HIV: Still Not Just a “Gay Thing”


What does it take to kill a
right wing myth?  Garlic, sunshine, wooden stakes, silver bullets? 
The truth seems insufficient most of the time.  Right wing myths
pop up and persist for years, impervious to social change, thorough
debunking, or scientific evidence.  Sometimes it seems that best
the reality-based community can do is beat unscientific right wing myths
out of the mainstream media, but often all that does is drive the myths
into the shadow world of rumor mills, email forwards, and anonymous
fliers passed around at church or stuck on car windshields.  I
often think that a myth has died, only to see it emerge in the right
wing media, indicating that the myth has flourished in channels that
protect it from criticism and contrary evidence. 

The myth that AIDS is strictly
a gay disease, and that heterosexuals (especially heterosexual men)
don’t transmit HIV seemed to have lost much of its power.  The myth really began to die in 1991, when Magic Johnson
came out about his HIV status.  This announcement was a game-changer,
and it forced straight people to deal with the fact that they were not
as safe as they thought.  It’s sad that it had to happen that
way, but that’s human nature–if we  have a narrative and a
face to put on a story, it seems more real to us than statistics ever
could.  People my age, no matter how hetero they felt, saw HIV
as a reality that had to be grappled with in their own lives. 
HIV testing and condom usage did not seem to be gay things to us, but
part of the life of anyone, straight or gay, who was sexually active.   

The
CDC recently released a report that shows

that heterosexual transmission of U.S. HIV rates only second to male-to-male
sexual transmission, and even though the gap between the two is widening
up, straight people having straight sex constitute 31% of new transmissions. 
The perception that straight people had in the 90s–that we do run
a risk and should protect ourselves–still reflects a reality. 
But the myth that HIV is strictly "a gay thing" has re-emerged from the
shadowy world of rumor and email forwarding and is poking its head out
in the right wing media.   

In short order, I saw two right
wing pundits pushing the idea that HIV is "a gay thing", and using this
to justify appalling homophobia.  I suspect the recent kerfuffle
over the passage of Proposition 8 in California caused this, as it seems to have stripped
away the squawking about "preserving traditional marriage" and exposed
the raw bigotry behind the amendment.  Left to defend plain old
bigotry, right wing pundits are reaching for hoary old myths, including
those centering around HIV.   

Media
Matters caught Jim Quinn

of The War Room with Quinn & Rose whipping up a panic over
gay men and HIV in direct response to the Prop 8 protests. 

    On the November 6 broadcast
    of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Jim Quinn said: "The
    only thing that — the only thing that gay marriage produce — well,
    gay marriage doesn’t produce anything that the state has an interest
    in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn’t have — or should
    have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their —
    for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." 

I
hinted at this on my podcast,

but it’s worth noting that while Quinn probably doesn’t seem to
realize it, he appears to be rejecting the germ theory of disease, which
does seem to be a natural next step if you already reject, say, evolutionary
theory.   

But this incident doesn’t
seem like it’s going to be a solitary one, since Dennis Prager, who
has a knack for taking right wing ideas and mainstreaming them, grabbed the baton
and ran with it,

and not to mix metaphors, but he also dressed it up with some conspiracy
theory-esque rhetoric.  

    Even the natural sciences
    are increasingly subject to being rendered a means to a "progressive"
    end. There was the pseudo-threat of heterosexual AIDS in America —
    science manipulated in order to de-stigmatize AIDS as primarily a gay
    man’s disease and to increase funding for AIDS research. 

Unpacking that statement for
its multiple layers of homophobia is a dark past time, but I’m willing,
if not happy, to oblige.  The most obvious is that Prager seems
nonchalant about the possibility of just letting a deadly disease run
rampant through the gay community without doing anything to stop it
and save lives.  But there’s also the self-congratulatory note
about it, as if being born straight instead of gay is some great moral
advantage that protects you from this particular disease.  And
of course, the paranoid belief that there’s some great gay liberal
conspiracy to "trick" people into seeing what should be obvious
to non-bigots, that gay people are people, too.   

Jesse
Taylor traces the myth that AIDS doesn’t affect straight people
to a Regenery-published bit of right
wing paranoia written by Michael Fumento.  That this nonsense was
professionally bound doesn’t make it any smarter than a ranting email
forward, but the unreality of it doesn’t mean that members of the
reality-based community should dismiss the impact of these myths. 
The belief that heterosexuality builds an impenetrable wall of safety
is an appealing one to many straight people, as it justifies both homophobia
and their own risk-taking behavior.  It’s been 17 years since
Magic Johnson tore through many stereotypes, but the battle rages on.

