Jennifer Roback Morse reports on the latest nutty bill to emerge from Californai’s state senate: “The Bias-Free Curriculum Act.” This would require school textbooks in the state of California to include the contributions of gays and lesbians. The idea is to prevent gay teen suicides by making it less likely that they’ll be harassed by their peers.
Advocates for the bill say studies show that gay and lesbian (as well as bisexual and transgender–let’s not forget them!) teens think about committing suicide more often than their straight counterparts. But Jennifer Roback Morse, writing for Townhall (hat tip to Kathy Shaidle) nicely dissects the study sponsored by the ACLU and the Gay-Straight Network purporting to show a link between harassment and teen suicide:
“I found six of the seven academic articles cited. Not a single one proved that harassment causes students to become suicidal. Some didn’t even address the question of whether discrimination was to blame. Of the ones that did address the question, none came near showing a significant causal link. Most simply documented the higher rates of suicidal thoughts and plans and attempts among gay studentz. It is actually an open question whether the rates of actual suicide, as opposed to suicide attempts or fantasy, are greater for gay teens than for straight.”
“A policy that wanted to help a group that is afflicted with suicidal thoughts, would focus on men. Three-quarters of all completed suicides are committed by males. And if textbooks are appropriate vehicles for making an oppressed group feel better about themselves, we ought to add a section on the contributions of divorced fathers. They have twice the suicide rate as married men. Many of them wanted to keep their marriages together, were divorced against their will, and are cut off from contact with their children.”
Yes, how about a unit on Ronald Reagan? There was a divorced man who contributed quite a bit to society. Fortunately, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced that he plans to veto this silly bill.