Dobson Accused Again of Distorting Research

In December I reported on a researcher who complained that James Dobson had distorted her research in writing his article Two Mommies Is Too Many for Time Magazine. DefCon reports on another researcher who is protesting the misrepresentation of his work. A video response from Dr. Kyle Pruett is available. Truth Wins Out has also released the following statement:

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Truth Wins Out unveiled a new video today on YouTube featuring a Yale professor who claims Focus on the Family leader James Dobson “cherry picked” his research. Dr. Kyle Pruett’s testimony represents a growing trend where leading scientists are speaking out against manipulation of their work by right-wing political organizations. Pruett decided to respond after Dobson misused his research in a guest column Dobson wrote in TIME magazine debasing Mary Cheney’s pregnancy.

“When people start spinning science you have to respond,” said Dr. Kyle Pruett, professor of child psychiatry, the Yale University School of Medicine. “Journalism used to handle this, but not anymore. So it’s bounced back to become increasingly the responsibility of the people doing the research.”

Pruett is the second acclaimed professor to criticize Dobson’s use of their work in TIME Magazine. New York University professor Dr. Carol Gilligan also appeared in a Truth Wins Out video saying she was “mortified” by the manner in which Dobson’s cited her findings. Both Pruett and Gilligan wrote letters to Dobson to express their concerns. So far, Dobson has ignored personally responding to their letters and refused to engage in a direct dialogue with the professors.

On Focus on the Family’s Web site, Dobson even defended himself by insinuating that these professors were “liberal” and “politically correct.” If this is true, it begs the question why Dobson quoted these researchers in the first place? “If ‘Double-Talk Dobson’ had been accused by only one professor of manipulating research, it might be a legitimate mistake,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “However, when six researches in three countries have stepped forward in less than a year, I think it is fair to say that a disturbing pattern of deception has emerged.”

In the same week Pruett and Gilligan spoke out, Angela Phillips, author of “The Trouble With Boys,” and professor at Goldsmiths College in London, said she was “incensed” to find she was misquoted in another Dobson article. Additionally, in the past year Dobson has been taken to task for distorting the research of Dr. Robert Spitzer, professor of psychiatry, Columbia University; Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor, school of nursing, University of British Columbia; and Dr. Judith Stacy, professor of sociology, New York University.

No Comments

2 Trackbacks

Leave a comment