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  • invalid-0

    Why not explicity state that homosexuals do in fact make up the large majority of HIV/AIDS cases; at least 70% of HIV/AIDS cases are among homosexuals? The fact is it is a predominantly homosexual disease even according to statistics. No need for an agenda to objectively state the facts. Most on the right don’t deny that it has been spread to heterosexuals as well, but what is rejected is the misleading info. put out by homosexual lobbyists that try to make it sound like it is just as big of a problem for heterosexuals (mostly spread from those who engage in promiscuous sexual behaviour, including homosexual experimentation) when it is not even close. Just be honest. Some have an agenda to make it seem as though homosexual intercourse in the rectum, which is meant for defecating, is normal and doesn’t carry any high risk for disease when in fact it is not healthy and leads to all kinds of health problems including high risk for HIV/AIDS. Denying it doesn’t make it not true. It’s not healthy and affects us all who have to deal with the consequences of disease spreading among the population and costing tax payers big money for health care.

  • amanda-marcotte

    If you click the link to the CDC report I put in the article, you’d see that the 70% number is off—way off.  53% of new cases are male to male transmission, not 70%.  Just a little over half, not 2/3.  I’m not hiding or distorting anything.  It’s disgusting to call this the "gay disease" for two reasons: 1) That’s just untrue and 2) It implies that gay men are not worth saving.  It’s disgusting on mulitple levels.

  • therealistmom

    … that straight people never engage in anal intercourse? Just curious. Or is it ok and magically carries less disease risk when straight people do it, because its not "the gay"? Sorry, your whole post reeks of anti-gay sentiment. If we want to get technical, shouldn’t oral sex also be high-risk because the mouth was "meant for ingesting food and drink" using your logic? But of course, oral sex in general doesn’t carry the "OMGZ it’s gay men in the butt!!111!" ickiness factor that so many homophobes like to convey as part of their argument. Does anyone deny that anal sex is a more risky behavior for HIV transmission? Of course not, there is a risk of tissue tears etc that make it easier for the virus to pass. The thing is, it’s not "being gay" that happened to initially make that population transmit the virus within itself, it is the fact that the first carriers to the US "happened to be" homosexual. The virus doesn’t "appear" on gay people. Educating EVERYONE on how to minimize risk of exposure is the answer, not some asshatted moralizing that somehow gay men deserve it cause they "have buttsex".

  • invalid-0

    You’re right, Aids isn’t a “gay” disease. Pathogens of all stripes know no race, color, or creed. But let’s at least be honest. The times cover, for example, that showed a white woman as “the new face of aids” was blatant hysteria, when even today white women make up less than 10% of the new Aids cases. Is it homophobic to note that the average lesbian only has 10 partners while the average gay man has 500. Is it anti male to note that men of all sexual preferences make up 75% of new aids cases? The problem is patterns of behavior, and currently, there are more Gay men and African Americans engaging in risky sexual practices. How can you effectively combat anything, if you can’t identify the source of the problem? Why does the left call everyone they disagree with racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, xenophobe, etc… Is it possible for a leftist to debate without calling names?

    By the way. I got to this article off of Pragers website, so I’m sure he would have you on if you can muster the courage to debate him.

  • amanda-marcotte

    To point out that straight people not only have anal sex, but some gay men don’t.  Homophobes are so single-mindedly obsessed with anal sex they fail to understand the issue on two counts: 1) Many straight people do it and 2) Many gay men don’t.

  • therealistmom

    Where did this number of 500 partners per gay man come from as an "average" number? I mean a site from a legitimate source, such as the CDC or another health or advocacy organization, not a right-wing hate group. This means not a couple of "reformed gays" (snort) at Bible meetings or a few self-reports from some men with a masculinity complex.

     

    I find it incredibly ironic that oftentimes the people who scream that "gay men are promiscuous" are the same ones who are absolutely against allowing marriages for homosexual couples. Wouldn’t they want to encourage monogamy? 

     

    Oddly enough the gay men in my personal circle have both been with the same partner for ten or more years. 

     

    On a side note, nobody can "debate" Prager. It’s like "debating" a Creation Scientist. Someone who insists their own worldview is right no matter what <b>real</b> data tells them is incapable of engaging in true debate.

  • invalid-0

    Smiley, your so-called “data” come from the early ’80′s. Get some updated info.

  • invalid-0

    According to your graph though, male homosexual activity still constitutes the overwhelming majority of all new HIV cases while heterosexual contact consists of only 1/3 of the new cases; and please let us be careful to outline that that is “risky” heterosexual contact. If you tack on the additional four percent which combine both male homosexual contact and drug use you get a larger percentage; albeit by a smaller margin.

