A brief article on homosexual parenting

 

What will the consequences be in the long term?
Do we care?

 

I remarked the other day that, in the ongoing debate about same-sex “marriage,” I’ve been struck by how rarely — at least in my reading — advocates of SSM mention the rights or interests of children.  Perhaps it’s merely a sampling error on my part, but that’s certainly my sense of the controversy.  And when they do discuss effects on children, it seems that they’re typically doing so in order to rebut suggestions that being raised by same-gender caregivers might prove harmful to children in the long term.

 

Here is one such warning:

 

http://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/parenting-issues/homosexual-parenting-is-it-time-for-change

 

Now, I realize that the social sciences are much more contentious, much more prone to being ideologically-driven and -influenced, than are the physical or “hard” sciences, and that decisive “proof” is far more difficult to come by in sociology or in clinical psychology than in, say, analytical chemistry, metallurgy, or particle physics.  I’m acutely aware of the fact that topics like this are fiercely riven, even among supposedly dispassionate academics and professionals, along philosophical and political lines.  I realize that the American College of Pediatricians has drawn intense fire for its socially conservative stance — and I’m neither surprised nor particularly impressed by that, as such.

 

I wonder, though, in the current climate, whether such warnings as the one to which I link above are being given sufficiently serious attention.

 

And if I’m personally attacked and defamed for posting this, as may well be the case, that will simply strengthen my impression that the substance of such warnings is, by and large, not being addressed in a serious and mature way.

 

(It’s been rather depressingly amusing, sometimes, to hear of demonstrations in which radical Muslims protest charges that Islam is violent by calling for the death of those making such charges.  A pretty convincing response, that!)

 

I can’t guarantee
that this is genuine,
though it may well be.

 

But this one apparently is.

 

 

 

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  • Phil

    I realize no source is completely unbiased, but the report cited by Daniel was created by the American College of Pediatricians that has between 60-200 members. ACPeds was formed in 2002 in opposition to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) support for adoption by gay couples. AAP, by contrast, has 60,000 members. I simply don’t think ACPeds is a credible source on this matter.

    • DanielPeterson

      The size of the organization is precisely irrelevant, and, indeed (as my post indicates), ideology is everywhere present on this topic.

      The relevant question concerns the quality of the evidence and scholarship cited, and the rigor with which it’s been used in the construction of an argument.

      • Lucy Mcgee

        Much of the research they cite is over a decade old. The paper was originally written in 2004. It’s interesting that the authors are the president and vice-president of the ACP. I wonder how much of the cited research was conducted in Scandinavian countries where same sex marriages have existed far longer than in the USA? It seems as though such an important paper would be peer reviewed.

        • Ben Zeeman

          I suppose if research is over 10 years old it must be of no value, after all the work of Einstein, Curie, Newton, Tesla, etc. is of no value to any of us today. Also, article posted is from March of 2013. As Daniel indicated, the size of the organization, and as I will add, the amount of peer review, has little if anything to do with the validity of the content. Just because masses of people follow an ideology, and numerous people in a field pat each other on the back, does not mean it gives the data proper, or improper validation.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            If you do a little digging, you’ll discover that the ACP has been admonished, by those whose research they incorrectly cited. These guys don’t publish in a peer reviewed environment and certainly don’t produce work in the same universe as those who would use the work of eminent scientists. Nice try.

          • Ben Zeeman

            Oh I see, so if a group is admonished by their opponents it invalidates their findings. Apparently they are all wrong. You clearly are missing the point that Brother Peterson was making.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            Actually, admonished by those whose research they were incorrectly citing.

          • Ben Zeeman

            Oh my mistake, I am sure they were admonishing them because they agreed with their interpretation.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            So It’s ok to incorrectly cite someone’s research? Perhaps they should have done their own, but again, this group is not operating within a peer reviewed academic institution, as far as I can tell.

          • Ben Zeeman

            Since you didn’t actually reference your finding, just asked me to do “a little digging”, I ascertained that their arguments were more along the lines that ACP conclusions were not theirs. In that instance I think it is perfectly acceptable to “incorrectly” cite someones research. If on the other hand, they were posting fake numbers and saying they came from those sources, you may have a point. In my experience, your lack of citation is likely a result of your perception that by not including a reference, your argument seems stronger.

