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Children Fare Better In Traditional Families Than Gay Families


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Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married, mother-father parents.

The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,” Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in his study in Social Science Research.

Using a new, “gold standard” data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes.

He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Findings such as these do not support claims that there are “no differences” between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university.

Instead, “children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,” he wrote.

...........................

The second study, also in Social Science Research, takes a critical look at the basis of an oft-cited American Psychological Association (APA) report on gay parenting.

The APA brief says, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” said Loren Marks, associate professor at the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University.

However, after looking at the 59 studies that undergird this assertion, “the jury is still out,” Mr. Marks said. “The lack of high-quality data leaves the most significant questions [about gay parenting] unaddressed and unanswered.”

Problems with the APA-cited studies were their tiny size; dependence on wealthy, white, well-educated lesbian mothers; and a failure to examine common outcomes for children, such as their education, employment and risks for poverty, criminality, early childbearing, substance abuse and suicide. Instead, the APA studies often looked at children’s gender-role behaviors, emotional functioning and sexual identity.

http://www.washingto...al-mom-dad-fam/

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I think using arbitrary criteria to substantiate and validate traditional marriage is going down the wrong path. Eventually norms will change and surely the arbitrary data will eventually show that there's no difference, precisely because the real eternal significance isn't quite measurable. So, advocating traditional marriage using arbitrary criteria for how well people fare will, surely, eventually backfire because while these ends are in some ways desirable, they aren't exactly what's being aimed for and eventually will even out over time in the literature, leading us to believe that these arbitrary end points really are the ends, at which point society will jettison those beliefs to accommodate "evidence".

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Interesting study, but it needs further confirmation before much can be said as definitive.

The problem is, anyone who conducts such a study will be run out of town on an academic rail by those with an agenda that must not be challenged. I'm surprised this one got through. Someone wasn't paying attention, I guess.

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There are also numerous variables not accounted for, like the fact that, until very recently, gay couples have not had the benefit of complete acceptance in this culture. Outside factors can have an impact on family dynamics.

Even with all the negatives stacked against these families, current reliable studies have shown that their kids grow up as "normal" as kids raised in two gender families.

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Interesting study, but it needs further confirmation before much can be said as definitive.

Good idea. Of course, no such restraint was practiced regarding the flawed APA 2005 study.

In that case, the MSM and other cheerleaders were touting the idea "Science has spoken. The thinking has been done."

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There are also numerous variables not accounted for, like the fact that, until very recently, gay couples have not had the benefit of complete acceptance in this culture. Outside factors can have an impact on family dynamics.

Even with all the negatives stacked against these families, current reliable studies have shown that their kids grow up as "normal" as kids raised in two gender families.

I understand your desire to preserve your preferred orthodoxy, but you are incorrect.

http://www.mormondia...entry1209131360

Even after
including controls for age, race, gender, and things like being bullied as a youth, or the gay-friendliness of the state in which they live
, such
respondents were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life
, among other things. Why such dramatic differences? I can only speculate, since the data are not poised to pinpoint causes.
One notable theme among the adult children of same-sex parents, however, is household instability, and plenty of it
. The children of fathers who have had same-sex relationships fare a bit better, but they seldom reported living with their father for very long, and never with his partner for more than three years.

...

The differences, it turns out, were numerous. For instance,
28 percent of the adult children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships are currently unemployed, compared to 8 percent of those from married mom-and-dad families
.
Forty percent of the former admit to having had an affair while married or cohabiting, compared to 13 percent of the latter
.
Nineteen percent of the former said they were currently or recently in psychotherapy for problems connected with anxiety, depression, or relationships, compared with 8 percent of the latter
. And those are just three of the 25 differences I noted.

...

While we know that good things tend to happen—both in the short-term and over the long run—when people provide households that last,
parents in the NFSS who had same-sex relationships were the
least likely
to exhibit such stability
. The young-adult children of women in lesbian relationships reported the highest incidence of time spent in foster care (at 14 percent of total, compared to 2 percent among the rest of the sample). Forty percent spent time living with their grandparents (compared to 10 percent of the rest); 19 percent spent time living on their own before age 18 (compared to 4 percent among everyone else). In fact, less than 2 percent of all respondents who said their mother had a same-sex relationship reported living with their mother and her partner for all 18 years of their childhood.

