January 23, 2006

If Homosexuality is a Dysfunction, Why the Condemnation?

An astute commenter has encouraged me to take my thinking in this article to the next level. In the original article, I make the case for homosexuality being a psychological dysfunction — the product of negative environmental factors in childhood. I am then asked why we should blame or condemn the victim if it is no different from other things that could be the result of a medical condition or upbringing. Why not condemn the physically disabled too? Here are my further thoughts:

There are certainly many other parallels to homosexuality (as a consequence of environmental factors). Some are directly analogous, like alcoholism and abusiveness, and some are not so directly parallel, like asthma and HIV. The distinction between the two is a matter of direct, unmediated, involuntary causality. For example, if a parent hit his child in the head with a baseball bat the child may well receive brain damage. There is a direct causal connection which the child had no hand in processing, reacting to, affirming, or reinforcing.

With alcoholism (assuming an environmental influence), the connection is not determinative, like the bat against the head. It is a matter of conditioning, which requires the child to respond to his upbringing in a way which is not guaranteed to result in alcoholism. He could manage to rise above it, commit suicide, become a criminal, become homosexual, or become an alcoholic. And if he does become an alcoholic, it does not mean that beer gets into the car, goes to his house, and jumps into his mouth. There is volition (will and action) involved, unlike with brain damage. The mentally defective child does not have a desire to be brain damaged, which he acts upon, rationalizes, and surrenders to.

So, in this sense at least, we should be able to see a distinction between those problems for which we could find personal guilt and those for which the person is a wholly passive "victim." But the other problem is that nobody's on a crusade to normalize and celebrate things like brain damage and alcoholism (other than nutburgers like this). If it turns out that homosexuality is indeed a dysfunction, as it once was understood to be (having been declassified as a result of political pressure), then this would pull the rug out from under the gay advocates. And therein lies my main theme.

I (and I am not alone here as a Christian) am not suggesting that persons with this dysfunction are hell-bound simply because they have homosexual compulsions. We all have sinful compulsions for gosh sakes. I am suggesting that it is wrong to celebrate this dysfunction, to normalize it as just another valid (even "God-given") lifestyle, to belittle those who want out of it, and to encourage youth to explore this path if they feel so inclined. Indeed, this path is being paved and lighted for all those children who are sufferers of those environmental factors that may potentially develop into some sort of dysfunction. If we can first admit that it is a dysfunction, it seems that a number of conclusions and responses naturally follow from there. And that is exactly why such a conclusion is being fought so ferociously by the gay community, who seem to enjoy their dysfunction, just as many alcoholics do.

My commenter then goes on to ask why is it important that homosexuality be defined as a dysfunction, and why it should matter to us personally.

If it is a dysfunction, let us call it a dysfunction, and without all the politics and propaganda. It might even foster more sympathy than hostility by those who have moral concerns with this condition. In fact, I have issues on the other end of the spectrum with Christians who still think of this as nothing more than an arbitrary "choice." It may be helpful for all parties to understand the deep complexities involved in this and why someone might end up going down this particular road as opposed to some other which may yield more sympathies.

As far as why I would care about this, well, first of all, I'd point out that if this really were a problem in one's relationship with God, then I would care by extension of my concern for others. If I really think life has eternal consequences, and I really care about others, then overlooking this issue is a form of spiritual apathy and neglect.

But even if there were no moral/spiritual ramifications, we could still consider the immediate physical concerns. This lifestyle is not without its side effects and consequences — things that not only affect the homosexual but society itself. One might also ask why we should care about cigarette smokers, but society seems to care very much. Since cigarette smoking (and homosexuality) is harmful, then we care about the participants, our youth who might be influenced to take this path, and the impact that it has on the culture-at-large, insurance rates, and healthcare costs. Basically, we care about this if we subscribe to the philosophy of "the public good," which is regularly applied in many other areas of society.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of things that are found in higher levels among the homosexual community:
  • Numerous physical health problems (AIDS is just the latest on the scene)
  • Mental health issues
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Substantial promiscuity
  • Promiscuity in "monogamous" same-sex relationships (even by consent)
  • High alcohol and drug use
  • Domestic abuse
  • Shorter life-spans
Here are some articles that flesh out these talking points. Perhaps a skeptic will not like the sources, but they are at least heavily footnoted from secular journals: Here and here
Here is a list of other articles regarding homosexual health issues: NARTH

It is more difficult to find the same kinds of comprehensive articles on gay health issues from pro-homosexual sources (it's bad press that they'd prefer to avoid), but you can find them candidly discussing their woes here and there: Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample 4, Sample 5, Sample 6

If it were any other condition bearing such risks and consequences, like cigarette smoking, we would have clamped down the constraints long ago. We would certainly not be working to give it normative status in our culture, crafting laws to prohibit opposition to it, and writing it into our school curriculum as a good and healthy avenue of sexual exploration.

