American College of Pediatricians

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American College of Pediatricians
American College of Pediatricians (emblem).jpg
Founded 2002
Founders Gerry Boccarossa and Joseph Zanga
Focus Formed in opposition to the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Gainesville, Florida
Slogan "The Best For Children"

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a socially conservative association of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals in the United States. The College was founded in 2002 by a group of pediatricians including Joseph Zanga, a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as a protest against the AAP's support for adoption by gay couples.[1][2] The group's membership has been estimated at between 60 and 200 members.[1][3] ACPeds describes itself as "a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children... committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing."[4]

Zanga has described ACPeds as a group "with Judeo-Christian, traditional values that is open to pediatric medical professionals of all religions who hold true to the group's core beliefs: that life begins at conception; and that the traditional family unit, headed by a different-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children."[5] The organization's view on parenting is at odds with the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which hold that homosexual behavior has no correlation with the ability to be a good parent and to raise healthy and well-adjusted children.[3][6][7]


The positions taken by the American College of Pediatricians are socially conservative. The organization advocates:[8]

  • Discouraging the adoption of children by same-sex couples or single parents;
  • Limiting children's exposure to electronic media, particularly in relation to explicit violent and sexual content;
  • Parental choice as to when and whether a child receives the HPV vaccine. ACPeds opposes legislation requiring HPV vaccination;
  • Opposition to marijuana legalization;
  • Support for selective parental use of disciplinary spanking in child discipline;
  • Opposition to abortion and euthanasia;
  • Opposition to gender reassignment, including the use of puberty blockers;
  • Support for abstinence until marriage sex education rather than comprehensive sex education, based on “the public health principle of primary prevention – risk avoidance in lieu of risk reduction,” [9]

The American College of Pediatricians argues that mainstream health organizations have taken public positions based on their own social and political views, rather than the available science.[10]


Some professionals have complained openly that ACPeds mischaracterized or misused their work to advance its agenda.[1][11] Gary Remafedi, a pediatrician at the University of Minnesota, found his research being cited by ACPeds to argue that schools should deny support to gay teenagers and complained that ACPeds had fundamentally mischaracterized his work. ACP president's Tom Benton clarified that organization's interpretation of Gary's review is open to discussion by its proper nature.[1][12]Francis Collins, a geneticist and director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, issued an uncharacteristically unscientific statement on the NIH website accusing the American College of Pediatricians of misleading children and parents on its Facts About Youth website.[11] The College made several attempts initiate a dialogue with Dr. Collins and resolve the matter privately and finally, after receiving no response from Dr. Collins, the College posted an open letter on April 30th in which the ACPeds clarified that the College respectfully disagrees with Dr. Collins’ accusation of misinterpretation. [13] Warren Throckmorton, a therapist who specializes in sexual orientation issues, similarly complained that his research had been misused, saying of ACPeds: "They say they're impartial and not motivated by political or religious concerns, but if you look at who they're affiliated with and how they're using the research, that's just obviously not true."[1]

In an amicus brief, the National Association of Social Workers described ACPeds as a "small and marginal group" which was "out of step with the research-based position of the AAP and other medical and child welfare authorities."[3] PFLAG identifies the American College of Pediatricians as an anti-equality organization, describing the group as a "small splinter group of medical professionals who do not support the mainstream view of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) that homosexuality is a normal aspect of human diversity."[14]

Facts About Youth[edit]

In response to the publication by AAP of Just the Facts, a handbook on teen sexual orientation aimed at a school audience, ACPeds published its own Facts About Youth in March 2010,[1] accompanied by a web site.[15] Facts About Youth, along with a cover letter,[16] was mailed to 14,800 school superintendents on behalf of Tom Benton, president of ACPeds. Facts About Youth was challenged as not acknowledging the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education by the American Academy of Pediatrics.[17] The ACPeds letter to the superintendents primarily addressed same-sex attraction, and recommended that “well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel” who encourage students to “come out as gay” and affirm them as such may lead the students into “harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.” The ACPeds letter to the superintendents also stated that gender dysphoria will typically disappear by puberty “if the behavior is not reinforced.”[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pinto, Nick (May 26, 2010). "University of Minnesota professor's research hijacked". City Pages. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Pinto" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ Kranish, Michael (July 31, 2005). "Beliefs drive research agenda of new think tanks". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c National Association of Social Workers (February 16, 2009). "Brief of Amici Curiae" (PDF). Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. 
  4. ^ "About us". American College of Pediatricians. 
  5. ^ "Pro-Life Pediatric Group Stands Contrary to the American Academy of Pediatrics". Catholic Exchange. July 30, 2003. 
  6. ^ "Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents". Pediatrics 109 (2): 339–40. February 2002. PMID 11826219. 
  7. ^ "Policy Statement—AAP publications retired and reaffirmed". Pediatrics 124 (2): 845. August 2009. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1415. PMID 19651598. 
  8. ^ "Position Statements". American College of Pediatricians. Retrieved November 17, 2010.  (self-published)
  9. ^
  10. ^ "A Brief History of the American College of Pediatricians". American College of Pediatricians.  (self-published)
  11. ^ a b Collins, Francis (April 16, 2010). "Response to the American College of Pediatricians". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Facts responds to researcher Dr. Gary Remafedi" (ACPeds site: factsaboutyouth)}
  13. ^ "College challenges comments by Dr Francis Collins" (ACPeds site: factsaboutyouth)}
  14. ^ "Anti-Equality Organizations". PFLAG. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  15. ^ Facts About Youth (ACPeds site)
  16. ^ "Attention: School Superintendents" (ACPeds site)
  17. ^ "Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth". American Academy of Pediatrics. April 13, 2010. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010. 
  18. ^ Horton, Greg (June 23, 2010). "Doctors debate the facts surrounding sexual orientation and gender confusion". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 

External links[edit]