Sexual orientation and health

October 2, 2018 | apologetics | No Comments


Here, as anywhere, the wisdom of the great C. S. Lewis should be taken to heart:

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. .. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind…which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”  C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory. [italics added]

Mental health

§  “A twofold excess in suicide attempts in lesbian, gay and bisexual people”
§ ” Lifetime prevalence of suicide attempt was especially high in gay and bisexual men (RR 4.28, CI 2.32, 7.88)”
§  “The risk for depression and anxiety disorders (over a period of 12 months or a lifetime) on meta-analyses were at least 1.5 times higher in lesbian, gay and bisexual people”
§  “Alcohol and other substance dependence over 12 months was also 1.5 times higher
§  “Lesbian and bisexual women were particularly at risk of substance dependence (alcohol 12 months: RR 4.00, CI 2.85, 5.61; drug dependence: RR 3.50, CI 1.87, 6.53; any substance use disorder RR 3.42, CI 1.97–5.92)”
Scapegoating the Church for LGBT Suicide and Stigma

This June 27, 2019 article by Family Practice physician Andre van Mol, MD reviews nearly two dozen research publications in the areas of suicidal behavior and intimate partner violence in LGBT-identifying individuals. Studies show an across-the-board increase in suicidality that is unaffected by liberal community attitudes. All studies to date either show no effect, or a protective effect, from religious faith. No one has been able to conclusively demonstrate a causal connection between stigmatization and mental illness in the LGBT community.

Domestic violence

CDC, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010:

Sexual minority respondents reported levels of intimate partner violence
at rates equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals.

•Forty-four percent of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of
heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an
intimate partner in their lifetime.
•Twenty-six percent of gay men, 37% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual
men experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner
at some point in their lifetime.
•Approximately 1 in 5 bisexual women (22%) and nearly 1 in 10 heterosexual
women (9%) have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Rates of some form of sexual violence were higher among lesbian
women, gay men, and bisexual women and men compared to
heterosexual women and men.

•Approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women (13%), nearly half of bisexual women
(46%), and 1 in 6 heterosexual women (17%) have been raped in their lifetime.
This translates to an estimated 214,000 lesbian women, 1.5 million bisexual women,
and 19 million heterosexual women.
•Four in 10 gay men (40%), nearly half of bisexual men (47%), and 1 in 5
heterosexual men (21%) have experienced SV other than rape in their lifetime.
This translates into nearly 1.1 million gay men, 903,000 bisexual men, and 21.6
million heterosexual men.   

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Mojola SA, Everett B. STD and HIV risk factors among U.S. young adults: variations by gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2012;44(2):125-33.

  • “In the United States, sexual minorities, such as gay and bisexual men, as well as racial and ethnic minorities, such as blacks and Hispanics, have higher rates of STDs and HIV than their majority counterparts.”
  • “People who have multiple minority identities are at disproportionate risk of acquiring STDs, including HIV.”
  • “Gay males of every race or ethnicity reported a higher number of sexual partners than heterosexual white males”

Ritter, L. J., & Ueno, K. (2018). Same-Sex Contact and Lifetime Sexually Transmitted Disease Diagnoses Among Older Adults. Journal of Aging and Health.

  • “Older adults who report any SSC have higher lifetime counts of STDs. This difference persists even when controlling for sex, race, education, age, military status, and incarceration. Propensity matching models show that this difference persists when respondents are matched on several factors that may influence SSC prior to STD contraction.”


About Author

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Steven Willing

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