Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fletch New Study Shows Downside of Being Gay Student

As reported in the NZ Herald -

Gay and bisexual students show elevated rates of alcohol and drug use, sexually transmitted infections and mental health issues, an Auckland University report says.

The study, to be released tomorrow, used data from Youth 07 - a survey of 8002 secondary school students which quizzed respondents on sexual attraction, health and wellbeing.

It showed that over the past 12 months more than a third of gay and bisexual students had seriously contemplated suicide, while about half had harmed themselves, the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) - who are backing tomorrow's release - said.

NZAF said the report also revealed several positive developments when compared to a similar survey done nine years ago. These included students forming rewarding friendships with peers and decreased rates of smoking.

"The improvements are wonderful. However it's very clear that the rates of bullying and isolation that (gay and bisexual) youth reported have real and serious consequences for these young people," NZAF spokesman Nathan Brown said.

Dr Kathleen Quinlivan, senior lecturer at Canterbury University's College of Education, said the report sent "a clear message" that schools and communities needed to start involving gay youth to learn from them about addressing prejudice and discrimination.

Somehow I am finding the 'positives' (forming friendships and stopping smoking) kind of outweighed by the negative (alcohol and drug abuse, self harm, suicide, disease) . I should point out that I'm not trying to 'get at' gay people by posting this but it shows that the "lifestyle" itself has mental and physical consequences and should not be promoted to our young people as being healthy; that is the "clear message" I get.

39 comment(s):

PM of NZ said...

'...the "lifestyle" itself has mental and physical consequences and should not be promoted to our young people as being healthy...'

Funny that, Fletch. That is exactly the same view I arrive at. Certainly not the twisted interpretation of the 'clear message' from academia.

Psycho Milt said...

...the "lifestyle" itself has mental and physical consequences...

What "lifestyle" of 13-year-olds feeling attracted to the same sex are we talking about here? The one where they live with their parents and go to school and do homework and feel like no-one understands them?

How about this? I know it's completely out of left field, right out there, utterly counter-intuitive etc, but bear with me for a sec - maybe being part of an intensely unpopular minority has mental and physical effects?

Andrei said...

How about this? I know it's completely out of left field, right out there, utterly counter-intuitive etc, but bear with me for a sec - maybe being part of an intensely unpopular minority has mental and physical effects?

Or maybe aberrant sexuality is a symptom of other underlying mental conditions - equally plausible wouldn't you say Milt?

As for the intensely unpopular minority BS give us a break Milt - enough of the victimology already - it is positively chic to be gay - watch any trash TV show and see who is admirable and who isn't.

Who usually looks foolish, and/or unpleasant uncool in most shows? I think you will find that it is Christians not gays. The best Christians can hope for is to be portrayed as naive wimps in these tolerant and enlightened times.

C'est la vie

libertyscott said...

Andrei: What rot. This survey tells you that being openly gay/lesbian or bisexual as a teenager is another reason why some will pick on them, abuse them and bully. Of course being openly evangelical Christian or indeed any major religious minority will risk the same. Yet, I doubt a gay teenage male in provincial New Zealand festooned with bogun culture can avoid this, possibly only some schools in Wellington and Auckland have expunged this sort of hateful discrimination. Or do you have contrary evidence? Know a lot of young gay men and women you can ask?

Why do they feel suicidal? Because there are bigots with itches to scratch about judging people about their sexuality. They fear being disowned by families who share the views expressed here, they fear being told they are ill, they fear being rejected. It is as much about past generations as it is about present ones. Bear in mind that it is worse for Maori, who is traditionally more conservative on this issue.

Would the "lifestyle" (whatever that is meant to imply) have mental consequences if it weren't for people judging individuals for what they are, not their behaviour?

Andrei your dark ages view of homosexuality as a disease needs to be consigned to the dustbin. Do they need treatment Andrei? Locked away for their own good, until they are better? Or to make you feel better?

The whole tenor of this post is:
- Homosexuality is a choice, when most people who identify as such say they could tell they were from their early/mid teens (like you decide one day that getting erections for men not women means that maybe you should stop trying it with women);
- It is an unhealthy choice because of a statistical correlation between being a member of a recently heavily oppressed minority and suicidal and reality escaping practices;
- So it shouldn't be "promoted" (because it has only ever existed in cultures where it is promoted).