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13 Comments:

At 1/24/2006 6:03 AM, Blogger Rocky Staglione said...

I wouldn't say so much that its a disfunction, than its an error of interpreting their experiences, confusing associations of feelings and pleasure with false objects: certainly it is a grave moral disorder (a vice) because no one can be ignorant that sex is for procreation, and hence for 1 man and 1 woman, not some other combo.

 
At 1/24/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger Paul said...

(Reader caution: Rocky's blog is not suitable for prime time viewers)

So, if their behaviors and desires are not in line with how nature/God intended, then do we not say that this is a dysfunction?

 
At 1/24/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Rocky, what if we consider bad decisions, made as a result of personal hurts, to be a dysfunction also?

 
At 1/24/2006 9:46 PM, Blogger SWMNT said...

Rocky: Ever hug a gay man? Hahahah. Just kidding.

I'm going to try to find some of my own sources of information on health risks of the gay lifestyle.

But it seems to me that if we're talking about health risks of bad decisions, we might, instead, focus on some of these statistics, courtesy the US government:

Number of Deaths, % of Total, Cause

685,089...28.0%..Diseases of the heart
556,902...22.7...Malignant neoplasms
157,689....6.4...Cerebrovascular diseases
126,382....5.2...Chronic lower respiratory diseases
109,277....4.5...Accidents (unintentional injuries)
74,219....3.0...Diabetes mellitus
65,163....2.7...Influenza and pneumonia
63,457....2.6...Alzheimer's disease
42,453....1.7...Nephritis, nephritic syndrome and nephrosis
34,069....1.4...Septicemia
31,484....1.3...Intentional self-harm (suicide)
27,503....1.1...Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
21,940....0.9...Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
17,997....0.7...Parkinson's disease
17,732....0.7...Assault (homicide)
416,932...17.0...All other causes (Residual)

Are red meat, smoking, lack of exercise and diseases of the heart, (the number one killer,) greater or lesser moral issues than homosexuality and AIDS?

 
At 1/24/2006 11:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

We do try to remediate these things already.

We shouldn't have to eliminate all these things before we then move on to other "lesser" things. By that logic we couldn't help the poor in any other country until we eliminated every bit of poverty in the US.

No one is celebrating any of these things and saying it is perfectly acceptable to do the things that put you at high risk for them.

As far as how homosexuality compares with other high-risk behaviors, I think it depends on whether or not we think of homosexuality itself as an immoral behavior. If so, then we can compare that aspect against the moral status of, say, eating red meat, which might be morally neutral in-and-of itself. If homosexuality is morally neutral, we would then merely need to look at the social and health effects and compare the risks accordingly.

 
At 1/25/2006 8:39 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Sir (I wish I had a better handle than the awkward acronym),

You missed the point altogether. Can you imagine us celebrating the 'heart attack' lifestyle? You've actually shown why we should seek to combat homosexuality. How about we be consistent and charge higher health insurance premiums for gay people?
How about a company's total health care costs increase based on the number of homosexuals at the company? It would be entirely consistent with your examples because we do that today based on other health risk factors.

Can you imagine a public service campaign to help educate people about the risks of homosexuality? How about warning labels on condoms warning of the risks of using it in an anal fashion? (like the saturated fat labels mandated on foods)

Note: just as we don't outlaw smoking or eating fatty foods, or a sedentary lifestyle we wouldn't outlaw homosexuality...just not normalize and celebrate it.

 
At 1/25/2006 9:20 PM, Blogger Roger Yang said...

Sorry, to say, but that's really far-fetched.

"Here is a sampling of the kinds of things that are found in higher levels among the homosexual community:
(everything else snip)"

Of course it would be a higher level. Maybe if there was a higher number, then it might be considered dysfunctional. But what you have to realize is that homosexuality is in the minority of the group.

Take this example.
I have 10 people living in one town.
And 100 people living in another.

If 1 person gets mad cow in the smaller town, that's 10 percent of the population .

If 1 person gets it in the larger town, that's only 1% of the population.

You have to take in account statistics.

 
At 1/25/2006 10:27 PM, Blogger Paul said...

