June 30, 2008
Anyone who knows me (well those who will admit to it at least) knows I disdain zoos and circuses (despite having done a stint at the latter.) I couldn’t help but chuckle at the following story:
Giraffe helps camels, zebras escape from circus
Updated 04:01 p.m., June 30, 2008
Amsterdam police say 15 camels, two zebras and an undetermined number of llamas and potbellied swine briefly escaped from a traveling Dutch circus after a giraffe kicked a hole in their cage.
Police spokesman Arnout Aben says the animals wandered in a group through a nearby neighborhood for several hours after their 5:30 a.m. breakout.
The animals were back at the circus later Monday after being rounded up by police and circus workers with the assistance of dogs. Aben says neighbors fed some of the animals _ which he said was a bad idea _ but they were tame and nobody was hurt.
Says Aben: “You have to imagine somebody rubbing his eyes first thing in the morning and saying, ‘Am I seeing things or is that 15 camels walking past?’”
June 27, 2008
The theme of this week’s episode of the FX series 30 Days was homosexual adoption. FRC’s own Vice President for Policy, Peter Sprigg, was interviewed, during which he referred to several problems with homosexual parenting that are rooted in the homosexual lifestyle itself: “Homosexuality is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually-transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse.”
Predictably, homosexual activists were outraged by what they characterized as a “defamatory statement,” and pulled out all the stops to coerce the producers to edit out Peter’s statements. To their credit, the producers refused, and those watching were at least presented with the other side of the story, which contradicts the positive and uncritical depictions of homosexual parenting typically found in media stories.
But what about the statement itself - are homosexual activists correct in asserting that there is “no credible scientific research that backs Sprigg’s claim”? There is, in fact, credible research indicating the negative health effects of homosexuality, including the following:
- Higher rates of promiscuity: In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al., find that only 2.7 percent claimed to have had sex with one partner only. The most common response, given by 21.6 percent of the respondents, was of having a hundred and one to five hundred lifetime sex partners. [Source: Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354. Dr. Paul Van de Ven reiterated these results in a private conversation with Dr. Robert Gagnon on September 7, 2000.]
- Increased susceptibility for sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness: The American Family Physician reports that “men who have sex with men are at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases (including human immunodeficiency virus infection), anal cancer, psychological and behavioral disorders, drug abuse, and eating disorders.” In a survey of studies of mental illness in homosexuals, Family Practice News finds “higher rates of major depression and panic disorder in men in the gay and bisexual groups than in heterosexual men. Three of the four individual studies find more cases of major depression, and two of three individual studies showed more cases of panic disorder, in gay and bisexual men.” [Sources: Daniel Knight, “Health care screening for men who have sex with men,” American Family Physician 69 (May 1, 2004): p. 2149; Sherry Boschert, “Higher Rates of Mental Illness in gays, bisexuals,” Family Practice News (September 15, 2003): 26.]
- Higher rates of substance abuse: According to the CDC, “[m]ethamphetamine and other ‘party’ drugs (such as ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB [gamma hydroxybutyrate] may be used to decrease social inhibitions and enhance sexual experiences. These drugs, along with alcohol and nitrate inhalants (‘poppers’), have been strongly associated with risky sexual practices among MSM.” [Source: HIV/AIDS and Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM),” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) June 28, 2007. Available at: www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/index.com.]
- Higher rates of domestic violence: In their book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, D. Island and P. Letellier report that “the incidence of domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population.” [Source: D. Island and P. Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p. 14.]
- Increased incidence of child sexual abuse: A study in the Journal of Sex Research found that “approximately one-third of [child sex offenders] had victimized boys and two-thirds had victimized girls.” The authors then make a prescient observation: “Interestingly, this ratio differs substantially from the ratio of gynephiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature females) to androphiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature males), which is at least 20 to 1.” In other words, although heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least 20 to 1, homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses.
