Jeffrey Parsons, chairman of psychology at Hunter College and senior author of the study, said the attack on gay sexual health research came as no surprise.
"Clearly, conservative groups like the Traditional Values Coalition have a vested interest in creating scandal around scientific research related to gay men, and sexuality research, in general, comes under particular scrutiny and is often cited as a waste of taxpayer money."
Parsons stressed that while taxpayer dollars did not pay for the research, studies of sexual behavior have a significant public health impact.
"This type of research has considerable value, and it is unfortunate that most of what has been reported about this one study is either factually inaccurate or focused on some of the least critical findings in terms of public health impact," he said. "Instead of highlighting the ways in which these research findings can and should guide health education efforts for gay men, the focus has been shifted to whether the study cost nearly $900K or over $9 million of taxpayer money -- when, in reality, the research was not NIH-funded."