Exeter welcomes homophobes

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Oxford students and tutors alike have condemned Exeter College’s decision to host an anti-gay conference this spring.

The Oxford Student can exclusively reveal that controversial pressure group Christian Concern, which advocates “corrective therapy” for homosexuals, will converge at the college during the coming Easter vacation.

Exeter has resisted calls to cancel the conference, in spite of opposition from University academics, the LGBT community and international gay rights charity Stonewall.

The debate was sparked by a complaint filed by LMH finalist Owen Alun John who condemned the homophobic principles of the conference called “The Wilberforce Academy”.

The “Academy” is an annual event organised and run by Christian Concern. The Academy’s website, which boasts a large picture of the Radcliffe Camera on its home page, is described by a video on their website as “God’s tool to raise up similar people”.

Christian Concern, a UK-based religious organisation (also known under the commercial name CCFON Ltd), is the organising force behind the conference, and has, according to its website, “a passion to see the United Kingdom return to the Christian faith.” It also seeks to raise objection to “secular liberal humanism, moral relativism and sexual licence”.

In his letter to Exeter’s Rector, Alun John asserts the group’s CEO Andrea Minichiello Williams’ view that homosexual relationships as “evil”, citing articles on the group’s website which describe them as “immoral” and “unnatural”.

The group has also been accused of equating homosexuality to paedophilia, after publishing an article objecting to the possible declassification of paedophilia as a mental illness in the US. In discussing the outright declassification of homosexuality in 1973 the piece complained, “Academic discussion of the adverse effects associated with a homosexual lifestyle has virtually ceased amongst psychologists.”

The evangelical group has also generated controversy through its consistent support of ‘corrective’ or ‘reparative’ homosexual to heterosexual conversion therapy. CC’s sister company the Christian Legal Centre (of which Minichiello Williams is also CEO) is currently lobbying in defence of psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington. Pilkington faces being struck off by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for offering the ‘corrective’ therapy. The treatment has been widely discredited by the BACP as being based on “no scientific or rational reasoning”.

The head of policy at Stonewall, Sam Dick, condemned what he called Christian Concern’s promotion of a ‘voodoo’ gay cure therapy saying: “[This] has been discredited by the British Association of Counselling Psychotherapists. It’s remarkable that these bizarre and dangerous ideas can be aired unopposed in one of the world’s leading universities.”

“Gay students, and many Christians, will be deeply offended to see extremist groups given a platform at Exeter College. These murky groups spread intolerance and hatred against gay people in the UK and the US.”

Another group affiliated with the conference is the US-based legal body the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). The ADF was instrumental in fighting the US Supreme Court case of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, which set a precedent allowing the dismissal of scout leaders based on sexual orientation alone. They are also a driving force behind the maintenance of the same-sex marriage ban in California in the case of Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger).

Dr Andrew Hodges, a Fellow of Wadham College and long-standing gay rights activist gave his views on Exeter’s decision to host the conference:

“It is possible that the College concerned has regarded this booking as a purely commercial question for their conference business. However, in practice any organisation gains credibility and kudos from having a meeting in an Oxford college. Students are quite right to draw attention to this fact, even if the conference does not directly involve the life of the University population. Speaking purely personally, I am amazed to read that the College has agreed to this particular event.

“I have often pointed out that the University’s equality policies on religious belief and on sexual orientation are liable to give rise to a contradiction, since there are many religious beliefs which stigmatise homosexuality. This may well be a case in point, and I hope it will lead to a more serious discussion of what it means for the University and Colleges to implement such policies.”

Jess Pumphrey, OUSU’s LGBTQ officer made her position clear saying: “Students who experience homophobia need to be able to look to their College and University for support and vindication. When a college welcomes an organisation with a record of demonising LGBTQ people, they alienate those students who most need to know that they are accepted and supported.”

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, at St Cross College was also less than positive about the conference: “Colleges should be very careful about accepting bookings from pressure groups.  They should also think carefully about the diverse nature of the community in the University and its Colleges: in particular the University’s stated commitment to welcoming diversity amongst its students, staff and visitors, and the way it recognises the contributions to the achievement of the University’s mission that can be made by all individuals, regardless of gender or gender reassignment.  These aims do not seem very compatible with aspects of the activities of Christian Concern.”

In response to the burgeoning outcry against the event a spokeswoman for the University responded to complaints by saying: “Organisations seeking to use the College’s facilities are required to uphold the College’s policies concerning equality, which stipulate that any form of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation will not be tolerated.”

Exeter Rector Frances Cairncross, however, continued to defend her college’s decision: “This matter was discussed at the governing body at the beginning of term. There was a lively debate between members where it was decided that the conference would go ahead but we would write to the organisation concerned to remind them to follow our College policies, to which they agreed. None of the governing body disagreed with the final view.

“The organisation has signed a contract with us stating they will follow our policies. They’ve signed the contract and as long as they abide by it we’re content.

We have had many conferences organised by people whose views the College may repudiate. Freedom of speech is something Oxford stands for.”

However, when asked whether the college was planning on undertaking any effort to police or monitor the extent to which the conference conformed to college regulations she responded: “In terms of whether they abide by the rules, we can’t sit in on every conference. Some conferences that appear innocent may turn out to be the worst, so we can’t single out this one and it’s very difficult to police everything.”

Christian Concern CEO Andrea Minichiello Williams answered allegations that the conference may breach the College’s ethics policy, by saying: “We do not seek to discriminate against anyone, on the contrary, the message in the Bible is one of welcome for all people, but the Bible also makes clear statements on how we should live. The Bible says clearly that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that all sex outside of marriage is wrong.”

Addressing the issue of corrective homosexual therapy in more detail, she refuted the idea that there was any conclusive evidence rejecting its effectiveness, saying that there was still debate “at the highest levels of the scientific community” on the subject. Citing the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)’s research as support for Christian Concern’s views, she stated: “Many homosexuals want to change their behaviour, they choose to do this, and to deny that people change their sexual preferences and behaviours is misguided.”

She concluded: “True tolerance gives us the right to disagree with those who have opposing views. Without this right, society becomes illiberal, even totalitarian.”

Student reaction to news of the conference and the views it seeks to promote was one of shock and dismay. A second year French and Spanish student at Exeter said: “I’m usually more supportive of the methods they use to bring in cash than many other people, but I think we need to know where to draw a line. Conferences are one of our biggest sources of income but if we’re going to have radical groups preaching views that are simply prejudiced, offensive and hatred-inducing in our College then something’s gone seriously wrong.

