Tag Archives: Gay Men

‘Sex and the City’ inspiration Candace Bushnell reaches age 60 childless and alone

Man and woman working on a computer upgrade
Man and woman working on a computer upgrade

Did you know that there is a real woman who inspired the feminist fairy tale TV show “Sex in the City”? She had an enormous influence on young women, who wanted the glamour, fun, and consequence-free sex with “high value” no-commitment men. Most women who adopted the values of the show probably thought that this path would eventually lead to marriage and children.

My friend Chris sent me this article from Fox News, which talks the woman who inspired the show’s storyline.

It says:

“Sex and the City” may have left a trailblazing legacy for women on television, but the book’s original author now thinks her independent lifestyle may not have been as rewarding.

Candace Bushnell, 60, who wrote the original 1997 novel which spawned the successful TV series for HBO, opened up to Sunday Times Magazine about her 2012 divorce, admitting it made her realize how not starting a family made her feel “truly alone.”

“When I was in my 30s and 40s, I didn’t think about it,” she recalled. “Then when I got divorced and I was in my 50s, I started to see the impact of not having children and of truly being alone. I do see that people with children have an anchor in a way that people who have no kids don’t.”

I do think that it’s important for young women to really consider where they want to be when they are 30, 40, 50, etc. A wise person should seek to pattern their decisions off of the decisions of people who have reached the goals that they themselves want to reach. Candace Bushnell clearly has failed to achieve her goals. And those who listen to her will, likewise, fail to achieve the goals of marriage and children.

Making decisions today to achieve goals tomorrow

It’s important not to put too much faith in TV shows. Or any fiction.

Whenever I see women reading books in the office, I always ask them: is that fiction or non-fiction? In 19 years of full-time work, I have never had a woman answer non-fiction. And they usually answer “romance”. Well, I supposed if you were a fictional character, then you might take the advice of fictional characters. But if you are a real person, then you should look at the way the world really works. You should read peer-reviewed research, and take the advice of real people who have come up from humble beginnings to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.

After all, if your goal was to retire at 50, wouldn’t it make sense to read books about investing, and take the advice of successful investors? It certainly would not make sense to imitate the characters in TV shows and movies made by Hollywood divorcers, adulterers, rapists and pedophiles. And yet so many women do the latter with marriage and children decision-making. They seem to derive some sort of unquestionable emotional delight from making important decisions based on appearances, intuitions, peer-approval, etc.

Why listen to celebrities, teachers, politicians, etc. who have infidelities, no children, failed marriages, etc.? Why make decisions by counting votes from your no-achievement peer group? If you want to reach a goal, then there is only one way to proceed, and that’s by consulting the evidence, and seeking guidance from those with demonstrated results.

For example, when I was choosing which state to live in, I made a spreadsheet and filled it with all sorts of rankings of the 50 states that I pulled out of research papers and reports. I looked at things like infrastructure, income tax, economic growth, business friendliness, cost of living, tax as a % of income, abortion laws, support for traditional marriage, single motherhood, gun laws, concealed carry laws, fiscal solvency, etc. I moved here, and I’ve become very wealthy as a result. And my state has actually moved upward in gun rights rankings, fiscal solvency rankings, tax rankings, etc. since I got here. We’re even trying to pass pro-life laws! When you make decisions using evidence and when you listen to good advice from people who have real achievements, you succeed.

Don’t make decisions about sex, marriage and children by “following your heart”. That’s the lesson.

Obama administration lifts 32-year-old ban on gay / bisexual men donating blood

Breitbart News reports.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration, more interested in pleasing its LGBT supporters than in protecting the health of the general public, is proposing “new rules” through the FDA that would terminate the 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

Hilariously, the FDA would still ban gay men from donating if they confess to having sex with a man within a year before donating blood.

The FDA did admit that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral.”

[…]The FDA decided that the MSM group (men who have sex with men) was much less of a risk than those in the commercial sex work (CSW) and injection drug use (IDU) groups, even though the agency reported, “In 2010, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 63% of newly diagnosed HIV infections among adults, and 78% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in men, indicating that male-to-male sexual contact remains associated with high risk of HIV exposure.” Further, the FDA allowed that “the available epidemiologic data in the published literature do not support the concept that MSM who report mutual monogamy with a partner or who report routine use of safe sex practices are at low risk for HIV.”

