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Catholic University: Homosexuality A ‘Deviant Behavior’ Like Murder, Rape, Drug Use

by David Badash on September 10, 2012

in News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Catholic University: Homosexuality A ‘Deviant Behavior’ Like Murder, Rape, Drug Use

A 60-year old Catholic University may be risking accreditation after offering a social work course called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior, whose course description reads:

DEVIANT BEHAVIOR focuses on the sociological theories of deviant behavior such as strain theory, differential association theory, labeling theory, and phenomenological theory. The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness, and drug use. The course focuses on structural conditions in society that potentially play a role in influencing deviant behavior.
3 credit hours

A spokesperson for the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio says the University is debating whether or not the description needs to be changed, but in a statement, the University, claiming the word “deviant” is merely a standard sociological term, notes “changing standard sociological definitions is beyond the scope of our work.”

So, too, is changing the teachings of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic university, Franciscan teaches “all the truths of revelation whether found in Scripture or Tradition as taught by the Catholic Church”

(Mission Statement, p. 6). To do otherwise would be a violation of our basic mission as a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition.

Homosexuality is not considered “deviant behavior,” according to every major medical organization. Homosexuality, in fact, is not a behavior any more than having blue eyes is a behavior.

“Members of a Franciscan University gay and lesbian alumni group on Facebook discovered the course description and have asked the school to change it,” NPR reports:

“As a lesbian and as a psychological professional, I found a couple of things offensive,” says Elizabeth Vermilyea, who graduated from Franciscan University in 1991 with a psychology degree. Today she’s working on a doctorate and consults with mental health organizations. She objects to including both mental health and homosexuality in that list.

“The state of the art in science on homosexuality is not that it’s deviant,” says Vermilyea. “The DSM — Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — has removed it … as an illness.”

NPR adds that “gay and lesbian alumni are not satisfied with” the University’s explanation.”

“What if you’re a gay student at Franciscan University? How are you going to feel if you’re sitting in that class and they’re putting you in the same category as murderers?” asks Gregory Gronbacher, who graduated from Franciscan University in 1990.

Gronbacher and Vermilyea contacted school officials, trying to get the course description changed. The university’s attorney responded instead with an email warning them not to use the university’s name or logo in their activities.

Franciscan University now faces questions from the group that accredits its social work program.

“The fact that homosexuality was identified in the course description as a deviant behavior raises a flag,” says Stephen Holloway, director of the office of accreditation at the Council on Social Work Education.

Holloway says there is a diversity requirement that includes sexual orientation in his organization’s accrediting standards.

“Understanding diversity and difference and their dynamics in society is critical for social workers to be effective in working with diverse populations,” explains Holloway.

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You calls this “[d]angerous and disgusting.”

The very thing that will lend “justification” to that one student who has strong and targeted ideas about what does and does not qualify as a physical education requirement.


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colonelkira September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Please endeavour to add "in my opinion" to bold statements such as "Homosexuality, in fact, is not a behavior any more than having blue eyes is a behavior."

While I agree with you, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetic in nature.

You are reporting the news right?

InvokeRights September 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

You failed to read:

"The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness, and drug use."

Does that help? Here, let me point it out for you:

Putting "homosexuality" even as a 'deviant behavior' is bad enough, but in the same category as murder, rape, prostitution, etc… is just downright disgusting. You are saying that being gay is like being a murderer, rapist, prostitute and the like.

You lose -10 interwebz for reading comprehension fail.

Siddigfan September 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I am also perturbed that they insist on including 'mental illness' in such a group as murder, rape, prostitution, rapist, etc. as if all mentally ill people display such behavior. As a bipolar person I am angry! Most mentally ill people (and mental illness will effect over 50% of the population at one time or another in their lives) never display any type of behavior that is dangerous to others! The APA should be all over these idiots! And I'm Catholic and pro LGBT. I have a gay, transgendered son! So write me down as doubly furious!

InvokeRights September 11, 2012 at 1:30 am

Bipolar and doubly angry? Wow, both sides of you must be angry then! LOL

But yes, I noticed that too and was extremely displeased. I have ADHD and tend to have a horrible short term memory, so apparently I'm a deviant as well! LOL Yay for me!

Siddigfan January 14, 2013 at 1:07 am

Haha! I know you're just kidding but, I don't want to perpetuate the idea that bipolar is the same thing as 'split personality'. They're different. But I understand you were just joking. No offense taken.

colonelkira September 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Bravo!……and on the handle name as well!

colonelkira September 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

No, I said nothing of the sort. Nor did I comment on the stupidity of putting homosexuality in the same category as the aforementioned traits.

What i commented on was the reporting "writers" attempts to use hyperbole in EXACTLY the same manner as the offending University and that by doing so only hurts our cause, it does not help it.

I believe it is you who should be sentenced by a judge to remedial reading class, not I!

Alex_Parrish September 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Missing from the list of deviant behavior is susceptibility to being in a cult (such as the Roman Catholic Church)

Siddigfan January 14, 2013 at 1:10 am

Wait Alex. Please give me a chance here!Please let me reassure you as a str8 Catholic lgbt ally and proud Mom of a gay trans son, that the majority of lay Catholics in America stand beside you. "On the issue of marriage, the report , compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute using past polls and studies, showed “nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.” There are several primarily Catholic pro LGBT groups such as Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, Equally Blessed, Catholics for Marriage Equality, Fortunate Families, and on and on. So, don't be discouraged if our Pope and Bishops and some lay Catholics are saying hurtful things. Most of us are with you and actively working to make the world a better place for you. Many Catholics were instrumental in getting the needed votes for the passage of Marriage Equality in this past election! You have many Catholic friends out there!

LOrion September 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm


James_M_Martin September 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

If there is any deviant behavior, I am sure the Catholic Church would recognize it, they see it so often and sweep it under the rug of their diplomatic immunity, being the only organized religion in the world to have diplomatic relations with the U.S. When the hierarchy covered up the corruption of pederastic priests, the diplomatic immunity should have been revoked and the archbishops sent back to the Vatican. No longer would documents concerning the wrist-slapping of miscreant priests be toted about in diplomatic pouches.

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