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Point By Point: A Look At Paul Cameron’s Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do

Part 6: "Other Sex Practices"

The Footnotes Catch Dr. Cameron Red-Handed in a Last-Minute Switch

Jim Burroway

January 31, 2006

On the very rare chance that the reader hasn’t been thoroughly disgusted by “what homosexuals do” by now, Dr. Cameron goes on to throw in everything else he can think of for good measure:

…Sex with minors 25% of white gays17 admitted to sex with boys 16 or younger as adults. In a 9-state study,30 33% of the 181 male, and 22% of the 18 female teachers caught molesting students did so homosexually (though less than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexuality31). Depending on the study, the percent of gays reporting sex in public restrooms ranged from 14%16 to 41%13 to 66%,6 9%16, 60%13 and 67%5 reported sex in gay baths; 64%16 and 90%18 said that they used illegal drugs.

Fear of AIDS may have reduced the volume of gay sex partners, but the numbers are prodigious by any standard. Morin15 reported that 824 gays had lowered their sex-rate from 70 different partners/yr. in 1982 to 50/yr. by 1984. McKusick14 reported declines from 76/yr. to 47/yr. in 1985. In Spain32 the average was 42/yr. in 1989.

5. Corey Lawrence; Holmes, King K. “Sexual transmission of hepatitis A in homosexual men.” New England Journal of Medicine 302, no. 8 (February 21, 1980): 435-438.

6. Cameron Paul.; Proctor, Kay; Coburn, William, Jr.; Forde, Nels. “Sexual orientation and sexually transmitted disease” Nebraska Medical Journal 70, no. 8 (August 1985): 292-299.

Cameron, Paul; Cameron, Kirk; Proctor, Kay. “Effect of homosexuality upon public health and social order.” Psychological Reports 64, no. 3 (June 1989): 1167-1179.

13. Jay, Karla; Young, Allen. The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences and Lifestyles (New York: Summit, 1979).

14. McKusick, Leon; Horstman, William; Coates, Thomas J. “AIDS and sexual behaviors reported by gay men in San Francisco.” American Journal of Public Health 75, no. 5 (May 1985): 493-496.

15. Stewart, Sally Ann, “AIDS Aftermath: Fewer Sex Partners Among Gay Men” USA Today (November 21, 1984): D-1.

16. Gebhard, Paul H.; Johnson, Alan B. The Kinsey Data: Marginal Tabulations of the 1938-1963 Interviews Conducted by the Institute for Sex Research (New York: Saunders, 1979).

17. Bell Alan P.; Weinberg, Martin S. Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978).

18. Jaffee, Harold W.; Keewhan, Choi; Thomas, Pauline A.; Haverkos, Harry W.; Auerbach, David M.; “National case-control study of Kaposi's sarcoma and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in homosexual men: Part 1, Epidemiologic results” Annals Of Internal Medicine 99, no. 2 (August 1983): 145-151.

30. Rubin, S. “Sex education teachers who sexually abuse students.” 24th International Congress on Psychology, Sydney, Australia (August 1988).

31. Cameron, Paul; Cameron, Kirk. “Prevalence of homosexuality.” Psychology Reports (1993, in press).

Melbye, Mads; Biggar, Robert J. “Interactions between persons at risk for AIDS and the general population in Denmark” American Journal of Epidemiology 135, no. 6 (March 15, 1992): 593-601.

32. Rodriguez-Pichardo, A. et al. “Sexually transmitted diseases in homosexual males in Seville, Spain”, Geniourin Medicina, 1990 66;423-427. (sic. - ed.)

Footnote 32 was incorrectly cited. The citation should read (using his formatting style):

32. Rodriguez-Pichardo, A. et al. “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Homosexual Males in Seville, Spain“, Genitourinary Medicine, 1991 (67); pp. 335-338.

Surprisingly, given the breathlessness of the horrible things which Dr. Cameron alleges that homosexuals do, this is the first time in Medical Consequences that he mentions lesbians. He does this with allegations of female teachers molesting students. But the rest of the section refers to gay men only.

These two paragraphs throw in everything except the kitchen sink, and peppers the allegations with source citations some fourteen times. But it doesn’t matter how many footnotes are included, the result still doesn’t hold water. And when it comes to learning about the number of sexual partners in Spain, we catch Dr. Cameron red-handed in a careless last-minute switch.

The details of the Bell & Weinberg study were first discussed here.

“25% of white gays admitted to sex with boys 16 or younger” Bell & Weinberg (#17) specifically cautioned against using their results characterize gay men overall.

“33%… male and 22%... female teachers caught molesting students did so homosexually (though less than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexuality).” This claim is presented in two parts: the number of teachers who molest children, and the percentage of men and women who engage in homosexuality. By putting these two statistics together, Dr. Cameron makes the case that gay men and women are disproportionately more likely to molest children than their presence in the general population would suggest. For the sake of investigating this claim, let’s leave for now the number of men and women in the general population who engage in homosexuality and focus on the first part, that 33% of male and 22% of female teachers who molested children did so homosexually.

Rubin #30 was presented at a conference. I have been unable to obtain a copy of this presentation, and a search of the professional journal databases does not show a paper by this author in any journals. One has to wonder why Dr. Cameron relied on such an obscure reference to support this accusation.

But it doesn’t matter really. The figures that Dr. Cameron cite (and the unusually careful way in which he words them) are about the same as what most experts in the field acknowledge. Notice the way Dr. Cameron frames his statistic, that when these predators molested children, they “did so homosexually” — in other words, the predator and victim were of the same gender. This is the same precision of language that most child abuse experts use when they describe what they’re seeing. While there is very little data on women abusing girls, much of the data suggests that anywhere from 25% to 30% of all men who sexually abuse children abuse boys. But these experts are also are very careful to note something else that Dr. Cameron refuses to acknowledge: these predators aren’t gay.

Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Many anti-gay activists routinely claim that there is a direct link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. This charge has proven to be a very effective one over the past several decades. But social scientists have proven this link to be false over and over again. You can learn more about it in “Testing the Premise: Are Gays a Threat to Our Children?

Let’s repeat that, because the distinction is crucial. The most comprehensive studies suggest that adult men who molest boys are not necessarily homosexual. Research has shown that adults who develop a sexual attraction towards children typically do not experience a sexual attraction towards adults, and when they do it nearly always with members of the opposite sex.

And for many men who molest children, the act isn’t a sexual act. It’s an act of violence, often done to “punish” the child or the child’s mother, or to exact revenge or assert control. For many of these offenders, sex is an expression of power, and power is an expression of sex. The two concepts are inextricably linked and interchangeable in the minds of these predators.SSS In these cases, the gender of the victim is irrelevant. This makes the act of sexually molesting a child the same as rape — it becomes an act of power or violence rather than an erotic sexual act.

To determine whether there was a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleaguesTTT reviewed 352 medical records of sexually abused children (276 girls and 76 boys) who were treated at a child abuse clinic in Denver. According to the study, abuse was ruled out in 35 cases. In the remaining 269 cases, 74 were at the hands of other children or teenagers (seventeen years old or younger). Only two adult abusers were identified as being gay or lesbian in terms of their adult relationships. In 82% of the cases, the offender was a heterosexual partner of a close relative of the child. This study concludes that at most, 3.1% of the abuse cases reported to the Denver child abuse clinic were by homosexuals, a proportion that is approximately equal to the overall proportion of self-identified gays in the general population.

This was just one of many studies that sought to determine if there was a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. Dozens of studies over the past forty years bear overwhelming evidence that gay men and women are not likely to sexually abuse children. In a wide-ranging review of scientific literature, Dr. Nicholas Groth, a noted expert on sexual abuse, concludes:

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.”UUU

This is important: men who are living their lives as openly gay men are not likely to molest children. It is males who live their lives asexually or as heterosexuals among other adults who overwhelmingly molest both boys and girls.

