Letter: Alcorn’s research claims are improbablePublished 5:24pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Letter to the Editor
I think it’s time for someone to call Wallace Alcorn’s bluff.
In his Oct. 29 column in the Austin Daily Herald, he makes several claims that scream of improbability. He asserts that he was required as part of his doctoral studies at New York University “almost 40 years ago” to research “the nature and cause of homosexuality.” He states he conducted “extensive personal interviews with self-identified gays and lesbians” and discovered that the typical gay male came from a childhood environment with a “strongly influential male-like mother” and an emotionally distant father.
Improbability Number One: Considering the obvious aversion toward homosexuality that Dr. Alcorn has explicitly displayed in any number of past columns, can anyone actually believe he could gain the confidence of homosexuals to have them bare their souls to him about their personal life? Had he actually conducted such interviews, he would have learned that his subjects became aware of their sexual preference at the onset of puberty around the age of 11 or 12 and had nothing to do with parental influence. This fact would have undoubtedly given the doctor a true understanding of the lives of gays and lesbians.
Improbability Number Two: The strong-mother-weak-father theory regarding the influence on homosexuality had been so thoroughly debunked by the time Reverend Alcorn supposedly did his “research” as to be laughable. From all appearances he is merely parroting the myths of inept therapists of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. In actuality this parental model was found virtually nonexistent in the homes of gays and lesbians. In my own experience, my wife and I have lived in Austin for over 49 years and have been friends with a number of couples who have children who are homosexual, and all of these families are firmly intact with normal mothers and fathers.
Improbability Number Three: Alcorn states: “My findings were adjudicated by scholars in several university departments and its schools of medicine and law and judged to be valid.” Yeah, sure. It is incomprehensible that a cadre of professionals like the ones he notes could be so out of touch with reality to go along with such outdated and outlandish “findings.” Especially at a university as prestigious as NYU.
If Wallace Alcorn can provide bona fide documents to prove his research and “findings,” I’ll call off his bluff. Until then it would be wise if he could pursue an area of interest that he actually knows about.