“Students might get a lot of stick about potentially giving a bad name to the College for their antics, but to be honest I’d rather that Exeter was known for having some drunk students than anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-toleration Christian fundamentalists. It’s also a bit difficult to say we’re forward-thinking and tolerant of everyone if we’re willing to host this conference. I hope that the College reconsiders their decision.”

Earlier this week, Alun John reiterated his objections, saying: “This is a simple question of Exeter’s priorities: do they care more about respecting their lesbian and gay tutors, students and staff – the people who pay their fees, teach their tutes and clean their floors – or is their focus on profiting financially from the very people who say that those members of Exeter are “evil” and need to be “cured”?”

He continued: “They can’t have it both ways. Exeter claims to be tolerant and accepting of gay people, but those words have no meaning if they’ll happily be paid thousands of pounds to welcome bigots and homophobic fundamentalists to their college, no questions asked.”

Addressing the issue of whether the forced cancellation of the conference would impinge upon the group’s free speech he said: “This isn’t about taking away their freedom of speech; it’s about where it’s most appropriate for them to exercise it. Should any Oxford college be hosting groups that are so fundamentally opposed to what our University stands for: rational, evidence-based study. Now I’d happily welcome them to an Oxford debate where they’d actually be challenged to back-up their lies and pseudoscience –that’s how we confront prejudice here, not by giving them cosy rooms, a lecture theatre and breakfast between eight and ten.”

When asked to comment, the president of the Oxford Inter Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU), Robbie Strachan, declined to condemn or support the planned conference, saying: “The Christian Union exists to tell people at Oxford University about Jesus. Owing to the multitude of political beliefs within the OICCU, the Christian Union itself takes no specific political stance.”

43 thoughts on “Exeter welcomes homophobes

  1. I was appalled when I read of Exeter’s plans to host what amounts to an anti gay conference. Well by the sound of it conference gives it an unwarranted respectability. Oxford has always, or so I thought, been the seat of discussion and arguement leading to more enlightenment for all participants. Thiis will not be the case with Christian Concern. It will be no better than a gay bashing session with religious bigots insisting that if a person is gay that they, in the name of God, must give up their lifestyle. I would like the Christian Concern cronies to show me beyond all doubt that God disapproves of homosexualty. I am sick to death of organised religions ganging up on people in the name of God to pronounce judgement on those who do not go along with the majority. Homosexuality is not a mental illness nor can it be cured, the reason being that there is nothing to cure. Also Christian Concern is not a religion it is a sect and a narrow thinking, horrid sect at that. I have studied and absorbed the Bible, so come on Christian Concern prove to me beyond doubt that homosexuality is sinful. What is sin anyway ? A man made concept. In case someone looks upon this as a disgruntled entry by a gay old man, it is not. I am not gay but feel sure I wouldn’t mind being. A gay couple who live next door to me looked after me throughout a terribly serious illness, my wife had a break because of them. I had a good experience when they looked after me. I loved the time I spent with them and I am sure that I recovered more quickly as a result. I am not religious although I am a medium and spiritual healer, I am certain that the caring given to me by my neighbours, now very close friends, would be classified as far more Christian an act that gathering in Exeter College to bash gays could ever be.

  2. Better surely to allow such distasteful discourse in a public forum and thus better enable its condemnation, and also just logical argument against it, in public, than to ignore it and and not confront it head on?

    Voltaire and all that? I don’t think Exeter is condoning the ‘curing’ of gay people by allowing the event to take place. What they should be doing is making clear that whilst they (whoever in Exeter allowed the event) do not agree with the message behind Christian Concern’s event (which frankly, as a Christian myself, I am concerned by as it is distinctly intolerant!) they would like people to attend in order to provide coherent, logical argument against it in public and rightly kick it into touch!

  3. I am afraid I have to fundamentally disagree with this article and the comment following.

    First and most important is the fact that the Wilberforce Academy is designed to develop christians for public life; allowing young christians to ask important questions about God’s calling on their life and learn about the public issues that a christian should be aware of. None of these were covered by this article; rather it focussed solely on one issue of a group organising it. The article above attempts to take a misrepresented view of one of the organisers and portray the entire conference as focussing on this one issue. To draw an analogy, it would be like associating the entire university with the arms trade because of their investment with the US arms firm Lockheed Martin. It is therefore unnecessary to enter into the debate of homosexuality as the article is fundamentally misunderstanding and misrepresenting the Wilberforce Academy. However I do wish to make some comments on the more substantial debate in spite of the fact that this is not what the academy stands for.

    Secondly, with the greatest respect to Dr Phillips I believe he is being a bit hypocritical. It is a basic freedom for every person to make their own mind up and nobody has a right to tell you what sexual orientation you should be. However I would reserve the right to have a view on the morality of sex. That very same right which guards a person’s right to choose their sexual orientation should also protect a religious person’s right to have an view on the morality of sex. Just as, presumably, Dr Phillips has a right to believe homosexuality is morally fine, a christian has a right to believe that it is morally wrong. It must apply both ways, and so the hostility of Dr Phillips in his article would seem unjustified.

    Thirdly, and again I mean no offence, but Dr Phillips again has misrepresented what I would call christianity; and what is at least my christian faith. Christians do not “insist” that you change your life; they aim to inform, inspire and guide those who want to know more about God. They acknowledge their own sin and so have no authority to judge other humans. A christian must fundamentally believe that all people are equal and cannot judge another person for the way they choose to live their life. “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. In actual fact it is those who disagree with the christian point of view who are being discriminatory. A christian does not judge the person, for he himself is sinful, but instead believes that God judges the act of homosexuality as morally wrong (Whether biblically that is correct is another debate). However a person disagreeing with this position judges the person along with the view on homosexuality. Just as Dr Phillips labels myself a “religious bigot” for simply wishing to attend a conference for christians interested in public life.

    I wanted to give a balanced and reasonable response to some misunderstandings and misrepresentations in this discussion. Please do not take offence for I aim only to express what I feel is right and moral, and not to hurt. But I leave one final question, I myself was afraid to leave my full name on this forum for danger of abuse and harassment. I ask if those who seem to champion tolerance would stand up for me as well ?

  4. So this college is going to allow homophobes to air their views? What’s next? Will they rent their facilities to the Ku Klux Klan?

