The Instigator
TrayPound
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Hematite12
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Homosexuality is a mental illness

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TrayPound
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 846 times Debate No: 49762
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

TrayPound

Pro

Hello, this is my first debate, so I figured that I'd start off my time here with an extremely controversial debate that will challenge both my opponent and I.

My argument is that, by definition, homosexuality and other forms of sexual deviance are mental illnesses.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mental illness is defined as 'health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning'[1]. Furthermore, I will clarify that the phrase 'normal person' is defined as 'a neurotypical heterosexual male or female', as heterosexuals represent the majority of humans.

To start, I will be ensuring that homosexuality meets the criteria listed by the above definition.

Thinking: Homosexuals and other sexual deviants think in such a way that deviates from the 'normal' person's thinking. They are sexually attracted to those of the same sex, which is a form of thinking not experienced by the heterosexual. In addition, they may identify with the opposite sex, which goes against the neurotypical thinking of their sex.

Behaving: By their very nature, homosexuals engage in sexual deviance, which goes against the neurotypical behavior for their sex.

Distress: According to the APA, homosexuals have higher rates of additional mental disorders, and homosexual teenagers are slightly more likely to commit suicide. Specifically, there is a higher rate of depression among homosexual teenagers, higher rates of recurrent depression among gay men, higher rates of anxiety disorders and suicidal thoughts among homosexuals aged 15 to 54, and a higher frequency of mental health service use by homosexuals [2]. This, I would argue, classifies homosexuality as causing distress.

Impaired functioning: Homosexuals (and some other kinds of sexual deviants, not all) are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, therefore impairing their biological functionality by deterring homosexuals from seeking out mates and reproducing.

So, in accordance with the above definition of mental illness, it can be shown that homosexuals (and other sexual deviants) experience alterations in thinking and behavior, which cause distress and impair functionality. Therefore, by the definition listed by the CDC, homosexuality is a mental illness.

I will await your rebuttal, please argue against all of the points I have listed and good luck!

1. http://www.cdc.gov...
2. http://www.apa.org...
Hematite12

Con

Hi, I accept :)

You have Burden of Proof, it seems to me. If you disagree you can explain why in your next argument, but I will operate off of this assumption, since you need evidence to claim that something is in fact a mental illness.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mental illness is defined as 'health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning'[1]. Furthermore, I will clarify that the phrase 'normal person' is defined as 'a neurotypical heterosexual male or female', as heterosexuals represent the majority of humans.

To start, I will be ensuring that homosexuality meets the criteria listed by the above definition.

Reasonable.

Thinking: Homosexuals and other sexual deviants think in such a way that deviates from the 'normal' person's thinking. They are sexually attracted to those of the same sex, which is a form of thinking not experienced by the heterosexual. In addition, they may identify with the opposite sex, which goes against the neurotypical thinking of their sex.

Where is your justification for the statement that homosexuals are "sexual deviants"? You would only have reason to frame them as deviants if you thought that heterosexuality is more "normal" than homosexuality in a fundamental sense, enough to label homosexuals as sexual deviants.

Your argument is fallacious by begging the question, because you already presuppose that homosexuals deviate from a rightful norm, and use that to reach the conclusion that homosexuals "go against the neurotypical thinking of their sex". You assumed the conclusion as a premise.

Behaving: By their very nature, homosexuals engage in sexual deviance, which goes against the neurotypical behavior for their sex.

Fallacious for the same reason. You need to justify your claim that homosexuals "engage in sexual deviance".

Distress: According to the APA, homosexuals have higher rates of additional mental disorders, and homosexual teenagers are slightly more likely to commit suicide. Specifically, there is a higher rate of depression among homosexual teenagers, higher rates of recurrent depression among gay men, higher rates of anxiety disorders and suicidal thoughts among homosexuals aged 15 to 54, and a higher frequency of mental health service use by homosexuals [2]. This, I would argue, classifies homosexuality as causing distress.

Correlation does not equal causation. Your evidence in no way leads to the conlusion that homosexuality causes distress. To reach this conclusion from the data, you would need to prove that these higher rates are not caused by society's dismissal and general ill-treatment of homosexuals, for instance. There are plenty of psychological studies that show that minorities are very likely to begin to exhibit the behaviors that false sterotypes would say they have. Races that are thought to be more crime-oriented are likely to be neglected by other races. This causes them to have significantly decreased opportunity and a sense of unworthiness, which causes them to fall into the behaviors that were incorrectly ascribed to them by society.

