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Point By Point

Refuting Benne & McDermott

An examination of Robert Benne and Gerald McDermott’s Christianity Today editorial, “Speaking Out: Why Gay Marriage Would Be Harmful”

Jim Burroway

February 29, 2004; revised April 17, 2006

NOTE: Christianity Today offers the following disclaimer: “Viewpoints published in ‘Speaking Out’ do not necessarily represent those of Christianity Today.

Drs. Robert Benne and Gerald McDermott of Roanoke College published an editorial entitled “Speaking Out: Why Gay Marriage Would Be Harmful” in Christianity Today.1 By distilling their arguments to three concise points — that “gay marriage would be 1) bad for marriage, 2) bad for children, and 3) bad for society” — Drs. Benne and McDermott make a fairly typical and familiar argument for restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. And since their reasoning is devoid of the more harsh polemics common of many of their contemporaries, it’s a little easier to get to the heart of their arguments. With that, let’s examine those arguments, one at a time:

1. “The first casualty of the acceptance of gay marriage would be the very definition of marriage itself.”

For thousands of years and in every Western society marriage has meant the life-long union of a man and a woman.  Such a statement about marriage is what philosophers call an analytic proposition. The concept of marriage necessarily includes the idea of a man and a woman committing themselves to each other. Any other arrangement contradicts the basic definition.”

Their statement that “marriage has meant a life-long union of a man and a woman”, in fact, is not actually an analytic proposition.2 Instead, it is more properly understood as “circular logic”3 — define the term, and then use that very definition to defend the concept of the term, which of course gets us nowhere. That’s because we can’t talk about defining marriage unless we talk about who is defining it. And what we’re talking about here is the legal definition of marriage. While philosophers are useful in many cases, they have all the legal force of Webster’s dictionary. And when it comes to the law, definitions of marriage have changed quite a lot and quite often over the years.

Before 1996, with the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), marriage was simply whatever the states said it was. All of the specifics of who could and could not marry were (and still are) left to the individual states. Even with DOMA, each state has considerable latitude in defining who can marry who. And so each state continues to do exactly that — defining marriage differently according to minimum age and closeness of relationship (for example, 24 states allow first cousins to marry,4 the rest do not).

But before the eighteenth century, states generally weren’t the ones who decided who was married to whom. That was handled by churches as a religious activity. But problems soon arose when laws were enacted outlining the obligations (and the often unequal rights and privileges) of husbands, wives and widows, making it necessary to determine who could legally claim to be married to whom. By the late 1700’s some states began the initial steps of registering marriages, and in doing so, determine who would be permitted to marry.5

But even then, registration was not a requirement in order for a marriage to be valid. “Common-law” marriages were often the norm, especially on the frontier where preachers and civil servants weren’t always available. Every genealogist today knows how difficult it is to find civil marriage records before the middle of the nineteenth century. Common-law marriages remained legal in most parts of the country right up through the early part of the twentieth century, and they’re still recognized in a quarter of the states even today.6

And of course, when states decided who was no longer married to whom through the regulation of divorce, this placed the whole definition and regulation of marriage — from the beginning until the end — firmly in the hands of the state. And surprisingly, the churches have pretty much gone along with it. By recognizing the state’s right to initiate and terminate marriages, the church has pretty much ceded the full authority of defining marriage over to the state. Today among the major religions, only the Roman Catholic Church continues to refuse to recognize the state’s right to initiate or terminate a marriage, although substantial number of Catholics themselves are perfectly happy to avail themselves of the civil marriage and divorce courts without the blessing of the Church.

As states continued to decide who could marry, several restrictions were introduced into the legal definition of marriage, the most disturbing of which were racial ones. These particular restrictions were often cited on religious and moral grounds, and they too varied from state to state. But over time, state legislatures again began to “redefine” marriage by dropping these racial restrictions.

But legislative action wasn’t always enough. These racial restrictions were still being enforced in sixteen states as late as 1967. It took a U.S. Supreme Court decision to finally invalidate these racial restrictions once and for all in Loving vs. Virginia.

Drs. Benne and McDermott assert that “scrambling the definition of marriage will be a shock to our fundamental understanding of human social relations and institutions.” Indeed, racially-mixed marriages was once very shocking to America’s “understanding of human social relations and institutions.” In 1972, some 60% of Americans opposed interracial marriages,7 a figure that is higher than the percentage of Americans who are now oppose same-sex marrage.8 Even today, there are still some holdouts in society who are uncomfortable with the idea of interracial marriage. But shock alone is not a good reason for prohibiting marriage for a class of people.

Drs. Benne and McDermott then bring up the charge of gay men’s promiscuity, saying:

One effect [of same-sex marriage] will be that sexual fidelity will be detached from commitment of marriage. The advocates of gay marriage themselves admit as much… Andrew Sullivan, the most eloquent proponent of gay marriage, wrote in his 1996 book, Virtually Normal, “There is more likely to be a greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.”

Drs. Benne and McDermott also quote Troy Perry of the Metropolitan Community Church in Dallas, who said, “Because we can’t marry, we have people with widely varying opinions as to what that (fidelity) means. Some would say that committed couples could have multiple sexual partners as long as there’s no deception.”

I’m not sure exactly who elected Andrew Sullivan or Troy Perry spokesmen for all same-sex marriage advocates. When you oppose something, you can always find someone on the other side to provide whatever strawman argument you wish to rebut. Sullivan and Perry are only two of thousands of advocates of same-sex marriage, and their two voices no more represent all, or even most, gay men and women than do some voices on the far right speak for all Christians. But Drs. Benne and McDermott insist that Messrs. Sullivan and Perry embody a supposedly monolithic gay consensus, offering this as scientific “proof”:

A recent study [broken link corrected – ed.] from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, suggests that [Troy Perry] is correct. Researchers found that even among stable homosexual partnerships, men have an average of eight partners per year outside of their “monogamous” relationship.

This is a serious charge, and Drs. Benne and McDermott certainly aren’t the first to make it. They helpfully provide two links which reference a study by Maria Xiridou and her colleagues in Amsterdam.9 But I would like to challenge Drs. Benne and McDermott with this question: did you actually read the study which is available online?

This is a very serious question because I’m sure these college professors would flunk any student who tried to submit a term paper citing a source the student didn’t actually read. But I’m equally convinced these two professors didn’t read this study, because if they had, they would have understood very quickly that these Dutch researchers were studying HIV patients and their non-monogamous partners.

Eight Partners Per Year?

Anti-gay activists often claim that gay men in steady relationships have an average of eight additional partners per year. But if these activists actually did a little bit of reading, they might be surprised by What The “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples.

You read that right. These researchers were using data from the Amsterdam Cohort Study, which not only excluded everyone over the age of thirty, but they specifically excluded all couples who were not monogamous!10 This is like claiming that promiscuous straight STD patients represent all straight men and women. It’s not only outrageous to use a study in which monogamous couples were rejected to claim gays aren’t monogamous, it’s dishonest — a “false witness” in the purest sense of the term.

But the idea of an “open” relationship isn’t new, nor is it by any means confined to same-sex couples. We know that anywhere from 25% to 60% of all heterosexual men had at least one extramarital affair sometime in their life, and some 50% of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce.11 And these statistics don’t include the more transient heterosexual relationships where no marriage takes place, and therefore no divorce statistics are available. Infidelity is by no means a homosexual problem, it is a societal one.

Unfortunately, I know of no reliable fidelity-inclination test that can be applied at the registrar’s office. If one exists, I’d be all for using it. But if the crux of Drs. Benne’s and McDermott’s argument is that one group is better-behaved than the other, perhaps they should come up with an argument that does not include a double standard.

