Saturday, January 28, 2006

Another Moronic, Bigoted Article from...:

You guest it, WorldNutDaily. Written by David N. Bass, "a 20-year-old Christian homeschool graduate," the article reads like a textbook at how certain "pro-family" groups use false, unreliable, or misleading statistics to bash gays under the rubric of "science" and "health."

I don't have the interest in picking the entire thing a part (I'm sure other bloggers like Ed Brayton or Exgaywatch will), so I'm simply going to focus on his statistic point number 5, in which he writes:

Life span -- A 1997 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that even under "the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban center are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871." The same study estimated that homosexual behavior reduces the lifespan of males by eight to 20 years. Comparatively, the CDC has found that male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 to 14.5 years of life, respectively.

Now, these same folks used to cite Paul Cameron's phony "43" figure until they got too much egg on their face, and realized they had to look somewhere else. So now they cite the IJE "8-20" figure. The problem with the IJE study is that while the researchers (unlike Cameron) may have been credible and while the number may have had some kind of original validity, it is no longer valid and citing as if it were is akin to lying.

The IJE figure was derived from one study, never replicated, taken from one Canadian urban enclave (so it probably never had a representative sample of gays, but rather disproportionately drew from sub-culture oriented urban gays). More importantly, the study was done during the worst of the AIDS crisis, just before the newer, groundbreaking meds were introduced. And those meds greatly impacted and reduced mortality rates within the gay community. In 2006, whatever validity the statistic originally may have had, it has not been valid for many years and the authors of the study attest to this. They wrote in 2001:

In our paper, we demonstrated that in a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 21 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continued, we estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years would not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre were experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by men in Canada in the year 1871. In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia.4

Folks like Mr. Bass claim that they don't hate homosexuals, they are just following their religion, etc. etc. and certainly I'm willing to give their devout religious convictions the benefit of the doubt. However, when they willfully lie or manipulate statistics to bash gays, I have a hard time believing that these people aren't professional haters.

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