Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Flawed study about gay parents

If you wanted to do a proper study comparing gay parents to straight parents, you would try to control for all variables except sexuality.  So, that means you'd compare long-time committed gay couples raising children to long-time committed straight couples.  And what you'd find is what has BEEN found, over 30 years of research:  there's really not a lot of difference.

BUT if you were a conservative winger funded by an anti-gay group, you would take the same children of long-time committed straight couples as set A, and compare them to children whose parents have had a gay relationship at any time, and ignore ALL the other variables as set B.

John Corvino:
Had the study actually focused on “same-sex families,” it might have shed some light on the issue. 
Instead, Regnerus—a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin—asked respondents whether their mothers or fathers had ever had a same-sex relationship, regardless of the duration of the relationship and “regardless of any other household transitions.” He then allowed those answers to trump others in order to increase the “Lesbian Mother” and “Gay Father” sample size and treated all of the family-form categories as mutually exclusive, even though they are not. ... 
In other words, Regnerus’ “Lesbian Mother” and “Gay Father” categories (unlike the “Intact Biological Family” Category) included children of adoptive parents, step-parents, single parents, and, notably, a large number from divorced parents. Regnerus then observes in the resulting data that the children of his “Lesbian Mothers” and “Gay Fathers” look less like children of married biological parents than they do like children of adoptive parents, step-parents, single parents, and divorced parents. Well, duh.
Jim Burroway 
Identifying a parent who has had a same-sex relationship is not the same as identifying a parent who is gay, lesbian or bisexual in a functional relationship....
Did a short affair count? What about a relationship that only lasted two weeks? Four months? Social conservatives who reduce gay and lesbian relationships to behaviors only would say yes to all of those, many eagerly so. Actual gay and lesbian couples in committed, long-term relationships naturally scoff at that, and rightfully so. 
But already you can see where this is headed, can’t you? We will be asked to accept as legitimate the comparison of children raised by parents in those less stable and unenduring situations with stable, longtime married heterosexual parents without knowing the answers to those question. So already, Regnerus puts that comparison in starkly unequal footing. 
And the New Civil Rights Movement::
The paper fails to consider the impact of family arrangement or family transitions on children, invalidating any attempt on its part to assess the impact of sexual orientation on parenting. The paper inappropriately compares children raised by two heterosexual parents for 18 years with children who experience family transitions – like foster care – or who live with single or divorced parents, or in blended families. Moreover, the limited number of respondents arbitrarily classified as having a gay or lesbian parent are combined regardless of their experiences of family instability.
Regenerus admits that what he's really comparing is children from a broken marriage of mixed-orientation (one straight and one possibly gay parent) with children from stable straight marriages (non broken).  It's the usual excuse: there simply aren't enough stable gay-only families to be used in the study.  It can't be done.

What did Regnerus do?  Basically, he doped the sample to get the answer he wanted.  And that's bad scholarship--and bad reviewing on the part of the journal as well.

1 comment:

JCF said...

Enough w/ the bullsh*t! And anti-gay BIAS!!! >:-0