    I don’t think the argument is that it is only a gay disease but that rather it is overwhelmingly a larger issue for homosexual men rather than heterosexuals; especially heterosexuals who engage in responsible and/or monogamous sexual activity. And the statistics you cite support that regardless if the percentage is smaller than previous years. It would be misleading to say that heterosexuals have much to fear from widespread infection. There is also more evidence from the CDC website (located here: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm) which shows that males constitute 73% of all adult infections and of those 73%, 67% (72% if you include the 5 that include drug use) contracted it through male-to-male sexual contact. Again to clarify, it is overwhelmingly a gay problem.

    And I think your second point is not an implication but rather an inference on your part. I don’t know how calling HIV a predominantly gay disease means that they are not worth saving. If anything, the only implication is that the patterns of homosexual male behavior directly contributes to the proliferation of new HIV infections. Therefore, if one can control or change the behavior, then it will be much less of a problem. This is an issue of personal responsibility. If controlling irresponsible behavior can drastically reduce the amount of infections then why not concentrate efforts on promoting that? We are talking about new infections, not curing the already infected. Or are you suggesting we should not advocate any strategy that mandates any sort of sexual restraint?

    And finally, your reference to Magic Johnson – a man who had sexual escapades with countless women – falls into the CDC statistic for heterosexual HIV infections and is not representative of large majority of heterosexuals you claim should be aware or threatened by the statistic. By in large those heterosexuals who do not engage in “risky” sexual activity have much less to fear than those like Magic Johnson.

  • invalid-0

    Which percentage of gay men that fall into the category of new HIV infections would you venture to say engage in anal intercourse? And if you state that it’s a small percentage, then what other sexual activities would you suggest are contributing to homosexual HIV infections?

    Many straight people engage in anal intercourse; fair enough (although I would speculate it is a minority). They are then subjecting themselves to the same risk in regards to HIV/AIDS transmission. So in either case, we can agree that the transmission of HIV is greater through anal intercourse. So what is the relevance of this point to the discussion?

  • invalid-0

    I think the claim that “gay men are promiscuous” wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Why? Because naturally men tend to have more promiscuous sexual desires; with as many partners as possible. What makes monogamy work are the balancing needs and desires of the two sexes. A male’s natural tendency towards frequent sexual encounters with a variety of women is offset when it is met with the responsiblity of maintaining a relationship with a woman; the sex that is far more inclined towards maintaining a monogamous relationship. I think this should be fairly obvious without the need of a statistical abstract.

    You have personal relationships with gay men who have had the same partner. I cannot speak to that. But I’m not convinced they represent the majority of sexually active gay men. If the CDC statistics are correct, then we’re looking at an overwhelming majority of gay men being infected with HIV through homosexual sexual activity. I don’t believe that statistic was extrapolated from monogamous gay couples.

  • invalid-0

    Gay women have the lowest rate of HIV infections. On this score alone, the right wing should be hailing these health stars as role models and encouraging lesbianism.

  • therealistmom

    That’s the point. Real averages come from including monogamous couples as well as the high end, and people who choose to abstain. I have a very difficult time believing that the mean number of partners for each and every gay man comes out to 500. This -may- have been a reasonable statistic in the early 80′s as one poster has pointed out; mostly because at the time the majority of people seen as openly gay were those in the "bathhouse culture" where anonymous and frequent hookups were the norm. That didn’t represent most gay people then, nor does it now.

     

    Your entire post reeks of sexism. Men can only keep it in their pants because they want to make a woman happy? What is innately more "important" to a heterosexual couple to maintain intimacy one on one than it is for a gay couple who love each other JUST AS MUCH? There is this need among the homophobic set to label gay men as somehow animalistic in their urges. In nature it would actually make more sense for heterosexual males to be more liberal in their choice of partners, to spread their genes as widely as possible, whereas the homosexuals would be more limited in their choices of partners in general.

     

    This idea that men are "naturally" more promiscuous not only harms men, but it demeans women as well. It places women in the passive role of accepting sex only because it keeps her man with her. What a horrible way of looking at the broad range of sexuality and relationships.

    The OLD CDC statistics did, indeed, have a large majority of HIV cases being spread in the homosexual community in the US. As it was said before, that is because it came initially present in a gay man; from therre it spread within an insular demographic. Once it broke out of that demographic to IV drug users it began becoming present in women, and even children who were born to HIV positive mothers or who recieved HIV positive blood before screening existed.

