User talk:John254/Homosexuality and medical science

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Gay disease[edit]

As per previous discussion, I have moved this article (gay disease) under the less POV heading 'Homosexuality and medical science'. It has now been expanded to include a short history. I was going to include a history of psychology, but decided to split this into a seperate article Homosexuality and psychology.

Lastly, does anyone now how fatal Hepetitis A and B are compared to AIDS? I understood they were far bigger killers but I can't find any stats to prove or disprove this? --Axon Tue Jul 8 16:18:13 GMTDT 2003

Sorry don't have statistics at hand, but some basics: Hep A is rarely fatal and often self-limited. Hep B has a tendency to become chronic and can result in cirrhosis, cancer, and death. In absolute figures, viral hepatitis may well be a bigger killer than AIDS, but relative figures say that AIDS kills all or nearly all its victims eventually, while hepatitis B does not. Kosebamse 14:10 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)
That sounds correct. If the text needs clarification on this point please alter it. --Axon Sun Jul 13 12:59:52 BST 2003

Advent of history of homosexuality and medical science[edit]

Hi Axon, WRT to the revised article, a few comments:

The real history of homosexuality and medical science begins with the European sexologist movement - I am not so sure about this. Wasn't homosexuality itself viewed as a disease before that?

In the literature I read, it was really defined before the advent of Psycho Sexualis. Before that the act of 'buggery' or 'sodomy' was criminalised and not as a disease, but as an act, like theft or rape. There was no defined or diagnosed behaviour for homosexuality. However, I'm not an expert so if anyone can create some clarity on this point please do so. See the article on Homosexuality and psychology for more details. --Axon Sun Jul 13 12:59:52 BST 2003

POV issues[edit]

gay liberation - I don't know whether that term is used elsewhere, but taken as such it seems a little strong.

most pathogens that affect homosexuals are also passable to heterosexuals - not most but all I would think.

certain elements in the anti-gay lobby - seems rather POV and imprecise.

Regards, Kosebamse 13:59 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hi Kosebamse, as for the rest you're probably right so be bold and make those changes yourself. I probably won't do them justice myself. --Axon Sun Jul 13 12:59:52 BST 2003

Gay disease revisited[edit]

Hi, Axon. As the original author *blush* of the gay disease article, I'd like to note that the current Homosexuality and medical science article has an almost completely different topic. Perhaps a split is advised.

I'm interested in how diseases spread, because I hate disease and want to get rid of it as much as possible. I've also noticed that diseases seem to target identifiable populations.

A high degree of disease incidence in a population, of course, does not always (or even usually!) imply an inherent susceptiblity in the patients, as you point out. It's often things like where they live (near mosquitoes? watch out for malaria!) or what they work with (e.g., exposure to chemicals or radiation). In the case of AIDS and other STDs, it's what people do in their "spare time" that counts.

I guess I was thinking of "gay disease" in somewhat the same way as occupational disease or tropical disease or childhood disease. But I was probably not careful enough at first to point out that -- unlike children who are naturally predisposed to catching certain diseases -- homosexuals and bisexuals don't have a natural factor that makes it easier to catch or spread AIDS or hepatitis.

It's just that the disease spread rapidly amoung U.S. male homosexuals, and researchers at first were bewildered as to why that was happening. --Uncle Ed 16:39, 29 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hi Ed, thanks for your thoughts on the article. First, let me explain my reasoning(s) for moving the article in the first place. Initially, we decided that the title 'gay disease' itself was a tad POV itself so we thought that the creation of a wider article, not just dealing with issue of STDs and homosexuality but with the history and issues surrounding the relationship between homosexuality and medical science, was required. That way, the issues you and others raised in the old gay disease article could be placed in their wider context for greater NPOV. From this, grew the article [Homosexuality and psychology], which deals with the psychiatric, behaouviral issues, and this article, which deals with the some of the physiological issues.
On the subject of a split, i think the issue of the remit of [Homosexuality and medical science] covers most of the topics from the old gay disease article (and a few extra). Perhaps if the section on STDs and homosexuality grows long enough a seperate article might be required. --Axon Thu Jul 31 11:44:10 GMTDT 2003

Reagan and AIDS[edit]

It is thought among many gay rights activists, that widespread anti-gay prejudice and his own squeamishness caused Ronald Reagan to avoid saying the word AIDS in public till 1987.

I'm unsure about this sentence: are 'gay rights activists', whatever or whomever they maybe, the only people who think this? I think this sentence could probably be expanded into quite an interesting sub-section on the American politics of AIDS during the eighties and nineties. --Axon Thu Jul 31 11:44:10 GMTDT 2003

Lesbians at risk?[edit]

The part about lesbians being less at risk for diseases needs some serious explanation. Actually, aren't lesbains on the whole at greater risk of developing breast cancer because they tend to be less likely to have babies?