...

The political take-home message of the NFSS study is unclear, however. On the one hand, the instability detected in the NFSS could translate into a call for extending the relative security afforded by marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
On the other hand, it may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital
to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.
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Reading that last paragraph tells me this study is very obviously biased.

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I know that assumption is the key to maintaining the status quo, but you might try clicking the link I provided.

The comment was a repeat of a post on this board: which in turn came from an article and summary of the study, not the study itself.

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Yeah, I saw the link to National Review, selek. No comment.

Are we, now, going to set up "worthiness tests" for people wanting to marry?

One study does not trump the many studies that have already been done, and this new study appears to have a very large agenda bias.

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Reading that last paragraph tells me this study is very obviously biased.

I agree. It is clearly biased in favour of what is best for children, and ignoring the vastly more important considerations of political correctness and "validating" people who need to be reassured that everything really is all about them.

Regards,

Pahoran

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One study does not trump the many studies that have already been done, and this new study appears to have a very large agenda bias.

You keep repeating the "many studies" mantra as a sort of hypnotic fugue note- but it's more limerick than aria.

The "many" studies almost inevitably boil down to a regurgitation of the single flawed APA 2005 study, which is rightly notorious for it's poor methodology and obvious bias.

Of course, because that study supported the prevailing orthodoxy, it was hailed as the final word on the subject- the thinking had been done, and the rest of us were expected to sit down and shut up.

Becuase this study challenges the prevailing orthodoxy, however, it must be destroyed and discredited in short order.

Toward that effort, you pretend to know that the study is biased- but you have no evidence to that effect.

Your reaoning (if it can be called that) is predicated only upon a superficial and erroneous reading of post number nine.

The problem is that your assumptions are wrong. The comments you find so terribly offensive to your orthodoxy come not from the study, but from a Slate article.

But of course, to reach that level of situational awareness, you'd have to risk having your biases challenged by actually clicking on the links.

In the same vein, did you follow the link in the National Review article regarding myths about homosexuality?

It challenged a number of my preconceptions- but then again, I'm usually up for that sort of thing...

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Selek, I am always suspicious of studies that try to prove a negative about a whole group of people...especially, when there is a lot at stake, politically. There were some notoriously wrong beliefs that were considered "solid", in their day, having to do with certain negative traits, attributed to a particular race. So, forgive me if I view this "study" with a very jaundiced eye.

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Selek, I am always suspicious of studies that try to prove a negative about a whole group of people...especially, when there is a lot at stake, politically.

And yet you have no evidence that this study set out to do any such thing.

Zip.

Zero.

Nada.

You don't like the findings of the study, and as predicted are attempting to disqualify them by making unfounded allegations about the motives of the study's authors.

That's not science- that's naked dogmatism.

There were some notoriously wrong beliefs that were considered "solid", in their day, having to do with certain negative traits, attributed to a particular race. So, forgive me if I view this "study" with a very jaundiced eye.

And yet, as noted, you neither offered such a jaundiced eye to an earlier study which supported your biases nor have you demonstrated that the study itself is flawed.

So forgive me if I write off your criticisms as rank hypocrisy, and blatant politically/ideologically-driven opportunism.

When (if) you produce some evidence to support your allegations, I will be more than happy to listen.

Until then, all you have are unscientific histrionics.

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So forgive me if I write off your criticisms as rank hypocrisy, intellectually dishonest, and blatant politically-driven opportunism.

Until then, all you have are unscientific histrionics. .

Nothing like a little name calling to liven the conversation.

All I'm saying is, there have been a lot more studies done that show just the opposite of what this "study" supposedly shows.

None of that really matters to me, as far as my political beliefs go, as I believe in judging people as individuals, not according to some bogus group they belong to. Should gay couples be allowed to adopt? Depends on the couple...in other words, on the individuals.

