August 1992

The Pediatrician's Role in Treating Gay Patients-Reply

Author Affiliations

PO Box 306 Deer Park, NY 11729

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(8):901. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160200023011

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In Reply.—We wholeheartedly agree with Dr Willbanks' concerns about unsafe sexual practices. It is clearly the duty of health care providers to instruct all patients, whether straight or gay, about reducing high-risk behavior.

Dr Willbanks is apparently confusing gayness with promiscuity and risky sexual behavior. There exists no intrinsic link between persons' sexual orientation and the number of sexual partners with whom he or she ultimately will connect. The link between gayness and promiscuity is a vicious myth perpetuated by homophobic and ignorant individuals who, hopefully, will find the time to better educate themselves. Let it be clearly understood that in our practice of pediatric medicine, the vast majority of sexually transmitted disease occurs in heterosexual adolescents. Let it also be known that the particular sexual orientation of each of our adolescents is respected, validated, and celebrated.

Finally, we wish to direct attention to the fact that a permanent, monogamous, gay

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