Should Public Schools Protect Students from Early Self-Labeling as “Gay?”

Should Public Schools Protect Students from Early Self-Labeling as “Gay?”

Scott M. Soulier

All students need to be as safe as possible in school.  It has long been asserted (and is superficially plausible) that bullying from other students, loss of friendship, and other external influences cause the depression, mental illness, and worst of all, suicide attempts, and suicides in students who consider themselves “gay.”  This forms a foundational argument for having “gay” clubs in school.  Research that has long been suppressed by both the media and homosexual activists does not support these beliefs. 

Having a “gay” club to join in the secondary school setting  is tantamount to inviting students to self-label as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or sympathetic to the same.  Adolescents are psychologically unprepared to ponder such a question.  It is simply and demonstrably unsafe for youth to be allowed or encouraged to prematurely self-label.

Supporting this view are studies that address early labeling in adolescents.  Research by Remafedi, et al. provides some provocative insight into the harm caused by pre-mature self-labeling as gay or lesbian. The primary conclusions of these researchers are:

1.  “…for each year’s delay in bisexual or homosexual labeling, the odds of suicide attempts are diminished by 20%.”

2.  “…suicide attempts were not explained by experiences with discrimination, violence, loss of friendship, or current personal attitudes towards homosexuality.”

3.   “…gender nonconformity and precocious psychosocial development were predictive of self-harm.

(Remafedi, G., Farrow, J. A., & Deisher,R. W., (1991). Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth. Pediatrics, 87, p. 874.)

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Remafedi, French, Story, et al. published findings from another study that concluded:

“There is evidence of a strong association between suicide risk and bisexuality or homosexuality in males”.  In this study, 28.1% of bisexual/homosexual males reported suicide attempts vs. only 4.2% of heterosexual males.

(Gary Remafedi, MD, MPH, et al. (1998) The Relationship between Suicide Risk and Sexual Orientation: Results of a Population -Based Study. American Journal of Public Health.  1998;88:57-60.)

Dr. George Rekers, Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina concluded:

“No service is done to our children by offering them lifestyle options before they are properly able to make informed choices about them.”

(Rekers, G. A. (2005). “Homosexual Advocacy Groups & Your School,” Encino, California:  NARTH, p.3.)

Research conducted in one of the most gay-affirming societies in the world, the Netherlands, points to gay behavior itself as the engine that drives the mental distress.   One such study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.  Sandfort, et al. conducted the study using robust data and concluded:

“Psychiatric disorders were more prevalent among homosexually active people compared to heterosexually active people. Homosexual men had a higher prevalence of mood disorders…than heterosexual men. Homosexual women had a higher 12-month prevalence of substance abuse disorders than heterosexual women…More homosexual than heterosexual persons had 2 or more disorders during their lifetime…The findings support the assumption that people with same-sex sexual behavior are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders.”

(Sandfort, T.G., de Graaf, R., Bijl, R. V. & Schnabel, P. (2001). “Same-sex behavior and psychiatric disorders,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, p. 85.c disorders.”)

Demographics prepared by the Utah Department of Health on the subject of persons suffering from HIV or AIDS in Utah indicate that,

“Most people living with HIV or AIDS in Utah are between the ages of 20 and 40 (77%).  However, we know that many of them acquired infection during their teen age years, so prevention efforts need to focus on that age group as well.”

(emphasis added, Utah Health Status Update: Infectious Diseases Part 2: HIV/AIDS, Utah Department of Health, August 2001.)

In the interest of maintaining a safe environment for public school students, interested members of the public may want to encourage public school officials to adopt school club policies that protect students from dangerous early self-labeling.

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