So why make the change? The FDA admits, “Although not making a change would maintain the current level of safety of the blood supply, as noted above… there is evidence that the deferral policy is becoming less effective over time. In addition, the policy is perceived by some as discriminatory.

Previously, I blogged about the HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM).

It said:

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HIV infection in the United States reveal some disturbing trends concerning gay males or, in CDC terminology, “men who have sex with men” (MSM). In recent data the CDC estimated that 61 percent of the 48,079 HIV infections diagnosed in 2010 occurred through male to male sexual contact.(1) According to the CDC data, sexual contact and injection drug use are the predominant means by which HIV is transmitted.

The CDC data on HIV diagnoses came from forty-six states and five U.S. dependent areas. Some 29,194 new HIV diagnoses in 2010 were linked to male homosexual contact where no injection drug use took place. There were approximately 4550 HIV male diagnoses linked to heterosexual contact. Injection drug use was involved in 5481 cases. Women contracting the HIV virus through heterosexual contact accounted for approximately 8,800 cases. Another 47 HIV cases came from sources other than the four listed. Included in the other 47 cases were blood transfusions and prenatal exposure.(2) When CDC statistics are analyzed using the estimate of the MSM population at 4 percent of the American male population and assuming the other 96 percent who do not have sex with men are heterosexual, the risk of HIV infection from sexual contact for MSM was approximately 150 times greater than the heterosexual male population in 2010.(3)

Did Obama make a good decision by lifting the ban?

New CDC study: 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive have unprotected sex with men

CNS News reports on the latest numbers from the Center for Disease Control, which is a department within the U.S. Federal government.

Excerpt:

Sixty-two percent of American men who know they are HIV positive continue to have unprotected anal sex, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

This data, which was published Friday, came from the federal government’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

The percentage of self-aware HIV-positive men who engage in unprotected anal sex has been increasing, according to the CDC. In 2005, 55 percent did so. In 2008, 57 percent did so. And, in 2011, 62 percent did so.

“Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk,” said the CDC report. “Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently. Some MSM attempt to decrease their HIV risk by engaging in unprotected sex only with partners perceived to have the same HIV status as their own. However, this practice is risky, especially for HIV-negative MSM, because MSM with HIV might not know or disclose that they are infected and men’s assumptions about the HIV status of their partners can be wrong.”

Now this is going to be contained if men who have sex with men are relatively monogamous, but are they?

The Family Research Council has published a paper that links to mainstream secular sources that notes that gay men tend to have a far more loose notion of monogamy than men in heterosexual relationships.

Look:

Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing:

Married couples

  • A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.[9]
  • A 1997 national survey appearing in The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.[10]

[…]Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

  • The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]
  • Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]
  • In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of “committed” or “monogamous” typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.

  • A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous.” According to study author Barry Adam, “Gay culture allows men to explore different…forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals.”[16]
  • The Handbook of Family Diversity reported a study in which “many self-described ‘monogamous’ couples reported an average of three to five partners in the past year. Blasband and Peplau (1985) observed a similar pattern.”[17]

[…]In their Journal of Sex Research study of the sexual practices of older homosexual men, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that only 2.7 percent of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.[19]

Now, all the footnotes in that quotation above go to mainstream sources, so it’s no use complaining about the Family Research Council cataloguing them – they didn’t publish those research papers, they’re just citing them to make a point that everyone researching in the field already knows.

Take a closer look:

9. Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170.

10. E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 ): 216.

12. Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 (2003): 1031.

13. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).

14. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.

16. Ryan Lee, “Gay Couples Likely to Try Non-monogamy, Study Shows,” Washington Blade (August 22, 2003): 18.

17. David H. Demo, et al., editors, Handbook of Family Diversity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000): 73.

It’s mostly peer-reviewed journals and academic presses. I’m counting the Washington Blade as a reputable source, even though it is only a newspaper, because it is one the nation’s leading gay newspapers, and maybe the leading gay newspaper.

So let’s get back to the study – 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive have unprotected sex with men. Now, imagine you have a gay son or a gay male friend. Given this data from the Center for Disease Control, do you think that it’s reasonable for you to encourage them in this lifestyle? Or rather, should you prefer to disagree with them, for their own good? And it’s not just for their good. The closer we move to socialized medicine, the more the costs of behaviors that are likely to make people sick are going to be shared among people who don’t even engage in those behaviors. We shouldn’t be celebrating anything that hurts people or impoverishes people. We should disagree, but in a respectful, winsome way. Not with the intent to harm, but with the intent to inform and educate.

