For adults, not only is there a positive correlation between using illegal drugs and engaging in homosexuality, but those who engage in either behavior are disproportionately criminal, mentally disturbed, more suicidal, etc. Sympathetic academics and gay activists say these traits are the inevitable responses by homosexuals to discrimination. They didn’t start out that way, but were ‘just like regular kids except for homosexual interests.’ As such, ‘gay teens’ have as much right to protection and acceptance as blacks or other protected minorities.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has completed a 9-year study of gay youth that bears on whether young homosexuals were ‘just like regular kids.’ Overall, the CDC findings line up nicely with traditional notions that a kid who gets into a ‘bad thing’ does other ‘bad things:’ gay youth were disproportionately involved in all measured forms of rebellion and self-harm. Many reported starting these harmful activities before their teens.
To gauge the importance of the CDC study, it is helpful to compare it against a 1990s-era longitudinal study from Christchurch, New Zealand that included checks on what respondents said. Some people do lie, exaggerate, and/or ‘have fun’ on questionnaires. Because of this potential problem, the New Zealand investigators studied the same 1,007 Christchurch children from birth through 21 years of age, with parental interviews, self-report, as well as observation and testing by the investigators. Its major weakness was its small sample size — only 28 participants ‘had engaged in or desired to engage in homosexuality’ by age 21. Nevertheless, the New Zealand study stands alone and is the current methodological ‘gold standard.’ Another, much larger longitudinal study of these issues has not been conducted. But with the New Zealand study in place, other studies can be compared to its findings.
2% of Christchurch young adults said they “were” homosexual or bisexual and an additional eight reported sex with a member of their sex since the age of 16 (four of those who said they “were” homosexual said that they had not engaged in homosexual sex). The 11 men and 17 women recorded as homosexual combined for a 2.8% rate of homosexuality among the study group.
This 2.8% of young adults were more apt to score as having ‘problems.’ In each of seven years of the study period, about 1% of heterosexuals and 5% of homosexuals said they attempted suicide. None actually committed suicide, but 32% of the homosexual and 7% of the heterosexual 21 year-olds reported attempting it at least once. Overall, 57% of homosexual versus 41% of heterosexual 21 yr-olds admitted to at least one crime (36% vs. 26% to a violent; 50% vs. 33% to a property crime). Male homosexuals also exhibited more conduct disorder (oppositional, rebellious) and more frequent substance abuse (smoking, drug use).
CDC Findings Replicate New Zealand
In the recent CDC study, ‘risk questionnaires’ were given to ~35,000 9-12 grade students in seven states and six large cities from 2001-2009 (about 80% of kids turned in usable answers). Whether defined behaviorally (sex of partner) or by self-labeling (gay, bisexual, or heterosexual), there was essentially no difference in the outcomes: homosexuality was associated with more personal and social problems. While each result was not found in every location or every year (these were independent samples), the overall pattern was unmistakable.
About 93% of kids said they were heterosexual, 5% bisexual or homosexual, and 2% had not made up their mind. 57% of kids reported sex with the opposite sex and 6% claimed homosexual contact. While 96% of the kids who only reported sex with the opposite sex said they were heterosexual — providing a strong match between behavior and claimed identity — 62% of those who only reported homosexual sex also said they were heterosexual (tried it and didn’t like it?). 22% of this latter group said they were homosexual.
Just like the New Zealand study, the differences found between the sexual orientation groups do not add up to the notion ‘just like other kids, but interested in homosexuality instead of the opposite sex.’ Consider dangerousness-to-others in the following table:
|Rode with driver who had been drinking||23%||34%|
|Drove when drinking||8%||14%|
|Carried a weapon||13%||23%|
|Carried a gun||4%||11%|
|In a physical fight (past yr)||29%||42%|
|Injured in a fight (past yr)||3%||13%|
All surveys report that adult homosexuals disproportionately endanger others. It obviously starts early. And although schools increasingly claim to be ‘safe zones’ for gay and lesbian youth, homosexuals more frequently rebelled against school rules (see table on next page).
Homosexuals were not the only ones rebelling, but they definitely did so more often. And if they ‘have to’ do things that injure themselves and others because of discrimination — why must they do them at school? Things did not go much better when homosexuals were ‘with their kind.’ 14% of heterosexuals vs. 20% of those who only had homosexual partners claimed to be hit or physically hurt on a date. 11% vs. 17% of those same groups reported being forced to have sex (i.e., raped). If homosexuals are ‘away from their oppressors’ when they are with each other, then why would they be more violent?
