Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality" Part 2
Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Unstable Relationships #28-40".
TIM = ThisIsMarriage
MSM = men who have sex with men
WSW = women who have sex with women
SS = Same sex
(p240) = page 240
See response part 1 (link below) for details concerning why newspaper articles, books and Paul Cameron studies are dismissed. It is recommended that first-time readers start there.
24) Meyer-Bahlburg et al. 1991, Journal of Sex Research, 28(1), 3-27:
TIM's insinuation: MSM average 308 lifetime sexual partners.
The study is unfortunately not freely available, though it's abstract indicates that it involved "a sample of 121 HIV positive (HIV+) and 84 HIV negative (HIV-) gay and bisexual men". Its findings included that "HIV+ men had significantly higher numbers of male sexual partners during their lifetime".
This is a convenience sample, not one designed to be representative of the general population of MSM. 59% of the sample population had HIV, which is hugely above the HIV prevalence in MSM, which is actually around 10% (DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181ce122b). The study was on "HIV-Disease Progression", indicating that those who had HIV and/or were particularly likely to contract it were purposefully selected.
Such a high portion of HIV+ men suggests that the sample population as a whole (including HIV-) was recruited from promiscuity-associated sources. That the study itself identified more promiscuity among the HIV+ men further exacerbates it's unrepresentativeness, given their over-abundance within the sample population.
Another study in the same volume of the Journal of Sex Research indicates that only 25-50% of MSM have had sexual contact with other men in the last year, making it hard to fathom how the promiscuity that TIM report MSM as exhibiting could be correct. To have 308 partners in a lifetime, even if we assume a lifespan of 100 years would require all MSM to have >3 partners a year... without even excluding childhood/old age. This point applies to all subsequent promiscuity claims by TIM.
Rogers & Turner, 1991, Journal of Sex Research, 28(4), 491-519:
"Only one-quarter to one-half of the U.S. men who report male-male contacts in adulthood also report having had such contacts during the preceding 12 months."
25) The reference provided here by TIM is a book, no better than a newspaper article. It is not a publication of the CDC. It is also unclear what TIM means by "an average of L,100 lifetime partners".
26) Another book...
27) Bell & Weinberg, 1978, "Homosexualities".
TIM's insinuation: 43% of MSM have 500+ sexual partners, 28% have 1000+ partners.
While this is also a book, it is cited so frequently by heterosexists that it warrants a response. Even at the time of this extremely out of date study, Weinberg and Bell specifically point out that their findings are not representative of the average homosexual.
Bell, A. and Weinberg, M. "Homosexualities" (page 22):
"It should be pointed out that reaching any consensus about the exact number of homosexual men or women exhibiting this or that characteristic is not an aim of the present study. The nonrepresentative nature of other investigators' samples as well as of our own precludes any generalization about the incidence of a particular phenomenon even to persons living in the locale where the interviews were conducted, much less homosexuals in general."
28) Another book.
29) Van de Ven et al. 1997, Journal of Sex Research 34(4), 349-360:
TIM's insinuation: Among older MSM the modal range for number of sexual partners is 101-500. ~13% have more than 1000 lifetime partners.
The study was not on "2,583 older homosexuals" as TIM claim, it was on 2,583 MSM, among which "about 10% (n = 256)...were over 49years" and were therefore considered to be "older men" relative to the "younger men". It is unclear which, if either, of these subcategories TIM's promiscuity statistic applies to because the Journal of Sex Research consistently appears to require payment to display any full-texts. It is worth noting that TIM's 13% statistic here appears to contradict it's previous 28% statistic (reference 27).
A document by the organization responsible for the survey/study (the National Centre in HIV Social Research) briefly outlines some of it's methodology, though the key information is no longer available online.
National Centre in HIV Social Research (1998), Male Call 96 Community Report: National Telephone Survey of Men Who Have Sex with Men:
1) "The participants had all had sex with a man at least once during the previous five years. (Respondents who had not done so were not eligible for inclusion in the survey.)"
2) "According to the information the men provided about their social lives, we classified 74 per cent (in both 1992 and 1996) as 'gay-community-attached'."
3) "Those who responded to the survey found out about it through advertisements, articles, fliers and posters in the gay and mainstream press (including personal columns), in sex publications, on television, on the Internet, in sex venues and in health clinics."
1) This clearly skews the sample population towards a more promiscuous group by excluding those that have not yet found somebody they wish to engage in sexual interactions with and any who have infrequent sexual interactions.
2) This indicates an over-representation of MSM who attend gay bars/clubs I.E. venues associated with the solicitation of sex.
3) It should come as no surprise that when recruiting from "sex publications" and "sex venues", many respondents will have a high number of lifetime sexual partners.
References 30 and 31 are grouped together given that they may have been intended to make related points.
