Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is the research in support of same-sex marriage junk science?

On the big screen behind the balls of fire is the face of the big man telling you in a scary voice that scientific research supports the idea that children do just as well in same-sex marriages as in families with a biological mother and father. But Todo has pulled the curtain back and it turns out that all the pyrotechnics hide an uncomfortable truth: It's not true.

Like so many other claims that are "research-based," the claims of same-sex marriage advocates that science shows that children raised by "married" gay parents are just as well-served as children in families headed by the child's natural parents turn out to be based on questionable evidence.

Here is Gene Schaerr in the Daily Signal, commenting on the evidence offered by the politically compromised American Psychological Association and the American College of Pediatricians:
... [D]ozens of studies cited to support the so-called “scientific consensus” that the American Psychological Association claims, only eight meet scientific standards for population inference. The rest tell us nothing. 
Of these eight, the four older ones found no disadvantages for children raised by same-sex couples compared to other family structures. But as the recent American College of Pediatricians amicus brief shows, all four studies suffer an incurable flaw:  about half (40-60 percent) of the children they report as being raised with same-sex parents are actually children with opposite-sex parents, either because of coding errors, or problems with the census data on which the studies relied.
In the end, this “dirty data” problem either invalidates their findings, or makes relying on them extremely problematic.
This leaves only four studies that are methodologically sound. And as the American College of Pediatricians brief shows, all four—the four most recent—find that children do not fare as well when raised by same-sex couples as when raised by married, biological parents.
To the contrary, such children often experience significantly higher levels of events or conditions such as being arrested, using marijuana, being depressed, having a learning disability or other psychological or developmental problem—and are less likely to graduate from high school.  As adults, they are more likely to be unemployed, receive public assistance and to have an extramarital affair.
The fake evidence hides an ideology (a belief system impervious to evidence). Read more here.


Anonymous said...

If you put "married" in quotes when referring to married gay couples, everything in the article is suspect

Singring said...

You know, I'd long given up posting here as Martin seems to have completely spiraled into a hole of gay-marriage doomsaying, whining and complaining and little else. It gets a bit boring.

Yet when he shoots himself in the foot so spectacularly as here I find it hard to resist.

So this article you cite that purports to highlight 'junk science' seems to be based on the claims contained in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court co-authored by one Mark Regnerus.

Here's what another court thought of Regnerus' scientific expertise:

"The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily
concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family
arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of
marriage will be vindicated by this study.”

Junk science indeed...

You can find the full decision here, laying out in detail the reasoning behind this conclusion:

Irony defined yet again here at VR.

KyCobb said...

Thanks Singring, that's not surprising. The argument is a total red herring anyway. Its not as though if same-sex couples are denied the right to marry that their children are going to be raised by a married heterosexual couple; the children of same-sex couples are going to be continued to be raised by them without the benefit of their parents being married. So if Martin really believes these children are worse off because their parents aren't of opposing sexes, he is just piling on to make their situation worse.

Art said...


Martin trumpets a researcher who, among other things, totally makes up data and results to craft an anti-gay argument. Regnerus claims to have found a harmful effect of being raised by gay parents, but in his own study he actually compares almost no (perhaps precisely no) such children with children raised in other circumstances.


More insight into the Classical Christian science classroom - make stuff up and lie profusely. Don't bother with anything so boring or principled as actually crafting and executing a careful and properly-controlled study. That leads to, um, knowledge, something that inevitably flies in the face of conservative "reality".