Exploding the myths: Truth about gays

This sounds quite ridiculous but gays are often imagined to be promiscuous, irreligious, lacking any commitment, sense of responsibility and family values. Nothing could be far from the truth

There are many anti-gay myths prevalent in Pakistan. Following are just a few of them. Substantial evidence, empirical data and scientific studies also suggest that these myths are ill-founded.

1. Gays are not normal

Not true. Firstly the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition (DSM IV) doesn’t include homosexuality as an illness since 1974, despite continuous debate and prejudice. However, studies by scholars like J.D Bailey’s “Homosexuality and Mental Illness” do indicate that homosexuals are more likely to be depressed, suicidal or have anxiety disorders. But this could also be caused by the discrimination they face in almost every religion, society and community. Another scholar, Ilyan H. Meyer, does a meta-analysis of the studies done on homosexuals and bisexuals. The study makes the same conclusion and attributes the LGBT’s susceptibility to mental disorder to the “stressful social environment”. Many creative professionals, particularly writers are similarly more susceptible to mental disorders.

Just for the record, homosexuality exists not only among humans but other species as well.

2. Social acceptability will increase the gay population

Not true again. Surveys and census in countries like the USA, Brazil and Australia suggest that gays always constitute a small percentage of any country. This doesn’t really change as the society becomes more accepting towards homosexuals. The percentage depends on how you count and define gays. Mostly, it is based on how the person identifies himself, his/her persistent emotional, sexual and romantic behaviour?But the constant fear of the Pakistani right-wing, that accepting gays will produce more of them is flawed. In the USA, the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau found that homosexual couples constitute less than 1% of American households while the Family Research Report says “around 2-3% of men” are homosexuals.

However, according to a Gallup poll, increased social acceptability and media portrayals of homosexuals has led many Americans to over-estimate the actual gay population to about 20%. Though the experts still count them less than ten percent?

3. Gays can become straight and vice-versa

Since gays are perfectly normal, therapy, medication and lobotomy are obviously useless. But the idea that a gay man or lesbian woman will become straight over a period of time, after maturing or increased contact with the opposite gender is also far-fetched?

There are many theories as to why a person falls for the same-sex attraction. It could be genetic predisposition, hormones, social conditioning or just a choice- many people do leave homosexuality to become straight. Some argue that in most cases these former homosexuals were actually never homosexual but bisexual instead. And the fact remains- many homosexuals never become straight. Historically, a small percentage of many species, including humans will remain exclusively attracted to their own sex.

4. Gays are immoral

This sounds quite ridiculous but gays are often imagined to be promiscuous, irreligious, lacking any commitment, sense of responsibility and family values. Nothing could be far from the truth. If religion is morality for you, many homosexuals belong to churches. Some of them are even ministers, nuns and priests? The organization Gay Church can answer many questions about homosexuality in Christianity. An article in the Salon this month indicated that Christians in America might be slowly becoming more relaxed towards LGBT?

[See: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/10/megachurch_pastor_admits_church_is_losing_battle_against_gay_marriage_partner/]

The number of gays tying the knot and settling down to raise families similar to heterosexuals is increasing. Above all, the idea that gays change partners, indulge in casual sex and drug abuse more often than their straight counterparts has never been substantiated.

5. Gays cannot have kids

More and more gays are now adopting children or hiring a surrogate to have them. There is complete consensus among psychological experts that children raised by gay couples are no different from heterosexual couples. Neither are they more likely to become gays themselves. The Canadian Psychological Association, The Australian Psychological Society and The American Psychological Association have verified these claims.

by Ammara Ahmad
Source – Viewpoint