Disproportionate Social Dysfunction Among the LGBT: Is Discrimination the Only Cause?
13 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 19, 2016
For a number of years, surveys of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) populations have found very disproportionate levels of social dysfunctionality relative to heterosexuals as measured by substance abuse problems (5-7 times that of heterosexuals), mental illness (3x), suicide (2-8x), and obesity (for lesbians 1.5x). While it has been fashionable to attribute these problems to growing up in a homophobic, discriminatory society, and court decisions have often used this a reason for judicial action, there is another explanation that is seldom discussed: these social dysfunctions may be symptoms of disproportionate sexual abuse of the LGBT as children (3x that of heterosexuals). Failure to consider these high rates of social dysfunction and other causes when examining relative life conditions of the LGBT may lead to mischaracterization of the reasons for their difficulties. This is especially problematic when allegations of systemic discrimination are blamed for the economic or health problems of LGBT populations, and used as justification for judicial action.
Keywords: sexual orientation, discrimination, child abuse
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