5 Myths About Gay Men That Need To Stop
For years, anti-LGBTQ groups have accused gay men of nearly everything, from pedophilia to mental defects. Despite the fact that these claims have been largely discredited, many rumors about the LGBTQ community still remain. Below are some of the most common stereotypes about gay men.
Myth #1: Same-sex couples harm children at a higher rate than heterosexual couples.
To prevent homosexual couples from adopting children, anti-gay groups began spreading the idea that only children raised in a “traditional” male and female household would grow up to live healthy, productive lives. In reality, numerous studies have shown that children raised by gay parents are no more or less likely to be harmed physically or emotionally. In 2013, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry stated that “current research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults” and they are “not more likely than children of heterosexual parents to develop emotional or behavioral problems.”
Myth #2: Men become gay because they were abused as children.
In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association stated that sexual or physical abuse has not been seen more often in children who grow up to identify as homosexual, as compared to children who grow up to identify as heterosexual. Though scientists do not yet understand exactly why people are gay or straight, more evidence suggests that it is based on chemical levels within the brain.
Myth #3: Having openly gay men serving in the military will prevent others from adequately doing their job.
Until 2011, the U.S. military had a strict “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding homosexuals in the military. At the time, it was technically legal for gays to serve; though they could serve but not be open about their sexual orientation. The reason behind the policy was that other men would not be comfortable serving with openly gay men. Since the policy was repealed six years ago, there has been “no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions,” according to the Palm Center.
Myth #4: Homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be treated.
Every major, professional mental health organization has stated that homosexuality is not a mental illness. And not only can homosexuality not be “cured,” but attempting to do so could lead to a mental illness, like anxiety or depression.
Myth #5: Gay men don’t live as long as straight men.
This myth can be traced back to the work of Paul Cameron, a now discredited researcher who wrote that homosexuals lived to an average lifespan of 43, while heterosexuals lived until 73. Today, this study has been largely discredited, as Cameron’s sample size was far too small to be indicative of the entire LGBT population.
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