            As far “operating within a peer reviewed academic institution”, neither are you, so I suppose, according to the way you seem to see things, nothing you say here as any validity, no matter how accurate, or inaccurate your statements. Again you seem to be missing the point.

            You have been persuaded to automatically discount any voice that does not fit into the limited and elite world of peer review. Like was stated in the post, I think this shows that you are unwilling to address topics in a mature and responsible manner. Rather than specific arguments opposing specific assertions, you insist only on arguing against their validity.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            Google Greg Remafedi.

            Also publishing in the “elite world of peer review”:

            Welcome to Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture,
            a nonprofit, independent, peer-reviewed educational journal focused on the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its publications are available free of charge, with our goal to increase understanding of scripture. Our latest papers can be found below.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            Here’s an article in the Huff Post (egads) which describes some incidences of research misinterpreted.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvin-mcewen/researchers-and-physician_b_589751.html

            There is followup in each instance.

          • Allen Wyatt

            Of course, the Huffington Post is an assiduously peer-reviewed publication. Glad they were brought into the discussion as experts.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            I offered this article because it provided LINKS to those whose research has been misused by special interest groups like the ACP. Pretty basic stuff.

          • radiofreerome

            It’s about as biased as the Deseret News.

          • Allen Wyatt

            Has nothing to do with bias (largely because the lack of bias–in anything–is a myth). Lucy said that articles need to be peer reviewed, and then provided a source that wasn’t. That was the gist of the comment.

          • Ben Zeeman

            This is fairly typical of the left elite, avoiding at all costs substance, and working as hard as possible to simply discredit the source.

          • Ryan

            Admonishment is not a valid scientific argument.

            Also, the nature of scientific research data is such that those who collect it can lay no more claim to an understanding of its true meanings than anybody else. If the ACP and the researchers have a disagreement about the data then such a disagreement should be resolved carefully by evidence — not summarily by chain of custody, or by broad, flippant, assertions about superior universes, or by the popularity (eminency) of involved persons.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            I think a researcher would well know if his or her own work were being misused or distorted.

          • radiofreerome

            The ACP isn’t following the scientific method when it misrepresents results rather than creating a careful study demonstrating the original claims aren’t supportable. This is intellectually lazy and dishonest.

          • rockyrd

            Lucy, I’d enjoy your comments regarding Mr. Swenson’s post at the top if you have time.

          • radiofreerome

            The mass to charge ratio doesn’t vary quite as rapidly as public opinion. Public opinion certainly does affect the acceptance of families and, therefore, their ability to raise happy children.

        • mike

          Whether or not you agree with the ACP as an institution, i think their statement is spot on that the media, activists, and certain policy makers have pushed the SSM agenda based on flawed ‘studies’ or no evidence at all when it comes to the question of childrearing. I am pleased to see small groups and individuals beginning to call out this shoddy evidence and demand an unbiased look at what is actually happening. Of course, those with an opposing view would rather ridicule, intimidate and threaten these researchers than honestly address the same.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            What flawed studies are you referring to?

          • mike

            Lucy: “what flawed studies are you referring to?”

            Professor Loren Marks of LSU considered 59 previous studies cited in a 2005 policy brief on homosexual parents by the American Psychological Association. Marks debunks the APA’s claim that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” He shows that only four of the 59 studies cited by the APA even met the APA’s own standards for providing supportive statistical evidence. Marks states, “[N]ot one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children.”

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580

            From the amicus brief filed by the National Legal Foundation in Baker v. Vermont concerning the flawed methodology in the studies relied upon by SSM activists: the studies contain “design deficiencies including, but not limited to, (1) failure to include control groups; (2) use of samples too small to be representative of the homosexual population as a whole; (3) social desirability bias on the part of respondents to questionnaires; (4) self-presentation bias; (5) samples drawn in a non-representative manner; (6) uncorroborated self-reported data; and (7) failure to guarantee anonymity for respondents in certain studies.”

            http://nlf.net/Activities/briefs/vtbrief.html

            Further information can be found in the Regnerus study.