     

    It’s a nice comfort to people to look at it as a "gay thing", insulating themselves and friends and family from the potential of contracting the virus. Only those nasty gay men who sleep with everyone and have the buttsex get the AIDS. I grew up in the 80′s; I can track almost to the year when it went from being this horrible secret sin to suddenly the realization that it could happen to you or your neighbor.  The virus doesn’t give a damn what your sexual orientation is.

  • emma

    Ha yeah, I was just thinking that…lesbians are a pretty low risk group. Conservatives should be all over that.

     

    Regarding some of the earlier comments – does arguing about who’s at greater risk accomplish anything? Seems like it would be useful to encourage people – whether gay, straight, bi, etc – to minimise risk as much as possible. The virus itself doesn’t care if it’s in a gay or a straight body; it’s going to make you sick, regardless of who you are or how you contracted it. People need to be taught about prevention – condoms, regular STI testing, not sharing needles and so on and so forth.

     

    //Captain Obvious 

  • amanda-marcotte

    On a fundamental level, HIV is passed person to person.  You know who gets HIV?  People having unprotected sex or sharing needles with positive people, regardless of race, gender, or orientation. 

  • invalid-0

    Women in general are health stars and rolemodels of safety… Men aren’t, but that isn’t news for most of us.

  • invalid-0

    If we are going by the chart then your assumption of real averages is incorrect. The 31% that constitute heterosexual activity comes from “risky” sexual behavior. Furthermore from the CDC’s website, the majority of those new heterosexual infections come from the African-American community who by in large also have other unfortunate statistics that stem from the outcome from “riskier” sexual practices; i.e. out-of-wedlock child births, fatherless homes which in turn leads to higher rates of child delinquency and adult criminal behavior. Now before you’re quick to label me a racist as well, I’m merely operating within the bounds of stating the facts based on the data suggested by the author of this article.
    You and I are speculating in the dark in terms of male sexual partners. You demanded the necessity for data to back claims. If we are going to stay strictly in speculation then I would venture to say that what drove the bathhouse culture is the proclivity of male sexual nature. If so, that wouldn’t change from decade to decade. Now if that isn’t the norm now, I’ll be more than happy to concede that but to your earlier point, “cite please”.
    When I spoke of Male sexual nature, who exactly was I being sexist to? If it was to men – the demographic which I’m a part of – then perhaps you can label my comment as sexist but it doesn’t speak to whether my claim is false. I can speak from experience that although I myself am married and strictly monogamous I’m more than willing to admit that it isn’t a proclivity, but rather a volitional commitment which is fought for each day. Gay men aren’t animalistic in their urges; Men – period – are much more animalistic in their sexual urges. This is fairly obvious by how any sex industry if fueled overwhelmingly by men. Southeast Asia doesn’t have a problem with women seeking male-boy prostitution. The Pornography industry isn’t fueled by women. There is no proliferation of male strip bars for female voyeurs. Rather, each of those trades is funded by men. And, they are also funded by men who are also in monogamous relationships. But also, one of your points agrees with this premise. You claimed that in nature it makes sense for hetero men to be more liberal to spread genes. If so, why would that predilection change solely on the object of sexual desire? The male nature doesn’t change. The only thing that changes is who they want to have sex with.
    To your point of harming men and demeaning women, I’m merely stating the facts regarding natural male sexual desire. I don’t think that women have to take any passive role whatsoever. But I think if you’re honest with yourself, you cannot compare the overwhelming generality that men have larger sexual appetites than women (if this isn’t obvious to you please refute the aforementioned regarding sex industries). And yes, their commitment to them is what helps “keep it in their pants”. When I was speaking of monogamy, I was speaking to how the general sexual natures of both sexes balance each other out. Of course moral obligation, love, and commitment factor into creating relationships. But to clarify, what we are talking about is what contributes to HIV transmission, and that is a result of male homosexual sexual behavior.
    The CDC statistics aren’t old. The data which the author cites and which I’m speaking of is fairly recent; from 2006. Again, for clarity, HIV/AIDS isn’t only a gay thing; it is overwhelmingly a gay issue. The behavior contributes to the largest majority of new HIV infections. Can it affect everyone, perhaps. But from the data, the likelihood strongly favors those who are homosexual men. It’s affects on monogamous or responsible heterosexual relationships are nowhere close to being an epidemic.

  • invalid-0

    If you had a million dollars to spend on educating a population about any specific risk, you would start with those hardest hit. Wouldn’t you? That is why men are not told to get screened for breast cancer. Yes, HIV makes all those who have it sick, but certain groups are in a higher risk category than others. Denying that helps no one. Even if it makes some feel better.

