Friday, May 06, 2005

Homosexuality and the Service

When the Clintons first moved into the White House I was working at a small software company in California. One of my colleagues had joined the team immediately following a stint in the Army.

If you recall, one of the first issues Bill Clinton took up in his presidency was to attempt to force a rule change in the military to allow gays. He failed to get the reform he sought while his efforts ended up producing the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that exists today.

At the time, I remember asking my ex-Army friend and colleague his take on the issue.

"Hey - what's your take on the issue of gays in the military?"

I'll never forget his answer:
"I don't know what the big deal is - they're already there!"

I always thought that that was a pretty damn grounded answer.

What do you think is the state of affairs for gays in the American military deployed in Iraq? Is "don't ask, don't tell" the strict rule? Does this comprehensively prohibit openly gay men and women from serving? Or is the situation more relaxed - instead of "don't ask, don't tell," have another set of de facto rules come into play?

How do you feel about the issue itself - as a soldier, a parent, a conservative and a born-again Christian?

I'm looking forward to your response and to comments from our guests.

Dadmanly's Response:

Most military I've worked with or known wish that Clinton had left the whole thing alone. Yes, there have always been gays in the military, but the timing of his change in policy days after his inauguration smacked of political payback and something he thought he could weather early and have it forgotten by the re-election campaign. Especially given his draft-avoidance via college deferrment, Clinton was in very low regard throughout the military. (That and making us wear berets.)

But that's just background.

Like many lifestyle and behavior related rules in the military, how this one gets handled depends on the command and how much of an issue it becomes.

There are no openly gay members of the military unless they were motivated to make that kind of statement beforehand. Once they "come out," the military will follow through although generally with a good conduct discharge. Generally speaking, no one in the military really wants undue or unfavorable attention. Often, the orientation may be known, but it's not dealt with or talked about, unless someone wants to get even over something else. And the gays who do serve in the military really don't want the kind of attention that fighting this battle would bring. They want to serve their country with honor, that's why they joined.

Of all the situations I am familiar with, in all but one, gay soldiers were not punished in any way or discriminated against (that I could tell) even though their commanders and fellow soldiers had to know or strongly suspect that they were gay. But then again, they held up their end of the don't ask don't tell. In the one instance in which this wasn't the case, a senior NCO in a training environment was involved with some of his students (same sex). This got him busted and drummed out, but this happened to instructors for heterosexual encounters with students as well.

There are many good reasons for the military to enforce certain standards of professional relationships, and sexual relationships between soldiers inevitably create problems: in good order, discipline, and morale. When relationships cross the line or involve supervisory relationships, the military has good reason to discourage them.

The military had to deal with the integration of women into non-combat roles, and now even that distinction is greatly blurred in a non-linear battlefield or in low intensity conflict. Anyone can suddenly find themselves under fire. There are many aspects of men and women sharing the battlespace that have caused a lot of problems. That doesn't mean there aren't advantages, but it hasn't been all good. Bringing in the additional problem of same sex relationship just expands the pool of problematic relationships.

The military is probably more conservative on this issue than average. Forget the brass, I don't think your average soldier would be very happy about fellow soldiers who were openly gay. I think any thought that you can "legislate" such a major change in attitude is naive and hopelessly counterproductive. To what end? And I don't think the military is the place to experiment, there's too much at stake.

The military is the most racially and gender integrated and non-discriminatory organization in the world. It sets a very high example for other organizations and businesses that don't even come close. But asking it to navigate the politically correct extreme of openly gay relationships in the barracks, that's just asking a little too much.

The military demands so much of its soldiers, to put their lives on the line, to risk everything, to deprive themselves, to sacrifice, and the rock bottom single most valuable piece of the whole enterprise is the trust between soldiers. And the fact is, most soldiers don't care what way the wind blows for the guy they sleep next to, fight next to, celebrate survival or mourn a loss with. As long as they can trust each other.

Personally, I really appreciate a remark I heard attributed to President Bush. When confronted by an aggressive reporter who asked him about his views on gays and what he thought of them, he answered, "We're all sinners here, buddy."

I know and have met people who I believe for whatever reason, were born with a physiological disposition to be gay. I have also met and known others who I believe for whatever reason made a set of decisions that led to them being gay. I don't understand that, and I think any kind of sexual immorality, premarital sex (any kind) is a sin. A very common one, but God in His word advises us against a lot of different behaviors for our own good. And this is one of them.

