Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council has yet to address the charges lodged against his group by the Southern Poverty Law Center regarding how they spread propaganda and junk science or misrepresent legitimate science to demonize the lgbt community.

But apparently he isn't too busy to continue misrepresenting legitimate science against the lgbt community.

Yesterday, a piece of his, Federal Report Confirms 'Nuclear Family' Best for Children's Health, was published in The Christian Post.

In this piece, Sprigg claims that nonpartisan groups support theories lodged by himself and FRC regarding the best households to raise children - i.e. the notion that two-parent heterosexual families are the best places to raise children as opposed to same-sex families:

During such debates, Family Research Council and other pro-family groups note social science evidence showing children raised by their own mother and father, who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage, are happier (experience better mental health), healthier (have better physical health), and more prosperous (attain higher socioeconomic status) than children raised in any other household setting. For example, the non-partisan research group Child Trends summarized the evidence this way:

“Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.”

We point to this evidence in support of policies which would discourage divorce, cohabitation, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, while encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage-as well as in opposing efforts to change the fundamental definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Yet more evidence along these lines can be found in a recently published federal study on “Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States.” The report compares health outcomes on a variety of measures by family structure. Seven different categories of “families” are identified-“nuclear,” “single-parent,” “unmarried biological or adoptive,” “blended,” “cohabiting,” “extended,” and “other.”

Like with so many other times Sprigg refers to legitimate science to quantify his theories, there are several things wrong with his citations of these studies.

The first study he cited - The Child Trends study - was published in 2002.  And it never even addressed same-sex households.

The second study he cited - The Family Structure and Children's Health in the United States study - looked at  findings from the National Health Interview Survey between the years of 2001 and 2007. And it looked at married familes vs. unmarried families. Same-sex households was not specifically mentioned. The following classifications - seven different categories of “families” are identified-“nuclear,” “single-parent,” “unmarried biological or adoptive,” “blended,” “cohabiting,” “extended,” and “other” - are extremely vague at best in dealing with same-sex households because there is no specificity.

With these two studies, Sprigg seems to be following a pattern very familiar with him, i.e. twisting legitimate science to prove his theories even when said studies don't address his theories or contradict what he is trying to prove.

Last year, he published  The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality. In this piece, he used the statements of an lgbt health organization to prove that the lgbt orientation itself is indicative of negative behaviors, i.e. depression, alcohol and drug abuse:

Even the pro-homosexual Gay& Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:

• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”

The GLMA also confirms that:

• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”

Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense.

But strange enough, the source which he cited - the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association - said that homophobia is the reason for many of these health problems. Sprigg deliberately omitted information pointing this out:

Sprigg:

“Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”

GMLA:

Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. The likelihood of depression or anxiety may be greater, and the problem may be more severe for those men who remain in the closet or who do not have adequate social supports. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide because of these concerns.

Sprigg:

“ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.

GMLA:

Research indicates that lesbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women. This may be due to added stressors in lesbian lives from discrimination. Lesbians need support from each other and from health care providers to find healthy releases, quality recreation, stress reduction, and coping techniques.

What Sprigg is doing now with these two studies regarding households raising children is simply more of the same.

It's worth mentioning that Sprigg is fastly becoming the "point man" who is called in front of state legislative committees to speak against marriage equality.

Pretty soon, the question regarding Sprigg's intentional distortion of scientific work will no longer be "how can he continue to get away with this?"

The question is going to become "how can someone professing to believe in Jesus continue to engage in such blatant deceptions?"

And "how can an organization claiming to stand up for morality and values (the Family Research Council) condone such behavior?"

Related posts:

Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?

Same-sex couples can be effective parents, researchers find 

Peter Sprigg proves the Family Research Council to be a hate group (again)

Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again




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3 comments :

Bernie Keefe said...

Well, if he decides to come to Denver and speak out against the civil unions bill that was just submitted, I will be there.
I will speak and send all the legislatures detailed instances where this man have twisted facts and figures, and even made up math, in order to support his arguments.
It would give me the greatest honor to expose this man as a fraud in my home state.

BlackTsunami said...

THAT's what I'm talking about, Bernie. ;P Use those facts against him ;p

Jonathan Justice said...

Sprigg's blather about best environments for children is incredibly demeaning and irrelevant. While it is fun to suppose that the guy knows several lesbian couples that are doing a much better job of raising children than he is, the truth of the matter is that many married heterosexuals do not provide the best environments for the children they have. Indeed, many of them provide environments that are actively bad for any children at all. Only rarely are such children removed from their parents custody. If that particular sort of bestness was the criterion for marriage, our culture would be locking down girls wombs at eleven, and not allowing impregnation till at least 25. There would also be a huge program of reviewing relationships for child readiness.

The fact is that some marriages involve raising children and we should all do what we can to help children grow up well, but child rearing is not the core standard by which we identify a marriage.

Sprigg's attempted argument is a fig leaf for a brutal program of establishing and sustaining a practically coercive social order in which conditions like being heterosexually married are used to privilege otherwise unqualified elites to rule over the rest of us. It is , of course, a losers game in which an overwhelming array of other standards is raised to establish that most people who meet that one are ranked outside the top layer by their failure to satisfy other standards.

The demeaning part comes up when we consider that the drift of the argument is simply that most people will never be good enough to have children unless they buy into his lies.