  • invalid-0

    It doesn’t matter if homosexual men have only had 5 partners on average. According to the “National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” they are a mere 3-5% of the population. So let’s use the larger number for argument sake. That means that 50% of the new HIV/AIDS case’s are coming from a minute population center. That is a staggering number. You all need to let that sink in. 5% of the population = 50% of new cases. Do you really think this doesn’t disproportionally affect homosexuals? If the percentage of gay men were equal to the percentage of heterosexual people in general, both male and female, then you might have a point. But again, 50% of the new cases are coming from 5% of the population. If you cared about homosexuals you wouldn’t let your hatred of your ideological opponents cloud your judgment on this issue.

    Also, it isn’t just HIV/AIDS. Here’s a little tidbit from advocate.com “New York City’s spike of syphilis cases in the gay population has ended a period of leveled infection rates. Ninety-six percent of new syphilis cases were contracted by men, with a majority of them being gay, The New York Sun reports.”

    Now, here’s the trick question. If gay men aren’t any more promiscous or any less likely to use protection, then how are they the lucky recipients of 96% of the new syphilis cases? And do you not think that tells you anything about their lifestyle?

    I don’t care how many partners anybody has, but you have to be some sort of Pollyanna to view this epidemic as more or less equal among straight and gay men.

  • invalid-0

    All men, including myself, are somewhat anamilistic in their urges. Your deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Men are more likely to rape, to be pedophiles, to commit assaults and other crimes. Testosterone is an actual chemical, and not completly made up, though you may think otherwise. Gay mens urges are the same as straight mens urges. Just look at mens magazines… The only difference in focus is gender. Have you ever seen a womans magazine focused exclusively on Mens legs? No, you haven’t, because straight women don’t view men that way, and gay women don’t view women that way either…

  • invalid-0

    When 50% of new HIV cases come from 5% of the population, it is obvious that population is suffering from an epidemic. Now, 33% of new cases coming from 95% of the population is worth noting, but doesn’t reach epidemic proportions. Gay men are about 15 times more likely then straight men to have HIV. That’s just the way it is, and you denying it our giving equal weight to the percentages as compared to the population sizes is silly.

  • amanda-marcotte

    When it’s anti-feminists who push the idea that men are subhuman animals.  If you really think men are so bad, why don’t you advocate for locking them up?  Men are not beasts.  They’re people, and like people, can be expected to control themselves. 

     

    Also, being promiscuous is not an evil thing like being a rapist or a criminal.  Having sex with a lot of people is a choice, and if you are safe about it, I fail to see why it’s any business of ours.  Rape hurts people.  Giant difference.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Except that neither you nor Prager is engaging in this argument to increase funding for outreach to the gay community.  You are engaging in this argument to cut funding by implying that since straight people are "safe" (they’re not), then it shouldn’t be our concern.

     

    I’m concerned about AIDS because I care about my fellow people, gay or straight, male or female.  The only reason to stir this pot is for pitting groups of people against each other instead of asking us to join in a common cause against a deadly disease. 

  • invalid-0

    You Christian/Rightwingaphobes are so busy calling everyone a bigot that you can’t see what’s at the tip of your nose… According to the CDC there are currently 531,206 cases of HIV among homosexual men, and only 65,241 cases among heterosexual people… Again, gay men are only 3-5% of the population… I read a statistic awhile back that said 1 in 4 sexually active teens had an std… That’s an alarming statistic, I’m sure we can agree on that… But does pointing out that it probably doesn’t affect people over 50 as much make me anti teen? Stop calling people names and maybe you’ll learn something.

  • invalid-0

    You hit it right on the button ChrisAndy!

  • invalid-0

    So, let me get this straight. Even though I’m right, that HIV is epidemic among homosexuals, and problematic among heterosexuals, I can’t point that out because I’m not working to increase funding for gay outreach programs? Is that correct? Also, you created a straw man for Prager. Saying he was “nonchalant about the possibility of just letting a deadly disease run rampant through the gay community without doing anything to stop it and save lives.” He never even came close to saying that. He merely pointed out that, just like you did with you your piece, many on the left gloss over the proportion. Namely, that 50% percent of new cases come from 5% of the population. You act as if the 50/30 numbers affect the same size population centers, but they don’t. Prager advocated truth, and you projected your own dark bigotry of people you don’t understand onto him. Do you have any conservative friends? Any conservatives that you like out there? Just because I’m not an AIDS activist doesn’t mean I don’t care. I’m just not willing to lie or over inflat a cause just to get my message out there. Here’s another point, would you advocate telling teenagers to abstain because if they don’t they’ll die? That type of hyperbole might keep them straight, but is it right to lie just to advance your cause? You seem to be saying it is, and that people who don’t lie are bigots because of it.

