
With the statement above on being “a strong advocate for full equal rights for LGBT people”, or having “adopted policy statements”, “lobbied Congress” and “filed amicus briefs supporting same-sex marriage”, we suggest that if you say APA, you say: ‘politically correct and pro-gay lib’.
We call this phenomenon bias.
4. Hijacking the APA
An example of the influence of gay-lib is the homepage of the APA’s website which I visited today. Up front, the first thing viewers get to see is the highlighting of three articles, one of which is titled: “One lesbian couple’s activism transformed their community”.
The article describes a book in which the importance of teaching LGBTQ history and culture to children is explained. It would be a great review to be published in the gay-activist magazine The Advocate, but what does it have to do with the science of psychology? When you click on the link, you get to see:
“The book ‘When You Look Out the Window‘ tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco’s most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. Describing the view from Phyllis and Del’s window, this book shows how one couple’s activism transformed their community — and had ripple effects throughout the world.
Includes a Reading Guide that provides helpful historical context, and a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Educators about the importance of teaching LGBTQ history and culture to children.
This is a unique way to introduce children to untold stories in history while also being a clever tribute to two notable women.”
We are not against lesbians, but when the APA pays tribute and glorifies one of “San Francisco’s most well-known and politically active lesbian couples”, we may safely conclude that they have become an instrument of radical political gay-lib, marketing political activists and activism itself. Talk of marketing: you can even buy the book via the APA webshop. The author won the 2015 Stonewall Book Award, a gay-activism promotional initiative. We call this the hijacking of a neutral scientific organization by a special-interest group.
5. LGBT division in the APA
In 2009 the gay activists of the LGBT division in the APA went on to produce a report on “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation”, in an endeavor to discredit therapy for sexual orientation issues for once and for all, in spite of Dr. Cummings warnings not to do so.
At the same time, the APA issued a lengthy resolution on the subject. In one of the recommendations, the activists seem to insist that the APA should ally with gay-lib and promote that others at all levels in society should cooperate with gay-lib too:
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association encourages advocacy groups, elected officials, mental health professionals, policy makers, religious professionals and organizations, and other organizations to seek areas of collaboration that may promote the wellbeing of sexual minorities.”
When using the cryptic term “well-being of sexual minorities” here, the activists imply accepting the born-that-way ideology, a train of thought that would divide the human population into (non-existent) genetically distinct and immutable groups based on their sexual behavior. It is basically a segregation policy based on us-them thinking: gay versus straight.
6. Selective use and distortion
Strangely enough, gay-lib shoots itself in the foot with one of the recommendations at the end of the APA 2009 resolution:
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association opposes the distortion and selective use of scientific data about homosexuality by individuals and organizations seeking to influence public policy and public opinion and will take a leadership role in responding to such distortions”
The APA says it opposes distortion and selective use. Does it really? Not when you look at the facts in the resolution. When we take a good look, we see the APA saying:
“There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation.”
This means that you cannot conclude that change efforts do not work. There is no evidence which disproves the effects of change efforts. But what does the APA do? It writes:
“Be it further resolved that the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.”
This conclusion is biased. The report states that there is insufficient evidence to denounce professional psychotherapy. The activists distort the facts and use them selectively.
7. The harm issue
The bias goes on when the APA says in the same resolution:
“Although sound data on the safety of SOCE are extremely limited, some individuals reported being harmed by SOCE.”
Note the words “extremely limited”. Basically, this means there is not sufficient scientific data to back up the gay-lib claim that conversion therapy harms people. The APA has searched, but has not found research data that will hold up to scientific scrutiny.
It is as if you were saying:
“I have been looking for my wallet everywhere, but I admit my search was extremely limited”.
Is there now enough evidence to go to the police station and say your house was burglarized?
If gay-lib wishes to introduce punitive legislation on this hyped-up issue and to evoke state force on therapists, they will need to demonstrate convincing data and that this alleged ‘harm’, if it exists at all, cannot be tackled in any other way than by legislation. They will have to prove that the current, rigorous regulation of therapy within the professional community is failing at an alarming rate, and is immune to evaluation and improvement. None of that has ever been shown. “Extremely limited data” will not do by any standard.
The facts in real life indicate rather the contrary. There have been no complaints made against licensed therapists by their clients in a complaints committee, no disciplinary complaints made and investigations launched by the professional disciplinary boards, and no police evidence publicized about suicides allegedly related to therapy, nor has anything led to prosecutions. So, what are we talking about?
Therefore, it would be safe to say that the ‘harm’ claim is a hoax.
On its website, the National Center of Lesbian Rights (NCLR) continues to spread its slander:
“The American Psychological Association has linked conversion therapy to depression, substance abuse and even suicide—risks that are particularly acute for youth. Nevada knows that all of our children are born perfect.”
But when we look at the APA 2009 report, the APA writes on page 42:
“Thus, we cannot conclude how likely it is that harm will occur from Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.”
Therefore, we see the NCLR deliberately disseminating lies, and hoping that the readers do not check out the original documents.
In another statement, the NCLR writes:
“Today, we did something historic. Something that could move our five-year timeline to end conversion therapy up by years and save thousands of lives. We filed a complaint against the organization People Can Change.”
Note the message “save thousands of lives“. This is outright slander, scaremongering and extremely malicious. It is not backed up by anything substantiated, but the activists get away with it, time and time again.
On its website, the NCLR explains for lay people what conversion therapy is:
Imagine my going to see a therapist, and asking him to look with me into my sexual orientation issues. Here is the transcript:
Therapist: Hello, what can I do for you?
Client: I would like therapy.
