Friday, June 29, 2012

Over 200 professors, therapists condemn anti-gay parenting study

Editor's Note - Today's edition of Know Your LGBT History has been put on hold because of some explosive news:

From Think Progress:
Mark Regnerus’ flawed paper on gay parenting has won the acclaim of hate groups and ex-gay therapists and its publication seems to have been politically calculated with marriage equality opponents like the National Organization for Marriage. A group of 18 anti-gay religiously-biased professors defended the paper, but now, a group of over 200 professors and therapists have written a “bombshell letter” critiquing its methods and publication.

Among the concerns are how quickly it was published, the validity of its peer review, and the merits of its methodology and conclusions:
We are very concerned about the academic integrity of the peer review process for this paper as well as its intellectual merit. We question the decision of Social Science Research to publish the paper, and particularly, to publish it without an extensive, rigorous peer review process and commentary from scholars with explicit expertise on LGBT family research. The methodologies used in this paper and the interpretation of the findings are inappropriate.
The publication of this paper and the accompanying commentary calls the editorial process at Social Science Research, a well-regarded, highly cited social science journal (ranking in the top 15% of Sociology journals by ISI), into serious question. We urge you to publicly disclose the reasons for both the expedited peer review process of this clearly controversial paper and the choice of commentators invited to submit critiques. We further request that you invite scholars with specific expertise in LGBT parenting issues to submit a detailed critique of the paper and accompanying commentaries for publication in the next issue of the journal.
Read the full letter for more detail about the professors’ concerns.

The data in this study clearly lacks the integrity to actually impact mainstream psychological thinking on the question of same-sex parenting, as exemplified by this letter and the American Psychological Association’s rebuke of the study. Whether its publication was politically intentional is irrelevant to the fact that the only purpose it serves is to add to the stack of invalid studies the anti-gay movement cites to defend its anti-equality actions.
The letter also raises another question regarding Regnerus' study - the length of the review process before it was published  and who was chosen to review it:
We question the process by which this paper was submitted, reviewed, and accepted for publication. The paper was received by the journal on February 1, 2012. A revision was received on February 29, and the paper was accepted on March 12. This suggests that the peer review process and substantive revisions occurred within a period of just five weeks. According to the peer review policy of the Social Science Research website hosted by Elsevier, the first step of the review process is an initial manuscript evaluation by the editor. Once deemed to meet minimum criteria, at least 2 experts are secured for a peer review. The website states that, “Typically manuscripts are reviewed within 2-3 months of submission but substantially longer review times are not uncommon” and that “Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the initial referees upon receipt.” Clearly, Dr. Regnerus’ paper was returned to him very quickly, because he had time to revise the manuscript and get it back to the journal by February 29th. Further, it appears that a second substantive peer review may not have occurred as the paper was accepted just two weeks after the revision was submitted.

The five-week submission to acceptance length was much shorter than all of the other articles published in the July 2012 issue. The average period of review for papers published in this issue was more than a year and the median review time was more than ten months. As we note below, there are substantial concerns about the merits of this paper, and these concerns should have been identified through a thorough and rigorous peer review process.

We further question the selection of commenters for the Regnerus paper. While Cynthia Osborne and Paul Amato are certainly well-respected scholars, they are also both active participants in the Regnerus study. According to her curriculum vitae, Dr. Osborne is a Co-Principal Investigator of the New Family Structure Survey. Dr. Amato served as a paid consultant on the advisory group convened to provide insights into study design and methods. Perhaps more importantly, neither Osborne nor Amato have ever published work that considers LGBT family or parenting issues. A cursory examination of this body of literature would reveal a wide range of scholars who are much more qualified to evaluate the merits of this study and were neither directly involved in the study design nor compensated for that involvement.

Slowly but surely, this study is becoming a headache for all involved in its creation, funding, publishing, and promoting.

It's extremely unprecedented that over 200 professors and therapists condemn one study. Instead of jaded comments of "well we know it was biased," the gay community needs to spread news of this to the four corners and beyond. A lot of people DO NOT know this study is trash and it's up to US to tell them.

Hat tip to author Scott Rose who has been on the ball from day one exposing the truth about this study.

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'NOM affiliates with ex-gay church' and other Friday midday news briefs

NOM Hosting Summer Student Conference At “Ex-Gay” Church - Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

 Head of PAC trying to stop marriage in Maine: Refer to 'sodomy-based marriage' as 'monstrous insaneness' - Geez, what is the deal with homophobes and anal sex. They are like racists and interracial sex. 
 Porno Pete Mad At Facebook Guy For Giving Money To Cause He Believes In - Cause you know everyone who gives to a gay cause is apart of the secret plot to make everyone gay.  
Obamacare Will Help LGBT People Access Health Insurance - Now about that mocking of the "fierce advocate" label . . .  
Tyler Clementi's Parents Give Interview, Blame Dharun Ravi's Webcam Spying For Son's Suicide - As well they should. Just plain trashy what Ravi did to that child. 

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Reason why Christianity is getting a bad reputation

A recent poll claims that young Americans are beginning to lose faith in God:

The poll, conducted in April by the Pew Research Center, showed that 31 percent of respondents under the age of 30 have doubts about the existence of God, compared to 9 percent of those polled who were 65 or older.

When asked to evaluate the statement, "I never doubted the existence of god," 18 percent of all respondents said that they mostly or completely disagreed.

Now some folks may chalk it up to the "last days before Jesus returns." Others may call it a minor blip.

Personally I think the following has a lot to do with it:

Finger-pointing and lies never does any good, does it? What would Jesus do, indeed?

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