Gays Die Sooner: Implications for Adoption

Christian Newswire March 27, 2007

“The life span of gays is 20-plus years shorter than the life span of heterosexuals.” — Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute

PHILADELPHIA, Mar. 27 /Christian Newswire/ — “The life span of gays is 20- plus years shorter than the life span of heterosexuals,” states Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute, a Colorado-based think tank. “This shortened lifespan,” he warned, “has profound implications for adoption. On average, in Norway and Denmark — where same-sex marriage is legal – married lesbians lived to age 56 and married gay men to age 52. So the chances that a gay-adopted child will lose one or both parents before graduating from high school are much greater than they would be with a married man and woman.”

Cameron’s remarks were based on a report he gave at the Eastern Psychological Association convention at its annual meeting in Philadelphia.

In this first report on deaths in same-sex marriage in Denmark and Norway, married gay men and lesbians lived about 24 fewer years than their conventionally married counterparts.

In Denmark, the country with the longest history of gay marriage, between 1990-2002, men married to women died at a median age of 74, while the 561 partnered gays died at a median age of 51. In Norway, men married to women died at a median age of 77 and the 31 gays at a median age of 52. In Denmark, women married to men died at a median age of 78 as compared to a median age of 56 for the 91 lesbians. In Norway, married women died at a median age of 81, as compared with 56 yr. for the 6 married lesbians.

“Given these figures – generated by the census bureaus of Denmark and Norway – a gay couple of 35 is, roughly speaking, as close to death as a married heterosexual couple of 55. Divorce is twice as frequent among married homosexuals in Norway and Denmark (even more frequent if kids are involved). It doesn’t make much sense to take vulnerable children and place them in the risky situation generated by homosexual couples,” Cameron commented.

Paul Cameron, Ph.D. & Kirk Cameron, Ph.D., presented “Federal Distortion Of The Homosexual Footprint.” Paul Cameron, a reviewer for the British Medical Journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Postgraduate Medical Journal, has published over 40 scientific articles on homosexuality. The EPA, is the oldest regional Psychological Association in the United States. At its Philadelphia convention members presented the latest advances in scientific work to colleagues.

The full report can be accessed at www.earnedmedia.org/frireport.htm

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39 thoughts on “Gays Die Sooner: Implications for Adoption

  1. Now that the 2007 season of Battlestar Galactica is over, I was really worried about what I was going to do for entertainment. And then just this morning Paul Cameron of the Family Research Council, bless bless his heart, comes up with another one of his research papers. It’s tough to make it as a comic these days, and you have to hand it to Cameron for not giving up.

    Actually, Cameron’s methodology has been ripped to shreds by all sorts of people. I mean, it has been torn, cut, shot, stabbed, burned, liquified, dissolved, and strangled. But Cameron, ever the single-minded researcher, still uses it.

    In a nutshell, he looks at obituaries in homosexual and other newspapers, and compares the ages at which people die. There it is. No scientific sample, no interviews with physicians, no public health record survey. Obituaries.

    “For U.S. estimates, we examined a series of consecutive obituaries published from 1993 through 2005 in the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper published weekly in Washington, D.C. Each obituary with enough detail was coded for age-at-death, whether the individual was gay or lesbian, whether the deceased was partnered at time of death, and whether the death was due to HIV/AIDS or some other cause. ”

    One critic described Cameron’s similar previous work thus:

    Obituaries in gay community newspapers do not provide a representative sampling of the community. This is evident in the fact that only only 2% of the Cameron group’s obituaries were for lesbians. Moreover, community newspapers tend overwhelmingly to report deaths due to AIDS (only 11% of Cameron’s gay male obituaries were not related to AIDS). In addition, community newspapers tend not to print obituaries for people who are not actively involved in the local gay community, those who are in the closet, and those whose loved ones simply don’t submit an obituary to a local gay newspaper.

    The Cameron group’s gay obituary study reports many numbers and statistics. However, they are absolutely worthless for estimating the life expectancy of gay men and lesbians.

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_obit.html

    Another critic writes

    It all recalls the study a few years back on supposed high mortality among left-handers: Researchers found that between one survey and another the number of people reporting themselves as left-handed dropped sharply, and decided that the reason was not (boringly) a defect of the survey mechanism but (excitingly) that lefties had been dying like mayflies. The study has now mercifully been forgotten, but we’d still be debating it if Bill Bennett had decided to go on television to crusade against left-handedness.

    [emphasis mine]

  2. It is sad that so-called Christians believe anything that enhances their viewpoints so much that they don’t check said information for veracity:

    On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American Psychological Association received official written notice that “Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists” by the APA Board of Directors.
    In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.”

    The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research. Information on this action and a copy of the report by the Committee on the Status of Homosexuals in Sociology, “The Paul Cameron Case,” is to be published in Footnotes, and be sent to the officers of all regional and state sociological associations and to the Canadian Sociological Association with a request that they alert their members to Cameron’s frequent lecture and media appearances.

    In 2005, the Boston Globe spotlighted Cameron in an article entitled Beliefs Drive Research Agenda of New Think Tanks. According to the article, when the Traditional Values Coalition was asked about Cameron, the organization responded by allegedly removing all references to Cameron from its web page. A spokesperson for the organization, Daniella Lopez, said the research had been placed on the web page by mistake.

