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Letter to APA

[To: ] Dr. Raymond Fowler
President: American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-4242

[From: Dr. Elaine Hatfield, President SSSS and a list of others - see below]

July 3, 1999

Dear Dr. Fowler:

We, the president and past-presidents of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, members of the SSSS Executive Committee, and editors of Journal of Sex Research and the Archives of Human Sexuality would like to urge the American Psychological Association to take a strong stand in support of Dr. Bruce Rind (Temple University), Dr. Robert Bauserman (State of Maryland), and Mr. Philip Tromovitch (University of Pennsylvania), and in support of the right and need for sexual scientists to be able to conduct human sexuality research, unconstrained by political considerations. We would like to make the following points:

(a) If society is going to solve the serious social problems that confront us, it needs knowledge and accurate information. Theorists and sexual science researchers can make a unique contribution. Their tradition demands that they attempt to provide a fair and objective analysis of social phenomena and provide scientific information—both qualitative and quantitative—based on the highest of scientific standards.
(b) Political considerations and calculations must be kept separate from the scientific enterprise and/or in the publication decisions of the decisions of scientific journal editors. Only scholarly research that is free, disinterested, and scrupulously honest can hope to provide useful answers to challenging questions.
(c) We would hope that APA would resist the efforts of various political, religious, and special lobbying groups to intervene in the scientific enterprise — shaping what is studied, by whom it is studied, how it is studied, and the results that are secured and reported. At the present time, the major scientific journals have peer-review process in place to evaluate ALL studies and experiments. Currently, all kinds of research are evaluated, using the same rigorous scientific standards. For APA or any other organization to single out "controversial" studies from all others and apply a second and a third filter in judging whether or not such studies should be published and disseminated is to cast a chill on all such research. In addition, this process would be, by definition, discriminatory.

We, the past presidents of SSSS and the current editor of the Annual Review of Sex Research join together in urging you to staunchly support the right of sexual scientists to engage in free intellectual inquiry — especially in the area of "controversial" research.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Elaine Hatfield, President SSSS

Also signed by:

Dr. Albert Ellis, First President of SSSS
Dr. Elizabeth Rice Allgeier, Past President SSSS
Dr. Vern L. Bullough, Past President SSSS
Dr. Clive Davis, Past President SSSS
Dr. Richard P. Keeling, Past President SSSS
Dr. John Money, Past President SSSS
Dr. Naomi McCormick, Past President SSSS
Dr. Charlene Muehlenhard, Past President SSSS
Dr. Ira Reiss, Past President SSSS
Dr. Stephanie Sanders, Past President SSSS
Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Past President SSSS
Dr. Julia Heiman, Editor, Annual Review of Sex Research

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