HRC Blog

Ohio’s Franciscan University Compares Homosexuality to Rape, Robbery, Murder

This post comes from HRC Editorial and Digital Media Intern Leanne Naramore:

Ohio’s Franciscan University of Steubenville is in hot water for a fall social work course titled “SWK 314: Deviant Behavior” that likens homosexuality to rape, robbery, murder, drug use and more.

The 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.”

Of course, categorizing same-sex attraction as “deviant” has long been debunked by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and every other major medical and psychological organization. Franciscan University now faces investigation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the organization that accredits the university’s social work program.

Stephen Holloway, the director of the office of accreditation at the CSWE, explains, “The fact that homosexuality was identified in the course description as a deviant behavior raises a flag. Understanding diversity and difference and their dynamics in society is critical for social workers to be effective in working with diverse populations.”

Here is a brief excerpt from Franciscan University’s September 4 statement in response to the controversy: “Franciscan University follows Catholic Church teaching in regard to homosexuality and treats homosexual persons with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358) while holding homosexual acts as ‘intrinsically disordered’ (Catechism, No. 2357).”

You can read the University’s full statement here, courtesy of NPR.

H/T The New Civil Rights Movement

comments powered by Disqus