Tag Archives: human-rights

Gay men are smarter than straight men – so says history.

{The Calgary Gay History Project is revisiting its most impactful blog posts—now numbering in the hundreds—since its inception nine years ago. Gay men are smarter than straight men—so says history has been, hands down, its most popular post since it was published on July 18, 2013. It also has a notable time reference to the big Calgary flood.}

The sixties were a boom-time for psychometric assessment, and in particular Intelligence Quotient (IQ) research. Perhaps one of the most famous and controversial papers of the time, was Arthur Jensen’s article, published in 1969, How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement? It concluded that 80% of the variance in IQ in the population studied was the result of genetic factors due to race.

Similar lines of research were done on homosexuals. In Canada, a University of Toronto Social Work professor, John C. Spencer, published an article in the Canadian Journal of Corrections (1961). He looked at 132 sexual offenders in the Toronto Forensic Clinic. These incarcerated individuals were categorized into three groups: exhibitionists, pedophiles and homosexuals. Spencer concluded that while exhibitionists and pedophiles had essentially normal IQ’s, the average intelligence of the homosexual offender was significantly higher than average (IQ of 114 vs. the population average of 100). Reading between the lines, he may have been an early homosexual rights advocate as he mused openly about criminal law being a vehicle for moral condemnation (see article image below).

Other researchers confirmed the IQ findings. Renée Liddicoat, published A Study of Non-Institutionalized Homosexuals, also in 1961, and found that South African homosexual men and women had significantly higher verbal IQ scores than that of her heterosexual control group.

A 1949 study of 100 neurotic homosexual and 100 neurotic heterosexual soldiers similarly found evidence of higher intelligence scores and educational achievement amongst the gay soldiers (Winterstein-Lambert, E. Bulletin de la Faculté de Médicine de Instanbul). In fact, this paper’s conclusion was that the gay community did not need psychological treatment, rather job placement support in order to deal with neurotic symptoms.

However, like many IQ studies there is a potential for cultural bias in the research as well as other sources of error. Some studies showed no difference, and at least one showed reduced intelligence in homosexual men. A quirky finding in many intelligence studies was the homosexual male’s sensitivity to art and culture. Silvio Marone, in the International Journal of Sexology (1954) wrote: “homosexual behaviour is not rare among artists, and homosexuality has a great influence on art.”

Finally, speaking of great influences, the Calgary Public Library’s Magazine’s and Newspapers department was devastated by the recent flooding in Southern Alberta. Many of the articles researched for this website have come from that basement department (such as: this one). We are really saddened by this particular loss. Individuals interested in donating to the Library’s flood recovery fund can find more information: here.

{KA}

Lois Szabo Commons Open!

Lois Szabo Commons officially opened yesterday, and although we could not be there, we hungrily read the press and social media accounts of the park’s launch. The honour is well-deserved.

Lois with friends and family at the Park’s dedication ceremony. Photo: Marlene Hielema via Facebook.

Lois told me she received so many hugs from the assembled crowd that it may have counteracted her pandemic’s hug deficit! She was particularly chuffed to get a hug from Mayor Naheed Nenshi (two of them apparently).

Here is a media round-up!

City of Calgary Press Release

CBC: Beltline park opens to honour Lois Szabo, Calgary LGBTQ leader

660 News: Lois Szabo Commons opens, recognizes prominent leader in Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ community

Global News: New Beltline community space named after Calgary LGBTQ2S+ leader opens

Calgary Sun: New Beltline park commemorates LGBTQ2S+ community leader Lois Szabo

Calgary Herald: New park in the Beltline commemorates local LGBTQ2S+ community leader Lois Szabo

Although the media accounts are similar, they each have a different photo of Lois! {My favourite is the Calgary Herald’s below}

Congratulations Lois and thank you City of Calgary!

{KA}

Goliath’s Raid Research

Calgary Gay History Project volunteer Sheldon Cannon is busy this summer researching the Goliath’s Bathhouse Raid by Calgary Police. This raid was notable in Canadian Queer History due to its timing: December 12, 2002—more than 20 years later than many similar raids in other Canadian cities. The raid was specifically referenced in the Calgary Police’s apology to the LGBTQ2 community in 2018.

Newspaper clipping from the Calgary Herald, March 1, 2003

Sheldon is interviewing activists, people who were arrested in the raid, and the Calgary Police to get a fulsome view of this pivotal moment in Calgary’s queer history. If you have a story you would like to share about the raid please contact us. We hope to present this research during this year’s Calgary Pride festival at the end of August.

{KA}