Sexual Science versus Progressive Advocacy: The Need for Resistance
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Science seeks what is true based on reason and evidence; advocacy seeks what is desirable based on ideology and agendas. Conflation of the two can produce advocacy science, which corrupts the scientific process of truth finding and slants the objective truth. To be sure, advocacy has its place, as in ameliorating social wrongs, and values, the building blocks of ideologies and advocacies, are inescapable in research. Values tell researchers what is valuable to investigate. The problem in research is when values constrain or predetermine conclusions or, worse, disrupt or block inquiry with unwelcome conclusions.
Psychology has a values-problem—too often progressive values, currently regnant, color conclusions, or stifle inquiry. Part of the problem is that, in this discipline, values often go unacknowledged as a source of bias, such that conclusions are assumed to be unbiased. In anthropology, by contrast, the constructed nature of values is front and center, such that the practice is...