I find it curious that whilst this blog understandably gets upset about the value of life through abortion and euthanasia, the main focus on an article that shows a third of gay teenagers seriously contemplated suicide is to say they are "unhealthy". Not any real interest in finding out why they contemplate suicide or a bit of looking in the mirror to decide if in fact your own attitudes contribute to this.

After all, if someone is gay and lesbian, it doesn't affect you one bit, unless you are interested in them sexually, or they are to you.

Psycho Milt said...

Unfortunately Andrei, the nation's teenagers aren't in a TV show but in the nation's schools, where being gay (hell, being merely suspected of it) is anything but chic.

nabro said...

Agree with Pyscho Milt and Libertyscott all the way.

Andrei said...

Liberty and PM you are making a huge assumption here, that is that Gays are born not made.

And anybody who questions that assumption does so at their peril given the modern penchant for shouting down those with whom you disagree.

However adolescence is a difficult time for many if not most kids, a time where they develop the strategies for dealing with an often hostile world - I put it to you that hiding behind a "gay" identity might be one such strategy, one that will garner sympathy and one which certain vested interests might endorse.

Other kids with suicidal thoughts without that cloak are not subject to such "studies" as reported here.

Human happiness is a will o the wisp, something we desire for all our children - no? And I strongly doubt that the path to that or long term fulfillment lies in hedonistic gay lifestyles.

Boganette said...

"And anybody who questions that assumption does so at their peril given the modern penchant for shouting down those with whom you disagree."

"Who usually looks foolish, and/or unpleasant uncool in most shows? I think you will find that it is Christians not gays. The best Christians can hope for is to be portrayed as naive wimps in these tolerant and enlightened times."

What were you saying about 'victimology' again?

Scott said...

Would have to agree with you Andrei. Homosexuality seems to be positively correlated with poor levels of mental health including depression and suicide. Homosexuals appear to have a lower life expectancy. They also, and this is purely my own observation, seem to be incredibly narcissistic (think Perez Hilton).

I am of the view that homosexuality is a very poor lifestyle choice. Rather than freedom, it seems to me to be bondage. Anything we can do to help people escape the lure of homosexuality is a good thing in my opinion.

Andrei said...

What were you saying about 'victimology' again?

Oh fie, Bogonette

9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

And millions of Christians have died for their faith over the past two millenia and continue to do so today.

What is a TV show showing us in a bad light compared to being smothered in pitch and set alight as happened to Christians in the time of Nero - less than nothing, that's what.

Boganette said...

So just to clarify then:

You choose to believe in God/s. Because of your CHOSEN belief you feel victimised (by umm TV shows and people martyring themselves for their chosen beliefs).

Yet someone being abused simply because of their sexuality isn't a victim.

And according to you they're not victims because you choose to believe in God/s.

Yeah makes sense.

I.M Fletcher said...

Boganette, of course, I do not want to see anyone abused for the way they feel.

What disturbs me is that even knowing that gays experience these harmful feelings and abuse themselves, the powers that be - instead of deterring youth from this harmful way of life - instead promote it in schools as being natural and normal and a lifestyle that is perfectly fine for them to pursue.

I mean, you can see that they're having trouble and it's not a good way to live, so why promote it?

To me, it's like someone having a problem with smoking and instead of helping that person they instead go into schools and say that smoking is a viable way of life and institute programmes to make it socially acceptable. Sounds crazy? Well, that's what it feels like is happening.

I don't want gays to be persecuted; what I am saying is that it is a harmful lifestyle characterized by a reduced lifespan, physical and emotional problems, drug abuse, and disease, and that these people aren't being helped - they're being given more rope to hang themselves with when their problems are a symptom of something promoted as 'socially acceptable'.

Boganette said...

Um how is being gay promoted?

And more importantly - why would someone choose to be gay?

I totally forgot that there were people out there who still desperately want to believe that their sexuality is a choice. When exactly did you choose to be heterosexual? Assuming you are heterosexual?