  3. Jim –

    Tell me about it. Without Battlestar Galactica, I am bereft of TV to watch on Sundays. It fundamentally unbalances my week. The occupation of New Caprica alone was, perhaps, the highlight of TV drama for the last decade.

    Oh, but seriously this was a thread about gays and dying early or something.

    My reaction is simply – who cares? What do homosexuals dying earlier or later have to do with anything? It might be interesting, but that doesn’t really equate to anything concrete in the public policy sphere.

    Well, it might impact their insurance rates, but longevity or lack thereof proves nothing in terms of adoption or any other policy sphere.

    I can think of a dozen or so things that would be much more likely to help prove a case against homosexual adoption than this one.

  4. Insurance note, it is not legal to ask “moral risk” questions on life insurance applications any more. When AIDS hit the fan and insurance companies acutally started testing for HIV, Washington DC banned the test which only caused every insurance company in America to stop writing life insurance there, at least for a while.

    So the only thing that will impact the insurance rates of homosexuals is their overall health, just like everyone else who wishes to buy a life insurance policy. It is also quite acceptable to name one’s homosexual partner as the benficiary of the life insurance policy without any underwriting problems developing.

  5. I did not know that. Very interesting. Why would it be wrong to ask such questions? People are asked what is their job and such. Insurance rates are all based on statistics… So, it there actually was a causation between homosexuality and early death, why shouldn’t they be allowed to adjust for it. (I am not saying there IS a causation, but that IF there were). It is a business, after all.

  6. note #2

    On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership.

    I have no reason to doubt this is true, but would that not point to the fact that we need to pay more attention to what the man is saying? Since the APA, along with the rest of the “social sciences” has taken the modernist view of homosexuality, should we not be just a bit skeptical of there actions in this case? Not only have they taken the modernist view, they have gone beyond that and seem now to support the homosexualist activism (i.e. they now actively promote the view by condemning anyone who is critical of it). I read a while back that the APA was actively supporting the “gay fairy tales” view of education (can’t find the citation at the moment).

    Given the moral corruption of the APA, I think we should pay attention to anything that seems to prick their wacko-left-wing-moral-outrage…

  7. If you’d like to read more about Paul Cameron, check this out.

    “Campaigning against [a gay rights] ordinance, Cameron told the congregation of the University of Nebraska Lutheran Church that a local 4-year old boy had recently been dragged into a shopping mall bathroom and castrated by a homosexual. The story was totally false. The Omaha Police Department and local hospitals had no record of such an assault.”

    He’s also distorted the findings of other scientists, among them Nicholas Groth who stated that Cameron “disgraces his profession”. His proposal for AIDS patients was that we “screen and quarantine until we come up with a cure”.

    Even Book of Virtues author William Bennett stated that “there are flaws with Paul Cameron’s study”, and the conservative Manhattan Institute’s Walter Olson provided a critique of Cameron’s findings on Slate that concluded that Cameron’s findings were “absurd”.

    Perhaps it’s a question of who you wish to believe. However, the evidence seems to indicate that not only is Cameron a bit of a crackpot and unethical to boot, his findings are errant and are not to be taken as gospel.

  8. Well, if Cameron’s findings and credentials are disputed, then shouldn’t we should expect some “legitimate” social scientists to conduct a valid study? Facts and data would be much more useful than grumbling about Cameron’s academic standing.

    Has anyone seen any academically-respectable papers that compare the life-expectancy of homosexuals to the general population?

    Frankly, I’d be surprised if there ever was any such study. I doubt most academics would be willing to take on the topic. The risk of getting politically-incorrect results is too great. So if you know of any such studies, please cite them here. I’d like to be surprised.

  9. Note #5: Dean, homosexuals, non-whites, and women in some states are a protected class. Even with overwhelming statistics it is deemed “discriminatory” to allow insurance companies to underwrite based on facts. The HIV furor is a clear case in point. Homosexual “rights” groups insisted that insurance companies not be able to test for HIV and in some jurisdictions, they prevailed. The fact is that routine testing for HIV by insurance companies has saved a lot of lives and lowered the perception that testing for AIDS is a bad thing. Magic Johson’s HIV state was discovered on an insurance exam for instance.

    There is continuing pressure on insurance companies to disregard facts and not underwrite at all because it is just not fair that some people are charged different rates than others even when they pose a clearly greater risk. If property insurance were written as many people expect life and health insurance to be written, the companies would be forced to write a policy on a building that had just been damaged by hail as if there were no damage, or worse had a tornado bearing down on it that was going to hit it at any minute.

    It really is part of the social philosophy you so vociferously defend on this blog,i.e, people should not be allowed to reap the consequences of their choices because the outcome isn’t “fair” Exactly why some judges release child molestors, etc.

  10. Augie, I did a quick Google and found this:

    “Unfortunately there really is no satisfactory measure of actual life expectancy among gay men. However, Harry Rosenberg, the mortality-statistics chief at the National Center for Health Statistics, says he’s unaware of evidence that HIV-negative gays have a lower life expectancy than other males. Rosenberg also points to one reason to think the HIV-negative gay male may actually live longer on average than the straight male: Gays may have higher incomes and more education on average than straights–two factors powerfully correlated with longer life spans. (Bennett himself appears to share this view, terming gays, ‘as a group, wealthy and well educated.’)”