The ‘sleazy’ nature of homosexuality also starts early: 11% of heterosexuals vs. 29% of homosexuals reported 4 or more lifetime sex partners; 66% of heterosexuals vs. 45% of homosexuals reported condom use at last sex; and 19% of heterosexuals vs. 32% of homosexuals claimed to use alcohol or drugs before last sex.
|Behavior on School Property||Hetero||Homo|
|Carried a weapon||5%||14%|
|In a physical fight||11%||21%|
|Used smokeless tobacco||1%||8%|
|Threatened/injured with weapon||6%||18%|
Looking back, students were asked whether before age 13, they had smoked a whole cigarette (10% of straights vs. 25% of gays); drank alcohol (21% vs. 35%); smoked marijuana (8% vs. 21%); had sexual intercourse (the regular male-female kind, 5% heterosexual vs. 14% homosexual). The ‘fast starters’ were consistently, disproportionately homosexual. Even before their teens, a significant minority of kids who will eventually declare themselves ‘gay’ are into trouble-making and self-harm. ‘Good kids’ who don’t get into ‘adult stuff’ disproportionately turn out heterosexual; the kids who do ‘adult stuff’ are more likely to become homosexual.
Self-harm and criminality also ‘went together’ with homosexuality just as in the New Zealand study, as the next table shows. The homosexually-inclined were also more apt to be overweight, use and abuse alcohol, have diet issues, spend more time on-line (but less on TV) and not ‘eat right.’
Clearly, a significant minority of ‘regular kids’ do bad things (e.g., 22% using marijuana, 2% using heroin) and suffer depression for various reasons (25% felt sad or hopeless for 2+ weeks). Many of these regular kids may ‘cause trouble’ when they reach adulthood. But being around heterosexuals will ‘calm some of them down’ and if they become parents, their kids will help them to mature even more. On the other hand, the homosexually-inclined will gravitate to other gays and be encouraged toward even more rebellion and self-harm. The rape and violence associated with their ‘lovers’ will undoubtedly make them even more frequently depressed.
Unfortunately, no matter how marvelous the home or school environment, a small fraction of kids ‘go bad.’ If the home or school setting is defective, a larger fraction go bad. But in ‘look back’ (i.e., longitudinal) studies, the life-course of criminals, drug users, or homosexuals is similar. They get into the ‘bad things’ at a higher rate and at earlier ages.
Notice that about 2% of teens were ‘uncertain’ about whether they are going to join the gay or straight camp. Can giving special protections to a particular kind of rebelliousness — in this case homosexuality — encourage these kids to try it? While the findings of older studies were not based on the elegant samples of recent investigations, it appears that the rate of ‘trying’ homosexuality is going up. The ‘uncertains’ are there for the picking. If the schools protect homosexuality and give extra attention to homosexual students, they create incentives for the uncertains to jump away from heterosexuality. If drug users were given the same protections and sympathy as gays, do you think we would have fewer drug addicts?
|Never wore a seat belt||12%||21%|
|Felt sad/hopeless 2+ weeks during yr||25%||46%|
|Seriously considered suicide||12%||35%|
|Attempted suicide & treated by doctor/nurse||6%||27%|
|Ever used marijuana||38%||58%|
|Current cocaine use||2%||14%|
|Current heroin use||2%||14%|
|Ever used steroids||2%||14%|
|Currently use marijuana||22%||35%|
Can education slow rebellious kids down or keep them from harming themselves? Perhaps, but the evidence on this score is not that encouraging. For instance, a large, well-designed, multi-year study of school-based education found essentially no effect on rates of smoking in adulthood. Apparently this kind of evidence does not phase the CDC. The authors of the current CDC study warn that their data indicate that homosexual kids should be especially ‘educated’ and protected. But where are the similar warnings for teen smokers, teen drug users, and the promiscuous? Why should they get a ‘cold shoulder’ from the Feds? After all, what’s fair is fair… isn’t it?
- Cameron P, et al (2005) Homosexual sex as harmful as drug abuse, prostitution, or smoking. Psych Rpts, 96; 915-961. ↩
- Kann L, et al (2011) Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12 — Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States,2001-2009 (6/10/11). ↩
- Fergusson DL, et al (1999) Is sexual orientation related to mental health problems and suicidality in young people? Archives of General Psychiatry, 56; 876-880. ↩
- Peterson AV, et al (2000) Hutchinson smoking prevention project: long-term randomized trail in school-based tobacco use prevention — results on smoking. J National Cancer Inst, 92; 1979-91. ↩