I believe that the overwhelming majority of those who profess to be gay report being sexually abused. (It's something like 93% I believe, although I can't point to an authoritative source.) I don't think that's an accident. I know that many first time homosexual experiences are either predatory, involve sexual abuse, or sex between an adult and a minor child, or between minor children where one has been sexually abused by an adult. I likewise don't think that's an accident either. I think peer pressure can be tremendous, and low self esteem, matched with hormones and a hostile environment can be very confusing to a young person. Figuring out your sexuality and making your way through the post modern, post sexual revolution cultural morass we find ourselves in only makes matters more difficult for young people.

I also happen to believe that marriage between a man and a woman is a gift from God, and one that helpfully is designed to give children the best possible environment for a healthy growing up, and ensure that human life will be sustained in a healthy and positive way from generation to generation. Now that's not possible for everyone, things happen, death and divorce and children born out of wedlock, and people have to do the best they can, and sometimes make the best of a less than ideal situation. But I don't think you help in the long run when you create situations that are less than ideal if there are other choices. And for me, my primary concern is for children.

Adults will do what they will do. And yes, I'd prefer people keep private matters private. As a leader, I really don't want to have to get involved with or have to deal with the public consequences of the fallout of relationships of any kind. This goes for affairs and sexual relationships of any kind outside of marriage, or for marriage problems when they erupt into or effect the workplace. I'm not naive, but I expect my soldiers to be professional and honest and disciplined in keeping their private lives to themselves and off the job. Of course, when they have personal problems, I'll get involved, and get them any help that's available or appropriate.

We won't ask, if you won't tell. It's not a perfect solution, but in the world we find ourselves in, with the unusual environment of the military, I think it's the best we can do.

LA:

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Dadmanly:

One of our commenters challenged my suggestion of a statistic I thought I had seen somewhere, that 93% of gays were sexually abused, and thought it absurd. I can't find whatever reference I may have seen, so I wanted to say so. I could find no mention of the 93% statistic.

But what I did suggests to me the number might actually be close to that. From studies, I am finding support for 40-50% of homosexual males reporting sexual abuse, and I think the dynamics documented by researchers strongly suggests that figure may be underreported.

Anecdotally, I have been involved with 12 step and other couseling groups for 15 years. In these and contacts in other walks of life, childhood sexual abuse is very prevalent among people who are gay. Of course, many may feel that their initial homosexual experiences as minor children with adults doesn't constitute sexual abuse, but as a parent, I certainly consider it so.

While I found nothing conclusive, the research suggests that sexual abuse and early sexualization of children by same gender perpetrators has very damaging consequences for sexual and emotional development, with many lasting effects, among others, commonly a high degree of confusion about gender issues and sexual orientation. Those who deny any correlation merely make the statement that gays do not chose to be gay, they are born gay (and apparently espcially vulnerable to sexual abuse), and there is no causal connection, and that's that. I would suggest that itself is a position unsupported by evidence.

References:

My results from Google (really, you folks can try this too, if you want to challenge someone else's data). A sample only. Do a google search on "sexual abuse" and homosexual and you'll find what I found.

1. Via Family Research Council:

The Archives of Sexual Behavior reports: "One of the most salient findings of this study is that 46 percent of homosexual men and 22 percent of homosexual women reported having been molested by a person of the same gender. This contrasts to only 7 percent of heterosexual men and 1 percent of heterosexual women reporting having been molested by a person of the same gender." Marie, E. Tomeo, et al., "Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons," Archives of Sexual Behavior 30 (2001): 539.

A study of 279 homosexual/bisexual men with AIDS and control patients discussed in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported: "More than half of both case and control patients reported a sexual act with a male by age 16 years, approximately 20 percent by age 10 years." Harry W. Haverkos, et al., "The Initiation of Male Homosexual Behavior," The Journal of the American Medical Association 262 (July 28, 1989): 501.

