Mercatornet 29 July 2014
The Hon Christopher Pyne
Minister for Education
Dear Mr Pyne,
I trust you, or your advisors, will give serious consideration to the medical evidence below and reconsider your decision to fund the so-called Safe Schools programme throughout Australia.
The political justification for ‘Safe Schools’ programmes, or the associated ‘Gay-Straight Alliances’, is that there is a plague of gay-based bullying in our schools, and the only way to counter that is through celebrating homosexuality. That justification, however, is doubtful.
In one large study comparing a thousand homosexual and heterosexual adults in the UK, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2003, the researchers found no increase in bullying of gay men compared to heterosexual men, whether at school or subsequently, whether verbally or physically. “Reports that gay and lesbian people are vulnerable to such experiences because of their sexuality are often taken at face value”, these researchers noted, with other studies failing to draw a comparison to heterosexual students.
In other words, there are many reasons to be bullied at school – for being too smart, too dumb; too fat, too weak; or for being “gay” even when you are not gay. A report in the news only last week finds one-third of 10-year-olds in Australia report being bullied for various reasons. That is something many young people go through, and the claim that homosexual people suffer disproportionate bullying appears to be “taken at face value”.
Another contentious claim of the gay lobby used to justify the ‘normalisation’ of homosexual relationships and behaviour in schools (as well as the goal of normalising homosexual ‘marriage’) is that depression and suicide among gay men is the fault of homophobic society, so that if society rejects gay marriage and does not celebrate homosexuality in schools, it is responsible for the despair and death of homosexual citizens. This same British study was more circumspect:
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.
Dr David van Gend
David van Gend is a family doctor and head of the Australian Marriage Forum.