Review: “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth”

I had never heard of Dr. Jeffrey Satinover until Marvin Olasky, the consummately well-read editor of WORLD magazine, called Satinover’s book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truththe best book on the subject.” I was unfamiliar with this volume. I ordered it immediately. And after devouring its contents, my own judgment aligns with Olasky’s: it is in a class by itself. Everyone wishing to engage meaningfully in the debate surrounding homosexuality should buy, read, and study this book.

Satinover is a medical doctor with top-shelf intellectual credentials. He graduated from MIT, attained master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale, and received his M.D. from the University of Texas. He has practiced psychoanalysis and psychiatry for 25 years. In 1981, while working as a psychiatrist at a hospital in New York City, he was called in to perform a neurological assessment on a young man whose illnesses were beginning to affect his nervous system and mind. The man, who at one time had clearly been strong and handsome, was now gaunt and pale. He was unable to speak or to express himself with more than a vacant stare. His arms and sides were covered with purple welts – Kaposi’s sarcoma, a virulent cancer. He died within days, and his case was reported in one of the world’s premier medical journals. “AIDS had appeared on the scene… It was known to us then simply as GRID, ‘gay-related immune disorder.’”

Dr. Satinover has seen the medical toll of the gay lifestyle. And he is not afraid to speak about it. The casual reader who is accustomed to the culturally prevalent, happy-go-lucky, sitcom version of homosexuality will likely be shocked as Satinover discusses, for instance, the immense medical consequences of anal sex. Be forewarned: this book is not for the faint of heart.

Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth is striking in the way it blends vigorous argumentation with genuine human empathy. Satinover writes like a good doctor who speaks hard truth because he cares for his patient’s good. In the public square, Satinover is fiercely opposed to the scientific misinformation promulgated by gay activists. “Recent articles in the media create the mistaken impression that scientific closure on the subject of homosexuality has been or will soon be reached… But the purported scientific consensus that the press touts is a fiction… the changes that have occurred in both public and professional opinion have resulted from politics, pressure, and public relations.” He copiously footnotes this assertion, quoting from gay journals and chronicling the history of debate within professional guilds like the APA and NASW. He then unloads chapters of footnoted research data documenting the fact that homosexual behavior, especially among gay men, is medically dangerous.

Of course, gay activists vociferously dispute claims like this. That’s one reason this book is so important. Satinover is not writing as a political activist or a cultural pundit. He has no skin in the game. He is simply concerned that the gay-activist agenda is distorting the medical facts.

Gay activists deliberately paint a picture of homosexual life, especially among men, that is the counterpart of heterosexual life. Their purpose is to avoid alienating support from sympathetic heterosexuals who constitute the vast majority of people… [But] the sexual profile of the typical gay male is precisely the most dangerous one… Because of their larger numbers of sexual partners and [their] sexual practices… homosexual men are at particularly high risk of acquiring hepatitis B, giardiasis, amebiasis, shigellosis, campylobacteriosis, and anorectal infections…

In the midst of such clear and cogent argumentation, Satinover maintains a humble, gentle, compassionate spirit toward homosexuals themselves. In fact, honest gay-activist readers will find that he defies categorization. He can’t be put on the shelf as a “homophobe” and neatly avoided.

Satinover’s book is organized in two sections: 1) an overview of the medical and scientific research surrounding homosexuality; 2) an analysis of the nature and origin of homosexuality. Section 2 holds some fascinating surprises for readers of all stripes. Christian readers will find themselves challenged (and greatly helped) by Satinover’s elucidation of the complex biological, psychological, and environmental influences on sexual orientation. And GLBT readers will find in Satinover one who understands their world, yet graciously challenges their presuppositions. Those prone to believe that “homosexuals can’t change” owe it to themselves to consult the sociological, psychological, and statistical research in Satinover’s second section which argues to the contrary.

Those who have blindly predetermined that homosexuality is normal, innate, and irreversible will likely reject Satinover’s book without reading it. Which is unfortunate, because its observations and conclusions deserve careful attention. “The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes to examine him” (Prov. 18:17). The gay activists have been pleading their case for 40 years. Do they seem right? Don’t conclude until you let Satinover cross-examine.


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  1. The reviews look really good; I’ll plan on reading it this year.

    Does it bother you that this guy also wrote a book on finding hidden codes in the pentateuch (seeming to approve of these “Bible codes”)?

  2. Have you read his “Feather Of A Skylark”? Not nearly as academic but an interesting overview of how habitual patterns of behavior (in this case, homosexual behavior) create concrete neurological pathways in the brain and that makes it incredibly difficult to change behavior – not impossible, but difficult. He compares it to a bird trying to put its feathers back in after they have been removed.

  3. Forgive me for being late to the conversation (and responding years after this was written)… but I want to start to form a more well-rounded opinion on this matter and was reading through your old posts.

    I will have to order this book and read it as a whole… but I do want to challenge part of what is written above by saying that you couldn’t judge an entire group of people based on the status of the majority of them. As in, you couldn’t argue that homosexuality is wrong because the majority of the gay males are promiscuous (and that is dangerous to their health). What does that say to the ones that aren’t promiscuous? The above text kind of reads like there is no version of the gay male that isn’t promiscuous…which is false.

    It’s also interesting to think about the concept that one of the major factors (if not, the main factor) in promiscuity is: low self-esteem. And then when you consider what major forms of rejection gay men & women experience through-out their lives by family, church & friends… it seems to go hand-and-hand with their sexual promiscuity. Perhaps if you created a bubble and tossed a bunch of homosexuals inside and built up their confidence as human beings, they would behave as anyone else with a high self-esteem.

    • They have research from the Netherlands and they apparently are very much in support of gay marriage and stuff, yet the statistics are pretty self explanatory… they don’t support your hypothesis Brandon. In fact are very well the opposite.. read on. Link above^

    • Brandon, it is perhaps odd that you would claim, without evidence, that it is false that “there is no gay male who is not promiscuous.” Offering but one counter-example is an easy means of falsifying this assertion, but you do not offer that. Please try.

      Satinover’s claim that homosexuality is an addictive behavior, if true, would belie the ease with which a homosexual could refrain from attractive offers from a winsome, younger man, merely because one is already committed in to a loving, monogamous homosexual union.

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