Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Statistics, part 2

Focus on the Family is sticking to its guns regarding its use of statistics from the Canadian youth study by the McCreary Centre Society, which conducted a wide-ranging survey on the health and well-being of British Columbia teens. Focus sexuality and gender analyst Melissa Fryrear says the ministry provided an alternate explanation for the study's correlation between teen lesbianism and teen suicide attempts.

Some teen lesbians, she said, are frustrated and upset that they're attracted to women, not men. And, Fryrear adds, these lesbians are told that they were born this way, so there's nothing they can do about it. They become despondent. Focus teaches that homosexuality comes about through upbringing or even trauma, and that people can stop being gay if they want to. Fryrear, who says she's a former lesbian, believes she's living proof.

"Given my experience in this movement, (on) both sides of the proverbial fence, we have seen different reasons why someone becomes suicidal and depressed," she said.

But Fryrear also says other factors may be at work in the suicidal tendencies of lesbians, too. She says more lesbian women have been sexually abused than heterosexual women, and the study suggests that sexual abuse also increases the liklihood someone will attempt suicide as a teen.


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