: I feel it only fair to point out that I don't like Paul Cameron. As a result you may notice a slight bias in this biography
The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.
If you are a homosexual, a homophobe or somebody interested in sexuality, you will probably have heard statistics that Cameron has laid claim to. He is pretty much out to prove that homosexuals are evil, filthy people who are out to get our children. The problem is, that he has a PhD, and since he is therefore Dr. Paul Cameron, this gives him some form of authority. The next time you hear any of the following statistics or those like it, you will know that it is the work of this man:
- 17% of homosexuals eat and/or rub the feces of their partners on themselves.
- 12% of homosexuals give/receive enemas as part of sexual pleasure.
- Many homosexual sexual encounters occur while drunk, high on drugs, or in an orgy setting.
- The median age of death of a homosexual is 42 (only 9% live past age 65). This drops to 39 if the cause of death is AIDS. The median age of death of a married heterosexual man is 75.
- 33% of homosexuals admit to minor/adult sex.
Cameron was born November 9, 1939, in Pittsburgh. He recieved his BA
at LA Pacific College in 1961 and his MA
the following year from the California State University. He wrote a dissertation titled Age as a determinant of differences in non-intellective psychological functioning
to gain his PhD in 1966
from the University of Colorado. Currently he is the chairman
of The Family Research Institute
, an institute with a very firm anti-gay message.
How his peers see him
The American Psychological Association dropped Cameron from its membership the 2nd of December, 1983. Cameron adamantly claims he resigned before this date, but the APA does not allow members under investigation to resign. The reason for dropping him was given as:
"Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists"
1 year later the Nebraska Psychological Association made a resolution that it "formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality. And the American Sociological Association also distanced themselves from him by saying "Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism." and further noted that "Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research."
What does this say about the man? It says that he is a man scorned by his peers. It's not just his peers, however, that criticise him, other authorities have also. Judge Buchmeyer of the U.S. District Court of Dallas said of him "Dr. Paul Cameron...has himself made misrepresentations to this Court" and "There has been no fraud or misrepresentations except by Dr. Cameron" in Baker vs Wade (1985). The court said:
- his sworn statement that "homosexuals are approximately 43 times more apt
to commit crimes than is the general population" is a total distortion of the
Kinsey data upon which he relies--which, as is obvious to anyone who reads the
report, concerns data from a non-representative sample of delinquent homosexuals
(and Dr. Cameron compares this group to college and non-college heterosexuals);
- his sworn statement that "homosexuals abuse children at a
proportionately greater incident than do heterosexuals" is based upon the same
distorted data--and, the Court notes, is directly contrary to other evidence
A great deal of Cameron's conclusions and statistics are based upon one survey. A survey that was carried out in 1983 and 1984. Any given survey should have no methodological flaws in it, any one flaw discredits the results. Cameron's survey contains 6 methodological errors.
The survey was not national. The only places surveyed were Bennett (NE), Denver (CO), Los Angeles (CA), Louisville (KY), Omaha (NE), Rochester (NY), and Washington (DC). Data from an eighth city (Dallas, TX) were added later. It is a massive generalisation to represent all homosexuals by this small sample, let alone all of America's homosexuals.
The Response Rate to the survey was very low, and The Cameron group never made mention of this. They did, however make mention of a compliance rate which is the rate of compliance of the subjects that were given surveys. This compliance rate was 47.5% for the 7 municipality study and 57.7% for the Dallas study.
We can see that most people whom were given a survey never actually completed and returned it. As a result the sample group was disproportionally younger white males. The compliance rate also excludes figures from the actual sample, that is to say, the folks that could not be contacted were excluded from the figures. To judge how representative a sample is a researcher must consider all the whole original target sample.
Fortunately, Cameron gave us the numbers needed to calculate the true response rate. For the 7 municipality study 4,340 people returned surveys and the total number of people attempted to be contacted was 18,418. This gives us a response rate of 23.6% (20.7% for the Dallas test). This gives us an average response rate of 23%, which is considered an unacceptably low response rate. Since the response rate was so low, the sample cannot be considered to be random.
Subsamples from the sample were too low to produce accurate results. Cameron later went on to show that 29% of children with homosexual parents were involved in an incestuous relationship. How did he come to such a conclusion? By taking 17 of the correspondants that had a homosexual parent and studying their survey.
With a sample this size the margin of sampling error is 33%. Thus the actual figure shows that the number of children with homosexual parents that were involved in incestuous relationships were between -4% and 62%. A clearly meaningless result.
The survey took 75 minutes to complete, it asked questions that were highly sensitive and were presented in a complicated format. We therefore have a large problem with respondent fatigue and item difficulty. To counter such problems, sociologists have internal consistancy checks within their survey. To check whether or not the respondant is continuing to answer questions accurately. Cameron's papers made no mention of this fact except to report that there was some discrepancy.
The interviewers were quite probably biased and did not follow standard procedure. Cameron's papers made no indication about who carried out the surveys. It is common to hire an independant survey group to do such things, as no mention is made we have to assume that this did not happen. There is evidence in fact to assume that the research team themselves carried out the data collection, which is wildly biased.
The Cameron group went to the press to explain the agenda of his survey, which was to "help oppose gays" according to the Omaha World Herald, May 23, 1983. This story, as well as public appearances by Cameron, occured whilst the survey was taking place. This kind of publicity is the worst nightmare of a researcher, the sample becomes biased and the results can be thrown out the window. And it was Paul Cameron that went to seek this publicity.
