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.]