Tanning Salons Are Trying to Kill Gay People with Cancer or Something

(Image: 43965 via Pixabay)

The media loves to create crises for victim classes where there aren’t any, however flimsy the available data may be. Conflating abortion with women’s health is a prime example. A new theory has the LGBTQ crowd being targeted by tanning salons, thus increasing their cancer risk.



Tanning salons are more likely to be located in U.S. neighborhoods with higher numbers of same-sex male couples, according to scientists who fear the industry could be targeting the demographic.

By studying census data on 10 U.S. cities, researchers found tanning salons were twice as likely to be found within one mile of a neighborhood where 10 percent of households were made up of same-sex male couples, compared with areas of less than 10 percent. The team looked at the cities with the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations in the U.S.: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego Dallas, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Portland and Denver.

This pattern remained regardless of the income or ethnicity of the residents in a neighbourhood and the proportion of young women, who are also more drawn to such salons on average.

There really isn’t anything incorrect in this article, but some of the wording is alarmist and ridiculous. For example, “scientists who fear the industry could be targeting the demographic” implies something nefarious on the part of tanning salon owners.


Most tanning salons are small-to-medium-sized businesses. Their only target is profitability. It makes no sense whatsoever to locate a niche brick-and-mortar enterprise in a neighborhood where no one is going to use it.

Researchers aren’t businessmen, as evidenced by previous findings that are based on pure supply and demand:

The authors of the study at Stanford University previously found gay men are more likely to use tanning beds and to have skin cancer, and be drawn to tanning salons if they are convenient in terms of price and location.

Yes, if people want a particular product or service, they are more likely to avail themselves of said products and services if they are convenient and cheap. We really didn’t need to resurrect Milton Friedman to figure that out.

I want to be clear that I’m not minimizing the cancer danger or statistics. I live in the Sonoran Desert, a region that poses unique and statistically significant skin cancer threats. I choose to live here, however, and am aware of the threats, which leads me to my biggest problem with this study.

The alarmist tone of the article is predicated on a seeming presumption of ignorant consumerism. It is difficult to believe that anyone in 2019 is unaware of the dangers of tanning indoors or out. In 2014, the FDA mandated warnings on tanning beds which read: “Repeated UV exposure from sunlamp products poses a risk of skin cancer for all users.”


This will no doubt lead to some sort of nanny-state protection proposal “for the public good.” The big government types never grasp that it is impossible to regulate away unhealthy personal choices, especially in a free society.


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