The implications of these studies are serious. If the police in Denver had been on the lookout for gays molesting children, they would have failed to find almost all of the perpetrators of child sexual abuse. They would not be looking for a man who has a wife or a girlfriend — which describes nearly all of men who abuse boys. They might be able to catch a few who had no wives or girlfriends — or boyfriends for that matter — but these men would not necessarily be recognized as being gay. By clinging to the myth that gays are much more likely to molest children, we are actually putting our children at risk to being molested by the overwhelming majority of predators who are not gay.

“Less than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexuality” One of the most contentious arguments is that of the prevalence of homosexuality in the general population. Most anti-gay activists minimize the number of gay men and women in the general population, citing figures of around 1-3%. Pro-gay activists on the other hand, tend to promote Kinsey’s famous 10% figure, even though Kinsey’s studies have too many methodological problems to prevent them from being generalizable to the overall population.VVV Dr. Cameron uses two sources to support his contention that fewer than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexual activity.

The first one, Cameron & Cameron (#31), carries the citation of “in press,” which means that the article is being prepared for publication in the year indicated, but hasn’t been published yet. While this isn’t necessarily a problem in academic research, warning bells should go off any time a publication has been pending publication since 1993. It’s fair to ask: after more than a decade, why has this paper still not appeared in Psychological Reports? Because it hasn’t appeared in print, it’s impossible to evaluate its merits.

For his second supporting source, Dr. Cameron turns to Melbye & Biggar (#31). This study was an age-sampled 1989 survey using the Danish Central Population Registry, making it the only study cited in the entire pamphlet based on a randomized sample. Its conclusions are reasonable in the context of the limitations of the study.

Now before we proceed, let’s go back to what Dr. Cameron said: “Less than 3% of men and 2% of women engage in homosexuality” [emphasis mine]. This is different from simply saying that 2-3% of the general population is gay; he’s saying that only 2-3% engage in homosexual activity, regardless of how they may identify themselves.

Melbye & Biggar specifically asked didn’t ask about the sexual orientation of their respondents. Instead, they asked about “past-year behavior”, which appears consistent with Dr. Cameron’s statement of “engaging” in homosexuality. They found that overall, 2.7% of the men engaged in homosexual activity in the preceding 12 months, but that figure rose to 5.3% among men aged 40-44 years. Figure 2 of that survey also shows a rate of approximately 5% for those aged 25-29. But at least with this source, Dr. Cameron appears to have properly represented the findings, making this virtually the only statistic that Dr. Cameron presents in Medical Consequences appropriately and without distortions.

We should note however that the response rate in Melbye & Biggar was only 67.9%, which is about on par with most of the better sexuality surveys. But with almost a third of the subjects declining to participate, we cannot know how their refusal affected the results. Indeed, when the refusals are as much as ten times greater than the population they were trying to find, it’s likely that the refusal rate may have had a significant effect on determining the prevalence of homosexual activity. But even if everyone participated and answered truthfully, relying in past-year activity would not count those who simply were not sexually active in the past twelve months but may become active in the future. In other words, they don’t count those who simply weren’t doing anything when the survey was taken.

This study illustrates many of the difficulties in determining the prevalence of homosexual activity. Many respondents may not have answered truthfully about their past-year sexual practices. Those who haven’t gone through the “coming out” process, for example, often distort their degree of same-sex interests and activity as a defense mechanism.WWW Others may not trust the assurances of confidentiality on the part of the surveyor. If the participant fears negative consequences of admitting to homosexuality, he may either downplay or completely deny his homosexual activity.XXX

It’s impossible to guess — much less measure — how many closeted gay men and women engage in same-sex activity. Surveys vary quite widely on measuring same-sex activity, ranging from 2% to more than 6%, depending on the methodology used.YYY For these reasons, many researchers caution that their observed percentages reflect a minimum, and the actual percentage would be higher.ZZZ How much higher, no one can say.

The details of the Gebhard & Johnson study were first discussed here.

“percentage of gays reporting sex in public restrooms… 14%” We’ve already noted that Gebhard & Johnson (#16) relied on volunteers divided into delinquent and non-delinquent categories rather than a statistically random sample.

