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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Gay Life Expectancy.. different?
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08/09/2010 02:17:42 PM · #1
//www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jun/05060606.html

After reading that I am shocked. Could this study be true? Or is it bias towards religion. How could your mindset about something make you live 20 years less? The ONLY difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals is in they're minds, right? It's a psychological thing, there is nothing physically different about they're body that would make then live a shorter life. Why is this???

I can't understand how a study of 10,000 people would come out to show that gays live 20 years less on AVERAGE. That is A HUGE difference, and should not be overlooked. Is god telling us not to be gay!?

I am in a debate with a religious friend of mine about this tests authenticity.

...converse:
08/09/2010 02:25:37 PM · #2
[quote=ApertureJack] //www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jun/05060606.html[/quote]

Parsed URL
08/09/2010 02:27:20 PM · #3
I don't know about that study itself, in particular I'd be wary of trusting anything pushed by such an obvious site with a bone to pick.
"
Having clicked through and to the actual study it's looking at how HIV affects life expectancy and it sais "gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men." There's quite a lot of difference between 8 years and 20.

The study took place between: 1987 to 1992.

HIV started out being much more common in the gay population but now it's common as well in heterosexual people so I think the stats would change if the study were redone today.

Also suicide rates are higher amongst young gay/bi people than straights (in part because of the hateful sort of speech and attitudes that that site is pushing) and that would statistically affect life expectancy as well.

Also that site is using life expectancy calculations based on HIV status in 1987-1992 as an argument against same sex marriage. I'd take that completely the other way around. Same sex marriage should def be encouraged then since a culture where it's welcome for gay people to marry and be monogamous the life expectancy would probably go up again.

So, I'd say it's a sign that God wants us to welcome everyone and treat each other like people and love like love no matter who it's (consensually) directed at. The less hate in this world the better and the happier the people should be :)
08/09/2010 02:34:06 PM · #4
Well the psyological can play a large part in life longevity. I have several gay friends as well as a brother and I know depression seems to be big, especially depending on the type of area they live in. As far a physically I am not sure how accurate that would be. Would a monogomous gay couple be healthier physically then a single person who has hundreds of partners? I think it is all realitive.

Originally posted by ApertureJack:

Is god telling us not to be gay!?

I am in a debate with a religious friend of mine about this tests authenticity.

...converse:


Now that depends on your religion I would guess. As far as the God of Abraham, He makes it quite clear that we should not live a homosexual lifestyle so yes according to that God is telling you not to be in a homosexual relationship. Now He also prohibits many other sins and I believe it is wrong to shun a person due to their sexual preference. Homophobic christians are, well... wrong. But I will not turn this into a religious debate but just wanted to share my thoughts.
08/09/2010 02:35:38 PM · #5
Originally posted by Siggav:


So, I'd say it's a sign that God wants us to welcome everyone and treat each other like people and love like love no matter who it's (consensually) directed at. The less hate in this world the better and the happier the people should be :)


Well said, I was typing up a response as you posted this but this right here says a lot. Where is the "like" button :)
08/09/2010 02:37:33 PM · #6
Also looking better at the study, it assumed that 95% of everyone who dies from AIDS is a gay or bisexual male.

So basically it's saying that if 95% of HIV deaths are in gay and bi men, then their life expectancy is lower than in a much larger group which absorbs 5% of HIV deaths.

The largest number they got (the 20 year difference) is if the percentage of gay/bi men in the whole population is 3% so yeah of course you're going to have a big difference if you shove 95% of HIV deaths into 3% of the population.

To sum up: It's easy to 'lie' with statistics and some implicit assumptions
08/09/2010 02:39:05 PM · #7
Originally posted by ApertureJack:

How could your mindset about something make you live 20 years less? The ONLY difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals is in they're minds, right? It's a psychological thing, there is nothing physically different about they're body that would make then live a shorter life. Why is this???


Completely ignoring any bias for the moment, there are a couple issues here, factors that could cause this. The obvious one is AIDs; a much higher percentage of gay males get AIDs than do straight males, so obviously that will impact life expectancy statistics. But this is overlooking the fact that gay males in committed, long-term relationships are much less likely to get AIDS. What would THEIR statistics look like? What about the life expectancy of promiscuous, heterosexual men as compared to all heterosexual men?

Then, if you follow the links, there's talk about the psychological aspect of all this. There's discussion of whether or not the known greater incidence of depression, other mental issues, suicide among gay men is a *result* of the discrimination and pressure they face. According to the links, extensive studies in the Netherlands, where homosexuality has been accepted for some time, shows this isn't the case, that there's just as much evidence of psychological issues among gays in the Netherlands as there is for gays living in more repressive societies.

So the implication there is that people who self-select for homosexuality, or who are born homosexual (depending on which theory you believe) are also prone to a much higher incidence of emotional and psychological problems.

I'm not buying this, I don't trust the sources one bit. I know what they want me to believe, for sure, but I am not buying it right now. I think I need to know a lot more about the studies and the data before I trust their conclusions.

R.

