Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I recently updated the page on the marriage stats in jurisdictions offering same-sex union rights, here.

For some reason, I get a lot of folks linking to this blog on posts where I have the old versions of these images (if you're one of them, I'd recommend using the images as they get updated). Here I'll just put up the new figures, for anyone wanting to use them, but they are described and analyzed and updated on that page. References to the sources of the data are there too.

Finally a couple more on public opinion, discussed here.

You gotta love graphs, right? Any suggestions as to how to make them more visually friendly/informative?


[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

It might be helpful if you made them enlargeable.

Java said...

That last graph shows some very promising trends. Interesting graphs. Thanks for sharing!

Evan said...

Thanks for this!

On a somewhat related note, I read a little bit of a book that was recommended to me and in it, the author, Byrd, says: "Several researchers have concluded that those who engage in homosexual practices area at risk for mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, and even suicidality. While there have been some activist attempts to suggest that society's lack of acceptance causes mental distress, this does not appear to be supported. Even when research is conducted in the gay-affirming societies like the Netherlands, the conclusion is still the same."

Byrd's source is IBID, p.xiii... I'm not sure exactly what IBID is though.

Evan said...

sorry... what I meant to ask is if you have looked into anything related to depression in the more gay-affirming countries.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

IBID means that the source is the same as the previous one.

And by the way, Byrd is off his rocker. He's Mormon, and his agenda isn't to the objective truth about homosexuality, but to defend the orthodox Mormon position about homosexuality by misinterpreting data and reaching conclusions that are rejected by every professional mental health organisation in this country. He may have a Ph.D., but he's flat out wrong, and has no real evidence to back up his (or his church's) claims about homosexuality.

And no matter how gay-affirming any country is, gay people still grow up with institutionalised societal homophobia. No county or society on earth is any where close to having complete and total equality between gays and straights. There may be legal equality in some countries, but that's a very far cry from social equality.

Evan said...

Good point.

Also, his source is from "Destructive Trends in Mental Health" by Wright.

Scot said...

Craig: "It might be helpful if you made them enlargeable."

Fine idea; I do that.

Java: "That last graph shows some very promising trends."

I like that one too :-).

Yeah, Craig is right on. Even in the most tolerant country, you are only guaranteed legal equality. Gay kids in Denmark are still born to straight Catholics; I bet there are moho's there too :-), and with all the same religious stresses we see here. There are still anti-gay political groups, and gay kids still have to face their difference and often teasing, along with increased difficulty in pair bonding with their options limited by 5% compared to other kids. Being gay even in the most supportive culture, for biological facts, still means you have to face a more difficult change to plans for your future family. Simply, coming out, no matter where you are is not easy.

Still, I'll look at the research; I'm always looking for more. That reference is to a book, though, which is a far cry from peer reviewed research (e.g. I see one chapter is entitled "Psychology's Surrender to Political Correctness"; seems Bird may as well be referencing himself :-)). Does he give a page number? Maybe he's referencing a book which references actual data?

Still, Bird is not only off his rocker, he's being, in my view, highly unethical in trying to conceal a clear cause of trauma to many many children, all to protect the people and dogma hurting them. Really, he doesn't think facing anti-gay culture and religion, even with legal equality, isn't that bad for gay children?

Take a look at this section of isocrat. There I reference the research which shows gay teens are about 2.5 times more likely to try suicide, and 1.5 times more likely to experience anxiety or depression. But importantly there's also research that, contrary to what Bird says there, shows why. Gay teens with disapproving parents are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than gay teens with supportive parents. There is also research there that has shown teens who experience harassment for their orientation are more likely to experience depression and practice unsafe sex later on in life. Children are dying but people still want to ignore what should be obvious: if a parent or culture took any kid, gay or straight, and harassed them for their orientation, limited their access to future family or legal equality, and told them their attraction to women or men was attraction to sin, that child is going to be psychologically harmed, gay or straight.

Okay, I got a bit upset at such a little excerpt :-), but it really gets to me (I posted more on this a while ago). It's just that I know some of those kids who killed themselves and for people to try to spin such events to cover up the trauma I personally know they suffered from their families and churches only adds to the human tragedy. Talk about morality and "for the children"...

Evan said...

Thanks Scot.

It says page xiii, so I'm guessing it is part of a preface to the reference or something. Most of his references are to books.

Scot said...

Yep, page xiii is the first page of the preface of the book and the page references no research at all and doesn't even mention homosexuality :-). If I had more time I'd read through the whole thing, but I don't.

It's unfortunate though that people might read Bird's book and maybe just think he referenced direct research there, instead of a book with a clear agenda; and worse, that, even if he was referencing data about Scandinavian countries, that that could make anyone think the horrible treatment of gay kids somehow didn't affect them. It's just a cold hearted position to take.

Another example I thought of would be other minorities in the US. The numbers do show some races have significantly higher trouble with the law and alcoholism, but no one other than a racial bigot would argue--because they live where they have equal rights and racial prejudice is no longer PC--that that data is due to the nature of their race, rather than the long lasting effects of past and current prejudice. It's just frustrating to know such may be seen as passable arguments on the other side.

Vanson said...

So in other words, I might as well just throw the book in the fireplace? :)

I like examining different perspectives on this issue, but this book really has done nothing but piss me off since I started reading it.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Throwing it in the fireplace is probably a good idea. I'm not normally an advocate of book burning, but that book is designed to mislead and reinforce harmful stereotypes. It is sad that he has ignored all his professional training and allowed his church to tell him how to think and what truths to ignore and distort.

Scot said...

"So in other words, I might as well just throw the book in the fireplace? :)"

I'll disagree a bit with Craig and seriously say I think reading such stuff can be useful. While you've the interest and time, I'd be for reading as much of it as you can and worse. Following Sun Tsu's advice I read so many anti-gay rights publications when I was younger you'd think I was a raging homophobe :-).

I suspect it will make you more prepared and clear in your positions... can't say how healthy a habit it is though.