Nobody chooses to be gay. What kind of choice is it? Do you really think there are people out there who decide as children (most of the time) that they want to be abused on a daily basis by Christians and Conservatives just for fun? That they want to face not being able to marry in most countries. Not being able to adopt children. Not being able to even live openly in some places? Just for the Hell of it?

Come on that's not logical. Seriously WHY would someone choose to be gay? It's kind of ridiculous to even suggest someone would WANT to be abused for the rest of their lives. If you're going to claim that you should really say why you think that way.

(To be fair I haven't gone into the numerous scientific studies that have proven that sexuality is something you're born with - we can put that to the side if you like to make this debate a little more even for you)

Chris said...

It's interesting to note that doctors are commonly cited to have much higher suicide rates than the average.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/132887
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2295
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/352/24/2473

Somehow I am finding the 'positives' (high earning, value to society, saving lives) kind of outweighed by the negative (alcohol and drug abuse, self harm, suicide, exposure to disease). I should point out that I'm not trying to 'get at' doctors by posting this but it shows that the "career" itself has mental and physical consequences and should not be promoted to our young people as being healthy or something that our young people should pursue; that is the "clear message" I get.

I.M Fletcher said...

The argument that no one would choose to be “gay” and incur the resulting social stigma is invalid, since many people choose lifestyles that others condemn. Moreover, there are many homosexuals who freely admit that their lifestyle is a voluntary preference.

For some it may be a lack of closeness with one parent when they were growing up, or other circumstances.

One famous individual who comes to mind is Michael Glatz. He was the rising star for the gay rights movement and the editor of magazine Young Gay America (YGA), and was on the cover of Time magazine.

He eventually came to realize his lifestyle was wrong, gave it up and became a Christian.

He says in a column he wrote -

It became clear to me, as I really thought about it – and really prayed about it – that homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we're blinded by homosexuality.

We believe, under the influence of homosexuality, that lust is not just acceptable, but a virtue. But there is no homosexual "desire" that is apart from lust.

In my experience, "coming out" from under the influence of the homosexual mindset was the most liberating, beautiful and astonishing thing I've ever experienced in my entire life.

Lust takes us out of our bodies, "attaching" our psyche onto someone else's physical form. That's why homosexual sex – and all other lust-based sex – is never satisfactory: It's a neurotic process rather than a natural, normal one. Normal is normal – and has been called normal for a reason.

Homosexuality took almost 16 years of my life and compromised them with one lie or another, perpetuated through national media targeted at children. In European countries, homosexuality is considered so normal that grade-school children are being provided "gay" children's books as required reading in public schools.


That's what I am against - the teaching of children that this is a normal thing - that it's a viable lifestyle - when in fact it may be due to other causes in their lives, like the loss of one parent. Glatz says "My mom died when I was 19. My father had died when I was 13. At an early age, I was already confused about who I was and how I felt about others."

I.M Fletcher said...

Chris, then you ARE admitting that - much like being a doctor - that being gay is a choice, at least for some. People choose to become doctors knowing the full risks; however, teaching children in grade school that homosexuality is a viable lifestyle and not telling them about the risks (and totally ignoring the morals) is a different thing.

Chris said...

No, I'm just taking the piss out of you.

Boganette said...

"Moreover, there are many homosexuals who freely admit that their lifestyle is a voluntary preference."

Name one that isn't pushing a Christian agenda. Just one. That's all I ask. One that isn't heavily influenced by a church.

Homosexuals who are abused by Christians and other fundies are of course likely to deny their sexuality in order to end that condemnation and abuse.

Most would do anything to end the near-constant harassment from said fundies.

If I was in a community that I respected and had grown up in and I was repeatedly told 'You're not straight! You're gay! Straight people are going to burn in Hell forever and we hate you and you're dirty and wrong and it's your choice to be straight'.

Well if I heard that for even five years (let alone 16) I'd be like 'OK fine I give up! I'll be gay like you guys just stop telling me I'm going to Hell!'

And 'lust based sex' not being normal is about the most hilarious thing I've ever read in my life.

And does it really matter if children are taught that there's nothing wrong with the sexuality they're born with?

I mean come on I bet you home-school your kids or they're in a believer school so it's not a problem for you and the other fundies.

ropata said...

