Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another flawed piece of work courtesy of the Family Research Council

Via People for the American Way comes the news that the Family Research Council is selling its study Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples for a mere two dollars.

The "study" takes the semblance of credible research but its aim, like all things coming from FRC, is to stigmatize lgbts and our relationships.

For one thing, the study is irrelevant because lgbts can now marry in five states. This fact emphasizes the point that the study is comparing apples and oranges (i.e. unmarried lgbt couples and married heterosexual couples) .

Even if this fact was ignored, the study, authored by phony gay "expert" Timothy Dailey, is very flawed because it takes a lot of research out of context.

I've talked about the flaws of Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples a few times.

The most recent time was in a January post which showed that the study was using outdated work, including:

- A citation of the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg as a correct generalization of lgbt sexual habits despite the fact that it was written in 1978 and was not meant by the authors to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.

A passage from Homosexualities clearly says:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

- A citation of the book The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop by David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison despite the fact that the book was written 1984 and was not meant to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.

A passage from The Male Couple says:

“We always have been very careful to explain that the very nature of our research sample, its size (156 couples), its narrow geographic location, and the natural selectiveness of the participants prevents the findings from being applicable and generalizable to the entire gay
male community.”

In addition to outdated work, the study also distorts the work of researchers Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey to make the case against children being raised in lgbt homes.

Claims regarding the numbers of children being raised in homosexual and lesbian households vary widely and are often unsubstantiated. According to a study on homosexual parenting in the American Sociological Review, researchers have given figures "of uncertain origin, depicting a range of...6 to 14 million children of gay or lesbian parents in the United States."

According to the study's authors, Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, the higher estimates are based upon "classifying as a lesbigay [sic] parent anyone who reports that even the idea of homoerotic sex is appealing." Instead, the authors favor a figure of about one million, which "derives from the narrower...definition of a lesbigay parent as one who self-identifies as such."

However, FRC and Dailey conveniently fails to mention that Stacey and Biblarz's study found:

. . . that lesbian and gay parents were as competent as heterosexual parents. The article did note some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but was careful to emphasize that these were differences, not deficits. Many of those opposing parenting rights for lesbian and gay people seized on these differences, using them to assert that gay and lesbian parents were not as effective as heterosexual parents.

Furthermore, during an interview with the organization Soulforce, Stacey complained about the distortion of her work:

"Significant, reliable social scientific evidence indicates that lesbian and gay parents are as fit, effective, and successful as heterosexual parents. The research also shows that children of same-sex couples are as emotionally healthy and socially adjusted and at least as educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents."

Later in the interview she commented: "There is not a single, respectable social scientist conducting and publishing research in this area today who claims that gay and lesbian parents harm children." She explained that the research does find some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but emphasized that they are differences, not deficits. For example, daughters of lesbian moms tend to be somewhat more career-oriented than other daughters. That antigay activists had cited these differences as evidence supporting their efforts to deny partnership and parenting rights to lesbians and gays was for Stacey "a serious misreading and abuse of our work."

To give an exact impression of badly Dailey manipulates credible research in the study, I am taking the examples he lists showing the so-called promiscuity of lgbt relationships as opposed to heterosexual marriages and comparing them side by side.

Dailey claims that lgbt relationships are more promiscuous than heterosexual marriages.

These are the examples he used for heterosexual couples:

A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in the Journal of Sex Research in 1997

Another 1997 national survey appearing in the Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States.

A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States published in 1994.

All of the couples listed in the above examples were married.

The following are the examples Dailey used for lgbt couples:

A Dutch study of partnered gay men in the Netherlands that collected data between the years of 1984-2000 (same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001)

Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, a study of gay men in the city of San Francisco in the early 1970s.

A study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research published in 1997. The study included homosexual men in other countries. More than three quarters of men were born in Australia or New Zealand (78.1%), a high number of the men were from United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe (19.5%) and a small percentage of men surveyed were from other countries (Asia, Africa, Oceania, North, Central or South America—2.3%).

A survey conducted by the gay magazine Genre. Dailey received the results from a web page with an anti-gay bias.

I don't think I have to offer any more proof of the utter idiocy behind Dailey's work. Any price, whether it be two dollars or two hundred dollars, is too high a price to pay for this piece of biased claptrap masquerading as credible work.

The fact that FRC continues to peddle it says a lot about the organization's lack of integrity.

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Wednesday midday news briefs

Word on the Street: Thursday May Be Prop 8 Decision Day! - I am dreading this day for a number of reasons and I've been in heavy prayer because of it. I am hoping that the ruling falls in our favor but if it doesn't, here's hoping the counterproductive actions by members of our community is kept to a minimum. When Proposition 8 was passed, the religious right had a field day because many of us vented with as much fury as we should have used to keep the law from passing.

What's with the component of our community who will not plan or strategize but will be first in line to act the fool when things don't go as they want it. Someone was remarking on another site about how should the ruling go against us, folks should act wild because history isn't made by well-behaved people. While this last saying may be true, he forgot to mention that history is determined by winners. Let's get in the winning mode here.

The idea of Maggie Gallagher and company salivating on how they spin our behavior should the ruling fall against us leaves me cold.

Gay Marriage Slow to Draw an Opposition in N.Y. - speaking of winning, let's remember that it's not all about California

Equality for All Now: The Dallas Principles... join us - Speaking of strategizing, this is what I am talking about

First Women's Media Center Awards taps Amanpour, Maddow...and your blogmistress - Congratulations to my online buddy Pam Spaulding for a much deserved honor.

ACLU Sues To Stop Censoring Of Gay Web Sites - Go ACLU!!

RNC’s Michael Steele makes “weird” reference to Barney Frank - Oh no he didn't!! Where's my razor!!! (Editor's note - THAT was a joke)

Vallejo schools to pay $25,000 to lesbian teen, modify policies - See what happens when you hurt our children. Gotta get up off of the money!

GLSEN basking in spotlight, a la Mrs. Biden - And because we all need fiber in our diets, a pitiful attack on GLSEN courtesy of One News Now and our friend Peter LaBarbera.

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NOM makes it three failures in a row

Check out this new video from the National Organization for Marriage. Apparently after the Gathering Storm and Carrie Prejean debacle, the group is now punch drunk.

That's the only way I can describe the idiocy behind this commercial.

Maybe NOM is really a sleeper organization created to destroy the anti-marriage equality movement from the inside.

But since reality tells us that the most logical assumption is always the correct one - NOM is simply an organization full of folks who don't know their heads from their asses.

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