        • Ray Agostini

          I think Lucy does have a point here regarding the 2004 study. But even current studies are always conditional, and liable to change with further study. “Under-fathering” is often used as an explanation for youth violence, for example:

          “The shocking statistic that has to be confronted is that, despite a high standard of living and high employment, each year police are taking legal action against one in 10 of 18-year-old males in NSW. While crime
          rates have declined in almost every category over the past decade, assaults have not declined. At least two-thirds of assaults go unreported. ”I am increasingly
          seeing a new breed of extremely narcissistic, under-fathered adolescent males … [with] no respect for authority, little exposure to tradition or
          ritual and few, if any, skills in anger management,” the psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg told Fairfax Media last year. A culture of self-indulgent thuggishness is being incubated, primarily in broken families, and fuelled by alcohol, drugs and the normalisation of
          violence in popular culture. Link: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2001669/we-must-redouble-efforts-against-culture-of-violence/?cs=300

          More recent studies have come up with some, perhaps, surprising results: “World’s largest study on gay parents finds the kids are more than all right.”:

          Link: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/05/worlds_largest_study_on_gay_parents_finds_the_kids_are_more_than_all_right/

          And “Gay Parents As Good As Straight Ones.”: http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/gay-parents-as-good-as-straight-ones/

          And from The Australian Institute of Family Studies,

          “Same-sex parented families in Australia.”: http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/pubs/papers/a145197/index.html

          “Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their
          peers from heterosexual couple families.”

          For more studies by the AIFS: http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/bibliographies/samesexparents.php

          From my own point of view, I’m not sure that “under-fathering” is the real problem, especially given the Australian concept of “mateship”. A “father-figure” could be a drunk who frequents pubs, yet exercises “firm discipline” on his children in the form of “do as you are told”, and “only speak when you are spoken to”. Discipline that comes from “authority figures”, and is more engendered by fear than willingness, and may even be a *contributing* factor to youth violence. That seems to be one possible reason that lesbian/gay parents may have a very successful rate of raising “socially conscious” children, who also do well academically. They may even feel better without “authority figures” who insist on the “correct” path their lives should take.

          The male/female, father/mother may well be the “parental ideal”, as it has traditionally been, which was the “model” yours truly grew up with, and cherishes, but I’m less and less sure it was the “best model”, and that all others should be discounted simply because they are different.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            We live in a diverse older Portland neighborhood. We’ve lived next door to an amazing same sex couple since 1998; one a lawyer, the other an occupational health therapist. We couldn’t ask for greater neighbors. Were this couple to adopt children, it would make our neighborhood even better.

            Our neighborhood is filled with kids and I would very, very, very, much doubt that anyone would believe, even in the slightest, that the collapse of our neighborhood was eminent or that their own marriages would be in jeopardy, were this couple to marry and/or adopt.

            When you think about it, it’s seems quite ridiculous.

          • rockyrd

            Lucy, I know heterosexual parents who are a total disaster. It doesn’t mean on the basis of one experience that all parents of traditional marriages are terrible. I know and am related to a fair number of individuals who are same sex attracted. They are wonderful people to a person. My Mom was a wonderful person, but was involved in an adulterous affair of her own making. My love for her doesn’t mean that flaw was not without consequence. I still have the scars 50 years later after she’s been gone for 11 years. But maybe I’m being judgmental. ;)

        • rockyrd

          Was there more recent research when the study was conducted?

      • Phil

        I don’t know this literature well, but the authors’ uncritical citing of the Mark Regnerus study is sufficient to question their methodology and conclusions.

        • rockyrd

          Mark Regnerus aptly addressed the concerns about his study. It seem you’d like to question a study with which you disagree, but accept anything you agree with. I think Mr. Swenson’s excellent post at the top should give us all pause to reflect.

          • Phil

            Mark Regnerus has not aptly addressed the major flaw in his research. Let me give an example of this flaw by using Catholics and Mormons as an example.

            Say I wanted to compare parenting outcomes between Catholics and Mormons. To do this, I randomly sample 3,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 39. (This is the strength of the Regnerus research–a random sample. Previous research on the question of gay parenting has largely come from convenience samples which could be biased.) From that random sample, I find 600 subjects who were raised in a Catholic family that was intact from the age of birth to 18. So far so good–600 is a very robust number. But, I can only identify 30 subjects who were raised in a Mormon family that was intact from the age of birth to 18. Not such a good number. I understand that 30 is not a sufficient number to make statistically reliable comparisons so I expand the definition of the Mormon sample to include those who had ever set foot in a Mormon chapel and lived in an intact family from birth to 18. That expands my sample to 50 a better number, but not good enough. I then further expand the definition of the Mormon sample to include those who ever set foot in a Mormon chapel but did not necessarily live in an intact family from birth to 18 (this now includes parents who were divorced and children who were adopted or were from foster care). Now my number is 100. This is a more statistically robust number so I go ahead and analyze the data and use the data to compare children raised in Catholic households with children raised in Mormon households. I find that children raised in Mormon households had many more negative outcomes than children raised in Catholic households.

            But, what I’ve really done is compare apples to oranges as I compared children raised in intact Catholic households from birth to 18, with children raised in sometimes intact households with parents who ever set foot in a Mormon chapel.

            That is the problem with the Regnerus study. He compared children raised in intact heterosexual households with children raised in not necessarily intact households in which one or both parents had had a same-sex relationship (even if that relationship was short-lived).

            To make a valid comparison, you would need children raised in an intact heterosexual household from birth – 18 vs. children raised in an intact homosexual household from birth – 18 (or some equivalence).

            Because of this fatal flaw, the Regnerus study cannot be taken seriously.

          • mike

            Regnerus published a response to his critics. Here is an analysis of that response:

            ‘How many children were raised by two women staying together from the child’s first birthday to his or her eighteenth? Just two. And how many such cases were there in the FGR category—of children raised by two men together for their whole childhood? Zero. This, out of an initial population of 15,000.

            ‘ I recite these numbers to make a point of my own that fairly leaps off the pages of Regnerus’s work: that family instability is the characteristic experience of those whose parents have same-sex relationships. This is what Regnerus is getting at when he says that critics who want him to treat stability as a “control variable” are actually “controlling for the pathways.” To go on an endless search for a sizable random sample of long-term, stable same-sex couples raising children is to miss the social reality in front of us, namely that they are conspicuously missing from the lives of children whose parents have same-sex relationships.’

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/10/6786

          • Phil

            But, that conclusion is based upon his speculation–it’s his opinion, his “interpretation”. It was not a study question or hypothesis.

          • mike

            What I glean from this study is that out of a large random sample size of 15,000 people only two instances were found in which a same sex couple remained together through the entire childhood of a child. I find this astounding.

            Some people want Regnerus to compare intact biological families to intact same sex families. But the glaring problem is that there is an insufficient sample size of intact same sex families to even make such a comparison.

            If you use Regnerus’s numbers and play the ratio game, it would take an impossible random sample of 1.5 million people to obtain a mere 100 in tact same sex families to analyze.

            This study likewise shows the inherent bias of prior studies used by pro SSM groups. Those studies mainly utilize non randomized, specifically selected same sex families. What Regnerus has shown is that such families are exceptionally rare, and that such studies that treat these families as the norm are biased and flawed.

          • Phil

            The study was not designed to examine the relative stability or instability of same-sex families. Such a CONCLUSION would be unfair and invalid. Now, the issue of stability may be raised as a question drawn from the results/limitations of the study, but this would require additional study in order to draw valid conclusions.

          • Oshtur

            No, the study only interviewed 2988 young adults about their parents. With various studies showing that self-identify as gay, lesbian or bi at about 2% that means that even if child rearing rates between gay and straight couples were the same you even then only have about 60 kids that fill the bill, the study found 265 or about 9% of those interviewed knew of at least one parent with some same sex sexual experience. Figure in that the rate of child rearing among gays has been found to be about half or less that of straights and the chances of finding large numbers is near impossible, certainly not over 250.

            So these aren’t just kids with gay parents, these are ones where a parent was closeted, bi, or had a ‘fling’ for whatever reason and no controls on any other issues they had. These were for the most part not kids raised in ‘same sex families’ as their parents were not confirmed self identified gay or lesbian.

            So we are talking apples and oranges here – you can’t compare kids raised by parents who know and live their declared sexual orientations, gay or straight, with those that don’t.

            But you are right, the sample is far too small – you either need to cast your net wide enough to get an adequate sample size of what is being discussed – children raised by gay parents, or scrap the project until you can.

            Or in this case not bring the study up in a discussion about self-identified gay and lesbian parents voluntarily raising kids when it has nothing to do with that topic at all.

