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False dichotomy

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The false dichotomy is frequently used in anti-child-sexuality posturing. Typically, a dilemma involving two irrelevant or unduly extreme possibilities is proposed. Much like a wrong question, this helps to remove nuance from the argument and polarise the debate by making all opposition look extreme. False dichotomies should not be accepted as parameters of debate.

Examples

False dichotomies are frequently used in book and paper titles by alleged positivist scientists such as Stephanie Dallam.

  • Science or Propaganda?: An examination of Rind, Tromovitch & Bauserman (1998) - Stephanie Dallam.
  • Sex between Men and Boys in Classical Greece: Was It Education for Citizenship or Child Abuse? - Enid Bloch.
  • Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life? - Edmund Bergler.
  • One Thousand Homosexuals: Conspiracy of Silence, or Curing and Deglamorizing Homosexuals? - Edmund Bergler.

As can be seen from the titles of these anti-pederastic/anti-homosexual papers, there is nearly always a "right" side to each dichotomy. The author has control over both sides and can therefore characterise the debate in a way that makes their side look favourable.