Can Homosexuality Be Seen As Healthy?

A while back over at Catholic Answers Forum the question came up – what are the best arguments against homogenital sexual relations between the consenting that is not taken from a purely religious stand point. 

If I had to say, in a single word, why homosexuality should be avoided, and if that is one’s primary orientation, celibacy should be adhered to it would be this: health.

Well before the dawn of HIV/AIDS, this sort of sexual expression has lent itself to a myriad of problematic health and wellness issues. I will look to see if I can’t find the study that discusses the average lifespan of an active homosexual. As I recall, it is around the age of 38, with a scant 2% of self-identified “gay men” who are homo-genitially sexually active living past age 65. There is mention of this study on the http://www.catholic.com (CAF’s parent website) in an article opposing gay marriage.

Hepatitis B, HPV (warts), HIV, and Syphallis are all hitting the community of men who have sex with men hard. Suicide, alcoholism and drug use is far more problematic there too. In my city – with numerous “gayborhoods” gay bars, and a couple of bathhouses – meth use is outrageous. 2200 new cases of HIV per year are reported (22,000 a decade!) and lately that is on the rise.

(This is, I grant, significantly higher than in most cities that are not seeing this many new cases. This city is known for being the “San Francisco of the Midwest” with numerous distinctive neighborhoods.)

A considerable number of my co-workers at a night job I have are active in their homosexuality. Nice enough fellows some of them… but over the years I have watched them move from relationship to relationship, struggle with alcoholism (buried a 28 year old from liver failure this year) and drug addiction (a 27 year old OD’d on pain meds last year). A 38 year old I know who is two years HIV positive is already taking meds he can’t afford. A 21 year old co-worker I had who is attempting recovery from meth went to the free clinic to get tested for HIV and found out that not only was he positive, but he had a syphalis infection so bad he was running the risk of penis amputation.

The oft-propogated myth that everyone will be healthy if they wear condoms and have a chance to get married is really doing no one any favors. Many well intentioned people thinking themselves compassionate are only enabling this sad situation.

I am not inclined to spend days debating the merits of my anecdotal evidence – it is what it is: that which I have seen first hand and lived through. I am not prepared to debate for days the veracity of the studies cited in the Catholic Answers literature. No amount of debating will change the health situation. If any are inclined to believe I am wrong, that there are not health crises or that just wearing condoms keeps everyone in great shape mentally and physically, good luck with that.

I am not interested in going rounds on debating wether the rampant promiscuity and problems with drug and alcohol abuse are related to “homophobia” which seems to be the great scapegoat for these problems in a lot of debates. Living in a city with a huge gay population, after a decade of “Will & Grace”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, and noticing that pretty much every other television show has a gay character (even if minor) that 9 out of 10 times portrays them as very positive… Acceptance is at an all time high, but these supposed external influences that lead to so much unhealthiness declining, has not, by and large, made the gay community noticecably healthier.

I am also not prepared to debate for days (out of total lack of interest, this isn’t a sport for me) the possibility of healthy life-long (“ltr” – long term relationships) in the context of a same-sex, homogenital relationship. As one co-worker (now of blessed memory) shared with a group of us co-workers over a few pitchers of beer one night with no small hint of melancholy “Guys say or think they are looking for long term relationships, but if we are all saying we are looking for that, why aren’t we acheiving it! I just gave up on it and have fun now, what happens happens!”

If I saw health there, it might be a possibility for me to totally ignore the nature of the homogenital expression – an act I don’t need to be graphic about to underline the non-complimentary nature of such sex.

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7 Responses to Can Homosexuality Be Seen As Healthy?

  1. Dr. Acula says:

    I read a report on the sexual practices of homosexual males. The acts performed were definitely not healthy. Out of respect for pious eyes, I will not relay them here.

  2. nan says:

    Thank you! Some things are best left as mysteries.

