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Medical Downside of Homosexual Behavior

12/1/2005 - 4:00 AM PST

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A Political Agenda Is Trumping Science, Says Rick Fitzgibbons

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania, DEC. 1, 2005 (Zenit) - Amid the push for same-sex unions around the world and the recent document released by the Vatican - "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations With Regard to Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Sacred Orders," an aspect of the underlying issue is sometimes overlooked: the medical consequences of homosexual behavior.

To shed light on the medical and scientific research into same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior, we approached Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons is a principal contributor to the Catholic Medical Association's statement on "Homosexuality and Hope."

Q: Could you explain why homosexuality is not normal, from a medical standpoint?

Fitzgibbons: Homosexuality was diagnosed and treated as a psychiatric illness -- abnormal behavior -- until 1973, when it was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in psychiatry because of political pressure.

Numerous conflicts make homosexual behaviors abnormal, including rampant promiscuity, inability to maintain commitment, psychiatric disorders and medical illnesses with a shortened life span.

The sexual practices of homosexuals involve serious health risks and illness. Specifically, sodomy as a sexual behavior is associated with significant and life-threatening health problems.

Unhealthy sexual behaviors occur among both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Yet the medical and social science evidence indicate that homosexual behavior is uniformly unhealthy. Men having sex with other men leads to greater health risks than men having sex with women, not only because of promiscuity but also because of the nature of sex among men.

Q: Is homosexuality associated specifically with psychological problems? Can an active homosexual lifestyle lead to adverse psychological consequences?

Fitzgibbons: Two extensive studies appearing in the October 1999 issue of the American Medical Association's Archives of General Psychiatry confirm a strong link between homosexual sex and suicide, as well as a relationship between homosexuality and emotional and mental problems.

One of the studies in the journal, by David M. Fergusson and his team, found that "gay, lesbian and bisexual young people are at increased risk of psychiatric disorder and suicidal behaviors."

The youth suffering from these disorders were four times as likely as their peers to suffer from major depression, almost three times as likely to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, nearly four times as likely to experience conduct disorder, five times as likely to have nicotine dependence, six times as likely to suffer from multiple disorders, and over six times as likely to have attempted suicide.

An extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex relationships than other Western countries -- in fact, same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands.

So a high rate of psychiatric disorders associated with homosexual behavior in the Netherlands means that psychiatric disease cannot be attributed to social rejection and homophobia. The Dutch study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did indeed find a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex behaviors.

Compared to controls who had no homosexual experience in the 12 months prior to the interview, males who had any homosexual contact within that time period were much more likely to experience major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Females with any homosexual contact within the previous 12 months were more often diagnosed with major depression, social phobia or alcohol dependence.

In fact, those with a history of homosexual contact had higher prevalence of nearly all psychiatric disorders measured in the study.

Also, a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health has shown that 39% of males with same-sex attraction have been abused by other males with same-sex attraction.

Q: What are the medical illnesses associated with homosexuality?

Fitzgibbons: The list of medical diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of abnormal homosexual behavior is alarming: anal cancer, chlamydia trachomatis, cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia, herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, human papilloma virus ...

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