This presentation was given at the 2018 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. (EndExploitationSummit.com)
Jacob Hess, P.h.D.
Co-founder, All of Life
When most Americans hear a report of “scientific” results, almost universally, they accept those results and trustworthy and valid. As a result, scientific-sounding pronouncements (whatever the source, and whatever the content), can have a significant impact both in public discourse and in private choices. Given this, great efforts have been made to declare what is – and is not – legitimate science vs. “pseudoscience,” with accusations of disqualifying “bias” coming from seemingly every direction. How is any normal person supposed to come to any conclusions? Drawing on examples in both pornography and mental health research, I will propose several ways we can better help normal people notice when propaganda is masquerading as scholarship or science.
Jacob Hess is a mindfulness teacher and qualitative researcher, with a focus on contested public narratives around sexuality and mental health. His first book, with Dr. Phil Neisser, “You’re Not As Crazy as I Thought, But You’re Still Wrong,” was featured on This American Life. His second book, “Once Upon a Time…He Wasn’t Feeling It Anymore” explores how the public narrative of romance today is pushing apart otherwise wonderful couples. Jacob has published 15 peer-reviewed articles and is on the board of the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation. His most recent book, “A Third Space,” explores ways to move toward a more productive conversation between the LGBT and religious conservative communities. He blogs at Unthinkable.cc