Professor Tells Dobson to “Cease and Desist” Distortion of Her Work

Earlier this week, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson took to the pages of Time Magazine to discuss the news that Mary Cheney and her partner are expecting a child.  

Dobson wrote that even “the two most loving women in the world cannot provide a daddy for a little boy” and attempted to bolster this point by citing research done by New York University Professor Carol Gilligan:

According to educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, mothers tend to stress sympathy, grace and care to their children, while fathers accent justice, fairness and duty. Moms give a child a sense of hopefulness; dads provide a sense of right and wrong and its consequences. Other researchers have determined that boys are not born with an understanding of “maleness.” They have to learn it, ideally from their fathers.

Unfortunately for Dobson, Truth Wins Out contacted Gilligan directly and reported that she was none-too-pleased that he was distorting her work:


I am writing to ask that you cease and desist from quoting my research in the future. I was mortified to learn that you had distorted my work this week in a guest column you wrote in Time Magazine. Not only did you take my research out of context, you did so without my knowledge to support discriminatory goals that I do not agree with. What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work.

From what I understand, this is not the first time you have manipulated research in pursuit of your goals. This practice is not in the best interest of scientific inquiry, nor does bearing false witness serve your purpose of furthering morality and strengthening the family.

Finally, there is nothing in my research that would lead you to draw the stated conclusions you did in the Time article. My work in no way suggests same-gender families are harmful to children or can’t raise these children to be as healthy and well adjusted as those brought up in traditional households.

UPDATE: See “Dobson Strikes Out Again