With all due respect to you, your writing homosexuality off as a "mental illness" is most likely part of the problem, and a reason for the correlation (not causation) of homosexuality and distress.

Impaired functioning: Homosexuals (and some other kinds of sexual deviants, not all) are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, therefore impairing their biological functionality by deterring homosexuals from seeking out mates and reproducing.

Assuming that heterosexuality is inherently superior to homosexuality biologically. Justify this claim. Hundreds of species of animals participate in homosexual behavior. You ignore any possible benefits of homosexuality, showing a mediocre understanding of mutation and genetics. For one, homosexuality increases the range and variance of the gene pool. Furthermore, it is the best solution to overpopulation, which is a massive issue humanity will face in the coming century.

Again, if you have an issue with my deferral of BoP to you, please explain why and I will accept a shared BoP.

Thanks ^_^
Debate Round No. 1
TrayPound

Pro

(Where is your justification for the statement that homosexuals are "sexual deviants"? You would only have reason to frame them as deviants if you thought that heterosexuality is more "normal" than homosexuality in a fundamental sense, enough to label homosexuals as sexual deviants. Your argument is fallacious by begging the question, because you already presuppose that homosexuals deviate from a rightful norm, and use that to reach the conclusion that homosexuals "go against the neurotypical thinking of their sex". You assumed the conclusion as a premise.)

I will start off by rebutting your claim that my argument for thinking is begging the question. My referring to homosexuals as sexual deviants is unrelated to my argument for their being mentally ill. I will clarify. Firstly, if you are unaware of the definition of deviance, it is defined as 'different from what is considered to be normal or morally correct' by the Webster dictionary. The definition of normal, by the very same dictionary, is 'usual or ordinary'. Finally, the definition of usual is 'done, found, or used most of the time or in most cases'. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research [1], only twenty (20) percent of the population is homosexual. Therefore, homosexuality is not usual as it does not represent the majority, and if it is not usual it is not normal in accordance with the definitions of these words. Therefore, it is deviant since it is not the practice of the majority. So, yes, heterosexuality is the practice of the majority, and therefore 'more normal'. I'd also like to point out that you did not present an argument against this point, and merely used the Argument from Fallacy.

(Fallacious for the same reason. You need to justify your claim that homosexuals "engage in sexual deviance".)

Your rebuttal against my behavior argument is similar to your first rebuttal in that it is both fallacious and contains no actual rebuttal. I justified my claim that homosexuality is sexual deviance above, by definition.

(Correlation does not equal causation. Your evidence in no way leads to the conlusion that homosexuality causes distress. To reach this conclusion from the data, you would need to prove that these higher rates are not caused by society's dismissal and general ill-treatment of homosexuals, for instance. There are plenty of psychological studies that show that minorities are very likely to begin to exhibit the behaviors that false sterotypes would say they have. Races that are thought to be more crime-oriented are likely to be neglected by other races. This causes them to have significantly decreased opportunity and a sense of unworthiness, which causes them to fall into the behaviors that were incorrectly ascribed to them by society.

With all due respect to you, your writing homosexuality off as a "mental illness" is most likely part of the problem, and a reason for the correlation (not causation) of homosexuality and distress.)

You are correct in that correlation does not equal causation. However, you lack any form of evidence proving any of the statements that you made in this argument, so there really isn't much for me to rebut. However, I will posit that even though discrimination against homosexuals has been on the decline for years and acceptance has been steadily increasing[2], the rates of mental disorders found in homosexuals has not decreased [3]. To quote from citation 3, "In his cross-cultural comparison of mental health in the Netherlands, Denmark and the U.S., Ross (1988) could find no significant differences between countries"i.e. the greater social hostility in the United States did not result in a higher level of psychiatric problems." In fact, there is significant evidence from dozens of studies, some of which have tested in areas that are extremely accepting of homosexuals, to prove that mental disorders are directly correlated with homosexuality [3][4][5].

(Assuming that heterosexuality is inherently superior to homosexuality biologically. Justify this claim. Hundreds of species of animals participate in homosexual behavior. You ignore any possible benefits of homosexuality, showing a mediocre understanding of mutation and genetics. For one, homosexuality increases the range and variance of the gene pool. Furthermore, it is the best solution to overpopulation, which is a massive issue humanity will face in the coming century.)

