University of Minnesota professor's research hijacked

Dr. Gary Remafedi says ACP knew better

Remafedi also wrote a letter to the American College of Pediatricians, asking them to stop citing his research. But the college isn't budging. Reached at his Florida headquarters, Dr. Tom Benton, the group's president, says he has every right to use any research he wants.

"I have the utmost respect for Dr. Remafedi," says Benton, who is a pediatrician. "He does good work. The fact is, his research supports our conclusions, even if he doesn't."

Which is why, Benton says, he won't be taking down references to Remafedi's work or making any corrections.

Dr. Gary Remafedi's research on gay teens was misrepresnted
courtesy of Gary Remafedi
Dr. Gary Remafedi's research on gay teens was misrepresnted

All of which leaves Remafedi frustrated. "I've considered litigation," he says. "It was libelous. On a personal level, when I'm dead and buried, I don't want my work to be associated with these types of organizations and ideas."

But more than that, Remafedi says, the episode makes him sad and fearful for the impact groups like the ACP will have on kids. He thinks of an elementary-school boy he treated recently for an eating disorder that was set off by a parent's fear that he was gay.

"This isn't just academic," he says. "I do my research to help expand our understanding and give us more information so that we can improve children's lives and their health. So when people try to confuse the issue, or to say things they know aren't true, my reaction to that is disgust."

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