A new study has come out saying that LGBT youth who receive support from their parents are less likely to engage in destructive behaviors such as suicide or substance abuse.
According to U.S. News and World Report, "...those adolescents with highly accepting families have much higher levels of self-esteem and social support when they're young adults."
The study included 245 white and Hispanic LGBT young adults, aged 21 to 25, in California who were open about their sexual orientation to at least one parent or caregiver during adolescence.
Examples of positive parental and caregiver support include supporting their gender expression or advocating for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity.
However, the American Family Association's One News Now made objections to the study. The problem is this publication doesn't even try to refute what the study says. Instead, it quotes Dr. Andre Van Mol, a private physician in California. Mol calls the study "indoctrination":
"This is ideology and indoctrination in high gear, and it carries with it the implicit [threat] 'or else your kid will kill themselves,' which is ridiculous," contends Dr. Andre Van Mol, a family physician in private practice in Redding, California.
"Love is not the same as enablement and co-dependency," counters Van Mol. "A parent can fully love and accept their [LGBT] teen, give them a safe home where they know that they as a person are accepted, and still have it be known that their parents feel that acting out on that sexual orientation will be an inherently negative thing," he suggests. "I don't think that's contradictory."
The family physician goes on to tell OneNewsNow.com the study pushes the fruits of a strategy to take over the medical field with the ideology and indoctrination of homosexuality.
I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mol doesn't know what he is talking about.
Apparently OneNewsNow.com isn't alone in raising an objection about the study:
In a November commentary, Christopher Doyle of the support group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) calls efforts to scare parents into embracing their children's sexual behavior for fear of suicide "minority stress" theory propagated by gay activists.
Even in gay-tolerant cultures, the occurrence of suicidal behavior is much higher among homosexuals than heterosexuals," he explained.
Doyle, an ex-gay and PFOX board member, cited a 2006 study of homosexuals in the Netherlands, which was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Gay men were five times and lesbian women were 10 times more likely to contemplate suicide than heterosexuals. Another study found that a lower level of social hostility toward homosexuals in the Netherlands and Denmark compared with the U.S. was not associated with a lower level of psychiatric problems among homosexuals in these European countries.
Of course Doyle is inaccurate. The "studies" (actually there weren't two different studies. The article in the Christian Post is inaccurate. There was only one study) Doyle referred to was the work of Dr. Theo Sandfort. In an e-mail written in 2009, Sandfort objected to how his work has been distorted.
On the whole, this entire needless controversy is a perfect example of how religious right groups operate. Was it really necessary for them to object? Common sense tells one that children who receive love and support from their family tend to have fewer problems with self-esteem. And we all know that unfortunately in some homes, LGBT children are robbed of that crucial support system because of the real fear that they will be rejected by their parents or, even worse, kicked out on the streets.
The study just affirms this. But leave it to the religious right to object solely on grounds that the LGBT identity is involved. And according to them, the study has nothing to do with making sure that LGBT children are safe and sound, but is instead some evil plan by "gay activists" to force acceptance of homosexuality.
Such an idea is devoid of not only common sense, but basic Christian decency and kindness.
The sad irony is that without parental support, LGBT children are more likely to engage in behaviors such as suicide and substance abuse, and thereby become a statistic eagerly cited by religious right figures such as Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg regarding the so-called "dangers of homosexuality."
One can't help thinking that the only reason why the religious right objects to parents giving support to LGBT children is due to the cold fact that depressed, drug-addicted LGBT youth are of more use to them than happy LGBT youth.