The details of Jay & Young were first discussed here. You can learn more about it in our review of The Gay Report.

“percentage of gays reporting sex in public restrooms… 41%” We’ve also already noted that Jay & Young (#13) suffered from an abysmally low response rate. We should also remember that nearly half of all responses were from readers of the gay “adult” Blueboy magazine. The authors clearly state, “we do not claim to have a scientific or representative sample of lesbians and gay men.”

The details of Paul Cameron’s survey were discussed here.

“percentage of gays reporting sex in public restrooms… 66%” Both of the Cameron, et al. (#6) studies relying on the flawed ISIS survey. Out of a miniscule sample of 41 gay men he interviewed for this question, he found 27 who admitted to having sex in public restrooms. He also managed to find 76 straight men and 40 straight women who admitted to doing the same thing. So at least according to Dr. Cameron’s data, if you encounter someone having sex in a public restroom, chances are 3-to-1 that he or she is straight.

“9%… reported sex in gay baths.” Again, Gebhard & Johnson (#16) relied heavily on data derived from a substantial delinquent population, and therefore is not representative.

“60%… reported sex in gay baths.” Jay & Young (#13) with its abysmally low response rate was not representative.

The details of the Corey & Holmes study were first discussed here.

“67% reported sex in gay baths.” Cory & Holmes (#5) contains no mention of gay bathhouses. One can only guess where Dr. Cameron got this statistic.

“64%… said that they used illegal drugs.” Dr. Cameron loves citing Gebhard & Johnson (#16), and he does it here for the third time in this paragraph alone. Of course, even on this third time, he continues to neglect to mention that this data derived from a substantial delinquent population.

The details of the Jaffe et al. study were first discussed here.

“90%… said that they used illegal drugs.” Jaffe, et al. (#18) consisted of two groups: a group patients suffering from AIDS-related illnesses and a control group, most of whom were also STD patients. Neither group was designed to approximate the general population.

“Gays had lowered their sex-rate from 70 different partners/yr. in 1982 to 50/yr. by 1984.” He cites USA Today (#15), which quotes Stephen Morin as he presented preliminary findings before the American Psychological Conference in 1984. The newspaper article is typically brief, and did not provide any details on how the study population was assembled.

Newspapers are by no means primary sources of information, particularly in the scientific community. Such brief articles are exceptionally poor sources for demographic and behavioral information. Fortunately, we will learn more about this statistic as we investigate very next claim.

The details of the McKusick et al. study were first discussed here.

“McKusick reported declines from 76/yr. to 47/yr. in 1985.” It turns out that the very same Stephen Morin of the USA Today article was one of the authors of McKusick, et al. (#14). This means that Dr. Cameron carelessly used the same source for two slightly different statistics. (Remember, the USA Today article described its statistics as “preliminary findings.”) McKusick et al. consisted of four subgroups, three of which were designed to be high-risk groups, and only one of the subgroups designed to be monogamous. The study was not designed to study the general gay male population.

“In Spain, the average was 42/yr. in 1989.” Dr. Cameron cites Rodriguez-Pichardo (32) from “Geniourin Medicina”, which is a misspelling of the British journal Genitourinary Medicine. But in volume 66, pages 423-427 of Genitourinary Medicine, where Dr. Cameron claims to have found this article, there is different different one which fits perfectly and neatly between these very pagesAAAA. It is an article by A. J. Hunt, et al., which correlates sexual practices of HIV-positive men in London and Wales. It doesn’t describe any data for Spain. (This same citation error also appears in his book The Gay Nineties, except there he spells the journal’s name correctly.BBBB)

It turns out that Hunt, et al., in their non-representative sample of gay men, noted an annual number of sexual partners that is much lower than Dr. Cameron’s claim. Perhaps Dr. Cameron started to use Hunt, et al., but found another study he liked better. Unfortunately, he forgot to update his footnote! Perhaps he thought that nobody would bother to check.

