Skip to comments.An Ethical Checkup for the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Posted on 05/02/2009 8:03:53 PM PDT by Maelstorm
The US Center for Disease Control CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health MDPH has recently released the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Researchers conducted an "in depth" survey that screened for health disparities among heterosexual/straight, gay/lesbian/homosexual, and bisexual adults. The survey sampled individuals from 2001 to 2006 and included data from 38,910 individuals, including 1.9% who identified as gay/lesbians/homosexual and 1.0% who identified as bisexual. The report suggested that differences in health exist based on data collected from this "population based" estimate of sexual orientation.
Poorer outcomes among homosexual populations include:
* Self-reported health * Disability-related activity limitations * Asthma * Current and past tobacco smoking * Anxious mood * 30-day binge drinking and substance use * Lifetime and 12-month sexual assault victimization
The report also indicated that bisexual respondents fared worse than heterosexual/straight residents in terms of: access to health insurance, as well as medical and dental providers; heart disease; anxious and depressed moods, 12-month suicide ideation; current tobacco smoking, and lifetime and 12 month sexual assault victimization.
The results underscored a tide of poor health outcomes that are worse than expected for homosexual populations when compared to heterosexual populations. Specifically, the report noted that higher level of education generally results in better overall health. The reportconcluded, however, that although homosexual respondents reported higher levels of education, several health outcomes were worse than non-homosexual populations. Similarly, the report noted that health protective behavior, such as condom use and HIV testing among gay/homosexual men, was higher than in heterosexual populations. The report noted that this was an "encouraging" trend, but adds:
"However, absolute levels of health promoting behavior may be inadequate given the higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men" (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2008, p. 17).
What the report doesn't elaborate on is why the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Health leads readers to believe that these results are just "coming out" or are that they are being reported "for the first time." Historical and current research reveals evidence for significant concern about the mental and physical health and probable longevity of homosexual individuals. As a group, those who engage in homosexual practices tend to have higher mental and physical health risks and potentially much shorter life spans. Research has consistently demonstrated that homosexual sexual practices place individuals at risk for some form of mental disorder ranging from mood disorders, to suicide (Herrell et al, 1999; Ferguson et al, 1999; Bailey, 1999; Sandfort et al, 2001; Ferris, 1996). Further, studies have even shown that these differences continue to be the same even among societies that accept homosexuality (Berman, 2003). This report is clearly not the first to present differences by sexual orientation as researchers who conducted this survey seem to assert.
It is unclear why the CDC and MDPH seem to assert that this study is the first of its kind in reporting differences in health based on sexual orientation, but it is clear that these types of studies have some level of impact on the public's perception about lifestyle choices that clearly put individuals and groups at higher risk for poorer health. Ethicality would suggest that the CDC report the relationship between behavior and disease so that the public are able to make more healthy and informed choices. Ethicality would also suggest that treatment options be made available for those who are concerned about or dissatisfied with their sexual behavior and want to explore the therapy aimed at maximizing heterosexual potential.
‘This is not new but it is telling. There has been a lot of “new” research that is confirming research that occurred
prior to the politicization of Homosexuality and sexual issues. I recommend that those who choose to see homosexual issues through the lens of religious versus secular should look again because it was hardly the case prior to the the onset of gay radicalism which has used intimidation and political pressure to remake the landscape in favor of what was once universally seen to be a aberrant and still just as clearly so.’
Huh? You lost me...
But as far as the article goes - I can see this will be used to advocate for ‘special’ health care plans...and if that ecer happens I say bull——! Not on MY dollar.
What’s the big deal. We’ll all be on the same government-run health program soon anyway. They’ll have all the information they need about everyone, and have everyone tagged according to risk ... well, except for a very special class, the elite political class included. They’ll have their own private system far superior to the rest of the average riff raff (you and me).
Take your ticket and get in line.
What I would love to see is those who are proponents of a government-run system try it out themselves for a decade and get back to the rest of us who don’t want anything to do with it.
Yes the MA report is (I think without looking) months old now. What’s even more abominable is that the CDC, in picking it up, has to give it the character of something of a discovery:
“This report is clearly not the first to present differences by sexual orientation as researchers who conducted this survey seem to assert.
It is unclear why the CDC and MDPH seem to assert that this study is the first of its kind in reporting differences in health based on sexual orientation...”
No shock to anyone working in healthcare community. Gays all have some std’s. Just try to hide it all the time, it hurts their datelife.
Gee, isn’t that an awful lot fewer than we’ve been told all this time?
Could it be someone’s been lying to us?