Boganette,

Calling Christians all sorts of names doesn't win the debate. It might make you feel better to blame "fundies", but people have to take responsibility for their own choices. Surely it is better for people to be informed, than to simply be given condoms and let loose behind the bike sheds.

The study shows homosexuality correlates with worse outcomes in life. That's not a Christian-motivated harassment. It's a sad fact.

The joy of healthy sex is intimacy and love, precisely the opposite of selfish lust. Promiscuity and sex addiction are symptoms of a damaged self image. This characterizes a lot of gay culture.

John McKeller and Tammy Bruce are two (non Christian) gay people who oppose pride extremism.

It does natter what we teach children! Dawn Stefanowicz grew up in a gay household and was exposed to excesses of debauchery, and her childlike innocence was seriously damaged.

Some Christians feel nervous and threatened by aggressive gay activism. Other Christian ministries want to help people out of an unhealthy lifestyle, not by condemnation, but by supporting them in a difficult choice.

Sexual behaviour is a free choice. Sexuality is part of the spirit and psyche of an individual. People are imperfect but we can can change our minds and attitudes.

squaredrive said...

Hmmm. The claim seems to be that gay students feel harrassed, and this accounts for their worse (than hetero) health stats.

But the study was of school students over the last year, so is entirely of people born in the 1990s - several years after homosexuality was legalised and promoted as 'normal' in NZ.

Several commenters have implied that gay students still get harrassed for being gay, but the pro-gay NZ Aids Foundation note positive outcomes such as:
"[gay] students forming rewarding friendships with peers and decreased rates of smoking."

That is, if gay students are forming platonic friendships, then they are not being socially ostracised (any more than hetero students). This is seen in supportive 'gay friendly' school and societal attitudes; opinion polls consistently show a large majority of Kiwis tolerant of homosexuality.

So, it is looking more and more like it is the gay lifestyle that is unhealthy...

Oh, and Chris - yes, medical doctors have high rates of suicide. But they have high pressure jobs, with huge responsibility, long working hours, and ready access to drugs - a lethal cocktail. And as IM Fletcher notes, people choose to become doctors (and can quit). You seem to be classifying gay students as 'born gay', so unable to change - distinct from doctors then, and so incomparable.

@ Boganette - you claim there are "numerous scientific studies that have proven that sexuality is something you're born with"; perhaps you could give a few links? I thought that was a key stumbling block for the gay lobby - that they have been unable to prove there is a gay gene...

In fact, wasn't there a Swedish study of identical twins that showed only 10% homosexuality - which debunks the claim of born gay? (as identical twins raised in the same environs should have near 100% identical outcomes) Anyone got the link?

Psycho Milt said...

But the study was of school students over the last year, so is entirely of people born in the 1990s - several years after homosexuality was legalised and promoted as 'normal' in NZ.

Hung out with any high-school kids lately, Squaredrive? I can only assume not, given the above quote.

So, it is looking more and more like it is the gay lifestyle that is unhealthy...

In that case, you get the same question Fletch got (and didn't answer):

"What "lifestyle" of 13-year-olds feeling attracted to the same sex are we talking about here? The one where they live with their parents and go to school and do homework and feel like no-one understands them?"

squaredrive said...

Umm, PM, my quote you highlight is just stating the bleeding obvious facts - that homosexuality was legalised in NZ in the 1980s, while the survey was of current schoolkids, so the survey respondents were not alive when homosexuality was illegal so could not have experienced the discrimination of being told what they were thinking/doing was illegal.

You seem to be implying today's kids hate gays as much as they did back in the day; so all those opinion polls are wrong?

And the gay lifestyle is that of homosexual thought/actions, not the other humdrum aspects of life that any schoolchild faces.

I.M Fletcher said...

And does it really matter if children are taught that there's nothing wrong with the sexuality they're born with?

Prove it. Prove that homosexuals are born that way. Society doesn’t have to prove that homosexuality is not innate. “Gay” activists are the ones attempting to change things and the burden of proof is theirs.

For homosexuality to be equivalent to heterosexuality, it would need to be rooted in its own homosexual physiology. In reality, homosexuality is same-gender conduct among people who are innately and unchangeably heterosexual.

