More on phony expert John R. Diggs
In my last post yesterday, I talked about how the American Family Association is utilizing the services of phony expert John R. Diggs in a new video with the familiar whine of "Christian persecution."
In the video, Diggs pushes the old factoid about "homosexuality being a dangerous lifestyle."
I think the AFA relied on Diggs because a while back, he published a study called The Health Risks of Gay Sex.
If that study sounds familiar it's probably because it is almost identical to the Family Research Council's The Negative Effects of Homosexuality, even to the point of using some of the same sources and citations.
You will remember, however, that the Negative Effects of Homosexuality was removed from FRC's webpage because it contained "outdated sources."
Naturally, Diggs's study has some of the same errors and a few of its own. Here are just a couple:
Twice, John R. Diggs 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 unlikely that any investigator willever 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) was distorting their work.
In another section entitled Physical Health, Diggs claims that gays are victims of “gay bowel syndrome.” Gay Bowel Syndrome is an obsolete medical term 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 the circumstances surrounding it.
Diggs uses convenience sample studies, like those conducted in STD clinics, claiming that they are indicative of the gay population at large.
Diggs claims that there are five distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual populations including levels of promiscuity, physical health, mental health, lifespan, and monogamy. However, he spends very little time comparing the two dynamics (heterosexual and homosexual populations.) He uses all of his time castigating gay populations.
Diggs uses an out of date book, The Gay Report (published in 1979) to claim that gays are engaging in deviant sexual practices. Only once does he attempt to tie the alleged deviant practices of gays in 1979 to present day; and to do so, he cites two events that took place regarding bondage workshops. However, there is a strong indication that heterosexuals took part in these events as well as gays. Diggs ignores this dynamic.