The Top Three Headless Monsters
The anti-gay industry operates from the Biblical standpoint of homosexuality is a sin. However, knowing that moral reasonings are sometimes not the sole reason to make laws that would deny the gay community common rights (such as being able to work freely, buy homes, etc.), they push forth the theory that homosexuality is a "dangerous and empty lifestyle" that robs families of their vitality. Working from this stance, these groups propagandize current events, rely on bad studies, and cherry pick portions of legitimate studies in order to prove this point.
I have talked many times about "headless monsters" or stereotypes about the gay community that have been proven wrong, but still continue to be pushed as truth by people like James Dobson, Peter LaBarbera, Andrea Lafferty, and Lou Sheldon.
Let's talk about the top three "headless monsters." I have mentioned them in other posts, but they bear repeating.
Headless Monster #1 - Gay men account for a higher percentage of child molestation cases.
Truth - This idea comes from an incorrect notion that if a man molests a boy, then the man must be gay. No legitimate study has ever said that gay men account for a high percentage of child molestations. In fact, several studies have proven that the majority of men who molest boys have no attraction to adult males. The American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America, all say that the homosexuality and pedophilia are not linked.
Headless Monster #2 - Gay men have a short life span
Truth - This lie comes from two sources. The first source is the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. Cameron has been censured and rebuked by many researchers due to his tendency to distort his colleagues' work. In 1984, he was kicked out the American Psychological Association for that very offense. - http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron.html
The second source comes from a distortion of a 1997 Canadian study. In 2001, the researchers of the original study went on record claiming that "religious right" groups were distorting their work - http://ije.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499
Headless Monster #3 - Gays account for a large number of sexually transmitted diseases and many of these diseases are unknown to the heterosexual population. They make up "gay bowel syndrome." Gays also have a problem with depression
Truth - First of all, there is no such thing as "gay bowel syndrome." Many of these diseases are present in the heterosexual population. The Center for Disease Control does not even recognize the term.
In some cases, gays are susceptible to a high number of sexually transmitted diseases and do have problems with depression. But in cases such as the Robert Garafalo study(Boston doctor says ads distorted his work on gays, The Boston Globe, August 4, 1998) and the article, Health Care Screening for Men Who Have Sex with Men, it has been proven that it is society's negative reaction to homosexuality that fuels much of this behavior, not the orientations of the gay men themselves.
Tomorrow, I will talk about the six distortion techniques used by the anti-gay industry to demonize the gay community.