Noted child sex abuse expert David Finkelhor found that "boys victimized by older men were over four times more likely to be currently engaged in homosexual activity than were non-victims. The finding applied to nearly half the boys who had had such an experience. . . . Further, the adolescents themselves often linked their homosexuality to their sexual victimization experiences." Bill Watkins and Arnon Bentovim, "The Sexual Abuse of Male Children and Adolescents: A Review of Current Research," Journal of Child Psychiatry 33 (1992); in Byrgen Finkelman, Sexual Abuse (New York: Garland Publishing, 1995), p. 316.

2. Sexual Abuse in a Sexualized Culture Part 2: The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Males
, By Kathy A. Goodrich, CSW-R:

Sexual Orientation: Sixty-four percent (64%) of male survivors in the 1988 study by Dimock had masculine identity confusion. They doubted their masculinity, called themselves "wimp" and "gay", and struggled emotionally with their inability to protect themselves from sexual abuse. Several researchers have found higher rates of sexual abuse among homosexual than heterosexual populations, or higher rates of homosexual orientation among those who report childhood sexual abuse than among the general population (Mendel, p. 117).

Johnson and Shrier's 1985 and 1987 studies of adolescents in an outpatient medical clinic indicate that homosexual identification is seven times greater and bisexual identification six times greater for victimized males than for a comparison group of non-abused adolescent boys.

In their second study in 1987, the above researchers compared the 11 adolescents molested by females with the 14 adolescents abused by males and found that the sexual orientation effect was specific to the male-molested group. Approximately one-half of those abused by males identified themselves as homosexual and often linked their homosexuality to sexual victimization (Mendel, 118). An earlier 1982 study (C.G. Simari and D. Baskin, "Incestuous Experiences Within Homosexual Populations: A Preliminary Study", Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11, 329-344) found that incest was reported by 46% of male homosexuals, with about two-thirds (64%) of this involving the extended family and one third (36%) involving the nuclear family. The most frequent perpetrators of incest were male first cousins (60%) and brothers (32%). Simari and Baskin state that 96% of their study participants indicated "they identified themselves as actively homosexual before the occurrence" of the abuse incidents. This leaves us to speculate regarding how, if these self-reports are accurate, some of the perceptions and behaviors of the sexually wounded may contribute to vulnerability that is taken advantage of by sexual predators.

3. Sexual Abuse: A Major Cause Of Homosexuality?

The following books, with page numbers, refer to the fact that many many homosexuals were sexually abused when young:

Teen Prostitution by Joan J. Johnson (NY & Chicago: Franklin Watts Publishers, 1992), p. 53.

Female Perversions by Dr. Louise J. Kaplan (NY: Doubleday, 1991), p. 437.

Invisible Lives by Martha Barron Barrett (NY: William Morrow & Co., 1989), p. 140.

Incest and Sexuality by therapists Wendy Maltz and Beverly Holman (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1987), p. 72.

The Secret Trauma by Prof. Diane E.H. Russell (NY: Basic Books, Inc., 1986), p. 199.

The Broken Taboo: Sex in the Family by B. and R. Justice (quoted in the book Incest: a family pattern by Jean Renvoize [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982], p. 127).

The following books refer to the fact that many young victims of sexual abuse later experience confusion over their sexual identities:

The Consumer's Guide to Psychotherapy by Drs. Jack Engler and Daniel Goleman (NY: Simon & Schuster/Fireside, 1992), p. 414.

Desires in Conflict by Joe Dallas (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991), p. 187.
Betrayal of Innocence by Dr. Susan Forward and Craig Buck (NY: Penguin Books, 1988), p. 96.

18 Comments:

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Huntress said...

Interesting post and question you posit to Danmanly. Especially in light of the ridiculous action by the 'Elite' Law Schools who are claiming that they are being forced by the Solomon Amendment to "actively support military recruiters" who engage in "discriminatory hiring practices." The are targeting Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy toward open homosexual service in the military.

I'm not quite sure what their objective. If the military had an OPEN gay service policy, would they suddenly decide to allow recruiters on campus, and cease their litigation against the Pentagon?

I think not.

It also reeks of hypocrisy. Lets take sports. Football in particular. How many recruiters would have been interested in a certain quarterback had he made his sexual preferance known! Sports embraces the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. So,should sports recruiters be denied access to universities for engaging in discriminatory practices?

In this issue left wing liberals are very silent....I guess Universities make MILLIONS of dollars from their footballs teams, these discriminatory practices are conveniently being ignored while the military is being targeted.

