04 June 2013

Who Knew We Had Such Power?

Perhaps if you're old like me (Well, all right, you don't have to be that old!), you remember some of the arguments against same-sex marriage and letting gay couples adopt children.  

One of the classic arguments is that gay parents would make gay kids.  It's amazing how many otherwise sensible people parroted that line, even though it was one of the easiest pieces of wisdom to dismissAll of those gay people who wanted to get married and adopt kids were themselves the children of straight parents.

Listen:  If I have the power to make some kid trans--or, for that matter, gay or straight--I really am in the wrong business!

Seriously, it's funny, when you think about it, that people should whip up such hysteria about gay men, lesbians or trans people by imputing to us powers we never knew we had.

The latest example of that comes from Jerry Boykina vice president of the Family Research Council. He claims that the recent spike in the number of reported sexual assaults in the military happened because "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was repealed.

However, this is no mere silly accusation. Mr. Boykin bases his assertion on the erroneous (or deliberately misleading) assumption that more men than women are being assaulted in the military.

Now, even if that were the case, it wouldn't be a result of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.  First of all, how would allowing lesbians in the military cause more men to sexually assault other men?   But, even more to the point, Mr. Boykin perpetuates a misperception about men who rape other men (or boys):  the perpetrators are gay men. While that may be true in some cases, most of the time it isn't.  In fact, most men who rape other men or boys are like the ones who sexually assaulted me as a boy and a young man:  They were older or had some sort of power or authority over me, and they didn't have committed intimate relationships with men.  I can state these facts with certainty because the men who sexually assaulted me were not strangers:  In fact, I knew them well.  One was a cadet commander of my ROTC class; he took advantage of me when we were in the woods during a training weekend.

But, according to reports, more females than males have been sexually assaulted, even though women make up only about a quarter of the Armed Forces overall.  Once we realize this, Mr. Boykin's claim becomes even more absurd (or even more of a bald-faced lie).  How in the world could bringing openly gay men (or, for that matter, lesbians) cause an increase in the number of men who sexually assault  women in the military?  I admit that I'm not a sexologist or psychologist, so perhaps my means of understanding the phenomenon are limited.  If you can explain how gays cause men to assault women, please do so. Just keep it simple!  And, while you're at it, perhaps you can explain to me how I (or any other LGBT person) have the power to make a kid gay, straight or trans.

No comments: