Friday, January 02, 2009

Who Knew?

One of the more appalling anti-gay memes put out by "pro-family" (gag) groups is the idea that homosexuality causes mental health problems. Of course, many of these groups refuse to accept that being gay isn't itself a mental illness. And they try and buttress this point by noting that gay teenagers have a significantly higher risk of, among other things, drug addiction and suicide.

Now, those of us with pulses could guess that an alternative hypothesis might explain this correlation: teenagers whom society says it is okay to hate are probably more likely to be depressed or suicidal. You treat people like second-class citizens, subject them to daily harassment, make their very name a synonym for something stupid or worthy of scorn, and, yeah, that's going to play tricks with a kid's head.

And lo and behold if a new study in the journal Pediatrics found that suicidal tendencies in gay, lesbian, and bisexual teenagers and young adults are strongly correlated to high levels of rejection by family members. Tolerance, it shockingly appears, is the best antidote to the mental health problems associated with being young and gay:
"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."

Of course, the obvious corollary appears as well. The message groups like the FRC put out daily is a message that kills young men and women. I merely emphasize that to explain the searing antipathy I feel towards groups like this. They wield "morality" as a weapon, and they don't seem to care how many bodies they leave behind. It's sickening.


1 comment:

kevinburns55 said...

I cant believe people can try to pass off being gay as a mental illness. Its just like trying to blame drug addiction on an illness. Each of these are a choice, you have the power to do what you want in life and you have the right to do so. Narconon Vista bay makes a point to let you know you have a choice over anything in your life. Dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being gay. In fact I would tell you they add flare to the world.But like anything in life you have a choice and you need to know you are in control.