Does homosexual behavior present more of a health risk than does heterosexual behavior?
John R. Diggs, Jr., MD, Practicing Internist at Wing Medical Center, wrote in his 2002 report for the Corporate Research Council, The Health Risks of Gay Sex:
is clear that there are serious medical consequences to same-sex
behavior. Identification with a GLB community appears to lead to an
increase in promiscuity, which in turn leads to a myriad of Sexually
Transmitted Diseases and even early death."
The Family Research Council (FRC) stated on its website (accessed Sep. 30, 2003):
and lesbian relationships are typically characterized by instability,
promiscuity, and unhealthy and risky sex practices, factors that
greatly increase the incidence of serious and incurable sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs), including hepatitis, HPV, syphillis,
gonorrhea, and AIDS.
Homosexual men experience higher rates of many diseases, including:
Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer in women and anal cancer in men,
Hepatitis A, B, and C,
'Gay Bowel Syndrome', a set of sexually transmitted
gastro-intestinal problems such as proctitis, proctocolitis, and
HIV/AIDS (One Canadian study found that as a result of HIV
alone, 'life expectancy for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty
years less than for all men').
Lesbian women, meanwhile, have a higher prevalence of:
HIV risk behaviors, and
Cancer risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, poor diet, and being overweight.
Various research studies have found that homosexuals have higher rates of:
Kerryn Phelps, MBBS, Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in the Schools of Public Health and the Discipline of General Practice at Sydney University, stated in an Oct. 2002 speech at the Amnesty International Global Human Rights Conference, titled "Why Homophobia Is a Health Issue":
experience of discrimination means that the health of non-heterosexual
populations differs from that of the general population. It is most
important to state that nearly all of these increased health risks are
a direct result of the societal marginalisation and stigmatisation of
sexual minorities. They ARE NOT due to people being identified as being
lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Homosexuality itself does not
pose some genetic or biological hazard. It is the negative reactions of
others to it that creates the problems."
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center stated on its website (accessed 2006):
is that being GLBT does not give you AIDS. Certain sexual practices,
certain drug use behaviors and other factors can put you at risk for
catching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs)."
Gregory M. Herek, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis, wrote in a 1991 article in American Psychologist titled "Avoiding Heterosexist Bias in Psychological Research":
should not be assumed to result from sexual orientation simply because
they are observed in the gay community.
Alcoholism, for example, is a serious problem in some sectors of the
gay community. Attributing it to homosexuality
per se, however, exemplifies the fundamental attribution bias... It
explains behavior entirely in terms of personal characteristics while
ignoring situational factors."
Fengyi "Jeff" Jin, MB, MPH, Senior Research Assistant of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, stated in the 2005 Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health article "Prevalence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis C in HIV-Negative Homosexual Men in Sydney, Australia":
was no evidence of an independent association between sexual behaviour
and HCV [Hepatitis C virus] infection. The prevalence of HCV in this
cohort was about the same as in the general population in Australia,
and there was no evidence for sexual transmission in this population."
Antronette Yancey, MD, MPH, Professor of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles, wrote in the 2003 Preventive Medicine article "Correlates of Overweight and Obesity Among Lesbian and Bisexual Women":
of overweight and obesity among lesbians and bisexual women are
generally comparable to those observed in studies of heterosexual