Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lies, darnable lies and statistics

A Canadian researcher is apparently ticked that Focus on the Family is using her study to blast "homosexual activism."

The study, done by the McCreary Centre Society, was a wide-ranging survey on the health and well-being of British Columbia teens, dealing with everything from smoking to sexual abuse. One of the items the study touched on was suicide. It found that 8.2 of heterosexual girls attempted suicide, compared with 38 percent of lesbian teens.

Focus reported stats from the report and said, through the organization's sexuality and gender analyst Melissa Fryrear, that the suicide rates were higher because these gay and lesbian teens think there's no way out of their lifestyle.

"Regrettably, they think they have to embrace homosexuality because pro-gay advocates told them that they were born gay," she said in a CitizenLink release. "And that is absolutely not true."

Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, McCreary's research director, blasted Focus in the Canadian press, saying no such conclusions could be drawn from their study. She said discrimination and violence were probably greater factors in determining suicidal tendencies, and noted that American studies have shown that gay teens are more at risk of suicide before coming out of the closet.

"The research has been hijacked for somebody's political purposes or ideological purposes and that's worrisome," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Focus hasn't responded to questions from The Gazette about this issue yet, but if and when it does, we'll post its response.


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