Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Secret Source Of Homophobia

James Cameron

When some religious right flunky wants to provide “scientific” evidence to back up their anti-gay rhetoric, they usually cite the work of James Cameron. Cameron is a thoroughly discredited researcher whose foundation specializes in publishing bizarre and outlandish materials attacking homosexuals. Among his more interesting claims are that only 1% of the gay population of the U.S. will die of old age (How many people do you know who died of that cause? My grandpa, for instance, died of cancer.), and that lesbians are 300 times more likely to die in car accidents than are straight women (?!). The Southern Poverty Law Center has published an entertaining article on Cameron in its new Intelligence Report. It points out the obvious absurdities of Cameron’s research, and notes how many fairly respectable right wing Christians still rely on his work to buttress their arguments. Perhaps the most interesting thing in the article is its illustration of the confused sexuality one often finds among hardcore homophobes. For instance, there’s this bit from a 1999 Cameron interview:

"Marital sex tends toward the boring end. Generally, it doesn't deliver the kind of sheer sexual pleasure that homosexual sex does. If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one's own personal amusement, if all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get, then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men."

Riiiight. It turns out that Cameron was sexually assaulted by both men and women as a child. This may partially explain the arguments he put forth in his 1978 book “Sexual Gradualism”. Cameron suggests that children should be “taught” heterosexuality by being allowed to experience progressively more intense sexual exploration under the direction of their parents. Realizing that many parents would find the idea of allowing young children to explore their sexuality to be repugnant, he notes: “While no parent wants his child starting the sexual process ‘too young,’ better too young than homosexual.”

Let’s just hope James isn’t lurking around some playground right now, hoping to “educate” the youngsters.


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