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10/06/2006

'Ex-gay' encourages 'truth and facts'; 'truth and facts' say 'what's an ex-gay?'

by Jeremy Hooper

 Media Files Image010Commenting on the Mark Foley situation, professional "ex-gay" Stephen Bennett says:

"Former Rep. Foley's story is so tragically typical - the molested can become the molester. Yes, there are those who can deal with the trauma and make it through. However, we have to stop worrying about being 'politically correct' in the media regarding homosexuality and finally deal with the truths and facts that homosexual molestation (and heterosexual) of children can and does produce future homosexual men and women. It robs children of their childhood and in many cases, destroys their lives. I've personally dealt with so many homosexual individuals whose lives have been ruined because of childhood molestation - but the great news is they don't have to be 'by-products' or victims of their childhood. These individuals can be 'victors' and not 'victims.' Change IS completely possible. For former Rep. Foley and so many others, there is help -- and there is HOPE."

To which we reply:

Hey Stephen: How's about let's focus less on political correctness and focus more on ACTUAL CORRECTNESS! You say you want the media to focus on "the truths and facts that homosexual molestation (and heterosexual) of children can and does produce future homosexual men and women." But outside of the world you "family values" folks have crafted for yourselves, there ARE NO FACTS TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIMS! Forgive the media for not espousing the ever-popular Paul Cameron's data on the subject, but they have a responsibility for ignoring quack scientists who have been kicked out of professional organizations.

And Stephen, even the scant credible research that you guys quote to back up your "
gays are more like to have been molested" case are more often than not taken out of context. For example, there is a study published in JAMA (Holmes and Slap, 1998) that suggests "adolescent boys who were abused by men were up to 7 times more likely to identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual." This data has been quoted numerous times by anti-gay groups, something you can see the American Family Association doing in this 2001 piece. But what these guys always neglect to mention is that the researchers followed up their finding by saying:

“[n]o longitudinal study examined the causal relationship between abuse and gender role or sexual orientation, however. Gender role nonconformity and gay or bisexual identity may precede abuse. For example, males exploring their sexual identity may do so in venues, such as public sex environments, where abuse may happen more frequently.
This is a huge thing to ignore! The researchers didn't just put this is in because they are "so anxious to further gay rights" or to provide "an excuse for the perpetrators" as the aforementioned Paul Cameron suggest in this 1999 article. The included this caveat because it makes perfect sense! If a young man is curious about his sexuality, the likes of which he is forced to hide in order to avoid being shunned by his family, his curiosity could very well lead him to riskier situations! It's highly unlikely that a young heterosexual boy's yearnings will lead him to a public park restroom, truck stop, or some sort of other anonymous sex location where things could very well get out of hand.

Another popular study these guys like to cite is 2001's "
Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons." In this piece from the Family Research Council, Timothy J. Dailey quotes the study as saying:
"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."

But what these guys ALWAYS fail to mention is that this seemingly scientific study (
published in Archives of Sexual Behavior) has some serious shadiness behind its methodology. For example:
- Of the 942 study participants, 675 were graduate and undergrad students from central California, and 247 were culled from gay pride events held in the same central CA area. Of that number, the study says “[t]here were only three homosexual men and seven homosexual women in the college group,” so the vast majority of homosexual participants were in the gay pride event group. Now, 10 out of 675 is, even by extremely conservative estimates, a low percentage of openly gay respondents for a college-age sample. And since it’s not mentioned exactly which colleges or institutions were used for data collection, there is a chance that they could have extremely conservative or religious institutions, which would very likely influence this low number of openly gay respondents.

- As the National Gay & Lesbian Taskforce points out in their 2006 publication, “
Youth In the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism,” of the surveys returned, “39 did not include sexual orientation or gender identity or both. It is possible that some of these 39 included bisexuals who left ‘sexual orientation’ blank because their identity was not an option; surely others who self-identified as bisexual chose ‘gay/lesbian’ or “heterosexual” because those were the only two options.” [NLGTF, 2006]

- The data at the gay pride events was collected at a booth rented by the researchers, who asked those approaching to take the study. It’s not completely clear what the booth looked like or said to encourage participants. So the majority of the participants these researchers are using to represent the entire population of homosexuals were those who were (a) at a gay pride parade and (b) for some unknown reason were drawn to a booth in which they were given a survey. Now, for those of you who have been to a gay pride event, you know that filling out a questionnaire is not the activity most on the revelers minds. So why did these attendees take this questionnaire? And why were the method and location for collecting homosexual data so drastically different from the methods and locations used to collect the heterosexual data?

