On Monday, a researcher named Lisa Diamond, who works on issues of sexuality and sexual identity, claimed that her work is being “misconstrued and distorted” by John Boehner’s legal team. Boehner’s lawyer cited Diamond’s research in a lawsuit defending the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. (A woman named Edie Windsor has sued, claiming the law is unconstitutional.) The Boehner brief makes the case for the Defense of Marriage Act in part by quoting a study by Diamond that said, “50 percent [of respondents] had changed their identity label more than once since first relinquishing their heterosexual identity.”
In an affidavit, Diamond said:
This quoted statement refers to sexual identity labels (i.e., how individuals describe and interpret their identity) and not to sexual orientation. Neither this article or any of my published work supports [the] claim that ‘a high number of persons who experience sexual attraction to members of the same sex early in their adult lives cease to experience such attraction.’ Hence they have completely misrepresented my research.
If you want to read more about Diamond’s research — and in particular her ideas about the malleability of women’s erotic lives — check out Daniel Bergner’s intriguing article in the magazine about female desire.