A University of Minnesota professor says an anti-gay group is misusing his research to tarnish the LGBT community. American College of Pediatricians (ACP), an anti-gay group posing as a professional organization, used the research of Dr. Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., to say that LGBT youth can change their sexual orientation. The group sent the false information on gay youth to thousands of school administrators around the country.
I have previously encountered and confronted the problem of misrepresentation of research from other advocacy groups such as yours. However, this episode is especially troubling and egregious because it is led by colleagues within my own profession– who certainly have the ability, education, and experience to access, review, and accurately summarize the Pediatric scientific literature.
Our professional code demands of Pediatricians nothing short of the highest standards of ethical conduct in medical education, research, and patient care. 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.
Please immediately remove any reference to our work from the website. As a suitable remedy, I also would urge you take the following actions:
1) Publicly retract your references to our research with a written statement posted on the home page of your website;
2) Until then, any donations made to your organization since the “Facts about Youth” website was launched should be either returned to the donors or contributed to the LGBT youth research fund of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, a true professional organization, also responded to the ACP:
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.