Wednesday, July 26, 2006

From the Edge of Insanity

I have been having conversations with the new personalities that have manifested themselves on the blog, and although there are new names, it is the same old game. They come there on the attack immediately picking fights, and when the regular bloggers fight back, our defensive actions are "spun" into an offensive assault.

Tony is our new resident hater, but he has feelings and doesn't like it when people make fun of him. Back in his first post ever on the blog he managed to squeeze in 14 insults that I counted, a new record for a first timer. He goes on, and on, and on, and then wonders why we don't want to talk to him in a respectful back and forth dialog. I realize that I advocate being kind and understanding in order to lower the walls and get something accomplished between the two opposing sides, but I can't sit back idle while someone is as verbally abusive as Tony is. Perhaps I should have been the bigger man, but his unnecessary attacks seem to warrant a counter offensive. My real concern is making sure we don't let our anger take us over the edge, lest we be perceived no different than our opposition by the neutral masses that in the end will swing the vote in our direction. We have to fight ignorance with information, and hatred with love. Once again I am going to try to put on my "happy face" and go deal with those who want to call my very existence a threat to society. Tried in the courts of popular opinion and convicted although no crime has been perpetrated, we as the gay community will not sit quietly as the world pretends not to see the injustice.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A majority of PollingPoint respondents (54%) feel that homosexual behavior is not morally wrong, compared to 39% of you who do think it is morally wrong. Fifty percent of you believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, 18% prefer civil unions and not marriage, and 31% believe there should be no legal recognition of gay couples at all.

Age seems to play an important role in determining positions on this question. While majorities of those under the age of 45 support full marriage rights for gay couples, the rest were more divided among preference for marriage, civil unions or no legal recognition. 70% of those 18 to 24 support full gay marriage.

I think I struck a nerve when I commented that the opposition is fighting a losing battle and running out of time. The next generation is about to start making itself known, and they understand well that equality is for everyone, not just those who feel morally superior.

What do you think might be eating them?
Q. What percentage of American males have experienced a homosexual encounter?
A. 30%

Kinsey's findings are rightfully criticized because they are not based on a probability sample, none of the participants were randomly selected; his inflated estimation of the homosexual population ought to be abandoned in favor of the most recent, controlled estimations which put the homosexual population between 1-3%. If only 3% of men are gay and 30% of them had a homosexual experience in their lives, then there must be a lot of men out there with a guilty conscience. Some of them will spend the rest of theirs lives cursing gays for the remorse they feel.

Right. So what determines whether a behavior is desirable?
Here's my two cents:
(1) Does the behavior harm anyone, esp. in comparison to the alternatives?
(2) Does the behavior help anyone, esp. in comparison to the alternatives?

If {(1) = no & (2) = no}, the behavior is neutral.
If {(1) = yes & (2) = no}, the behavior is not desirable.
If {(1) = no & (2) = yes}, the behavior is desirable.
If {(1) = yes & (2) = yes}, we must weigh the positive and negative effects, and whichever is greater determines desirability.

the American Psychological Association asserts that homosexual or bisexual orientations are not a mental illness, and therefore that it is inapropriate to treat them as such.

One of the most notorious perpetuators of anti-gay myths is former member of the American Psychological Association Paul Cameron. Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in May 1982 for severely flawed research; he was subsequently put under investigation by the American Sociological Association for unethical conduct [6]. The ASA concluded in a 1985 publication that Cameron

has consistently misinterpreted and mispresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism.
... has repeated campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research [7]
Paul Cameron has since founded the Family Research Institute in 1982 with the intention to "generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse" [8]. Cameron is responsible for some of the most bizarre myths about homosexuals, including the myth that 44% of mass murderers are homosexuals and that 2/3 of gay men "ingest a biologically significant amount of feces" [9].

"Homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles"
This myth derives from the tendency of communities to stereotype disliked minorities as dangers to the majority, it is reminiscent of the myth that the majority of rapes are assaults on white women by black men [10] and a myth in the Middle Ages that Jews were routinely kidnapping and crucifying Christian children [11].

The myth that homosexuals are pedophiles is published by Paul Cameron's group, in which they concluded that 1/3 of all child molestations are caused by 1-3% of the population (homosexuals) [12]. Many similar myths are reported in a "study" called Fag Facts: Fags live filthy, unhealty, dangerous, unhappy, and in many cases, violent lives.

In short, Cameron's methodology is significantly problematic:

the assumption that all male-male molestations are committed by homosexuals without assessing the actual orientation of the sex offenders. If the sex offended committed an act against a child of the same sex, that offender was, by Cameron's definition, a homosexual [13].
the assumption that molestation is motivated by sexual arousal. According to therapist Joe Kort:
Herek points out that child molestation and child sexual abuse refer to "actions," without implying any "particular psychological makeup or motive on the part of the perpetrator." In other words, not all incidents of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by pedophiles. Pedophilia can be viewed as a kind of sexual fetish, wherein the person requires the mental image of a child--not necessarily a flesh-and-blood child--to achieve sexual gratification. Rarely does a pedophile experience sexual desire for adults of either gender. They usually don't identify as homosexual–the majority identify as heterosexual, even those who abuse children of the same gender. They are sexually aroused by youth, not by gender. In contrast, child molesters often exert power and control over children in an effort to dominate them. They do experience sexual desire for adults, but molest children episodically, for reasons apart from sexual desire, much as rapists enjoy power, violence and controlling their humiliated victims. [14]
In contrast to Cameron's claims, almost all methodologically sound studies independently confirm that homosexuals are no more likely to abuse children than heterosexuals:

Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? (1994), by Carol Jenny et al analyzes 269 children from a child sexual abuse clinic at a regional children's hospital. Of the 219 abused girls, only one instance of abuse had been attributed to a lesbian. Of the 50 abused boys, only one instance of abuse had been attributed to a gay man. The study concludes:
Using the data from our study, the 95% confidence limits, of the risk children would identify recognizably homosexual adults as the potential abuser, are from 0% to 3.1%. These limits are within current estimates of the prevalence of homosexuality in the general community
Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons (1978), by A. Nicholas Groth compares the sexual orientation of 175 randomly selected sex offenders against the gender of their victims. While young girls were victimized twice as often as young boys, there were no examples of sex offenders who were homosexual in orientation. The study concludes:
The possibility emerges that homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia may be mutually exclusive and that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater risk to the underage child than does the adult homosexual male.
[edit]"Gays live 30 to 40 years fewer than heterosexuals"
Anti-gay researcher Paul Cameron deduced from his study called "Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS" that the average lifespans of homosexuals was shortened by up to three decades than of average heterosexuals [15]. The methodology of the study is explained as follows:

The age distribution of AIDS deaths of males who have sex with males [MSM] was estimated from obituaries in the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper. Statistics from the 2003 HIV/AIDS Surveillance Supplemental Report are highly congruent with deaths of MSM due to AIDS from these obituaries. [ibid.]
Cameron says his sample of gays is gathered from more than 10,000 obituaries collected from gay publications all over the United States [16]; in other words, Cameron's studies are based on a convenience sample of homosexual deaths, not a probability sample.

A sampling of homosexuals who die of AIDS based on newspaper obituaries is not an adequate sample to make generalizations of an entire population. Newspapers and magazines do not publish randomly selected obituaries, and submitted obituaries do not come from randomly selected families; among those excluded from this kind of sampling [17]:

Any homosexual whose family who does not submit an obituary to a newspaper
Any homosexual who was in the closet about their homosexuality
Any homosexual who kept their homosexuality a secret from their family
Any homosexual who did not have a family to submit an obituary
Any homosexual whose obituary do not include a cause of death
Any homosexual whose obituary is not published by an editor. Editors are selective about the obituaries they publish, they may not include individuals who were not prominent in the community.
Community newspapers may tend to overwhelmingly report deaths due to AIDS than other causes
Cameron's study is so fatally methodologically flawed that it is essentially worthless as an estimation of the life expectancy of gays and lesbians. By the same "methodology", one could just as easily deduce that lesbians are 300 time more likely to die in car crashes than females in general [18].

Note: I've been searching for a good abstract on the life expectancy of homosexuals and lesbians on google, but all I've been able to find are sites repeating Cameron's "research". I think it would be important to include real statistics along side the myth. --Yahweh 06:14, 26 November 2005 (GMT)
[edit]AIDS is a gay disease
While it is true that the majority of people with AIDS in North America and Europe are males who are either exclusively or predominantly homosexual, a large percentage of AIDS victims in North America and Europe became infected with HIV through heterosexual contact, the sharing of infected needles, or (in the early days of AIDS) blood transfusions.

In Africa, most AIDS victims are heterosexuals of both sexes.


Statistics of Homoseuals in the US

In conclusion:

1. There is enough proof to give the benefit of the doubt to gays when they say they are not gay by choice.
2. Since being gay is not a crime we should not deny people rights based soley on that fact.
3. There are many different cultures and religions that are both for and against homosexuality. The conflict of religious beliefs is resolved by allowing people to think and practice what religion they choose.
4. The pursuit of hapiness is an inalienable right.
5. Gay marriage in no way reduces or restricts the right of someone who does not wish to practice it.
6. Stating that gay marriage will cause social degridation is speculation, and has not been made evident in Massachusetts even after two years and thousands of marriages. This is also a double standard since heterosexual couples are not scrutinized as to whether their union will harm the public.
7. If the SJC was hijacked and their ruling invalid, where are the lawyers?
8. Voting on the rights of a minority group is unconstitutional in spirit. No group's rights were ever to become so great as to be able to dictate the rights of the minority class. Thomas Jefferson, in his 1st inaugural address in 1801 said, "Although the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable. The minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression".


John said...

In your research on life expetancy, I assume that you also found the Canadian study which showed a decrease of 9 to 21 years for gay men.

Many Religious right organizations are using this study, published be Robert S. Hogg, as evidence.

Mr. Hogg himself was quite disturbed to hear his research being used this way and has since published a clarication.

John Hosty said...

lol, excellent post John. I read the clarification, it was rather interesting. Mr. Hogg's work had escaped me until now. Keep up the good work.

Brandon said...

Very well done.

John Hosty said...

Thanks for stopping by Brandon, and thanks for the encouragement.