Is the Gay Bullying Plague in Schools a Myth?

Last summer posted an interesting piece with the above title by David van Gend, an Australian doctor who, the subtitle reads, “questions ‘safe school’ and ‘gay-straight alliance’ programs.” Here’s an excerpt:

It may be that prejudice in society against gay men and lesbians leads to greater psychological distress… Conversely, gay men and lesbians may have lifestyles that make them vulnerable to psychological disorder. Such lifestyles may include increased use of drugs and alcohol.

The Australian Institute of Health and welfare in 2010 found the prevalence of illicit drug use by homosexuals to be more than double that of heterosexuals (34 percent to 14 percent) while the rate of excessive alcohol intake was 25 percent to 16 percent. Such behaviours are certainly risk factors for depression and suicide, but are they somebody else’s fault? In Canada, where gay marriage was legalised in 2005, homosexual lobbyists in 2009 still cited drug and alcohol abuse as several times higher amongst gays.

So are we to understand that substance abuse by heterosexuals is their own fault, but the elevated rate of intoxication in the gay scene, with its consequences for depression and suicide, is the fault of homophobic society?

From my observations as a family doctor, the pressures that depress a young gay man are more intrinsic than extrinsic: the sense that something has gone wrong deep inside; the depressing and degrading effect of his compulsive sexual encounters; the unresolved anger at what he sees to be the cause of his sexual confusion, such as childhood abuse by a male.

You can read the entire article here.

Image credit: