Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Conservative Case Against Same-Sex Parenting Falls Apart

This blog has looked at the fraudulent work of right wing researchers who have sought to depict same-sex couples as a danger for children.  Among the most notorious is Mark Regnerus who was called a fraud by a federal judge after his anti-gay testimony.  Now, a new study confirms what most of us have long known: gay parents are good parents and their children do as well or better than those raised in heterosexual households.  Think Progress looks at the new study findings.  Here are excerpts:
Conservatives have long squawked that the studies showing positive outcomes for the children of same-sex couples are lacking methodologically, instead offering their own flawed studies to claim negative consequences. A new study, however, uses their preferred methods — minus the flaws — and proves what the medical community has already long known: same-sex couples make great parents.
[T]he Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank at the UCLA School of Law, decided to call Regnerus’ bluff. Using data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, researchers were able to identify same-sex couples who were raising children and compare them to demographically similar different-sex parents. Because few male same-sex parent households were included in the study, they focused on female couples, identifying 95 that they then matched against similar different-sex households.
The study found only one difference between the families: same-sex couples had more stress than their different-sex peers. But even with that distinction, there was no difference in the outcomes for their children, including their general health, emotional difficulties, coping behavior, or learning behavior.
This juxtaposition actually lends more credence to same-sex parenting. The higher stress rate should have correlated with less favorable outcomes for the children, but it didn’t. This suggests, the researchers reason, that the lesbian mothers might be using additional support systems like parenting groups or counseling services, and likewise, their kids may also develop greater resilience skills having to defend against the stigma of having same-sex parents.
There is an obvious explanation as to why the new study found affirming results while conservatives found negative outcomes in their population-based studies. The new study controls for committed couples; it compares same-sex families who have raised their children from birth with different-sex families who had done the same. None of the same-sex parents who had broken up or divorced were analyzed in the study.
Regnerus — seemingly intentionally — didn’t account for family structure.  . . . Regnerus’ data only included two children who had been raised from birth by committed same-sex couples, and their outcomes were just fine. . . . . Similar population-based surveys from Donald Paul Sullins and Douglas Allen used the same trick of comparing unstable same-sex families to stable different-sex families.
In some ways, the new study isn’t groundbreaking. There has already been scientific consensus in support of same-sex families for decades. With the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision last year and the recent conclusion of the challenge to Mississippi adoption ban, same-sex adoption is now legal in all 50 states.
 Despite the study findings, it is a safe bet that the "godly folk" will continue to tell the same tired lies about gay parenting.  The truth simply does not matter to them.

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