Study finds homosexuals less healthy, happy than heterosexuals

The study's author attributes the wide-ranging evidence to stigma against homosexuals, but one pro-family leader disagrees.
Tue Jul 21, 2015 - 7:20 pm EST
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SYDNEY, Australia, July 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A major study funded by the Australian government has found that homosexuals are less personally fulfilled, have more health problems, and are not as happy in their relationships as "straight" people.

In fact, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) surveys reveal a marked difference in people's experiences based on their sexual identity. Participants are followed over time, and in-depth interviews are conducted annually with all adult members of each household. 

For the first time in the study's 12-year history, respondents' sexual identity was researched as it relates to life satisfaction. The results were striking.

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Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people fare far worse than heterosexual people on literally all well-being and social support measures studied, and such homosexuals consistently reported significantly lower "life satisfaction."

Dr. Roger Wilkins of Melbourne's Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research said the negative experience of gay people paralleled people living with a learning difficulty, chronic pain, or limited use of their limbs. "The difference in average life satisfaction between gay, lesbian and bisexual people compared with heterosexual people is comparable in magnitude to the difference you see between people with a moderate disability and people who are not disabled," said professor Wilkins, who authored the study.

The HILDA report compiled responses from 12 "waves" of Australians between 2001 and 2012. The wave 1 panel consisted of 7,682 households and 19,914 individuals. In wave 11, this was topped up with an additional 2,153 households and 5,477 individuals.

The survey asked respondents to rank their friendships, feelings of loneliness and happiness, and ability to get help in times of trouble. It asked about general health and mental health. It asked about smoking, relationships living up to expectations, partner satisfaction, and family dynamics, among other topics.

Gay people were less likely to live with a partner and, when they did, were more likely to wish they had never entered the relationship.

In every single one of those social and personal area, homosexuals responded with measurably lower scores than "straight" men and women.

"It's really striking that [the health and well-being of gay people] is markedly lower than heterosexual people," professor Wilkins said. "You wouldn't have expected that in the sense that there's nothing inherent about sexual identity that should have direct implications for health and wellbeing."

Professor Wilkins, who supports homosexual "marriage", does not see the data as showing an intrinsic problem with homosexuality. Instead, he attributed the clear difference to societal discrimination toward gays. "I personally see this as an indictment on our society," he said. He also speculated that lower relationship satisfaction levels may be influenced by gay people's inability to access marriage in Australia.

However, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, disputed Wilkins' conclusions.  "Dr. Wilkins interprets this data through his politically-correct glasses and essentially blames society--not homosexual lifestyles--for the results," LaBarbera charged.  "Nothing new there."

"It's getting really old in this era of mass-media-promoted acceptance of all things 'gay' to blame ANY negative outcome for homosexuality on 'homophobia' and 'discrimination' against homosexuals," he said.

"The differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals in this Australian study are actually less dramatic, compared to some other social science surveys," he added.  "However, it did find noteworthy differences, such as a lower level of self-described 'health and well-being' among homosexual people surveyed compared to straights."

  australia, happiness, homosexuality, same-sex 'marriage'

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