So what about Rodriguez-Pichardo, et al.? I finally tracked it down, and it should come as no surprise that all 309 gay men in the study were patients at an STD clinic in Seville.CCCC This study posed two questions to its participants: the number of sexual partners in the past month (answer: 3.5 on average) and the number of sexual partners in the past four months (answer: 11.8 on average). Guess which answer Dr. Cameron picked? After doing the math, the choice was simple: the first one, which gives him 42 partners per year. If he had chosen the second answer, he would have been left with a “measly” 35 partners per year.

But both of these numbers explain why he decided to dump Hunt, et al. in favor of Rodriguez-Pichardo, et al. — Hunt, et al. had a comparatively tame group of STD patients, with fewer than 15 partners per year on average (the median was 6). No wonder Dr. Cameron switched studies. But thanks to his sloppiness, we caught him red-handed.

Please continue with:

Part 7: “Medical Consequences of Homosexual Sex” Including the horrible dangers of kissing!


SSS. Kamphuis, Jan H., de Ruiter, Corine; Janssen, Bas; Spiering, Mark. “Preliminary evidence for an automatic link between sex and power among men who molest children.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 20, no 11 (November 2005): 1351-1365. [BACK]

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

UUU. Groth, A. Nicholas; Gary, Thomas S. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.” In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male Rape: A Casebook of Sexual Aggressions. (New York: AMS Press, 1982): 132-152. [BACK]

VVV. Pruitt, Matthew V. “Size matters: A comparison of anti- and pro-gay organization’ estimates of the size of the gay population.” Journal of Homosexuality 42, no. 3 (2002): 21-29. [BACK]

WWW. Gonsiorek, John C.; Rudolph, James R. “Homosexual identity: Coming out and other developmental efforts.” In John C. Gonsiorek & James D. Weinrich (eds.) Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy (Newbury Park: CA: Sage, 1991): 161-176. [BACK]

XXX. Gonsiorek, John C.; Weinrich, James D. “The definition and scope of sexual orientation.” In John C. Gonsiorek & James D. Weinrich (eds.) Homosexuality: Research Implications for Public Policy (Newbury Park: CA: Sage, 1991): 1-12. [BACK]

YYY. Smith, Tom W. American Sexual Behavior: Trends, Socio-Demographic Differences, and Risk Behavior (Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, April 2003) shows that in 2002, 3.3% of men and 2.6% of women participated in exclusively same-gender sexual activity in the preceding twelve months. The survey notes however, that these percentages fluctuate depending the length of time in which the same-gendered sexual activity occurs, (12 months vs. 5 years) and the age of the respondents. For example, 5.1% of all men aged 30-39 participated in same-gendered sexual activity in the past five years, and 3.7% of all women aged 30-39 participated in same-gendered sexual activity in the past five years. This survey also reviewed numerous other surveys between 1970 and 1997 which indicated percentages of adult Americans with same-gendered sexual partners or identifying with homosexual/bisexual orientation ranging from 1.6% to 6.5%, depending on the definitions and methodologies used. [BACK]

ZZZ. Gonsiorek, John C.; Sell, Randall L.; Weinrich, James D. “Definition and measurement of sexual orientation.” Suicide of Life-Threatening Behavior 20, Supplement (1995): 40-51. [BACK]

AAAA. Hunt, A.J.; Christofinis, G.; Coxon, A.P.M.; Davies, P.M.; McManus, T.J.; Sutherland, S.; Weatherburn, P. “Seroprevalence of HIV-1 infection in a cohort of homosexually active men.” Genitourinary Medicine 66 no. 6 (December 1990): 423-427. [BACK]

BBBB. Cameron, Paul. The Gay Nineties: What the Empirical Evidence Reveals About Homosexuality (Franklin, TN: Adroit Press, 1993): 234. See endnote 64. [BACK]

CCCC. Rodriguez-Pichardo, A.; Anzar, J.; Camacho, F.; Borobio, M.V.; Perea, E.J. “Sexually transmitted diseases in homosexual males in Seville, Spain”, Genitourinary Medicine, 67, no. 4 (August 1991): 335-338. [BACK]