ETA: while I was typing this, a lot happened :-)

Message edited by author 2010-08-09 14:39:56.
08/09/2010 02:51:59 PM · #8
Whats the motivation for a study like that?

Who benefits from the results of this study? not the "average person" -gay or straight. Is it the right wing religious looking to prove that a homosexual lifestyle is more "dangerous?"

or is it a pro "lifestyle choice" group looking to show either discrimination and need for improvement, or that Homosexuality increases longevity.

Seeing as how most intelligent folk understand you are either gay or not, without it being your own "choice," what benefit is there in the comparison?

There is a danger in statistics, and that danger lies in using the "results" to support your own agenda, and working "backwards" from the conclusion.
08/09/2010 02:56:56 PM · #9
Somewhat related to this topic:
HIV Prevention hampered by Homophobia

Homophobia was and is a contributing factor to the spread of HIV and AIDS. The article referenced by the OP is clearly biased toward the conclusion that the homosexual lifestyle results in lower life expectancy amongst homosexuals. But, one could also argue that hatred and bias towards homosexuals results in lower life expectancy amongst homosexuals. So, I echo what Siggav said:
Originally posted by Siggav:


So, I'd say it's a sign that God wants us to welcome everyone and treat each other like people and love like love no matter who it's (consensually) directed at. The less hate in this world the better and the happier the people should be :)


08/09/2010 02:59:36 PM · #10
Originally posted by blindjustice:

Whats the motivation for a study like that?


The study was put on by the Family Research Institute. This is the mission statement from their website:
The Family Research Institute was founded in 1982 with one overriding mission: to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse.
Source: //www.familyresearchinst.org/

Its no surprise that their research completely supported their mission statement. It would have regardless of what the evidence was.
08/09/2010 03:12:57 PM · #11
Originally posted by VitaminB:

Originally posted by blindjustice:

Whats the motivation for a study like that?


The study was put on by the Family Research Institute. This is the mission statement from their website:
The Family Research Institute was founded in 1982 with one overriding mission: to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy, and drug abuse.
Source: //www.familyresearchinst.org/

Its no surprise that their research completely supported their mission statement. It would have regardless of what the evidence was.


Frankly, you can find studies that prove just about anything you want it to prove! It looks like this particular website has an agenda and found someone to support it.
08/09/2010 03:14:12 PM · #12
A study like that is about as relevant and unbiased as any "study" would be coming from NARTH. People with an agenda, especially people whose agenda has anything to do with religious conviction, are dangerous. They cloak themselves in good intentions and smile in the faces of their perceived enemies while proclaiming (perhaps even to themselves) that they want the "best" for everyone, even if the "best" is antithetical to nature.

Those people are poor excuses for scientists or human beings. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Message edited by author 2010-08-09 15:15:14.
08/09/2010 04:17:05 PM · #13
Stress reduces life expectancy, maybe that has something to do with it.

_____________________________

Maybe god wants this......

Maybe god wants that......

Being gay has nothing to do with a god. Am I in a kindergarten class here. lol sheesh

08/09/2010 04:33:39 PM · #14
I'll see if I can find anything in the primary literature that would either support or refute this.
08/09/2010 04:45:37 PM · #15
a response from the authors of one study quoted in the first article referenced by the OP

//ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499
08/09/2010 04:56:25 PM · #16
One thing I will comment on is the idea that HIV isn't still a gay predominant disease in North America. The CDC reports that in 2008 gay men (they refer to them as MSM "men having sex with men") accounted for 53% of the new HIV cases (and 48% of all cases) while only making up 4% of the population of men 13 years and older.

Look at it this way. The CDC estimates about 1,000,000 cases of HIV in the US. Let's crunch the numbers and assume a population of 300 million.

# of Men: 150 million
# of gay men: 4.5 million
# of non-gay men (including women): 295.5 million

# of cases of HIV in gay men: 480,000 (48% of 1 million)
# of cases of HIV in non-gay men (including women): 520,000 (52% of 1 million)

Incidence of HIV in the gay population: 1 in 9.37 gay men has HIV (in the US)
Incidence of HIV in the non-gay population: 1 in 568 non-gay men (including women) has HIV (in the US)

This is basic math from the CDC. I'm open to someone reviewing my work.
08/09/2010 05:01:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by Jac:

Stress reduces life expectancy, maybe that has something to do with it.

_____________________________

Maybe god wants this......

Maybe god wants that......

Being gay has nothing to do with a god. Am I in a kindergarten class here. lol sheesh


Seconded!
These days, it pays to carefully look at who funded what, even for academic studies. In this case, I don't thin we have to look that far :-P
To say the source is tainted is the understatement of the decade. I don't deny that there may in fact be some truth to the statistics... but then what does that prove? I'm sure they would have you believe that this would support the idea that being a gay man is a bad thing. Well, so is being a member of any persecuted group. Heck, the stress of admitting to one's self that you're different from what society considers "normal," and that a portion of "normal" society considers you in some way a deviant has got to be a huge factor. My hat is off to all the well adjusted gay men who have overcome this.
08/09/2010 05:02:49 PM · #18
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I'll see if I can find anything in the primary literature that would either support or refute this.