    Augie, the reason I bring this up is that I am concerned about the way statistics are used to create over-generalizations and even construct social policies in a way that is unjust. For example, it is a known fact that minorities represent a disproportionate percentage of the prison population. However, what are we to do about that fact? Should we use it to create policies regarding employment or adoption applications?

    There are potentially real injustices that could occur because of incorrectly using such studies, especially when they are the result of such shoddy quality as is Cameron’s.

  11. James K:, But we have been told over and over by Jim Holman, Phil, et. al, that only the facts matter. Why bother with context and interpretation and the assumptions underlying said? Facts are facts aren’t they?

  12. Michael asks: “Facts are facts aren’t they?”

    That’s the problem: it’s not just the conclusions about the facts that are being debated (although it’s that too), it’s the facts themselves. When he gets in front of a group of people and states something with utter certainty as if it were true when it is not, there’s a problem. When he gets his statistics the same way Enron’s accountants calculated their supposed “profits”, there’s a problem. To put it bluntly: we’re not talking about facts, we’re talking about lies. If the ends justify the means in Cameron’s case, well, I’m not sure how we can critique the moral relativism of liberals, then.

    I would just as quickly denounce made-up stories about Limbaugh or Coulter, for example, even though I happen to disagree with many things they do and say, by the way.

    I also think you misunderstand when some of us suggest that “facts are facts”. I, for one, believe that facts should not be portrayed without at least a respectable attempt at relaying as broad and accurate a picture of the facts as possible. For example: if one wishes to teach STD prevention in the school, I don’t think it’s irresponsible to teach that some things CAN reduce the risk. It would be false to suggest that they are foolproof, and it would be neglectful to ignore the additional fact that abstinence is much more reliable. Likewise, I’m uncertain that our media is portraying as accurate a picture of what’s going on in Iraq as they could be. This is why I attempt to read accounts from both sides and from the troops actually there in addition to the media’s accounts.

    Facts cease to become facts when they are used to assert that they represent a broader reality than they actually do.

  13. I do recall (this is going back – perhaps to college) that the sociologists had determined “bachelors” lead a significantly reduced life span compared to married men. Would this not mitigate the education/wealth factor of a generalized homosexualist population? Some might be tempted to argue the “committed long term relationship” line but I understand that to largely a myth also. Just speculating out loud here. To be honest, I would have trouble believing anything that came out of the “social sciences” right now. They and the humanities are the most compromised part of the American Academy today. The ideological tilt rivals totalitarian societies…

  14. @ #9 I am confused. You must be thinking that I am Dean Scourtes. I am not. I am a relatively new commentator on this blog.

    @ #8 I would agree. It is much too hot of a topic for most people to risk their careers. Even if they were conscientious in their data collection, they would probably receive a lot of flak anyway. It is too bad that those who say they wish to promote freedom of information would probably try to stifle this, if it were true.

  15. You seem to be missing the point.

    The bottom line is not whether or not there is fear to do the studies on the supposed gay life span for fear of being politically incorrect. Until a legitimate study is out there by someone credible, that is a moot point.

    The point is that Mr. Cameron has historically engaged in bad research tactics to quantify his studies. His studies about the gay community just don’t add up to fact. Now some can say that he is being attacked because he “tells the truth,” but just how long will that opinion hold water?

    That would be mean that all of the groups I mentioned having a problem with Cameron’s tactics are in some huge conspiracy to hurt his credibility. At what point does one throw up his or her hands and admit that all of these groups cannot be wrong and Cameron is right. And if his history is dubious, how in the world can anyone try to claim that what he puts out is credible?

    Anything that deviates from that is a distraction.

  16. You seem to be missing the point.

    Excuse me?

    Your point, maybe. Why would you assume that anyone else’s point should be the same?

  17. But we have been told over and over by Jim Holman, Phil, et. al, that only the facts matter.

    I’m giddy to be quoted in a thread I wasn’t even posting on. But, since I spend a lot of time writing multiple choice tests, I don’t think I’d make a statement like “Only the facts matter.” It seems too easy to disprove.

    There is continuing pressure on insurance companies to disregard facts and not underwrite at all because it is just not fair that some people are charged different rates than others even when they pose a clearly greater risk.

    Without being argumentative today, it’s worth mentioning that a statistical likelihood is a particular kind of a fact, and that these tend to be more meaningful in the aggregate than in a specific case. For example, the statement “28 percent of black men will spend time in prison” does not mean that the particular black man who lives next door to you has a 28% chance of going to prison.

  18. that would be mean that all of the groups I mentioned having a problem with Cameron’s tactics are in some huge conspiracy to hurt his credibility.

    Well, we are in the middle of a culture war. What this means to the “scientific” community is that some ideas are accepted, and some are not. Cameron is addressing a subject that has the full force of one side of the cultural war against him. It’s not a “conspiracy” per se but it is a large (and largely unexamined) prejudice. This does not make what he is saying “true”, but it is wise to take this in to account when his critics (such as yourself) claim he is a “liar” and such. Notice the pro-homosexualist stance of the “American Sociological Association” who you quote as saying:

    Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men

    So what the ASA is saying here is that it is not a “scientific” organization, but a political action committee that supports the hard left agenda of misnamed ” gay civil rights”. What ever they say about Cameron can thus be ignored – if one is talking “scientifically”…

  19. Christopher,

    you clearly omitted the portion of the resolution that said:

    “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism”

    And that is the crux of the situation. Cameron got into trouble, not because of some conspiracy to discredit him, but because of his use of bad tactics in order to quantify his theories. Case in point:

    In 1984, A. Nicholas Groth, director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, complained to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists about Cameron’s usage of his work. Groth said:

    “(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children. . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.”

    In 1978, Groth interviewed 175 men who had been convicted of child molestation in Massachusetts. He found that none of them had an exclusively homosexual relationship. They were either exclusively heterosexual, a bisexual with a predominantly heterosexual orientation, or a fixated pedophile with no sexual interest in adults

    Groth’s complaint was not the first one lodged against Cameron. In 1982, six other researchers complained that Cameron was distorting their research.

    In addition, former Secretary of Education William Bennett said about Cameron’s original life span study:

    ” . . . I believe there are flaws with Paul Cameron’s study. One cannot extrapolate from his methodology and say that the average male homosexual life span is 43 years.” – the New Republic, February 23, 1998

  20. you clearly omitted the portion of the resolution that said:

    “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism”

    And that is the crux of the situation.

    That’s not the “crux” of the situation for Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindu’s, Buddhists, and indeed many other philosophies. The “crux” of the situation is the ASA’s political activism, because they clearly support the hard left agenda of “gay rights”, “gay marriage”, and the like.

    So, when they say that Dr. Cameron “misrepresents” research, what the REALLY mean is that he does not share their political correctness and moral posturing. What the REALLY mean is that he does not share their political and moral relativism.

    Again, that does not make what he says true, but we can completely discount the ASA because they have given up on “science” and crossed the line into the twilight zone of moral relativism…

  21. With all due respect, attempting to justify a bad study simply because it enhances your personal religious belief is the height of moral relativism.

  22. Generally, I find that those who use the term “moral relativism” are those that understand it the least. Like Christopher, they tend to use it to mean no more than “disagreement”.

  23. Note 21:

    Mr. Mcewen, I am beginning to think you are having trouble reading my posts. I leave open whether Dr. Cameron’s “study” is false or true. I really have no idea. How is this “justifying” the study?

    Your point is taken: You believe the groups who criticize Dr. Cameron are doing it in good faith. You seem to be missing my point, which is at least one of the groups (i.e. the ASA) has explicitly, in full view, taken up political (i.e. politically correct) moral advocacy for “gay rights” and the like. This is NOT a scientific criticism they are putting forth. Now, if they have a problem with his science, it does not matter – they can no longer be trusted. They have a hot button political stance that overrides the “science”.

    Note 22:

    Hah! Go to the home page of this website and do a little research into Orthodoxy, and it’s critique of modernism and moral relativism. You will find that we use the term correctly. Moral relativists might not LIKE the term, because most folks recognize (intuitively if not intellectually – see St. Paul and the “Law written on the Heart”) that when you describe their position accurately it does not help them in the public square, but this is besides the point…

  24. Christopher writes: “So what the ASA is saying here is that it is not a ‘scientific’ organization, but a political action committee that supports the hard left agenda of misnamed ‘gay civil rights’. What ever they say about Cameron can thus be ignored – if one is talking ‘scientifically’…”

    The word “abrogate,” used by the ASA, is not technically correct. You can’t abrogate something that does not exist in the first place. (For example, you can’t cancel a restaurant reservation that you haven’t made.) So it would be more accurate to say that Cameron works against the granting of certain rights to homosexuals. Slightly reworded, the statement of the ASA would completely accurate, yes? If mean, if you’re working against granting of certain rights to homosexuals, then it is accurate for someone else to say that you’re working against granting certain rights to homosexuals.

    Christopher: “So, when they say that Dr. Cameron “misrepresents” research, what the REALLY mean is that he does not share their political correctness and moral posturing.”

    No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It means literally that he misrepresents research. What you’re doing is misrepresenting what Cameron’s critics are saying. This is a common tactic among fundamentalist Christians. If scientific (or historical, or biblical, or archeological, etc.) research contradicts your point of view, that research is dismissed on the basis that the researcher must have some kind of bias. This allows you to automatically reject all research that contradicts your existing point of view. It allows you to reject everything that the researcher subsequently says on any and all topics.

    This lead to a kind of belief relativism. Information contrary to the belief is rejected, not on the basis of whether it is true or false, but simply because it is inconsistent with a particular ideology or theology. The difference between you and me is simply that I accept as true that which is shown to be true. If valid scientific research in fact shows that gay men have an average life span of 43 years, then I believe that, whether or not it fits in with my preexisting beliefs. If valid scientific research shows that homosexuals are generally not good parents, then I believe that. If valid scientific research shows that the earth is only 6,000 years old, then I would believe that as well.

