Chandler Burr

Chandler Ellis Burr (born 1963) is an American journalist and perfume curator. Burr is known for his hereditarian views on sexual orientation and sex differences, and he claims that his critics “hate science.”

Burr was on the roster of the Human Biodiversity Institute (HBI), a hereditarian organization created by conservative businessman Steve Sailer.

Background

Burr was born in Chicago and graduated from Christian Science school Principia College. He then worked in the Southeast Asia bureau of The Christian Science Monitor. Burr later wrote for The Atlantic and US News & World Report. He identifies as gay and atheist and has written extensively about the perfume industry.

Views on sexual orientation

Following a 1993 Atlantic cover story on “homosexuality and biology,” Burr expanded that work into the 1996 book A Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation. That book also briefly covers the search of causes of gender identity and expression.

Views on bisexuality

As with many other HBI members, Burr has defended controversial psychologist J. Michael Bailey, in particular Bailey’s claims that men are “straight, gay, or lying,” a pernicious belief among some biased gay men and sexologists that male bisexuality doesn’t exist.

Burr wrote the following after New York Times journalist Benedict Carey presented an uncritical look at Bailey’s claims the bisexual men are “lying.”

The passage in bold perfectly summarizes why people like Burr can’t see their bias. Burr believes that because both “the right” and “the left” take issue with his spurious views, that Burr must be correct. This is a classic “argument to moderation” fallacy.

July 12, 2005

To the Editor:

Some gay and bisexual advocates are condemning “Straight, Gay or Lying?” regarding a study suggesting that bisexuality may not exist among human males – something those of us familiar with the scientific literature have known since, basically, forever.

Compare this hysterical – and anti-science – reaction to the conservative Christians’ anti-science reaction to studies showing that homosexuality is an inborn orientation like left-handedness. They’re identical.

The right hates science because the data contradict (in the case of homosexuality) Leviticus; the left because the data contradict the liberal lie that we’re environment-created, not hard-wired in any way.

These particular scientific facts are making these advocates scream like members of the extreme right, though it’s they who always tells the right to let go of concepts that are contradicted by science.

Chandler Burr
New York
The writer is the author of “A Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation.”

Resources

Chandler Burr (chandlerburr.com)

ProCon (procon.org)