- Similarly, the Archives of Sexual Behavior also noted that homosexual pedophiles are significantly overrepresented in child sex offence cases: The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2 to 4 percent of men attracted to adults prefer men (ACSF Investigators, 1992; Billy et al., 1993; Fay et al., 1989; Johnson et al., 1992); in contrast, around 25 to 40 percent of men attracted to children prefer boys (Blanchard et al., 1999; Gebhard et al., 1965; Mohr et al., 1964). Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6 to 20 times higher among pedophiles.” [Sources: Freund, “Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Erotic Age Preference,” p. 107. In this and previous studies, Freund claims that homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to be attracted to children (p. 115). However, Silverthorn, et al., mentions the limitations of studies by Freund and others: “Studies of homosexual male preferences are also limited… . The Freund et al. (1973) study was possibly compromised because the homosexual men used in the study were selected to be sexually attracted to adults, but not teenaged, males. The Bailey et al. (1994) study was limited in that it did not present participants with objective stimuli but simply asked participants to report what age of sexual partner they preferred … the Jankowiak et al. (1992) study … was limited in two ways: the homosexual male participants had a limited age range of ‘middle-aged professionals’ and the stimuli presented to participants were also of a limited age range (‘university to middle-aged’).” Silverthorn attempted to correct these deficiencies, and in his study found that homosexuals “preferred younger partners than those who preferred female partners”—including those as young as fifteen. Zebulon A. Silverthorne & Vernon L. Quinsey, “Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 29 (February 2000): 67-76; Ray Blanchard, et al., “Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 29 (2000): 464.]
June 25, 2008
As their Presidential nominee was spreading the myth of gender equity that “women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men” his Democratic colleagues in Congress were pushing for a different kind of equality, porcelain parity.
Congressmen Ed Towns (D-NY-6%) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY-6%) have sent around a “Dear Colleague” asking Members to support H.R. 693, Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act of 2007. According to the letter the bill will
“require any federal building constructed for public use, with a total expenditure in excess of $1,500,000, to have a 2 to 1 ratio for women and men’s restrooms.”
In case you were wondering this is all done at taxpayer expense.
The letter was filled with wonderful facts such as
“According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), individuals vary significantly in the frequency with which they need to urinate and defecate, with pregnant women and women with stress incontinence needing to urinate more frequently.”
Uhhh, may I ask why OSHA is studying such things? I would think it is not really an issue taxpayers would take (forgive me) sitting down.
Senator Craig (R-WY) was unavailable for comment.
June 23, 2008
Three studies in the early 1990’s gave birth to the widespread belief that homosexuality is determined before birth by some biological (possibly genetic) factor. Although those three studies have been largely discredited, the search for the “gay gene” or, in some cases, the “gay brain,” goes on. Now another such study is in the news, reporting difference between the heterosexual and homosexual brain.
Studies like this are invariably reported as providing evidence that people are “born gay” and can’t change, when they don’t provide anything of the kind. All they show is a limited correlation between certain biological markers and homosexuality, but one of the first principles of statistics and science is that “correlation is not causation.”
I can’t critique this entire study on technical grounds, although I have read it. The sample size of 20 to 25 in each group (by sex and sexual orientation) seems fairly small, but the authors claim statistical significance for their findings. However, they give no explanation of how the study subjects were recruited, so there’s no way to evaluate whether this sample is likely to be representative of the larger population.
What many people don’t understand is that conservatives on the issue of homosexuality have never denied that there may be biological factors which correlate with homosexuality, or even ones which may, to some extent, influence its development. But what has never been found is any such factor that can be proven to cause homosexuality in a deterministic way.
If there were a genetic or biological factor which could fix and determine for all time that a person would be homosexual, then you would expect that factor to be present in every homosexual and in no heterosexual. That’s not what you find in this study, or in any of the similar studies. While there may be a difference is the average level of “cerebral asymmetry,” for example, there’s also considerable overlap between members of the homosexual and heterosexual sample.
One irony in this study is that, in essence, all it is saying is that the brains of homosexual men are more “feminine” that those of heterosexual men, and the brains of homosexual women are more “masculine” than those of heterosexual women. But don’t homosexual activists object to that as stereotyping? I thought they liked to claim that sexual orientation and gender identity are two completely different things.
The real bottom line here is that the “gay brain” and “gay gene” studies have so far produced findings that are only marginally interesting from a scientific perspective. The real reason these studies get so much media attention is because proving that people are born homosexual and cannot change would serve the political purpose of persuading people that sexual orientation is like race, and that it should be treated like race under the law. That’s all that’s really going on in the brains of homosexual activists.
(To learn more, order Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows about Homosexuality)
June 21, 2008
[Note: On June 17, Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State posted an item on their blog criticizing Family Research Council for ads that we ran in several California newspapers for Father’s Day. Below is a response.]
I read your June 17 blog post in which you said, “I challenge the FRC and other Religious Right groups to come up with one good secular reason against same-sex marriage. I don’t think they can do it.”
Perhaps you just haven’t been paying attention. I am sending you a complimentary copy of my book, Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage (Washington: Regnery, 2004-also available online). You can ignore Chapter 8 if you like, since it offers nine pages of religious arguments. Concentrate instead on Chapters 1-7, which offer 107 pages of secular arguments against same-sex marriage.