  • invalid-0

    You really have a knack for twisting peoples words… Again with the straw man! I said men are “somewhat anamilistic with their urges”. That doesn’t imply, let alone state, subhuman. I don’t think men are bad, but I would leave my daughter with a strange woman before a strange man, that doesn’t mean I think anybody should be locked up. And who said I was anti-feminist? Again, projection, let’s stick with what we know. I haven’t called you any names, must you resort to calling me names? Of course men are people, and should be expected to control themselves, did that really need to be addressed? The question was whether or not the male sex drive was different than the female sex drive. I answered in the affirmative and used sexual misconduct as an example. I didn’t even address the issue of promiscuity in that post, so I have no idea where that came from. But since were on the subject. Promiscuity is NOT EVIL in my opinion (try not to distort if you respond), but it is risky. Homosexuals ARE NOT EVIL. STOP PROJECTING your warped views onto people you disagree with.

  • invalid-0

    Ms. Marcotte, you are responding to the problem you raised in your response. You said that having sex with a lot of people is a choice and if done responsibly, is no business of ours. So you are indentifying the problem and advocating the solution at the same time. The CDC speaks of risky sexual behavior and if the male homosexual behavior is contributing to the majority of new transmissions it is safe to assume that their activities are also risky. What is the solution? Sexual responsibility or restraint. We are merely pointing out the difficulty men have naturally in engaging in restraint. So if unhealthy sexual practice leads to HIV transmission and as you argue is becoming a problem for heterosexuals, then it becomes the our business. So which is it? Is it our business so we can do something about it or isn’t it? You cannot have it both ways.
    Men are people but they are not oriented the same as women. Men and women are not the same. Thus their sexual behaviors and patterns are different from women. We are identifying this because of it’s direct implications on the problem of new HIV transmissions within male homosexual relations.
    We are beginning to argue across points but I would like to highlight that if you are railing against the conservative/religious right in their views of this then your worldview would entirely support the notion that men are beasts. If you are a materialist then male behavior is a product of genes and environment. Morality doesn’t even become part of the picture. It is purely subjective and not grounded in anything absolute. Where in your worldview do you ground that men should be expected to control themselves? And if you are expecting that they control themselves, then why are you not advocating that in your article?

  • invalid-0

    “We are merely pointing out the difficulty men have naturally in engaging in restraint.”

    I believe that the notion that the admitted difficulty you and your friends here share in being responsible or exercising restraint is a personal flaw shared by all or most of your gender is what is in dispute.
    It’s sad to see males projecting their emotional immaturity in this manner. Y’all should talk with these guys:

    http://www.menagainstsexualviolence.org/whatcando.html

  • invalid-0

    Colleen, what you have mentioned is a non sequitur and an ad hominem attack. You have addressed nothing as it pertains to the prevalence of male homosexual HIV transmissions. So in keeping with the subject of this article, based on what you have posited, what is contributing to the overwhelming percentage of male homosexual infections? If natural male sexual behavior has no bearing on it then what is it? Attacking me does you no credit. I never said that sexual restraint is insurmountable. Rather that naturally men are predisposed to the desire to have variety in sexual partners in a high volume of frequency. If this is a flaw in only me and not in my gender then we are living in two separate worlds. I mentioned in a previous comment that trades dealing in sex are targeted and fueled by a male demographic. That equates to a lot of flawed men. You simply cannot refute that. There is nothing emotionally immature in stating these facts. What would be immature is if I advocated that there should be no moral restraint which I simply am not doing and if you’ve read anything I’ve posted, I’m advocating the contrary.
    Now, as a side note I did check out your link but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to learn from it as it pertains to this discussion. If anything, it conforms itself to what I’ve been speaking about and this is in identifying a behavior and promoting restraint. Furthermore it discusses the necessity to realize that predisposed beliefs about sex are unrealistic. Have you ever thought that it may be perhaps that it’s because Men and Women are different and therefore have different sexual dispositions which influences their belief on how the other gender views sex? And this is what I’m speaking of and perhaps the reason why male homosexuals are transmitting more HIV. Their sexual dispositions and expectations from one another are aligned.
    Ironically, the link also says that sexual violence is MALE problem. Apparently there are many flaws.

