Dr. Carol Gilligan, PhD

Dr. Carol GilliganProfessor of Education and Law, New York University

Dr. Carol Gilligan is one of the most esteemed professors in the world. She has more degrees than a thermometer and has written many celebrated books including: In a Different Voice; Women, Girls, and Psychotherapy: Reframing Resistance; Meeting at the Crossroads; Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationship; and The Birth of Pleasure. She has also taught at Harvard University.

In December 2006, James Dobson distorted Gilligan’s research in a guest column he wrote in TIME Magazine. Dobson misrepresented her work in an effort to smear gay families while discussing Mary Cheney’s pregnancy. In a pointed letter to Dobson, Gilligan demanded that he apologize and “cease and desist” from quoting her work in the future.

Dear Dr. Dobson:

I am writing to ask that you cease and desist from quoting my research in the future. I was mortified to learn that you had distorted my work this week in a guest column you wrote in Time Magazine. Not only did you take my research out of context, you did so without my knowledge to support discriminatory goals that I do not agree with. What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work.

From what I understand, this is not the first time you have manipulated research in pursuit of your goals. This practice is not in the best interest of scientific inquiry, nor does bearing false witness serve your purpose of furthering morality and strengthening the family.

Finally, there is nothing in my research that would lead you to draw the stated conclusions you did in the Time article. My work in no way suggests same-gender families are harmful to children or can’t raise these children to be as healthy and well adjusted as those brought up in traditional households.

I trust that this will be the last time my work is cited by Focus on the Family.


Carol Gilligan, PhD
New York University, Professor