If that’s too much for you, you can read my paper “Questions and Answers; What’s Wrong with Letting Same-Sex Couples ‘Marry’?” It’s 16 pages, and 100% secular.
You might also want to read our paper titled “Ten Arguments from Social Science against Same-Sex ‘Marriage.’” (I can’t take credit for that one). All ten of the arguments are secular.
If even that 6-page paper is too long for you, take a look at my very short piece that answers the perennial question “What Harm Would Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Do?” It describes (briefly) eight specific harms to society that would likely result from same-sex marriage. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that this publication was originally produced as an issue-oriented “tract” in cooperation with the American Tract Society. However, the eight arguments are all secular (the American Tract Society had to request that we tack on a Scripture verse at the end in order to give it a religious flavor).
Finally, let me recommend to you David Blankenhorn’s book The Future of Marriage (New York: Encounter Books, 2007). Blankenhorn hardly qualifies as a member of the “Religious Right,” since he explicitly rejects the biblical teaching on the immorality of homosexual conduct. However, he argues vigorously against same-sex marriage in 261 pages of 100% secular arguments. My review of his book is on our website.
One final note-in your challenge you say, “And don’t try to give me that ‘marriage-is-about-raising-children’ line.” This comment is roughly equivalent to me challenging the advocates of same-sex marriage-but then adding, “And don’t try to give me that ‘equal-rights-under-law’ line.” If you want to have a serious debate, you have an obligation to interact seriously with your opponent’s chief argument-in this case, with the overwhelming historical and anthropological evidence that links marriage with procreation.
Here’s how Blankenhorn responds to what we might call “that ‘marriage-is-not-about-procreation’ line:”
By the way, did you know that cars are not intrinsically connected to driving? When you acquire ownership of a car, society does not impose on you a binding obligation to drive it. If you buy a car but fail to drive it, the state does not for that reason revoke your driver’s license or refuse to grant you one, or take your car away. If you do not drive, but do collect antique cars, there is nothing wrong or illegal about it. Cars can be about many things, including pleasure, aesthetics, economic gain, and social status. Driving is therefore not fundamental to cars.
… This way of arguing is clearly preposterous. That it is widely employed by prominent journalists, eminent judges, and tenured professors does not make it any less preposterous. We can either think like analysts looking at a social institution, or think like lawyers looking for a loophole. The evidence … shows overwhelmingly-I believe beyond any reasonable doubt-that marriage as a human institution is intrinsically connected to bearing and raising children. To argue otherwise is to argue like a lawyer looking for a loophole; it is not intellectually or morally serious, at least insofar as we actually care about the institution we are discussing (The Future of Marriage, pp. 152-153).
Rob, whether you find these arguments “good” or “solid” is a matter of opinion. But please don’t accuse us again of failing to offer secular reasons to oppose same-sex marriage.
Vice President for Policy
Family Research Council
June 13, 2008
Not all of California is one banana short of a bunch. One area of sanity is in Kern County where the elected clerk and auditor-controller, Ann Barnett, has decided instead of being complicit in the destruction of marriage that Kern County would stop performing marriages. The reactions to her actions expose quite a bit of the intolerance Christians can expect more and more of as the “same-sex” marriage movement goes beyond California.
On Thursday, she appeared stung by critics who have labeled her a “religious terrorist” and called for her resignation; by the hate mail that has flooded her office; by the unceasing requests for interviews, so many that she has unplugged her home phone.
“I’m just a county clerk trying to do my job,” said the tall and soft-spoken 53-year-old, dressed in business attire, hands folded primly on her lap. “I wasn’t out to make a statement.”
The local leader in the area’s homosexual community makes it very clear what should happen to people who disagree with him.
“If it really bothers her conscience, she might want to consider stepping down,” Wedell said.
June 9, 2008
25 years after the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the leader of the World Health Organization’s efforts against the disease has finally admitted the obvious—there will be no worldwide AIDS pandemic among the general heterosexual population.
“Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients,” reported the British newspaper The Independent, which published an interview with Kevin de Cock of the WHO on June 8
In the article, however, one line stood out in particular:
“Any revision of the threat was liable to be seized on by those who rejected HIV as the cause of the disease, or who used the disease as a weapon to stigmatise high risk groups, he said.”
In other words: We couldn’t tell the truth, because it might have made people think there is something wrong with homosexuality, prostitution, and drug use.