    To reject research on the basis that it does not fit in with an existing ideology is, in a significant sense, to bear false witness. As I have noted before, many Christians want to bolt the Ten Commandments to public buildings, while at the same time not having much concern for the commandment prohibiting bearing false witness. The conservative ideology must be defended at all costs, even when truth is the casualty.

  25. Dr. Cameron’s research methods have been called into question by a professional organization that has traditionally arbitrated such research.

    The scientific objectivity of this organization has been impugned due to its social advocacy on issues related to Dr. Cameron’s research.

    I’d call this round a draw.

  26. Note 23:

    If we profess to believe the Christian proposition that ALL men are fallen, we’d acknowledge that everyone is capable of distorting facts for their own purposes. Conservatives do this, liberals do this and, yes, even Christians do this.

    So, we could discard any truth as “irrelevant” because it is delivered by people who simultaneously hold other beliefs we disagree with or contradict what we’ve grown up believing is true. What this asserts, however, is that there is an alternative source for truth that is entirely free of bias, self-seeking and distortion. I’d be interested to know who or what holds this key of infallibility!

    If you’re suggesting that, on a scale of reliability, Paul Cameron is more reliable than the Manhattan Institute, Will Bennett and the APA combined, I’d like to know, Christopher, how you came to that conclusion. If some radical Islamic cleric backed Cameron’s assertions (which is quite conceivable, actually, given that Cameron has supported the idea of quarantining and tattooing AIDS patients’ faces), would you be more or less likely to agree with Cameron’s conclusions?

    See, I find this whole thing quite fascinating, because I can’t make heads or tails out of how some of the conservative posters here determine how someone is a “reliable source of information”. We already know that 98% of the scientific community is “under the control of Satan”, while a thrice-divorced pill-popper (Limbaugh), a chain-smoking, trash-talking alleged lush who wears miniskirts small enough to fit onto a Barbie doll (Coulter) and someone who has implied that America “deserves” the wrath of terrorists because it sells Britney Spears albums (D’Souza) are “reliable” and “have valid points”.

    Maybe they do. My point is that if those on the Right are capable of telling the truth despite their moral imperfections, so are those on the Left. We need to at least attempt to discern what those truths are and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  27. As far as I’m concerned, the hypothesis Dr. Cameron investigated is still an open question. I’d like to see some valid research on it. Is there any?

  28. If you’re suggesting that, on a scale of reliability, Paul Cameron is more reliable than the Manhattan Institute, Will Bennett and the APA combined, I’d like to know, Christopher, how you came to that conclusion.

    JamesK,

    Apparently you have the same problem as Mr. Mcewen reading my posts – maybe it’s a public school thing…;) Seriously though, read my posts again. I explicitly admit I have no idea about Dr. Cameron.

    So, we could discard any truth as “irrelevant” because it is delivered by people who simultaneously hold other beliefs we disagree with or contradict what we’ve grown up believing is true.

    This is silly. You know perfectly well there is a difference between bias and political advocacy. The ASA (notice I did not mention Bennett or Manhattan, as I don’t have the inclination to research them) holds a moral position that homosexuality is ‘ok’. They go even further, in that they advocate this view for everyone else (by supporting ‘gay rights’ and other changes to the culture). Their “science” is irrelevant (or what you call ‘truth’), in that they have moved beyond that – they have already made their mind up.

    See, I find this whole thing quite fascinating, because I can’t make heads or tails out of how some of the conservative posters here determine how someone is a “reliable source of information”.

    That’s because as a modernist, your bias is for certain kinds of information, and balk when the un examined assumptions are brought out in the open (actually, you tend to deny these assumptions). Thus, you don’t understand what Rush or Coulter or Christians (or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists, etc.) are trying to say. By the way, look at your very personal language describing Rush and Coulter – real liberal and open minded of you 😉 Try to step out beyond the modernist paradigm…or perhaps you should troll over at

    http://www.episcopaliansforgayfairytales.com

    where your world view will not be challenged…;)

  29. An apophatic approach to truth:

    1. Hyperbole is never true
    2. Sarcasm is destructive
    3. I don’t know the whole truth about anything
    4. Pride does not reveal truth
    5. Political ideology is not an instrument of truth
    6. Legalism is not truth
    7. Pragmatism is not truth
    8. Fairness is not truth
    9. Hatred is not truth
    10. Truth is not isolated facts or even a construct of facts.

    The Christian approach to Truth:

    “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh to the Father except by me.” Jesus Christ

    “Truth is not just an abstract idea, sought and known with the mind, but something personal—even a Person—sought and loved with the heart, Jesus Christ”
    Fr. Seraphim Rose

    “I will send you the Comforter who shall lead you into all Truth” Jesus Christ

    “The aim of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit” St. Seraphim of Sarov

    Truth vs policy

    The truth that homosexuality is a sin does not automatically translate into good public policy. However, the untruth that homosexuality is morally and ontologically equivalent to heterosexuality will always result in bad public policy.

    Just because someone recognizes the truth about the nature of homosexuality does not mean that I should agree with anything else they say. Assumptions always have to be examined.

  30. Note 27. Augie writes:

    As far as I’m concerned, the hypothesis Dr. Cameron investigated is still an open question. I’d like to see some valid research on it. Is there any?