In response to your final argument, I'd first like to point out the strawman and the appeal to nature fallacies. Firstly, you are blatantly misrepresenting my argument. Furthermore, just because other species have been found to exhibit homosexual behaviors makes it no better and no less a mental disorder. Finally, you have provided no evidence for your claims, and even if you had, you still would have not rebutted my argument that homosexuality impairs the reproductive capabilities of the individuals afflicted with it. Finally, in order to cement my claim, while only forty (40) percent of homosexual women and fifty (50) percent of homosexual men want children [6], ninety-five (95) percent of the general population have, want, or wish they had children [7]. This firmly supports my claim that homosexuality impairs biological functionality in individuals afflicted with it.

Finally, I would request that you share the burden of proof. You provided no evidence for any of your claims whatsoever, and offered no proof that anything that you said has any significance whatsoever. I've supported every one of my claims, and if necessary can and will continue this debate past the predetermined two rounds. I'd appreciate a rebuttal that actually has something to argue against.

PS: Sorry for the poor formatting, new here.

Fallacy list:
1.Argument from fallacy: Used throughout your entire rebuttal.
2. Strawman: Used several times throughout your argument, especially at the end
3. Appeal to nature: Used in your final argument.
4. Ad hominem: Used in your final argument.

Furthermore, you provided no evidence whatsoever for your reasoning.

1. http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
2. http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com...
3. http://www.ncfamily.org...
4 .http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
5. http://www.exodusglobalalliance.org...
6. http://paa2008.princeton.edu...
7. http://www.gallup.com...
Hematite12

Con

I will start off by rebutting your claim that my argument for thinking is begging the question... I'd also like to point out that you did not present an argument against this point, and merely used the Argument from Fallacy.

I'll speak about your final point, that I did not provide an argument. I don't need to provide an argument. You have the Burden of Proof. If you are new to debating, whoever doesn't have BoP only has to refute statements made by the person with BoP. There are many theories for how to establish BoP, so much so that who has BoP is often a debate in and of itself. If you have a problem with me deferring BoP to you, please state why, but I am operating off of this assumption. I stated this very clearly both at the beginning and the end of my initial argument.

As for the rest, a simple appeal to majority is not sufficient for considering something "an alteration in thinking, mood, or behavior". This can be illustrated by the fact that the transition you make from minority to fundamental alteration could be used for race. Certain races are minorities, their racial identification changes their behavior. But the fact that they are a minority is not a sufficient or even relevant condition for their consideration as an altered state of being. Normality is not defined in cases such as these by simple numbers. You have to show that there is actually impaired functioning from what a human is clearly supposed to do, not a simple majority/minority. Furthermore, 49% of people is technically a minority as well, but no one in their right mind would consider it small enough to be considered abnormal, that is ridiculous. So, where do we draw the line? It's obviously a gray area, but I certainly don't think a fifth of all humans is that much of a minority to be classified as "abnormal".

As a quick example, there are less males in the world than females. Would you then call being male "abnormal"? Because that is essentially the transition you made, from slight minority to abnormality.

Your rebuttal against my behavior argument is similar to your first rebuttal in that it is both fallacious and contains no actual rebuttal. I justified my claim that homosexuality is sexual deviance above, by definition.

Likewise I'll extend my argument above to this.

You are correct in that correlation does not equal causation. However... to prove that mental disorders are directly correlated with homosexuality [3][4][5].

As I've explained several times, you have BoP, I don't need to provide arguments. Any positive claims I make that are more than refutations are unnecessary on my part, but I make to illustrate my refutations more clearly.

Your argument against my proposed real cause for higher rates of depression in homosexuals assumes that fundamental discrimination against gays has actually decreased. Your second source doesn't really help the issue, I don't know how you used it. You don't think that social conservatives have gotten substantially more fired up against gays now than in the past because now it is a matter of social schism? For example, Arizona tried to pass a law that was specifically designed to allow free discrimination against gays by businesses. This wasn't an issue before, so this shows that social conservatives feel that they are under attack, and when people think that society is attacking their views/rights, they become much more impassioned. It is very possible this counter by social conservatives against progressive trends cancels out any positive effects that changes in laws have in our society.

But that was just an example I gave, because again, I don't have BoP. Your refutation of it, even if successful, does not mean that homosexuality actually causes distress, because there are other potential causes. For instance, a homosexual who falls in love with a heterosexual has entered into a doomed relationship from which they might not leave unscarred. This would be constant across all societies regardless of progressive trends, because heterosexuals will never take kindly to homosexuals making moves on them.

