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Anti-gay Purdue library prof’s blogging gets press attention

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2009

Indystar.com has an article about the brouhaha arising from Professor of Library Science Bert Chapman’s “economic case against homosexuality“. Mostly, it seems that while some students are calling for his firing, most are just wanting to make the student body aware of Chapman’s anti-gay attitudes.

A statement by a coalition of West Lafayette rights groups, Pride Lafayette and the Purdue Queer Student Union said it supports free speech.

“Supporting free speech does not mean that there are no consequences for such statements,” the statement said. “While it’s clear that all individuals have the right to print anything they wish regardless of the lack of value or research, it’s also true that statements in print (or in this case online) should be rejected and called out when they damage a segment of the community.”

But, as appears to be a growing attitude among anti-gay activists, Chapman believe that freedom of speech exempts their speech from criticism. He, and other anti-gay professors around the country, see this exposure of his attitudes as “censorship” and Chapman as a victim.

Jonathan Katz, a St. Louis-based Washington University professor, enraged many on that campus by his “defense of homophobia” on his personal blog and said Chapman is a victim.

“You see here bullying and an attempt at censorship by a pressure group that is afraid of speech that disagrees with its position,” Katz said. “Bullying dissenters by calling for their dismissal is routine. If people let themselves be dissuaded by bullying from exercising their right of free speech, then that right will atrophy, and we will lose it.”

And like many anti-gay activists, Chapman appears to see his attack on “homosexuality” to be unassociated with any actual gay persons. He’s just attacking “a lifestyle”, not those who “live that lifestyle”, you see.

Yet gay people are about as receptive to vile denunciations of a homosexual lifestyle as Latinos are to a stereotyped attack on “the Latino lifestyle” or Greeks are to calls to deny spending on those who live “the Greek lifestyle” in favor of those who adhere to traditional non-Greek standards. Such careful phrasing only creates a distinction without a difference.

Just as denunciations of “people who wear yarmulkes” is no different from antisemitism, so too does “condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle” in the terms used by Chapman equate to anti-gay ranting.

But Chapman pretends that his opinions, just being opinions you know, should not reflect on him and should have caused no concern at all.

Chapman said he was surprised at the backlash his blog had caused in the pages of the daily campus newspaper, which has run several letters calling for his job. Hearing rumors of a student protest, he said he wished the matter would simply go away.

Well that’s the funny thing about an unprovoked attack on your students. They aren’t much inclined to laugh it off or let it “simply go away”.

Comments

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wackadoodle
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

“You see here bullying and an attempt at censorship by a pressure group that is afraid of speech that disagrees with its position,”

Yeah they’re ‘censoring’ him by making his idiotic rant that would have only been read by a handful of people into national news read by thousands.

That’s the worst attempt at ‘censorship’ I’ve ever seen.

Pender
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Yep. Freedom of speech is a two-way street, and social pressure is not censorship.

Lindoro Almaviva
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

Not far from Muncie, if anyone hears of an official protest, please post it.

Christopher Waldrop
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

If Chapman wishes the whole thing would go away, maybe he should engage some of his critics and explain his position. Unfortunately he’s refused to do that. He’s claimed that his opinions are facts–in spite of a complete lack of evidence–and he’s dismissed all criticism as being “infantile ad hominem attacks”. This is in spite of the fact that there have been some thoughtful, well-reasoned criticisms of his opinions, but then Chapman isn’t interested in facts. He’s made up his mind and refuses to acknowledge reality.

Christopher Waldrop
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

By the way, please stop referring to Chapman’s case as an “economic case”. I know he calls it that, but it’s misrepresentation. There is nothing economic about his case. He makes it clear in his opening paragraph that his opinions are entirely informed by his religious beliefs. He mentions a couple of studies (but doesn’t provide any citations, making them almost impossible to find) that supposedly back up his case, but his argument is nothing more than an emotional rant.

Dr. Matthew
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

I think his defense of this as an “economic case” is telling… religious conservatives have long attempted to couch anti-gay rhetoric in language of “behaviors” and “lifestyles” to pretend that it will be overlooked that it’s a group of people they are attacking. In this case, calling it an “economic” case is to pretend as if he’s criticizing behaviors some imaginary population of heterosexuals might engage in. That’s about as relevant to the field of economics as the Hollow Earth theory is to modern physics. It’s a cute story, but it’s too far from reality to bother with. As someone employed by a university, and who has taught college students in the past, I don’t see how he believes he can publicly harass a minority group he teaches and have his job protected. Perhaps that’s the biggest fictional tale at play here.

Quo
November 12th, 2009 | LINK

“Yet gay people are about as receptive to vile denunciations of a homosexual lifestyle as Latinos are to a stereotyped attack on “the Latino lifestyle” ”

Another attempt to claim that criticism of homosexual behavior is equivalent to racism. You’re ignoring the fact that people have a choice about whether to practice homosexual sex or not but no choice about their race.

andrew
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I’m going to be the nay-sayer again. Universities are temples of intellectual freedom, and the places where controversial ideas can be aired out in the light of day, tested, and either discarded or reconsidered. If the LGBT community wants to beat this guy, do it on sensible terms that are impossible to beat or disregard: make the better argument, and show him as the out-of-touch bigot that he is. Calling for his job is a slippery slope — seems to me it was not so long ago that we would have decried the removal of Kinsey from his post for having controversial ideas. Oh, except that they favored us.

andrew
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

And as for homosexual behavior and race: both are innate, both are instilled at birth, both are immutable, both are not matters of choice — telling someone that they are condemned to a life without meaningful sexual expressions of their love for another interested, loving, and consenting adult is hateful on its face.

