@JeanP #50666, @Spacewyrm #50675
Sorry, but did you properly read the quoted article?
Stanton, the author, bases his arguments not on one, but on multiple studies.
I would not disregard the studies themselves without some further reading. What is most obviously suspect is the article itself, due to the particular ideological bias of the journal it was published in. Indeed, the conclusions drawn in it seem to fit what you’d expect from a conservative point of view.
However, do note that there is no such thing as lack of bias. We are all biased in some way — these people, myself and you. Bias alone is not sufficient to disregard information; there should be further reasons to do so. The strongest, of course, is that you studied the sources and found the conclusions in the article flawed based on that. Another reason might be that the author’s integrity is otherwise suspect for some reason.
So, let’s check that out a bit, scanning just one of the referenced studies.
From a cursory view of this study, I already see a few things that might disagree with the Witherspoon Institute’s spin on things.
Take the following paragraph from the ‘Background’ section:
Although research examining pregnancy rates by sexual orientation is sparse, prior studies suggest that sexual minority females (e.g., bisexuals, lesbians, etc) may be at heightened risk compared to heterosexual peers.(4–6) Risk factors for teen pregnancy, such as earlier sexual initiation and more sexual partners(7), are more common in female sexual minorities who report a high proportion of male sexual contacts, a younger age of sexual initiation, and more partners (male or female) compared to heterosexuals.(4, 8, 9) Sexual minority females at risk for unintended pregnancy may also be less likely than heterosexual females to use contraceptives, and, in particular, highly effective hormonal contraceptives. One study found that this group underutilizes regular reproductive health screenings such as Pap smears and sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests, in which contraceptive counseling is offered.(9) In addition, sexual minority adolescent females may have additional risk factors such as engaging in risky sexual behavior with men, in order to hide their sexual orientation.(10)
Note that while the study agrees with the Witherspooner’s claim that non-heterosexual women are at significantly higher risk of teenage pregnancy, in the last sentence they gave a possible reason why — and it’s something that suggests homophobia is a driving factor which should thus be reduced, rather than validated if we are to address the issue.
The ‘Discussion’ section is even more illuminating:
The origins of these disparities are complex. First, factors associated with teen pregnancy in the general population(7) such as earlier sexual initiation(9, 38–40), more sexual partners(4, 9), and ineffective contraception(8, 38, 39) are more common in sexual minorities. Adolescents who have been sexually abused are more likely to report these risks(35) as are homeless youth.(36, 37) Sexual minority youth are more likely to report being sexually abused(8, 39) and make up a disproportionately large portion of homeless youth.(41) Heterosexual women with same-sex partners might be at especially high risk for teen pregnancy due to particular risk factors. For example, having same-sex partners while identifying as a heterosexual could be a marker for risky behavior. Previous studies in this cohort also indicate that these women have more than twice as much sexual abuse history compared to their heterosexual peers.(42)
Now, let’s go back to Stanton’s article in Witherspoon’s Public Discourse. What did they say, again?
Clearly something’s up here, and it is doubtful that the rules of human reproduction have drastically evolved. Clearly these pregnancies cannot all be assigned to bisexuals. Still, it is curious that those who go both ways still have higher pregnancy rates than heterosexuals. The numbers among those who identify as gay and lesbian remain unbelievably high. Could it be possible that being lesbian or gay is not quite as absolute or fixed as gender theorists want us to believe? One’s sexual orientation is supposed to be locked in and unchangeable, like sex, race, or ethnicity. But this pregnancy phenomenon confounds that narrative.
First, what’s going on in the emotional lives of these particular youths that has them behaving in such a hyper-sexualized manner? What emptiness are they seeking to fill? Their own dignity demands honest investigation, free of ideological assumptions. Insisting it’s simply a lack of good sex education or social affirmation is nothing short of malpractice. Second, do these identities we call “gay” and “lesbian” actually exist in the way we assume they do? They certainly exist as political or social identities. But in functional reality, that seems less clear.
This broad disparity in pregnancy and abortion rates indicates that there is far more going on here than gay and lesbian folks simply coming to terms with their sexuality. It seems to make a case for mutability. This complexity is certainly not confined to adolescent sexuality.
Gee, I wonder why LGBTQ teens are more at risk? Could it be that the very studies Stanton quoted provided actual likely answers to these inscrutable mysteries? Say, society’s brutal treatment of these teens?
Nah, that can’t be it. It must be that sexual orientation is fluid (particularly that of women), therefore… let’s say the quiet part out loud… conversion therapy is both sensible and good for people’s mental health! I mean, it’s pretty obvious that’s the conclusion they want us to draw, isn’t it?
And this is why their article is a steaming pile of tendentious bullshit. Beyond just simple bias, they outright cherrypick data to ‘justify’ a foregone conclusion based on their ideology, and ignore the very substantial parts that disagree with their slant.
(Well, that, and he’s also pushing a horrible and harmful ideology that needs to die already ;) )