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Research Group Claims Gays Have Mental, Physical Problems in Dispute of Hooker Study

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    (Photo: AP Images / Jacquelyn Martin)
    Gay rights advocates march by the White House in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009. Thousands of gay rights supporters marched Sunday from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to allow gays to serve openly in the military and work to end discrimination against gays.
By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
September 4, 2012|4:15 pm

The Family Research Institute (FRI), an organization driving research into questions relating to the traditional family unit, has challenged a widely approved and circulated study accepted in many psychological circles that claims to prove that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

"The main motivation is that if you look across the data sets you see that homosexuals have a host of mental problems, disproportionate physical problems, they don't live as long, and they are disproportionately involved in drug abuse and criminality," Dr. Paul Cameron of FRI, who led the analysis, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. "That would seem to indicate that that is a lifestyle that may reasonably be considered mentally disturbed – [a] disorder. Yet, it isn't."

Dr. Cameron serves as Chairman of FRI and has authored over 90 scientific articles and five books. He has a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Colorado, and has worked as a professor at the University of Louisville, the University of Nebraska, and Fuller Theological Seminary.

FRI's investigation concerns a 1957 study of 30 male homosexuals conducted by Dr. Evelyn Hooker that used a number of psychiatry tests to determine whether homosexuality can be considered a mental problem. Hooker's research was claimed to show that it cannot, eventually prompting the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973. Since then, Hooker's study has been used in many journals, textbooks, and court cases, cementing the notion that homosexuality is a normal mental state.

"[W]hat is difficult to accept (for most clinicians) is that some homosexuals may be very ordinary individuals, indistinguishable, except in sexual pattern, from ordinary individuals who are heterosexual. Or – and I do not know whether this would be more or less difficult to accept – that some may be quite superior individuals, not only devoid of pathology but also functioning at a superior level," Hooker summarized in her research.

The American Psychiatric Association famously used Hooker's study in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Lawrence v Texas, when anti-sodomy laws were overturned in Texas, and consequently in 13 other states, making same-sex relations legal in every Unites States territory.

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"Based on the ratings of expert judges who were kept unaware of the men's sexual orientation, Hooker determined that homosexual and heterosexual men could not be distinguished from one another on the basis of the psychological testing, and that a similar majority of the two groups appeared to be free of psychopathology. She concluded from her data that homosexuality is not inherently associated with psychopathology and that ''homosexuality as a clinical entity does not exist,' the APA has said of the study.

"Hooker's findings were followed over the next two decades by numerous studies, using a variety of research techniques, which similarly concluded that homosexuality is not related to psychopathology or social maladjustment," it added.

FRI's close research, however, led the organization to believe in a different outcome.

"The Hooker study stands as the major reason for why they (homosexuals) are okay. We wanted to look at that very carefully, and we discovered that not only is it riddled with holes, but it is being covered for – not only by the American Psychological Association. Many other people either can't read, or their mind glazes over, when they are told that this is an important study," Dr. Cameron told CP.

He explained: "Hooker was a professor – she had friends who were homosexual and they implored her to do a study on them to prove that they were normal. What they were supposed to do was talk about pictures, talk about ink blots, without showing that they were homosexual. It appears that every single one of them was unable to talk for about two hours without revealing their homosexuality."

Dr. Cameron noted that Hooker had even started with a sample of 70 gay men but narrowed it down to 30 "to get the very best," but even then the representatives had trouble focusing solely on the tests without revealing their sexual preference.

"I've been able to talk with child molesters for hours without them bringing up the molestation – homosexuals seem to be different. They almost seem compelled to advertise," Cameron continued.

As to why the American Psychiatric Association accepted the study as hard proof and why it has gone unchallenged for so long, Dr. Cameron admitted that when dealing with large organizations it was difficult to know what exactly was going on.

"It is surprising that such a wildly defective study, and one that actually proved the exact opposite of what it claimed to have proved has survived so long," he concluded.

The Family Research Institute's full paper analyzing the Hooker study has been published in the Marriage & Family Review.

Disclaimer: Cameron, a former member of the American Sociological Association, left the organization in 1983 after branding it "more of a 'liberal PAC' than a professional society." The ASA then passed a resolution in 1986 condemning Cameron for "consistent misrepresentation of sociological research." The Nebraska Psychological Association also disassociated itself from Cameron and his work in 1984.

 

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