The Ex-Gay Watch health section tracks exgay activists’ frequent criticisms of gay individuals’ health and longevity.

Exgay literature frequently cites two statistics:

1. Homosexuality takes 20 years off an individual’s life.
2. The average lifespan of a homosexual is 42 years.

The new web page The life expectancy of gay men: Does HIV make much difference? analyzes the sources and the math underlying these two statistics:

As a general rule: When the term “20 years off your life” or similar is used, the claimant is referring to this work by Hogg and his colleagues. Use of words such as “the average age is only 42 years” points to Paul Cameron. Hogg’s paper was valid, although now clearly out of date and sorely misused — it requires a considered response. Cameron’s scurrilous work is without any merit, and needs only be rejected out of hand.

The authors of the page include XGW commenter grantdale; the work includes numerous links to original sources and a thoughtful analysis of the study upon which the antigay movement’s flawed Statistic 1 is based.

The tentative conclusion:

Among all adult men who are behaviorally gay or bisexual, HIV/AIDS reduces life expectancy by 1.2 years. (Among African American men who have sex with men, however, life expectancy drops 7.7 years.)

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