Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Glenn Stanton via Witherspoon Institute's Pseudo-Intellectual Blog Yields a Predictable Result

Sexual Orientation
Glenn T. Stanton asks: “Why Are So Many Lesbians Getting Pregnant?” The outlet for Stanton's disingenuous query is an ultra-conservative Catholic organization's blog which exists for the defense of the faith. Stanton's is a rhetorical question assuming a condition that does not really exist. Stanton isn't interested in an answer to the question that he poses. The subheading reads:
One’s sexual orientation is supposed to be locked in and unchangeable, like sex, race, or ethnicity. But high pregnancy rates among lesbians confound that narrative.
The above is the deliberate confusion of fluidity with change. The link is to Wikipedia and it does not say what Stanton suggests it says. The “narrative” neither exists nor is “confounded.” The purpose of this insipid 1,200 word essay can be easily summarized as to suggest:
  • Lesbians get pregnant.
  • Therefore (immaculate conception being unlikely) they have decided not to be lesbians.
  • Therefore, sexual orientation is a choice.
  • Therefore, gay people do not deserve legal protections.
Indeed, the conclusion to Stanton's polemic reads:
This has important policy implications for today. When we establish certain rights and accessibilities based on one’s sexual orientation and identity—and thus the punishment and severe public shaming of those who violate them—we are operating on ground that is more subjective than many would like us to believe.
Oh those pure persecuted Christians. About all of those lesbians getting pregnant — just one example of Stanton's gross intellectual dishonesty:
Only one study to date has examined the pregnancy rates of adult sexual-minority women who are eighteen to forty-four years old. Published late last year, it reveals the same thing: unintended pregnancies are higher among sexual-minority women than their heterosexual peers. Their proportion for ending pregnancies by abortion is double that of heterosexual women.
Stanton's first sentence is misleading. The study was limited to unintended pregnancy rates. The reference to unintended pregnancies in the second sentence suggests that this was just one of several data points due to the misleading first sentence. That, too, is incorrect.
The aim of this study was to explore whether adult SMW [sexual minority women] were more likely to have unintended pregnancies compared with heterosexual women, to examine the role of identity-attraction congruence in unintended pregnancy risk, and to evaluate possible mediators.
Stanton mischaracterizes the conclusion. According to the study:
We found that adult SMW [sexual minority women] experienced disparities in unintended pregnancy risk, and these increased risks were concentrated, specifically, among women who identified as heterosexual but had some same-sex attraction.
Stanton goes on to write:
Clearly these pregnancies cannot all be assigned to bisexuals. Still, it is curious that those who go both ways still have higher pregnancy rates than heterosexuals. The numbers among those who identify as gay and lesbian remain unbelievably high. Could it be possible that being lesbian or gay is not quite as absolute or fixed as gender theorists want us to believe? One’s sexual orientation is supposed to be locked in and unchangeable, like sex, race, or ethnicity. But this pregnancy phenomenon confounds that narrative.
That should read: Clearly these unintended pregnancies … And: … those who go both ways still have higher unintended  pregnancy rates. Stanton keeps trying to morph unintended pregnancies into simply pregnancies. They are very different conditions.

I have no idea why Stanton is referencing gender which has nothing to do with sexual orientation. About all that Stanton has accomplished is to verify what we all know: Bisexual people exist. The fact that they have more unintended pregnancies seems quite logical. None of this ties into the mutability of sexual orientation as Stanton suggests.

Sexual orientation is a continuum with homosexual and heterosexual at the extreme ends. Some people experience some fluidity in their sexual orientation (I happen to be one of those). I like to think of it as outdoor temperature. It varies over time but (given that nuclear devices are rather messy) there isn't much we can do to change it.

The fact that I sometimes experience attractions to women does not alter the fact that I am a gay man. I should have a reasonable expectation of Equal Protection and Due Process. As a gay man I also have a reasonable expectation that I should not face discrimination due to my sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations. The same would be true if I substitute the word bisexual for gay.

If I happen to be married to a man (or intend to me married to a man) I expect the same courtesies from civil servants that they would extend to an opposite-sex couple. I also expect that, as a couple, we will not be discriminated against.

The fact that some lesbians have unintended pregnancies or, more accurately perhaps, the fact that some heterosexual women who have some attractions to women experience unintended pregnancies has absolutely nothing to do with nondiscrimination protections. Nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with Stanton's (apparent) claim that sexual orientation is a choice.

To put it more succinctly, Glenn Stanton's pretentious little treatise is bullshit.

Glenn T. Stanton is Director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family.

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