Divorce prevents homosexuality

A controversial new study from a researcher in Christchurch New Zealand shows that if you are a single parent, your kids are 10% less likely to be gay. If you remarry and raise a child with an opposite sex step parent, then the chances of the child being gay are halved compared to if the child was raised by its biological parents.

You didn’t hear about that? Oh I suppose you only heard about the bit where gay people were more likely to have been abused during childhood. Well, I have actually read the study and actually understand the stats and I can tell you why you didn’t see my headline above. It’s because that finding didn’t fit in with the world view of the researchers running the study, so they chose to gloss over it. After all, we all know that divorce and the “breakdown of family values” is the cause of all the ills in the world and, homosexuality being an ill, it can’t possibly be that single parents or different-sex step-parents are less likely to cause gays, can it?

What’s going on? Is this study giving the wrong answers or is it asking the wrong questions? I argue it’s a bit of both.

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I recently had the pleasure of watching a NZ Film Festival Film called “There once was an island”. The film deals with an island in Papua New Guinea that is apparently in the process of sinking. Now, many people will see this film as dealing with climate change, or addressing the problem of losing one’s cultural identity in the face of the inexorable march of industrialisation. I got a slightly more personal message from the film.

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Fiji Greeting

DSC_3956As soon as you get off the plane it hits you: it’s like walking into a sauna. No, it is walking into a sauna, in just about every sense. Sweat begins to muster on your brow as you succumb to the humidity; the air is dense with it. Breathing is just that little bit more difficult and movement is slower too.

“Aaah,” I exclaim, soaking in the atmosphere, more literally than normal.

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