And PS: the link to "gay history of the world" is actually a link to a gay "male physique" website. Exploding Boy 11:10, Jan 29, 2004 (UTC)

Done. Lesbians have a lower risk for sexually transmitted diseases. I moved the history link to the history of homosexuality page (modified to

link directly to the actual history article instead of the index page also listing a male physique article). -- Kimiko 18:43, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

One thing missing from this article is the fact that it's a very western POV. Don't have time to address this myself at the moment, but future editors might bear it in mind. Exploding Boy 05:15, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

Points of view[edit]

Removed from article:

"Gay disease"[edit]

Various attempts have been made to define gay-only or gay-specific diseases, particularly during the 1970s. "Gay bowel syndrome" was a term first used in 1976, prior to the discovery of AIDS, to describe a series of parasitic disorders caused by oral/anal sexual contact. The term was abandoned by the medical community in the 1980s. The medical problems attributed to "gay bowel syndrome" were

Similarly, a 2003 cluster of cases of MRSA-related skin infection found in gay men, schools, and prisons was initially labeled in press reports as a gay disease. In fact, there is no correlation between sexual orientation and MRSA infection or colonization.

The term "gay disease" in reference to AIDS is mostly used by religious objectors to same-sex relationships, who feel that lesbians and gay men are violating their religious doctrines and deserve punishment or divine retribution.

Referring to AIDS as a "gay disease" is also misleading. On a global scale, as of 2005 heterosexuals are more likely to acquire HIV, illustrating that a disease can strike anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

Discussion of above section[edit]

The introductory paragraph begins in an inaccurate, misleading way. The term "gay disease" was not applied for the purpose of identifying homosexual-only disease. According to articles written by the doctors who first used the term, their concern was epidemiological. That is, they were shocked and concerned by the discovery of a fast-spreading epidemic which seemed (initially) to affect chiefly male homosexuals.

The section puts the cart before the horse. There was no attempt to find "gay diseases". Rather, there was an attempt to figure out what was causing what they already had in front of them: a syndrome which correlated strongly with sexual orientation.

They then discovered that it correlated with sexual behavior, specifically, anal sex.

The slant of the section makes it sound like Various People were trying to stigmatize the gay community by looking for Something Negative to pin on them.

Now, if this is somebody's point of view, then according to Wikipedia:POV we ought to quote them and attribute their views to them, and even summarize their reasoning. We should not endorse this view as fact. And for balance, we ought to identify and summarize opposing views as well.

I find it incredible that after over 4 years, Wikipedia still has major misunderstandings over what NPOV policy requires for controversial / disputed subjects. Uncle Ed 14:59, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

Another section removed[edit]

World War II[edit]

The period from the start of the twentieth century and World War II saw a period of sexual liberation, particularly for lesbians and gay men. However, this was all to change with the rise of Fascism in Europe, particularly in Germany. The Nazi Party made use of medical science for the physical profiling to classify various races and 'criminal types', in particular homosexuality on the basis of sodomy laws. Nazi Germany, a fascist state, demanded conformity with the majority, and unfortunately for the gay community being a minority, suffered many human rights violations during this time period. Gay men were treated worse in comparison to lesbians. The exact count of how many gay men were murdered during the Holocaust is not known due to poor record keeping. (See Holocaust)

This was predominantly motivated by the fear and old prejudices that homosexuality could spread and weaken the Aryan male, and lower reproduction of the "Master Race". For more information see the article History of Gays during the Holocaust.

For many outside of the Axis territories, WWII itself was a sexually liberating experience, particularly for gay men and lesbians. The aftermath, however, brought renewed conservatism and emphasis on traditionalism. Lesbians and gay men were frequently forcibly subjected to tortures such as chemical castration, sexual reassignment surgery and electroconvulsive therapy.

Problems with the text:

This is supposed to be about medical science. But it's almost entirely about the Nazis. It's already well known that the Nazis persecuted everyone who didn't fit the Aryan stereotype.

The section fails to show how they made use of medical science for the physical profiling to classify homosexuals. I'm not saying they didn't but the section is hardly of encyclopedic quality without showing this.

Also unrelated to medical science is the twice-mentioned idea of sexual liberation. Again, whether or not relaxation of morals is "liberating" is not the issue. The question is, what does this have to do with medical science?

The only sentence that's relevant in the whole section is the charge of chemical castration, sexual reassignment surgery and electroconvulsive therapy. This should be enlarged upon. Uncle Ed 16:49, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

Seems a little biased...[edit]

In this part of the text, the article seems to have a major POV.

Medical conditions can strike anyone regardless of their sexual orientation, although the risks of contracting AIDS and other diseases or conditions is dramatically increased for those who engage in homosexual sex, especially males.

Why use the term "homosexual sex"? There is no such thing, no (common) sexual practice made exclusively for homosexual people. If the author means anal sex, oral sex, etc., he or she should say so and specify. Therefore, gay males don't have a high risk of contracting diseases simply because they are gay and have sexual relations with each other- they're at a high risk for diseases if they happen to engage in anal sex, something that straight couples also do. As well, when you use a catch-all term like "homosexual sex", you're turning a blind eye to the fact that lesbians, on average, have a statistically smaller chance of getting many STDs and AIDS regardless of their sexual practices. So, if nobody has a problem, I'm going to change the wording. --Julia528 00:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

? treatments of "homosexuality"[edit]

History of medical interventions w/ homosexuality didn't begin with AIDS being called "the gay disease"; what about all the medical interventions to "cure" homosexuality, e.g., lobotomies, hormone therapy, and so on? If this article is going to survive it needs significant work. --lquilter 04:11, 28 January 2007 (UTC)