The Archives of Sexual Behavior is a peer-reviewed academic journal in sexology. It is the official publication of the International Academy of Sex Research. It publishes empirical research (both quantitative and qualitative), clinical case reports, book reviews and letters to the editor.
Most recently, the Archives published the findings of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the longest-running study ever conducted on American lesbian families. The results of the study were astounding.
The NLLFS studied more than 70 teenagers who were growing up in lesbian two-mother households. There were zero instances of physical or sexual abuse found in any of the homes. According to the Huffington Post, this contrasts with 26 percent of American adolescents who report parent or caregiver physical abuse and 8.3 percent who report sexual abuse.
The study, which ran over the course of twenty-four years, also found that homophobia had a negative impact on the well-being of children who experienced it. Attending schools with LGBT curricula and their mothers’ participation in the lesbian community were found to protect children against the negative influences of homophobia.
Just a few days later, Alvin McEwen, an author and gay rights activist in South Carolina brought attention to the importance of peer-reviewed research on his blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters. His article was about Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute who had failed to persuade lawyers for California’s Proposition 8 against gay marriage to rely on his theories.
Cameron holds that gays and lesbians are more sexually and physically abusive to children than heterosexuals. But as noted above, the International Academy’s recent conclusion of the NLLFS reveals that there is absolutely zero evidence to support Cameron’s claims.
Cameron says the court was biased toward scientific research and peer-reviewed academic journals – some things that his religious organization does not benefit from. But McEwen tells us that the Family Research Institute has its own psychology journal, ambiguously titled Psychological Reports, which they print their “research” in.
The reason that little of the Family Research Institute’s work got very much play in the Prop 8 trial was because it doesn’t stand up to questioning on the stand, the way real academic, peer-reviewed, empirical studies do. McEwen says that so called “peers” can review the work that goes into Psychological Reports, but they have no power to make the publication reject said work.
“There simply wasn't any evidence; there weren't any of those studies,” says David Boies, council for the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 trial, “That's just made up. That's junk science. It's easy to [tell their lies and spread fear] on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can't do that.”