The Left and LGBTQ community are in an uproar over a recent study published in The New Atlantis scientific journal, which confronts the oft-repeated narrative that homosexuality is innate.
At Patheos, college psychology professor Warren Throckmorton took issue with several parts of the study. He believes that the study “was not a study, but a review and summary of empirical studies.” He was not pleased that The New Atlantis journal is not peer-reviewed, and claims that the co-author, Lawrence Mayer, “is not well known in sexuality research circles” and alleges that the study omitted other studies and research. Throckmorton also pointed out that the study “is being touted most by conservative leaning and anti-gay organizations.”
The study is a literature review and summary of previous research and studies. As The New Atlantis editor, Adam Keiper, pointed out to Throckmorton, “It is…a scientific review of the literature.” Keiper added that although the journal is not peer-reviewed:
“It is, rather, editorially reviewed — like many other journals and magazines intended for a wide public audience (such as Democracy Journal, National Affairs, The American Interest, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, etc.). When we publish essays and articles on technical subjects, our fact-checking process is especially rigorous, and in such cases we often ask experts to help our editorial team in its work. In the case of ‘Sexuality and Gender,’ both our editorial team and the authors consulted with a range of experts in different fields. Peer review can be a very important part of the scientific publishing process. Our aim, however, was not to publish an original research study but rather to translate into accessible prose the scientific findings that were already published in peer-reviewed publications.”
Taking issue with Throckmorton’s criticism of the lack of research, Keiper disagreed and said, “I believe the report is quite up-to-date.” Throckmorton’s point “seems to imply cherry-picking, which is an unsupported charge,” Keiper added. He continued:
“Of course the authors of the report could not have discussed every paper in the vast scientific literature, but they selected the papers that they discussed on the grounds of their quality and scientific significance — emphasizing literature reviews and meta-analyses, pointing out when other significant papers contradict or criticize the literature reviews and meta-analyses, and then discussing more recent papers and studies that fill in gaps or further advance knowledge. Some older papers in the literature were deemed to be neither sufficiently important nor sufficiently rigorous to warrant discussion.”
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