Left wing liberals selling out their principals for the almighty dollar...priceless!

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger Terry said...

hey -

What happened to the post I saw earlier today?

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Terry:

I realized after I posted it that it was missing a significant part due to computer problems on this end... I pulled it back off the site to rewrite what I lost. I'll put it back as soon as it is ready.

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Liberal Serving said...

huntress-

There's nothing hypocritical about law school fight for the freedom to deny military recruiters access to their facilities. You disagree with their position, but if anything, they are just pursuing their stated ideals, which is kind of the opposite of hypocrisy.

Currently the government withholds funding from schools that will not allow military recruiters. This is a classic quid pro quo situation like extortion, so it seems like an obvious target for law student activism. The objective, as I understand it, is to change the law so schools can choose not to host recruiters they believe are unjustly discriminating without paying a financial penalty for doing so.

Your sports argument seems irrelevant. First, no sports team I know of discriminates openly like the US military don't ask don't tell policy. There is obviously homophobia in sports, and on my campus this was an issue that received more attention than military recruiters, but there is no specific law to target as with military recruiters, so I don't see your connection. The corruption and negativity of university sports is a topic unto itself. To hold a university's law school responsible for their sports program's activities would be like holding the supreme court responsible for a congressional bill. I would guess that if a law school could influence it's school's athletic program, it would, and you would see a lot of the perks and preferential treatment of athletes ended.

It is true that ivy league law schools get a lot of press attention on this subject, but the law school at my state university was also involved. Ivy league schools are in a privileged position to be able to reject the military recruiters because their endowments enable them to reject the government cash that's tied to said recruiters.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Huntress said...

Law schools get huge endowments from their alumni, LA, and the only reason these schools are taking this absurd step is because they object to any military presence on their campus.

Its disingenous to "claim" that they are targeting military discrimatory practices when we ALL know that if the Military had an openly gay policy they would find some bogus reason to hide behind in order to prevent recruiters from being on campus.

To not allow recruiters on your campus simply because you do not support the military is DISCRIMINATORY and thats what most Universities did whenthey refused to allow an ROTC presence ONLY because the opposed the military. A throwback to the late 60's Viet Nam era.

Lets deal honestly with the truth here LA, "In fact, colleges and universities have been trying to keep military recruiters and ROTC programs off campus for decades. Harvard, the school leading the charge against the Solomon Amendment, banished ROTC in 1969, forcing cadets to walk across town to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the past 36 years. Yale, Stanford, Columbia and Brown are among many other institutions that have shunned ROTC for decades."

That practice dating back to 1969 was discrimatory LA, and since these schools refused to change THEIR discriminatory practice,the law had to be drawn up to stop this discrimantory practice that they were engaged in.

It is not only hypocritical, its a blantant lie for these law schools to use a bogus excuse like the military's non openly gay policy as a "reason" to sue the Pentagon.

If the military announced an openly gay policy today they would not drop this frivilous no basis lawsuit... they'd find some other bogus excuse to attempt to keep ROTC off campus, or they would simply NOT allow their presence. They haven't since 1969!


This blantant act of discrimation on the part of Universities and Law Schools is offensive. ANY OTHER EMPLOYER IS ALLOWED TO RECRUIT ON CAMPUS.

What if Microsoft had a "don't ask don't tell' policy? Do you really think that the law schools and universities would prevent Microsoft from sending recruiters??? Have they dug deep into Microsofts hiring practices? How about the hiring practices of the Sports teams that recruit on campus? Or the endorsement practices of sport sponsors??

This is nothing but another left wing smoke screen, LA. Denying that truth is disingenous. Start with admiting the real agenda, and then maybe we can have an honest open dialogue.For you to deny the real motivation is to be party to the lie that they are putting forth.

Football is the lifeblood for most American colleges and universities. There are over 100 gay men in football today. Football has a" Don't ask don't tell" policy. I don't see law schools suiing the NFL for "its discrimatory practices" or preventing any recruiters and sports endorsement companies from being on campus. What if a certain football star's endorsements suddenly disappeared because he was found out to be gay. Do you think liberals would sound the trumpet of "discriminatory practices" and boycott the companies products or prevent the recruiters from coming on campus?? Yeah right! Hasnt happened yet!!

