What happens when scientific findings clash with popular opinions? Academic bullying. At least that’s what happened to scientists whose comprehensive study of scientific literature contradicted the beliefs of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Scientific Review Contradicts Popular Opinion
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers reviewed hundreds of scientific papers on homosexuality and transgenderism. They determined that many popular views on LGBT issues, such as the idea that “gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex,” are not supported by science.
They also found studies have consistently shown transgender individuals are at higher risk for
- suicide attempts
- substance abuse
- and other health and mental health problems.
Academic Bullying and Intimidation
The HRC blasted this study, calling it a “biased review” and the researchers “anti-trans.” They cite 700 Johns Hopkins members who call the study “a misguided, misinformed attack on LGBT communities.” Together with the HRC, they are urging Johns Hopkins to publicly state that the study does not reflect the views of the university.
If Johns Hopkins doesn’t follow this demand, the HRC threatens to “substantially” lower their ranking on the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index. This index “is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices.”
Editors of the magazine that published the study call this threat “lies and bullying.” They say it is a “blatant effort to intimidate . . . by insisting that the entire university must answer collectively for everything written by its faculty” and a “disturbing strategy designed to make impossible respectful disagreement in the academy on controversial matters” (emphasis added). They add, “Intimidation tactics of this sort undermine the atmosphere of free and open inquiry that universities are meant to foster.”
Intimidation Tactics Stifle Academic Freedom
This kind of intimidation suppresses academic freedom. Powerful groups shouldn't cow researchers into not publishing research findings that contradict popular ideas. After all, doesn't science advance by scrutinizing research on both sides of a debate? This should especially be true of LGBT studies since
- LGBT research is still in its infancy
- Real people—including children—are affected by the medical and scientific communities’ views on the subject.
Intolerance Against Dissenting Views
Biblical creationists aren’t strangers to academic bullying. Many creation scientists have lost positions or publishing opportunities because of their views on origins. For example, in 2004 biologist Dr. Nathaniel Abraham was fired from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in New England when he told his supervisor he didn’t accept evolutionary ideas. The scientific community exhibits little tolerance for dissenting opinions on origins.
Academic Bullying Should Concern Everyone
Secularists are increasingly intolerant of differing opinions, even opinions based on research. The result will be biased research that only confirms already established opinions. After all, there's only room for the status quo if dissenting research is discouraged. This should concern everyone, regardless of personal beliefs on LGBT (or other) issues. Scientific and medical understanding will not advance in such a hostile environment.
God Created Marriage and Gender
It shouldn’t surprise those who believe Scripture that many popular opinions on LGBT issues aren’t supported by science. According to God’s Word, marriage is for one man and one woman for life (Genesis 2:22, 24), and we were created male and female (1:27). This is God’s design for mankind, and He knows best. As believers, we need to have compassion for those who struggle with homosexual desires or gender confusion. But the compassionate response isn’t to encourage their pursuit of sinful desires but to lovingly point them toward the gospel of Jesus Christ and the freedom (Romans 6:22) and new life He gives (2 Corinthians 5:17).