I will be very interested to see what you find...
08/09/2010 05:03:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by colorcarnival:

a response from the authors of one study quoted in the first article referenced by the OP

//ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499


This probably backs up that the data was unbiased as the author was not happy with how the data was being used. I see the study was published in the Lancet as well which is a highly regarded peer-reviewed journal. The author's attempted spin, in the end, would make any life insurance actuary cringe...

"If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man's risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population. Gay and bisexual men are included in the construction of official population-based tables and therefore these tables for all males are the appropriate ones to be used."

This is pure statistical tom foolery and directly contradicts their findings which was to point out that the single characteristic of "homosexuality" described a population with a shorter life expectancy than the general population.


Message edited by author 2010-08-09 17:11:27.
08/09/2010 05:09:29 PM · #20
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I'll see if I can find anything in the primary literature that would either support or refute this.


I will be very interested to see what you find...


It turns out you can at least read the abstract here. As mentioned, The Lancet is a journal held with regard on the level of New England Journal of Medicine (but is based in the UK).

A few new pieces of info:

* The data on a whole actually concerns HIV-positive individuals on anti-retroviral therapy. I can't get the article itself yet. HIV positive gay men may be a subcategory, but not one spoken of in the abstract.

EDIT: SORRY, I'M GETTING CONFUSED. THIS IS NOT THE STUDY IN QUESTION. I'LL TRY TO FIND THAT ONE FROM THE CITATION.

The actual study can be downloaded for free (PDF version) here.

Message edited by author 2010-08-09 17:13:18.
08/09/2010 05:12:09 PM · #21
Originally posted by Jac:

Being gay has nothing to do with a god. Am I in a kindergarten class here. lol sheesh


ugh... *sighs loudly*

That's not the point. The problem is that many religious groups still think that it has to, though it benefits nobody, and (in my opinion) is simply a way to exclude people who aren't exactly like them, or are different. It's human nature.

What I am talking about the the argument that homosexuals are seen as "worse people" and many (not all) religious people's minds. More specifically catholic/christian. My friend is VERY religious, and says that he "has nothing against gays", but they're just "wrong", "freaks of nature" and "children of the devil".

The problem is that religious practices ARE excluding gays all over the world because they THINK "god hates gay people".
08/09/2010 05:13:48 PM · #22
From the same article, right before Achoo's quoted section:

It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive mesaure.5 Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:


"If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man's risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population. Gay and bisexual men are included in the construction of official population-based tables and therefore these tables for all males are the appropriate ones to be used."


I think what the others were trying to say is that the increased mortality is not solely due to sexual orientation, and therefore it would be irresponsible for actuaries to base rates on tables using gay and bisexual men only. Because gay and bisexual men are included in official tables for all males, regardless of sexual orientation, those are the appropriate tables to use. I wouldnt consider this tom foolery.
08/09/2010 05:18:47 PM · #23
Originally posted by ApertureJack:

My friend is VERY religious, and says that he "has nothing against gays", but they're just "wrong", "freaks of nature" and "children of the devil".


I hope you pointed out the huge contradiction in what he said.
08/09/2010 05:19:49 PM · #24
Originally posted by VitaminB:

From the same article, right before Achoo's quoted section:

It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive mesaure.5 Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:


"If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man's risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population. Gay and bisexual men are included in the construction of official population-based tables and therefore these tables for all males are the appropriate ones to be used."


I think what the others were trying to say is that the increased mortality is not solely due to sexual orientation, and therefore it would be irresponsible for actuaries to base rates on tables using gay and bisexual men only. Because gay and bisexual men are included in official tables for all males, regardless of sexual orientation, those are the appropriate tables to use. I wouldnt consider this tom foolery.


Look at it this way. If your job was to make sure your life insurance company made a profit and knew what to charge in premiums to do so, would you ignore a study that says if you are a homosexual male your life expectancy is significantly shorter? No way. Just like smoking. If you smoke you are part of those general actuary tables, but you sure as hell are going to pay a higher premium (because you have a higher risk of dying). The author is really making a feeble attempt at asking the life insurance companies to not utilize this data to their benefit (good luck with that).

Message edited by author 2010-08-09 17:20:35.
08/09/2010 05:19:57 PM · #25
Also taking the stats from CDC, the HIV incidence is 53% (if we take the new cases) the original linked study assumed it was 95%, I also think that the portion of gay/bi men in a population is higher than 4% but that's a hard number to pin down. For example a study done in the UK by the HM Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry in 2005 set it at 6%, that's the UK not the US but I don't think that should make that much difference.

Anyway HIV is still a lot more common in the gay/bi population but not quite as drastically as the originally linked study makes it out to be.

Then there are all the other factors that have been brought up. I find the most ironic part that the website is trying to use that study to fight against gay marriage when how to put it.. Ok a quote from a PSA: "If you are against the 'homosexual lifestyle' then support same sex marriage and make them get married, like the rest of us" :D
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