Study: Higher health risks for homosexuals
A recent nationwide study found that homosexuals and bisexuals have a much greater risk of suffering from health problems than heterosexuals in the United States.
According to a massive National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which comprised of 69,000 adults — including 1,664 “gay,” lesbian and/or bisexual participants — Americans who choose an alternative lifestyle are much more likely to take part in behavior that is hazardous to their health.
“[Homosexuals] were more likely to report impaired physical and mental health, heavy alcohol consumption, and heavy cigarette use,” NHIS’s research findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated.
Dire consequences for choices
Including sexual orientation for the first time in 2013 — since it has begun analyzing Americans’ health back in 1957 — the latest NHIS study led by Dr. Gilbert Gonzales of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine found some surprising facts about lesbians.
“[L]esbians were 91 percent more likely to have ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ health and 51 percent more likely to have multiple chronic conditions compared to heterosexual women,” LifeSiteNews reported about the study’s findings. “Lesbians also were significantly more likely to experience psychological distress than female heterosexuals (28 percent vs. 22 percent).”
The results uncovered for homosexual men and bisexuals showed that their health problems were highly elevated, as well.
“Homosexual men reported psychological distress in much greater numbers than heterosexual men, with 26 percent of gays suffering the malady as compared to 17 percent of heterosexual men.” LifeSiteNews’ Fr. Mark Hodges explained. “Bisexuals reported even worse health, with bisexual women having more than double the percentage of multiple chronic conditions and more than twice the percentage of psychological distress as female heterosexuals (22 percent vs. 46 percent). Bisexual men also suffer more than twice as much from psychological distress than heterosexual men (17 percent vs. 40 percent).”
The relationship between one’s sexual gender preference and one’s health problems was highlighted by those presenting the research results.
“Sexual orientation has an influential effect on several aspects of health,” JAMA Editor Dr. Mitchell H. Katz stressed. “Psychological distress was more common among gay men, bisexual men and bisexual women than heterosexuals. There was more cigarette smoking and greater alcohol use among lesbians, gay men and bisexuals than heterosexuals.”
Blaming discrimination, not choices
The comparatively lower health of homosexuals was blamed by the JAMA authors of the study on “discrimination.”
“[I]mpaired physical and mental health [was] potentially due to the stressors that LGB people experience as a result of interpersonal and structural discrimination,” Gonzales and his colleagues alleged — not giving any other possible reason for the poor health, smoking, heavy drinking and psychological stress of lesbians, ‘gays’ and bisexuals. “[C]linicians should be sensitive to the needs of sexual minority patients.”
Agreeing with Gonzales and his fellow researchers, Katz credits an unaccepting society for the LGBT community’s health woes.
“[T]he higher psychological stress and use of unhealthy substances likely reflect the experience of being in a stigmatized minority population,” Katz posed. “Doctors should proactively create] environments that are inclusive and supportive of sexual minority patients.”
Not so quick to put the blame on society for the poor state of health of homosexuals and bixsexuals, University of Texas at Austin Sociology Professor Dr. Mark Regnerus counters that it would be difficult to scientifically prove such a claim. He maintains that a separate analysis of the study’s results must be made if researchers wish to accurately find out whether external discrimination — or homosexuals’ lifestyles — trigger the alarming health problems within the LGBT community.
“This ‘pathway’ of explanation is a very common one, and to be sure it does indeed matter,” Regnerus told LifeSiteNews. “It’s difficult to know unless they had and employed a measure of social stigma or lack of support in their study.”
More problems …
Another recent study on homosexuality in America by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, titled “Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression among Adults with Same-Sex Parents,” revealed that children also suffer as a result of same-sex relationships.
“[T]he percentage of adult children of same-sex partners reporting ongoing depression was nearly triple that of adult children of heterosexual parents (51 percent vs. 22 percent),” Hodges revealed about the research led by Professor Paul Sullins, which was published in the Journal of Depression Research and Treatment (DRT). “[O]besity [was] more than twice as prevalent in adult children of same-sex partners (72 percent vs. 31 percent). More children of same-sex partners reported physical and/or emotional and/or sexual violence against them in greater numbers than children of heterosexual parents.”
Looking at the latest findings on the topic of escalated health issues with those practicing homosexual behavior, Regnerus warns that researchers should not be quick to jump to conclusions that portray the LGBT community as victims of society who share little responsibility for their dire health problems.
“[Homosexual activists] cannot sustain the ‘No Differences’ thesis (that children of same-sex partners experience no greater ill effects growing up than children of heterosexual parents) except by torturing [the data],” the professor asserts. “That is, by hiding the basic story behind sets of control variables, or worse, concealing it within privately held data that no one else can scrutinize.”
Looking out for the best interests of American youth, Regnerus maintains that they should be given a healthy environment when growing up so that they will not be forced to face problems that they would ordinarily not have to face.
“Children deserve a mother and a father whose love for them — and for each other — is the source of their life and socialization,” Regnerus argued.
Sullins also disagreed with advocates of homosexual behavior by responding to the results uncovered in the study of children who are raised by same-sex partners.
“The emergence of higher depression risk in early adulthood, coupled with a more frequent history of abuse victimization, parental distance and obesity, suggests that the inattention of research and policy to the problems of children with same-sex parents is unwarranted,” Sullins concluded. “Well-intentioned concern for revealing negative information about a stigmatized minority does not justify leaving children without support in an environment that may be problematic or dangerous for their dignity and security.”