Canada isn't really interested in your sexual orientation

May 25, 2011

Because homosexuals, and especially bisexuals, are statistically more likely to be at risk of ill health, Statistics Canada must come up with new questionnaires that will reveal how sexual orientation is linked to stress, discrimination and health, says Thierry Gagné, a student of sociology at University of Montreal.

“Statistics Canada’s national surveys are essential for undertaking credible research, because of the large sampling size and rigorous methodology they use,” Gagné said. “But there’s currently no study that looks at stress and in terms of sexual orientation and health.”

Studies undertaken by the statistical agencies of Canada and Quebec show health and social inequality between people of different orientations in areas like salary, high school dropout rates, risky sexual activity and other unhealthy behaviour, such as alcoholism amongst lesbians.

However, all of the surveys to date have issues concerning an authentic measure of sexual orientation. “The inclusion of sexual orientation as a question in Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey and Canadian Community Health Survey followed a 2003 law change regarding discrimination in the workplace that put sexual orientation in the same category as religion, gender, and ethnicity,” Gagné explained. Still, that question is poorly constructed and confuses together behavior and self-identification. “Indeed, the survey only considers people on the basis of self-identification, whereas we know that we have to use several indicators to identify these at-risk people.”

“Considering this group represents between 1% and 3% of the population, that they have particular health needs, and that they are already in a vulnerable position, changes must be made,” Gagné insisted. In addition to creating a new questionnaire, questions relating to should be updated and added to other existing surveys, following the example of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Thierry Gagné presented his research at the 79th Association francophone pour le savoir conference.

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User comments : 7

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kevinrtrs
1.7 / 5 (12) May 25, 2011
It must be truly hard to discover in yourself that your emotional desires go against the norm of the majority of the human race. It must be nerve-wracking to find yourself attracted to other women if you're a female and to other men if you're a male, especially since the whole biological make-up clearly indicates that male stuff fits into female receptacles.
Then, to top it off you find that "normal" people regard this attraction as a perversion and deviant thing to be ridiculed and shunned like leprosy. It's no wonder that stress plays a factor in the health of people with such homosexual emotional inclinations.
Horrible though it is, one should not then go and make it a special case to be treated with kid-gloves. What about those who are sexually addicted heterosexuals, or kleptomaniacs or psychopaths or peadophiles, to name a few cases? They also find themselves in the same kind of predicament, but they don't get special treatment. What's so special about homosexuals?
FrankHerbert
3.7 / 5 (9) May 25, 2011
Kevin... you were so close :(
PaulieMac
4.6 / 5 (9) May 26, 2011
It must be nerve-wracking to find yourself attracted to other women if you're a female and to other men if you're a male


Mostly 'nerve wracking', I suspect, due to fear of the intolerance and bigotry of the close-minded.

"normal" people regard this attraction as a perversion and deviant thing to be ridiculed and shunned like leprosy.


If by 'normal' you mean the bigoted and the sanctimonious.

What about those who are sexually addicted heterosexuals, or kleptomaniacs or psychopaths or peadophiles, to name a few cases?


Seriously? You are comparing homosexuality - and sexual addiction for that matter - to peadophilia, psychopathy, and kleptomania? Such a comparison would leave any person with half - quarter! - a braincell speechless.

A post like that... I used to consider you merely a boring automaton endlessly posting your 'hands-over-my-ears' claptrap.

But that post; hideous. What an ugly little person you are.

FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (2) May 26, 2011
A post like that... I used to consider you merely a boring automaton endlessly posting your 'hands-over-my-ears' claptrap.

But that post; hideous. What an ugly little person you are.
CSharpner
3 / 5 (2) May 29, 2011
I just got finished lambasting Kev in another post, as I do frequently, but here, I don't believe he's trying to say that homosexuality is immoral (in spite of the fact, I'm pretty sure he does believe that, he's not making that point here), nor that people SHOULD shun them (correct me if I'm wrong Kev). I think he's merely pointing out the fact that they ARE shunned (rightly or wrongly) and then giving a reasonable expectation that if someone is shunned, they're likely to experience more stress.

I think he's also stating that of all the "disorders" (for lack of a better word), why should one get any special treatment above the others? If we're concerned about the stress of homosexuals (and we are), why shouldn't be also be concerned about the stress of others that get shunned because of their desires that they didn't /choose/ to have that don't fit society's "norms"?
CSharpner
not rated yet May 30, 2011
Commentateur, just curious, what did you disagree with my comment above? You voted it a 1, but I just reread it myself, and it seems pretty reasonable to me and I'd have a hard time believing that either pro or anti homosexuals would find it unreasonable and certainly not offensive in any possible way. Help me understand. I'm listening with open intent.
Gawad
5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2011
@CSharpner

Good points. As for your last question, I believe the answer is in the final quote by Gane. None of the pathologies that you point out as examples act as special vectors for STDs, in particular between homosexuals and heterosexuals. And, while homosexuality and bisexuality are not pathologies anyway they do involve higher risk of health problems so *should* be treated accordingly. It would be more accurate to compare homosexuals and bisexuals to people with high cholesterol. The latter ARE singled out for closer health monitoring because they are at greater risk of developing heart disease.