I decided to explore the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. This organization is a non-for profit that is “committed to helping ex-gays and parents and friends of gays who want help, hope and community”. They believe that homosexuality is a decision and they created their organization in order to build a support system for those who make the decision to stop being gay. They also support parents in finding ways to show that they love their “gay” children without supporting their “decision”. The web page has a link to their blog site.
The first article I found was one about how the increase in Craigslist hookups has increased the AIDS epidemic. The author talks about a “scientific” study from an assistant professor’s dissertation. The professor looked at the trends of HIV before and after Craigslist was introduced to each location. His research found that there was an increase of about 6000 cases of HIV in the 33 states that Craigslist was introduced. He was unable to narrow his search of which Craigslist ads were looking for a heterosexual hook-up or a homosexual hookup. However, he still came to this conclusion: “My suspicion is most of this [effect] is coming from the M for M section,” Chan said. “We do know that anal sex is a large reason why HIV is spread. It’s also prevalent in the gay community. It makes sense that this group is the most likely to be affected.”
I see how they tried to use science and logic. When people see research from a scientific study they automatically think that the information is credible especially because they established his ethos as an assistant professor at a university. One of the biggest holes in his argument, something that anyone who has taken Psychology 101 would know, is that COROLATION DOES NOT MEAN CAUSATION! All of his research is based off of a correlation of data. That does not mean that Craigslist coming to the community is the cause for the increase in the amount of AIDS.
He then concludes his research saying that the gay community is the obvious group of individuals for the HIV rise because it’s easier to transmit through the anal canal. He had no research for this conclusion other than his preconceived bias. He was unable to narrow his search down any further in order to determine of the hook ups were male and male or women and male. Yet he made a conclusion nonetheless.
I think that having this article on FPOX website as a way to support their claims and position is detrimental to their advocacy. This was just one article that they advertise on their blogs. How many more have “scientific research” that is actually biased and not actual proof? For advocacy, especially if you plan on keeping your position long term having incorrect data to back it up, ruins the organization’s ethos and logos.