  5. So, Christian Concern is quoting a nutjob american hate group to further their prejudice? That’s like a crazy person quoting an insane person to claim they are not crazy.

  6. The most prominent psychiatric textbook used in both the United States and the United Kingdom (Essential Psychopathology and its Treatment, Third Edition (2009)) states that:

    “Recent empirical evidence demonstrates that homosexual orientation can indeed by therapeutically changed in motivated clients, and that reorientation therapies do not produce harm when attempted.”

  7. Matt I champion your right to express yourself. You have earned the right to express yourself as you wish. If we were having a face to face conversation, I feel we would understand each other better. I once attended an eye hospital in London. The nurse doing the initial consultation suddenly launched into telling me that she was a born again christian and that we must all realise and atone for the fact that Jesus died on the cross for us. Now with respect for the nurse’s view I went to the hospital for an eye examination not a lecture on christianity. I could have accepted things if the nurse had said ‘Do you have a view on Christ dying for our sins’ That would have opened up a discussion which I would have enjoyed as it would have been two way. It is when christians speak with what they say is a God given right to pass on the word. You see I feel that Christian Concern will not be at Exeter with an open mind but with an agenda to convert the audience. Obviously politicians to this but we don’t hesitate to tell them to sod off. Matt I have nothing against you, why should I have ? We have not had a good heart to heart so we don’t understand each other.

  8. Dear Matt

    There are so many points which there are problems with, but I want to take issue with a just a couple which you raise in your response:

    1. You indicate that you believe that sexual orientation is a choice – I can categorically affirm that it is not. I believe that I am correct in saying that doctors, psychologists, and of course every gay person you meet will agree. This changes things considerably

    2. You use the ‘no Christian I know…’ argument to say that someone who is ‘truly’ christian would not ask you to change your life. The fact that you believe this speaks well of you, but the fact of the matter is that many christians out there do exactly that – and with backup from your holy text. The fact that the holy text allows for interpretations of this kind does not speak well of the faith.

    3. “takes a misrepresented view of one of the organisers” – I think you’ll find that that very view comes from the CEO of the organisation – and she speaks from and for the organisation.

    Of course I agree the nature of the conference is not such that they actually have the electrodes out, applying them to the temples of anyone who says they are gay – the opposition is about who they are, and what they believe rather than what practices they will be conducting there and then.

    As someone who has been through this ‘reparative therapy’ – unsuccessfully of course – I can tell you that it is not in any way benign, nor is the ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ message. These beliefs, thus harnessed, have the power to destroy people’s lives.

  9. YE GADS I cannot believe the quote from DSM 3 Because of this dreadful book people who grieve for longer than, I think, six weeks for their recently dead Mother ae suffering from a mental illness. Get the book from the library, think of something that you do such as worrying about your beloved plants when the weather is adverse and if you thumb through the book you will find a diagnosis to pin on yourself. God alone knows who made the contribution to the book must surely be a repressed homosexual; they cannot admit to themselves that they are gay but it won’t matter as it is curable ! Now if you are looking to witness a full blown row put me face to face with the author. From personal experience I can tell you that many psychiatrists are mad. Please believe me. I do wish that my old friend Dr RD (Ronnie) Laing was still alive he would destroy them with his arguement which would be better thought out than my quick response has been.

  10. Just to clarify, in case of doubt, the ‘Owen’ who’s just commented is not the same one made the comment in the article – I’ve definitely not been through reparative therapy but have great sympathy for anyone who has.

  11. Hello, I have just telephoned a former colleague of mine about homosexuality being curable. He told me that this was not longer the thinking in America and the DSM 1V has changed it’s stance. So the version that I read in the email is out of date. I have added an entry from Wikipedia which shows how the arguement developed. He said that psychiatrists of christian persuasion will still say that homosexuality is pathological, but that this is not mainstream thinking anymore. THe last line of the article sums it up. I told him what I said about most psychiatrists being mad. He replied “Speaking for yourself again Gerald” He is a good chap.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA with thanks:

    Conversion therapy, sometimes called reparative therapy or reorientation therapy, is one type of sexual orientation change effort that attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual.[1] These types of therapies have been a source of intense controversy in the United States and other countries.[2] The American Psychiatric Association states that political and moral debates over the integration of gays and lesbians into the mainstream of American society have obscured scientific data about changing sexual orientation “by calling into question the motives and even the character of individuals on both sides of the issue.”[3] The most high-profile contemporary advocates of conversion therapy tend to be conservative Christian groups and other religious organizations.[4] The main organization advocating secular forms of conversion therapy is the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH); however, NARTH often partners with religious groups.[4]

    The American Psychological Association defines conversion therapy as therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation.[5] The American Psychiatric Association states that conversion therapy is a type of psychiatric treatment “based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”[3] The American Psychiatric Association has condemned this type of therapy and states that, “Ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation.”[6] Psychologist Douglas Haldeman writes that conversion therapy comprises efforts by mental health professionals and pastoral care providers to convert lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality by techniques including aversive treatments, such as “the application of electric shock to the hands and/or genitals,” and “nausea-inducing drugs…administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli,” masturbatory reconditioning, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapy, and spiritual interventions, such as “prayer and group support and pressure.”[7]

    Mainstream American medical and scientific organizations have expressed concern over conversion therapy and consider it potentially harmful.[3][8][9] The advancement of conversion therapy may cause social harm by disseminating inaccurate views about sexual orientation.[8] The ethics guidelines of major mental health organizations in the United States vary from cautionary statements to recommendations that ethical practitioners refrain from practicing conversion therapy (American Psychiatric Association) or from referring patients to those who do (American Counseling Association).[3][10] In a letter dated February 23, 2011 to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Attorney General of the United States stated “while sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable
    Copyright Wikipedia

  12. Having read (wiht horror) the Wikipedia entry above, I thought I would look further. The Royal College of Psychiatrists on their web page Psychiatry and LGB People say of corrective therapy: “The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field.” It goes on to advise “There are however at least two studies that have followed up LGB people who have undergone therapy with the aim of becoming heterosexual. Neither attempted to assess the patients before receiving therapy and both relied on the subjective accounts of people, who were asked to volunteer by the therapy organisations themselves (Spitzer, 2003) or who were recruited via the Internet (Shidlow and Schroeder, 2002).” The implication in not assessing the patients before receiving therapy is that they could have been bisexual to start with. All in all, dreadful and ineffective and unnecessary.

