Health risks of the homosexual lifestyle

SUSAN BRINKMANN

"As a nurse, I watched 100 of my friends and acquaintances die of AIDS and AIDS related illnesses. After that, I stopped counting."

Notice to Reader: "The Boards of both CERC Canada and CERC USA are aware that the topic of homosexuality is a controversial one that deeply affects the personal lives of many North Americans. Both Boards strongly reiterate the Catechism's teaching that people who self-identify as gays and lesbians must be treated with 'respect, compassion, and sensitivity' (CCC #2358). The Boards also support the Church's right to speak to aspects of this issue in accordance with her own self-understanding. Articles in this section have been chosen to cast light on how the teachings of the Church intersect with the various social, moral, and legal developments in secular society. CERC will not publish articles which, in the opinion of the editor, expose gays and lesbians to hatred or intolerance."




Health risks of the homosexual lifestyle
Part 3 of 6

This statement was made by Greg Quinlan, a former member of the homosexual community, who testified before the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act in November, 2003. Quinlan claimed that the physical and mental devastation caused by homosexual behavior, and the cumulative effect of that behavior "is incalculable."

The American public has been left largely in the dark about the extent of the medical problems associated with homosexual activity because of the influence of pro-homosexual political agendas. Some even believe they are being "compassionate" by not disclosing vital health information for fear of offending homosexuals.

For those health professionals like Greg Quinlan who minister to the dying, compassion is the last word they would use to describe the deliberate withholding of potentially life-saving information from active homosexuals.

The following is a brief review of what is currently known to medical science about the health risks associated with homosexual activity.


HIV/AIDS

Homosexual activity remains a major source of transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus.

A 1997 New York Times article reported that a young male homosexual has about a 50 percent chance of getting HIV by middle age. (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Gay Culture Weighs Sense and Sexuality," New York Times (Late edition, east coast), November 23, 1997, section 4, p.1)

As of 1998, 54 percent of all AIDS cases in America were homosexual men and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) nearly 90 percent of these men acquired HIV through sexual activity with other men. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998, June, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 10 (1)).

Even more alarming, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention reported in 1998 that an estimated half of all new HIV infections in the United States are among people under 25. Among 13-to 24-year-olds, 52 percent of all AIDS cases reported among males in 1997 were among young men who have sex with men. (CDC Fact Sheet: "Young People at Risk," Center for Disease Control & Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, July 24, 1998

Researchers at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver conducted a study to assess how HIV infection and AIDS is impacting the mortality rates for homosexual and bisexual men. Lead by R.S. Hogg, et al and published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (vol. 27, no. 3, 1997, pp 657-661) they reached an alarming conclusion.

"In a major Canadian center, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is eight to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continues, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. Under the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban center are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871."


Physical Health Risks

In addition to AIDS, there is a long list of maladies attendant upon the homosexually active population. Of particular concern is anal cancer. According to J. R. Daling et.al, "Correlates of Homosexual Behavior and the Incidence of Anal Cancer," Journal of the American Medical Association 247, no.14, 9 April 1982, pp. 1988-90, the risk of anal cancer soars by 4000 percent among those who engage in anal intercourse.

Other maladies include chlamydia trachomatis, cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia, herpes simplex virus, human papilloma virus (HPV) or genital warts, isospora belli, microsporidia, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis types B & C and syphilis.


Emotional/Mental Health Risks

Two extensive studies published in the October 1999 issue of American Medical Association Archives of General Psychiatry confirmed the existence of a strong link between homosexuality and suicide, as well as other mental and emotional problems.

Youth who identify themselves as homosexual, lesbian and bisexual are four times more likely than their peers to suffer from major depression; three times more likely to suffer anxiety disorders, four times more likely to suffer conduct disorders, six times more likely to suffer from multiple disorders and more than six times more likely to have attempted suicide.

Many homosexual activists point their finger at homophobia as the cause of these disorders, but the most extensive studies have been done in the Netherlands and New Zealand where homosexuality is widely accepted.

In an interview with Zenit News, Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a child and adult psychiatrist in practice for more than 27 years, said, "Compared to controls who had no homosexual experience in the 12 months prior to the interviews, males who had any homosexual contact within that time period were much more likely to experience major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Females with any homosexual contact within the previous 12 months were more often diagnosed with major depression, social phobia or alcohol dependence."

He concluded by saying, "Men and women with a history of homosexual contact had a higher prevalence of nearly all psychiatric disorders measured in the study. These findings are the result of a lifestyle marked by rampant promiscuity and an inability to make commitments, combined with unresolved sadness, profound insecurity, anger and mistrust from childhood and adolescence."


Physical Abuse

A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health has shown that 39 percent of males with same-sex attraction have been abused by other homosexual men.

A study by Susan Turrell entitled "A descriptive analysis of Same-Sex Relationship Violence for a Diverse Sample," and published in the Journal of Family Violence (vol 13, pp 281-293), found that relationship violence was a significant problem for homosexuals. Forty-four percent of gay men reported having experienced violence in their relationship; 13 percent reported sexual violence and 83 percent reported emotional abuse.

Levels of abuse ran even higher among lesbians with 55 percent reporting physical violence, 14 percent reporting sexual abuse and 84 percent reporting emotional abuse.

As outrageous as it might sound, "Most medical groups have embraced the homosexual agenda and are advocating that lifestyle despite all the scientific studies and medical evidence that demonstrate medical and psychological risks," said Joseph Nicolosi, President of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. "Homosexual activism and political correctness are clearly trumping science."


Church Teaching

The same forces are also attempting to stifle authentic Church teaching on this subject by labeling it as "homophobic" and "hate speech." However, once one is made fully aware of the medical facts, it's much easier to understand why the Church teaches that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law." (CCC2357)

Unfortunately, the word 'disordered' steals all the attention and leaves much of Church teaching drowned out by angry invectives. Father John Harvey, founder of Courage, a support group for people with same sex attraction who are seeking to live a chaste life, laments the fact that far too many people, including Catholics themselves, are left with the impression of ". . .an authoritarian Church that makes decisions arbitrarily, without considering the nature of things. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Even from an immunological point of view, the body itself considers homosexual acts to be disordered. For instance, there are substances in seminal fluid called "immuno-regulatory macromolecules" that send out "signals" that are only understood by the female body, which will then permit the "two in one flesh" intimacy required for human reproduction. When deposited elsewhere, these signals are not only misunderstood, but cause sperm to fuse with whatever somatic body cell they encounter. This fusing is what often results in the development of cancerous malignancies. ("Sexual Behavior and Increased Anal Cancer", Immunology and Cell Biology 75 (1977); 181-183))

Clearly, Church teaching on human sexuality is not founded upon pious patriarchal prudery, but is soundly based in science, biology and anthropology — all of which is illumined by the added gift of faith.


Homosexuality: The Untold Story

Part 1 of 6: The Phantom Gene

Part 2 of 6: Known causes of same-sex attraction

Part 3 of 6: Health risks of the homosexual lifestyle

Part 4 of 6: Treatment and prevention

Part 5 of 6: Gay Marriage: Who's minding the children

Part 6 of 6: In the Image of God: Church Teaching on Human Sexuality

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Susan Brinkmann. "Health risks of the homosexual lifestyle." Catholic Standard & Times (May-June, 2004).

This article is reprinted with permission of the author and Catholic Standard & Times.

THE AUTHOR

Susan Brinkmann is a correspondent with the Catholic Standard & Times.

Copyright © 2004 Catholic Standard & Times




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Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.