The New York Times
whitewashes criticism of flawed bisexuality article,
selecting which 'Letters' to Publish
HBI member Chandler Burr emerges as Bailey's new spokesman
by Lynn Conway
On July 12, 2005, the New York Times
published six short letters to the editors about their July 5, 2005 article
"Straight, Gay or Lying?
authors of the selected letters were: Joan
Roughgarden, John Craig, Ken Forsberg,
Chandler Burr, Paul Burns,and
None of the selected letters mentioned Mr. Bailey's controversial history, i.e. that he was a disgraced
academic who had been forced to resign as Chairman of the Psychology Department
at Northwestern University following an investigation into his research
None of the selected letters
mentioned that Bailey had made an earlier similar attack on the identities of
transsexual women, and thus that his new attack on yet another sexual minority
appears sociopathic to many observers.
None of the letters
mentioned the GLAAD and FAIR Alerts about the shoddy journalism and suspect
science in the article, even though those national alerts from widely respected
groups had been available for several days and had been mentioned in many
letters to the editors.
Instead, the selected letters
presented a range of non-controversial comments about the article (see below).
Roughgarden, Craig, Forsberg and
Burns were negative about the article, but for reasons other than the above.
Gaffney contributed a humorous reflection. However, Burr wrote a strongly
supportive letter for Bailey, in which he scathingly attacked Bailey's critics,
calling them "hysterical - and anti-science".
By NOT including any letters that
mentioned Bailey's controversial history, his forced resignation, his earlier
attack on the identities of transsexual women, or the GLAAD or FAIR alerts, this
letter-selection by the Times editors amounts to a whitewashing of the
very widespread LGBT community criticism of the article.
HBI member Chandler Burr emerges as Bailey's
By writing his letter (below),
Chandler Burr emerges as Bailey's proxy and spokesman in this new
controversy. Bailey likely hopes that by having a well-known gay man as
spokesman and defender, he can blunt gay criticism of his bisexuality
Burr is an old-guard (Fourattist)
man who has written a series of controversy books supporting Dean Hamer's and
Simon LeVay's "gay gene" theory. For that theory to be valid, there cannot be a
continuum of gender or sexual orientation. Instead those men insist that gender
and orientation are "bi-polar", i.e., that people are only male or female, gay or
straight, with nothing in between (except "liars"). This is the
ideological framework from within which their scientific attacks on the identities of
transsexual women and bisexual men have arisen, for trans women and bi-men
cannot exist under their theory.
Burr is an advocate and book-writing
spokesman for the "gay gene" world view, and is tightly connected with LeVay,
Hamer, Bailey and Blanchard. It seems likely that Benedict Carey would already have
known him, since they are both visible gay men and Burr is also an "employee" of
the Times (see below). Carey would almost certainly have known
that Burr had sent a letter to the editors (being alerted by either Bailey or
Burr), even possibly coordinating with Burr on the writing and tone of the
letter and suggesting that his editors publish Burr's letter.
The fact that the Times included the title of (and thus
promoted) Burr's now outdated 1996 book, which supports the LeVay-Hamer theory
that bisexuality 'does not exist', is further evidence of inside bias.
For, in contrast, the editors did
NOT include the title of Professor Roughgarden's new 2004 book (Evolution's
Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People) which
presents a large amount of more recent scientific (biological) evidence for gender and orientation diversity in
Furthermore, we find on
own website that he is "The New York Times' writer on scent". Thus Mr.
Burr has an employee relationship with the New York Times.
Doesn't it seem
odd that an employee was allowed to plant a scathing attack on critics of
Mr. Carey's New York Times' article in a letter to the editor?
Especially since that employee's letter that was apparently the only one the
Times could find that approved of the article? Talk about bias and
conflict of interest!
In his letter, Chandler Burr takes
the exact stance that we predicted would be used by Bailey's ardent supporters:
tries to shift attention away from Bailey's shoddy science and his bizarre
interpretations of mediocre data by attacking all of Bailey's critics as being
"hysterical" and "anti-science".
This is exactly the way that earlier
Bailey proxies and spokesmen
Steve Sailer and
Stephen Pinker had defended Bailey's attacks on the identities of
transsexual women. However, if anything smells "hysterical"
and "anti-science" around here, it is Mr. Burr's letter to the Times!