In response to your final argument, I'd first like to point out the strawman and the appeal to nature fallacies... This firmly supports my claim that homosexuality impairs biological functionality in individuals afflicted with it.

You are just throwing the term strawman around, I haven't done that. I have responded clearly to each of your individual points, that's not strawmanning, thats organized rebuttal.

As far as appeal to nature... let me quote what you said in your initial argument:

Impaired functioning: Homosexuals (and some other kinds of sexual deviants, not all) are not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, therefore impairing their biological functionality by deterring homosexuals from seeking out mates and reproducing.

You are the one who argued that homosexuality "impairs their biological functionality". You provided no evidence for this, so really my argument is done here, since I don't have BoP, and if you make bare assertions I shouldn't even have to respond. But I did respond, because it would help with getting my problem with this argument across to you. So, I'm going to ignore your claims of "no evidence" against me, because I don't actually have to provide any arguments, and thus no evidence, unless they are absolutely necessary for rebuttal, which they have yet to be.

As far as my counter-rebuttal. You claim I am misrepresenting your arguments, but I am responding quite clearly and to-the-point concerning your claim of "impairing biological functionality". You are the one who is changing your argument now, because you say "you still would have not rebutted my argument that homosexuality impairs the reproductive capabilities of the individuals afflicted with it." Obviously homosexuality impairs the reproductive capabilities of individuals affected with it, but that is very different from impairing biological functioning in general. I brought up animals because it is clear from examining them that it is not necessarily true that homosexuality impairs general biological functioning, because reproduction is not necessarily a good thing in all scenarios. This is the lack of understanding of gene variance I pointed out in you, because you wrongly assume the inherent biological goodness of heterosexuality and the inherent biological badness of homosexuality. You assume it impairs biological function in general because you falsely assume that biological function can be reduced to whether the creature reproduces, but there is obviously more at stake when you are considering the long-term survivability and efficacy and variation of a species.

Finally, I would request that you share the burden of proof. You... has something to argue against.

I don't have to provide evidence if I don't have BoP. You should have said this in your opening statements, and it was not an unreasonable assumption on my part that you would have BoP; how am I supposed to argue that something isn't a mental disorder with positive claims? All I can do is refute your claims that it is, since it assumed that a state of being is not an illness unless proven so. Innocent until proven guilty, so to speak.

So, I am in no way to blame for your lack of communication as far as BoP expectations. I don't blame you either necessarily, since you are apparently new to debate/formatting, but you speak about BoP as if it is somehow my fault that you failed to communicate an unexpected and, frankly, unreasonable (to me) expectation. But you should cover this in the opening post and not continually critisize your opponent for taking a reasonable BoP stance in a debate in which you did not specify.

Fallacy list:
1.Argument from fallacy: Used throughout your entire rebuttal. It's called refuting your opponent's claims. :/
2. Strawman: Used several times throughout your argument, especially at the end Nowhere did I implement strawman, you changed your argument and made false assumptions about biological efficacy. You didn't even point out where I strawmanned.
3. Appeal to nature: Used in your final argument. We are talking about biology, it's the study of natural things. But nice try.
4. Ad hominem: Used in your final argument. Where? The mediocrity comment? That wasn't even remotely intended to be ad hominem, and I apologize if it came across like that. You're simply making false claims about biology. Furthermore, mediocrity doesn't actually mean awful, as it is often conoted to mean, it actually just means average, just not at a high level.

Furthermore, you provided no evidence whatsoever for your reasoning.

I am perfectly sympathetic to your inexperience with debating, but I will not tolerate you turning your lack of specificity into a point against me. I debated according to accepted forms in debate in general but specifically on this website. If you make a claim that something is a mental illness it's assumed you have the BoP, for the same reason people are considered innocent until proven guilty. This is a disrespectful attempt at your part to deflect your own inexperience and turn it into a fault of mine.

Conclusion:

My opponent generally provided very good sources, and I commend them for this. However, I can not be expected to provide sources myself when I lack BoP, so I would request a reasonable scoring with this in mind.

I refuted all of my opponent's claims, while my opponent changed their statements, specifically concerning biological vs reproductive functionality, to fit the need.