Whichever study proves to be correct (and perhaps none of them show an accurate picture..that is the more likely scenario), it shouldn't matter when we are making decisions about couples adopting or wanting to marry. Civil marriage should be for any adult couple who wants to make the commitment. Adoption should be open to any couple who can meet whatever standards are set for the adoption.

Bringing in "studies" like this just muddies the water and is really very unfair to individuals who don't fit the (supposed) profile. These studies are not anything I would want our gov't basing decisions on. It is an attempt at denigrating a whole group, IMO. That is not something I will, readily, accept...especially based on one lousy study.

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Selek1:

Good idea. Of course, no such restraint was practiced regarding the flawed APA 2005 study.

In that case, the MSM and other cheerleaders were touting the idea "Science has spoken. The thinking has been done."

Science by definition is always tentative. However proving it wrong requires more than mere assertion or parody. .

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And yet you have no evidence that this study set out to do any such thing.

Zip.

Zero.

Nada.

You don't like the findings of the study, and as predicted are attempting to disqualify them by making unfounded allegations about the motives of the study's authors.

That's not science- that's naked dogmatism.

And yet, as noted, you neither offered such a jaundiced eye to an earlier study which supported your biases nor have you demonstrated that the study itself is flawed.

So forgive me if I write off your criticisms as rank hypocrisy, and blatant politically/ideologically-driven opportunism.

When (if) you produce some evidence to support your allegations, I will be more than happy to listen.

Ask and ye shall receive...

Here's the explanations you requested outlining the flaws and biases of this study:

Calling it a "flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound paper that seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents," GLAAD, HRC, The Family Equality Council and Freedom to Marry yesterday condemned a parenting study trumpeted by its author Mark Regnerus yesterday in Slate which on its face appears to overturn three decades of research into families with same-sex parents. The story was picked up widely in media.

The study is being lauded, of course, by right-wing groups like NOM.

Writes Regnerus in Slate on the 'New Family Structures Study':

Instead of relying on small samples, or the challenges of discerning sexual orientation of household residents using census data, my colleagues and I randomly screened over 15,000 Americans aged 18-39 and asked them if their biological mother or father ever had a romantic relationship with a member of the same sex. I realize that one same-sex relationship does not a lesbian make, necessarily. But our research team was less concerned with the complicated politics of sexual identity than with same-sex behavior.

The basic results call into question simplistic notions of “no differences,” at least with the generation that is out of the house. On 25 of 40 different outcomes evaluated, the children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships fare quite differently than those in stable, biologically-intact mom-and-pop families, displaying numbers more comparable to those from heterosexual stepfamilies and single parents. Even after including controls for age, race, gender, and things like being bullied as a youth, or the gay-friendliness of the state in which they live, such respondents were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life, among other things. Why such dramatic differences? I can only speculate, since the data are not poised to pinpoint causes.'

A critical look at the article, also in Slate, by William Saletan, makes this note:

Regnerus calculates that only one-sixth to one-quarter of kids in the LM sample—and less than 1 percent of kids in the GF sample—were planned and raised by an already-established gay parent or couple. In Slate, he writes that GF kids “seldom reported living with their father for very long, and never with his partner for more than three years.” Similarly, “less than 2 percent” of LM kids “reported living with their mother and her partner for all 18 years of their childhood.”

In short, these people aren’t the products of same-sex households. They’re the products of broken homes. And the closer you look, the weirder the sample gets. Of the 73 respondents Regnerus classified as GF, 12—one of every six—“reported both a mother and a father having a same-sex relationship.” Were these mom-and-dad couples bisexual swingers? Were they closet cases who covered for each other? If their kids, 20 to 40 years later, are struggling, does that reflect poorly on gay parents? Or does it reflect poorly on the era of fake heterosexual marriages?

And John Corvino in The New Republic points out why Regnerus gets everything wrong.

Question: What do the following all have in common?