  3. Your delicacy is appreciated. I vassilate on actually trying to discuss it in more technical terms but know that it would be difficult to do without being very circumspect. Sensibilities being what they are, more common practices – from the actual physical acts to the levels of frequency with anonymous partners to the actual choice of partners (In 1970 the Kinsey Institute interviewed 565 white gays in San Francisco: 25% of them admitted to having had sex with boys aged 16 or younger while they themselves were at least 21! cf: http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_EduPamphlet2.html)

    On that last score, what no one wants to talk about much but something that is true, common, and alluded to in some places is the truth and reality of a subculture that accepts, promotes, even celebrates contacts with minors who are adolescents with developped secondary sex traits. Again, this gets alluded to briefly in some places, with little or no question and few raised eyebrows.

    What passes as rites of passage in homosexual circles with older homosexuals preying on young men often insecure in their sexualty or questioning it is well enough accepted and ignored. Author Augustine Burrows (of Running with Scissors fame) is a prime example of this – he was involved with an older homosexual man from 14ish on… This was clearly talked about in his autobiography, but in the awful (if perhaps otherwise accurate) Hollywood version of the book, the reference to the “relationship” is still there but somewhat sanitized as the actor playing a young Augustine is ambiguously older than the age of 13/14 where this behavior started, and – with some vestigal hat tip to decorum and decency – a slightly sanitized allusion to forced oral sex is depicted briefly rather than the what Burrows wrote about as fact: He was essentially anally raped as a young teen by an older man he came to accept as his “boyfriend”.

    (This makes me unpopular in a lot of fora, but I maintain that among the less than 0.08% of clergy accused of anything in the last 60 years, 80% of the accusers have been adolescents males over age 14. This leads me to suspect that the wrong termed “Pedophile crisis” was a misnomer on two scores – it was not the “crisis” of proportions claimed with 99% of priests having no accusations, and it was not pedophilia, it was a clear manifestation of a subculture of homosexuality that preys on adolescent young men!)

    The idea of homogenital sex contacts having parity with heterogenital sex contacts (wherein organs are complimentary and not coming into contact with waste, but actually designed for the purpose – in that sense all folks who don’t deal with genital deveopment disorders are heterosexual!) is ludicrous if anyone with the bad sense (please don’t!) to watch a porno.

    The idea that relations centered on homosexual coupling as having parity with heterosexual, pro-genitive marriage is ludicrous to anyone with the good sense to look at statistics (please do!) on monogamy, relationship longevity, casual attitudes of contact with strangers, and genital/rectal health concerns. (The statistics on rectal cancer, HPV, and syphallis in the latter most category are staggering and ignored!)

    Although I will say this, studies on heterosexual contacts among certain demographics are revealing a growing disregard to multi-partner and “one night stand” taboos that seem to be in direct correlation to rejection of the genitive nature of sex in favor of recreational sterility. They have a ways to go, but some self-identified heterosexuals are making efforts to “catch up” in this regard, leading to the appearance of parity as more and more self-identified heterosexuals are put in the position of saying “well, I sleep around quite a bit and engage in sterile sex, what is the difference?”

    In these cases I guess the question becomes: What happens first – a wider outbreak of STDs among heterosexuals a la the CDC study that shows 1 in 4 teenage girls under 18 having contracted an STD of some sort or another… or an uprecendented level of acceptance of casual recreational sex that is sterile that pretty rightly blurs the lines on the distinctions between what is normanative in homosexual communities, and what is seen in heterosexual communities?

    As it stands right now, the backlash for these misperceptions are either going to hurt a lot, or hurt a lot more.

  4. big benny says:

    the ‘study’ you paraphrase is clearly wrong, outdated or ungeneralisable – the average life expectancy of gay males is clearly not 38-years.
    heterosexual individuals (male and female) are also at risk of STIs and/or HIV and in fact account for the majority of new infections in the UK.
    by your reasoning, it would also be ok to focus on race as an infection factor since Black Africans are also a high risk group.

