Headless Monster citing #1
I haven't done this in a while and luckily for me, I ran into two headless monsters.
Let me explain further.
A headless monster a belief that has been refuted over and over again, but is still pushed as fact, usually by someone who has a vested interest in telling lies.
You can kill the head but the monster still lives because it is being propped up.
Headless monsters are key to the anti-gay industry's exploitation of people of faith about the lives of gays.
Two recent events prove my point.
The first involves a state representative in Kentucky (Joseph Fischer) who claims that gays choose their orientation (http://news.kypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061025/NEWS02/610250347/1014):
Fischer claims to have done research on the subject via looking at an ex-gay webpage, NARTH.
The point of view of NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) is not backed up by any legitimate medical group.
Even more than that, I took a look at its webpage and googled a certain name whom many of us all know and love: Paul Cameron.
Cameron, who was kicked out the American Psychological Association for intentionally misrepresenting his colleagues' work (amongst his other dubious honors) is referenced twice on studies that appear on NARTH's webpage.
Here - http://www.narth.com/docs/conversiontherapy.html
and here - http://www.narth.com/docs/olson.html
NARTH uses the work of a discredited researcher without any comments about the controversy surrounding his work. Can anyone believe anything the organization puts out?
Or better yet, if a group of pediatricians discredit a colleague for possibly exposing his patients to potential danger, would Rep. Fischer continue to take his child to that pediatrician?
Headless Monster citing #2
I had to go all the way to Australia for this one.
A doctor, Richard Fitzgibbons was interviewed as to the supposed dangers of the "homosexual lifestyle" and how schools are not telling children about this (http://www.mercatornet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=398)
The piece is filled with errors. For example:
"M. Xiridou in 2003 reported that a long-term relationship among those he studied was 18 months, and overall they had an average of 18 to 26 partners per year. Consequently, due to AIDS and other diseases sexually active homosexual and bisexual males can lose up to 20 years of life expectancy."
First of all, M. Xiridou is a woman: Maria Xiridou. The fact that Mr. Fitzgibbons did not know this demonstrates how he was only interested in mainpulating the information rather than finding out facts.
I cover Dr. Xiridou's study in my upcoming book because it is one of many that the anti-gay industry distorts to demonize the gay community. Her study wasn't even looking at gay relationships. It was solely based in the city of Amsterdam and its purpose was:
"To access the relative contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam and to determine the effect of increasing sexually risky behaviours among both types of partnerships in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)."
Now according to Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin(http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,003.htm):
"Dr. Xiridou and her colleagues based their research article on the Amsterdam Cohort Studies of HIV infection and AIDS among homosexually active men. These studies began in 1984, and had several different protocols in their lifetime:
Oct 1984-1985: Gay men aged 18-65 with at least two sexual partners in the previous six months. In other words, monogamous partners were explicitly excluded.
April 1985-Feb 1988: Study enrollment was continued, except HIV-negative men were now excluded. Only HIV-positive men were added.
Feb 1988 – Dec 1988: The study was re-opened to HIV-negative men.
Various additional enrollments continued from through 1998. Especially notable was a special recruitment campaign for men under the age of thirty beginning in 1995. After 1996, all men above the age of thirty were dropped from the study. Their data was excluded from subsequent analyses.
Nobody outside of Amsterdam was accepted into the study except for AIDS patients who attended clinics in Amsterdam for treatment. This makes the study almost exclusively an urban one.
So, what do we have? We have a study population that was heavily weighted with HIV/AIDS patients, excluded monogamous participants, was predominantly urban, and under the age of thirty. While this population was good for the purposes of the study, it was in no way representative of Amsterdam’s gay men, let alone gay men anywhere else."
Now the part of Mr. Fitzgibbons's quote Consequently, due to AIDS and other diseases sexually active homosexual and bisexual males can lose up to 20 years of life expectancy, is a flat out lie.
He makes it seem that Dr. Xiridou found this out through her study but she never said anything of the type.
Mr. Fitzgibbons is distorting a 1997 study by six Candian researchers. These six researchers went on record in 2001 saying that their work was being distorted by members of the anti-gay industry (http://ije.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499).
Next, Mr. Fitzgibbons says the following:
"Dr John Diggs has assembled overwhelming medical evidence on the serious health risks of the lifestyle in his article, 'The Risks of Gay Sex'. And yet young people are not being informed about this."
I think I have covered just a few of the fallacies in Diggs's study in an earlier post but they bear repeating. I cover him in my upcoming book also:
Diggs, on two occasions, includes the study done by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg in their book, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, as indicative of the entire gay population. In one passage, he even refers to it as "a far ranging study of homosexual men . . ." But Bell and Weinberg never said that their findings were indicative of all gay men. They actually said ". . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlike that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals."
Diggs cites a Canadian study twice in order to claim that gays have a shorter lifespan than heterosexuals. But his citation of the study is a mischaracterization. In 2001, the six original researchers (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. O’Shaughnessy, Julion Montaner, and Martin T. Schechter) who conducted that study have gone on record saying that religious conservatives (like Diggs) were distorting their work. By the way, it is the same one Fitzgibbons references.
In another section entitled Physical Health, Diggs claims that gays are victims of "gay bowel syndrome." The term is an obsolete medical term. exist and even the CDC does not use it. In fact, if one was to look at the endnotes of Diggs’ study, he would find that two of the sources he quoted concerning "gay bowel syndrome" were from articles in published in 1976 and 1983, which is consistent with the years that the term existed. One last source was a letter to the editor printed in 1994 but Diggs does not make it clear as to what were the circumstances surrounding it.
Richard Fitzgibbons is described as a major contributor to Homosexuality and Hope, published by the Catholic Medical Association of the United States. Apparently it is one of those "you don't have to be gay" books. If Mr. Fitzgibbons wants to give gays hope, then he should stop distorting their lives.