Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Credibility ... The Wingnut's Nemesis

Over at Lifesite, it appears that they have forgotten to check the credentials of the "researchers" they cite. In this case, we find them extolling the virtues of improbably awful research done by Paul Cameron. It's the usual "gay men die young" screed, which Cameron's been beating on for years - using the same bad statistical methodologies which have been trashed repeatedly in the past.

Before we leave the subject of really bad research, let's take a look at Lifesite's take on The University of Guelph's Sexuality Conference...mostly because I feel like sandblasting a soda cracker or two.

Says Lifesite:

During the research forum on “Women’s Reproductive and Sexual Rights: A Global and Local Perspective” attendees consider three brief research presentations followed by questions, answers and discussion, such as “The ‘Fire Slut’ Versus the ‘Dyslexbian’ – Depictions of Active Female Sexuality in Forest Fire Suppression.”

Yes, there is a session that mentions these three rather odd-sounding topics:

T12 - Women’s Reproductive and Sexual Rights: A Global and Local Perspective - A Research Forum

Three brief research presentations will be followed by questions, answers and discussion. The session topics are:

* Impacts of Globalization on Reproductive and Sexual Rights of Third World Women
* The “Fire Slut” Versus the “Dyslexbian” – Depictions of Active Female Sexuality in Forest Fire Suppression
* Student Perceptions of Sexual Consent and Sexual Intent: The Impact of Relationship Length and Sexual Experience

Sem Chuddar Ponnambalam, MA, Policy/Legal Consultant, Gloucester; Kathleen Kartes, BA Candidate, Trent University, Peterborough; Stephanie Ross, MA, Research Assistant, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay

Then the brain kicks in and we realize that we are talking about some terminology from a subculture that I'm not actually familiar with. Oh - now it makes a lot more sense. (and oddly, the other two topics of presentation are pretty obvious mainstream sexual politics discussions.

Claims Lifesite:
The Conference also delves into how to make sex education more student-driven with “Out of the Cubicle and into the Classroom: Student Driven Sexual Health Programming in Secondary Schools.” However, according to recent news reports, American students as early as 5th grade are pioneering this one, demonstrating the lessons of sex education during other classes or school gatherings without any compunction.

Typical of neo-Christian denial, sex never happens, except in the blessed confines of holy marriage consecrated by one of the mystical clergy...right...

Reality is:

W14 - Out of the Cubicle and into the Classroom: Student Driven Sexual Health Programming in Secondary Schools

Students are often asked to lead or at least become partners in the development of sexual health programming. As health practioners we make the mistake of over managing student led projects and then risk alienating the student partners. The presentation will focus on a series of health unit/school projects which illustrate how letting go of a project and empowering students can lead to an effective and innovative product. Particpants will leave with a summary of key lessons learned and a series of recommendations for ensuring the future success of student led school-based programs.

Again, reality is much more grounded in something comprehensible - namely a perfectly intelligent and valid discussion of how best to engage students in sex education programs. Hardly the debauched licentiousness that our friends at Lifesite suggest.

As if to further fuel their righteous outrage, Lifesite really gets themselves worked up over all the workshops that focus on various sexual minority groups and the unique issues each represents:

Much attention is paid toward helping sex educators/counselors show LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer) clients and employees greater “sensitivity and inclusivity [sic]”. Polyamorists, however, do not get the short shrift as “Help! My Client is Polyamorous” teaches how to deal sensitively with polyamorist relationships. A polyamorist leads the course.

However, the gospel of this brave new world would not be complete without workshops on “Queer Family Planning” explaining the 9 week courses on creating children: Dykes Planning Tykes or Daddies & Papas 2B. ...

Yes, a browse through the University of Guelph does show a lot of topics that would raise the eyebrows of most people - especially if they haven't got any background in the amazing diversity of human behaviour, and sexuality in particular.

Of course, Lifesite's pseudo journalists have focused on the most shocking topics - the ones that would attract the most lurid headline they could dream up. Reality is that a lot of the topics are much less inspiring to their moral outrage:

W15 - Status of Sexual Health in Canada

This session presents a comprehensive portrait of sexual and reproductive health in Canada. Key national trends in sexual and reproductive health identified in the Status of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Canada Report, compiled by the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health will be highlighted. The focus will be on significant changes in sexual health indicators over time, including rates of contraception use, STIs, sexual violence, pregnancy, birth, abortion and access to services, with a particular emphasis on trends within the youth population. This presentation will facilitate a greater understanding of sexual health in Canada and discuss consequent policy recommendations.

Linda Capperauld, MSW, Executive Director, Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, Ottawa

Of course, Lifesite has to end off with this little snip:

The 29th Guelph Sexuality Conference follows an entire week dedicated to promoting post-Christian amorality with the Sexual Attitudes Reassessment Weekend (June 9-10) and the Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program (June 11-15).

As if any frank and honest discussion about sexuality was "amoral"...and implicitly, immoral. Yes, let's return to the era when talking about sexuality was verboten - it makes it so much easier for the pedophile priests to do their thing and be quietly hushed up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


" Christian amorality..."

I guess Lifesite figures that Christianity has finished and is now a thing of the past. (Pre and Post refer to Before and After)

I wonder what they are complaining about then?