TIM's insinuation: MSM are significantly more promiscuous than heterosexuals.
30) This is also reference 29. "That only 2.7% of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime" (TIM) is unsurprising given that the study excluded those who had had no sexual contact within the last 5 years, therefore excluding all of the least promiscuous people.
31.1) A book.
31.2) M. Wiederman. 1997, Journal of Sex Research, 34(2), 167-174:
Not only is self-reported infidelity likely to be underreported but if reference 31 is meant as a comparison to reference 30 then it ignores the fact that many of 31's study participants had divorced (and remarried) and that almost all would have engaged in pre-marital sex. The insinuation that having more than one lifetime sexual partner is somehow inherently unhealthy or immoral is itself completely unjustified.
CDC, National Survey of Family Growth:
"Percent of ever-married men and women who ever had premarital intercourse:
Women (15-44 years of age): 84.9%
Men (20-44 years of age): 91.3%"
The next three references provide no credible evidence of anything. None are peer reviewed studies.
32) Unsubstantiated conjecture with a book and a hate group used as references.
33) A book. Open relationships are maintained by both homo and heterosexuals. That there is anything wrong with them in the first place remains to be established by TIM.
34) The same hate group again used to justify a subjective statement of opinion.
SECTION TWO SUMMARY:
The absence of any mention of WSW by TIM in its promiscuity section is noteworthy. MSM may on average be slightly more promiscuous than heterosexual men, though certainly not to the extent suggested by TIM. This is more likely due to being male rather than homosexual, otherwise we would expect promiscuous lesbians too. Other factors, such as the marginalization of homosexuals in to promiscuity associated environments (clubs/bars) by mainstream society and minority stress induced substance abuse and mental health disorders likely also exacerbate this.
The studies presented by heterosexists typically incorporate a disproportionately large amount of those who attend promiscuity-associated venues and who are often among those most affected by minority stress, therefore skewing averages away from representativeness of all MSM. Those who don't attend such venues and even many that do are likely no more promiscuous than the average heterosexual.
American Psychological Association, 2004:
"Research indicates that many gay men and lesbians want and have committed relationships. For example, survey data indicate that between 40% and 60% of gay men and between 45% and 80% of lesbians are currently involved in a romantic relationship (e.g., Bradford, Ryan, & Rothblum, 1994; Falkner & Garber, 2002; Morris, Balsam, & Rothblum, 2002)."
"Survey data indicate that between 18% and 28% of gay couples and between 8% and 21% of lesbian couples have lived together 10 or more years (e.g., Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Bryant & Demian, 1994; Falkner & Garber, 2002; Kurdek, 2003). Researchers (e.g., Kurdek, 2004) have also speculated that the stability of same-sex couples would be enhanced if partners from same-sex couples enjoyed the same levels of social support and public recognition of their relationships as partners from heterosexual couples do."
Further discussion of heterosexist claims about homosexual promiscuity can be found at the following URL:
Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Domestic Violence #41-46".
TIM's insinuation: There are an annual average of 13,740 MSM and 16,900 WSW victims of domestic abuse, in contrast with 1999's 1,558 hate crimes based upon sexual orientation.
35.1) U.S. Department of Justice Statistics (1999 hate crimes)
35.2) Bureau of Justice Selected Findings (1993-1999 intimate partner violence)
13,740 + 16,900 = 30,640 total victims of SS-couple intimate partner violence.
791,210 total intimate partner victimizations in 1999 according to TIM's source.
1% of the total victimizations is therefore 7,912.1
The percentage of SS-couple intimate partner victimizations = 30,640/791.1 = 3.87%
3.87% of victimizations were therefore perpetrated by SS-couples, which is at or below their percentage composition of the general population. TIM's own source can therefore be used to refute any further attempts to suggest that SS partners experience a greater prevalence of domestic abuse. It is pure deception for TIM to refer to an "epidemic of violence between homosexuals" given this statistic.
It is unclear what point TIM is attempting to make by contrasting the domestic violence statistics with hate crime statistics, though the ratio for black domestic abuses per hate crime is over double that of the SS-couple vs "gay" hate crime ratio. The ratio for racist hate crimes against white people is even greater.
30640/1558 = 19.6 "Gay" domestic abuses were committed for every 1 gay hate crime.
154290/3679 = 41.9 "Black" domestic abuses were committed for every 1 black hate crime.
The above calculation is derived as follows (ignore if desired):
154,290 black women were victims of hate crimes (based upon Appendix Table 2, Intimate partner violence against females, by age and race). Note that only females are shown in the data available and they constitute ~85% of the victims. 3679 people were victims of anti-black hate crimes (based upon table 1 of TIM's hate crime source).
36) Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991, Journal of Social Service Research, 15(1-2), 41-59:
TIM's insinuation: 50%+ of WSW report suffering domestic violence.