By the same argument, people of a marginalized race could just stay indoors 24 hours a day and “know their place” and then they’d never experience racism, right? Wasn’t the contrary to that called being “uppity”? Oh, you selfish gay people, bringing all this down on your own heads and then complaining about it later. Tsk tsk tsk.

Christopher Waldrop
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

You’re ignoring the fact that people have a choice about whether to practice homosexual sex or not but no choice about their race.

Quo, like Prof. Chapman you have trouble distinguishing between facts and opinions, although you do at least specify “homosexual sex”. Possibly you’re not so uninformed that you think homosexuality is a choice.

However people also have a choice about whether to have heterosexual sex. Why is there nothing wrong with that?

Sol Invictus
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Interesting post:

“Possibly you’re not so uninformed that you think homosexuality is a choice”

Has anyone ever, anywhere know of a former, White, Hispanic ? There are none, because race is innate.

Anyone know of a former homosexual? Thousands are everywhere, on TV, writing book reviews,you name it.

Now, how is homosexuality innate, when thousands of examples of former homosexuals are everywhere? Are all of those former homosexuals liars?

How is bisexuality “innate”?. How is “both ways” a born with non choice.How then do you explain straights who become “gay” at some point in life.

An awful lot of changing going on for something that supposedly can not change,

werdna
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

“And as for homosexual behavior and race: both are innate, both are instilled at birth, both are immutable, both are not matters of choice”

I’d argue that race, like sexuality, is a social phenomenon. It’s not a scientific category, it’s not correlated to genetics, etc. The definition of what constitutes a “race” varies in time and place, as do notions of sexuality. The underlying traits (affective inclinations, skin color, etc.) which we categorize into races and sexualities may not be voluntarily mutable or matters of choice, but the categories themselves are not innate. In the case of sexuality it’s at best an open question whether or not it’s “instilled at birth”, but the point that it’s not easily changed by will is pretty sound.

In truth, both sexuality and race are *somewhat* mutable. Merely traveling around the world one will find that the perception and meaning of one’s own “race” can change dramatically. In the US, ethnic groups shift from one racial category to another over time. Certainly individual affective inclinations (which we these days consider “sexuality”) can shift somewhat over a life time. In most cases this does not correlate to any deliberate efforts (pace the ex-gay pseudo-scientists), but I’m not going to rule out the possibility that such cases might exist (it’s next to impossible to prove a negative).

“Now, how is homosexuality innate, when thousands of examples of former homosexuals are everywhere? Are all of those former homosexuals liars?”

For the most part they are a combination of liars, obscurantists and the self-deluding, yes. If you’ve spent any time at this site you’ll be familiar with the criticisms of the ex-gay movement.

But really, none of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, so we’re just letting Quo derail the conversation with an irrelevant aside…

Christopher Waldrop
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Sol Invictus, I believe Quo is implying that homosexual sex is something that is chosen, not necessarily homosexuality itself. If you think sexuality is a matter of choice, though, and, assuming you’re heterosexual, when did you choose to be that way?

Mortanius
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

If we follow Quo’s logic, then it is not illegal to discriminate against Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, because those are all “life style choices”. We can discriminate against the rich, the poor, because that too is a “lifestyle”, we can discriminate against gender because that is a “lifestyle” after all there are gender reassignment operations, let’s see, what else is a “Lifestyle” we can discriminate, let me take a look at the “Lifestyle” section of the news paper, oh discriminate against people who listen to Rap, Country, Rock, Classical, those who attend plays, NASCAR, Football, games. Shall I continue on the people I can discriminate against based on ones “lifestyle”?

Houndentenor
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I’m not convinced getting him fired is a good idea. What if another group at another school wants a professor fired for advocating FOR gay rights? Will we be okay with that?

I think there’s a better way for students to deal with this…make sure people know his views so they can avoid registering for his classes.

Houndentenor
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Oh, and no there are not thousands of ex-gays. There are a handful of people who claim to be ex-gay and over and over they get caught trolling for sex (the gay kind) or just give up because they can’t live a lie any more. Reparative therapy doesn’t work and only a charlatan would tell someone that it does.

Christopher Waldrop
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I agree that getting him fired is not necessarily the best idea. One good thing about this whole situation is that it’s generated a lot of discussion about freedom of speech and what a professor can say. To be clear, though, he’s not just opposed to gay rights; he’s insisted that money spent on AIDS research is “wasted”, and his basis for this argument is his belief that only homosexuals have AIDS.

Also, Chapman doesn’t teach. He’s a librarian. While I don’t think he should be fired for expressing his opinions, I think it’s acceptable to ask what influence his opinions have on his job performance. His primary job is selecting materials for the library. Is he rejecting books that include solid, peer-reviewed research that contradicts his opinions? If someone comes to him asking for research help, is he going to put aside his beliefs and provide them with the best available material?

I realize librarians are human and subject to personal biases and prejudices, but they should make an effort to be objective. Given Chapman’s anti-intellectual tone I wonder if he’s willing to even try.

Swampfox
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

This man thinks that money spent on research into the AIDS virus is wasted. Why does he think the money is wasted? Is he against all funding for research into all viruses?

Swampfox
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

After reading a bit more about what this librarian “believes”, it is obvious that his intolerance in based solely on his religious beliefs. Ugh.

Jason D
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Has anyone ever, anywhere know of a former, White, Hispanic ? There are none, because race is innate.

two words:

Sammy Sosa.

He’s had his skin lightened. He no longer looks Latino. Between pigment lightening and other cosmetics and cosmetic surgeries, yes, everyone can become white.

Scott P.
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Touche, Jason! And Michael Jackson went from being a black man to being a white woman.

honestly, people, why do you feed trolls like Sol Invictus and Quo?

Timothy Kincaid
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Anyone know of a former homosexual? Thousands are everywhere, on TV, writing book reviews,you name it.

For those who might be tempted by Sol Invictus’ words, do not be swayed.

