The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a medical professional organization of 60,000 pediatricians, has joined a chorus of criticism against an antigay Christian Right political group, after the latter sent a letter to U.S. public schools pretending to represent mainstream professional pediatric expertise.
The statement reads:
In 2008, a diverse coalition of 13 national organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joined in a renewed effort to protect the safety and emotional well-being of students, including those who are at higher risk because of their sexual orientation. This group of education, health, mental health and religious organizations developed and endorsed Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel and sent the resource to public school superintendents across the US.
On or around March 31, 2010, school superintendents may have received another letter from the American College of Pediatricians, which is in no way affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The letter promotes another campaign titled “Facts About Youth,” which professes to offer guidance to educators on “approaches to students experiencing sexual orientation and gender identity confusion.” Their campaign does not acknowledge the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education.
The AAP encourages school administrators and officials, teachers, parents, and youth to become familiar with and utilize the AAP developed and endorsed resources on this issue for reliable, sound, scientific, medical advice:
Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel – A guide for employees who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian and bisexual students. It is intended to help school administrators foster safe and healthy school environments, in which all students can achieve to the best of their ability. “Just the Facts” includes the most recent information from professional health organizations, as well as up-to-date information on the legal responsibility of school officials to protect students from anti-gay harassment.
Sexual Orientation and Adolescents – A clinical report from the AAP Committee on Adolescence.
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents – Questions and answers from the AAP for teens and parents about sexual orientation.
Gay and Lesbian Teens – Information on sexual orientation from the AAP’s Caring for Your Teenager.
Gender Identity and Gender Confusion in Children – Information on gender identity, sexual stereotypes, gender confusion, and sexual orientation from the AAP’s Caring for Your School Aged Child: Ages 5-12.
With this statement, AAP joins University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H. and conservative Christian professor Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College in Pennsylvania in criticizing the Christian front group’s falsifications and distortions of legitimate research.
Last week, Remafedi said:
Knowingly misrepresenting research findings for material or personal gain is a flagrant violation of this code of conduct. Implicating me in this chicanery is doubly damaging to my professional reputation and career by holding me accountable for misstatements and by associating me with a cause that most ethical Pediatricians will recognize as misguided and hurtful to an entire class of children and families.
After citing specific acts of research fraud by the ACP, Remafedi asked the ACP to retract its misuse of the research with a written statement on the front of its web site, and to return any donations made to the ACP on the basis of its fraudulent claims.
Throckmorton cited additional examples of fraud and misrepresentation.
“The ACP’ new anti-gay website essentially replaces facts with quacks,” said Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen. The ACP consists largely of members of the discredited reparative therapy organization, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Former NARTH officer Arthur Abba Goldberg — a convicted Wall Street con artist and disbarred lawyer, not a doctor — sits on the ACP’ so-called “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee.”
Given the repeated acts of research fraud and misrepresentation that have been committed by NARTH, Focus on the Family, Exodus International, and PFOX, a joint effort among medical and mental-health professionals is needed, not just to slap down such political propaganda disguised as science, but to slap it down the moment it is made public.
The ACP has not corrected its website, and Focus on the Family and PFOX both continue to market the ACP’s fraudulent web site as if it were a factual resource for schools.