Let me say it once again: For these law schools to claim that this is about "gay discrimination" is more than disingenuous, its a bald face lie!

The Solomon Amendment, has been controversial for law schools that have nondiscrimination policies barring any recruiter -- government or private -- from campus if the organization unfairly bases hiring on race, gender or sexual orientation, or so they claim.

Yet I see NO evidence of law schools digging into the hiring practices of all the corporate recruiters and sports recruiters allowed on campus! NONE!

Never happened, never will! This ISNT about discrimation...its about left wing liberal blantant hatred for the military which they see as being part of a Ring Wing Republican evil empire!

It is the law schools that are engaging in discrimatory practices. And I sure as hell don't see them suing ALL the colleges and universities that have refused to allow ROTC on campus since 1969 regardless of whether or not they stand to lose funding.

The Soloman Amendment became law in 1994 during the Clinton administration

It strikes me hmmm....suspect...that during the ENTIRE Clinton administration NOT ONE LAW SCHOOL took the Soloman Admendment to task at the time.

Quoting Oliver North "Today's military relies on educated individuals joining the ranks as surgeons, JAG lawyers, chaplains and engineers. These vital roles could more easily and efficiently be filled, but for the bitter opposition on campuses by elitist professors, students and administrators."

"Ironically, their freedom to protest is defended by the very people they are protesting."

How many ways can you spell left wing hypocrisy!

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger wanda said...

I think the don't ask don't tell policy would be just fine. IF you leave off the don't tell part. The military and gays have been co-existing just fine for centuries. Making an issue of it makes it much more important than it need be.
When your fighting a war the last thing on your mind is your or your fellow soldier's sexual orientation. When the war's over and you go home or on leave, you don't care what your fellow soldier does with his free time. When your all alone far from home, friends, family and lovers. EVERYBODY takes the situation in hand. No one cares who the other fella's fantisizing about. Unless of course he's fantasizing about you. In which case, if you don't ask, I'm bettin he won't tell!

 
At 12:47 AM, Blogger Liberal Serving said...

"I believe that the overwhelming majority of those who profess to be gay report being sexually abused. (It's something like 93% I believe, although I can't point to an authoritative source.)"

This is an absurd figure, and I'd challenge you to produce any study that even approached a number that high.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

Huntress: If the military announced an openly gay policy today they would not drop this frivilous no basis lawsuit... they'd find some other bogus excuse to attempt to keep ROTC off campus, or they would simply NOT allow their presence. They haven't since 1969!

This is pure speculation. Admit it, or go post at littlegreenfootballs.

Dadmanly,

Thank you for such a thoughtful response. Liberal Serving already brought up my main disagreement about childhood sexual abuse leading to homosexuality. The only correlation that I am of aware of concerning homosexuality is that with overpopulation.

As most progressives, who firmly hold with the Libertarian view of expanding personal freedoms for the betterment of the community, I cannot view homosexuality as a sin. Statutory laws protecting minors excluded, all forms of concensual sex is fine by me. I wouldn't trust a coworker any less, even if he thought I had a cute ass.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Huntress said...

Firs of all Ryan DO NOT tell me WHERE TO POST. This isn't YOUR blog!

FACT: Since 1969 Harvard along with man other elitist universities have REFUSED to allow military recruiters PERIOD! Thats NOT speculation thats fact!

That's why the Soloman Act was created: to prevent this blantant discrimation from occuring. Regardless those schools snubbed their nose at the law, and continue to refuse to allow recruiters on campus.

Its obvious to anyone with any intelligence that this lawsuit is bogus. These guys don't have the guts to admit the truth: they simply do not want any kind of military recruiters on their campuses because they dispise the military...and not because it practices any form of discrimination.

(It doesnt - a fact Dadmanly succintly stated in his answer...which you felt was thoughtful but clearly failed to understand)

Since we KNOW the military doesnt discriminate...then we KNOW the claim is bogus by these law schools...and since elitist campus have refused to allow recruiters on since 1969, then my statement is speculation...its a well informed opinion that borders on an existing truth.


Here's another fact Ryan:NEVER during the Clinton administration did these law schools decide to sue the Pentagon. Only during the 2nd Bush term have they lauched such a blatantly obvious political smokescreen with this bogus lawsuit.

