(The Federalist) -- It was a spectacular assertion. A 2014 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine by a Columbia University researcher asserted that “sexual minorities living in communities with high levels of anti-gay prejudice” have a “shorter life expectancy of approximately 12 years.”
Yes, you heard that right. Being gay in an unwelcoming community takes 12 years off your life! This study was heralded broadly by the press with no critical analysis provided for the reader. Not one mainstream journalist stopped to consider, much less challenge, the sweeping grandeur of this claim. It was used as a blunt object to condemn anyone not keen on the mainstreaming of homosexuality.
Quite blunt it was. Reducing another’s life by 12 years by failing to agree with his or her sexual desires is no small charge. But is it legit?
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Compare This to Other Major Health Conditions
First, just consider this 12-year-life-reduction charge in contrast to other dramatic life-reducing health conditions. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that being a regular smoker shaves up to 10 years off one’s life.