Therapist: What therapy would that be?
Client: I would like to have psychological abuse, please.
Therapist: Ah, psychological abuse, you say. Well jolly good, you have come to the right place.
Do we need say more? Note how the NCLR deliberately biases its readers right from the word “go”.
8. Influencing the White House
Notwithstanding the APA document, in 2015 Samantha Ames (NCLR) sent a petition to the White House. Obama went on to speak of “deadly practices”, all of which would be proved by “overwhelming science” (see our article). The White House did no fact-checking. It is most likely that this is the fabrication, passed onto them by the NCLR as part of their so-called “Born Perfect” campaign.
Immediately the APA issued a press statement:
“APA Applauds President Obama’s Call to End Use of Therapies Intended to Change Sexual Orientation.”
Now the point is that the APA itself does not call to end the use of therapies. It only says:
“APA has previously voiced its concerns about the scientific and ethical basis of efforts to change sexual orientation and about the way the promotion of such efforts by some individuals and organizations contributes to the social stigma that harms gender and sexual minorities.”
In their hazy vocabulary, they merely speak of “concerns”, and about “contributions to social stigma”. They do not dare to say “put it to an end because it has been proven to be harmful”. As we have seen above, there is not sufficient scientific data to justify such an action. And the APA knows that. But now that the White House issues such a statement, after the plea by the NCLR and based on the subliminal messages in the 2009 APA report, the APA then applauds the president.
So, the question is now: who is responsible for the White House talking of “deadly practices”? The NCLR points to the APA 2009 report, but the APA did not actually say “deadly practices” (it said merely “concerns“) and points to the President, and the President points to the NCLR. And thus the plot thickens. The term “deadly practices” is a hoax that no-one can or does substantiate.
9. No data on children and youth
The APA does even more applauding and pointing to another party. In 2015, the APA hailed the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
“The APA applauds SAMHSA Report Calling For End To ‘Conversion Therapy’ For Youth”.
But when we fact-check this applause on the APA website, we see that the whole endeavour of the SAMHSA was initialized by the activists in the APA in the first place. The APA mentions that
“(It) builds on APA’s research-based work on LGBT issues.”
What happened is that the APA organized a conference with the SAMHSA, consisting only of discussions, after which the SAMHSA issued a statement. Then the APA took a backseat and let the other organization say that therapy must come to an end, based on the ‘harm’ issue. The APA applauded the SAMHSA, stating that it is the SAMHSA which calls for an end to therapy. The APA knows very well that there is no scientific justification for it, and doesn’t dare itself to directly call for an end due to this scientific lack. The SAMHSA in the meantime had done no independent research and relied totally on what they felt what the APA was saying.
So once again, the APA lures other people and organizations into making alarming claims about therapy and calling for an end to it, and then it issues statements of agreement without having to call for an end to therapy by itself. In this way, the APA orchestrates a chorus for a ban on “conversion therapy”, despite the fact that they themselves have demonstrated that there is no scientific data to back up such a legislative move.
They have recruited a choir, given them the sheet music, but take no responsibility for the music ultimately being played. In the end, the wished-for outcome is that everyone ‘knows’ there is ‘harm’ involved in SOCE therapy (it has become general knowledge), but no-one can demonstrate harm by whom, how, where, when and why.
The APA abuses the SAMHSA document further by issuing the following statement:
“This important report by SAMHSA makes it clear that conversion therapy is not appropriate for dealing with sexual orientation or gender identities in children and youth,” said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, APA’s associate executive director for public interest government relations.”
We know Miss Glassgold because she is a renowned gay-lib militant who feels that there is a separate science called “LGBT Psychology”. As an activist, she chaired the Task Force on the APA report of 2009, mentioned above. But the point is, did Miss Glassgold and her team actually find research pertaining to children and youths? No, not at all. In the 2009 APA report mentioned above, we read:
“There is a lack of published research on SOCE among children. Research on sexuality in childhood is limited and seldom includes sexual orientation or sexual orientation identity (Perrin, 2002). Although LGB adults and others with same-sex sexual attractions often report emotional and sexual feelings and attractions from their childhood or early adolescence and recall a sense of being different even earlier in childhood, such concerns have not been studied directly in young children (cf. Bailey & Zucker, 1995; Cohen & Savin-Williams, 2004).”
Important are the phrases “lack of published research”, “seldom includes sexual orientation”, “not studied directly in young children”.
So, there is no scientifically sound data on children and youths. But Ms. Glassgold allows the SAMHSA to make such a claim, and then takes a backseat on the issue, although SAMHSA has done no research of its own. She writes a statement saying that “a report of the SAMHSA makes it clear that conversion therapy is not appropriate for children and youth”. But this SAMHSA report which she applauds, relies on her own 2009 report which says there is no data on the subject!
10. Smoke screen
Based on fact-checking, we may conclude that the members of the gay-lib faction in the APA are heavily biased; they are openly activist representing merely one private-interest group and have gained high positions like “executive director for public interest government relations” (Glassgold) to influence government policy. They use scientific data selectively, they distort it, they emphasize certain parts, avoid citing other parts, and then they create a smoke screen, hoping no-one will notice what is really going on.
In doing so, members of the general public are discouraged from seeking help for their same-sex attractions. They are being primed and prejudiced to assume that homosexual feelings are immutable, that heterosexual feelings are no part of a “gay” person’s innate sexual possibilities nor will they ever be, and that it is fruitless to question their ‘gayness’ in any way. Societal bias against therapists is deliberately created. It is based on so-called scientific facts, which at the end of the day are not to be found.
To be continued.
Job Berendsen, MD