Only 30% were actually perpetrators of violence in the study, the other 25% were simply victims. Furthermore, the study itself notes that among married heterosexuals, "estimates of incidents of conjugal violence range from 7 percent (steinmetz, 1977) to 90 percent (Eisenberg and Micklow, 1977) of couples sampled". The study specifically states that it involved a "non-random sample" and therefore clearly wasn't intended to be representative of all lesbians.
The study was reviewed by the NVAWPRC (National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center), which is sponsored by the CDC, and it concluded that, (Suzana Rose, Ph.D):
"Abuse was as prevalent among lesbian relationships studied here as it was in heterosexual relationships. Questions concerning perpetrating abuse need to distinguish between actions taken in self-defense and actions initiated by the aggressor. This point was not assessed here. Findings are limited by the selective recruiting of participants. Those solicited at a workshop on lesbian battering may have been more likely than a more general sample of lesbians to have been in abusive relationship."
Suzana Rose, Ph.D. of NVAWPRC:
"25% had been survivors only; 26% had been both survivors and perpetrators, and 4 % had been perpetrators only".
37) Donald Dutton, 1994, Violence and Victims, 9(2), 167-82:
TIM's insinuation: WSW experience greater domestic abuse from female than male partners.
TIM's reference is actually a review, which cites the following study to evidence it's claim:
Lie et al. 1991, Violence and Victims, 6(2), 121-135:
This study was on "women in currently aggressive same-sex relationships" and so doesn't even approach being representative of lesbians or WSW in general. The study was on 174 lesbians, not 350, as stated by TIM, due to the low response rate. A webpage of the NVAWPRC references this study among others and states that:
"Violence appears to be about as common among lesbian couples as among heterosexual couples".
Another probable explanation of the study findings is that these lesbians had simply been in relationships with more women than men, which would increase their odds of experiencing or enacting abuse with a female partner relative to a male one. Lesbians that have had past relationships with men typically only did so when young and in denial about their own sexual orientation, as elucidated at the following URL:
TIM's insinuation: Married/"traditional" couples experience less domestic abuse than SS couples.
38.1) A book.
38.2) This is reference 35.2, from which we can discern that only 3.87% of victimizations were perpetrated by SS-couples. Page 5 indicates that those married and those never married have very low levels of intimate partner violence compared to those who are divorced or separated. This should come as no surprise given that domestic abuse would obviously be a strong motivator for divorce or separation.
A separate study by the Ministry of Justice however finds that domestic abuse is more common in what are typically considered more "traditional" households, Tjaden & Thoennes, U.S. National Institute of Justice, 2000:
"Research shows that wife assault is more common in families where power is concentrated in the hands of the husband or male partner and the husband makes most of the decisions."
39) A book.
40) Susan Turell, 2000, Journal of Family Violence, 15(3), 281-293:
TIM's insinuation: Domestic abuse is a significant problem for homosexuals.
Contrary to TIM's stated values of 44% and 55% domestic violence prevalence, their study indicates a prevalence of domestic violence that is similar to that found in heterosexual relationships:
"Physical violence was reported in 9% of current and 32% of past relationships."
Another study on domestic abuse (Seelau & Seelau, 2005, 20(6), 363-371) in the same journal, cites Turell's study among others on SS domestic violence and notes that:
"Experts estimate rates comparable to heterosexual couples (e.g., Island & Letellier, 1991; Renzetti, 1989, 1992; Turell, 2000; Waldner-Haugrud et al., 1997)."
SECTION THREE SUMMARY:
A study citing TIM's reference 40 provides a good summary of the research and its limitations; Glass et al. 2008, American Journal of Public Health, 98(6), 1021–1027:
"Prevalence estimates have varied widely, because they are often based on small or convenience samples and use varying definitions of violence, time frames, and sampling procedures.4 Turrell reported wide variation in rates of physical violence experienced by lesbians (8%–60%).5 The National Violence Against Women Survey is the only population-based study to include female same-sex IPV. Tjaden et al. reported that of 79 women who reported cohabitation, 11.4% reported a lifetime prevalence of physical or sexual abuse or both perpetrated by a female partner.6 Rose’s community-based study used a convenience sample of 229 lesbians and reported that 12.2% of participants had experienced at least 1 incident of IPV in the past year,7 consistent with past-year IPV estimates in heterosexual relationships.8"
Note: IPV = Inter-personal violence.
Even were SS domestic abuse demonstrated to occur at slightly elevated levels relative to OS domestic abuse, this may well result from the additional life-stressors that LGBT people face at the hands of heterosexists such as TIM, as one study indicates:
Balsam & Syzmanski, 2005, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29(3), 258-269:
"Minority stress variables (internalized homophobia and discrimination) were associated with lower relationship quality and both domestic violence perpetration and victimization."