Psycho Milt said...

...the survey respondents were not alive when homosexuality was illegal so could not have experienced the discrimination of being told what they were thinking/doing was illegal.
True, but a red herring - for under-16 year olds, any kind of sex is illegal.

You seem to be implying today's kids hate gays as much as they did back in the day; so all those opinion polls are wrong?

Whether it's "as much" or not, I don't know - but gays or suspected gays are still ridiculed and bullied at school.

Society doesn’t have to prove that homosexuality is not innate.

This is simply wrong. Humans don't appear to have a facility to just decide for themselves what they find sexually exciting. If you're claiming a subset of humans actually does, you'll be requiring some evidence for it. Start by testing it yourself - see if you can choose to feel sexual excitement for something that currently leaves you cold. If you can't manage it, have a think about what could be motivating you to ascribe such superpowers to others.

Boganette said...

Ropata - "Calling Christians all sorts of names doesn't win the debate."

What names? If I call a fundamentalist a fundamentalist that is not calling someone 'names'. Neither is calling someone a Christian if they're a Christian.

I find it interesting that there can be post after post slating homosexuals and everything about them yet if I call a Christian a Christian or a fundamentalist a fundamentalist I'm suddenly accused of calling people names.

Please!

Nobody will 'win' this debate. If your religious leaders tell you to hate gays, and that sexuality is a choice then of course you're going to believe them.

Nothing I say will change that. I'm not a religious leader so I hold no sway.

So nobody wins anywhere.

Everybody loses really. Because gay kids will still kill themselves because their religious parents disown them, or the church tells them they can change or they get bullied or attacked in the street etc.

Nobody wins buddy.

Personally I think it's crazy that you're so invested in other people's sex lives. Why you care about what everybody else is doing in the bedroom is just beyond me.

No point arguing further.

I do agree with you on one thing though. "People are imperfect but we can can change our minds and attitudes."

You don't have to spend your life hating and worrying about with other people are doing in bed. You can change your attitude.

ropata said...

Boganette,
Is anybody denying the negative effects of social stigma? Growing up is very difficult for a lot of young people, not just homosexuals. Instead of blaming everybody else, consider the obvious: homosexuality is inherently disordered, gay people they aren't defined by it, and it's not insurmountable. The gay political lobby should not be beyond criticism, and your implied demand for access to the minds of children is disturbing.

Psycho Milt said...

...your implied demand for access to the minds of children is disturbing.

What's the church's position on religious education, Ropata?

ropata said...

Are you trying to apply a double standard PM?

If it's OK to critique religious education, it should be OK to critique sex education without being called a hater, bigot, fundamentalist etc.

Boganette said...

"homosexuality is inherently disordered, gay people they aren't defined by it, and it's not insurmountable." - Umm how is that obvious?

If you believe gay people can be turned 'straight' through I don't know - you praying for them, or kids not being taught about sexuality or whatever it is you think they should be taught, then you must also think hetero people can be turned gay through the same thing.

That just makes me question your sexuality. Since there's no way in Hell I could be convinced I find women sexually attractive. I just don't. I know I don't and that's the end of it.

But if you think you could change your sexuality from (I'm assuming here) hetero to homo then well...should you really be engaging in this debate?

And "your implied demand for access to the minds of children is disturbing" is just silly.

I see you're playing the victim care again as well. If you don't want to be called a Fundamentalist (which is weird) why are you Fundamentalist?

And I didn't call you a hater or a bigot. Maybe that's something internal you feel and you're just kind of guessing that that's what people think of you?

Psycho Milt said...

Are you trying to apply a double standard PM?

Apply? No. Identify? Maybe - still unconfirmed.

Lucia Maria said...

Boganette,

The problem is that you think of "gayness" as a racial thing while as Ropata is arguing that it's not inherent, it's a learned behaviour.

Many people have unusual urges of all sorts. Self-discipline allows many of us to repress the more unusual urges that could occur, were we to give in to them.

Think of nose-picking, instance. Very few people will pick their noses in public, or even have an urge to pick their nose in public because picking one's nose is unhygienic and tends to gross others out. So, any nose picking that is done is generally done privately.

