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Do Gay Straight Alliances Cause Cancer?

June 10, 2011

Those engaged in the fight against cancer are always looking for risk factors – behaviors which make one person more likely to have cancer than another. A study published in May, 2011 in the journal Cancer, discovered such a risk factor. In a large study, 8.25 percent of men who self-identify as gay were cancer survivors, versus 5.04 percent of men who self identified as heterosexual.[1] This is a very significant difference and those who reported on it seemed surprised, which is really surprising since such a difference is totally predictable.

Gay men are more likely to smoke (a risk for lung cancer), far more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease, such as human papilloma virus (a risk for anal cancer) or hepatitis (a risk for liver cancer) or HIV/AIDS (a risk for a score of different cancers). They are more likely to begin sexual activity at an earlier age, to abuse drugs and alcohol, to be depressed or suffer from other psychological disorders, all of which affect health and often delay the seeking medical care. The politically correct response to the study was not of course ‘maybe there is something unhealthy about gay sex,” but rather ‘we need to get rid of homophobia in health care system.’ This is absurd since there are clinics especially designed to treat gay men in major urban areas and HIV treatment centers have gone out of their way to be sensitive to sexual orientation.

The refusal to face the facts appears endemic. For example Liz Margolies, executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, responded to the study by complaining that lack of hard information about the relationship between an individual’s sexual orientation and the risk of cancer is ‘one of the biggest problems we have.” [2] I would be happy to send Ms. Margolies links to scores of articles going back over 30 years, all of which document the link between the behavior of gay men and cancer.

Of course, if the gay activists admit there is a direct link between the gay behavior and cancer, they would have to admit that the Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) they are pushing in high schools across the country are not protecting the students’ health but endangering it. GSAs encourage students suffering from Gender Identity Disorder or victims of childhood sexual abuse or just confused to self-identify as gay or bisexual.

Another recently published study – the CDCs Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey– found overwhelming evidence that students who self-identify are as gay or bisexual far more likely than heterosexual students to engage in health-risk behaviors, including smoking, drug use, and sex with multiple partners.[3]

GSAs make being gay or bisexual cool. GSAs discourage sexually confused students from seeking counseling for GID and discount the idea that same-sex attraction in an adolescent may be a transient state or the result of childhood sexual abuse. As a result, students who might have otherwise weathered the sexual confusion that can occur in adolescences and emerged happily heterosexual will experiment with same-sex sex and be caught up in high risk behaviors, some of which will expose them to cancer causing agents. It may take decades for the cancers to appear, but it is the GSAs which set the students on this dangerous course.

The promoters of GSAs argue that their programs prevent negative outcomes and health-risk behaviors through education and support, but there is no evidence of a long term positive effect. Study after study has found that education and support, even if intensive, does not prevent high-risk behavior.[4] The number of young gay men becoming HIV positive continues to increase.[5]

A study reported in the British Medical Journal compared gay men who received “behavioral intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections” with a control group who didn’t receive any special education. The researchers found that “the intervention was more likely to be harmful.” There was a “higher risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection among the participants in the intervention…” This was “unexpected …. And clearly a cause for concern.” The authors theorized that “the intervention engendered in the participants a misplaced sense of confidence in their ability to negotiate high risk sexual situation.”[6]

GSAs are like asbestos, which is an effective fire retardant, but, decades after exposure, causes cancer.

[1] Ultrike Boehmer, Xiaopeng Miao, Al Ozonoff, “Cancer survivorship and sexual orientation, Cancer, (May 2011).

[2] “Gay Men And Cancer: Study Shows Homosexual Males Nearly Twice As Likely To Be Cancer Survivors,”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/gay-men-cancer-study_n_859722.html

[3] Laura Kann et al, “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States, 2001–2009,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report CDC, (June 6, 2011) 60

[4] Perry N. Halkitis Daniel Siconolfi, Megan Fumerton, Kristin Barlup, “Facilitators of Barebacking among Emergent Adult Gay and Bisexual Men: Implications for HIV Prevention” Journal of  LGBT Health Research, (January 1, 2008) 4(1): pp. 11–26.

Ron Stall et al., “Association of co-occurring psychosocial health problems and increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS among urban men who have sex with men,” American Journal of Public Health (2003) 93 (6): pp. 941.

[5] CDC, “HIV among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM),” (Sept. 2010).

[6] John Imrie et al, “A cognitive behavioural intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections among gay men: Randomised trial,” “British Medical Journal,  (Jun 16, 2001); http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0999/is_7300_322/ai_n27568633/?tag=content

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 16, 2012 4:37 am

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