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Homosexuality vs. Another Compulsive Disorder


At the beginning of chapter three in his book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, M.D. provides the following sobering comparison between homosexuality and another familiar compulsive disorder:

"What would you think if a relative, friend or colleague had a condition that is routinely, even if not always, associated with the following problems:

  • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
  • A five- to ten-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease--hepatitis
  • Inevitably fatal esophageal cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Serious mental disabilities, many of which are irreversible
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
  • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
  • An only 30 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected population of sufferers (although a very high rate among highly motivated, carefully selected sufferers)
We can add four qualifications to this unnamed condition.  First, even though its origin is influenced by genetics, the condition is, strictly speaking, rooted in behavior.  Second, individuals who have this condition continue the behavior in spite of the destructive consequences of doing so.  Third, although some people with this condition perceive it as a problem and wish they could rid themselves of it, many others deny they have any problem at all and violently resist all attempts to 'help' them.  And fourth, these people who resist help tend to socialize with one another, sometimes exclusively, and form a kind of a 'subculture'.

No doubt you would care deeply for someone close to you who had such a condition.  And whether or not society considered it undesirable or even an illness, you would want to help.  Undoubtedly, you would also consider it worth 'treating', that is, you would seek to help your relative, friend, or colleague by eliminating the condition entirely.

The condition we are speaking of is alcoholism.

...And now imagine another friend or colleague who had a condition associated with a similar list of problems:

  • A significantly decreased likelihood of establishing or preserving a successful marriage
  • A twenty-five to thirty-year decrease in life expectancy
  • Chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease-- infectious hepatitis, which increases the risk of liver cancer
  • Inevitably fatal immune disease including associated cancers
  • Frequently fatal rectal cancer
  • Multiple bowel and other infectious diseases
  • A much higher than usual incidence of suicide
  • A very low likelihood that its adverse effects can be eliminated unless the condition itself is eliminated
  • An at least 50 percent likelihood of being eliminated through lengthy, often costly, and very time-consuming treatment in an otherwise unselected group of sufferers (although a very high success rate, in some instances nearly 100 percent, for groups of highly motivated, carefully selected individuals)
  • As with alcoholism: First, even though its origin may be influenced by genetics, the condition is, strictly speaking, a pattern of behavior; second, individuals who have this condition continue in the behavior in spite of the destructive consequences of doing so; third, although some people with this condition perceive it as a problem and wish they could rid themselves of it, many others deny they have any problem at all and violently resist all attempts to 'help' them; and fourth, some of the people with this condition-- especially those who deny it is a problem-- tend to socialize almost exclusively with one another and form a 'subculture'.

    This condition is homosexuality.  Yet despite the parallels between the two conditions, what is striking today are the sharply different responses to them."

    In fact, homosexual activists continue to push for further restrictions on mental health professionals to prevent the treatment of homosexuals.  Given the list of problems associated with homosexuality and the relatively high rate of success in treating the condition, it is obvious that the homosexual activists lack compassion for those they are supposed to serve.



     
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