Even if the Military had an open gay policy...liberals campuses would continue to disallow military recruiters access because. as has been proven already TWICE, its NOT open the military's discrimatory Gay Policy - since they don't have one - its about their personal distain for Pres Bush and for the Military.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Here's another fact Ryan:NEVER during the Clinton administration did these law schools decide to sue the Pentagon. Only during the 2nd Bush term have they lauched such a blatantly obvious political smokescreen with this bogus lawsuit.

Now we have troops in battlezones, do we not?

I won't argue about the politicization of this move. I do support the full integration of the military, so if that is what will be accomplished here, I can support it.

I don't despise the military, though. I just take issue with recruiters lying to potential servicemen about benefits, military life, etc. as they lied to me when I was in high school.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger dadmanly said...

Ryan,

Do you object to corporate recruiters lying to students about the great (lifetime) career they'll have with their corporation? Please.

Tell us what the recruiter lied to you about. They told you all the glamorous stuff, the exciting stuff, and probably mentioned basic training. If you had asked, they would have told you more. If you were serious about enlisting, they'd have prepped yopu on what to expect. They get "dinged" for washouts, so they try to make sure you'll stick (at least through the first hard bits).

My recruiter told me alot, and everything he said came true (I picked a really good MOS). Everyone hears the "my recruiter lied," stories, we swap 'em around. Most of the time, it's clear a starry eyed boy or girl wasn't listening and heard what they wanted to hear. And it often is what you make it.

If "lying" disqualifies you from speaking on campus,l than surely Ward Churchill and 50% of the professors need to be booted out, too.

 
At 3:08 AM, Blogger Ryan said...

Do you object to corporate recruiters lying to students about the great (lifetime) career they'll have with their corporation?

I have a problem with all forms of lying, actually. I was being recruited for the USN's nuke program. This was in 1999.

They had recently built the new school. They had taken me on a tour, explained various portions of the program to me. It was like a talking points bonanza.

A friend's father happened to be an instructor at the time, and I asked him about certain particulars. The recruiters had been completely off the mark on the dropout rate (which they should have known), but they definitely told a mistruth about the availability of living quarters on the campus. This partially explained why they were hesitant to actually let me speak with any of the current nuke students 1-on-1.

Other than that, their sexist comments about the female nuke population were also disgusting. The prospect of boot camp was never a factor; I knew what to expect there.

I'm also sure that my parents' opinion that the military would be wrong for me (father served 6 years, mother 21 years) played a major role as well.

If "lying" disqualifies you from speaking on campus,l than surely Ward Churchill and 50% of the professors need to be booted out, too.

I'm not claiming that just because of my little anecdote that recruiters should not be allowed on campus. I don't have a problem with the ROTC on my campus as long as long as they abide by their agreements with the University.

I've never heard one of my professors lie outright in their capacities as professors. Then again, I'm in a scientific field, so the opportunity for misrepresentation is limited; although one will hear the occasional anti-war/anti-Bush comment, it's just a fact that scientists (and academics on the whole) see the current administration as antithetical to academic pursuits, in general. But this is another discussion entirely.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Liberal Serving said...

dadmanly-

I'm impressed that you acknowledged that you could not find a reference to support your 93% figure, but I have to say I am not very impressed with the references you did come up with. Do you honestly think an organization with the slogan "Defending Family, Faith and Freedom" would perform an objective study of homosexuality (#1)? A study suggesting that men with AIDS were sexually active at an early age? That's not even relevant.

I'm sure you could google a huge catalog of studies that suggest homosexual identity is caused by sexual abuse, but like your argument itself, I would suggest that these studies start with the premise thatgay people are sick - that homosexuality is an affliction - and work from there.

Your anecdotal conclusion is also troubling if you're coming into contact with gay people through 12-step programs - they are seeking support because they have come from dysfunctional families, or they themselves have serious dysfunctions (assuming addictions). This population has suffered greater abuse than the general population in general.

Without intending any offense, I would also suggest that given your political and religious beliefs, you probably do not meet a large cross sample of gay people - and that those you do meet, might not be very open with you if they are aware of those beliefs.

