Yesterday I found a Facebook group addressing the matter of a pending legal motion to change the legal age of consent for the youth in South Africa. The group creator doesn't stop at just attacking the suggested move to lower the age of consent for heterosexual children, but differentiates between heterosexual and gay children and then launches into insulting references to fictional anti-gay pseudo-science and propaganda aimed at gay people. In fact it seems to me this person and her group are obsessed entirely with gay male sex - as only a small portion of the lengthy rant on its information section concerns heterosexual children.
Aside from her online diatribe trying to drum up opposition to this supposed new law, I can find no official reference to any such motion currently in SA Parliament. If this is so, then why the group? Is it an excuse to just drum up more anti-gay hatred? I honestly cannot see any other motive.
In the past months I have had debates with bigots claiming that gay people are generally pedophiles and that the motive for lowering the legal age of consent is "to get at our children". Nor only is this the most hateful and paranoid load of tripe I have heard in quite some time, but it is so far from wrong it is beyond a joke.
Bigotry is everywhere - and what follows closely in its wake is the sickening use of untruths, half-truths, "junk-science" and propaganda to try and demonstrate an obviously religious fundamentalist and conservative argument against homosexuality - and the insinuation that gay people are somehow any less capable of deciding for themselves at the same age as heterosexual people.
This group was supposedly set up by a teenage girl. IMHO, any child capable of expressing such bigotry, hatred and doing so clearly and concisely while making abundant use of the mysogynistic material supplied by a group such as "Doctors For Life" and purveyors of right wing propaganda such as Paul Cameron should be legally allowed to make her own choices regarding the legal age of consent, because she is clearly mature enough to do so. In fact, I am sure she has a bright future ahead of her in the ranks of the right wing conservative groups in this country. Christian Action Network or Family Policy Institute will probably snap her right up the moment she finishes high school, completely ignoring the irony in their own allegations that homosexuals are "recruiting in our schools" to get at "our children".
That being said, I could give a hoot about her conservatism or her maturity (or the lack of it). I may even agree with the concept of protecting kids to a certain degree from each other and from child predators - but I cannot agree on differing ages of legal consent between males, females and heterosexual and gay people! That is just plain unfair discrimination and prejudice! It is clearly tantamount to legalizing prejudice and institutionalizing it by saying in law firstly that there is something wrong and dangerous with being gay, and secondly that gay youths are incapable of knowing what they are doing or choosing to engage in sexual acts at the same age as heterosexual youths. A most narrow-minded view indeed!
Please could somebody explain to me, using credible scientific evidence, genuine medical FACTS and actual studies, exactly how gay people differ in any way in mental ability from heterosexuals? You can't? Well, all righty then.
The extensive use of material quoted from pseudo-scientific groups such as "Doctors For Life", "Exodus International" and "Focus on the Family" who try to conceal their true fundamentalist nature by sugar-coating their misogyny with pscientific terminology and assumed authenticity and their false claim that gay sex has any additional risks over heterosexual intimacy is both inaccurate, ignorant and hateful. A few months ago a book released in 1979 that helped found the "ex-gay" industry, claiming to be based on "studies" done at the time was unmasked as bogus when one of its authors admitted the "studies" never took place and the stats presented as "evidence" were bogus. So much for the credibility of these arguments.