Studies show HIV infection rates still rising among gay men (MSM)

From left-leaning Time magazine.

Excerpt:

As the world’s leading AIDS researchers gather for the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., scientists report that despite gains in controlling the spread of HIV, the disease has continued to spread at an alarming rate in the very population in which it first appeared — gay men.

In a series of papers in the Lancet dedicated to the dynamics of HIV among gay men — a group epidemiologists define as men who have sex with men (MSM) — scientists say that the continued burden of AIDS in this group is due to a combination of lifestyle and biological factors that put these men at higher risk. Rates are rising in all countries around the world.

In one study, led by Chris Beyrer, of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, researchers analyzed surveillance reports and studies of HIV among MSM, including data that were part of routine United Nations reporting from member nations. Rates of HIV among gay men ranged from 3% in the Middle East to 25% in the Caribbean. In all reporting nations, rates were on the rise, even in developed nations like the U.S., Australia and the U.K. where HIV is declining overall.

In fact, says Beyrer, income does not seem to matter when it comes to HIV trends among MSM. In the U.S., for example, infection rates among gay men have been increasing by 8% each year since 2001, contributing to a 15% prevalence rate and putting the U.S. on par with countries like Thailand, Malaysia and some African and Caribbean nations where neither awareness of HIV/AIDS nor drug treatments are as widespread. HIV prevalence rates among MSM in Brazil, Canada, Italy and India range between 11% and 15%, while many western European countries have lower rates of around 6%.

[…]HIV has always been more common among gay men, but Beyrer and his colleagues say the traditional risk factors may not entirely explain the surge in many cases. Traditionally, HIV experts have pointed to high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex, having multiple partners, injection drug use and drug use in general for making gay men more vulnerable to infection. But there may be biological reasons for the enhanced risk as well. For example, there is an 18 times greater risk of HIV transmission through anal sex than through vaginal sex, which may explain why the virus continues to thrive in gay men, despite the fact that they still receive the bulk of HIV awareness and treatment public-health messages.

I took a look at one of the research papers mentioned on PLOS Medicine and it looks pretty solid. That’s peer-reviewed literature, and Johns Hopkins is a good school for medicine. My impression of this research is that we should not be encouraging anyone to get into this lifestyle. We should not be subsidizing it. We should not be celebrating it. It’s not good for the gay men themselves that we continue to push this lifestyle onto them as normal. We wouldn’t push cigarette smoking onto people, whether there are biological factors that predispose them to it or not. I would not want to be responsible for encouraging anyone to prefer harmful behaviors. The article makes it clear that the problem isn’t “acceptance of gays” or reducing “bullying”. The problem is the promiscuity of the lifestyle itself, as well as the mechanics of anal sex. This problem cannot be solved by persuading everyone that the gay lifestyle is normal and praiseworthy. It’s a problem rooted in reality, not in people’s opinions. And we are all paying for this HIV research and HIV treatment at a time when we as a society cannot afford to be voluntarily incurring the costs of one group’s risky choices.

New study finds that gay men are twice as likely to report having cancer

From the Sydney Morning Herald.

Excerpt:

A large study in California released Monday found that cancer may be nearly twice as prevalent among gay men as among straight men.

The study relied on self-reported data from the California Health Interview survey, the largest state survey of its kind in the United States, and included more than 120,000 people over three years: 2001, 2003 and 2005.

A total of 3,690 men reported a cancer diagnosis as adults. Gay men were 1.9 times as likely as straight men to have been diagnosed with cancer, said the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer.

There was no such difference witnessed among lesbian and straight women, but gay and bisexual females were twice as likely to say they were in fair or poor health after a cancer diagnosis compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

[…]The survey did not address how cancer survival rates may differ among those of varying sexual orientation, and may not reflect a true difference in the actual cancer rate because it relied on data from survivors only.

But researchers believe that higher anal cancer rates, caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses, as well as complications from human immunodeficiency virus, may be at least partly to blame.

“The greater cancer prevalence among gay men may be caused by a higher rate of anal cancer, as suggested by earlier studies that point to an excess risk of anal cancer,” said the study.

Researchers “did not have data available on the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which is higher among gay men, and may have contributed to the significant association of cancer prevalence and sexual orientation.”

HIV and AIDS have been linked to a series of cancers including Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as anal, lung, testicular cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma.

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