Regardess of that issue, I originally commented about the figure because it was so dramatic I knew it was wrong, not because it was the most important thing in your post. I wonder why you even posted the figure. It's really tangental to your argument as I understood it. Kind of an added jab of "gays are sickos" to your argument. If anything it weakened your utilitarian argument that gays in the military "expand the pool of problematic relationships."

Why do conservatives care how or why gay people are gay? Is it a belief that a cure for homosexuality will be found?

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger dadmanly said...

Liberal serving,

In point of fact, for a large number of people, yes. (To the answer can gays be cured.)

While the web site that summarized the literature and research clearly has an ideological bent, the studies they quote from appear to my layman's eye to be genuine and serious from researchers of sexual abuse (not ideologues).

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the original studies just because they are cataloged by an organization you feel is biased. You don't think that GLBT sites aren't cherry picking the data they promote?

As to how many gays I know or have met and whether they are honest with me, you make assumptions based on your stereotypes of who I must be. I suppose if I said I have a Theater Degree and spent 15 years in community and regional theater, you might rethink your assumptions?

Devout Christians don't always start out that way, they aren't born that way, our life experiences and revelatory contact with God made us who we are. And among the many ways God does that is by healing us of the many injuries resulting from lifestyle choices that are harmful to the soul. That's His Grace, and Mercy.

I am just one testamony, and I have only met just so many people. But if you google as I suggested, you will find open forums and chats where gays themselves discuss the possibility that what I suggest is the case. Many gays are victims of sexual abuse, and male victims of sexual abuse frequently have difficulty resolving gender issues and sexual orientation.

If being gay was genetic or biological, eventually there would be no more gays. A group that self defines based overwhlemingly on behavior must logically be a behavioral phenomenon.

Why do liberals care how the Army deals with gays in the ranks?

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Liberal Serving said...

"In point of fact, for a large number of people, yes. (To the answer can gays be cured.)"

That's a belief that has not be substantiated. Are you ex-gay? That would be an interesting and valid anecdote... and it seems to be what you are implying.

I do believe you can dismiss the results of a study performed by a partisan organization. I didn't post any statistics because they are inherently inaccurate and easily distorted. I often think homophobes hide behind the superficial validation of statistics because the heart of homophobia is an irrational or arbitrary fear or hatred of gay people

It's bigotry, pure and simple, but few people I've talked to will admit to being bigots. I totally respect those that do, and I think that after establishing that an interesting conversation can happen.

I did impose stereotype, and you didn't much like it, did you? I've had completely different interactions with gay people than the ones you describe - overwhelmingly monogamous, kind, well adjusted... but I wouldn't presume to present my experience as anything more profound than one person's perspective.

As for gay people dying off if sexuality were genetic... come on, even the cursory review of genetics in standard high school biology covers recessive traits.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Rhiannon said...

[In response to the 'We can cure homosexuality' mentality]

Well, I consider religion a mental illness (delusion, socially accepted brainwashing, indoctranation, etc), does that mean that I should go around trying to "cure" or try to "find a cure" for everyone who believes in some obscure all powerful diety?

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Rhiannon said...

Also, why are all the books sited so OUT OF DATE... these books are from the late 80's and early 90's... get some new material. The "science" that is psychology is so unfounded in science that it's "rules" and THEORIES are constantly changing. The human mind is just THAT complex and even those WITH Psych degrees don't fully comprehend it.

Also... any book written by a shrink based on their experience with their clients is bound to be biased because they are not seeing any of the number of well adjusted, non-pedophile victims, homosexuals. They are only seeing the ones who COME TO THEM with problems.

The problem with surveys is... who were they sent to? and Who responded? Et cetera. That's why they are always so UNRELIABLE... just like human OPINION. I don't know if it's mental or genetic... I don't care. I'm not going to throw myself one way or another cause even the "EXPERTS" can't agree among themselves. So this really is an argument of OPINION and not a debate of FACTS.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger KnowsStuff said...

Paged through a few of Dadmanly and Liberal Avenger's discussions hosted here, interesting reading so far.

Rhiannon and Liberally Serving covered the glaring inaccuracies that have cropped up, excepting why what happens at any given univerity is specifically a liberal concern--score another for the effectiveness of Republican marketing. Speaking of marketing, finding the Family Research Council rather interesting as well: PFAW fact sheet on the FRC

Be kind, still feeling around what sorts of html-fu this site allows.

 

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