"Stats on Homosexuality from 2002 to 2005"
"Homo Statistics from 2006 to 2009"
The content of the following link will be termed "Article C" when it is referenced:
- FACT 1
- FACT 2
- FACT 3
- FACT 4
- FACT 5
- FACT 6
- FACT 7
- FACT 8
- CLOSING PARAGRAPH
- RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 1
- RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 2
- RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 3 AND 4
- RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 5 AND 6
- ARTICLE C's CONCLUSION
Article B uses a good source (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC) but in at least one case lies and in the rest, fails to demonstrate the relevance of its points and fails to quote. For the purpose of this response, Article B's "Facts" are numbered in the order that they appear within it and have a yellow background. Quotations from other sources will be given a light orange background.
"Estimated that 71% of homosexuals had HIV in 2005;"
From the CDC webpage that TIA.org provide for their "fact":
"A recent CDC study found that in 2008 one in five (19%) MSM in 21 major US cities were infected with HIV, and nearly half (44%) were unaware of their infection. In this study, 28% of black MSM were HIV-infected, compared to 18% of Hispanic/Latino MSM and 16% of white MSM."
"Stigma and homophobia may have a profound impact on the lives of MSM, especially their mental and sexual health. Internalized homophobia may impact men’s ability to make healthy choices, including decisions around sex and substance use. Stigma and homophobia may limit the willingness of MSM to access HIV prevention and care, isolate them from family and community support, and create cultural barriers that inhibit integration into social networks.
Racism, poverty, and lack of access to health care are barriers to HIV prevention services, particularly for MSM from racial or ethnic minority communities."
This first "fact" provided by TIA is actually a lie, which perhaps explains why they did not quote their source directly. It is not mentioned anywhere on the webpage they link to. What is mentioned as quoted above is the 19% statistic for 2008, which directly contradicts the TIA claim... unless they argue that HIV infection has astronomically decreased among MSM from 2005-2008. Furthermore, if we actually look at the study that the CDC are referring to, we find that:
"These findings are limited to men who frequented MSM-identified venues (most of which were bars [45%] and dance clubs [22%]) during the survey period in 21 MSAs with high AIDS prevalence; the results are not representative of all MSM. A lower HIV prevalence (11.8%) has been reported among MSM in the general U.S. population (8)."
"Over 40% of all STD cases occurred amongst homosexuals in 2002"
This supposed fact is again not present on the webpage which is linked to. The webpage that TIA provide is actually for hepatitis, not all STIs. Being disproportionately affected by STIs is not an indication of immorality or pathology, unless TIA would argue that being black is pathological or immoral.
"In 2009, blacks/African Americans made up approximately 13% of the population of the 40 states (surveyed) but accounted for 52% of diagnoses of HIV infection." (See slide 5).
"Infection of HIV co-infections with syphilis has ranged from 20%-70%;"
TIA now provide a "fact" that does actually exist. Syphilis infection increases the risk of HIV contraction, though why this is relevant certainly isn't clear here.
The CDC quotation that TIA should have used to make it easier for their claim to be verified:
"In the recent outbreaks, high rates of HIV co-infection were documented, ranging from 20 percent to 70 percent."
"STD positive cases for homosexuals who participated in getting tested for 2005
Gonorrhea: 1-21% - Syphilis: 11% - Chlamydia: 6%;"
Unfortunately, the link provided by TIA no longer works. The statistics for heterosexuals are not provided, so for all we know, the rates of infection may have been higher among them. Furthermore, it is extremely probable that anybody who "participated in getting tested for STIs" would be vastly more likely to have an STI than an average member of the population. People typically get tested when they are worried they have an STI, which would skew this kind of statistic away from being representative of any general population.
Chlamydia among black people, CDC, 2007:
"The rate of chlamydia among blacks was over eight times higher than that of whites (1,398.7 and 162.3 cases per 100,000, respectively)."
"CDC estimates 64% of men who have sex with men (MSM) comprised of cases for P&S Syphilis cases in 2004;"
The CDC, 2004:
"However, the male-to-female ratio for P&S syphilis has risen steadily between 2000 and 2004 (from 1.5 to 5.9), suggesting increased syphilis transmission among MSM. This increase occurred among all racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, CDC estimates that MSM comprised 64 percent of P&S syphilis cases in 2004".
From the above we can clearly see that if we regard homosexuality as pathological or immoral on the basis of STI infection rates, we must also regard being male as pathological or immoral. Strong support for racism can also be derived again on this basis, given that two paragraphs on from where TIA gets its claim, we find that:
"Racial gaps in syphilis rates are narrowing, with rates in 2004 5.6 times higher among blacks than among whites, a substantially lower differential than in 2000, when the rate among blacks was 24 times greater than among whites."