          • rockyrd

            Phil, You may have a point. I was trained in statistics many years ago, but did not look in detail at how he sampled. If what you say is true, taking what you said earlier, there is no unbiased study. But there are studies indicating that SSM are less stable than heterosexual marriages which cannot be good for children in those relationships. We can all pull wild cases such as wouldn’t a child be better off with same sex “parents” than in poverty in a third world country, but that is not the point. The point is are these the optimal relationships in which children should be raised?

          • Oshtur

            What study is this? The only one I know of was a paper of a Scandinavian study where the childless divorce rate was basically identical between same and opposite sex couples in the raw data. Now we know that the civil union rate in the UK was lower than that of those married in the first few years.

            Do you have a marriage divorce rate study for Canada or in the US that would validate your claim? Particularly if it showed the rates for those marriages with minor children involved?

          • thallewell

            Thank you for making this point so effectively and succinctly.

            Barring any unforeseen information you have convinced me to your viewpoint. It seems the study in question would be flawed in a way that would call into question it’s conclusions.

          • kenofken

            The Regnerus study was an apples-to-elephants comparison which was bought and paid for by a right-wing culture war group. It is a work of propaganda, not serious science.

          • DanielPeterson

            You’re grievously misrepresenting the Regnerus study and its background, kenofken. See the links in my recent blog post on the subject.

          • kenofken

            I’ve read the Regnerus study and debated it at length in many forums. It carries no weight in any serious scientific circles.

          • DanielPeterson

            Nor does your bare assertion.

            You’re growing wearisome. You might want to take your obsession and your dogmatism elsewhere.

          • kenofken

            Have a look at what Regnerus’s own professional association, the American Sociological Association, had to say about his work in an amicus brief the association filed in Hollingsworth v Perry. (The Prop 8 case).

            http://www.asanet.org/documents/ASA/pdfs/12-144_307_Amicus_%20(C_%20Gottlieb)_ASA_Same-Sex_Marriage.pdf

          • DanielPeterson

            I’m aware of the controversy and of the ideological background to it.

            You wanted a peer-reviewed publication in a reputable journal, and you got one.

            Don’t keep repeating the same things that my blog post already mentioned.

          • radiofreerome

            Said journal is fighting exposure of the peer review process. Said process is as kosher as horse cholent.

        • DanielPeterson

          Mark Regnerus and the reactions to his work are, indeed, fascinating.

          Perhaps, though, not for the reason you apparently think.

          • Phil

            Then for what reason?

          • DanielPeterson

            For what the episode says about ideological dogmatism and intolerance in the academy.

            See my blog post today.

        • Oshtur

          The Regnerus study showed what we already knew – that children raised in a stable home environment by two parents will perform better as a group than when comparing groups where children experiencing mixed stability environments.

          What that has to do with the sexes of the parents though, I’m not sure and what relevance it has to same sex parenting I’m even less sure.

  • brotheroflogan

    I’ve heard from a number of sources that research into this issue is taboo in social sciences right now. Unless it’s virtually certain that you will get the “right” answer.

    • DanielPeterson

      I’ve heard comments to that effect, as well, from intimidated social science professionals.

    • rockyrd

      And if you don’t get the “right” answer, you are demonized. See Mark Regnerus.

      • mike

        …Or his editor, who has been sued by a SSM activist over the study that he published in a scholarly journal.

    • mike

      “The Regnerus case illustrates a sociopolitical groupthink operating in the social scientific community. Surveys of the professoriate consistently find faculties to be quite lopsidedly liberal. The political imbalance is particularly acute in the social sciences, with liberal-conservative ratios of between 8:1 to 30:1 in most disciplines, and particularly with respect to social issues like gay marriage.

      “Such homogeneity of sociopolitical views among social scientists almost invariably leads to “groupthink,” a phenomenon that occurs when group members have relatively homogeneous backgrounds or ideological views. With this groupthink comes self-censorship and pressure on dissenters, the negative stereotyping and discounting of conservative perspectives, and a failure to consider conservative-friendly (as compared with liberal-friendly) question framing and data interpretation. A recent national survey of psychology professors found that one in four reported that they would be less likely to give a positive recommendation on a journal manuscript or grant application having a conservative perspective, and one in six would be less likely to invite conservative colleagues to participate in a symposium.”

      http://www.american.com/archive/2013/december/scientific-groupthink-and-gay-parenting/article_print