I suppose I had best balance this out with some form of defense in his name. I cannot bring myself to do it, so I'll let them do it for themselves. So ladies and gentlemen, I present you with Kirk and Paul Cameron's extremely scientific rebuttal of these claims:
"Dr. Paul Cameron, your surveyss are unreliable"
"Gays create myths for their political and psychological comfort. They want to be seen as "shocked by any claim that we are other than kind, gentle people." One homosexual contends that "gays are an experiment by nature in an attempt to create a human nature more compatible with the requirements of civil society."
"Dr Cameron, the extremely small sample size should have invalidated any conclusions about the sexual behavior of the gay population."
"you fail to understand modern statistical sampling theory
"Because homosexuals make up only a tiny fraction of the population, they show up in small numbers in any survey that randomly draws from the places people live. However, it is possible to have a fair degree of confidence in the generalizability of our results to "urban homosexuals-in-general," at least for the time we did the survey.
" Kinsey had 2,000 volunteer homosexuals. But our findings, based on a random sample a twelfth the size of his (170 then - Mod), are far more apt to be representative of homosexuals-in-general. With more money and time, we would have drawn a larger sample and our results would be more certain still. Having said that, however, as the studies about gays accumulate, the parameters we published look "solid.""
"So your infamous gay obituary survey was obviously flawed. You estimated the life expectancy of a homosexual by looking in the obituary pages of a gay community magazine. Hardly a fair represenation of all homosexuals is it?"
"Dr. Charles Smith of SUNY at Buffalo, chair of the session, publicly commended our novel approach and said he was going to warn the gays at his institution about the hazards of their ways"
"Also look at this: percentage 50-59 year old men who are gay 0.5%; percentage of 18-29 year old men gay 2.9%. Proof!"
"We have a lot of homosexual readers here on E2, what do you have to say to them?"
"Thank you Paul, it has been most, erm, enlightening"
- "Gays are crime against humanity"
- "Gays have sex with animals"
- "Exterminate gays"
- "Tattoo AIDS patients, castrate gays"
- "AIDS is a Godsend"
- "Put AIDS patients in detention centers"
- "Outlaw homosexuality, register gays"
- "Gays don't believe in commitment"
note: I didn't actually interview Dr Paul Cameron, the Q&A came from a page of rebuttals that Paul and Kirk wrote, and the list above is a list of paraphrased quotes by Dr Paul Cameron
Cameron when asked, often uses distraction techniques, sounding awfully like a politician. He uses statistics in a misrepresentative way, which is effectively lying. When in doubt, he does what far too many antigay people do. He resorts to the big gay conspiracy theory, and the evil gay agenda. If the man had said the same thing but with "jew" in its place he would be lynched. Unfortunately, Paul Cameron has found a home in the far Right-Wing were his opinions are respected and revered.
In short, if a homophobe starts throwing statistics around, they are quite probably coming indirectly from Paul Cameron. If this is the case, feel free to tell them what you think of him and his flawed methodology.
Paul Cameron's curriculum vitae
Paul Cameron, by D. Walter
The evil that men do, by A.G. Fettner
Queer science: Paul Cameron, professional sham, by M.E. Pietrzyk
Notice: Persons dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association. (1984).
Baker v. Wade
Cameron, P., Proctor, K., Coburn, W., & Forde, N. (1985). Sexual orientation and sexually transmitted diseases. Nebraska Medical Journal, 70, 292-299.
Cameron, P., Proctor, K., Coburn, W., Forde, N., Larson, H., & Cameron, K. (1986). Child molestation and homosexuality. Psychological Reports, 58, 327-337.
Cameron, P., Cameron, K., & Proctor, K. (1988). Homosexuals in the armed forces. Psychological Reports, 62, 211-219.
Cameron, P., Cameron, K., & Proctor, K. (1989). Effect of homosexuality upon public health and social order. Psychological Reports, 64, 1167-1179.
Cameron, P., & Cameron, K. (1995). Does incest cause homosexuality? Psychological Reports, 76, 611-621.
Cameron, P., & Cameron, K. (1996a). Homosexual parents. Adolescence, 31, 757-776.
Cameron, P., & Cameron, K. (1996b). Do homosexual teachers pose a risk to pupils? Journal of Psychology, 130, 603-613.
Boor, M. (1988). Homosexuals in the armed forces: A reply to Cameron, Cameron, and Proctor. Psychological Reports, 62, 488.
Boor, M. (1988). Homosexuals in the armed forces: A rejoinder to the reply by Cameron and Cameron. Psychological Reports, 62, 602.
Brown, R. D., & Cole, J. K. (1985). Letter to the editor. Nebraska Medical Journal, 70, 410-414.
Duncan, D. F. (1988). Homosexuals in the armed forces: A comment on generalizability. Psychological Reports, 62, 489.
Gonsiorek, J. C., & Weinrich, J. D. (1991). The definition and scope of sexual orientation. In J. C. Gonsiorek, & J. D.
Weinrich (Eds.), Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy (pp. 1-12). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Herek, G. M. (1991). Myths about sexual orientation: A lawyer's guide to social science research. Law & Sexuality, 1, 133-172.
Herron, W. G., & Herron, M. J. (1996). The complexity of sexuality. Psychological Reports, 78, 129-130.
Weinrich, James D. (1988). Re: Sex survey (Letter). Science, 242, 16.
Information from above sources compiled by Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu)
www.familyresearchinst.org - the only Pro-Cameron site I could find.
www.godhatesfags.com - a famous site that uses many of Cameron's results to prove why God is so hateful of "fags".