Sexual orientation hardwired according to WorldNetDaily columnist – The Soy Agenda, Part 3

So now it is settled. When WorldNetDaily comes into the biological determinism camp, can the entire conservative world be far behind? Anti-soy crusader, Jim Rutz, writing in his WND column this morning says this:

No study says that soy dooms a child to homosexuality, but it’s not hard to believe that at some point during pregnancy babies are hardwired for sexual preference. (See the Psychological Medicine article in endnote 27 below.)

More on Dobson: Time (or someone) corrects Jennifer Chrisler

Yesterday, Focus on the Family released a reaction to an article written by Jennifer Chrisler, of Family Pride, in Time magazine. Ms. Chrisler’s article was a rebuttal to an article by James Dobson.

In Jennifer Chrisler’s original Time article, she wrote:

According to the 2000 census, the vast majority — more than 75% — of American children, are being raised in families that differ in structure from two married, heterosexual parents and their biological children.

However, in the current Time article online, she writes:

According to the 2000 census, the vast majority — more than 75% — of American households differ in structure from two married, heterosexual parents and their biological children.

I discovered this discrepancy this morning when I was preparing to blog about the Focus on the Family rebuttal.

Maggi Gallagher posted a letter from Jennifer Chrisler explaining a bit more about the matter.

Obviously Time corrected it but it is unclear how it initially came to their attention.

There is an unconfirmed report that the US Census may ask Ms. Chrisler to refrain from quoting Census data…

The controversy over Dr. Dobson’s Time editorial

Old news by now, there is a dust up over Dr. Dobson’s column regarding Mary Cheney and subsequent complaints by writers Dobson quotes. While not much is happening on this story in the mainstream press, blogs are all over it.

I have not looked into the matter much and am undecided how much time I am going to spend on it. It seems to me as I read the column that Dr. Dobson cites aspects of the work of these researchers but does not say they agree with his position. This happens all the time in academia. You quote people to make points with which they themselves might disagree. Data are, but how one interprets the data is another matter and certainly influenced by one’s presuppositions. First blush reaction; if I get into it more perhaps I would see it differently.

One article and discussion that I found interesting (and perhaps worth getting into) is at the website Inside Higher Ed. Many of the discussants there seem to echo my current point of view. The dialogue is spirited but on point most of the time.

One provocative comment from the Inside Higher Ed page that caught my eye was made by Stanislaus Dundon who wrote:

Using research data independently of conclusions

If Carol Gilligan has a complex argument in which the data of important distinct advantageous contributions of father and mother is somehow over-ridden by the unique advantages of same-sex or single parent homes, or at least equaled by them, let her prove that via additional data or highlighting the contrary data she has already presented. The idea of refusing to let Dobson use her data sounds a bit like the Catholic Cardinals who did not want people to look through Galileo’s telescope.

Dr. Dundon is Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at California State University – Sacramento.

UPDATE: Here are two reactions from Focus on the Family that I do not think are widely circulated. The first rebuts an article from Jennifer Chrisler who was given space by Time to respond to Dr. Dobson’s earlier op-ed. The second provides supporting documentation for Dr. Dobson’s initial op-ed.

The Soy Agenda

A bit more on the soy agenda.

Jim Rutz provided blogosphere with a rich diet of comic material with his articles here and here.

In his articles there is a pattern of selectively quoting material and using questionable sources next to authoritative ones.

Just a couple of examples.

In the most recent article, he quotes an FDA report saying that there was immediate controversy regarding the FDA guidelines regarding the beneficial health consequences of soy. While it is true that there was controversy, this is true of all such regulations. He failed to provide the context and history of dietary guidelines which came in the next sentence in the FDA report:

This [controversy] came as no surprise to Elizabeth A. Yetley, Ph.D., lead scientist for nutrition at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition . “Every dietary health claim that has ever been published has had controversy,” she says, “even the relationship of saturated fat to a healthy diet.”

Rutz later makes this statement: “…the FDA has encouraged Americans to eat 25 grams of soy protein a day as a way to prevent heart disease. This FDA health claim has doubled the consumption of soy protein in the U.S., yet was recently discredited when the American Heart Association changed its position on soy, now saying that soy does not lower cholesterol and does not prevent heart disease!”

It is true that the AHA did change its view on soy as prevention of heart disease. However, the organization did not advise people to avoid eating soy and even said “While the analysis of recent studies didn’t show any specific action of soy protein on heart risk factors, the authors said using soy protein products such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts or some soy burgers could be beneficial. The reason is the high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and a low content of saturated fat that could replace other high-fat proteins in the diet, the researchers noted. “Soy products may have benefits when replacing other foods such as hamburgers,” Sacks said. “Soy burgers have no cholesterol or saturated fat and have high amounts of fiber.”

So if the choice is a McDonald’s hamburger or a soy patty, go with the soy.