[Vision2020] Crazy Train, or Crazy Engineer?
melynda at moscow.com
Wed Apr 26 23:04:37 PDT 2006
Michael asked Keely (some time ago, but working and raising a family
cuts into my email time):
"Are you meaning to say that current homosexual activity is very similar
to heterosexual activity
in terms of multiple partners, long term loving relationships, fidelity,
modesty, etc? I've heard
things that would suggest otherwise, but I really don't know."
Well, which heterosexuals? Which homosexuals? Which activities?
High-quality, reliable research is very hard to find about *anybody's*
sexual life. Self-reporting is not always reliable, but it's not easy
to get data any other way about people's sexual behavior. Interviewees
are very sensitive to the perceived attitudes of interviewers, and will
change their stories to suit the context--and even when they're trying
to be honest it's very difficult to discuss actual sexual behavior
accurately. It's really hard to get funding for research on sexual
behavior, which limits the number of people doing it. And political
agendas of all kinds get in the way of good research design.
I think any analysis which attempts to compare gay and straight
relationships must apply standards uniformly. For example, the young
woman who experienced great pain from her gay father's sexual behavior
during her childhood can be an argument against gay parents only if the
existence of another young woman who experienced great pain from her
straight father's sexual behavior during *her* childhood is an argument
against straight parents. Also, no fair taking a convenience sample of
22-year-old guys in a gay bar in downtown Miami, asking them how much
sex they're having, and then generalizing those swaggering numbers to
middle-aged lesbians in Omaha, unless you're going to do the same thing
for straight people.
Until I can see good solid data which demonstrates that there is
substantive difference in gay and straight relationships, I'll have to
work with the anecdotal evidence I've gathered over the years, which
suggests that people, gay and straight, have an extraordinary range of
amorous and conjugal behaviors, that there's nothing straight people do
that gay people don't, and vice versa, and that you'd be amazed what
folks get up to.
Which is a terrible basis for depriving me of the right to marry.
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