Myth No. 5: Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.
Fact: Homosexuals experience considerably higher levels of mental illness and substance abuse than heterosexuals. A detailed review of the research has shown that “no other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology.”
One of the first triumphs of the modern homosexual movement was the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s official list of mental disorders in 1973. That decision was far more political than scientific in nature, and an actual survey of psychiatrists several years later showed that a large majority still believed homosexuality to be pathological. Nevertheless, regardless of whether one considers homosexuality itself to be a mental disorder, there can be no question that it is associated with higher levels of a whole range of mental disorders.
Ron Stall, one of the nation’s leading AIDS researchers, has been warning for years “that additive psychosocial health problems—otherwise known collectively as a ‘syndemic’—exist among urban MSM” [men who have sex with men]. For example, in 2003, his research team reported in the American Journal of Public Health that homosexual conduct in this population is associated with higher rates of multiple drug use, depression, domestic violence and a history of having been sexually abused as a child.
Findings released in 2005 from an on-going, population-based study of young people in New Zealand showed that homosexuality is
“ . . . associated with increasing rates of depression, anxiety, illicit drug dependence, suicidal thoughts and attempts. Gay males, the study shows, have mental health problems five times higher than young heterosexual males. Lesbians have mental health problems nearly twice those of exclusively heterosexual females.”
A 2008 “meta-analysis” reviewed over 13,000 papers on this subject and compiled the data from the 28 most rigorous studies. Their conclusion was: “LGB [lesbian, gay, bisexual] people are at higher risk of mental disorder, suicidal ideation, substance misuse and deliberate self harm than heterosexual people.”
Even the pro-homosexual Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:
• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”
The GLMA also confirms that:
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”
Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense. On the contrary, even a study in the Netherlands—perhaps the most “gay-friendly” country in the world—showed “a higher prevalence of substance use disorders in homosexual women and a higher prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders in homosexual men.”
Myth No. 6: Homosexual conduct is not harmful to one’s physical health.
Fact: Both because of high-risk behavior patterns, such as sexual promiscuity, and because of the harm to the body from specific sexual acts, homosexuals are at greater risk than heterosexuals for sexually transmitted diseases and other forms of illness and injury.
The most obvious and dramatic example of the negative consequences of homosexual conduct among men is the AIDS epidemic. In 2009, a gay newspaper reported, “Gay and bisexual men account for half of new HIV infections in the U.S. and have AIDS at a rate more than 50 times greater than other groups, according to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data . . . .”
Through 2007, 274,184 American men had died of AIDS whose only risk factor was sex with other men. When men who had sex with men and engaged in injection drug use are added to that total, we find that more than two thirds of the total male AIDS deaths in America (68%) have been among homosexual men.
HIV/AIDS is not the only sexually transmitted disease for which homosexual men are at risk.
The CDC warns, “Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at elevated risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.”
As early as 1976—even before the onset of the AIDS epidemic—doctors had identified a “clinical pattern of anorectal and colon diseases encountered with unusual frequency in . . . [male] homosexual patients,” resulting from the practice of anal intercourse, which they dubbed “the gay bowel syndrome.” An analysis of 260 medical records reported in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science found:
The clinical diagnoses in decreasing order of frequency include condyloma acuminata, hemorrhoids, nonspecific proctitis, anal fistula, perirectal abscess, anal fissure, amebiasis, benign polyps, viral hepatitis, gonorrhea, syphilis, anorectal trauma and foreign bodies, shigellosis, rectal ulcers and lymphogranuloma venereum. . . . In evaluating proctologic problems in the gay male, all of the known sexually transmitted diseases should be considered. . . . Concurrent infections with 2 or more pathogens should be anticipated.
Although not as dramatic, similar problems are also found among lesbians. In 2007, a medical journal reported, “Women who identified as lesbians have a 2.5-fold increased likelihood of BV [bacterial vaginosis] compared with heterosexual women.”
As with mental health problems (see Myth No.5), the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association has neatly summarized the elevated risks to physical health experienced by homosexuals:
• “That men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of HIV infection is well known . . . . However, the last few years have seen the return of many unsafe sex practices.”
• “Men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of sexually transmitted infection with the viruses that cause the serious condition of the liver known as hepatitis. These infections can be potentially fatal, and can lead to very serious long-term issues such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.”
• “Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur in sexually active gay men at a high rate. This includes STD infections for which effective treatment is available (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, pubic lice, and others), and for which no cure is available (HIV, Hepatitis A, B, or C virus, Human Papilloma Virus, etc.).”
• “Of all the sexually transmitted infections gay men are at risk for, human papilloma virus —which cause anal and genital warts — is often thought to be little more than an unsightly inconvenience. However, these infections may play a role in the increased rates of anal cancers in gay men. . . . [R]ecurrences of the warts are very common, and the rate at which the infection can be spread between partners is very high.”
Lesbians also face significant risks, according to the GLMA:
• “Lesbians have the richest concentration of risk factors for breast cancer than [sic] any subset of women in the world.”
• “Smoking and obesity are the most prevalent risk factors for heart disease among lesbians . . .”
• “Lesbians have higher risks for many of the gynecologic cancers.”
• “Research confirms that lesbians have higher body mass than heterosexual women. Obesity is associated with higher rates of heart disease, cancers, and premature death.”
(Source: Family Research Council)