I am getting concerned with the fact that we now have 2 questions in quick succession by the same person about the normality of homosexuality

The questions are also written by someone with a non-identifiable username.

We had a similar spell over in Psychology.SE and with it being such an emotive subject which needs sensitive handling, we need to prevent things going too far.

We had a discussion on Psychology.SE Meta about this very thing as:

This post made it into the hot-questions list and people were, probably rightfully, offended by it. Being called mentally ill because of one's sexual preference is questionable at best.

In response to this post, 'revenge' posts were put in place asking whether transgenders and black people are mentally ill. These two posts were deleted pretty much instantaneously by the mod team, because of the aggressive, troll-like nature.

I am not going into what some of the people said in the deleted comments and answers to https://psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/17540/is-homosexuality-a-mental-disorder but let's say they were very unsavoury.

This part is a heads-up just in case this sort of thing happens here, but I feel we need to decide what we do with further questions along the same lines in order to prevent any escalation of offense here.

The question Why doctors and scientists consider homosexuality normal? has already got 2 answers and some comments which could inflame things, such as

Animals can catch diseases too. Homosexuality might be one of the diseases that both a human and an animal can get.

I feel @Narusan-in-coma did well to put a "spoiler hidden" comment instead of commenting on full view as that gives choice on whether you are exposed to the comment or not, however, the fact that the comment was necessary indicates the seriousness of what we may be dealing with.


Do we agree to close further questions immediately without comment or answers on the basis that it is already answered at What are the causes of being gay?

What are everyone's thoughts on this?

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    They are definitely not in line with the new scope, and don't add anything of value to the site in any case. They have been deleted, any further postings such as this should be flagged for moderator attention.
    – JohnP
    May 27, 2018 at 18:22
  • @JohnP - I didn't mean for What are the causes of being gay? to be deleted as I feel that question was valid. It was initially written without any offense intended, and no offensive comments were made anywhere within the posting. I did however feel there was issue with the second question as that was potentially offensive and there were offensive comments throughout May 27, 2018 at 18:28
  • @JohnP - I am also wondering what this "new scope" is. If you are referring to Meta Discussion: Refocusing from Health to Medical Sciences surely the original question fits with reseach information requests within healthcare-related sciences (see highest up-voted answer) May 27, 2018 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


Many thanks for bringing this up here, I was about to do the same since I felt quite deeply worried about these posts. But this was not a one-sided affair for me.

Asking about 'causes' of being homosexual as well as 'why is this no longer treated' should not be regarded as offensive per se. Looking at current politics, some 'popular' opinions and even laws in certain regions of the human population and the differences about this on this planet is evidence that both questions are source for confusion, on the non-science part.

We science-minded and hopefully enlightened members of HealthSE seem to subscribe to that current majority consensus model, established some time ago, that homosexuality is not a disease. Is not a disease since it was considered a disease and 'properly defined' as such (e.g. pointer to old DSM). This questions and their answers could therefor rightfully be asked within two close but different frames:

  1. How are diseases defined, what is homosexuality?
  2. How was homosexuality defined as an illness, why, how and when did the consensus opinion on that matter change?

Answers to these question look quite valuable to me. First, from the science education standpoint, and second, from the moral implications emanating from this.

Within our science oriented scope, including the 'history of medicine' tag I fail to see how these types would be considered off-topic or offensive for that matter.

The problems with the posts we are discussing now are entirely different from the positive aspects I just tried to emphasise:

  1. The questions were not well motivated (in our collective-subjective view at least). More designed to push an agenda or grind an axe than to really learn from the answers:
    • unsure for a solution, we need a meta post on that subject, alone, generalised.
  2. Potentially offensive language interwoven into the question:
    • while I am quite impervious and with comparatively high tolerance towards that, if it does violate the politeness rule: comment, flag, edit
  3. Sensitive subject as such:
    • We might set up a rule that those questions must need a higher bar of standards and stand to special scrutiny. -> Comment, VtC, flag, (much) quicker road to "On Hold"/"Close"/"Deletion". But I'd advocate that we try to limit these cases and their special treatment while trying to uphold the procedure outline above (or another one, but defined and standardised; again probably better served in another meta-post for it.)
  4. 'Bad reactions' in comments and answers, like the mentioned 'revenge posts':
    • That is more a problem of those immature posters going the revenge route. We should not directly encourage content that is so trollish as to incite this behaviour, but that is very difficult to judge fairly and almost impossible to do objectively. Educating the community at large towards better behaviour is more difficult of course, but clearly the better way to go. This type of bad community behaviour might rear its head elsewhere, and it should be seen as a problematic behaviour that is unwelcome everywhere.
  5. Badly written question, broad and lacking demonstrated prior research:
    • In my opinion that is the biggest kicker here: potential violation of quite a few existing rules that are meant to evaluate whether a question is good or bad. Applying these rules to the questions as they came in should have been (almost?) enough 'to deal with them'.

Finally, back to problematic specific questions: as I see some value in the underlying valid questions as outlined above:
We should ask one or two good question about the topic, write good answers and then have our dupe-catcher for this topic in place.


I think there's a nuance here to watch, I've raised it over a recent gender question. There's a potential for someone to be angling for deletion/closing because of how they can use that. 404 can be spun all sorts, we've lost control of the narrative.

The basic pattern is: someone who doesn't like some trait comes here and asks a question, quality doesn't matter so much. Clicks post and then has whatever they want to say in the reputable frame of Stack Exchange. It get's crawled quite possibly, ends up on "wayback machine" or just screen-recorded, whatever.

It's then deleted, closed, ignored, not answered because of the stuff previously in this post but that is actually more valuable to the person who doesn't like the trait. "Look, all these doctors here and they just delete the question, PROOF X ... doctor's hide it".

Then, there's also a bit of noise around getting as many pros if not all pros onto here: "Look, all these real doctors here, they only let real doctors answer and they just delete the question, PROOF X ..."

Good answers to all might actually be best, preferably a stock answer, or some set of stock paragraphs that can be assembled, but that ruins the agenda of the bad faith actors and keeps control of the narrative. For example, the idea of "normal" in medicine or psychology must be pretty simple to dismantle and that could be re-used whenever "normal" comes up (eg with disability). That doesn't leave any sort of bad actor with useful link.

Also even, second guess who might be incoming and try and throw their thinking in the first sentence. A hard ask admittedly.

This is just my opinion, but think of it with vaccines. I ask 2 or 3 dumb questions about vaccines, you guys close them, then I quote "the biggest medical Q&A site in the world won't answer because they're hiding that it's deadly ... here's my $100 alt"

Apologies for this being similar to the question I just queried, I've decided to post because it does feel different enough. Downvotes and I'll delete.

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    I'm not too worried about the scenario of people using this site out of context to support a ridiculous claim, because nothing stops those people now from using a made up source in the first place. They can even say it's posted here and then deleted by the Communist Anti-Jesus League, and it won't matter to their audience whether it was or even whether the Communist Anti-Jesus League exists.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Nov 6, 2023 at 16:31

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