  13. After this article was published, the LGBTQ community at Exeter wished to comment on the situation. Although we asked Oxstu to publish our statement, they took a very small quotation in order to provide a veneer of balance to their otherwise very one sided argument. The statement below is the ONLY statement which represents the views of the Exeter LGBTQ community.

    “We as the LGBTQ community of Exeter College are uncomfortable with the perception of our college expressed in the article ‘Exeter Welcomes Homophobes’ published on the 9th of February 2012. We would like to highlight to readers that from the perspective of our (very well-established) LGBTQ society, Exeter College is extremely welcoming towards its LGBTQ staff, fellows and students.

    While we continue to maintain our strong disagreement with the views held by Christian Concern and the Wilberforce Academy, it is preposterous to suggest that Exeter ‘welcomes’ homophobia in any way.

    Through its appointments to important positions and its actions in the past, Exeter has demonstrated its support for the LGBTQ community both in Exeter and the wider University. Only a small example of this is provided by the fact that Exeter will host the University wide Graduate LGBT dinner in 6th Week, and also in a few weeks will host its own annual dinner for the LGBTQ community across common rooms, organized by students and supported strongly by staff and fellows. The presence of a very vibrant student LGBTQ society including undergraduates, graduates, home and international students, is testament to the atmosphere in Exeter, buttressed further by the strong LGBTQ presence in the SCR.

    Thus, from our perspective, the article mentioned above entirely misunderstands and misinterprets Exeter’s position on the question of the rights and dignity of LGBTQ students. It takes the incident of the Wilberforce Academy out of context, without an understanding of the process that has led up to this point, and misjudges the college on the basis of these isolated facts.

    The conference business of Exeter College, like many other colleges has been handled by the Steward’s Office, and like in several other colleges it is not established practice to filter organizations based on their ideological views. While this may be an issue that Exeter and other colleges will put thought into for the future, the fact that an organization with homophobic views has rented the college premises does not reflect on the college’s own views on this issue.”

  14. I’m afraid I fundamentally disagree with the spirit of this article. The author should be disappointed with his factual ineptitude and inflammatory tones. By any objective assessment the Wilberforce Academy could never be described as a primarily ‘anti-gay’ conference. The conference exists to develop young Christians in their thinking on a host of issues are society is dealing with, of which homosexuality is merely one amongst many.  There are numerous articulate positions which raise sensible question marks across this spectrum with which the article concerned has singularly failed to engage. The use of the term ‘homophobic’ is not valid – there is no irrational fear here (the notion to which this word pertains) but a wish to foster respectful dialogue. The use of the term ‘logic’ in some of the comments above is fairly embarrassing too. I can’t see a syllogism for all the straw men. Exeter College should be commended for standing up for free speech and not bending the knee to this intolerant nonsense. Yes, INTOLERANT – consult the dictionary once more and you will find that true tolerance presupposes a disagreement on this or that topic. I think Minichiello-Williams has a much better understanding of this word than many here. What do you do when someone dares to question the zeitgeist? Call them ‘fundamentalists’…’extremist’… ‘appalling’ … ‘distasteful’? This carries more hate than Christian Concern, the Wilberforce Academy or Exeter College will ever do. Come on people.

  15. If the OxStu’s argument is that people of contentious viewpoints should be disallowed from attending a conference at a college by virtue of the fact that their intolerable beliefs gain credence in the big bad world, surely it must follow that they should screen their undergraduate applicants just as closely… for a homophobe is surely lent more stature by a college affording him/her an MA (Oxon) than allowing them to be “some guy who paid to walk around the quad for a couple of days”.

    If intolerable viewpoints are as stark-nakedly obvious to this audience as Messrs. Beaumont & Delestre put forward, then surely the best way to censure views of bad taste from polluting the Spires is to subject them to vigilante monitoring by OxStu readers. It appears to work well, at least, in the comments section underneath Daily Mail articles online.

  16. Two student journos have written a sensationalist article that gets loads of people outraged, hence launching their names into mild internet stardom and slightly improving their career prospects. They must be so grateful to everyone who’s commented on their article and thus pushed it more into the public eye. We’ve played right into their hands…

  17. “It seems that it is no longer acceptable in the Tory party to express the view that homosexual acts are in any way unnatural or immoral. But in fact the orthodox Christian position, upheld by the Bible itself, is that they are both. (I discuss the matter of ‘homophobia’ elsewhere)”

    An idle Google search took me to this, quoted from this article on Christian Concern’s website: http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/sexual-orientation/david-cameron-his-comments-about-homosexuality-and-tolerance

    Now can we all shut the fuck up about Exeter and go back to slagging off Richard Burton on that article about wearing a cycle helmet? Thanks

  18. Oh my god that argument with richard burton is STILL taking place? Fuck exeter I’m headed over to check that out.

  19. The peddlers of the word ‘homophobic’ want everybody to accept the impossible notion that there is only one possible reason (sic) for people to be opposed to homosexual practice: namely, fear (or, for the illiterate, hatred). To see how unintelligent this claim is, try giving your tutor an essay where you say there is only one possible option and fail to argue the point. See what mark you get. Please, everyone who uses this incorrectly-formed word, grow up and start thinking. Informed people form opinions about all topics on the basis of available peer-reviewed scientific information.

  20. So do I take it that no-one can defend the Zeitgeist view of homosexuality against the evidence of multiple studies showing a gloomy picture of comparative [often: male] homosexual rates of: STIs, early death, promiscuity, concurrent and transient relationships, pederasty, drug use, depression, suicide? Or against the fact that anal intercourse is not on a par with vaginal for 5 large reasons: lack of fruit, presence of sphincter (ie exit not entrance), lack of lubrication, one-cell thickness of rectal lining, presence of microfold cells in rectum actively encouraging STI microbes (and of course, in absence of vaginal option, lack of possible healthy sexual alternatives)? You’re not going to give me a walkover on this surely?

  21. I should like to response to Dr Christopher Shell’s comments, although I would have preferred to see the research he refers to first – to check how long ago it was conducted, by whom, and the sample size etc. I was always given to understand that the disproportionate number of homosexual men suffering mental ill health including depression, committing suicide and using drugs can be accounted for by the low self esteem many experience having been brought up in a world largely hostile towards them. I would also like to draw Dr Shell’s attention to the fact that neither anal sex nor promiscuity are not the preserve of the gay people, straight people are well-versed in these things to.

