RE: Reporting by Gizmodo
Updated statement as of 3 March 2019
It looks like the biggest controversy surrounds two research papers from Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, as well as some work I described related to suicidal behavior (published abstract). No one has read these papers, yet everyone has an opinion about them as being suspicious.
Very few recognize that a bulk of this research extrapolates from my dissertation. I started showing the data on my studies about paraphilias over three years ago — well in advance of publishing any paper. There were dozens of scholars who commented and critiqued on this work. There was plenty of public exposure of these research data before any manuscript was written down or published. It’s easy to find abstracts from a few years ago discussing zoophilia, sadomasochism, and online therapy. There’s no mystery here.
The two papers of great interest are “Similar mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries..” and “Lethal asphyxiation...” If you truly read these papers carefully, you’d notice that — aside from the title — the content of each paper describes analysis of just a few cases of zoophilia as well as death in course of choking during sex. Each paper clearly states these objectives in materials and discussion sections of the manuscript. Both papers use public records, specify collaborative work with local authorities, where, at the time, I was finishing my dissertation research. The papers were published a while ago and essentially expand my doctoral dissertation which broadly focuses on paraphilias.
Importantly: each paper clearly states that the readers need to be cautions about extrapolating any findings to specific countries, like the U.S. or Canada, or specific cases. The laws differ between Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.
Whenever I was interviewed in the media about each paper in the past, I was assured that reporters read these papers and know what the research is about. The papers were not read thoroughly.
Example: Dan Savage requested interview (still have e-mail copy) in April of 2018 and he assured me he’d “read my study sometime before the live interview.” Savage Show failed to notice that the study was looking at European cases. Now Savage and others are upset. The Show used the study because it fit the content of their interests. Now Savage is walking away on it because his producers simply didn’t read the paper at all.
I hoped that working with reporters would demystify seemingly controversial topics. Apparently very few reporters take the time to read research papers thoroughly before interviewing scientists.
I will ignore comments about my character, or some other allusions to “inflatable reality.” Photos with stethoscope? There are hundreds of thousands of pictures of medical students, nurses, and technicians posing with medical devices online. I will not even comment on this further, or my past experiences. There are plenty of public figures, including scientists, who faced criticism for something they’ve written or said. That’s why I’ll continued to engage with everyone in a conversation about a seeming controversy surrounding my research to set the record clear.
Twitter and other social media tend to get explosive with jumping into conclusions.