Drs. Benne and McDermott then go on to quote a few more radical professors to show that same-sex marriage would be the first step towards legalizing polyamory. But it is a strange logical twist to point to radicals like these when so many gays and lesbians are drawn to marriage for the very non-radical notions of family, commitment, devotion and stability, not only to each other but to their children as well. I don’t know how many of these professors will be going about the very hard work of raising children, attending PTA meetings and Little League games as so many gay and lesbian parents have done.12

Besides, the argument that same-sex marriage is the first step on a slippery slope to polygamy has simply not been borne out by history, nor is it consistent with current reality. Not only was polygamy legal in Utah before it became a state, it is still legal in several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But we’ve seen scant evidence of the “slippery slope” leading to same-sex marriages in those countries. Nor did it happen in Utah. There simply is no basis for arguing that the reverse would automatically happen here.

2. “Gay marriage would be bad for children.”

According to a recent article in Child Trends, “Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.” … Research has also shown that children raised by homosexuals were more dissatisfied with their own gender, suffer a greater rate of molestation within the family, and have homosexual experiences more often.

Again, I have to wonder of Drs. Benne and McDermott really read the sources they cite. The Child Trends article they reference didn’t study families headed by gay or lesbian couples to compare them to straight biological parents.13 But later on (and after Drs. Benne’s and McDermott’s article appeared in Christianity Today), these same authors revisited the issue of healthy marriages, saying, “It should be noted that many of the elements of a health marriage are also appropriate to relationships other than marriage.”14 In other words, it wasn’t biology that determined effective parenting and healthy childhoods. They were simply saying that many of the elements of stable family life most commonly found in families headed by married parents was the key — the same elements of stability that that gays and lesbians seek to include in their families. The authors go on to say that these elements may be relevant to same-sex, although they note that the research is thin. But several other researchers who have compared children of same-sex parents to those of heterosexual parents have found little difference in their outcomes.15

Drs. Benne and McDermott however are eager to prove otherwise. They cite a 1996 article by Janet Fontaine and Nancy Hamilton, to claim that children raised by gays were more dissatisfied with their gender and are more likely to be molested. Unfortunately, these two authors say no such thing. Instead, the they simply discusses the need for better training for counselors in dealing with the problems that gay and lesbian adolescents face in a hostile society. And throughout their article, they are describing adolescents who are being raised by straight parents, not gays or lesbians as Drs. Benne and McDermott charge.16 You don’t have to take my word for it. Drs. Benne and McDermott even helpfully provide a link to the full text of the article so you can read it for yourself. Perhaps they would benefit from following their own link.

Drs. Benne and McDermott also cite a 1986 article by Drs. William Simon and John H. Gagnon published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.17 I went to a local university library and looked that article up, and at this point I have to wonder if Drs. Benne and McDermott have read any of the sources they cite for “factual” support. In this article, Drs. Simon and Gagnon are completely silent on whether children of same-sex couples are more likely to have homosexual experiences. They don’t touch on the subject anywhere. Dr. Gagnon was asked about this particular citation of his article, and he agrees agrees:

The citation is completely wrong as is the substance of the assertion.

The article cited has nothing to do with the topic of gay parenting and there is nothing in it that would support its being cited as “evidence” for the argument that is being made by Benne and McDermott. I have no idea why it would be cited in this context.18

But the most damning charge that opponents like Drs. Benne and McDermott make is that gays are more likely to molest children. If true, it would be a frightening and dangerous spectacle indeed. But Drs. Benne and McDermott do not offer any supporting research to support their claims. And perhaps the reason they don’t is because they can’t. Popular stereotypes notwithstanding, there are virtually no credible experts in the field of child sexual abuse willing to make that claim because there is no evidence to support it. A number of studies by the most respected professionals resolutely dispute this allegation.19 In fact, a few researchers have demonstrated that heterosexual men may be more inclined to molest underage girls than homosexual men are inclined to molest boys.20

Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse

Opponents frequently charge that gays are far more likely to sexually abuse children. To learn more about what professional researchers have to say on the subject, read Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter whether the data supports this outrageous charge against gay men and women or not. Linking homosexuality with child molestation has become the “blood libel” against the gay community, one that far too many opponents of same-sex marriage are eager to deploy with no qualms whatsoever.

But Drs. Benne and McDermott aren’t done yet:

Gay marriage will also encourage teens who are unsure of their sexuality to embrace a lifestyle that suffers high rates of suicide, depression, HIV, drug abuse, STDs, and other pathogens. This is particularly alarming because, according to a 1991 scientific survey among 12-year-old boys, more than 25 percent feel uncertain about their sexual orientations.

Again, Drs. Benne and McDermott failed to do their homework. That “1991 scientific survey” had this to say — with unmistakable clarity — under the subheading of “Subjects”:

Subjects were 137 males, between 14 and 21 years of age, who identified themselves as gay or bisexual.21

That’s right. It doesn’t get much clearer that that. There were no twelve-year-old boys in this study, and the statistic that Drs. Benne and McDermott provide is nowhere to be found. Nor are there any other statistics remotely similar to it. The authors do not discuss the uncertainty of sexual orientation for anybody regardless of age group. This is the now the fourth study that Drs. Benne and McDermott cite that they apparently didn’t bother to read.

Some research suggests that gays and lesbians actually do suffer somewhat higher rates of suicide, depression, and the other ills that Drs. Benne and McDermott claim, as do many other minority groups which suffer from widespread stigma, discrimination, bullying and hostility. And if Drs. Benne and McDermott had actually read the study that they linked to earlier,22 they might have learned that there is tremendous pressure — especially among the young — to “fit in” and live up to the expectations of their peers and their parents. This pressure can be impossibly stressful for gay and lesbian adolescents. Another more recent review of the literature on gay youth suicide noted:

What may even be worse than being hated by society because of one’s sexuality is being rejected, humiliated and victimized by one’s own family or peers. Gay adolescents have a much greater incidence of being thrown out of or opting to leave their homes. In a study involving 194 gay adolescents between the ages of 14 and 21, D’Augelli et al. reported that 26% of fathers, 10% of mothers and 15% of siblings rejected their gay children when they came out. Goldried reported that one out of every three were verbally abused by family members, one out of ten were physically assaulted by a family member, and one out of four had experienced physical abuse at school. The fear of experiencing such outcomes can be a tremendous stressor.23

In this climate, it’s no wonder some gay youth feel compelled to hide their “differentness.” This self-repression for some can end up expressing itself in many unhealthy ways. Do Drs. Benne and McDermott really believe that the best solution to this problem is to further stigmatize them and deny them a safe place in society?

Drs. Benne and McDermott end this point by saying, “finally, acceptance of gay marriage will strengthen the notion that marriage is primarily about adult yearnings for intimacy and is not essentially connected to raising children.” But given the number of gay couples who are actually doing the hard work of raising children, this cannot be entirely true.

Besides, it has never been the purpose of the state to determine why a couple wishes to be married, but whether. Elderly couples marry, so do infertile couples. Couples who, for various moral, medical, economic, or even trivial reasons, take steps to ensure that they will not have children are also permitted to marry.

Drs. Benne and McDermott close this section by saying, “Children will be hurt by those who will too easily bail out of a marriage because it is not ‘fulfilling’ to them.” I would have to agree with them wholeheartedly. When children are involved, the whole equation must change and for too many couples it doesn’t. But while this may be a good argument for prohibiting immature and selfish people from marrying (if such a prohibition could be enforced), it is not an argument for prohibiting gay people from marrying.

3. "Gay marriage would be bad for society."

The effects we have described above will have strong repercussions on a society that is already having trouble maintaining wholesome stability in marriage and family life.  If marriage and families are the foundation for a healthy society, introducing more uncertainty and instability in them will be bad for society.

I know of no surveys on this subject, but I would wager a good fortune that the reason so many gays and lesbians feel so passionate about marriage is that they too believe that marriage and families are the foundation for a healthy society. It’s what we all want, deep down. The men and women who lined up at City Hall in San Francisco and the local registrars offices in Massachusetts have been dreaming their entire lives of the day when they could join the mainstream, to live together as a family and to contribute towards the foundation for a healthy society.

It’s true what conservatives say: marriage strengthens the family, and it does that because marriage is a bond that is widely recognized as uniting the couple together as one. When you’re married, you’re no longer two individuals, you’re one, and married couples are naturally compelled to work harder to make it work. When you’re merely cohabiting, you don’t have to work as hard.

This is that very “uncertainty and instability” that Drs. Benne and McDermott would have us avoid.  On this point, they offer an excellent argument against cohabitation, but a poor argument against marriage because it is that very stability that gays and lesbians seek for themselves and their families. When leaving is as easy as renting a U-Haul, these couples know that there is always an element of uncertainty, no matter how strong their relationships may appear to be. But right now, cohabitation is the only option for gay men and women. Let them marry and they’ll take care of the uncertainty themselves.

Drs. Benne and McDermott instead propose the illogical argument that same-sex couples and their families should be barred from the very stabilizing influence of marriage. And with more anti-gay activists working to deny even the benefits of domestic partnerships to gays and lesbians, they are actively working to make the relationships of gays and lesbians even more stressful and more unstable. How is it that opponents can continue to decry the “instability” of same-sex relationships while working actively to destabilize them further?

And if Drs. Benne and McDermott are opposed to unstable relationships while being simultaneously opposed to same-sex marriage, what exactly do they propose instead to foster stable families for everyone?

Their last argument that same-sex marriage would be bad for society goes like this:

We believe that gay marriage can only be imposed by activist judges, not by the democratic will of the people. The vast majority of people define marriage as the life-long union of a man and a woman. They will strongly resist definition.

Many surveys certainly do show that varying margins of a majority (slim to wide, depending on how the polls were worded) oppose gay marriage. Some thirty years ago, nearly two-thirds of all Americans opposed interracial marriage. But times change, and so do attitudes. Those today who disapprove of racially-mixed marriages are in the distinct minority. But those numbers didn’t start to decline until the “activist judges” on the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws restricting such marriages when legislatures failed to act. If we had waited until legislatures got around to changing the laws in many of these states, justice for many interracial couples would have been delayed for at least another generation. This generation of gay men and women is no longer willing to wait.


1. Benne, Robert; McDermott, Gerald. “Speaking Out: Why Gay Marriage Would Be Harmful.” Christianity Today (February 16, 2004). Available online at [BACK]

2. “Analytic Proposition”. Available online at (September 17, 2005; accessed October 5, 2005). Analytic proposition is defined as “a proposition the negation of which is self-contradictory, or a proposition that is true in every conceivable world, or a proposition that is true by definition”. For example, “white cats are white”, “vegetarians don’t eat meat”. [BACK]

3. “Begging the Question” Available online at (September 22, 2005; accessed October 5, 2005). Circular reasoning is defined as when “the deduction contains a proposition that assumes the very thing the argument aims to prove; in essence, the proposition is used to prove itself” [BACK]

4. “Cousin marriages.” Available online at (Accessed October 6, 2005). States that allow genetic first cousins to marry include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia. [BACK]

5. Crossan, Mary. “Déjà vu: Couples in the U.S. used to marry early, often and informally.” Wall Street Journal (February 25, 2004). Available online to subscribers at,,SB107766165580138131,00.html. Also reprinted online at: [BACK]

6. “Common Law Marriage States.” Available online at (Accessed October 5, 2005). States which recognize some form of common law marriage include: Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only), Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. [BACK]

7. Lehmiller, Justin J.; Agnew, Christopher R. “Marginalized relationships: The impact of social disapproval on romantic relationship commitment.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32, no. 1 (January 2006): 40-51. Abstract available online at [BACK]

8. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. News release: “Less opposition to gay marriage, adoption, and military service.” (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, March 22, 2006): 2. Available online at (PDF: 95KB/31 pages). According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans opposed to same-sex marriage was 53% in July 2005, and 51% in March 2006 (margin of error: ±3%; 95% confidence level). [BACK]

9. Xiridou, Maria; Geskus, Ronald; de Wit, John; Coutinho, Roel; Kretzschmar, Mirjam. “The contribution of steady and casual partnerships in the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam.” AIDS 17, no. 7 (May 2, 2003): 1029-1038. Full text available online at [BACK]

10. A more detailed description of the Amsterdam Cohort Studies’ participants can be found in Dukers, Nicole H.T.M.; Goudsmit, Jaap; de Wit, John B.F.; Prins, Maria; Weverling, Gerrit-Jan; Coutinho, Roel A. “Sexual risk behaviour relates to the virological and immunological improvements during highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1 infection.” AIDS 15, no. 3 (February 16, 2001): 369-378. Full text available online at

Additional information can be found at the Amsterdam Cohort Studies’ web site at [BACK]

11. Hampton, Rick; Peterson, Karen S. “The state of our unions.” USA Today (February 26, 2004): A1. [BACK]

12. For example, see Kelly, Kevin. “Red proud to have 2 moms.” Cincinnati Enquirer (May 8, 2005). Available online at [BACK]

13. Moore, Kristen Anderson; Jekielek, Susan M.; Emig, Carol. “Marriage from a child’s perspective: How does family structure affect children, and what can we do about it?” Child Trends Research Brief (Washington, DC: Child Trends, June 2002). Available online at (PDF: 92KB/8 pages). [BACK]

14. Moore, Kristen Anderson; Jekielek, Susan M.; Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta; Guzman, Lina; Ryan, Suzanne; Redd, Zakia. “What is ‘healthy marriage’? Defining the concept.” Child Trends Research Brief (Washington, DC: Child Trends, September 2004). Available online at (PDF: 113KB/8 pages). [BACK]

15. Bos, H.M.W.; van Balen, F.; van den Boom, D.C. “Lesbian families and family functioning: An overview.” Patient Education and Counseling 50, no. 3 (December 2005): 263-275. Abstract available online at

Chan, Raymond W. “Psychosocial adjustment among children conceived via donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers.” Child Development 69, no. 2 (April 1998): 443-457. Abstract available online at

Gartrell, Nanette; Deck, Amalia; Rodas, Carla; Peyser, Heidi; Banks, Amy. “The National Lesbian Family Study: 4. Interviews with the 10-year-old children.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 75, no. 4 (October 2005): 518-524. Abstract available online at

Gold, Melanie A.; Perrin, Ellen C.; Futterman, Donna; Freidman, Stanford B. “Children of gay or lesbian parents.” Pediatrics In Review 15, no. 9 (September 1994): 354-358. Abstract available online at

Lambert, Serena. “Gay and lesbian families: What we know and where to go from here.” Family Journal 13, no. 1 (January, 2005): 43-51. Abstract available online at

Perrin, Ellen C.; Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family. “Technical Report: Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents.” Pediatrics 109, no. 2 (February 2002): 341-344. Full text available online at

Tasker, Fiona L. “Lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children: A review.” Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 26, no. 3 (June 2005): 244-240. Abstract available online at

Wainright, Jennifer L.; Russell, Stephen T.; Patterson, Charlotte J. “Psychological adjustment, school outcomes and romantic relationships of adolescents with same-sex parents.” Child Development 75, no. 6 (November 2004): 1886-1898. Free full text available online at [BACK]

16. Fontaine, Janet H.; Hammond, Nancy L. “Counseling issues with gay and lesbian adolescents.” Adolescence 31, no. 124 (Winter 1996): 817-830. Full text reprinted at [BACK]

17. Simon, William; Gagnon, John H. “Sexual scripts: Permanence and change.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 15, no. 2 (April 1986): 92-120. Abstract available online at [BACK]

18. Gagnon, John H. Personal E-mail message (February 12, 2006). Quotation from that E-mail message reprinted here with permission from Dr. Gagnon. [BACK]

19. Freund, Kurt; Watson, Robin J.; Rienzo, Douglas. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and the erotic age preference.” Journal of Sex Research 26, no. 1 (1989): 107-117.

Freund, Kurt; Heasman, Gerald; Racansky, I.G.; Glancy, Graham. “Pedophilia and heterosexuality vs. homosexuality.” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10, no. 3 (1984): 193-200. Abstract available online at

Groth, A. Nicholas; Hobson, William F.; Gary, Thomas S. “The child molester: clinical observations.” In Social Work and Child Sexual Abuse. Edited by Jon R. Conte and David A. Shore. New York: Haworth Press, 1982. pp. 129-144.

Groth, A. Nicholas; Birnbaum, H. Jean. “Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 7, no. 3 (1978): 175-181. Abstract available online at

Jenny, Carole; Roesler, Thomas A.; Poyer, Kimberly L. “Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals?” Pediatrics 94, no. 1 (1994): 41-44. Abstract available online at

Stevenson, Michael R. “Public policy, homosexuality, and the sexual coercion of children.” Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 12, no. 4 (2000): 1-19. Abstract available at [BACK]

20. Freund, Kurt; Heasman, Gerald; Racansky, I.G.; Glancy, Graham. “Pedophilia and heterosexuality vs. homosexuality.” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10, no. 3 (1984): 193-200. Abstract available online at “…the observed difference between the proportion of offenders against boys among offenders against children, and the proportion of androphiles [homosexual in adult orientation] among males who erotically prefer physically mature partners, is so large that it should not be overlooked. ...Androphiles actually responded significantly less to the male children”. [Emphasis added].

Groth, A. Nicholas; Gary, Thomas S. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.” In Male Rape: A Casebook of Sexual Aggressions, edited by A.M. Scacco. New York: AMS Press, 1982. pp. 132-152. “The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be a homosexual.”

Stevenson, Michael R. “Public policy, homosexuality, and the sexual coercion of children.” Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 12, no. 4 (2000): 1-19. “…a gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children.” “Cases of perpetration of sexual behavior with a pre-pubescent child by an adult lesbian are virtually nonexistent.” [BACK]

21. Remafedi, Gary; Farrow, James A.; Deisher, Robert W. “Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth.” Pediatrics 87, no. 6 (June 1991): 869-875. Abstract available online at [BACK]

22. Fontaine, Janet H.; Hammond, Nancy L. “Counseling issues with gay and lesbian adolescents.” Adolescence 31, no. 124 (Winter 1996): 817-830. Full text reprinted at [BACK]

23. Kitts, Robert Li. “Gay adolescents and suicide: Understanding the association.” Adolescence 40, no. 159 (Fall, 2005): 621-628. Abstract available online at

In the quoted passage, the author cites these studies:

Cochran, Bryan N.; Stewart Angela J.; Ginzler, Joshua A.; Cauce, Ana Mari. “Challenges faced by homeless sexual minorities: Comparison of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless adolescents with their heterosexual counterparts.” American Journal of Public Health 92, no. 5 (May 2002): 773-793. Abstract available online at

D’Augelli, Anthony R.; Hershberger, Scott L.; Pilkington, Neil W. “Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and their families: Disclosure of sexual orientation and its consequences.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 68, no. 3 (July 1998): 361-371. Abstract available online at

Goldfried, Marvin R. “Integrating gay, lesbian and bisexual issues into mainstream psychology.” American Psychologist 56, no. 11 (November 2001): 977-988. Abstract available online at

Hart, Trevor A.; Heimberg, Richard G. “Presenting problems among treatment-seeking gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.” Journal of Clinical Psychology 57, no 5 (May 2001): 615-627. Abstract available online at

Nelson, J. “Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: Providing esteem-enhancing care to a battered population.” Nurse Practitioner 22, no. 2 (February 1997): 94, 99, 103 passim. Abstract available online at

Safren, Steven A.; Heimberg, Ruchard G. “Depression, hopelessness, suicidality, and related factors in sexual minority and heterosexual adolescents.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 67, no. 6 (December 1999): 859-866. Abstract available online at [BACK]