  • A heterosexually married female prostitute who on rare occasion services women;
  • A long-term gay couple who adopt special-needs children;
  • A never-married straight male prison inmate who sometimes seeks sexual release with other male inmates;
  • Ted Haggard, the disgraced evangelical pastor who was caught having drug fueled-trysts with a male prostitute over a period of several years;
  • A lesbian who conceives via donor insemination and raises several children with her long-term female partner;
  • A woman who comes out of the closet, divorces her husband, and has a same-sex relationship at age 55, after her children are grown;

Give up? The answer—assuming that they all have biological or adopted adult children between the ages of 18 and 39—is that they would all be counted as “Lesbian Mothers” or “Gay Fathers” in Mark Regnerus’s new study, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study” (NFSS).

The LGBT groups answer back:

Key problems with the “New Family Structures Study” include:

The paper is fundamentally flawed and intentionally misleading. It doesn’t even measure what it claims to be measuring. Most of the children examined in the paper were not being raised by parents in a committed same-sex relationship—whereas the other children in the study were being raised in two-parent homes with straight parents.

Given its fundamental flaws and ideological agenda, it’s not surprising that the paper doesn’t match the 30 years of solid scientific research on gay and lesbian parents and families. That research has been reviewed by child welfare organizations like the Child Welfare League of America, the National Adoption Center, the National Association of Social Workers and others whose only priority is the health and welfare of children and that research has led them to strongly support adoption by lesbian and gay parents.

In addition, the paper’s flaws highlight the disconnect between its claims about gay parents and the lived experiences of 2 million children in this country being raised by LGBT parents. Americans know that their LGBT friends, family members and neighbors are wonderful parents and are providing loving and happy homes to children.

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.

And where did this study come from?

Regnerus is well known for his ultra-conservative ideology and the paper was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation - two groups commonly known for their support of conservative causes. The Witherspoon Institute also has ties to the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and ultra-conservative Catholic groups like Opus Dei.

Said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin: “Because of the serious flaws, this so-called study doesn’t match 30 years of scientific research that shows overwhelmingly that children raised by parents who are LGBT do equally as well as their counterparts raised by heterosexual parents.”

Added: GLAAD President Herndon Grad****: "A growing majority of Americans today already realize the harms this kind of junk science inflicts on loving families. If the media decides that this paper is worth covering, journalists have a responsibility to inform their audiences about the serious and glaring flaws in its methodology, and about the biased views of its author and funders."

http://www.towleroad...-parenting.html

Oversized tagline removed

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Just as I figured.

Thanks, Daniel. I was going to look for something on this study today. Very nice to come here and see that you did some research on it, already.

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Just as I figured.

Thanks, Daniel. I was going to look for something on this study today. Very nice to come here and see that you did some research on it, already.

Yes, we all know that GLAAD has no agenda or axe to grind. A veritable pillar of objectivity.

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Well, perhaps we need to just look at the facts (which is what I was trying to do, yesterday, before I even knew where this study came from). As I said, I am always suspicious when negatives about a whole class of people are being presented as "science". We have all seen it before (unfortunately), with blacks and other groups, and there is almost always a bottom line agenda attached.

If you think the four groups that have reviewed this study have an agenda, can you also admit that the group who did the study (an ultra-conservative group) may also have an agenda?

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Ask and ye shall receive...

Here's the explanations you requested outlining the flaws and biases of this study:

Calling it a "flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound paper that seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents," GLAAD, HRC, The Family Equality Council and Freedom to Marry yesterday condemned a parenting study trumpeted by its author Mark Regnerus yesterday in Slate which on its face appears to overturn three decades of research into families with same-sex parents. The story was picked up widely in media.

Let's see.

Four pro-SSM pressure groups disagree with a study that challenges one of their pet talking points. Yep, it must be seriously flawed, all right!

Tell me, Daniel: when they don't have an audience to perform for, do any gaygitators really believe that children are not better off with a mother and a father?

Regards,

Pahoran

You will be removed from the thread if another disrespectful word is used.

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From reading the other thread and a few other sources, it is very apparent that there are multiple problems with this study.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2012/06/new_family_structures_study_is_gay_parenthood_bad_or_is_gay_marriage_good_.html

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