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15 October 2011

Repudiation: FRC's Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality

As I mentioned in my repudiation of Citizens for Community Values, the Family Research Council has a lie-filled brochure called the Top 10 Myths about Homosexuality.  Time to debunk them.

Myth No. 1:  People are born gay.
Fact:  The research does not show that anyone is “born gay,” and suggests instead that homosexuality results from a complex mix of developmental factors.

No.  While the research does indicate that the factors that create sexuality are complex, the link to genetics is real.  First an article on what American researchers say.  And second an article on a study out of England and Sweden.  Even if the causes of sexual orientation were environmental, it does not make sense that any person would choose to be part of a group subject to legal discrimination and violence like gay-bashing.

Myth No. 2:  Sexual orientation can never change.
Fact:  Thousands of men and women have testified to experiencing a change in their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Research confirms that such change does occur—sometimes spontaneously, and sometimes as a result of therapeutic interventions.

No.  While it is possible for any human to participate in sex with any other human, one's sexual orientation appears to be fixed.  A British study released last year calls for banning conversion therapy, the so-called therapeutic interventions, because it does not work.  The American Psychiatric Association came to this conclusion a decade ago.

Myth No. 3:  Efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual are harmful and unethical.
Fact :  There is no scientific evidence that change efforts create greater harm than the homosexual lifestyle itself. The real ethical violation is when clients are denied the opportunity to set their own goals for therapy.

No.  Again, look at the position of The American Psychiatric Association.  There is real potential harm.  For anecdotal evidence, look to the experience of someone like Patrick Strudwick.  The Southern Poverty Law Center also has a recent exploration of "Destructive Conversion Therapy".

Myth No. 4:  Ten percent of the population is gay.
Fact:  Less than three percent of American adults identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.

Maybe.  It is challenging to get solid data.  The U.S. Census is not tracking homosexuality.  Even if they were, the numbers are likely to be skewed.  Gay children are often not out to their parents and even if they are out the parents may not record their children's statements.  Many adults in the LGBTQ community are still in the closet at work.  As the FRC brochure notes, it was Dr. Kinsey who estimated that ten percent of the population is gay.  The real numbers are not known.  Of course, even if it was one tenth of a percent who were LGBTQ, that would not justify discrimination.

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.”

No.  The research cited is by a group called the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, a group that has been discredited.  See the discussion on Truth Wins Out.  The members of NARTH who deal in so-called conversion therapy had a very high number of suicides among their patients.  This claim cannot be found among reputable doctors or scientists.

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.

No.  The experts are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Here is a paragraph from that page:

In addition to considering the needs of LGBT people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers [1-5]. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBT populations experience.

While there are certainly higher rates of some diseases in the LGBTQ community, the causes are far more complex and sometimes brought on by stress from the hate produced by groups like the FRC.

Myth No. 7:  Children raised by homosexuals are no different from children raised by heterosexuals, nor do they suffer harm.
Fact:  An overwhelming body of social science research shows that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage. Research specifically on children of homosexuals has major methodological problems, but does show specific differences.

No.  As seen in a study released at the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2005, children raised by homosexuals tend to do very well.  An article in the Journal of Marriage and Family last year found that same sex couples can be effective parents.  The FRC data is biased and out of date.

Myth No. 8:  Homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.
Fact:  Sexual abuse of boys by adult men is many times more common than consensual sex between adult men, and most of those engaging in such molestation identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.

No.  Dr. Herek of the University of California at Davis has done a significant review of the data, concluding

The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.

One detail from the U.S. Department of Justice,

Females were more than six times as likely as males to be the victims of sexual assaults known to law enforcement agencies. More specifically, 86% of all victims of sexual assault were female. The relative proportion of female victims generally increased with age. Sixty-nine percent of victims under age 6 were female, compared with 73% of victims under age 12, and 82% of all juvenile (under age 18) victims. The female proportion of sexual assault victims reached 90% at age 13 and 95% at age 19 (figure 3).

The FRC concern of adult men being homosexual child molesters does not fit with the number of female children molested.  In fact, it suggests that there is a larger problem with heterosexual child molesters.  (Not an accusation of anyone.  Every normal adult, gay and straight, finds child molestation despicable).

Myth No. 9:  Homosexuals are seriously disadvantaged by discrimination.
Fact:  Research shows that homosexuals actually have significantly higher levels of educational attainment than the general public, while the findings on homosexual incomes are, at worst, mixed.

No.  In twenty-nine states, people can be fired because of their sexual orientation.  The Defense of Marriage Act means that couples who are legally married in one state are not recognized as married in other states.  Thirty-seven states allow for housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.  These are huge disadvantages.  Source:  Wikipedia.

Money is useful, but like every other group there are rich and poor and most in-between in the LGBTQ community.  When one's landlord can evict or one's job can be terminated because someone finds out that one is gay or lesbian, that is a serious disadvantage.

Myth No. 10:  Homosexual relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones, except for the gender of the partners.
Fact:  Homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship, less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner, even if they have one, and are less likely to remain committed for a lifetime, than are heterosexuals. They also experience higher rates of domestic violence than heterosexual married couples.

No.  Not only is gay marriage not more likely to lead to divorce, there is a correlation between legal gay marriage and lower overall divorce rates.  Gay marriage has not been around long enough to be sure, but initial data indicates that gay marriages are more stable than straight marriages on average.

The source for the claim of gay domestic violence is from NARTH, as discussed above, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality is a group that has been discredited.  See the discussion on Truth Wins Out.  There is no reputable source for higher rates of domestic violence among homosexual couples.

So many lies in one brochure. 


  1. beeblmeyer (David)15 October, 2011 19:02

    Hello Teacher,
    It's beeblmeyer from JMG, just stopping by to say "Hi."
    I've bookmarked your blog for future reference.
    Thanks for sharing the link at JMG, along with your many thoughtful, civilized (more-so than mine) comments.

  2. Welcome and thank you for the kind words. (You don't want to know how many times I erase comments so that I can appear civilized).
    Glad to have your wisdom here and at Joe.My.God


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