Smoking and Alcohol: It's Just Another Lifestyle: What Health Risks?
by Rich Deem


You have heard the data before. They get all kinds of deadly diseases that reduce their life expectancy by 20 years compared to the general population. They tend to be abusive to their loved ones and tend to be sexually unfaithful. But, I say that we should promote smoking and drinking in our schools, since this is just an alternative lifestyle. Before you think I am completely crazy (and e-mail me), understand that this page is actually not about smoking or alcoholism - these lifestyles are roundly condemned by the medical community, and by politicians and our public schools - as they rightly should be. However...

Don't condemn us!

Homosexuals (a.k.a., "gays") say that their lifestyle is normal and that their lifestyle choice should be respected and approved. I certainly agree that this is a free country and that everyone has a right to lead their life as they choose within the law. However, to approve of the homosexual lifestyle is equivalent to or worse than supporting smoking or alcoholism. Let's look at the reasons why.

Average gay life expectancy

Early reports in the 1980's suggested that male homosexuals had an average life expectancy of less than 50 years - more than 20 years less than the overall male population. With the push for "safe" sex and improved treatments for AIDS, one would expect that the life expectancy might have increased since then. However, a Canadian study in 1997 found that male homosexuals have a life expectancy of 20 years less than the general male population (based upon a prevalence of 3% of the male population).1 Using several different measures, including life expectancy determined from obituaries, two large random sexuality surveys (in the USA and Great Britain), and a survey of those never married in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, indicated an average age of death of less than 50 years old.2 A third study, published in 2002, found that the median age of death of 88 homosexually partnered men was 45 years, while for 118 unpartnered homosexual men it was 46 years.3 This latter study put the average life expectancy of male homosexuals nearly 30 years less than the general male population. Another study showed that, on average, ever-married men outlived the ever-homosexually-partnered by 23 years in Denmark (74 yr. v. 51 yr.), and 25 years in Norway (77 yr. v. 52 yr.) Ever-married women outlived the ever-homosexually-partnered in Denmark by 22 years (78 yr. v. 56 yr.), and in Norway by almost 25 years (81 yr. v. 56 yr.).4

How does the average homosexual lifespan compare to the average life expectancy of smokers? On average, a lifetime smoker can expect the smoking lifestyle to reduce his life expectancy by only 10 years.5 However, smoking is vigorously condemned by the medical community and press, although it reduces life expectancy by less than half of that caused by a gay lifestyle.

Dangerous lifestyle

The U.S. FDA defines the criteria for blood donation.6 Many forms of sexual behavior prevent blood from being accepted through the Red Cross and other agencies. According to the standard questionnaire, "men who have had sex with another man even one time since 1977," are disqualified from donating blood because of risk of AIDS to the blood supply. No other lifestyle is excluded from donation for only one event in the last 31 years. Obviously, the risk of HIV infection is greater in those who practice homosexuality in the United States. However, other diseases, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus7 and Herpes simplex virus-2 (cause of genital herpes)8 contribute to increasing morbidity among gays.

Gay bashers

There is a lot of talk these days about gay bashing, with Christians often being accused of this (I'm sure I will get e-mails from this page). However, government statistics show that homosexuals are nearly 20 times more likely to be abused by other homosexuals than by heterosexuals.9 A recent study showed that nearly one third of practicing homosexuals were abused by their partners.10

Psychiatric, mental and emotional disorders

A scientific study in the Netherlands revealed that homosexual behavior significantly increases the likelihood of psychiatric, mental and emotional disorders. Youth are four times more likely to suffer major depression, almost three times as likely to suffer generalized anxiety disorder, nearly four times as likely to experience conduct disorder, four times as likely to commit suicide, five times as likely to have nicotine dependence, six times as likely to suffer multiple disorders, and more than six times as likely to have attempted suicide.11

A study examining twins raised in the same household revealed in those twins in which at least one twin was homosexual, 80 percent of those twins the other was straight. Those gay-straight twins with same-sex partners were 6.5 times as likely as their co-twin to have attempted suicide. The higher rate was not explained by mental health or substance abuse disorders.12 Other studies have shown that homosexuals seek psychological help at greater frequencies than heterosexuals (see figures to right).13

Christians hate homosexuals?

Christians are often labeled as being "homophobic" or accused of hating gays. Even though Christians deny hating homosexuals, the perception of Christian homophobia remains high among many non-Christians. A new study has examined the question from a scientific perspective. In the study, religious people were assigned to work as a team with a person who had been disclosed to be either homosexual or heterosexual. In addition, some were disclosed to be promiscuous and others as celibate. It was found that the religious people did not help homosexuals less than heterosexuals.14 However, religious people did not help promiscuous individuals as much as celibate individuals, whether they be homosexual or heterosexual.14

Conclusion Top of page

People do many things that are unhealthy. Although we allow people to do those things in the United States as a matter of freedom, we tend to discourage them from doing so - except regarding homosexuality. It is ironic that our public school system encourages students to become involved in homosexuality. In order to be consistent, I think it is time we encourage our children to start smoking and drinking as well. After all, it is just an alternate lifestyle!

References Top of page

  1. Hogg RS, Strathdee SA, Craib KJ, O'Shaughnessy MV, Montaner JS, Schechter MT. 1997. Modeling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men. Int. J. Epidemiol. 26:657-661.
  2. Cameron P, Cameron K, Playfair WL. 1998. Does homosexual activity shorten life? Psychol. Rep. 83:847-66.
  3. Cameron P. 2002. Homosexual partnerships and homosexual longevity: a replication. Psychol. Rep. 91:671-678.
  4. Cameron, C. and K. Cameron. 2007. Federal Distortion Of Homosexual Footprint (Ignoring Early Gay Death?) Family Research Institute.
  5. Doll, R., R. Peto, J. Boreham, and I. Sutherland. 2004. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors. British Med. J. 328:1519.
  6. CBER Blood Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Updated March 15, 2004.
  7. Binh An Diep. 2008. Emergence of Multidrug-Resistant, Community-Associated, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clone USA300 in Men Who Have Sex with Men. Ann. Intern. Med.
  8. In New York City, the incidence of genital herpes is 32% for homosexual men compared to 18% for heterosexuals. SURVEY FINDS GENITAL HERPES IS COMMON AMONG NEW YORKERS. 2008. From the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  9. A U.S. Justice Department study found an annual average of 13,740 male victims of violence by homosexual partners and 16,900 victims by lesbian partners. (U.S. Department of Justice, "Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99," Bureau of Justice Selected Findings.) By contrast, the 1999 statistics for hate crimes based on sexual orientation totaled 1,558 victims (U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reports 1999).
  10. Eric Houston, E. and D. J. McKirnan. 2007. Intimate Partner Abuse among Gay and Bisexual Men: Risk Correlates and Health Outcomes. Journal of Urban Health 84: 681-690.
  11. Theo G.M. Sandforte, T. Graaf, R. Bijl, R. Schnabel, P. 2001. Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence. Archives of General Psychiatry 58: 85-91.
  12. Herrell, R. et al. 1999. A Co-twin Control Study in Adult Men. Archives of General Psychiatry 56: 867-874.
  13. Statistics Canada, Catalogue 82-003. Health Reports, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2008, page 58. (original data )
  14. Mak, H. K. and J. Tsan. 2008. Separating the "Sinner" from the "Sin": Religious Orientation and Prejudiced Behavior Toward Sexual Orientation and Promiscuous Sex. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47: 379-392.
Last Modified January 31, 2009


Rich's Blog