Monday, December 10, 2012

NOM tries give 'study' some credibility and fails miserably

You simply have to give the National Organization for Marriage points for braziness, if not honesty.

On its blog is the following:

Washington Examiner: "Study Finds Children of Same Sex Couples Lag in School"

Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner:
Countering previous studies that found little difference between kids of same sex couples and those in a traditional marriage, a new report reveals that children of gay parents are 35 percent less likely to make normal progress in school that those living with their own married parents.
Based on the largest sample to date for such a study, the new work from three economists raises anew the impact state laws approving of same sex marriage have on children. The new study provided to Secrets said: "Children of same sex couples are significantly less likely to make normal progress through school than other children: 35% less likely than the children of heterosexual married parents, 23% less likely than the children of never married mothers, and 15% less likely than the children of cohabiting parents." The study also looked at similar scholarly work that had determined no difference in children of same sex and traditional marriages. The authors said that those studies filtered the sample of children to get their result.

Sounds interesting, except when you see the original article in The Washington Examiner and read the last two paragraphs which is conveniently not a part of NOM's excerpt:

"The previous study claiming no differences between the children of same sex parents and other children had serious problems," said study co-author Douglas Allen, an economics professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. That study, he said, "excluded children who were not biologically related to the household head, and children who did not live in the same place for five years. That threw out over half of the observations. When we put those children back into our analysis, but controlled for these factors, we found that the children of same sex parents are less likely to make normal progress through school."

Allen's study was just published in the journal "Demography." He is a member of the Ruth Institute Circle of Experts, a group dedicated to traditional marriage. The other authors were Catherine Pakaluk of Ave Marie University and Joseph Price of Brigham Young University.

Did you see that? Douglas Allen was identified as the co-author of this study. He was also identified as a member of the Ruth Institute.

And the Ruth Institute is a "project of National Organization for Marriage Fund." This is clearly seen on the Ruth Institute's webpage.

In other words, NOM seems to be trying pass this "study" as objective when in reality, one of the study's authors, Allen, is affiliated with NOM. Lastly, Allen and the other two other professors - Pakaluk and Price - deal in economics.

It's the usual shuck-and-jive we have come to expect from NOM. 

Geez guys, can you come up with any new deceptions? This is beginning to get rather boring.


Anonymous said...

The original study author Rosenfeld out of Stanford, annihilated them in his response to Allen et al

The economists got spanked.


Jim Hlavac said...

From the link provided (springer,) I find this statement: "Most children raised by same-sex couples are from a prior heterosexual relationship that has to break up before the same-sex-couple parenting family is formed." -- and so, when one thinks about it, the failure, if any, or lack of progress, if any, of children in gay households seems to be caused by their experience in heterosexual households, and we're trying to rectify the situation.

Other than that, I always wonder about these studies. There hasn't been enough time with enough gay households identified to truly get a data picture. And, I wonder if they took into account gay couples' tendency to adopt challenged kids, thus always leading to slower progress of any kind, however measured.

Kermommy said...

And both of the institutions that the other members of this group were affiliated with, Ave Maria University and Brigham Young University are religious educational institutions, Catholic and LDS respectively. Not that there's anything WRONG with that. :-/

Gregory Peterson said...

Demography© Population Association of America 201210.1007/s13524-012-0170-4

Reply to Allen et al.
Michael J. Rosenfeld1
Department of Sociology, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Building 120, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Michael J. Rosenfeld
Published online: 18 November 2012


Allen et al.’s results depend on their inclusion of children whose family at the time of their grade retention is unknown, plus adopted and foster children whose selection process into families is unknown. Children whose family has been through upheavals or transitions are less likely to make good progress in school than children from stable families. Children raised by stable same-sex couples do remarkably well in school.

Family structure Children Grade retention Same-sex couples

I am delighted to have this opportunity to respond to Allen et al.’s comments about my article, “Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School,” hereafter Rosenfeld (2010).

In that study, I tried to determine whether children raised by same-sex couples make reasonable progress through school. The data show that children raised by same-sex couples make good progress through school, progress as good as that of children raised by heterosexual couples, after family socioeconomic status is taken into account.

The U.S. census microdata are, because of enormous sample size, uniquely well-suited to studying needle-in-a-haystack populations such as children raised by same-sex couples. Along with unequaled sample size, the 2000 U.S. census microdata have the advantages of representativity and controls for individual migration, which can be used to identify children who have lived at least five years in their current families. More recent census surveys lack the migration questions, and other surveys cannot approach the sample size of the U.S. census.

If we want to understand the effect of family structure on children’s outcomes, we need to study children who were actually raised by the families in question, rather than children who happen to live with the family at the time of the census. In Rosenfeld (2010), I was very careful to include only children who lived with their current parents for at least five years because those children’s current family structure influenced their progress through school. In their revision of my analysis, Allen et al. preferred to analyze the outcomes of all children, regardless of how long they had lived with their current families. Allen et al. therefore attributed to the current family (at the time of the census) child outcomes that may have been produced years before the current family was formed.

Allen et al. violated a fundamental rule of causal order, which is that later characteristics ought not be used to predict earlier events.

You probably need academic access or something to read the full study on the link.

Mykelb said...

One must remember that the Washington Examiner is a right wing rag and their so called journalism is as yellow as the stripe on Boehner's back.

Unknown said...

One for the brochure.

The “evils” of same-sex parenting vs. the tragedy of children with no parents.

Matthew Martin said...

While this is certainly on the edge of what qualifies as education economics, your criticism that they are economists is not fair. Any trained economist should be able to do these statistics correctly. The problem is not that they are economists, but that they are bad at economics.