Rep. Troy Mader (R-WY) wrote a book about 25 years ago, during the height of the AIDS scare of the 1980s. The out-of-print book, entitled “The Death Sentence of AIDS: Vital Information For You and Your Family’s Health and Safety,” carries in it perhaps the most harrowing claims about gays.

“Many homosexuals demand the right to kill themselves with the AIDS virus and to kill others by infecting them,” Mader wrote. “Many homosexuals demand the right to have sexual acts with children of any age, including infants.”

State Rep. Mader doesn’t stop there, however. His rhetoric worsens when he asserts that:

The spread of AIDS into the general population of the United States is assumed to have come by: A. Homosexuals who purposely infected women to pass AIDS infection into the straight population. B. Bisexual men who participated in homosexual acts, became infected and then passed it on to wives, lovers, prostitutes and most offspring born after infection.

Had Mader made those comments yesterday on Fox News, he probably would have at least been given the benefit of doubt if not a bit of praise. Given today’s political context, it would seem that Mader would be saying gays are embarking on some kind of homosexual jihad where suicide bombers are replaced with homosexual Americans who have AIDS.

There has been a continuous subtext in the conservative, anti-gay narrative that somehow tries to link homosexuality to rape, sodomy, and pedophilia. But the link is practically non-existent. Despite being nothing short of an archaic wives’ tale, conservatives still try to make the link. But good ole science and empirical study has proven otherwise.   

Gregory Herek, a University of California research psychologist, studied pedophilia and homosexuality. He defined pedophilia as a “psychosexual disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners, which may or may not be acted upon.” In short, the disorder isn’t likened to any specific gender or sex, it umbrellas over age cohorts.

Herek found that pedophiles actually identify themselves as heterosexual even if they abuse a child of the sex sex and gender. When gay men or women engage in sexual activity, it is a consensual sex act between adults, but this is not the case with pedophilia. Pedophiles who assault children are not engaging in a “sex act,” but are rather using sexuality to commit an act of violence and exploitation. Therefore, homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing. And the idea that they aren’t the same isn’t new.

In 1982, renowned psychologist Nicholas Groth studied whether there was a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. He studied case reports of child molestation and found that “there appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molested young boys is not likely to be homosexual.”

To assert that homosexuals are sexual deviants and rapists and molesters is flat out wrong. Suchs claims are not derived from fact, but rather some innate, deep-seated fear of something “different” that conservatives will more than likely attribute to wholesome, religious upbringing. All others are living in sin and will be cast down to eternal damnation for ever, so they say.

Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.