    Finally, it strikes me that for someone who clearly has a deep contempt for homosexual men, Dr Shell appears to have spent a great deal of time studying them. Further to this, what fruit does he generally find in the vagina? Plumbs? Apples? Grapefruit perhaps?

  22. Hi Andrew.
    Thanks for ‘responsing’ to me. In like manner I shall (like Wol) ‘rnsr’ you.

    There are many papers on all the sub-issues I mentioned. Therefore we can deal with them one by one. To begin with I give an annotated bibliography on the relationship between male homosexuality and pederasty etc..
    1 K Freund et al., Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy’84:193-200 – around 80% of paedophilia victims are boys molested by adult males; a very disproportionate 35% of paedophiles are homosexual. Supported by R Blanchard et al., Archives of Sexual Behavior’00: 463-78.

    2 P Cameron et al., Psychological Reports 1986: 327-37 – 22% of adult-child bonding is same-sex. (Cameron was controversial at some point, but it will be seen that his conclusions on this matter are average at worst.)

    3 JMW Bradford et al., Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa’88:217-26: 20-33% of adult-child sex abuse is homosexual, an additional 10% mixed. Cited favourably by Home Office: D Grubin, ‘Sex Offending against Children’ (Police Research Series, paper 99: Home Office 1998: p14,para2)

    4 WD Erickson et al., ASB’88:77-86: 86% of molesters self-identified as homo/bisexual.

    5 K Freund & RI Watson, JSMT’92:34-43 – on average homosexual paedophiles molest 7-8 times as many children as do heterosexual.

    6 P Cameron, The Gay Nineties’93 (see on 2 above) – a third of molestation reports involve homosexuals, and 20-33 perecent of those caught in or convicted of molestation practised homosexuality.

    7 EO Laumann et al., The Social Organisation of Sexuality’92: 21% of all instances of adult-child (pre-teen) sexual bonding is same-sex.

    8 JR Hughes, Clinical Pediatrics 2007: 667-82: a longitudinal study reviewing all 554 available papers on related topics on Medline. Finds it impossible to view paedophila and homosexuality as wholly unrelated.

    All these point very strongly in one direction. the challenge is to find papers that point less strongly, or not at all, in that direction. And also to wonder why most people take a stance on the matter *before* knowing what the science says. Is that not dishonest?
    As you know, I nowhere said that anal sex or promiscuity were the preserve of homosexuals. They just -on average- practise them to a very disproportionate degree (well above average).

    This topic is a very good and very worthwhile thing to study since at present there are so many lies flying round the media; so little citation of science; so much effective censoring of great masses of it; and so much assumption that a paper or consensus of papers cannot be scientifically correct without being politically correct. Well, I have heard of a lot of types of bullying in my time. People get bullied for being fat, disabled, gay, or generally different. But now people are being bullied for another reason: citing science. So Oxford University is now afraid of scientific conclusions (unless of course it so happens to be politically correct??). Aha, I forgot! It is the object of scientific study to come to politically correct conclusions. If it does not, so much the worse for the science. 🙂

    All the best, CS

  23. Anyone who cites Paul Cameron is peddling junk theories long since discredited.

    Here in the States we know that NARTH gives cover to for-profit ‘advocacy’ groups whose sole purpose is to devalue the lives of gay men and women. That is its only purpose. I’m dismayed to see the Alliance Defense Fund land a beachhead in Britain.

  24. To “Christopher Shell”. The fact that you even cite Paul Cameron, who has been discredited in the academia for decades, is cause enough for anyone even remotely familiar with this issue to treat your post as a joke. Paul Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983, and has since been accused by the very people whose studies he quotes as misrepresenting the date. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt and suppose that you actually believe this “evidence” you presented, and not merely quoting the Family Research Council’s (an anti-gay hate group based in the United States, as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center) web page which contains almost all the links you supplied here, along with the same misinterpretations and misrepresentations.

    K. Freund et al: Anyone reading this article would note that the conclusion states “Findings indicate that homosexual males who preferred mature partners responded no more to male children than heterosexual males who preferred mature partners responded to female children.” Psychologists have acknowledged for decades that it is incorrect to classify males pedophiles who have sex with boys as homosexuals, and male pedophiles who have sex with girls as heterosexual. These terms are appropriate for adult sexual attraction, but not for pedophilia. Pedophilia is a crime of opportunity; most pedophiles abuse accessible children, regardless of gender. As Dr. Gregory Herek of UC Davis summarized, “The distinction between a victim’s gender and a perpetrator’s sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don’t really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes.”

    JMW Bradford et al: This study refers to male pedophiles who abuse male children, not homosexual orientation. Again you repeat the fallacy that only homosexuals abuse boys.

    JR Hughes et al: This report presents five studies that were against the relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia, as well as five studies that were supportive of the relationship. The author makes some contradictory remarks in the supportive section, but concedes that the third study shows that the first two studies had weak evidence. This report is not meant to be viewed as a judgment on whether there is a relationship or not, as it presents FOR and AGAINST viewpoints without comparing each other statistically. In fact the conclusion reads “One controversial aspect is the possible relationship between homosexual pedophilia and adult homosexuality. However, there is no controversy about the great psychological harm done to the victims of these crimes.” without mention of a certain relationship between pedophilia and homosexuality.

    EO Laumann et al: This study, again, does not include homosexual orientation in its criteria, but merely states the sexual bonding between adult males and boys which are not indicative of sexual orientation.

    And the disgraced Paul Cameron, who’s studies are so rife with methodological flaws that nobody with even a rudimentary understanding of scientific studies would even think of quoting him. Honestly, I have never known an academic who would touch this man’s “work” with a ten foot pole, other than to teach students about what NOT to do in a study. First of all, the sample size was inadequate, and Paul Cameron actually admitted to lying about it being national in scope. Second, the response rate was unacceptably low, at 23%. Third, the validity of the questionnaire was doubtful and was repeatedly criticized by peer review, and repeated requests for clarification were all ignored by Paul Cameron. Lastly, it is a well-known protocol that researchers do not communicate their expectations or hypotheses in advance to research participants, as this changes their response to the study. It is quite noteworthy that before and during the actual data collection process, Paul Cameron gave interviews stating his opposition to homosexuality and that the study will provide data that can be used as “ammunition for those who want laws adopted banning homosexual acts throughout the United States” The research team also stated on interviews that they had antipathy towards homosexuals. One or two of these methodological errors are enough to void the study, but four or five reveals an astounding lack of validity.

