Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Concerned Women for America rehashes old lies about alleged 'homosexual promiscuity'

The religious right group Concerned Women for America has a long and infamous history of spinning awful lies about the so-called promiscuity of gay men.

In the late 80s, its founder, Beverly LaHaye endorsed a comic book entitled Homosexuality: Legitimate and Alternate Deathstyle.

The comic looked something like this:

And it featured such propaganda as the following:

Nowadays, no bigot would come out with something so blatantly hateful and even if he or she did, Concerned Women for American would have the good sense not to endorse it this time.

As it is, CWA's attack on the gay community is a bit more sophisticated. According to Think Progress:

The Concerned Women for America-affiliated Center for Marriage Policy has released a new “report” alleging that marriage equality is responsible for “the most serious avoidable health problems of our time.” Equating homosexuality with promiscuity, the report blames bisexuals for being a “broad gateway” to infecting unsuspecting heterosexual Americans with HIV and other diseases. It then compares that supposed health crisis to smoking.

I took a look at this so-called "new report, Homosexual Promiscuity: Breeding a national health problem, and found some very questionable things.

For one thing, it's not a new report, but a report which rehashes old inaccurate information about the lgbtq community. Very few of the links to this report come from reputable sources. Instead, they come from second-hand religious right sources. The following paragraph accentuates my point:

Gay men have between 4 and 100 times more sex partners than heterosexual men.  Lesbians are 4.5 times more likely to have over 50 sex partners in their lifetime compared with heterosexual women. 75-90 percent of women who have sex with women have also had sex with men.  Only 10% of homosexual relationships are monogamous after five years.

If you read the links you would see that one source used by CWA is The Health Risks of Gay Sex by John R. Diggs. I've talked about the plethora of inaccuracies in Diggs' paper and I don't mind repeating them:

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.

Another source used by CWA is from a website entitled Facts About Youth. Facts About Youth is the brainchild of a minor organization called American College of Pediatricians. All you need to know about ACP is that it is a sham organization designed to give a degree of credibility to the most foul religious right lies about the gay community, such as:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes.

So basically in the case of CWA, we are talking about broken down old lies placed in a new package.

But they are still broken down old lies.

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Anonymous said...

It doesn’t matter whether their claims are true or not. Other people sex lives are none of their business.

Anonymous said...

Out of all of this, the whole 'gay men eat poop' thing is what gets me laughing the most. I know all of it is just made up, over the top, rubbish, but the corophilia note just bakes the cake. Whenever I have had the misfortune of an internet troll posting corophilic images, by the way, it's -always- been a heterosexual couple. I guess what I am trying to say is that these less than tasteful fetishes are not limited to the gay community. They need to stop saying 'gay people do this gross thing,' because straight people do too.

Jeremy Redlien said...

I remember my partner and I eating at this one restaurant in Ohio that was famous for it's corn beef sandwiches. They even had a picture of President Bush eating there. This didn't bother me (too much). But the fact that were giving away (or selling) Chick Comics kind of did.

Gregory Peterson said...

Of course, dubious claims about the alleged promiscuity of a minority group was a segregationist tactic in the 1950-60s.

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