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July 23, 2008

Scientist Tells PFOX To Stop Distorting His Work

According to a press release from Truthwinsout.com (TWO) Dr. Gary Remafedi said that PFOX (Parents & Friends Of Ex-Gays) has manipulated his research study and should take the distortions off its website immediately.

PFOX objected to a story run by the Washington Post that was about a 15-year-old boy who described his homosexual feelings and how Gay Straight Alliance student clubs help gay teens deal with discrimination and bullying in high school and middle school. PFOX Executive Director Regina Grigg is quoted as saying “What the article failed to describe is the danger of young sexually confused teens self-identifying as gays at an early age. Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling. Early self-identification is dangerous to kids.” The research that was cited to "prove" her case was Dr. Remafedi’s study.

Today, Dr. Remafedi released the following statement to Truth Wins Out:

“My work has been cited by PFOX in response to a Washington Post article on gay-straight alliances (GSA). PFOX misuses one of my studies on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Our findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor is there any evidence that the availability of GSAs influences those developmental processes.”

PFOX, as well as Focus on the Family, distorted Dr. Remafedi's findings to make the case that young people should not learn about homosexuality because they were sexually confused, and could thus be influenced by educational material. This is just one more example of how virulently homophobic, right-wing, pseudo religious groups twist and distort legitimate scientific research to fit their own sick and perverted arguments. Much like our President has done with environmental research studies over the last almost eight years.

These groups count on the fact that most people would never know what the research really said and they rely on that ignorance to make it sound like someone or something "official" supports their arguments. That's why it's important to expose them whenever they're caught doing it. TruthWinsOut does an excellent job of riding roughshod over these groups and I commend them for their diligence. I also commend Dr. Remafedi for coming forward and not letting them get away with distorting his work.

To read the full press release go to: Truthwinsout.com