    The science is pretty clear on this, as is the DSM-IV, the definitive manual for psychiatric disorders, which clearly states that the criteria for pedophelia includes three factors, none of which includes homosexual attraction. Also, if you wish to discuss pedophilia, it would be prudent to distinguish between the typologies of pedophilia that you are referring to rather than lump them all into one nebulous term.

    What is intellectually dishonest is quoting repeatedly debunked “studies” and deliberately misrepresenting data in order to support your opinions. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

  25. Oxford is not caving into pressures from radical activist groups. There is another side to this issue as well. There are those of us who consider all this forced acceptance of gay issues and forced acceptance of gay is normal rather than the acts being immoral. There are those of us who believe that anyone may do what they want in their own home. Just don’t force certain acts as normal upon the rest of us.

    Being against certain acts is not a phobia — it’s courageous.

  26. It looks like “Dr” Christopher Shell has been served – back to the Mail Online with ye, you fraudluent demon!!!

  27. well…
    Dear ‘Phil Winston’
    This strange greeting will presumably strike you the same way yours struck me.
    It’s good to meet a fellow truth-seeker on here. What follows should not be taken to imply I see more than 50% inaccuracy -or even more than 30% inaccuracy- in your comment, which is pitched at a higher level than most.
    The following points which you made seem inaccurate:
    (1) My name is not a pseudonym.
    (2) You milk Cameron in two separate paragraphs when honesty would have been content with one.
    (3) You omit for the reader the central point that I noted that he was controversial. (Though of course the very profession of psychiatrist has its own controversies, and one is not encouraged by the profession’s less than excellent marital record.)
    (4) You also omit the equally central point that I made: his conclusions were about average among those discussed. So omitting his two writings mentioned would not change the picture I gave.
    (5) Suppose I trust his conclusions less than those of many others (which is in fact the case). Should I not also trust them a lot more than those of any person who has never themselves researched the issue?
    (6) You say my entire post should be treated as a joke. This is clear evidence of bias, since fully three-quarters of the writings I mentioned -and others could be added- were not even by Cameron, and even for Cameron I gave the aforementioned provisoes.
    (7) Cameron has not been accused by ‘the very people he quotes’ but by a minority of them.
    (8) I have not accessed the Family Research Council for my list – it is not strange that people quoting the literature on this subtopic will come up with similar lists. Even if I had accessed them, that would not in itself invalidate any of the papers. Moreover, if I understand you correctly, FRC did not themselves produce any of the papers, they merely cited them, as anyone is at liberty to do (and much more at liberty than those who are in the habit of citing no science at all). So the point is irrelevant.
    (9) The phrase ‘anti-gay hate group’ is a cliche – attributing it to the SPLC does not make it less so. The assumption is that any opposition to gay practice cannot be based on study (even though there is so much study in many further sub-categories – life expectancy, STIs, promiscuity, shortness of relationships, drug use, depression, suicide – to support such a position), but must be based on emotions. Obviously either base is possible.
    (10) You speak of misinterpretations and misrepresentations, thereby assuming as a presupposition the demonstrandum which is still to be demonstrated. It is inadmissible in argument to assume your own assertion as a given, since the point of argument is to demonstrate whether your assertion stands up or not.
    (11) You quote from one of the two Freund articles I mentioned (there are others, I gather), but what you call the conclusion is a cherry-picked part of the conclusion.
    (12) It is also irrelevant. No-one claimed that it was the adult-attracted homosexuals who were active in paedophilia. A-A Hs are not even the topic of the discussion: paedophile Hs are the topic. One can redefine ‘homosexual’ to mean homosexual-attracted-to-adults – since such a redefinition is the only way that your side has a hope of winning the argument. But this has no etymological grounding (the word simply means being sexually attracted to your own gender).
    (13) If you are saying that paedophiles are a separate type and are liable to be attracted to the genders indiscriminately, then I will buy you a drink if you can produce the evidence. There are paedophiles who are attracted to boys, and some to girls. There are some who have been attracted to and/or molested both. But those who either (a) claim to be attracted to both or (b) are known to have molested both is well, well below 50%. Your loose language implies it is somewhere close to 100%. This is a massive percentage error.
    (14) There is another large reason why your neat categorisation into heterosexual, homosexual, and paedophile cannot work. It is that youth is and always has been popular sexually. Your picture sees only children and adults, so leaving out (of all things to leave out) the most popular group of all sexually: late teenagers and young adults. This is the result of your false step to deny overlap between paedophiles, pederasts, and those attracted to adults. Attraction to someone does not start by magic on their 16th or 18th birthday, nor do they notably change on that day.
    (15) Also, the fact that paedophiles are disproportionately homosexual (I use the word in its proper dictionary/etymological sense, not in the hastily redefined sense) could just as easily, on the raw data, mean that homosexuality overlaps with emotional immaturity and is one of the ways in which immaturity manifests itself. If paedophiles are agreed to be immature, is it coincidence that so many of them are homosexual?
    (16) Does it not occur to you that in the present climate in the America-dominated western world, to include ‘homosexual attraction’ in the list of criteria for paedophilia would cause a riot, whether or not the science supported it? Political correctness is rife in Britain – is it not so elsewhere?
    (17) There is one thing you must take back, your use of the word ‘deliberately’. You cannot, whatever your psychological credentials, read another person’s mind.
    (18) The literature on boy-attraction among homosexuals, and on its disproportionality, is so extensive that it must await another comment – this one is already over-long.

  28. Just gonna say: point number 5 Mr Shell, what the hell is that? So if I put on a paper hat with “researcha” on it and write a report entitled “research which prooves homos are immoral” which looks at 3 people who are convicted pedophiles and concludes that because the victims are male and the perpetrators are male that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia, you’ll respect me more than someone who has not done this?
    Peer reviews exist for a reason- to make sure people like Cameron get checked up on, to make sure their research is carried out properly (which his wasn’t). Just because something is called “research” doesn’t mean you should blindingly accept it without question- “faith” already has that covered.