There are several (not thousands) of ex-gays that loudly proclaim that they are “walking away from homosexuality”. But a careful look reveals that they are not “former homosexuals”, though some use that term.

I do not think that Sol could find five such former homosexual men that do not “continue to struggle with temptation” or “strive daily to conquer sin”. (Women seem to be less fixed in their orientation).

Because, unlike heterosexuals, these “former homosexuals” he discusses, are still attracted to the same sex. And while a very small number of them have worked themselves into the place where they “find their spouse attractive”, they all still seem to be primarily homosexual.

In fact, the Jones and Yarhouse study proves that point. Over six years, there was no statistically significant measurable change is sexual orientation of Exodus participants (prospective sample). Just changes in “identity”.

So Sol Invictus’ claim is false.

Jason D
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Tim,
Thanks I was waiting for someone to point that out.

I’m 5’6″. I could decide today that I’m 6’2″. Perhaps even come up with a complicated rationale for it. Even invent a new system of measurement that allows me to get away with it.

But I still won’t be 6’2″ I won’t have changed anything but my perspective on my height. Which is exactly what these people have done regarding their sexuality.

We do not have conscious control over who we find attractive. Sure, we can chastise ourselves and avoid those we find attractive, but that doesn’t change the fact that they still stir something within us.

Sexual Orientation is just that, orientation. It’s not choice or preference, it’s hard wired into us. Gay people define themselves by their attractions. For large sections of my 20’s I was single and celibate. I was still gay.
The only people who define homosexuality by actions and identity are those who can’t deal with the fact that the attractions were neither started consciously, nor can they be stopped consciously.

Jason D
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

to follow up, changability is hardly reason enough to validate discrimination.

Here’s a list of things that can be changed:

-Religion
-Political Affiliation
-Marital Status
-Hair color
-Eye color (appearance)
-skin color
-Breast size
-Gender

If homosexuals don’t deserve equality because they supposedly can change, then neither do Jews, blacks, small breasted women, bald people, single people, and libertarians.

The changability meme is rather bigoted in the first place. Because under that rationale, the reason why racism is wrong is because black people “can’t help” being black. If given the choice, they wouldn’t be, but since they had no choice it’s not fair. The underlying current there is that there must be something wrong with being black, but since it can’t be changed or chosen, then you can’t hold it against someone. Basically it’s the idea that racism is wrong because being born a dirty n*gger isn’t your fault.

Racism is wrong because there’s nothing wrong with being black, not because they can’t change their skin color. When technology allows us to change races on a genetic level, racism will STILL Be wrong.

Timothy Kincaid
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

But, Jason, you could walk away from your 5’6″ identity. You could become “formerly 5’6″ believing that the opposite of 5’6″ is holiness, not height.

You can take encouragement from those who will go on television and show the world that they are buying pants with a longer inseam.

And if you notice that they have rolled up the bottoms or are walking on their hems (or, occasionally are caught wearing pants that fit), well no one said that being formerly-5’6″ is uncomplicated. But if you step out in faith (and buy a house with lower cabinetry to remove temptation of identifying as 5’6″) you too can be an overcomer.

Jonathan Osborn
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I’d like to suggest that Purdue University do the intellectually honest thing, and hold a formal debate with a rhetoric professor as referee. In other words, both sides of the argument would be held to rigorous standards of argumentation. Everyone on both sides seems to claim a desire for free and open intellectual discussion. I think it would be educational for all involved. It serves no purpose to claim the intellectual free speech of Chapman, and then sweep any critique of his ideas under the rug. Intellectual free speech within the University context is meant to free up expression and criticism, not silence one group for disagreeing with another. On the other hand, free speech would never be served by simply firing Chapman’s ass (as satisfying as that might feel at the time). Purdue should quit claiming to be a bastion of intellectual free speech and start acting like one.

Christopher Waldrop
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

While it may be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) I’m 5’6″ myself and can see why, in some respects, height could be considered analogous to being gay (or lesbian or bisexual). Even if I could change my height I wouldn’t. While I occasionally wonder what it would be like to be taller, being five and a half feet tall is something I’m content with. It’s not the only characteristic that defines me, but it is one aspect of my individuality. I will add that sometimes it’s difficult sometimes to find pants that are the right length.

Quo
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

andrew,

No, homosexual behavior isn’t innate, certainly not if you mean homosexual sex. Some people mistakenly argue that a homosexual orientation is innate, but that’s a different issue.

Whether a homosexual orientation is a choice or not is a scientifically unresolved issue. There’s no evidence proving that homosexuality is or is not a choice. Simon LeVay has admitted this, and it’s in the Wikipedia article about him (because I put it there).

Mortanius,

As far as I’m concerned, anyone should be free to discriminate against anyone else for whatever reason. It shouldn’t make the least difference whether the things they are choosing to discriminate against are innate or not.

Scott P.
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Discriminate all you like, but when you try to codify it and make your personal hatreds the law of the land then you better damn well be ready for the consequences. And when you try to use faulty logic to justify your peccadilloes then expect to be called on your arguments and asked to prove them. Nothing more, nothing less.

Quo
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Scott P,

Was your comment addressed to me? If so, I don’t really understand your point. Please clarify.

Priya Lynn
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, it is immoral to discriminate against anyone for harmless behavior. Discriminating against someone because they are in a same sex sexual relationship is just as evil as discriminating against someone because of their race.

People can choose their religion and few people think this makes it justifiabale to discriminate against people on this basis.

Quo
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

No, it’s not necessarily immoral. If someone decides that they do not wish to associate with a certain type of person, it is their right not to associate with them.

In any case, no self-respecting person would want to work for someone prepared to discriminate against him.