First, I'm not equating the health issues with the "dysfunction" argument. I've included those to make the case that it is not in our, or their, best interest to encourage it.

Second, I understand the point you are making in relation to statistics, but it can't possibly apply here. If the figures were simply total by population group, and they were higher (as the reports indicate), then that would be even more damning, because a smaller group was yielding a higher number of health problems than the larger heterosexual population (although I believe this is true in some cases). The flaw you fear would actually apply in the reverse situation, with statistics for heterosexuals, and I've seen this done. For example, when comparing incidents of child sexual abuse done by gays versus straights. The figure is higher among straights (i.e., men against girls) than it is for homosexuals. But this means less than we might think, since, as you point out, you must consider that the heterosexual population vastly outnumbers the homosexual population. When you factor in the population scales, it looks much worse for the homosexuals.

Perhaps Jeff would like to elaborate further, since I am not formally trained as he is in the area of statistics.

 
At 1/27/2006 7:36 AM, Blogger SWMNT said...

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the case, but it seems to me that health risks are being used to condemn a behavior as part of a justification for deeming it immoral.

If that's the case, it seems to me that there are many behaviors ahead of homosexual related diseases that are more deserving of being labeled "immoral".

It's not that we celebrate the "Heart Attack" lifestyle. It's that we don't define as immoral the behaviors related to the "Heart Attack" lifestyle.

Sign me,
SWMNT

 
At 4/09/2010 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homosexuality IS a dysfunction, and trying to excuse it by pointing to the existence and tolerance of OTHER human dysfunctions (either behavior or biological) like Alcoholism, drug addition, bad dieting, Alzheimer's disease etc. STILL does not make it correct or acceptable.

Like the saying goes "Two wrongs do not make a right..."

And in this life there are things that are good, and things that are bad, period! Recognizing ALL for what they Truly, no matter how hard or difficult that may be is our responsibility as responsible adults!

ALL the different dysfunctions mankinds have ARE the real reasons of the sufferings we all feel in our fleshy existence on this planet.

The biological ones, like disease we fight and try to cure them... but today, only some of the behavioral ones like alcoholism, which for decades was "ok", or seen a “life style”, have been recognized for what it is, a detrimental behavior. So it must ALSO be with homosexuality.

I wrote a book with ALL the facts and the complete reality of the sexual dysfunctional behavior we call homosexuality... ALL of it! It is an eye opener...

I hold nothing back in “What Nature Intended, Six Factors Demonstrating Homosexuality to be a Dysfunction” @ www.whatnatureintended.com

The day humanity STOPS making excuses for ALL the things we are DOING wrong, and tackles the hard task of fixing them in our lives (which I agree is NOT easy) will be the day this world will truly start to become a better place!

...The first step though is to admit we are doing something wrong! That takes courage and honesty! And in the case of homosexuality, just like alcoholics for example, they have to come to terms that they are doing something wrong, and for the rest of us to help them do right and not cater to their dysfunction by excusing it or just ignoring it!

Luis T. Puig

 
At 8/27/2010 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher medical risks have always been a direct result of unstable traits and behaviors. People often speaks of it in the context of the gay man. Most people still mistakenly assume or believe that there are hardly any medical risks associated with lesbian sex. It was believed and still is in many cases that lesbian sex is even less riskier than hetero sex.

However, studies are coming out now that are finding that lesbian sex is linked to higher risks of bacterial vaginosis, HPV specifically genital warts—squamous intraepithelial lesions, trichomoniasis, syphilis, and Herpes simplex virus (HSV), and cervical cancer even among women who have had no prior sex with men.

They also show that women who have sex with women have a higher risk of HIV/Aids due to the fact that they are finding that most of identified lesbians have had sex with bisexual/gay men much more so than the average heterosexual woman has.

Transmission of all the above also occurs through vaginal and cervical secretions between lesbian women.

Here are the medical sources for these claims...

^ Women Who Have Sex with Women (WSW), Centers for Disease Control, 2006 (MMWR August 4, 2006 / Vol. 55 / No. RR--11). Retrieved on January 9, 2009.
^ Frenkl, Tara Lee, Potts, Jeannette (February 2008). "Sexually Transmitted Infections", Urologic Clinics of North America, 35 (1) p. 33–46.
^ King, p. 226.
^ Risser, Jan M.H., Risser, William L., Risser, Amanda (December 2008). "Epidemiology of Infections in Women", Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 22 (4), p. 581–599.
^ King, p.229.
^ Zimmerman, 360.
^ HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report: Cases of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2006. Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved on January 9, 2009.