    Agreed. Much more research is needed on both the health risks of homosexual sex, as well as the relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia. Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary runs a continuous dialogue on these issues and more on his blog.

    Note 24. Jim writes:

    If scientific (or historical, or biblical, or archeological, etc.) research contradicts your point of view, that research is dismissed on the basis that the researcher must have some kind of bias. This allows you to automatically reject all research that contradicts your existing point of view. It allows you to reject everything that the researcher subsequently says on any and all topics.

    Unless of course, they indeed have a bias in which case the research ought not to be taken without further examination. Christopher is right about the ASA, it is deeply afflicted with political correctness (read Anne Henderschott), and so it is entirely reasonable to question, as Christopher does, if the ASA critique is driven by homosexual activism or an objective (as far as possible) reading of the data. Making this critique in no way affirms or discredits Cameron’s conclusions.

    You see, you critique works both ways. I see it used on both the right and the left, although in historical terms the left has exhibited a propensity towards political correctness moreso than the right.

    See: John Fonte: Why There is a Culture War

    Note 26. James writes: See, I find this whole thing quite fascinating, because I can’t make heads or tails out of how some of the conservative posters here determine how someone is a “reliable source of information”. We already know that 98% of the scientific community is “under the control of Satan”, while a thrice-divorced pill-popper (Limbaugh), a chain-smoking, trash-talking alleged lush who wears miniskirts small enough to fit onto a Barbie doll (Coulter) and someone who has implied that America “deserves” the wrath of terrorists because it sells Britney Spears albums (D’Souza) are “reliable” and “have valid points”.

    It’s not that difficult. Step one is to quit confusing caricature with responsible argument.

  31. Fr. Hans notes:
    “Much more research is needed on … the relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia.”

    I’ll tell you why I’m skeptical of such studies.

    We all know there is a difference between correlation and causation. For example, it is possible that the more likely someone is to engage in social drinking, the more likely they are to also be at least an occasional smoker as well. This doesn’t mean that either drinking or smoking is directly involved with them taking up the other habit. Rather, it’s their general disposition towards addiction.

    Also, if a correlation is found, false conclusions can be drawn. Sadly, I have three women in my immediate family who were molested as young girls by their father (who is thankfully no longer in the picture). In fact, most of these types of offenses against girls are committed by older men, often a biological father or family member who may even be married. What does this say? That most heterosexual middle-aged married men molest girls? I doubt it. I’m not sure what it says, honestly (other than the guy was a creep). We know that molestation was also prevalent in some tight-knit Amish and Mormon communities as well. This must not be used to level some general condemnation of these groups’ religious beliefs or of their way of life, however.

    My concern here is that we end up attempting to treat both as if they were intrinsically related and intertwined and that by “curing” one we can cure the other.

    Besides, what would you suggest if a correlation is found? What’s even the purpose behind attempting to find a correlation if we weren’t planning on using these results in some way?

  32. Augie writes: “As far as I’m concerned, the hypothesis Dr. Cameron investigated is still an open question. I’d like to see some valid research on it. Is there any?”

    The problem is that sexual orientation is not a part of the standard vital statistics. When someone dies we know his age, gender, race, cause of death, etc., but not sexual orientation. (Nor are data collected on left or right handedness, political affiliation, whether the person watched the Sopranos, etc.)

    There are studies published in medical, psychological, and social work journal on elderly gays and lesbians. But such articles are related to actually helping these people, so I suppose they would not be of much interest here.

    Fr. Hans writes: ” . . . Unless of course, they indeed have a bias in which case the research ought not to be taken without further examination.”

    The problem is that a research conclusion that contradicts religious right ideology or theology is typically taken as evidence that the researcher is biased.

    Fr. Hans: “Christopher is right about the ASA, it is deeply afflicted with political correctness (read Anne Henderschott), and so it is entirely reasonable to question, as Christopher does, if the ASA critique is driven by homosexual activism or an objective (as far as possible) reading of the data. Making this critique in no way affirms or discredits Cameron’s conclusions.”

    But Christopher NEVER addresses the specific criticisms of Cameron’s methodology. If you think someone’s methodology is flawed, then you look at the specifics of the methodology. But for some reason that doesn’t happen. In this venue it is considered sufficient to reject the criticism based merely on the suspicion that the researcher may have been biased to begin with.

    This is exactly what Cameron’s critics DON’T do. They don’t just say “well, Cameron is anti-gay, so we doubt anything he has to say on the topic.” Instead, they discuss in detail the problems with his methodology. But here, those very detailed criticisms are dismissed or questioned without any analysis of the critics’ arguments.

    This is standard operating procedure for Christopher. Look what happens when JamesK asks a legitimate question:

    See, I find this whole thing quite fascinating, because I can’t make heads or tails out of how some of the conservative posters here determine how someone is a “reliable source of information”.

    Now look at Christopher’s non-response:

    That’s because as a modernist, your bias is for certain kinds of information, and balk when the un examined assumptions are brought out in the open (actually, you tend to deny these assumptions).