- Despite the bizarre methodology behind the data collection, the researchers surmise in their study that “…the gay pride participants certainly seem to be a non-clinical group. It is most unlikely that all the present findings apply only to homosexual persons who go to homosexual fairs and volunteer to participate in questionnaire research.” But why would they figure this? On what grounds? There is certainly a large percentage of the gay community who stays away from pride parades, and even among parade attendees, there is certainly a vast number who would never approach a booth to take some sort of a survey!

- The question used to determine sexual abuse was merely of whether or not one had had sexual contact before they were of the age of sixteen with someone who at least five years older than themselves (and also over 16 years of age). So if a participant had consensual sexual contact at age 15 with someone who was 20 or older, than they would have been listed in the results as a victim of childhood sexual abuse. And while many' morals and beliefs surely lead them to feel that a 15 year old sleeping with a 20 year old is most likely a bad idea (
this writer's included), it’s vastly different than a 5 year old being truly molested by their 30-year-old uncle.

-Additionally, there are questions concerning links in the study’s literature review to other heavily biased, gay-stigmatizing surveys, and questions about the views of the researchers themselves, making the survey the subject of much scrutiny [“
Youth In the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism,”NGLTF, 2006]. But you will, of course, never hear any caveats from the anti-gay groups when they present these findings, as flawed methodology is so prevalent in virtually all of their studies, their disclaimers would end up being longer than their findings.

The truth is that just like with all of their "research," the "pro-family" crowd really has no legs to stand on to support these molestation claims, so they just accuse those who ignore their biased assertions of being victims of "political correctness" or "liberal media bias." Not a surprising claim coming from Stephen, since
the movement for which he spends his life advocating is perhaps the most widely discredited movement to ever grace the American landscape! Fortunately, there are those among us who actually put stock in rational analysis, actual data, professional opinion from credible researchers, and findings based in more than just religious conviction. And we, Stephen, will never stop challenging your version of the truth, as it has already ruined the lives of far too many!

Former Rep. Foley, Molestation and Homosexuality: The Molested Who Almost Became the Molester [Chrsitian News Wire]

**UPDATE: It's been pointed out by a dear reader that one of the researchers behind the questionable "Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons" study, Donald J. Templer, certainly has radical views on other kinds of minorities. From American Renaissance magazine:

Psychologist Donald Templer followed with a scathing and hilarious attack on the blindness of his profession. He has been fascinated by group differences ever since he was a child, and this interest has shaped his academic career. He says denying group differences in ability is costly because it puts unqualified blacks in positions of authority. Whites are twenty times more likely than blacks to have IQs of 130 or above, and these are the people who should be decision-makers.

“There are too many psychologists who poison the minds of their students,” said Prof. Templer. By refusing to acknowledge innate intelligence differences, psychologists encourage white guilt that weakens a psychologist’s capacity to deal with the social problems that blacks pose. Also, it is absurd to blame test bias for low IQ scores. “If blacks score low on an intelligence test,” said Prof. Templer, “I would say that constitutes powerful evidence for its validity.” Many psychologists enjoy giving racial sensitivity training, but it would be much more useful if they treated white guilt. Many psychologists recommend psychological therapy for black prisoners, but Prof. Templer disagrees: “They need 60 hours a week of work therapy. That would give them less time for manufacturing alcohol and weapons, trafficking drugs, and giving each other AIDS.”

Prof. Templer was just as scathing about the grievances of blacks against whites. Many claim high incarceration rates are genocide because they prevent blacks from having children. In Prof. Templer’s view, “the reduced procreation of criminals of all colors is a beneficial side effect of incarceration. . . . If imprisoning criminals is genocide, then I am for genocide.” If Americans are serious about deterring crime, they should farm criminals out to Third World and Communist countries “that have real prisons and real punishment.”

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