  • invalid-0

    “what you have mentioned is a non sequitur and an ad hominem attack”

    Hardly. You and your friends here were making objectionable generalizations about your entire gender, generalizations about lack of control and restraint you still insist are “natural” impulses of your gender. I’m arguing the fact that that they’re only ‘natural’ if you haven’t emotionally matured.

    “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to learn from it as it pertains to this discussion”

    I included the link because I hoped you might be able to learn something about yourself and your culture from men who have actually grown up.

    “Have you ever thought that it may be perhaps that it’s because Men and Women are different and therefore have different sexual dispositions which influences their belief on how the other gender views sex?

    I’ve no doubt that there are individual and general differences between men and women and I’m equally certain that it’s a waste of time discussing the issue with men who barely understand themselves and understand nothing at all about women.

  • invalid-0

    So you as a woman (I am presuming by your name) know entirely about women and equally as well about men. Interesting that you would assume that I know nothing of both; especially about my own gender. I think that is fairly presumptuous. I think that I’ve been around men for a long enough time to understand the way we think and act and more importantly, how to restrain our male tendencies. And you are putting words in my mouth. I didn’t say lack of control, I did say natural inclination. That doesn’t necessarily mean indulging in the natural or not exercising control. That is what the link you posted is advocating isn’t it? It’s about changing behavior so how is that any different than anything I have suggested as being a solution to the transmission of HIV?
    Maturity isn’t about the lack of natural impulses. Maturity is about making the right moral choice inspite of the impulse. Maturity has nothing to do with the elimination of the impulse; only how we respond to it.
    You still haven’t made any argument as to how I’m wrong. If I am wrong, prove it. Why is it a waste of time discussing it with men like me? How else are our minds supposed to be changed? I’m ignorant about my own gender so please, enlighten me. If you know what a grown up man should be, how does it differ from what I’ve suggested? An individual, who in spite of certain behavioral tendencies is willing to restrain himself for moral good – and in the case of this discussion – to lower the transmission of HIV.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Educate conservatives about what "ad hominem" means?  You say something hateful and derogatory towards men, it’s not ad hominem to say that this is evidence that you have hateful and derogatory attitudes about men.  If I said, "He’s a member of the Lions club, therefore we can disregard his arguments," that’s ad hominem. 

     

    I’m so sick of people who don’t understand that term.  It’s clear that it’s whipped out repeatedly by conservatives who are trying to intimidate with their fancy use of Latin terms that they picked up by every other conservative on the internet who has learned this specific term.  Couldn’t you at least pick another Latin term to use incorrectly?  Mix it up a little?  Just for aesthetics?

  • invalid-0

    Just because we say that men have a certain inclination doesn’t mean we ourselves haven’t overcome that inclination. We have, that’s how we know it exists. Your argument is so bizzare. In fact, you’ve made the point for us. We ARE making generalizations about men who haven’t matured. What planet are you living on? Are men born mature? Is there a “will mature by” date stamped on their foreheads? If an alchoholic says that alchoholics have difficulty controlling their urge to drink, is he demeaning alchoholics? What if he’s been sober for 20 years? Does his urge or impulse leave? The majority of risky sexual behavior takes place between the ages of 16 and 30 between people who haven’t emotionally matured… That’s precisely the point! You should slooooow doooown, and read a little more carefully. Maybe think about what you write before you write it. Then double check it. As men we are taught to fight certain aspects of our nature, but if we are told from a young age that there is nothing to fight, then we grow into “well loved barbarians”. I don’t understand why this is conroversial… Is it because you believe you have to oppose anything a conservative says? Is this some sort of knee jerk reaction? I really don’t get it.

  • amanda-marcotte

    But you used a disingeuous argument about targeting groups.

     

    The people who are good at targeting messages about HIV are the ones you are resisting.  You’re not interested in targeting the gay community to save lives, so why bring it up, if not as a way to distract people from the most important point, which is that this disease is deadly and passed individual to individual.  

     

    That’s the problem.  Everything is distraction and trying to turn people on each other.  We’re advocating a position of joining together to fight this disease, and considering EVERY life precious, not just straight ones.

     

    In fact, the reason that HIV has been relatively controlled in the straight community is because once straight infection rates outstripped gay ones, there was specific targetting.  People like me grew up knowing use a condom every time, and it really helped keep the spread of the disease lower than it could have been.  The downside is it just gives right wingers another chance to demagogue and use homophobia to cause rifts, when we should be joining together and considering every life precious.

  • invalid-0

    Ad hominem means “to the man” or “against the man”.