Jason D
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

“Whether a homosexual orientation is a choice or not is a scientifically unresolved issue. There’s no evidence proving that homosexuality is or is not a choice. Simon LeVay has admitted this, and it’s in the Wikipedia article about him (because I put it there).”

Actually it’s pretty well resolved, gay men and straight women exhibit the same physiological responses when presented with men they find attractive. Gay men and straight women’s heart rates increase, pupils dialate, and their is increased bloodflow to their genitals.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t choose to make any of those things happen.

Priya Lynn
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, discrimination is immoral. If you’re making your living off of serving the public you have a moral obligation to serve all the public. That’s why there are laws requiring businesses to serve people regargless of their race, gender, religion and eventually, sexual orientation.

Priya Lynn
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Quo said “no self-respecting person would want to work for someone prepared to discriminate against him.”.

And that’s supposed to make it okay to discriminate?! Puh-leeeze.

Fact is that when discrimination is widespread one may have to choose between working for someone prepared to discriminate against them or not working at all. You may not want to deal with people prepared to discriminate against you, but sometimes you have no other choice.

Quo
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

Nobody in business “serves the public.” They make money.

Jason D,

What you’re doing is called blowing smoke. You’re describing how people with certain sexual orientations behave when exposed to pornography. That doesn’t mean that their respective sexual orientations were unchosen. There is no scientific evidence which settles that issue, and there may never be.

John
November 13th, 2009 | LINK

I have never met anyone who actually chose their sexual orientation. I have yet to see any convincing evidence that any can or ever has changed their sexual orientation. So, I find it amusing how tightly some cling to the hope that someone, somewhere may some day change their sexual orientation from gay, straight or bisexual to something else.

Well, I guess it’s okay for them to dream the impossible dream…

Christopher Waldrop
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, you say that, in regard to whether sexual orientation can be chosen, “There is no scientific evidence which settles that issue, and there may never be.” So you’re admitting the possibility that sexual orientation may not be a matter of choice.

If it is possible that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, why are you so certain that homosexuality is unacceptable and must not be tolerated?

Priya Lynn
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo said “Nobody in business “serves the public.” They make money.”.

That’s pretty dumb quo, even for you. People in business make money by serving the public. If that’s how you make your money you have an obligation to serve all the public.

People like you try to disguise this wrongdoing by claiming people have a right to not associate with people they don’t like as though this is a simple matter of what kind of friends you choose. No one is forcing anyone to have friends they don’t like, but when it comes to business, the right to work, have a place to live, or buy goods and services a decent and just society provides equal access to all.

Quo said “You’re describing how people with certain sexual orientations behave when exposed to pornography. That doesn’t mean that their respective sexual orientations were unchosen. There is no scientific evidence which settles that issue, and there may never be.”

Similarly there’s no absolute scientific proof that handedness isn’t chosen either. Nevertheless in both situations all the evidence that both are unchosen points strongly in that direction and common sense dictates that no rational person would deny that both are unchosen. Only a fool or bigot would say otherwise.

William
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo is absolutely right. There’s no evidence proving that homosexuality is or is not a choice.

I know that I didn’t choose to be gay – although I’m now glad that I am – but, for all I know, I may be the only gay person in the world who didn’t choose to be gay. Other gay people tell me that they didn’t choose to be gay either, but there’s no evidence proving that they’re not lying to me. They may or may not be.

In the same way, I know that I didn’t choose to right-handed, but if other right-handed people tell me that they didn’t choose it either, I can’t produce any evidence proving that they’re not lying to me. They may or may not be. There’s no scientific way in which I can definitively resolve the question one way or the other.

Priya Lynn
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Actually William there is evidence that gayness is not a choice. As Jason D said “gay men and straight women exhibit the same physiological responses when presented with men they find attractive. Gay men and straight women’s heart rates increase, pupils dialate, and their is increased bloodflow to their genitals.”.

When Spitzer was asked why he didn’t subject his subjects to plethysmographs to verify their claims to have changed sexual orientation he said “They’d never agree to that”. The fact that so-called “ex-gays” are never willing to prove they can choose who they are attracted to is pretty solid proof that they can’t.

William
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, Priya, you’re right, and that evidence should be sufficient for any reasonable person. But someone like Quo can always turn round and say, “Ah, but how can you prove that gay men and straight women don’t CHOOSE to have those physical reactions?” Or alternatively, “Yes these may be involuntary reactions, but how can you prove that they haven’t developed those reactions over time as a result of their initial CHOICE to be gay men (or straight women)?”

There are some for whom no amount of solid evidence will ever be sufficient. That’s why people can continue to be creationists and even geocentricists. (Yes, there really are some: try googling “Association for Biblical Astronomy”.) These people will always find a way round the evidence, no matter how far-fetched.

Jason D
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

“What you’re doing is called blowing smoke. You’re describing how people with certain sexual orientations behave when exposed to pornography. That doesn’t mean that their respective sexual orientations were unchosen.”

“Blowing Smoke” means to lie or exaggerate. I have done NEITHER. These are well documented facts.

I can decide I’m straight, today, but show me a man I find attractive and a woman I claim to find attractive, do the measurments, and you’ll see the truth.
There’s no switch I can flick, that changes all my physiological responses. Even someone who chooses to hold their breath will pass out, and then start breathing again,automatically, it’s an involuntary action.

What I described are physiological responses, they cannot be faked or forced, they are involuntary.

We don’t get to decide who we find attractive. We can either accept what is apparent, or ignore it. Feelings are involuntary, they happen to us, we experience them, we have no control over them. That’s a basic fact. Even supposed ex gay “success” stories from the Jones and Yarhouse study admit to still being attracted to the same sex. In other words, they still have physiological responses, and are amazingly able to be honest about them despite all the goading and motivation to lie about them.

There is no scientific evidence which settles that issue, and there may never be.

