Renowned Author/Researcher, England’s Angela Phillips, Condemns Focus on the Family’s Leader For ‘Seriously Misrepresenting’ Her Work

Miami Beach, FLA. – Truth Wins Out released an exclusive video today featuring celebrated New York University educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, PhD, who upbraided Focus on the Family leader, James C. Dobson, for misrepresenting her research in a guest column he wrote in last week’s issue of Time Magazine.Additionally, Angela Phillips, the renowned author of “The Trouble With Boys” also sent a pointed letter to Dobson today accusing him of “seriously misrepresenting” her work and asking him to publish her letter “prominently” on Focus on the Family’s website. Last week, Kyle Pruett, M.D. of the Yale School of Medicine, also expressed concerns that the Focus on the Family leader “cherry picked” his work.

“This is a revolt of serious scholars who are revolted by the way James Dobson has unethically incorporated their research to fit his political aims,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Three researchers have now come forward in just one week to take Dobson to task. The media should finally realize that Dobson lacks the academic integrity and moral authority to talk credibly on family issues.”

In the video, filmed for Truth Wins Out by videographer Lisa Darden, Dr. Gilligan expressed her extreme displeasure with Dobson and how she was “mortified” by his use of her work.

“I was stunned to hear that James Dobson had quoted me in TIME Magazine. I had no idea. I was mortified, frankly,” Dr. Gilligan, author of several books including, In A Different Voice, said in the video. “It was a completely distorted and unfounded use of my work…it is such a simplification and caricature of my work…for someone who represents morality and the family it is disrespectful.”

Earlier today, Professor Angela Phillips, author of “The Trouble With Boys,” echoed Drs. Gilligan and Pruett in a letter to Dobson, obtained exclusively by Truth Wins Out. TWO received a tip that Phillips’ work had been misquoted by Ray Foster, a concerned citizen who wanted the truth to be told. In her letter, Phillips, a journalist and professor at Goldsmiths College in London, asked that Dobson print the following letter “prominently” on his organization’s website.

Dear James Dobson:

It has come to my attention that my book “The Trouble with Boys” has been seriously mis-represented in writings by James Dobson.

Having read his newsletter; “How Boys Learn to Become Men” on the Focus on the Family web site I was incensed to find that I have been quoted as a source for suggesting that:

“The high incidence of homosexuality occurring in Western nations is related, at least in part, to the absence of positive male influence when boys are moving through the first crisis of child development.”

I certainly agree that boys suffer from a lack of positive men in their lives but I am at pains to point out that positive men are often as much lacking in two parent households as they are in lone mother (or two mother) households. I do not suggest that lack of positive male role models leads to homosexuality (or indeed that it would be problematic if it did). My concern is that boys without positive men around them are more likely to be violent, angry and lacking in self control. I have never heard that these are characteristics that are associated with homosexuality.

Dobson goes on to say: “One of the primary objectives of parents is to help boys identify their gender assignments and understand what it means to be a man.

My concern is that boys are currently learning, either from their fathers, or in the absence of fathers, from the women who rear them, and the men they encounter, that the most important thing about being a man is being: “not gay”, “not gentle” and not “girlie”. While adult men are afraid to demonstrate that it’s okay to be gentle and caring how are boys to learn anything positive about what it means to be a man?

I would be grateful if you could publish this letter prominently on your website.

I look forward to a swift acknowledgement.

Yours sincerely

Angela Phillips
Author of The Trouble with Boys

“The media is the great enabler that continues to offer a platform to James Dobson to tell his lies, malign gay people and mock science,” says Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is time the media be held accountable for journalistic standards, the same way Dobson is now finally answerable for his misleading propaganda.”

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit

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