Straight into gay America: Respectful conversations

There is an interesting conversation happening over at the “Straight into gay America” blog. Host, pastor/author Lars Clausen has invited pastor/author (Understanding Homosexuality) Dave Glesne to discuss various aspects of Rev. Glesne’s book. They cover much of the same ground that we cover here on this blog, including reparative therapy, use of the term — “gay lifestyle,” and causation of same sex attractions. I plan to join in the conversation as time permits.

The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism

This is a little off-topic for my blog but I am glad to put some light on my friend, Paul Kengor’s new book: The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. I have done some writing on this topic on Blogger News Network, specifically about the role of Sen. Ted Kennedy in attempting to undermine Reagan via Yuri Andropov. I also did a Q&A with Paul that I posted this evening. I think there are some tantalizing analogies between communism and Jihadism for us today. We must win the war against Jihadism and make no mistake we are at war.

Are gays more suicidal than straights?

A reader wrote and asked if I would review another new study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior regarding suicidality and sexual orientation. The reference is:

de Graaf, R., Sandfort, T.G.M., & ten Have, M. (2006). Suicidality and sexual orientation: Differences between men and women in a general population-based sample from the Netherlands. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 253-262.

I don’t have time for a full review but in looking over the study, it is noteworthy and important the authors controlled for prior psychiatric conditions and they asked participants about their feelings of discrimination.

There were significant differences between straight and gay men, after controlling for psychiatric status on death ideation, death wishes, suicidal contemplation and deliberate self-harm. Controlling for psychiatric status left only one statistical difference between straight women and lesbians: suicide contemplation.

Some points to consider:
1. Although the majority of gay men were free of suicidality, there is a risk for one or more measure of suicidality based on sexual orientation.
2. The effect sizes of the risk are small to modest. In other words, there is much overlap between gay and straight groups. The differences require much else besides sexual orientation to account for the variation.
Death ideation – .7% (trivial)
Death wish – 2%
Suicide contemplation – 4%
Deliberate self-harm – 2%
3. Discrimination moderated the first two factors but even with this variable considered, suicide contemplation and self-harm were association with sexual orientation.

These data are neutral with regard to ideology. Caution is warranted and one cannot say that homosexual orientation leads to suicidality but for reasons that are unclear, there is a small to modest risk. There are other factors that should have been controlled as well but apparently were not: child abuse, current sexual behavior, substance abuse, etc. The remainder of the variation might be accounted for by factors not assessed.

Updated review of the Danish study of environment and sexual orientation of marriage

I have updated the review of the Frisch and Hviid study of environmental correlates of sexual orientation and marriage. Dr. Frisch read it today and approved this version.

This opinion article will be released tomorrow, or the next day. UPDATE: It is out. (10/25).

Environmental factors relate to homosexual and heterosexual marriage: Danish study

I just received the following study and have written a brief review of it.

Frisch, M., & Hviid A. (2006). Childhood family correlates of heterosexual and homosexual marriages: A national cohort study of two million Danes. Archives of Sexual Behavior. [Epub ahead of printing].

Department of Epidemiology Research, Danish Epidemiology Science Center, Statens Serum Institut, 5 Artillerivej, DK-2300, Copenhagen S, Denmark,

ABSTRACT: Children who experience parental divorce are less likely to marry heterosexually than those growing up in intact families; however, little is known about other childhood factors affecting marital choices. We studied childhood correlates of first marriages (heterosexual since 1970, homosexual since 1989) in a national cohort of 2 million 18-49 year-old Danes. In multivariate analyses, persons born in the capital area were significantly less likely to marry heterosexually, but more likely to marry homosexually, than their rural-born peers. Heterosexual marriage was significantly linked to having young parents, small age differences between parents, stable parental relationships, large sibships, and late birth order. For men, homosexual marriage was associated with having older mothers, divorced parents, absent fathers, and being the youngest child. For women, maternal death during adolescence and being the only or youngest child or the only girl in the family increased the likelihood of homosexual marriage. Our study provides population-based, prospective evidence that childhood family experiences are important determinants of heterosexual and homosexual marriage decisions in adulthood.

Read my review and let’s discuss…

LA Times reports on NARTH, Schoenewolf controversies

This morning, LA Times’ Stephanie Simon reports on the controversies with NARTH. Alan Chambers is quoted and draws a distinction between how NARTH has handled things and how Exodus would.

Here is a portion: One of NARTH’s scientific advisors has quit in protest, and a prominent therapist has canceled his presentation at the group’s annual conference next month. Alan Chambers, who leads the nation’s largest support group for “ex-gays,” urged NARTH’s members to “think long and hard about the mission of the organization.”

UPDATE: The Miami Herald, The Olympian (WA), Monterey County Herald and the Daily Dish (among numerous other blogs) picked up this story today. Stories have also been filed by AgapePress and the USA Radio Network (10/17/06).

UPDATE: 1/17/07 – The Southern Poverty Law Center included the article by Brentin Mock in their print and online magazine, The Intelligence Report under the title, One More Enemy. I noticed that bloggers, including The Daily Kos are picking it up again.