Now if there were a group of people that defined themselves by their desire to pick their nose where ever they were and wanting nose picking to not be considered gross or unhygienic by the rest of the population and wanted to teach children that nose picking was ok and those that had an uncontrollable desire to pick their nose were different from those who had absolutely no desire to pick their noses - you would, I presume have no problem with people objecting to all of that, I presume?

Lucia Maria said...

PM,

What's the church's position on religious education, Ropata?

I'll answer.

That parents be free to pass on the Faith to their children, and that if the parents put their own children into a school of their choice and that choice happens to be a religious school, then that school be allowed to teach the Faith to the children.

So, what is your point?

Psycho Milt said...

It's certainly changed since I was at school then, but given how long ago that was, it's perhaps not surprising.

My point is that parents who reject superstition have the choice to put their kids in a secular school, and expecting secular schools not to peddle the Faith's views on homosexuality is not a "disturbing demand for access to the minds of children."

Lucia Maria said...

PM,

Surely, though any parent who put their child in a state school would therefore not want any belief system peddled to their children. And when it comes down to it, the concept that homosexuality is normal and even good, is really a very new thing and could easily be categorised as a belief, rather than something secular, don't you think?

And you don't put your children in a secular school because the secular school follows all your values and beliefs, I would guess. It would be more that if one doesn't really believe in much, there's not much a real choice out there for schools, is there.

While as those agitating for homosexuality to be taught as normal and good to all school children don't just want to set up their own schools teaching this, they want it imposed upon all schools - even the religious ones.

ropata said...

Boganette,
Let's just stick to the argument rather than getting personal. Here are some basic propositions:

1. The ex-gay approach holds that:
a. Gays can change (if they want to)
b. Homosexuality is not God's intention
c. We live in a fallen world but Jesus helps us to overcome sin

2. The gay-advocacy approach holds that:
a. Gays cannot / should not change
b. The church should hold the pro-gay stance
c. Homosexuality is a natural variation in human populations, so embrace it
---
1.a is proven.
1.b has undeniable scriptural support
1.c is evidenced in the changed lives of millions

2.a False. It is unethical to tell young people they are stuck with some kind of gay identity when they don't even know who they are yet. And people can change.
2.b+c The church is for all people from all walks of life. But its message is one of redemption from sin, not revelling in it.

Psycho Milt said...

...the concept that homosexuality is normal and even good, is really a very new thing and could easily be categorised as a belief...

One could say the same about the enfranchisement of women. Really, let's not go there.

Let's at least be honest about this. What this post opposes is not "agitating for homosexuality to be taught as normal and good to all school children," it's the assumption that children who are attracted to the same sex should not be subject to hatred and bullying at school. Do the authors here really, genuinely have a problem with that?

Lucia Maria said...

One could say the same about the enfranchisement of women. Really, let's not go there.

No, lets.

Personally, I find it insulting that a sexual behaviour and something that comes right down to a person's very genetics is being even mentioned, let alone being compared in a round-about way.

I can be a woman, and not act as a woman - yet it doesn't change that I am a woman and always will be a woman, even if I am given hormones or have bits chopped off.

However, someone who is attracted to females can be either male or female, yet that doesn't change who and what they are anatomically and genetically.

People's likes and dislikes change over time.

Children like peanut butter one year and hate it another. Yet would we be so stupid as to define a person by their current desires? Obviously many do and therefore are that dense.

Homosexuality has more in common with nose-picking than it does the male/female equality thing.

Lucia Maria said...

Ok, maybe not anatomically if bits are chopped off, but you get the general idea.

Lucia Maria said...

it's the assumption that children who are attracted to the same sex should not be subject to hatred and bullying at school. Do the authors here really, genuinely have a problem with that?

Depends.

If, in order to prevent bullying, the entire curriculum is turned upside down in order to make sure that every child considers homosexuality as normal and good - then yes. Just as if the entire curriculum was turned upside down in order to normalise and celebrate nose-picking.

Beliefs should stay out of the secular classroom. Make schools a non-bully zone - but don't try to impose an alternate belief system in order make the problem go away. The problem is bullying, not why children are being bullied.

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