In April 2007, anti-gay “researcher” Paul Cameron and his son Kirk sent out a press release claiming that studied information from Denmark that proved that gay men died on average 20 years younger than their heterosexual counterparts. Jim Burroway provided a very thorough refutation of the Camerons’ claims, showing them to be nonsense and bigotry.
Also interested in the Camerons’ claims was Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor teaching at Grove City College, a small liberal arts college with a conservative evangelical philosophy. Dr. Throckmorton’s beliefs about homosexuality support traditional faith positions, primarily in the way in which a same-sex attracted person lives their life (i.e. in accordance with the confines of their faith).
But Throckmorton is no fan of bogus claims or fraudulent statistics. He contacted Morten Frisch, a prominent epidemiologist in Denmark, and asked him to review Cameron’s work. Frisch was unhesitatingly critical of the Cameron’s claims.
Although the Camerons’ report has no objective scientific value, the authors should be acknowledged for providing teachers with a humorous example of agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific gobbledygook that will make lessons in elementary study design and scientific inference much more amusing for future epidemiology students.
Well it now appears that Dr. Frisch was not content with dismissing the Camerons’ statements. Dr. Throckmorton is reporting that Frisch and colleague Henrik Brønnum-Hansen followed up with a study of their own and found the opposite of what the anti-gay activist had claimed. Throckmorton’s initial assessment is:
Frisch and Brønnum-Hansen found that Danish men marrying soon after the Danish same-sex marriage law was enacted had markedly higher death rates than men in the general Danish population. They speculate that these men were ill, ordinarily with AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, but also from other life-threatening diseases, and wanted to marry to establish rights of survivorship or other benefits for a surviving spouse. However, the mortality for homosexual men marrying after 1996 is virtually the same as for heterosexual men in Denmark. Thus, since HIV/AIDS has been more successfully managed, the mortality rates have declined dramatically. [emphasis added]
Thanks to Dr. Frisch for following up and to Dr. Throckmorton for his analysis.