My opponent only requested a shared BoP at the end of the debate, while this should have been provided in the opener. I do not fault them for this, however I do fault them for their attempt to use this as a point against me. I acted under the reasonable assumption, which I stated very clearly on multiple occasions, that claiming something is a mental illness is a positive claim that gives one BoP.
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Hematite12 2 years ago
Hematite12
@Dennybug's vote

"Close debate, I think it came down to how Con refuted the points, he stated that: simple appeal to majority is not sufficient for considering something "an alteration in thinking, mood, or behavior". However by Pro's provided definitions of those things yes it can be used to appeal to the majority. How else should you measure normality? Con's most effective rebuttal was the one against mental disorders. I think that pro did not adequately explain this. And dodged the discrimination bullet. ========= Sources go to Pro since he provided a lot of websites which supported his claims. Whereas con did not provide adequate evidence against Pro's arguments."

I'm not trying to attack your vote, but I don't understand your reasoning. First, I explained very clearly why majority/minority can't be a reason to consider something an alteration. Take an anthill. There's only one queen and a ton of worker ants. By his/your logic, the queen ant would be abnormal. Obviously it isn't, it's just a different type. He needed to show that homosexuality was actually abnormal for the species of homo sapiens, and not just a different type or variant, which he distinctly failed to do.

Your point about sources I explained many times in the debate and in the comments section. I don't have BoP, I don't need to provide ANY evidence unless it's necessary for my refutation, which it was not. You can't treat every debate like there is a shared BoP.
Posted by Hematite12 2 years ago
Hematite12
I'll explain. Here's an example from the debate. You said:

"Distress: According to the APA, homosexuals have higher rates of additional mental disorders, and homosexual teenagers are slightly more likely to commit suicide. Specifically, there is a higher rate of depression among homosexual teenagers, higher rates of recurrent depression among gay men, higher rates of anxiety disorders and suicidal thoughts among homosexuals aged 15 to 54, and a higher frequency of mental health service use by homosexuals [2]. This, I would argue, classifies homosexuality as causing distress."

I responded as my rebuttal:

"Correlation does not equal causation."

This is actually all I had to say. I added more to give you ideas about the sorts of things that could also be variables in the data, therefore that you need to eliminate all other reasonable explanations for the correlation before you jump to pure causation. This is only the case in a debate with asymmetrical BoP, as I reasonably supposed this debate was.

You are correct that claims have to be backed up, but I made no bare assertions. Any bare assertions I made were unnecessary for me to make in the first place, I only said them to give you ideas and reasons why your argument wasn't sufficient for proving the resolution, basically.

You said: "Furthermore, this extends to a counterclaim. I could claim that anything in the world is wrong simply because I think it to be wrong, and that is to be accepted as a valid rebuttal?"

You are right, it should not be accepted as a valid rebuttal. But pointing out fallacious logic in your opponent's argument is. Which is what I attempted to do. My refutations were not based in anything that would require empirical data as support. Any empirical claims I made were, as I've said, unnecessary to my core rebuttals. I only brought up society's treatment of homosexuals, for instance, to show that there are more factors than the sexuality itself that could cause distress.
Posted by TrayPound 2 years ago
TrayPound
Furthermore, this extends to a counterclaim. I could claim that anything in the world is wrong simply because I think it to be wrong, and that is to be accepted as a valid rebuttal? If this is the case, please inform me.
Posted by TrayPound 2 years ago
TrayPound
While I did not understand the concept of BoP until reading my opponent's second rebuttal, providing no evidence for a claim is to provide no credibility whatsoever. If this is the pretense that debating operates under, I'll be severely disappointed with what I thought could be both an educational and a fun experience.
Posted by TrayPound 2 years ago
TrayPound
I have no doubt that you'd be able to put up a compelling argument. If you can win, please do so, because I don't think you can.
Posted by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
You know, I haven't noob-sniped in a while... I'm tempted.
Posted by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
Want it, YYW?
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
lol @ this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Dennybug 2 years ago
Dennybug
TrayPoundHematite12Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Close debate, I think it came down to how Con refuted the points, he stated that: simple appeal to majority is not sufficient for considering something "an alteration in thinking, mood, or behavior". However by Pro's provided definitions of those things yes it can be used to appeal to the majority. How else should you measure normality? Con's most effective rebuttal was the one against mental disorders. I think that pro did not adequately explain this. And dodged the discrimination bullet. ========= Sources go to Pro since he provided a lot of websites which supported his claims. Whereas con did not provide adequate evidence against Pro's arguments.