    JamesK is asking for an explanation of the methodology used to determine who is a reliable source of information. Christopher replies in effect “if you weren’t a modernist, you’d understand.” That’s not a valid response; it’s a smoke screen. It’s not an answer; it’s a refusal to answer. What Christopher should do is to lay his cards on the table and be very clear about how he makes that determination. The fact that he doesn’t do that leads me to believe that his determination is ideological, not scientific or rational. If that’s not the case, I’d like to hear what it is. But since Christopher intentionally never responds to anything I write, I’m not holding my breath. Maybe someone else can ask him. Oh, I forgot. JamesK already tried that.

  33. Note 32. Jim writes:

    But Christopher NEVER addresses the specific criticisms of Cameron’s methodology. If you think someone’s methodology is flawed, then you look at the specifics of the methodology. But for some reason that doesn’t happen. In this venue it is considered sufficient to reject the criticism based merely on the suspicion that the researcher may have been biased to begin with.

    Well, sure, but there are enough resources online and elsewhere to find this out for yourself. You can’t reproduce every argument here.

    Christopher’s point, and I agree, is that an appeal to authority, particularly organizations like ASA, is hardly the final word on anything anymore, at least when it comes to sexual politics and other hot-button issues.

    This is standard operating procedure for Christopher. Look what happens when JamesK asks a legitimate question:

    See, I find this whole thing quite fascinating, because I can’t make heads or tails out of how some of the conservative posters here determine how someone is a “reliable source of information”.

    I don’t need to answer for Christopher but…

    That’s because JamesK’s point was polemical and thus received a polemical response — entirely appropriate if you ask me. Just read the entire paragraph from which the JamesK quote is taken.

    Fr. Hans writes: ” . . . Unless of course, they indeed have a bias in which case the research ought not to be taken without further examination.”

    The problem is that a research conclusion that contradicts religious right ideology or theology is typically taken as evidence that the researcher is biased.

    Frankly, I think you are overstating the reality. I find more religious ferver on the left but it hidden behind moralistic platitudes (global warming has a very stong religious component for example). Historically too, the left’s thralldom with Marxism (and cultural Marxism today) is essentially secular Messianism. I don’t think you can exorcise religious thinking from human imagination. It’s an ontological impossibility. Look at Dawkins and other grand atheists today. Their anti-God ferver, I guess you could call it, has all the earmarks of fundamentalist preaching.

    But be that as it may, rules exist, and I want to see them applied across the board. If someone on the right dismisses something out of hand, then correct it. It’s the same on the left. If political correctness clouds good judgment, correct it.

  34. Jim Holman said,

    Augie writes: “As far as I’m concerned, the hypothesis Dr. Cameron investigated is still an open question. I’d like to see some valid research on it. Is there any?”

    The problem is that sexual orientation is not a part of the standard vital statistics. When someone dies we know his age, gender, race, cause of death, etc., but not sexual orientation. (Nor are data collected on left or right handedness, political affiliation, whether the person watched the Sopranos, etc.)

    Jim, I get the impression you don’t want this question researched unless you expect the results to be pleasing to you.

  35. Fr. Hans writes: “Christopher’s point, and I agree, is that an appeal to authority, particularly organizations like ASA, is hardly the final word on anything anymore, at least when it comes to sexual politics and other hot-button issues.”

    This isn’t an appeal to authority. I know nothing about the ASA. I’m not a member. I’m not a sociologist. For all I know the ASA is a front organization for Osama bin Laden.

    I’m appealing to very specific and detailed critiques of Cameron’s studies, that are the basis of the ASA’s rejection of Cameron’s conclusions. That is completely different from an appeal to authority.

    Fr. Hans: “That’s because JamesK’s point was polemical and thus received a polemical response — entirely appropriate if you ask me. Just read the entire paragraph from which the JamesK quote is taken.”

    Polemical or not, it is an excellent question, and one which should be easy to answer. It is an entirely fair question.

    Frankly, I think it would be a difficult question for many in this venue. The problem is this: the religious right wants to be taken seriously in the public arena. In order to do that they need to base opinions on research and studies. But it is a fact that in many cases the research does not support their point of view. So they have to find a way to reject that research, while at the same time not putting themselves in the position of rejecting research in general. In addition, they can’t say that they reject research simply on ideological grounds.

    The difficulty for the religious right in answering that question — how they decide who is an acceptable authority — is that if they say they accept or reject research solely on the basis of rational or scientific grounds, they that are obligated to accept research that meets those criteria. But they would be obligated to accept a lot of research that contradicts their point of view. And they would also be obligated to reject a lot of research that supports their point of view. Thus, the question remains unanswered. Now if you would like to take a stab at it, I would love to hear what you have to say.

    Augie writes: “Jim, I get the impression you don’t want this question researched unless you expect the results to be pleasing to you.”

    Well, for me it’s not a burning question. I’m not gay, and I have no personal stake in the issue. Research typically has a point to it. I’m not sure what the point of researching homosexual lifespan would be. In other words, if homosexuals tend to have longer or shorter than average life spans, I’m not sure what we do with that. I’m not sure what follows from that, though I support it would have implications for medical care, Social Security, and so on.

    Be that as it may, if someone did a valid study showing that homosexuals have shorter life spans, then I would accept that conclusion. I would accept it even were the study done by the Family Research Council, or some other anti-homosexual organization.