    So when she said “It’s sad to see males projecting their emotional immaturity in this manner.” Implying that we were doing such, then the purpose was to discredit our arguments based on our “emotional immaturity”. Is that an argument against the idea, or against the man? Because if that isn’t an argument “against the man” then that argument doesn’t exist. You all are the ones trying to intimidate by calling us racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, emotionally immature, etc, any time we disagree. You quote us as saying things we haven’t said, and then attack us for it. Now, couldn’t you mix it up a little, maybe throw in some latin, just for aesthetics?

  • invalid-0

    A: You don’t know me
    B: Every life is precious, and I am absolutely interested in targeting homosexuals to save lives. So go crawl under a rock if your going to be so vicious.
    Also, Can I just say, that when you call someone a homophobe – that’s Ad Hominem – definitionally . So you’re a conservaphobe, and I think fear of conservatives is far more rampant and wide spread then fear of homosexuals. HIV has been controlled in the straight population in America for the same reason it hasn’t in Africa. In fact you should read a piece titled Let My People Go, AIDS Profiteers by Sam Ruteikara in the Washington Post. If you don’t change the culture, you won’t make a meaningful difference, and based on your comment about promiscuity earlier, I’d say that YOU’RE THE ONE who isn’t interested in saving lives. Because the one thing that would make the greatest impact, you’ve already written off. Monagomy – it works.

  • invalid-0

    Ms. Marcotte, do you believe the majority of men being infected with new HIV/AIDS transmissions right now didn’t grow up with the same sex education we grew up with regarding using a condom everytime? I’m willing to suggest confidently that they did. And if they did, then why did it work for the straight community but hasn’t taken affect in the gay community?

  • invalid-0

    For 25 years, right wingers have found a multitude of ways to frame their homophobia as AIDS and their AIDSaphobia as fodder for gay hate. As noted, they haven’t been very creative, repeating the same things as if repetition makes truth. The doctor should prescribe some verbal prophylactics to prevent their venom from infecting the rest of us. Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage, Pat Robertson, Mike (‘I don’t recant’) Huckaby … On The Issues Magazine has a good collection of samples here.

  • invalid-0

    When you link to something, try to link to the specific topic you mentioned, not just “the progressive womans magazine” homepage. Marx and Engels called themselves progressive, so did the Soviets… I’m sure all those people dying in the Gulags or locked away in Chinese prison camps weren’t reassured that their leaders called themselves “Progressive”. Speaking of, isn’t that divisive in and of itself? “We’re progressive”, therefore, if you disagree with us, you’re reactionary (as Marx said) or regressive? It’s like calling yourself “the superior party”, it’s just another way of saying were better than you. Didn’t all you lefties get upset at McCain’s slogan “Country First”, because it “questioned your patriotism”. The left doesn’t honor dissent. They call all disenter’s bigot’s, introduce speech codes, prevent conservatives from speaking at college campuses, and then call themselves “Progressive”. They take away your bake sales, your cigarettes, your wood burning fireplaces… They want control over your thermostat, the cars you drive, and the food you eat… They say protesting is patriotic, but that only counts if your protesting for left wing causes… If you’re protesting abortion, then you should go to jail, because that’s not the “right kind” of protest… It’s McCarthyism… Ironically, I still consider myself a liberal, but that’s because I believe in liberty, and leftist don’t…

  • invalid-0

    Sorry about the link.

    Here is the link: http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/may08/may2008_7.php

    Doesn’t sound like your liberal. You’re YOU-beral ie what’s I want is all I care about.

  • invalid-0

    Like JFK was a liberal. But most people that call themselves liberal today are not liberal at all, they’re leftist, like Chavez or Castro. They are the left wing versions of Pat Robertson, Michael Savage, etc… Politics is like a circle, go far enough to the left or right and you’ll meet… That’s whay Pat B. is on MSNBC, he probably agrees with Olberman more times than not. They are the kind of people who want to impose their world view and morality on the rest of us, because THEY know what’s best for everyone. And what is YOU-beral ie mean anyway? Is that Latin or something? I didn’t quite follow.

  • http://dino-p-delellis.com/ invalid-0

    These bigots should be given a solid whack in the head. They keep finding ways to justify their hatred towards gay people. They spout self righteous speeches that claim they are on the side of good and decency when in reality they are nothing more than narrow minded hate mongers.

    I really hope this myth is stamped out for good because this will cause harm on several levels.

    -Dino Delellis

  • http://win365bingo.com/ invalid-0

    I agree , I hear people ( bigoted ones ) blame gay people for causing several problems in society from spreading HIV to causing moral decay.

    From where I stand their the ones causing problems in society. They preach intolerance and hate that causes other people so suffer discrimination and alienation.

    They should be ashamed of themselves.