Friday, July 07, 2006

UK Doctor Spreads Gay Misinformation in Qatar

According to the Qatari newspaper al-Raya, Dr. Mamoun Mubayyad, a professor from Queens University in Belfast, denied that homosexuality was genetic and criticized society for causing it. Al-Raya has been covering homosexuality a lot recently (for an Arabic newspaper), and not in a great light. It put a report on the August's gay event in Morocco in the "crimes" section. This article is no different.

I am not saying homosexuality is genetic - I have no idea and I don't care. But Mubayyad's lecture was not purely scientific, for he had a clear anti-gay agenda. A quote, translated by me:

Dr. Mamoun Mubayyed, a psychiatry lecturer at Queen's University, Belfast, United Kingdom, said that homosexuality is a social disease, and denied the dominant belief promoted by some in the media that homosexuality is hereditary or genetic, saying it is rather but is a disease from acquied behavior.

He said that the society is primarily responsible for this phenomenon, in that the community either gives the green light to homosexual practice or that the root of the behaviour lies in ignoring it and covering it up, which is what is happening in our Arab societies.

In the beginning, he said that the homosexual phenomenon exists in societies without exception, and may spread in specific certain societies, and that homosexuality exists in Arab communities, but not with the same frequency as in Western societies, despite his acknowledgment of the absence of statistics in the Arab countries due to the lack of studies on this phenomenon. He said communities still feel embarrassed to talk about such problems.

He then went on to say that 35 percent of homosexuality is caused by sexual abuse as a child, with other factors including faulty father-son or mother-daughter relations, or lack of religious education. Other causes may include emtional wounds, crowded quarters, and a large number of siblings. He said that his aim is to find signs of homosexuality in the young, such as aversion to violent games, feminine behavior, and sympathizing with gays regarding their victimization. He feels that prevention is the best method, and that most of the errors which cause homosexuality are from parental mistreatment.

Another quote:
Concerning treatment, he said he must be certain a young man wanted to remedy his sexual orientation, and that there are effective ways to go about it, whether it's though cognitive , behavioural or psychoanalyitic treatment. He said that studies have proven that in 60 percent of cases, men responded to treatment, with 70 percent for women, and asserted that such a percentage increases in Islamic countries because of the intervention of religious restraint.

And he confirmed that a young man is a victim when he suffers from this problem and we should not issue moral judgement on him because the family and society are responsible for this behavior.

He then goes on to talk about how educating families is the solution to homosexuality, and that the problem must be acknowledged, even though it is not widespread. He also said that this should not cause a panic, and that relationships between schoolgirls or students and teachers may be innocent.

A final quote:

The reason behind the appearance of homosexualily is undoubtedly the weakness of religious restraint, with another main factor being the absence of proper upbringing and care from the family.

He said solutions must include the facilitation of marriage, the education of parents and teachers and the establishment of specialized courses.

Speaking about the role of mosques in this awareness, he said he prefers that discussion of such matters not be held in public places such as mosques, which bring together various levels and age groups. The issue must be developed in workshops or special courses for parents, and mode of discourse must vary according to age group and the target audience.

I don't know where Mubayyad gets his information, but he certainly relies a lot on stereotype and very little on fact. Notice that he cites no credible studies and does not say where he gets his percentages from. There are hundreds of studies out there with hundreds of different findings, both pro- and anti-gay.

Not enough is really known to say what causes homosexuality, and it's obvious that Mubayyad is using faulty science to arrive at his conclusions. He is starting off seeing homosexuality as a disease, and then working backward to find its causes. It's like the old days - people thought the Earth was flat, and looked for explanations to prove them right. But what if homosexuality is not a disease? What if, in the future, scientists find that homosexuality is just as normal as a rund Earth? They've already shown that it's extremely common in nature.

Mubayyad is simply throwing the same old anti-gay rhetoric we've heard for years, but is trying to bring a "scientific" anti-gay argument to the Arab World t accompany the religious ones, which dominate discussion. I doubt that anything Mubayyad professes would hold up under sound scrutiny.

Anyway, this topic is too big to be discussed in one post. I just wanted to get the al-Raya article out there.


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