The global epidemiology of syphilis is described in this review in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Journal (Stamm, 2010, 54(2), 583–589):
"While the widespread epidemics of syphilis that occurred in Russia in the 1990s and more recently in China mostly involved heterosexuals, smaller outbreaks in the United States, Canada, and England predominately involved men who have sex with men (MSM)."
"MSM are at increased risk for multiple STDs;"
The link provided by TIA.org is again an outdated one, however, the CDC does make this claim on its website (though it actually says "at elevated risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases"). As established however, the same could be said about black people. Heterosexual women are also at higher risk than men for certain STIs, such as HIV. This is irrelevant to women's or African American's morality or legal rights.
"Gonorrhea treatment resistance increased in MSM to 23% in 2004;"
The CDC, 2005:
"In 2004, the gonorrhea rate among African-Americans was 19 times greater than the rate for whites, down from 28 times greater in 2000."
"Rates of STDs in MSM for 2005, slides 73-80;"
Another broken link is provided by TIA for this fact but the point it attempted to make has likely already been demonstrated above to be nothing more than the misuse of statistics.
TIA next provide a few paragraphs detailing more concerns, though the link they provide does not show what is claimed by them. The information provided is also qualitative rather than quantitative. Article B is concluded with this sentence from TIA:
"The issues surrounding personal, family, and social acceptance of sexual orientation can place a significant burden on mental health and personal safety."
Ironically, this actually appears to support the idea that it is heterosexism that causes the detrimental effects listed, such as the higher LGBT teen suicide rate, not homosexuality itself. Using the link provided by TIA, we can see that while suicide is at 17.8 per 100,000 of the population for men, their 7th highest cause of death among men, it is not even in the top-10 causes of death for women.
Suicide rates are actually known to be about 4x higher among men than women, so from this we can conclude, according to TIA's rationale, that being male is immoral/pathological.
Section 1 of this URL provides many studies that have identified the link between heterosexism/minority stress and mental illness. Section 2 details studies linking increased substance abuse with the same and section 3 quotes studies identifying the link between substance abuse and risky sexual behaviour:
It may help to read Article C alongside this response in order to follow the paragraph by paragraph response. The content of the following link will be termed "Article C" when it is referenced:
RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 1 (first paragraph after "Excerpts"):
The very first reference in Article C (Diggs 2002) is not actually a peer reviewed study but simply an essay on a right wing, Christian website. A full critique of Diggs' article can be found here.
Diggs 2002 is referenced in Article C to evidence homosexual promiscuity and in Diggs article the 1978 Bell & Weinberg study is the source used. This is same study used in the other TIA statistics (Article A) on promiscuity. TIA tout Article C as providing more modern statistics that corroborate its Article A but in reality it misrepresents the same source.
RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 2:
"Of greater concern is that despite knowing the high risk of contracting HIV, many MSM repeatedly indulge in unsafe sex practices such as ‘bare-backing,’ i.e, deliberate, ‘unprotected’ anal intercourse"
As do heterosexuals, though it's hard to imagine how somebody might have anal sex by accident. Higher risk of STIs is covered previously and anal sex is practised by heterosexuals too. A systematic review of sexual health intervention programmes (Lazarus et al. 2010, Croat Medical Journal. 51(1):74–84) also found the general population do not alter behaviour in line with sexual health knowledge:
"Peer-led interventions were also more successful in improving sexual knowledge, though there was no clear difference in their effectiveness in changing behavior. The improvement in sexual health knowledge does not necessarily lead to behavioral change."
CDC's National Survey of Family Growth:
"Percent of males and females 25-44 years of age who have ever had anal sex with an opposite sex partner, 2002: Males: 40.0%, Females: 34.7%"
"Rectal carcinoma in MSM results from infection with a highly carcinogenic strain of HPV (Diggs, 2002)."
Cervical cancer is caused by a "highly carcinogenic" strain of HPV, which is transmitted via penile-vaginal sex. "More than 99% of cases of cervical cancers are thought to be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV)" according to the UK's National Health Service. Girls aged 12-13 are even vaccinated, as part of a national program, against HPV because of this and HPV can also cause vaginal, vulvar and penile cancer among heterosexuals.
"Homosexual women are also at higher risk for STI and other health problems than are heterosexual women (Evans, Scally, Wellard, & Wilson, 2007.)"
Looking at Article C's source, we see the following, Evans et al., 2007:
"A cross-sectional study recruiting lesbian women volunteers from community groups, events, clubs and bars. Heterosexual women were recruited from a community family planning clinic."
"Smoking significantly increased the risk of BV regardless of sexuality (adjusted OR 2.65; p?=?0.001) and showed substantial concordance in lesbian partnerships but less than for concordance of flora."
"The prevalence is slightly lower than clinic-based studies and as volunteers were recruited in community settings, this figure may be more representative of lesbians who attend gay venues. Higher concordance of vaginal flora within lesbian partnerships may support the hypothesis of a sexually transmissible factor or reflect common risk factors such as smoking."
- Heterosexuals recruited from a family planing clinic may not be an accurate control against which to compare homosexual females from (among other places), clubs and bars.
- The study itself points out that a "substantial" chunk of the increased risk of BV for lesbians seems to be due to the increased instances of lesbian smokers, rather than lesbianism.
- The link between heterosexism/homophobic abuse suffered by LGBT people and use of legal and illegal drugs is established in numerous studies.
According to The Family Planning Association (FPA), other risk factors for BV include:
"use (of) scented soaps or perfumed bubble bath"
"Semen in the vagina after sex without a condom".
Other points the FPA make about BV include that:
"Around half of women with bacterial vaginosis will not have any signs and symptoms at all."
"Sometimes bacterial vaginosis is noticed during a cervical screening test, but you will only need treatment if you have problems with discharge... One in three women will get it at some time... For many women bacterial vaginosis goes away by itself. However, there is some research to suggest that women with bacterial vaginosis may be at a higher risk of having pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or getting HIV."
The primary downsides of BV are that it may slightly increase risk of HIV infection and miscarriage in pregnant women. Neither of these are really an issue for lesbians. This is in reality a very weak attempt by Article C to suggest lesbians have poor sexual health when in fact, they seem to have far better sexual health than heterosexuals, as is evident from their extremely low risk of HIV.
"To date, there are no confirmed cases of female-to-female sexual transmission of HIV in the United States database."
RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 3 AND 4:
- While New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands may be less heterosexist/homophobic than the United States, they still feature heterosexist.
- They may also have lower crime rates than the U.S. but that does not equate to them being entirely without crime.
- Heterosexism is also not limited to direct verbal and physical abuse and can manifest itself in nuanced ways, such as the expectation that all people will be heterosexual.
- The link between heterosexism/minority stress and negative mental health implications for LGBT people is well established in a range of studies, including some performed in the Netherlands.
RESPONSE TO ARTICLE C's PARAGRAPH 5 AND 6
"The teenage ‘brain is pretty adept at learning by example,’ so parents - and the other adults involved in the lives of teenagers - teach healthy ways of behaving by showing and giving good examples of how to live (Voit, 2005), and unhealthy behaviors by showing or giving poor examples."
Presumably this is intended to suggest that homosexuality is a learned behaviour, despite NARTH, the organization that Article C is sourced from, as well as the general scientific consensus, holding that homosexuality is at least partially genetic. Neither of Article C's references here (Voit, 2005 and Strauch, 2003) actually seem to mention homosexuality.
Further evidence that Article C's attack on same-sex parents is not justified is available in the American Psychological Association's review of the studies on the subject by C. Patterson:
"Fears about children of lesbians and gay men being sexually abused by adults, ostracized by peers, or isolated in single-sex lesbian or gay communities have received no support from the results of existing research... Taken together, the data do not suggest elevated rate of homosexuality among the offspring of lesbian or gay parents... The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers' and gay fathers' parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual couples."
The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015:
"Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences have any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation".
ARTICLE C's CONCLUSION:
"The concerns of parents, family members and friends of persons whose sexual behaviors and/or attractions leave them at risk for such harms are understandable and scientifically and clinically justified."
It is heterosexism that leaves people at risk and it is concerns about this that are clinically justified. While gay men do have higher infection rates for some STIs than heterosexuals, not only do studies demonstrate that this is contributed to greatly by minority stress and heterosexism but other minorities, such as black people, also have very high STI rates.
Lesbians appear to be no more at risk of STIs than heterosexuals and the weakness of Article C's attempt to suggest otherwise is evident from the mild STI (BV) that they try to demonstrate this with. BV is significantly more prevalent in black women than white women and lesbians and this is linked to stress. Every STI mentioned by TIA is significantly more prevalent among black people than white people.
STIs only affect those who contract them. Each individual's health is their own responsibility and their own concern. Scientific and medical associations do not collect statistics to try and lend some illusionary legitimacy to discriminatory agendas. They do so in order to determine how best to direct medical care for specific pathogens and ailments towards those sub-populations where it would prove most effective.