Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Atlantic magazine rips apart newest flawed anti-gay parenting study

At times, the cause of lgbt equality is helped by the badly planned attempts to squash it. Just like the much maligned Regnerus study a few years ago,  a recent "study," which is the newest attempt by the anti-gay right to prove that same-sex households are bad for children, is catching much criticism for its numerous flaws. Below is just a snippet of how the The Atlantic magazine totally wrecked it:

The paper has a straightforward title: "Emotional Problems Among Children With Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition." It's not hard to guess the conclusion of this research, released last month by Catholic University professor Paul Sullins: Kids with gay parents have more emotional problems than kids with straight parents, and it's because their parents are gay.

This is not a new argument. Especially in the past decade, as gay marriage has been legally recognized in many states, a small number of scholars have claimed that kids of same-sex parents are exposed to more potential harms than kids of straight parents. This, in turn, has been used to argue against gay adoption and marriage. But just because some studies support this finding doesn't mean it's true. In fact, many, many more studies reached opposite conclusions. "Research ... has developed a scholarly consensus that shows that children raised by same-sex couples are at no important disadvantage," wrote Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld in an email. "There is a noisy fringe of academics who claim that children raised by same-sex couples are in disastrous peril," a viewpoint which "has little or no credibility within academia."

 . . .  From an academic perspective, there are a number of flaws in the design of Sullins's research. To his credit, he used a large sample of data compiled by the CDC to test his hypothesis, looking at kids who were living with same-sex parents at the time of various surveys taken between 1997 and 2013. But "what Sullins's paper does not show is that these children were actually raised by the same-sex couple," wrote Rosenfeld in an email.

Reading the paper, it's impossible to say whether the kids in question spent most of their lives with heterosexual parents who then got divorced, for example, or a single parent who had multiple partners over time. This family history matters: "We have decades of research showing that family instability and divorce takes a toll on children," Rosenfeld wrote. Because of this constraint, he said, the paper cannot speak to the way being raised by same-sex parents affects the well-being of children. In an email, Sullins disputed this criticism, pointing to other widely accepted studies on emotional well-being and family structure that rely on the same data.

 But there are other objections.  . . . - Using 'Pseudoscience' to Undermine Same-Sex Parents

Hat tip to Jeremy Hooper for bringing it to my attention.

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