  • RaymondSwenson

    If you have had any association with scientific research, you know that there are protocols about conducting experiments on human beings that were created in the wake of notorious government experiments like the withholding of treatment from people afflicted with veneral disease, or the administration of LSD, or the exposure of soldiers to nuclear explosions.
    Yet the rapid expansion of same sex marriage is conducting a human experiment upon the children affected. If we were proposing to do this kind of an experiment on migratory birds, there would need to be extensive environmental impact statements prepared before any action could be taken, and a permit obtained from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. But because it is being done in some cases by single Federal judges, the experiments are being conducted on many thousands of children without any serious assessment or public debate first.
    Many environmentalists have been arguing that the Federal and state governments should follow the lead of some Eruopean nations and adopt the “Precautionary Principle” when a proposal is made that might affect the natural environment and living things. The Principle is a strong presumption that the status quo of nature should be protected against change, that the status quo has been arrived at through a long process of trial and error (if you believe in natural evolution) or under the direction of deity, and that it therefore has a significant value that will be destroyed if we change it, and so that anyone proposing such a change carries a heavy burden of proof that the effects of the change will be insignificant, and to provide mitigations of the impacts that will occur. Yet many of the people on the Left who are most vociferous in insisting that the Precautionary Principle be applied to conserve nature, are totally careless about conserving the natural human family.
    If human beings are the crowning glory of God’s creation, we should be cautious about messing with His design for us. On the other hand, if homo sapiens is one species of life, with evolved physical and cultural attributes, we should be cautious about messing with those evolved qualities, which directly affect our survival and flourishing as a species, and can have unforeseen negative consequences for many other species.
    There was lots of enthusiasm at their inception for communism in Russia and China, and National Socialism in Germany and Austria. Those were huge human experiments that killed millions. That experience should have taught us to be more careful about government forcing social change. But here we are getting sucked in again.

    • Lucy Mcgee

      It has been shown that same sex attraction does exist within certain species of migratory waterfowl, although I doubt an EIS would be required to, say, allow those mallards, teal, gadwall, wigeon, pintail, and especially the very colorful wood duck, who exhibit same sex attraction, from raising the offspring of those unfortunate waterfowl who, because of “environmental factors” were no longer able or willing to raise them.

      Here is a bit of “natural evolution”. Bonobos and humans share 98.7 percent of the same genetic blueprint. The sexual proclivities of Bonobos, would certainly cause some within the religious community to blush, as would the same sex attraction of other ape species. As far as I know, these species are also a part of God’s creation and exist within process of natural evolution. If anything today is threatening these species, it is most certainly not their sexual preferences, but rather habitat loss and uncontrolled hunting for bush meat.

      Fascist regimes rounded up and destroyed the lives of homosexuals. It is interesting to me that Mr. Swenson uses the examples of the worst of social experiments to buttress his argument against same sex marriage and child rearing. These fascist regimes rounded up tens of millions who were singled out, oppressed and killed because they were different; regimes which demanded societal conformity to their ill-conceived dogmas and belief systems. I don’t get it.

      It seems to me that same sex marriage, and the raising of children by same sex couples, adds to and strengthens society. I wonder if the fear is based on some loss of sacred authority which some of our fellow travelers have given themselves; authority which allows biblical passages to be interpreted as sacrosanct? Interestingly, not all Christians feel the same way, which in my mind means progress, and is certainly a far cry from the forceful imposition, subjugation and death forced on the weak and powerless by fascist pogroms.

      • kiwi57

        Lucy Mcgee: “Fascist regimes rounded up and destroyed the lives of homosexuals. It is interesting to me that Mr. Swenson uses the examples of the worst of social experiments to buttress his argument against same sex marriage and child rearing. These fascist regimes rounded up tens of millions who were singled out, oppressed and killed because they were different; regimes which demanded societal conformity to their ill-conceived dogmas and belief systems. I don’t get it.”

        You certainly don’t.

        The Nazis imprisoned a few people on charges of homosexuality. Like Kurt Schuschnigg, for instance. Some of us are cynical enough to suspect that Hitler was more annoyed at Schuschnigg for trying to keep Austria independent, but that view is probably not politically correct enough these days.

        Likewise, it is probably not politically correct to point out that many concentration camp guards, card carrying Nazis and members of the SS, were homosexuals who sexually exploited the prisoners under their control. And without any fear that their superiors would intervene.

