Homosexuality is a hotly debated issue. Is the concern, as well as anger, shown by many toward homosexuals simply an intolerance of a different lifestyle? Is it an opposition based on religious beliefs? A misunderstanding of what homosexuality is, and what it isn’t? Or perhaps the anger and opposition to homosexuality is based on a real fear, a fear based in statistical evidence. Perhaps it is founded in a fear for society, a fear for their own personal safety, as well as the safety of their children.
Some will say it is unfair to categorize individuals based on their sexual preferences. While this is true on an individual basis, the statistics and trends show an potential connection between homosexuality and violence, as well as the possibility homosexuals have a higher tendency of committing sex related crimes.
Homosexual couples have a much higher rate of domestic violence than do heterosexual couples. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, men in a homosexual relationship are more than twice as likely to be a victim of domestic violence. Women in a homosexual relationship are four times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than women in a heterosexual relationship. 44% of homosexual men reported being abused while 55% of homosexual females reported being abused, according to the Journal of Family Violence.
Several states have attempted to ban adoption by homosexual couples. Based on findings by P. Cameron and K. Cameron, 29% of adults who were raised by homosexual couples reported being sexual abused by their parents. This compares to only 0.6% of children raised by heterosexual couples reporting being sexual abused as a child. Given this data the opposition to homosexuals acting as foster parents or adoptive parents is far more understandable.
In “Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters” W.D. Erickson studied a group of 229 convicted child molesters. During the study 86% of those men admitted to being homosexual or bisexual. When you consider homosexuals make up only 2-3 percent of the population, this number becomes even more alarming.
Studies have found children raised in homosexual environments show lower self esteem, more internalization, poor classroom behavior and a lower grade point average. While this data could be a reflection of lifestyle, increased incidents of domestic violence and abuse, it may be unfair to make that connection. The pressures present on homosexual families in many areas could have a very negative effect on these children. There are many cases of bullying and abuse which could contribute to the existence of these problems. While society has become more tolerant of homosexuality, the outside pressures on these family units can still be extreme. More study is required to determine the root cause of these behavior and self esteem issues.
In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed Homosexuality from its list of disorders. This action came after years of lobbying and pressure from a number of political groups. Some medical researchers have claimed to have found a “homosexual gene” which causes homosexuality. These findings have been discredited and currently there is no scientific evidence to show homosexuality is a medical condition. This idea is strongly supported by the homosexual community. If it were found that homosexuality was caused by a defective gene, then homosexuality would be more likely to be considered a disorder rather than a choice of life style. There continue to be those who claim homosexuality can be cured with the proper treatment, but evidence in this are is inadequate to confirm these claims.
Homosexuality is more out in the open now than ever before. This is in large part due to a number of celebrities announcing their sexual preference. As a result, the opposition to this lifestyle is also more evident, and in many cases more heated. Many feel the answer is tolerance and understanding. With the numbers shown here, and the tendency toward violence and sexual aggressiveness shown by homosexuals, tolerance may be an inappropriate response to the situation we face as individuals, as parents, and as a nation.
1. U.S. Department of Justice, “Intimate Partner violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99
2. P. Cameron and K. Cameron, “Homosexual Parents,” Adolescence 31 (1996): 772)
3. “Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters” W.D. Erickson
4. Socarides, 1978, pp 421-422 “The treatment of Homosexulaity”
5. Same-sex Sexual Behavoir and psychiatric Disorders, Theo G.M. Sandforte