Statement of Purpose
The academy is in a state of crisis. Too many of our most reputable institutions of higher learning now reject the idea that the university is a place where the free exchange of ideas is not only desirable but essential to the increase of knowledge. On campus after campus, a rigid orthodoxy has replaced a policy of free inquiry; and students are taught what to think rather than how to think. Needless to say, this sea change in the academic community has had a profound effect on the social sciences and humanities, particularly on the nature of the scholarship produced. More and more learned journals reflect the ideological bias that dominates our colleges and universities, and nowhere is that bias more apparent than in the study of homosexuality.
In writing about such crucial issues as origins, normalcy, social behavior, treatment of children, and health, scholars must conform to a rigid party line or else be relegated to an underworld of outcasts whose works are rejected by editorial boards and their carefully chosen peer reviewers.
The purpose of The Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior (EJSSB) is to provide a scholarly forum for a discussion of homosexuality that is free from the bias and intimidation found in most journals and their editorial boards. The only criterion for acceptance and publication of articles in EJSSB is sound scholarship, well organized and clearly articulated. If someone submits a sensible, well-crafted study that supports different conclusions from those expressed by our editors, it will be accepted for publication as readily as one that supports those same conclusions. Indeed, our editorial board members frequently disagree with each other about substantive matters.
Members of EJSSB’s board and its peer reviewers are prepared for the attacks sure to be launched by those with a political agenda to be served. As individuals, many of us have already been maligned by scholars with opposing opinions, almost always with little or no concrete evidence to support their accusations, some of which are provably untrue. We expect attacks even more unprincipled as EJSSB begins to publish corrective studies of homosexuality.
In addition to the publication of new empirical research, the editorial board is committed to the reexamination of studies that have either been misrepresented to the profession and to the general public (e.g., the oft-quoted Evelyn Hooker study), or else are so flawed that they do not deserve inclusion in the canon of respectable research (e.g., the equally well-cited Jenny study).
The editorial board notes that empirical studies in the social sciences, no matter how well-designed or executed, inevitably fall short of the precision and finality of studies in the “hard sciences,” if only because social scientists often rely on the credibility of testimony by respondents rather than on objective data, such as one finds in, say, physics or microbiology. In addition, it is much harder to replicate human behavior than it is to replicate the activities of an atom. The size and integrity of samples can always be questioned. Thus those who disagree with the findings of studies on homosexuality can claim that the methodology of the researchers is flawed.
To admit this truth is not to say that all studies are equally invalid or equally true. Some are demonstrably better than others: some rely on samples that are too small; some samples are clearly chosen to reflect a certain point of view while others strive to give alternative views a fair hearing; in many studies, researchers fail to report findings in their own data that tend to modify and even contradict their stated conclusions. Such studies deserve neither the serious attention of the scholarly community nor the acceptance of the federal judiciary in deciding such cases as Roemer v. Evans and Lawrence v Texas. EJSSB will try to act as an ombudsman for the substantial group of scholars who address the perplexing problems surrounding this highly controversial issue.
Finally, EJSSB will publish responses and critiques of articles appearing in the journal provided these address the substance of the work in question and are not merely ad hominem attacks on the motives or character of the author.