Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 485–488 | Cite as

McCloskey and Me: A Back-and-Forth

  • Seth RobertsEmail author
Peer Commentary

McCloskey and Conway should have gotten their story straight. In a review of Bailey’s (2003) book, McCloskey (2003) wrote: “Almost everyone in the scientific study of sex and gender has checked and balanced and resisted the Clarke Institute’s theory. It has proven to be wrong and has been laid aside by the mainstream of gender researchers.” The review never made clear who “almost everyone” is. Meanwhile, Conway’s (2003) website on the subject had little to say about Blanchard’s typology other than this: “It is unfalsifiable (note: any trans woman who reports that she doesn’t fit the classifications is explained by the “theory” as being a “liar”). Furthermore, the scheme has no predictive capabilities. Thus it is thus untestable.”

Well, which is it? “Proven wrong” by “almost everyone” (McCloskey) or “unfalsifiable” and “untestable” (Conway)? In the course of their attack on Bailey, surely McCloskey and Conway talked many times. This discrepancy in how they attacked Blanchard’s theory...


Great Power Scientific Subject Free Speech Credulous Authority Trade Book 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bailey, J. M. (2003). The man who would be queen: The science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.Google Scholar
  2. Conway, L. (2003). An investigative report into the publication of J. Michael Bailey’s book on transsexualism by the National Academies. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  3. McCloskey, D. (2003). Queer science. Reason, 35(6), 46–52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations