CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

A review of Alsorts.

Jan 9, 2003

In mid-2002 a pro-homosexual booklet was distributed to every secondary school in Victoria. The 72-page booklet, Alsorts, cost some $80,000 to produce and distribute. The book is jointly published by the Alternative Lifestyle Organisation (ALSO Foundation) and Deakin University. The book is partly financed by the Victorian Department of Human Services – School Focused Youth Service. Thus Victorian taxpayers are in part bankrolling this publication, even if most would have serious misgivings if they knew what the booklet actually says.

Indeed, the book might more accurately be called, All Sorts of Misinformation. The booklet is aimed at young people who are questioning their sexuality. More correctly, the aim of this resource is “to assist people in coming out of the closet as a lesbian, a bisexual person, or as a gay man”.

The CEO of VicHealth, Rob Moodie, wrote a glowing foreword to the book, saying Alsorts is “an excellent resource”. But is it? Will it in fact improve “the mental health and well being of all Victorians” as he claims? Given what a dangerous lifestyle homosexuality is, these are very bold words indeed. One might as well write a similar endorsement of a book extolling the virtues of cigarette smoking.

Let me just point out a few of the many examples of inaccurate information found in the booklet. The book begins by rehashing the one-out-of-ten people are gay myth. But perhaps the authors know that this claim has been discredited so many times, even by the Kinsey Institute itself, that they put it a bit differently: “One in ten people are not exclusively heterosexual”. This nebulous statement is as helpful as saying one out of ten people are not exclusively tuba players. Elsewhere it says, “Around one in ten young people feel sexual desire for people of their own sex”. Again, these figures have long ago been dismissed. Numerous international studies have consistently found that only one to two per cent of adults are homosexual.

Then the book repeats another myth: “basically, you are born with the ability to be attracted to the same sex”. There is of course no clear scientific evidence to suggest that there is a genetic basis to homosexuality, or that some people are born gay. No evidence for a “gay gene” has been substantiated anywhere, and many studies have found that genetics does not predetermine sexuality.

A few pages later it says, “No. it’s not a choice”. It isn’t? Then why do so many homosexuals themselves say that it is? Consider two examples. One Latrobe University homosexual activist said quite clearly, “Being gay is a choice”. Or as a Melbourne University gay said, “I think the idea that sexuality is genetic is crap”.

The book goes on to say that “there is no evidence that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation are successful” Oh yeah? What about the thousands of ex-gays who have gone on to heterosexual marriage and family life? Why are there hundreds of organisations around the world helping gays go straight? Why do even secular organisations like a Masters and Johnson Clinic report over 50 per cent success rates?

It then asks, “what is a ‘normal’ family?” Of course in their eyes, any and every relationship is considered to be a family. But this of course flies in the face of almost every culture throughout human history. Family has always been mum, dad and the kids, and extensions thereof.

The booklet says “there are no disadvantages to a child raised in a gay or lesbian household,” and speaks of “potential advantages”! This is once again overwhelmingly refuted by a growing body of sociological evidence which shows that children need a mother and a father. Any other parenting arrangement is far more inimical to the well-being of the child.

One of the gravest injustices in the book occurs when it asks the question, “Do I have a greater chance of getting AIDS because I am gay?” The answer: “No”. This is absolutely incorrect. These people should know better. According to the gay community’s own reports, around 85 per cent of HIV/AIDS cases in Australia are due to male homosexual activity. That is the consistent findings of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research in its regular Australian HIV Surveillance Update, for example.

It then says that HIV can be “transmitted through penetrative sex (vaginal and oral) when a condom is not used”. What is the clear implication of such a statement? That a condom will prevent the transmission of HIV? But condoms do not fully protect against HIV infection. Not only do condoms have very high failure rates, but naturally occurring flaws in condoms are 50 times larger than the HIV virus. Numerous studies have demonstrated that condom use does not eliminate the possibility of the transmission of HIV. The only truly effective means of not contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs is to be sexually abstinent before marriage, and remain faithful in marriage. But this option is nowhere mentioned in the booklet.

At one point the booklet does come close to the truth when it says that “same-sex attracted young people are more likely to abuse drugs, drop out of school, become homeless, contract STDs and attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers”. This is exactly right, but they spoil it by saying this is all due to “living in hostile environments”. The idea seems to be, if everyone embraces homosexuality, then all these problems will disappear. But these problems are just as pronounced in decided pro-gay environments as San Francisco and Sydney as elsewhere. Further, these problems are in fact due to the intrinsically unhealthy, unnatural and unhelpful lifestyle.

The book then goes on to throw out the usual charge of “homophobia” at anyone who disagrees with them, and even creates its own politically correct disease: “heterosexism – the bias towards heterosexuality”. Well there you have it. The way nature has designed the human race must be dismissed as “heterosexism”.

The booklet finishes with a section on religion. It says that “sacred scriptures” may account for a lot of homophobia, but these can be discounted because “these writings are not only thousands of years old, but also translated in a loose context due to the languages having changed or been long dead”. What exactly does that all mean? Jewish people today speak the same language that their Hebrew Bible is written in. And Greek New testament documents have been proven to be the most accurate and reliable of all ancient texts.

And does the fact that the command to not kill is “thousands of years old” mean that it is no longer true and should be dismissed as old fashioned and irrelevant? Prohibitions against rape and lying are also quite ancient. Since when does truth and falsehood, right and wrong, depend on the date in the calendar?

The list of just plain incorrect information could fill many more pages. The truth is, for a semi-governmental publication, this is one of the most distorted, unbalanced and biased pieces of writing I have ever come across. Absolutely no counter-evidence is mentioned anywhere in the book. Not one ex-gay is featured, not one successful homosexual counselling centre is listed, and no studies showing the clear benefit of sexual abstinence and the natural family is even hinted at.

Given all of this misinformation and clear lack of alternative viewpoints, it is perhaps for good reason that the front of the book has a lengthy disclaimer. It says, for example, that those involved in the book’s production “expressly disclaim liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person arising out of any errors or omissions in this publication or any reliance in part or in full upon the contents of this publication”.

But why? If this book is so helpful, so factual and so reliable, why make such disclaimers? It seems the authors know full well that they are delivering a lot of incomplete and inaccurate information, and if anyone challenges them on this, they will take no responsibility. But since this is partially a Government initiative, it seems that some responsibility and accountability should be accepted.

Indeed, how many people will contract a STD, come down with HIV/AIDS, or in any other way shorten their life spans as a result of following the advice in this booklet? The authors and publishers must be on to something here. Maybe people should start suing the government and academics who promote the homosexual lifestyle, while misinforming people about the very real risks and dangers associated with it.

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