  5. BB –

    How is it clearly the case that the life expectency is not realistic? Anecdotally because you know more men over that age? Survivorship bias and burial practices being what they are, the men who didn’t make it to that age are not there to point out they are not there. Two gents I worked with who died in their 20s…

    As to the race – by my standards the correlation would be not between the incidentals of skin color and demographic but by the correlation of the sex acts engaged in. Is this pandemic a result of heterosexual vaginal sex between monogomous married partners?

    I don’t deny – as a matter of fact I concede and promote knowledge of – the problems attendent with heterosexuals mimmicking sterile sexual lifestyles that are amonogomous. It is still worth noting that as yet, the infection rates and risks – even after decades of the sexual revolution – don’t yet come anywhere near the risks associated with homogenital sex and widely accepted lifestyle practices.

    I know this puts me out in the cold to be so bold as to suggest, but some studies are suggesting that not all AIDS in Africa is AIDS. World Health Org money being what it is, those that are dying of things people in the third world have always died from are now all listed as “AIDS Fatalities” because monies just aren’t there for research and treatment of the less glamorous old stand-bys like malaria, yellow fever, dissentary and the like. All of the sudden when every fatality from a disease is noted as a “AIDS Related illness” money and attention are paid. Even “AIDS death” is a bit of a misnomer in that respect. No one dies of AIDS – they die of the diseases they get (which could be a common cold or any of the above listed or others) when their immune system is finally wiped out. Now sorting out who is dying of these diseases because the diseases are deadly to even people with healthy immune systems is problematic. Low rates of testing to confirm the presense of HIV is problematic and leads to speculation as to how many people died of malaria because they were naturally immuno comprimised from disease versus who got died of diseases because their immune system was wiped out thanks to AIDS becomes a whole lot of political expedience and speculation.

    More bluntly, if this was just heterosexual AIDS being passed via vaginal contacts, why hasn’t it hit the western world hard and with a vengence where apporaches and mores to sex are accompanied with greater acceptance and far more tabboos? Shouldn’t we see widespread infections among the heterosexual community where – if 1.4M+ abortions a year are any indication – there is (AT BEST!) a whole lot of condoms being broken by folks who are only breaking (or more realistically not wearing) condoms during the narrow windows of fertility opportunity.

    In places like SE asia and South America where more infectious diseases are under control, they don’t have the reported pandemic. Maybe because the pandemic is poverty and the old communicable diseases.

    Now as to heterosexual cases in the UK perhaps being the majority… Well comparing apples to apples – raw population totals to raw population totals – shouldn’t it be the case that if all things were equal new cases would be 98% percent heterosexual so it would always be the case that they were in the majority and no suprises there? Among the self-identified heterosexual new cases, do we see correlations with additional high risk behaviors? (IV drug use, prostitution, later stages of chronic drug addiction that suppresses immune systems?) In other words, if new cases weren’t correspondant in their breakdown to heterosexuals as a percentage of the population/percentage of new cases to homosexuals as a percentage of the population/percentage of new cases… Well that would be (and in fact is) a cause to sound some alarm bells.

    In a nation of 100 million, if 2% self-identified as being part of the community of men who have sex with men that equals 2M. The rest would be 98M. It should follow that – if all things were equal – the 2M should be hit no harder with rates of infection than the 98M. Is that the case?

    If you want a fair comparison, compare the ratios or percentages of new infections to a community with the size of its population.

  6. Dr. Acula says:

    Big Benny,

    There actually have been racial studies on disease, this doesn’t qualify as racism. Off the top of my head I know that blacks do not suffer from “hyperlordosis” and spondylolisthesis any more than a random sampling from a non-black pool.

    “Hyperlordosis” is actually a misnomer, but it refers to an increased forward curve in the lumbar (lower back) spine.

    Spondylolisthesis refers to a vertebra (spinal bone) which is slipping forwards “off the shelf” (so to speak) of the bone directly below it.

  7. [...] that is not taken from a purely religious stand point.? If I had to say, in a single word, whyhttp://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/can-homosexuality-be-seen-as-healthy/JSTOR: A Note on How Many Humans That Have Ever LivedBoth Deevey and Keyfitz as- sumed the average [...]

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