Doctors For Life make acerbic claims such as these: "homosexual acts have increased risks of tissue injury, organ malfunction, and infectious diseases. These and other factors result in a significantly shortened life expectancy. Among those involved in homosexual acts, there is an increased incidence of drug/or alcohol dependency, compulsive sexual behaviour, anxiety, depression, and suicide. Psychologically, most people hope for a permanent relationship. Life long relationships offer most people a higher level of self-esteem, emotional security, health, and happiness. However, studies [WHERE?] have shown that only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women had relationships lasting more than 3 years." and "Homosexual love is the attempt to fulfill a deficit in wholeness of one's original gender. [Substantiated by what facts?] Unlike heterosexual love, both partners have the same deficit. There is valid evidence [WHERE?] that gay coupling almost never evolves into a mature love that is defined by quiet consistency, trust, mutual dependency and sexual fidelity. Socially, men who commit homosexual acts have a high incidence of promiscuity, child molestation, and sexually transmitted diseases. [This has been disproved - read here and here] Homosexual behaviours burden society with increased medical costs, increased disability, and productivity loss. [HOW?] Legalizing or blessing same sex marriage or civil unions is harmful to the stability of society, the raising of children, and the institution of marriage. If the only criterion for marriage were mutual consent or commitment, there are no grounds to prohibit bestial, pedophilic, sodomous or incestuous unions." - This sort of hogwash insults the reader's intelligence and makes me long for some long overdue anger management classes! I think the last two sentences of this diatribe on their website clearly indicate where this sort of nonsensical rubbish comes from - and I think any kind of medical "doctor" who associates with misogyny and hate speech such as this should be declared unfit to practice medicine on even a dead horse.
This is clear use of the "Bullshit Baffles Brains" (BBB) concept - ordinary people will believe whatever is said by people claiming to be experts, because they themselves do not know any better in the first place - and after all, it is DOCTORS who are saying these things, so it MUST be true.
It is pretty clear how somebody who reads this sort of thing and doesn't know any better will come away from it thinking nasty and anti-gay thoughts of their own. This is how hate speech and lies incite more hatred - and how hatred perpetuates itself.
"Doctors For Life". Doctors? Would you be justified in entrusting your life to a bigot in a white coat and stethoscope knowing he ascribed to such unscientific and diabolical beliefs? If the measure of a doctor is compassion and impartiality then they are not worthy of the title. They are biased, politicized and prejudiced and quite clearly in violation of their Hippocratic oaths - and as for the "life" part this is a clear reference to the anti-abortionist movement - in which this group is a major player in South Africa. What has the personal lives of people who do not concern them have to do with their trade? Why do they clearly mix medicine with their clear religious fundamentalism and try to legitimize it with medical terminology and respectability? If they are anti-abortion then fine, but what has people's sexuality to do with abortion? If religious fundamentalism is their focus then they should leave real medicine to the professionals, mind their own business and stick to saving fetuses from the Great White Bucket instead.
This sort of misinformation - or "disinformation" as the intelligence fundi's call it - is commonplace in the right wing fundamentalist anti-gay movement and "ex-gay" industry. In fact, should they stop using it, in effect stop lying - it would simply collapse.
We all know why such people hate gay and trans people - not because there is any fact or scientific reason to excuse it or to justify it - but because of their own personal prejudice, dislikes and intolerance - mixed in with a good portion of religous bias and bigotry. They hate gay people because other people have told them to, in some form or another - and they agree with it because it takes too much effort to think for themselves or because they like to hate somebody - and it may as well be us.
Yet for every radical fundamentalist group out there - and its clear anti-diversity bias, in almost every single press release, policy document or media statement they make, they are careful to include references to fallacial "medical studies" here, fictional "research material" and bogus "evidence" there which has been thumb-sucked by their own propaganda factories. Why? Because they are aware that they have nothing real to back them up - and just saying "because I said so" makes them feel exposed, and rightly so - to dismissal, ridicule and criticism.
A bigot is a bigot, and as near as I can figure it, bigotry is synonymous with cowardice. If you want to persecute gay people for being gay because of your own bigotry then just say so, don't try to justify it by making up bogus scientific studies.
They like to have the look of authority and authenticity and justice - or people will recognize them for the silly twits they really are.
Pseudo-science is frustrating and infuriating because it is used by gay-haters to try and lend an appearance of fact and actuality to the thumb-sucked rubbish they want people to believe in order to win their support. In fact it leads me to coin a new term for it - "pscience" - and the depravity of this rubbish, originating from its most infamous source (being disgraced former psychologist Paul Cameron) - can only be called "Cameronian".
As always it is actual science and fact versus "pscience".
And the "facts" disseminated by people who staff "Doctors For Life" who supposedly qualified as (intelligent and competent) medical doctors - "Cameronian pscience" indeed.
If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.
If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact form.
All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.