 
At 8/27/2010 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The higher rates of emotional and psychological trauma in the GLBT community are not induced by society (that's been grossly over-exaggerated, but rather are the result of conflicting emotional and relationship behaviors that assaults the emotional and physical health of those who engage in gay and lesbian sex and relationships...and the act of fabricating or role playing gender roles that one or both does not (emotionally, mentally, or physically) intrinsically have.

Remember, we can give them all the "rights" and liberties in the world and they will always scream cries of oppression and discrimination, even at times when there isn't any of that happening or going on. And even when all their wanted "rights" and liberties have been granted, because it is not unusual for people who have a deficient concept (sexualized identity: when who you are is being defined by attraction) of the self to symbolize their internal confusion through projection of the self onto their environment. The boundaries of the self become blurred, in a sense, marching over the usual demarcation between their self and the outside world, and end up treating the immediate external environment, as if it were their own ego itself.

The LGBT community and their sympathizers continue to complain about not having the same "rights," being oppressed, and claiming that being gay is just a variant of normal sexuality. Yet combined with many of them making it a political identity as an attempt to get any kind of fulfillment out of it, every single gay and lesbian in their relationships always seems to find themselves progressively adapting to and assimilating towards a heterosexual model in order to give it the best chance at survival, or in order to get any kind of fulfillment out of it whatsoever.

For example, we usually see the average gay or lesbian relationship where it's easy to notice who the "man" is and who's the "woman" is. Most gay and lesbian relationships are very distinctive that way...are very obviously adapting a heterosexual model. But even in relationships where there are two masculine gay men together, two feminine gay men together, two butch lesbians together, or two femme lesbians together, they also almost instantly start role playing where one is the more masculine gender role the other more feminine gender role, in order for the relationship to just survive or for them to get any kind of fulfillment out of it. This adaptation of their relationships towards the heterosexual model of our biological nature (in order to give it the best chance of survival) should shed a whole lot of real truth about what our true nature really is....heterosexual.

Even heterosexuality orientation is ultimately chosen, but our biological nature reveals a great amount of truth about our sexual orientation and gender identity.

 
At 8/28/2010 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher medical risks and consequences have always been direct result of unstable traits and behaviors. Most of the arguments we here seem to always be in the context of the gay man. Not too long ago, there were hardly any medical studies about the risks and consequences associated with lesbian sex. It was believed, and still is in many cases, that lesbian sex is less risky than hetero sex. And how many lesbians do you think use dental dams or place condoms over their vibrators or dildos where cervical excretions are shared and exchanged during their lesbian sexual encounters?

Studies are coming out now that are finding that lesbian sex is linked to higher risks of bacterial vaginosis, HPV specifically genital warts—squamous intraepithelial lesions, trichomoniasis, syphilis, and Herpes simplex virus (HSV), and cervical cancer even among women who have had no prior sex with men. They also show that women who have sex with women have a higher risk of HIV/Aids due to the fact that they are finding that most of identified lesbian have had sex with bisexual men much more so than a hetero woman has. Transmission also occurs through vaginal and cervical secretions between lesbian women.

Here are the medical sources for these claims...

^ Women Who Have Sex with Women (WSW), Centers for Disease Control, 2006 (MMWR August 4, 2006 / Vol. 55 / No. RR--11). Retrieved on January 9, 2009.
^ Frenkl, Tara Lee, Potts, Jeannette (February 2008). "Sexually Transmitted Infections", Urologic Clinics of North America, 35 (1) p. 33–46.
^ King, p. 226.
^ Risser, Jan M.H., Risser, William L., Risser, Amanda (December 2008). "Epidemiology of Infections in Women", Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 22 (4), p. 581–599.
^ King, p.229.
^ Zimmerman, 360.
^ HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report: Cases of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2006. Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved on January 9, 2009.

Also, lesbians have the highest rate of domestic disputes than even gay male relationships. Lesbians is literally 1 out of 2 relationships. Gay males are 2 out of every 5. If these statistics were the same for heterosexuals, then it would appear as if everybody has lost their minds. Also, it is to be noted that the nature of their domestic violence on each other typically involves the same discriminatory verbal and physical abuse that they continue to blame on the so-called intolerant heterosexual society.

Here's the Source,
It is a PDF document

http://www.uncfsp.org/projects/userfiles/File/DCE-STOP_NOW/NCADV_LGBT_Fact_Sheet.pdf

 

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