  29. “Christopher Shell” So by your logic, anyone who claims to produce a study is automatically an expert on the issue? They why do we even have peer review? Studies do not exist in vacuums, certified experts in the field are needed to evaluate the work of their peers to determine its validity. Paul Cameron’s “work” has been peer-reviewed by countless experts for decades, and anyone familiar with psychology and sociology know that his “studies” are invalid at the very least. The only people who are still quoting his papers are anti-gay groups and people who want to use faulty and debunked science in order to push their propaganda. And I am much more inclined to believe it when a well-respected and established institution like the Southern Poverty Law Center designates a group as a hate group rather than random people on the internet. Here are what actual experts in the field have to say about Paul Cameron:

    American Sociological Association: “Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that “Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.” and finally concludes that “The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research. ”

    Canadian Psychological Association: “The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality.”

    There are more, but I feel I have already shown the absurdity of using his “studies” in order to argue your point. The fact that you knowingly (and repeatedly) quote someone who is a legendary hack speaks volumes about your agenda.

    Also, you are so busy pushing your propaganda that you neglect to cite studies which show that homosexuals do not have a higher risk of being pedophiles. (And yes, there are such studies, despite your claims that there are none.)

    “Androphiles [homosexuals in adult orientation] actually responded significantly less to the male children.”
    (Freund, Kurt; Heasman, Gerald; Racansky, I.G.; Glancy, Graham. “Pedophilia and heterosexuality vs. homosexuality.” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10, no. 3 (1984): 193-200)

    “The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be a homosexual.”
    (Groth, A. Nicholas; Gary, T.S. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.” In Male Rape: A Casebook of Sexual Aggressions, edited by A.M. Scacco (New York: AMS Press, 1982): 132-152)

    “A gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children”
    (Stevenson, Michael R. “Public policy, homosexuality, and the sexual coercion of children.” Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 12, no. 4 (2000): 1-19)

    “We find that there is no evidence that lesbians and gay men, per se, represent any threat to the development of child or adolescents.”
    (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Policy statement: Sexual Orientation and Civil Rights (October 1992))

    “Fears about children of lesbian or gay parents being sexually abused by adults, ostracized by peers or isolated in single-sex lesbian or gay communities have received no scientific support.”
    (American Psychological Association. Resolution on Sexual Orientation, Parents and Children. (July 2004))

    At the very crux of this argument is the fact that adult-oriented individuals ARE different from pedophiles. My use of the term homosexual in this context is not “hastily redefined” as you claim, but under the context of psychology. As any psychologist would know, adult sexual orientation IS different from pedophilia, and is indispensable when discussing the issue. Much of the mistake made by lay people, and much of the misrepresentation made by propagandists, is based on the fallacy that a male who molests another male is automatically a homosexual. In these cases, it is wise to rely on peer-reviewed studies and expert statements instead of using a “dictionary” to explain complex psychological issues.

    In summarizing his findings, Dr. Groth stated “The child offender is a relatively young adult either who has been sexually attracted to underage persons almost exclusively in his life or who turns to a child as a result of stresses in his adult sexual or marital relationships. Those offenders who are sexually attracted exclusively to children show a slight preference for boys over girls, yet these same individuals are uninterested in adult homosexual relationships. In fact, they frequently express a strong sexual aversion to adult males.”
    (Groth, A. Nicholas; Birnbaum, H Jean. “Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 7 no. 3 (1978): 175-181.)

    Of 50 male children, 37 (74%) were molested by men who had been in a heterosexual relationship with the child’s relative. Three were molested by women, five were molested by both parents, and three others were molested by non-relatives. Only one perpetrator could be identified as being possibly homosexual in his adult behavior.
    (Jenny, Carole; Roesler, Thomas A.; Poyer, Kimberly L. “Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals?” Pediatrics 94, no. 1 (1994): 41-44.)

    Your argument that there is no difference between an adult-oriented homosexual and a pedophile who prefers male children shows an utter lack of understanding about the subject. Dr. Groth identified two classic types of child molesters that he labeled fixated and regressed. The fixated molester is one whose development is fixated at childhood. He doesn’t form adult relationships easily, and the ones he does form are not stable. Because he is fixated on children, he cannot properly be considered to be either heterosexual or homosexual, since he often finds adults of either sex repulsive.

    On the other hand, the regressed molester’s attraction to children is usually temporary. Unlike the fixated molester, the regressed molester’s primary sexual attraction is toward other adults, but under stressful conditions he can regress to a pedophilic orientation. By all appearances — and by their own self-identification — they are straight. Drs. Groth and Birnbaum emphasized this point, saying:

    “In over 12 years of clinical experience working with child molesters, we have yet to see any example of a regression from an adult homosexual orientation. The child offender who is also attracted to and engaged in adult relationships is heterosexual.”

    So as I have shown here, there ARE pedophiles who are attracted to adults of either gender and thus could be considered as having an adult sexual orientation, but these are virtually all heterosexuals. On the other hand, pedophiles who prefer same-sex children do not have an adult sexual orientation, and thus cannot be considered as homosexual.

    Studies that correlate age and sexual attraction should be understood under the context of the study itself, and not just waved around as generalizations. An example follows.

    It has been shown in this study that when gay men were attracted to underage males, those males tended to be well past the age of puberty with fully-developed adult genitalia and other features that were characteristically masculine. But when heterosexual men showed an attraction towards younger males, they tended to be attracted to pre-pubescent males (ages 9-11)
    (Marshal, W.L.; Barbaree, H.E.; Butt, Jennifer. “Sexual offenders against male children: Sexual preferences.” Behaviour Research and Therapy 26, no. 5 (1988): 383-391.)

    The only “bias” I have shown by stating the absurdity of your arguments is the same committed by any person who disregards evidence that has been consistently shown to be invalid. It is not bias to reject a position that is exceptionally biased.

    And “my side”, as you so nicely put it, is the side of science. I could care less about your morality, but kindly stop distorting science (as I have already illustrated in my posts) to suit your agenda. And yes, opposition to a group of individuals based on their sexual orientation is not supported by science, to claim otherwise shows absolutely no understanding of either science or public policy.

    Oh, and my psychiatric credentials indeed do not allow me to read minds, but my years of medical practice and research has given me an exceptional bull crap meter.

  30. Hi Anon-
    Yes, and if that had been the case (3 research subjects) we would all have treated it appropriately.

    Hi Phil W
    (for it was he, and not an imposter sporting a pseudonym)

    Observant readers will observe the all-or-nothing, black-and-white-but-no-grey nature of your comments. As follows:
    Whereas I try to give a balanced picture by saying above that 50-70% of what you said was probably correct, and by (as all readers can observe) repeating that Cameron can be expunged from my list for all I care (since his findings are not noticeably different from others), you create the straw man of a Cameron-afficionado. Why should I have to repeat the following?- Forget Cameron, if you prefer: it matters to me (as I said before) not one whit. I noted his shortcomings *before* you did. (I am now going to utter a balanced and reasonable sentence, so I expect it to be unpopular.) He has done far more research on the topic than anyone on here – which of us has done even imperfect research on it? (and few of us would ever have gained his erstwhile memberships in the first place) but far less than many others, and on some of the latter we shall concentrate.