Actually quo, there is, so let’s write your sentence with some honesty, shall we, it should read (emphasis mine):

There is no scientific evidence which settles that issue for me, and for me there never will be.

Priya Lynn
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

William said “someone like Quo can always turn round and say, “Ah, but how can you prove that gay men and straight women don’t CHOOSE to have those physical reactions?” Or alternatively, “Yes these may be involuntary reactions, but how can you prove that they haven’t developed those reactions over time as a result of their initial CHOICE to be gay men (or straight women)?””.

Oh, he can say that all right, but the evidence contradicts that. Those gay men that say they’ve made the choice to be straight are unable to demonstrate arousal to women and do demonstrate arousal to men so its pretty tough to argue convincingly in light of that that orientation is in any way a choice – if it were gay men would be able to demonstrate arousal to women and none to men, they can’t.

Quo
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Christopher Waldrop,

Your comments are revealing – you’re assming that simply because I pointed out that it has not been proven that homosexuality is not a choice, that therefore I must think that it is a choice, or that “homosexuality is unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Priya,

What pathetic huffing and puffing. If businessmen ever talk about serving the public, that’s a politeness. They are not actually anybody’s servants.

You wrote,

“Nevertheless in both situations all the evidence that both are unchosen points strongly in that direction and common sense dictates that no rational person would deny that both are unchosen.”

Goodness me, you can’t write properly, can you? If there is evidence that something is the case, then it is unnecessary to add that it “points strongly in that direction.”

Quo
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

William,

You wrote,

But someone like Quo can always turn round and say, “Ah, but how can you prove that gay men and straight women don’t CHOOSE to have those physical reactions?”

For the record, there is plenty of evidence that physical reactions of that kind can indeed be consciously controlled by some men. It is discussed in Jones and Yarhouse’s book, for example. See pages 115 through 117.

Priya,

You wrote,

‘The fact that so-called “ex-gays” are never willing to prove they can choose who they are attracted to is pretty solid proof that they can’t.’

Ex-gays may have reasons other than the possibility that they have not actually changed their sexual orientation for being unwilling to subject themselves to a porno-based test. Morality, for example.

Quo
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D,

You wrote,

“What I described are physiological responses, they cannot be faked or forced, they are involuntary.”

It’s not really necessary for me to point this out, but I can’t resist it: you’re wrong. Reactions like that can be faked and forced in some cases. And if you had read Jones and Yarhouse’s book carefully, you would know that.

Christopher Waldrop
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, your comments are revealing as well. Specifically they’re revealing of a short memory. You call the comparison between prejudice against gays and prejudice against blacks or Latinos “Another attempt to claim that criticism of homosexual behavior is equivalent to racism.” I’ve emphasized the word “attempt”.

Perhaps I’ve read too much into your consistently adversarial stance, though. Do you not have a prejudice against homosexuals?

Quo
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Christopher,

Criticism of homosexual sex on moral grounds is not equivalent to racism. That holds true regardless of whether one personally believes that homosexual sex is immoral or not. I do not claim that I am such an expert on morality that I can know with certainty whether homosexual sex is ever moral or not.

While I personally believe that homosexuality should be eliminated and that everyone should be heterosexual, that doesn’t mean that I am prejudiced against homosexuals as individuals.

Timothy (TRiG)
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Just to pick up on an earlier aside: Religious affiliation may be a choice, but actual religious belief isn’t, is it? We cannot simply choose, by an act of will, to believe something we don’t believe. No matter how much you may want to believe the sky is pink, you can’t. And I’d love to believe in a benevolent deity, but I don’t.

TRiG.

John
November 14th, 2009 | LINK

Quo wrote: “While I personally believe that homosexuality should be eliminated and that everyone should be heterosexual…”

And how, pray tell, would you possibly accomplish that?

William
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

“I personally believe that homosexuality should be eliminated and that everyone should be heterosexual…” – Quo

The late Cambridge philosopher C.D. Broad (who, as I’ve only recently discovered, was himself gay) observed that the universe is more complicated than Victorian science supposed – “more complicated and much nastier.” Nastier? Well, I’m not sure, so I won’t discuss that. But this I will say: the universe is more complicated than people like Quo would like it to be – far more complicated and much less boring.

Burr
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Considering he can’t even accomplish it in a situation where he has control of everything (himself), good luck imposing it on the rest of the world.

Emily K
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

All you have to do is read his blog to see that, Burr.

Jason D
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

“Jason D,

You wrote,

“What I described are physiological responses, they cannot be faked or forced, they are involuntary.”

It’s not really necessary for me to point this out, but I can’t resist it: you’re wrong. Reactions like that can be faked and forced in some cases. And if you had read Jones and Yarhouse’s book carefully, you would know that.”

Okay, Quo, time to put up or shut up. Please post a video on Youtube of you forcing your eyes to dilate and then return to an undilated state 4 times in a row. You cannot shine lights at your eyes or change lighting in any way. This has to be done completely by sheer force of will. The reason for it to be 4 times in a row is so that it’s clear that it’s by force and not by accident, if someone really can force their eyes to dilate, then they should be able to do so multiple times in succession.

In lieu of you personally doing it, please find and post a link of someone else dilating their eyes more than once following the same critera of not using light sources to accomplish this task, doing so only by sheer force of will. No editing tricks, no panning away, no closing the eyes for 5 minutes and suddenly opening them to take advantage of lighting changes experienced by the eye—-Simply a video of someone making this happen entirely by will.

John
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Emily,

I did check out Quo’s website only to find his recent post about his trip to a bathhouse where he lost track of his number of partners, due to the lack of light.

On the one hand, it really wasn’t what I really wanted to read about this morning, but on the other hand, it humanized him in a way.

I can now put his annoying, legalistic parsing of words and snide remarks when he posts here within the context of such an unhappy person who chooses to “waste (his) life away on a dream that won’t come true”(Rizzo’s song from Grease-an antidote to reading Quo’s blog). I do hope that he one day finds happiness.

Ben in Oakland
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

“While I personally believe that homosexuality should be eliminated and that everyone should be heterosexual, that doesn’t mean that I am prejudiced against homosexuals as individuals.”

No, you’re just prejudiced against us…and I include you…as a group.

There, that makes it all better, doesn’t it?

As i have said to you before, your problem is not being gay, which you chose or didn’t choose according to which way the wind is blowing.

your problem is your self hatred.

Ben in Oakland
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Quo– i didn’t know you had a blog. So I went to it, and found this.

“This state of affairs is something that I truly hate. I wish I could eliminate my homosexual desires entirely and become fully heterosexual, but so far I have failed. I wish also that I could stop having sex with other men, but I have also failed to free myself from homosexual behaviour. I am not totally pessimistic about my chances of overcoming homosexuality (the fact that I have some heterosexual feeling gives me hope) one day but I know it is going to be a long and difficult struggle. I live each day at a time.

I am going to go to a gay bathhouse and have sex after making this post. I will hate myself for it, and wish I had not done it, but I will do it. ”

Oh, my.

“I will hate myself for it, and wish I had not done it, but I will do it.”

Honey, you desparately need a new therapist. and a new dictionary. Possibly a thesaurus. And perhaps you should really spend time delaing with your self-hatred, instead of trying to convince people who don’t hate themselves to share in the self-hatred you so cheerfully direct at yourself.

William
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

I’ve mentioned before on here the former colleague of mine who, like Quo, gratuitously blamed his parents for causing his homosexuality and believed “optimistically”, as he put it to me, in the possibility of change. Now, decades later, he still hasn’t changed.

He wouldn’t go to a gay pub or night-club and he wouldn’t dream of joining any kind of gay social group. He didn’t want people to know that he was “queer”, as he put it, so he remained obstinately in the closet. He went regularly to various places for casual, anonymous sex – some of them very dangerous places. He was, of course, reinforcing his self-hatred by this sort of behaviour, just as Quo is doing. He and Quo seem to be parallel cases.

For God’s sake, Quo, stop blaming your parents, come out of the closet and seek a proper gay relationship. Sex without love isn’t much cop – as you’ve shown that you’ve realised yourself.

Burr
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

The funny thing is he judges us based on HIS lack of morals. I’ve never been to a bathhouse in my life. I’ve only been with one partner so far, and that’s been a monogamous relationship for over 4 years. I refuse to be judged for someone ELSE’S moral failings. Sorry, meaningless anonymous sex NOT a gay thing, it’s weak-willed individual who can’t love himself and allow others to love him thing.

Emily K
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Guys, I dunno if it’s any good talking to him about his bathhouse adventures, considering the way he reacted when I posted a comment to his post on the subject. Unless we all want a reaction of “F*** you B*tch!” coming to us.

Burr
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

And seriously I don’t care if he finds a guy or a girl, but it’s not going to happen with either the way he is right now. There’s more issues than just his homosexuality.

Quo
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Everyone,

Wow, some people have no sense of humour. A statement like, “I will hate myself”, coming from me, doesn’t mean much more than, “I will be mildly frustrated.” That’s how I express myself. Similarly, my comments to Emily K were simply an expression of disagreement – if I really wanted to be nasty, they would be orders of magnitude worse.

Maybe you just don’t get my sense of humour? Ben in Oakland’s comment that I “cheerfully” direct hatred at myself suggests that he gets it, at least a little.

Scott P.
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Why are you people feeding the self-hating troll?

Ben in Oakland
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

I meant in the same sense as I say that someone “enjoys poor health.”

Timothy Kincaid
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

For the record, there is plenty of evidence that physical reactions of that kind can indeed be consciously controlled by some men. It is discussed in Jones and Yarhouse’s book, for example. See pages 115 through 117.

I don’t have the book in front of me, but I cannot let this statement go unchallenged. I am quite certain that the Jones and Yarhouse book did not assert that subconscious reaction (such as the test that found response to imagery flickering on a screen too quickly to consciously see) was a matter of choice.

John
November 15th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

It is also my recollection of the Jones and Yarhouse book that despite the most tortured attempts to point to some sort of change occurring in those in the study, there was in fact no demonstrable change in attractions among the participants.

I also think that, because there was no demonstrable change in attractions, Jones and Yarhouse could never gotten through a peer review process. The peer reviewers would point out that the conclusion did not match the data.

Quo
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Timothy,

Jones and Yarhouse were talking mainly about men’s control over their own dicks. It turns out that it is possible for some men to will themselves to get an erection in response to something that they do not necessarily find sexy, and that they can prevent themselves from getting an erection in response to something that they do think is sexy.

They cite several studies in support of this, their point being to show that penile plethysmography isn’t necessarily reliable.

Quo
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

John,

Jones and Yarhouse wrote that 15% of their study’s participants achieved “considerable resolution of homosexual orientation issues and substantial conversion to heterosexual attraction.” (p. 369)

That claim might be vulnerable to criticism on various grounds (just as any study or any claim can be criticized), but that was how they reported things.

William
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, Quo, we can go on and on like this, but the fact remains that there is no good reason to believe that either a homosexual or a heterosexual orientation is something that people choose. Most people will confirm from their own experience that their sexual orientation was something that they discovered, not chose. We COULD all be lying; that’s a logical possibility, but hardly one to be taken seriously.

Obviously, you must know that your own homosexual orientation wasn’t something that you chose, because it’s clear from everything that you’ve said that, if you HAD chosen it, you would have unchosen it by now.

Priya Lynn
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Quo said “If businessmen ever talk about serving the public, that’s a politeness. They are not actually anybody’s servants.”

Quo, the only way to make money in business is to serve the public, period. Its not a matter of being “polite”, its a fact. Your idiotic attempts to deny reality won’t change it. Anyone who makes their money serving the public is morally and in many cases legally bound to serve all the public.

Quo said “Ex-gays may have reasons other than the possibility that they have not actually changed their sexual orientation for being unwilling to subject themselves to a porno-based test. Morality, for example.”

Nonsense, in many cases these are people driven to do virtually anything to convince other’s they’ve changed orientations, the fact that they refuse to avail themselves of this method proves they are lying. Not every “ex-gay” thinks pornography is immoral, the fact that none of those are willing to use a plethysmograph to prove their claims once again demonstrates that orientation is not a choice.

Many studies of “ex-gays” have been done and in virtually every case no one has changed orientation, once again this is proof that orientation is not chosen.

John said “I did check out Quo’s website only to find his recent post about his trip to a bathhouse where he lost track of his number of partners, due to the lack of light.”

Oh, WOW! I mean WOW!

This puts things in a whole new perspective! Talk about proof that gayness isn’t chosen! Quo, how can you not realize how incredibly foolish this makes you look?! You come here arguing up one side and down the other that gayness is a choice and then you document that you yourself can’t control your attractions, let alone your promiscuous behavior. This just totally destroys any trivial bit of credibility you might have had in claiming gayness is a choice. If you had refrained from all sexual/romantic contact with men and were in a sexual relationship with a woman you might have had some credibility, but in light of this you just look profoundly hypocritical and pathetic.

You’re catting around with so many men you can’t even keep track of them and then you want to come here, tell us orientation is chosen and scold other people for being in responsible gay relationships?! You are truly more messed up than I could have possibly imagined. Get your own house in order you hypocrite before you start ranting about how gayness should be eliminated and everyone should be heterosexual.

Ben in Oakland
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

I also find it interesting, quo, that you have chosen “bibliotherapy” as your conversion method of choice. Though you are clearly well read– though your choice of reading material is highly suspect– even you couldn’t be so foolish to believe that merely reading about change is going to produce any results. If that were the case, Exodus would have no point to its existence.

you don’t really want to change, or else you’d be seeing some so-called change therapist like Nicoloosi.

But you are not.

I can only conclude that you are well aware that if you saw a legitimate therapist, you would be forced to confront not your homosexuality, but your self-hatred.

Honey, you don’t WANT to change. you like it just the way it is, like so many of your kind. This way you get the best of both worlds. You get to have all the gay sex you want, feeding your homosexuality. Then you get to feel like an complete whore afterwards, feeding your self-hatred.

Then you get to go back to having even more gay sex to prove to yourself what a slime ball you are. It’s not even a special dynamic. I have a friend who does exactly the same thing with food. He feels bad, he eats, he gains weight, he hates himself even more, eats more, gains more wieght. Like you, he knows he does it.

I’ll make a suggestion to you. Read I’m OK, You’re OK. It would be a real start towards actually dealing with your issues, rather than enabling them.

And Priya, with all due respect, Quo is not a conscious hypocrite. If you ask him, I suspect he would tell you he’s not, he’s just struggling and a victim.

He is struggling and he is victim, but it is his self-hatred that he is struggling with and a victim of. But as he showed some time ago in his comments as to why gay people should not be in the military, projection is one of the ways that he deals with it.

And that is just really sad.

Priya Lynn
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Ben said “And Priya, with all due respect, Quo is not a conscious hypocrite.”.

LOL, Ben, I’m going to go with concious hypocrite.

Timothy Kincaid
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Jones and Yarhouse wrote that 15% of their study’s participants achieved “considerable resolution of homosexual orientation issues and substantial conversion to heterosexual attraction.” (p. 369)

That claim might be vulnerable to criticism on various grounds (just as any study or any claim can be criticized), but that was how they reported things.

Lest anyone be swayed by Quo’s selective reporting of the Jones and Yarhouse study, please refer back to our thorough review of the study here.

A short summary (more is at the link) would be:

After seven years, the Jones and Yarhouse study revealed little to no statistically measurable change in orientation in the prospective sample. The much touted “successes” were either in recollection (which again were quite small) or were those who had decided to no longer call themselves “gay”. However, they still identified their orientation as homosexual (”I’m not gay but my attractions are”).

In short, there were ZERO study participants that became heterosexual in the way that your neighbor would define heterosexual.

When one looks at the data – rather than the press releases – the Jones and Yarhouse study is very convincing evidence that reorientation therapy as practiced in Exodus does not work.

Quo
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Priya,

“Oh, WOW! I mean WOW!”

What a girlish comment. I didn’t say that sexual orientation is a choice, I said that there is no conclusive scientific proof that it is not a choice. Perhaps you can’t tell the difference between those two very different statements?

I’m not “scolding” anyone by saying that homosexuality should be eliminated. I think smoking should be eliminated too, but I’m not “scolding” smokers by saying that. Perhaps you’re taking things a little too personally?

As for hypocrisy, the fact that I have had sex with persons of the same sex as myself does not prevent me from saying that this is a form of behavior that the world would be better off without, anymore than being a smoker would stop me from saying that it would be better if people didn’t smoke.

Burr
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

The thing is you’re not even really being gay. You’re just being a whore. So why not just scold being a whore?

Ben in Oakland
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

” I said that there is no conclusive scientific proof that it is not a choice. ”

I’m not sure if you meant what you said with your double negative. i am pretty sure that you can’t prove a negative.

If it is not a choice, then you really have no argument. and why the world would be better off without homosexuality is equally unprovable andm akes no sense. You might be better off, but apart from yourself, who thinks you are the world?

If it is a choice, then as others have asked, why aren’t you choosing it?

ASnd of course, my question, which you haven’t answered yet, is why aren’t You CHOOSING therapy?

Emily K
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Quo is right about one thing, the world would be better without behavior like his. Fortunately, none of the gay men and women I know (including myself) engage in such behavior. And come to think of it, none of the straight ones do either.

Quo
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Emily K,

The behavior I was referring to was homosexuality in general, not specifically homosexual promiscuity.

I’m giving up commenting here for the forseeable future, as discussion here has become too tedious for words. My blog has been flushed.

Ben in Oakland
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

“I’m giving up commenting here for the forseeable future, as discussion here has become too tedious for words. ”

Yup. It’s really awful when nobody buys what you’re selling, and keep pointing out that you really need help.

Quo
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Ben in Oakland,

I may not be convincing very many people, but I continue to think that it serves some purpose my commenting here. I said I wouldn’t comment for the forseeable future; but “the forseeable future” in this case meant less than a few minutes. My blog has been restored minus the more personal posts – try reading it, you might find it interesting.

Jason D
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

“As for hypocrisy, the fact that I have had sex with persons of the same sex as myself does not prevent me from saying that this is a form of behavior that the world would be better off without, anymore than being a smoker would stop me from saying that it would be better if people didn’t smoke.”

Quo, your hypocrisy is like a smoker saying that they aren’t addicted to cigarettes while chain smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in ten minutes. You destroy your own credibility.

One would expect that if you so clearly saw homosexuality as a choice, or, that there was no evidence that it was NOT a choice, your own life would serve as an example of that. Instead, your life showcases the opposite, to an extreme.

John
November 16th, 2009 | LINK

Quo wrote:”My blog has been restored minus the more personal posts – try reading it, you might find it interesting.”

The more personal posts were the only interesting posts on your blog, because they actually allowed readers to understand where you were coming from.

The rest of the stuff about how nobody seems to properly understand how psychoanalysis leads to sexual reorientation is a waste of time. People don’t understand how psychoanalysis changes sexual orientation, because nobody’s sexual orientation has been demonstrably changed by psychoanalysis. All the rest is just quibbling over terms.

For what it is worth, those of us who have seen your unpurged blog have your number. Many of us are frequent commenters here. So purging the blog isn’t going to stop folks from pointing out the conflict between the reality you live with and these fictional beliefs you keep trying to pedal here.

William
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

“…I continue to think that it serves some purpose my commenting here.” – Quo

Whatever that purpose may be, it’s quite imperceptible to me. Could you please reveal it us?

Ben in Oakland
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

Quo, i know you may find this hard to believe, but i actually speak with compassion. I’m pretty sure I got exactly where you are coming from.

you are an obviously intelligent man. Erasing the words from your blog won’t change the facts of your life.

You actually remind me a bit of my parents. they always used to blame my being gay for the deterioration of our relationship. I eventually realized that that made an easy hook for them to hang their issue hats on. The real issue was our relationship and how they saw me, not my homosexuality.

As I have said repeatedly, your issue is not your very obvious sexuality. You issue is how much your father– yes, I do remember your comments about him– taught you to hate yourself.

Your failure to confront your self-hatred is a good indication of how well he did his job. Wouldn’t want to challenge what UberDaddy has to say lest he withold his love and prove you are unlovable, nor confront your self image.

As I’m OK You’re OK shows, we do that which is necessary to confirm our self image. It’s an all too human trait.

And in your case, a very sad one.

Priya Lynn
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

Quo said “What a girlish comment.”.

Yes, coming from a girl – what a surprise.

Quo said “I didn’t say that sexual orientation is a choice, I said that there is no conclusive scientific proof that it is not a choice.”.

If you’re not arguing that its a choice (and you were) that is a rather pointless statment. In light of your own experience in being utterly unable to choose heterosexuality its preposterous for you to pretend to deny that orientation is not a choice in your own case in particular.

Quo said “As for hypocrisy, the fact that I have had sex with persons of the same sex as myself does not prevent me from saying that this is a form of behavior that the world would be better off without, anymore than being a smoker would stop me from saying that it would be better if people didn’t smoke.”.

Bzzzt, wrong answer. Highly hypocritical in both cases.

Quo said “I said I wouldn’t comment for the forseeable future; but “the forseeable future” in this case meant less than a few minutes.”.

LOL, that’s SOO childish! Your integrity overflows.

Quo said ” My blog has been restored minus the more personal posts”.

Yes, I thought that was rather surprising that a fundamentally dishonest person would acknowledge their bad behavior thus making it clear they know they themselves can’t choose their orientation despite their repeated insistance that it is chosen. Attempting to hide the truth of your own situation is much more in keeping with the dishonesty you’ve repeatedly presented here. Unfortunately for you, you can’t unring the bell and everytime you disingenously claim orienation is chosen people will remember your uttter failure to choose the orientation you’d like to have.

Timothy Kincaid
November 17th, 2009 | LINK

Quo,

Should you happen to read this before you go, I do want to make an honest appeal. Please don’t view this as dismissive to you or an attempt to discredit you.

Please seek counseling. At this point, I’m not caring whether or not it is for reorientation, whether it’s religious or secular, or what issues you set out to resolve. Find someone skilled to talk to.

I’m sure you will agree that you have some unresolved issues that are negatively impacting your life. But I think that you perhaps are not recognizing the extent to which they are driving you and are overestimating your ability to deal with them alone.

I think it is extremely important that you begin a systematic program of discussion with someone who is trained or accustomed to identifying destructive behavior and helping deal with it. A counselor, even a pastor, will be able to give you some guidance that could be life saving. Literally. At least if they can’t help, they can direct you to someone who can.

Please don’t take this lightly. It is my sincere concern that with your current mindset, you could easily place yourself in life threatening situations.

Please, please seek help.

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