Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is "gay" sex good for anyone? Brute facts

What would you think if a relative, friend, or colleague had a condition that is routinely, even if not always, associated with the following problems:
  • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
  • A five- to ten-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease --hepatitis
  • Inevitably fatal esophageal cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Internal bleeding
  • Serious mental disabilities, many of which are irreversible
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
  • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
  • An only 30 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected population of sufferers (although a very high success rate among highly motivated, carefully selected sufferers).
We can add four qualifications to this unnamed condition. First, even though its origins are influenced by genetics, the condition is, strictly speaking, rooted in behavior. Second, individuals who have this condition continue the behavior in spite of the destructive consequences of doing so. third, although some people with this condition perceive it as a problem and wish they could rid themselves of it, many others deny they have any problem at all and violently resist all attempts to "help" them. And fourth, these people who resist help tend to socialize with one another, sometimes exclusively and forma a kind of "subculture."

No doubt you would care deeply for someone close to you who had such a condition. And whether or not society considered it undesirable or even an illness, you would want to help. Undoubtedly, you would also consider it worth "treating," that is, you would seek to help your relative, friend, or colleague by eliminating the condition entirely.

The condition we are speaking of is alcoholism. Alcoholism is clearly undesirable precisely because of all the adverse conditions directly associated with it, although not every alcoholic develops all the problems associated with it.

Alcoholism is a form of compulsive or addictive behavior that has volitional, family, psychological, social, and genetic "causes." Whether it can be considered an "illness" in the strict sense makes for an interesting philosophical discussion but a useless practical one -- as is true for all addictions. Nonetheless, and in spite of the relatively modest "cure" rate, it is still well worth treating, and treating as though it were an illness (as does organized psychiatry, which lists it as a disorder), because of the enormously serious personal and social consequences of not doing so. And now imagine another friend or colleague who had a condition associated with a similar list of problems:
  • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
  • A twenty-five to thirty-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease -- infectious hepatitis, which increases the risk of liver cancer
  • Frequently fatal rectal cancer
  • Multiple bowel and other infectious diseases
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
  • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is
  • An at least 50 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lentghy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected group of sufferers (although a very high success rate, in some instances nearing 100 percent, for groups of highly motivated, carefully selected individuals)
As with alcoholism: First, even though its origins may be influenced by genetics, the condition is, strictly speaking, a pattern of behavior; second, individuals who have this condition continue in the behavior in spite of the destructive consequences of doing so; third, although some people with this condition perceive it as a problem and wish they could rid themselves of it, many others deny they have any problem at all and violently resist all attempts to "help" them; and fourth, some of the people with this condition -- especially those who deny it is a problem -- tend to socialize almost exclusively with one another and form a "subculture."

This condition is homosexuality. Yet despite the parallels between the two conditions, what is striking today are the sharply different responses to them....

Gay activists deliberately paint a picture of homosexual life, especially among men, that is the counterpart of heterosexual life. Their purpose is to avoid alienating support from sympathetic heterosexuals who constitute the vast majority of people. For example, one activist handbook [M. Kirk and H. Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays, 1989] advises: "In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims.... Persons featured in the media campaign should be ... indistinguishable from the straights we'd like to reach." Another [M. Kirk and E. Pill, "The Overhauling of Straight America," Guide, November 1987, p. 24] advises: "The masses must not be repulsed by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself."

In spite of clear evidence that homosexual standards are strikingly different from the heterosexual norm, the general public impression has been created that gays are little different from straights. The above quotations show the keen awareness of some gay activists for the need for deceptive cover. But in many cases it seems as though many gays have bought this artificially constructed picture in all hopefulness.


Excerpted from Jeffrey Satinover, M.D., Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth(Baker Books, 2004), pp. 49-52.

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover has practiced psychoanalysis and psychiatry for more than twenty years. He is a former Fellow in Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry at Yale University and past William James Lecturer in Psychology and Religion at Harvard. He holds degrees from M.I.T., Harvard University, and the University of Texas. He and his wife have three children.


7 comments:








LWC

said...

Appears as if Dr. Satinover should have his credentials, let alone his competency, reviewed. With such acute concern of mortality and morbidity of homosexuals, one could reasonably conclude he's even more concerned with the consumption of sugar and saturated fats.





Ken

said...

The truth hurts





LWC

said...

No less than the prejudice, hatred, bigotry, ostracism, and worst yet, indifference toward gays. The lowest ring of Hell is likely reserved for those who fail to show love toward them. The assertions of this "academic" are specious; and, his understanding of human sexuality and genetics woefully inadequate. If indeed he holds an MD, he'd do well to keep of information to himself.





Ralph Roister-Doister

said...

"The masses must not be repulsed by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself."

Must be where Mapplethorpe went wrong.





Felpin

said...










Isn't that the point. That no one (well few) would choose to be Gay. It's not a choice.














Pertinacious Papist

said...

Felpin,

There is no evidence of a "gay gene," although there is some evidence for a general disposition, as there is for alcoholism or certain temperaments.

But there is plenty of evidence of a subculture that paints itself in appealing colors, which draws many to opt for the related "life style."

Nobody but a masochist would choose the headache and pain accompanying a hangover after going on a bender the previous night. But nobody I know would pretend that the process of bringing glass-after-glass of alcohol to his lips involved no choice.





Anonymous

said...

Satinover's book is described in the Congressional Record, as "The best book on homosexuality written in our lifetime...."