    On which other matters were you likewise black-and-white-but-no-grey?
    (1) You try to introduce the concept of peer-review to someone who has already previously quoted numerous peer-reviewed studies and enunciated the peer-review principle. You don’t honestly think that these studies all emanate from unqualified fundamentalists?
    (2) You stick to the impossible position of a firm division between adults and children. You did not answer even one (readers, please check to confirm) of the points I made against this inaccurate polarisation:
    -The point that youth is popular sexually and always has been.
    -The point that the word ‘homosexual’ does not imply ‘adult’ etymologically.
    -Nor in dictionary usage.
    -The point that the demographic group which your bipolar model leaves out (those on the child/adolescent/adult cusps) are among the most sexually active, and desired, of all.
    So you cannot still believe there should be no overlap between your strict categories ‘homosexual’ and ‘paedophile’. Even groups of such people accept the tripartite classification of paedophiles into hetero-, homo- and bisexual. The term ‘homosexual paedophile’ is not just meaningful: it is in current usage too.
    (3) Then we come to your weakest point: the idea that paedophiles should not be thought of as essentially having gender preferences. Figures from the Freund’84, Bradford and Blanchard papers mentioned above, together with Michelle Elliott (Child Abuse and Neglect’95), indicate that, far from being 100% of paedophiles, the bisexual subgroup are 15-30%. Leaving the non-bisexual subgroup at 70-85%, which could hardly be more different from your implied 0%. You may say this measures only crimes of opportunity, but where is the evidence that desire is not largely for one or other gender and not both? Blanchard is taking account of desire as well as action.

    You mentioned that Hughes’s paper saw as the two main options a (considerably) greater-than-average homosexual involvement in child abuse and an average involvement. Does it not strike you as strange that both positions were much-attested but there has been little support for a slightly-greater-than-average involvement. This is highly counter-intuitive, and does suggest that the 2 main positions reflect 2 ideologies, or else one ideology versus accuracy And there has been little support for a less-than -average position (I wonder why?). As you say, Freund’84 notes that adult-attracted homosexuals responded in his study less than average to children. But they are not our topic: homosexuals as a whole are our topic.

    Even if one employed your bipolar model (which is a crime against standard deviation), how to explain the findings of Silverthorne and Quinsey who found that male homosexuals had the lowest desired-age-of-partner of any group?

    You speak of my ‘argument’ that there is no difference between adult-oriented homosexuals and child-oriented paedophiles. Observant readers will notice that neither I nor any intelligent person did or would equate these two groups. What we did say is that together they belonged to the single group ‘homosexuals’, and that there would be significant overlap in their desired ages and individuals.

    Does ‘I could care less’ mean the same as ‘I couldn’t care less’? If so, why? It ought obviously to mean the opposite, but it is a usage I have encountered before.

    I remain grateful for your truth-seeking approach. It is a cut above much of what one finds on here.

    Your final line is rhetoric, of which those who rely on science have no need if their science stands up on its own feet.

  31. Ok this guy is clearly a troll. He lambastes rhetoric and uses healthy smatterings throughout his posts, tries to use linguistics to justify his arguments relating to the scientific definition of homosexuality (and fails- if all definitions were based one etymology how would we have ended up with “sick” meaning “cool” as is frequently the case nowadays?), and believes 3 test subjects are enough to establish a link between homosexuality and paedophilia. Blates not even a real PhD.

  32. Who was it that used 3 test subjects, and when? The reference escapes me. I thought it was a hypothetical scenario you made up in your previous comment, Anon.

    Yes, I admit it. I regularly frighten the three billy goats gruff when they pass over my bridge.

    The study of linguistics (not my area) will certainly tell us that usage changes and/or diversifies at particular times, and one reason it changes/diversifies is that change/diversification is sometimes in the interests of a certain group. Control the language and you control the society. Humpty Dumpty sounded ridiculous in the mid-1800s when saying words mean what we want them to mean. (A self-contradictory and self-refuting statement, since if that was his belief then the very sentence he had just uttered could be taken to mean anything at all.) But people have discovered that with control of the language, and of word-meanings, comes power.

  33. As someone who’s experienced ‘therapy’ for my ‘repression’ (I don’t believe in sex outside marriage), I’m a bit wary of some of the methods that are associated with homosexual corrective therapy. I was asked questions about my thoughts and dreams and the therapist kept trying to show me that all my relationship problems came down to my ‘unhealthy’ attitude to sex, and that I needed to ‘grow up’ and start sleeping with the first guy I felt attracted to. How could this person think they knew me better than I knew myself. She’d only met me for 5 minutes! I felt totally out of control and like my thoughts didn’t belong to myself. All I wanted was for somebody to help me talk things through and find my own solution to depression.

    It’s also pretty annoying when you find one of your girl friends attractive and some LGBT person pounces on you with their own agenda and tries to convince you that you’re homosexual and that you can only be happy if you are ‘true to yourself’. Can this whole mystery of who we’re attracted to and who we’re not really be reduced to biological determinism, like the colour of our skin or our eyes?

    So I’m pretty wary of a lot of psychological ‘therapy’, which shouldn’t be about changing people at all, but allowing people to see how they need to change themselves. On the other hand, I don’t see why we have to say that people are homophobic for questioning some aspects of the homosexual lifestyle. Are we going to rename vegetarians ‘meat-eater-haters’ because they express their concerns about some aspects of the meat industry and organise pressure groups to try to persuade people to stop eating meat?

    We’ve all had bad experiences and we’ve all met ‘nice’ and ‘not so nice’ people on either side. Let’s toughen up and have a real debate.

    (Sorry I couldn’t be more honest and put my real name, but the contents of counselling sessions have to remain confidential. I’ve also had some very good experiences of therapy and am now in a relationship with someone I love very much.)

  34. Hi Student
    Your views are as normal as can be, and are widespread in theory and practice in many different cultures.

    There is a real cultural blinkeredness and real narrow horizons at present. Pay no attention.

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