Homosexual Behavior versus Drug Abuse, Prostitution and Smoking

Paul Cameron has come up with a study titled “Homosexual Sex as Harmful as Drug Abuse, Prostitution, or Smoking.”(1) Cameron’s work is best not cited, but the data in this paper is something that can be cited since Cameron or anyone else at the Family Research Institute was not involved in carrying out the study. The study, the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, was carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which surveyed a random, population-based sample of 12,381 Americans.

The study asked, among other things, whether the respondent had engaged in homosexual behavior in the past year, and those who responded yes were labeled as “homosexual” for convenience by Cameron and then compared to “nonhomosexuals” with respect to reported mental health, physical health, substance abuse, prostituting oneself or seeking the services of a prostitute, missing work, marital history, criminality, military service, etc. Homosexual behavior was positively correlated with drug abuse, mental illness, prostitution and smoking, as those well-informed about homosexuality and bisexuality would expect beforehand, and also criminality and other negative correlates, as has been documented in several other studies.

To address whether the negative correlates of nonheterosexuality are explicable in terms of stigma and discrimination, Cameron compared African-Americans with whites to see whether the differences between these two ethnic groups parallel the differences between “homosexuals” and “nonhomosexuals,” but such parallels were found for only some of the variables assessed, whereas the reverse or no ethnic differences were found for some other variables, suggesting that stigma and discrimination do not readily explain the negative correlates of nonheterosexuality. One possible objection here is that the African-American vs. white issue is not the best comparison since nonheterosexual individuals could be more sensitive to stigma and discrimination than African-Americans, perhaps due to their later acquisition of sexual orientation identity compared to the acquisition of ethnic identity by African-Americans and also the fact that unlike African-Americans, nonheterosexual individuals are typically not born into a family environment that is affirming and nurturing [with respect to nonheterosexuality for nonheterosexuals and ethnicity for African-Americans]. However, the latter is speculation, and given the study design, Cameron did the best that he could with the available data.

On the other hand, there is a great deal of evidence that increased psychiatric morbidity among homosexual and bisexual individuals is largely unrelated to stigma, prejudice, discrimination and victimization; some of this evidence is documented here and more can be found in a book. The parsimonious explanation of increased psychiatric morbidity and criminality among homosexual and bisexual individuals is the developmental instability model, diagrammed here.

A brief background leading to this paper is pertinent. Paul Cameron is notorious for publicizing the most unflattering correlates of homosexuality, and he has been doing this for decades. He believes that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle. As far as Cameron is concerned, since society attempts to diminish drug abuse and prostitution given that these behaviors are accompanied by multiple negative outcomes for the practitioners as well as others, it behooves society to also attempt to diminish the number of people adopting the “homosexual lifestyle.” Therefore, Cameron’s strong interest in extensively documenting the negative correlates of homosexuality can be understood. Data from random and population-based surveys, as in the 1996 NHSDA survey, are a goldmine for Cameron, and Cameron is one of the few academics who will dare to dig up and publicize unflattering data.

On the other hand, Cameron’s beliefs regarding homosexuality need to be separated from the 1996 NHSDA data or else one could buy into the ad hominem that this paper needs to be dismissed given Cameron’s beliefs and attitude toward homosexuality. Of chief interest are the data at hand and their broad consistency across time, place and the work of researchers approaching the issue from diverse perspectives.

The article can be downloaded here (pdf); this is a 3.02 MB file and will take a while to download for users that have a slow internet connection.

References:

  1. Cameron, P., Landess, T., and Cameron, K., Homosexual sex as harmful as drug abuse, prostitution, or smoking, Psychol Rep, 96, 915 (2005).

Posted by Admin on Sunday, July 23, 2006 in General
(2) CommentsNotify othersPermalink

Comments:

Laughable at best.

Your usual summary of a case, without any evidence to back you up, only makes a stronger case against you. 

For a study to make a correlation between whites and blacks attempting to create a baseline for homosexuals and nonhomosexuals is beyond any scope of profesionalism I have ever seen!!  Any intro statistics or research student can see the flaw in this study.  I’m sure your interpretation of this study is flawed.  There is most likely much more to this study than you indicate, and your only trying to relay the information you need to prove your case.

Posted by Robert Williamson on January 16, 2008 at 12:01 AM | #


I’m sure your interpretation of this study is flawed.  There is most likely much more to this study than you indicate, and your only trying to relay the information you need to prove your case.

Posted by Visitor on March 18, 2009 at 11:48 AM | #


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