Friday, June 10, 2005


Dr. Paul Cameron, President of Family Research Institute, a Colorado-based think tank, announced today that a new study on the life span of homosexuals will appear in a 2005 issue of the refereed scientific journal Psychological Reports (Volume 96: pp. 693-697). This study provides additional evidence that the practice of homosexuality, with its attendant lifestyle, shortens the life of practitioners by about 20 years. "Obituaries have indicated that gays seldom reach old age," Cameron said. "Indeed, gay obituaries suggest that engaging in homosexuality costs participants between 15 to 25 years of life, suggesting that homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking or being fat. Over 10,000 gay obituaries have been collected from homosexual publications. Are the obituaries listed in the gay press representative of gay deaths in general?" Cameron asks. A new study that compared them with Centers for Disease Control data indicates they are.

The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, has been the major homosexual paper used to track homosexual obituaries. So its obituaries for death due to AIDS were compared to AIDS deaths among males who had sex with males from the CDC for 1994 through 2000. Surprisingly, there was almost perfect correspondence. The effects of the new drug cocktails for AIDS were evident in both datasets. In 1994 the CDC put the average age of death by AIDS for homosexuals at 39, the Blade at 40. By 2000, the CDC reported the median age of death at 43 and the Blade at 42. Similar correspondences were noted for the 25th and 75th centiles of deaths.

The CDC reported that 9% of heterosexuals who died of AIDS were at least 65 years of age. But less than 4% of homosexuals and IV drug abusers who died of AIDS reached 65. "These findings add substantial support to our previous findings," said Cameron, who headed the study. "While no one has all the facts on this issue, the CDC data is about as good as it gets. These data indicate that considerable progress in medically combating HIV is being made - its even affecting deaths from other medical causes. Right now, the median age of death for gays in the obituaries is running near 60 - about tied with the median age of death for lesbians. Of course, the median age of death for adults is about 80 - so the 20 year hit for engaging in homosexuality that we reported 15 years ago continues to hold."

The new study "Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS" can be read in the scientific journal, Psychological Reports (2005;96:693-697). [I referee for that journal myself at times - JR]



A press release from the Family Research Institute this week announces a study that purportedly “provides additional evidence that the practice of homosexuality, with its attendant lifestyle, shortens the life of practitioners by about 20 years.” Titled “Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS,” study results will appear in the journal Psychological Reports. The president of the Family Research Institute, Paul Cameron, led the project.

The latest report builds on an earlier one in which Dr. Cameron examined deaths reported in homosexual publications, tracked the ages of the deceased and averaged the results. The life expectancy of a male homosexual, it was determined, was in the early 40s. Those results have been cited by some conservative commentators. They’ve also been widely derided by those on the other side.

I think some skepticism is justified. The methodology is flawed because the sample population isn’t representative. Most likely, the publications reviewed disproportionately report the deaths of out-of-the-closet homosexuals who were active in the gay rights movement and very possibly died of AIDS. Excluding the deaths of people not covered in publications targeted to gays leaves too many gaps. Extrapolating the numbers leads to skewed results.

Dr. Cameron says that his newest findings closely correlate to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. Even if true, his report will be ridiculed as vicious, homophobic propaganda.

It’s not that there haven’t been other studies concluding that homosexuals tend to die earlier. It’s just that the subject is so emotionally charged that merely bringing it up is accepted in some quarters as irrefutable evidence of bigotry. In 1997, the International Journal of Epidemiology carried an article with the excitingly provocative title, “Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men.” Half a dozen scholars scrutinized vital statistics for several years from a large Canadian city. Their finding: Life expectancy at age 20 for gay or bisexual men was 8 to 20 years less than that for all men.

Those figures aren’t remarkable, knowing what we do about the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals. What was notable is what happened four years after the publication of the article. The six authors wrote a letter to the editor of the publication in which their work originally appeared. They were displeased because — you guessed it — homophobic groups were using their data to intimate homosexual practices were somehow self-destructive.

Tut, tut. Things have changed dramatically, they now said. Medical advances have reduced the number of deaths due to AIDS. The actuarial tables used to estimate life expectancy for a gay or bisexual man should be the same as those used for all other males. Interestingly, their letter included little supporting scientific documentation. This differed greatly from their 1997 analysis, which was chockfull of statistics, graphs, footnotes, and references.

I can’t say what the motivation might have been in writing that letter to the editor, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were intended as a mea culpa for causing homosexuals discomfort. As I’ve written before, Oscar Wilde’s “love that dare not speak its name” has turned into a lifestyle that won’t shut up. The “we’re here, we’re queer” chant may not be heard as frequently as it was once, but gay activists and their sympathizers tolerate little deviance from their orthodoxy.

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