Note that in addition to his "gay gene"
ideological connections with LeVay, Hamer Bailey and Blanchard,
Chandler Burr is also a member of
Biodiversity Institute (HBI) (along with Bailey, Blanchard, and many of
Bailey's earlier spokesmen Derbyshire, Seligman, Sailer and Pinker).
HBI is the group of racists, anti-immigrationists and genetic
superiorists whose activities were exposed by the prestigious Southern Poverty
Law Center (SPLC), in the Winter 2003 SPLC investigative report entitled:
SCIENCE: An 'elite' cadre of scientists and journalists tries to turn back the
clock on sex, gender and race.
That should give readers some idea of the kind of person we are dealing with
in Mr. Burr.
The New York
To the Editor:
Re "Straight, Gay or Lying: Bisexuality Revisited" (July 5):
Results casting doubt on the reality of bisexuality reported
are probably incorrect. In the 300 or more known vertebrate
species with natural homosexuality, all combine heterosexual
with homosexual relations.
Humans are not likely to differ from other species in this
regard, including our closest nonhuman relative, the bonobo.
Indeed, in all human cultures homosexual expression has been,
and is, combined with heterosexual expression.
The data in the article show that 20 percent of the pool
having same-sex relations do identify as bisexual.
These people surely aren't all lying. Instead, psychologists
should add a fourth possibility to their list: namely, that they
Dr. Joan Roughgarden
The writer is a professor of biology at Stanford.
To the Editor:
The study of bisexual males conducted by Toronto and Chicago
psychologists may demonstrate that men who identify as bisexual
are in fact either mostly homosexual or mostly heterosexual
("Straight, Gay or Lying?"). But it fails to disprove what Freud
and Kinsey asserted: that the psychological makeup of most males
has a significant bisexual dimension.
I have worked with bisexual men as a professional counselor
for 15 years. Most of the men I work with are well-educated
upper-middle-class married men - leaders in their businesses and
communities. Not one of them has ever identified openly as
bisexual. If any did, the consequences would be devastating.
These men would never volunteer for the kind of study the
Toronto and Chicago scholars conducted. The study is thus one in
which truly bisexual men have screened themselves out.
In ancient Greece, most males passed through distinct
homosexual stages in both adolescence and adulthood. How do the
study's psychologists account for this undeniable fact?
To the Editor:
The article on bisexuality was interesting, but I confess
some amazement that still today, in the year 2005, an article
like yours treats women as an afterthought and still makes it
into print in a major newspaper ("Straight, Gay or Lying?").
Sure you throw "at least in men" into the second sentence. But
you then go on to discuss bisexuality in general based just on
the results for males, burying the results for females at the
very end of the article.
"Doesn't matter if bisexuality is clear in women; it's what
happens in men that really defines the term," you seem to be
Kind of incredible. Freud would have approved. The rest of us
expect better from you.
To the Editor:
Some gay and bisexual advocates are condemning "Straight, Gay
or Lying?" regarding a study suggesting that bisexuality may not
exist among human males - something those of us familiar with
the scientific literature have known since, basically, forever.
Compare this hysterical - and anti-science - reaction to the
conservative Christians' anti-science reaction to studies
showing that homosexuality is an inborn orientation like
left-handedness. They're identical.
The right hates science because the data contradict (in the
case of homosexuality) Leviticus; the left because the data
contradict the liberal lie that we're environment-created, not
hard-wired in any way.
These particular scientific facts are making these advocates
scream like members of the extreme right, though it's they who
always tells the right to let go of concepts that are
contradicted by science.
The writer is the author of "A Separate Creation: The Search
for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation."
To the Editor:
Re "Straight, Gay or Lying?": The headline is not only
disrespectful but also unprofessional in its insinuation. No,
those of us living outside the boxes of gay and straight are not
"lying," thank you very much! Many of us have struggled to stay
open to ourselves in an increasingly, and oppressively,
black-and-white, reductionistic world.
St. Johnsbury, Vt.
To the Editor:
Re "Straight, Gay or Lying?": If our sexual preferences were
best detected by who we look at in pornography, wouldn't pretty
much everyone be attracted to mildly unattractive people who
live on the West Coast and lack acting talent?
TS Information >
Bailey Investigation >
Bi-Sexuality Revisited >
Letters to editor 7-12-05