  36. note 35. Jim writes:

    I’m appealing to very specific and detailed critiques of Cameron’s studies, that are the basis of the ASA’s rejection of Cameron’s conclusions. That is completely different from an appeal to authority.

    That’s fair. The ASA reply was probably not yours.

    In other words, if homosexuals tend to have longer or shorter than average life spans, I’m not sure what we do with that. I’m not sure what follows from that, though I support it would have implications for medical care, Social Security, and so on.

    In some respects it is a public health issue much like the STD epidemic among teens.

    Here’s an interesting article (Cameron not cited, BTW). The Health Risks of Gay Sex.

    I came across this looking through the footnotes of the article: Camille Paglia I’ll take religion over gay culture. interesting stuff.

  37. I would still be very interested in answers to JamesK’s excellent and relevant question, which I would express thus: what are the criteria for accepting or rejecting the results of research?

    It seems to me that a person is either “in” or “out” here. You’re not “in” sometimes and “out” at other times. In other words, if you’re “in,” that means that you accept the results of valid research, and reject the results of unsound research, period. If you’re “out,” and you operate from a position of ideology and/or theology, then the results of all research are irrelevant.

    I’m not advocating for a particular ideology here. I’m advocating for a particular methodology, and a person either accepts that methodology all the time, or not. You can’t flip the “on” switch when you like the results, and hit the “off” switch when you don’t like the results.

    Personally, if a person operates only from an ideological or theological position, that’s fine with me. (It’s not how I do things, but to each his own.) The important thing is to be clear about the methodology.

    If you’re “in,” then that means that you can’t dismiss research results by simply asserting that the researcher is biased. You have to show that the research or the researcher’s methodology is unsound. Or you have to show that the researcher’s conclusion does not follow from the evidence presented. Or you have to show that the researcher has ignored other facts or other valid research. Or whatever. But the point if that you argue evidence, facts, and methodology, not bias or ideology.

    If you’re “out,” great. But then don’t bring up research when it supports your ideology or theology.

    For example, I can imagine research findings that would persuade me that homosexual adoption is not a good thing. I can imagine research findings that would persuade me that homosexual adoption is acceptable. Can you also? If you can’t, then you’re “out.”

    This seems very clear to me. Am I missing something?

  38. Note 36.

    I have to agree with you about Paglia. She’s great. I still think “Sexual Personae” is her best book (although her Apollonian/Chthonian dichotomy is a little too simplistic, IMO).

    I loved it when she beat up that male student in her class for eyeballing her girlfriend. Jeez, you can’t buy entertainment like that!

    I’m afraid I must part company though, on her stances on prostitution and pornography. Don’t you think both should at least be regulated?

    From your Paglia cite:

    As a libertarian, I believe that government must stay out of our private lives. As an atheist, I believe that government has no business sanctifying the unions of some persons (heterosexuals) but not others (homosexuals), particularly when certain benefits (such as employer-sponsored spousal health-insurance) flow to one group only.

    I strongly agree with this. Get government totally out of the marriage business. Civil unions, fine, but if people want to get married let them do it exclusively within the confines of religious institutions.

    From your Paglia cite:

    As a scholar, however, I am troubled by the provincialism and amorality of the gay male world, when compared to the vastness of philosophical perspective provided by orthodox religion — or even by ancient paganism, which honored nature. And as a lesbian, I’m sick and tired of the gay rights movement being damaged by the cowardly incapacity for self-examination of many gay men.

    As you know, Paglia is our culture’s most famous female supremacist. Here she blames setbacks to the advancement of the homosexual agenda totally on gay males. I think that lets Lesbians off the hook too easily. Do you agree?

    It is interesting to me that Paglia has so many male fans on the hard right. Do you think (as she would) that it’s dominatrix-oriented erotic compensation on the part of the males?

  39. Note 33

    Regarding the soundess of Cameron’s study, the following is from a Walter Olson article in Slate. Olson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Nick Eberstadt is the same at the American Enterprise Institute. Because these two organizations display an obvious leftist/liberal bias their opinions should not be taken seriously. But, this does provide an idea of the specific objections of liberals to Cameron’s method.

    Cameron’s method had the virtue of simplicity, at least. He and two co-authors read through back numbers of various urban gay community papers, mostly of the giveaway sort that are laden with bar ads and personals. They counted up obituaries and news stories about deaths, noted the ages of the deceased, computed the average, and published the resulting numbers as estimates of gay life expectancy.

    What do vital-statistics buffs think of this technique? Nick Eberstadt at the American Enterprise Institute sums up the reactions of several of his fellow demographers: “The method as you describe it is just ridiculous.” But you don’t have to be a trained statistician to spot the fallacy at its heart, which is, to quote Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistician John Karon, that “you’re only getting the ages of those who die.” Gay men of the same generation destined to live to old age, even if more numerous, won’t turn up in the sample.

    Other critics rattle off further objections. The deaths reported in these papers, mostly AIDS deaths, will tend to represent the community defined by such papers or directly known to their editors. It will include relatively more subjects who live in town and are overtly gay and relatively few who blend into the suburbs and seldom set foot in bars. It will overrepresent those whose passing strikes others as newsworthy and underrepresent those who end their days in retired obscurity in some sunny clime.

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