Poor mental health among homosexuals caused by “lifestyle itself” or “discrimination”?
MELBOURNE, Australia, April 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A study of the mental health of homosexual Australians, called the Private Lives 2 survey, purports to show that the much higher rate of psychiatric treatment sought by homosexuals, compared to heterosexuals, is due to discrimination and lack of societal “acceptance.” At the same time, other studies have come to repeated conclusions indicating that “the male homosexual lifestyle itself” is a primary cause of these mental health issues.
The study, which was conducted online by Melbourne’s La Trobe University with the support of homosexual advocacy group Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, as well as the Victoria state government and the Australian national depression initiative “beyondblue,” was released April 3 by the state’s Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge, and beyondblue’s chairman, Jeff Kennett.
A press release from beyondblue said that nearly 80 per cent of the 4000 homosexual respondents said they experienced at least one episode of intense anxiety in the past 12 months, and over a quarter of respondents had been diagnosed with or treated for an anxiety disorder in the same period.
The report stated that the Private Lives 2 survey was the second of its type that “explored the impact of systemic discrimination on GLBT Australians’ quality of life and their use of health services.”
La Trobe University Research Fellow, Liam Leonard, said, “While the research documents show an increased acceptance of GLBT people and marginal improvements in their general health, it also shows GLBT people continue to experience much higher levels of abuse and discrimination. A likely outcome of this is the poorer mental health participants had compared with the population at large.”
“The most common health conditions among participants were depression and anxiety/nervous disorders,” said Leonard.
The study’s causal conclusions are challenged by other research showing the same high levels of mental health problems among homosexuals in countries where homosexuality has been normalized as in countries where it is scorned.
A study by Drs. Paul and Kirk Cameron of the Family Research Institute in 2007 revealed that there is no difference in homosexual health risk depending on the level of tolerance in a particular environment.
The researchers found that homosexuals in the United States and Denmark - the latter of which is acknowledged to be highly tolerant of homosexuality - both die on average in their early 50’s, or in their 40’s if AIDS is the cause of death. The average age of death for all residents in either country ranges from the mid-to-upper-70s.
Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and member of the Catholic Medical Association, observed that there is evidence that homosexuality is itself a manifestation of a psychological disorder. Fitzgibbons says the disorder is accompanied by a host of mental health problems, including “major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships.”
Fitzgibbons said the American Psychological Association, which is known for its support of homosexual “marriage,” ignored the evidence he presented that homosexuality presents significant danger to psychological health.
Dr. Neil Whitehead, a scientific research consultant from New Zealand and author of the book “My Genes Made Me Do It - a scientific look at sexual orientation” said in a paper available on the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) website (http://www.narth.com/docs/whitehead.html) that “Recent studies show homosexuals have a substantially greater risk of suffering from a psychiatric problems than do heterosexuals. We see higher rates of suicide, depression, bulimia, antisocial personality disorder, and substance abuse.”
However, Dr. Whitehead questions, “Does pressure from society lead to mental health problems?”
“Less, I believe, than one might imagine,” he states. “The authors of the study done in The Netherlands were surprised to find so much mental illness in homosexual people in a country where tolerance of homosexuality is greater than in almost all other countries.”
“In his cross-cultural comparison of mental health in the Netherlands, Denmark and the U.S., Ross (1988) could find no significant differences between countries - i.e. the greater social hostility in the United States did not result in a higher level of psychiatric problems,” Dr. Whitehead points out.
“Another good comparison country is New Zealand,” Dr. Whitehead observes, “which is much more tolerant of homosexuality than is the United States. Legislation giving the movement special legal rights is powerful, consistently enforced throughout the country, and virtually never challenged. Despite this broad level of social tolerance, suicide attempts were common in a New Zealand study and occurred at about the same rate as in the U.S.”
“A strong case can be made that the male homosexual lifestyle itself, in its most extreme form, is mentally disturbed,” Dr. Whitehead asserts.
“Remember that Rotello, (Rotello, G. (1997): Sexual Ecology. AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men. Dutton, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK) a gay advocate, notes that “the outlaw aspect of gay sexual culture, its transgressiveness, is seen by many men as one of its greatest attributes.” Same-sex eroticism becomes for many, therefore, the central value of existence, and nothing else—not even life and health itself—is allowed to interfere with pursuit of this lifestyle. Homosexual promiscuity fuels the AIDS crisis in the West, but even that tragedy it is not allowed to interfere with sexual freedom.”
“Surely it should be considered “mentally disturbed” to risk losing one’s life for sexual liberation,” Dr. Whitehead concludes.