        It is also probably not politically correct to point out that one of Hitler’s few close friends was Ernst Röhm, who was openly homosexual. Hitler knew this fact very well and did absolutely nothing about Röhm until it became politically useful to him to do so.

        Homosexuality was a label of convenience for the Nazis, a movement that was riddled with homosexuals from top to bottom. Pretending that the Nazis victimised “gays” is historical revisionism, and is false.

        • Lucy Mcgee

          I’d like to know what history you are reading? You are ignorant on this subject.

          • kiwi57

            Really?

            Are you saying that I was wrong about Schuschnigg? Is the New Revised Standard Version that Hitler was all ready to be a good sport about Schuschnigg’s opposition to the Anschluss until he found out that the twice-married devout Catholic was “gay?”

            Or was Röhm perhaps a strait-laced heterosexual? Were there never any homosexuals in the SA? Or was the Night of the Long Knives ordered as soon as Hitler found out that one of them had been seen in a gay bar?

            Please tell me, Lucy. Wherein lies my ignorance on this subject?

          • Lucy Mcgee

            You deny that homosexuals were targeted and imprisoned by fascists/Nazi’s. Fine. My mother, born in 1920, in Merano Italy, lived through WWII in Austria and for a time in Berlin. She lost not only her pacifist twin brother to the war, but also family and close friends, one of whom was a gay man. My uncle, on my father’s side was SS. He was deeply racist his entire life. I grew up with many stories, mostly sad ones of those who had been persecuted.

            There are countless stories of atrocities committed against homosexuals. Fortunately, such information is widely available.

            Let’s begin with statements from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-features/special-focus/nazi-persecution-of-homosexuals

            Or consider the Nazi reaction to Magnus Hirschfeld.
            http://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Magnus_Hirschfeld#Nazi_reaction

            Or read about gay men in the Nazi State.
            http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/History_of_gay_men_in_Nazi_Germany_and_the_Holocaust.html

            Or read about homosexual treatment under Mussolini.
            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italy-finally-ready-to-recognise-the-suffering-of-gays-in-holocaust-camp-487521.html

            If you deny the above took place, and that fascist regimes destroyed the lives of homosexuals, I only have to wonder why? Of the points I made in my original comment, it’s curious why you would choose to deny the plight of gay men who died during the holocaust. Very strange.

          • kiwi57

            Lucy Mcgee: “If you deny the above took place, and that fascist regimes destroyed the lives of homosexuals, I only have to wonder why?”

            I don’t “deny the above took place.” You aren’t reading very well.

            The Nazis destroyed the lives of a lot of people, most of whom were not homosexual. Do you deny this?

            Many Nazis, right up to their top leadership, were homosexual. Do you deny this?

            Many SS concentration camp guards were homosexuals who took advantage of the prisoners under their control. Do you deny this?

            The Nazis imprisoned Kurt Schuschnigg, the last chancellor of independent Austria prior to the Anschluss, on a charge of homosexuality. The charge was clearly trumped up. Do you deny this?

            Actual homosexuals could indeed be locked up. Unlike Jews, Gypsies and political prisoners, they could also be released after a couple of years. Do you deny this?

            I’m aware of Magnus Hirschfeld. His activities were at least officially illegal (if not actively prosecuted) in most countries at the time. The Nazis didn’t like him because he was “effeminate.” They preferred a more macho form of homosexuality.

            Hirschfeld was also Jewish. Do you deny this?

            Here’s a link for you to do some more reading:

            http://www.thepinkswastika.com/

          • Lucy Mcgee

            What you wrote was: “The Nazis imprisoned a few people on charges of homosexuality.” I disagree totally with your statement. Tens of thousands or more are not “a few”.

            I’m done with this subject.

          • kiwi57

            It’s a lot fewer than the number of others they imprisoned; Jews, for instance.

            If we assume that homosexuals represented around 3% of the population, then there would have been about 2.4 million homosexuals in Germany in 1939. Not even the most passionate “gay” propagandists have managed to claim than any more than a very small minority of this group were imprisoned.

            According to one of the sources you cited, “Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were interned in concentration camps in Nazi Germany.” The same source quotes an anecdote from one of those victims, who was imprisoned for ten whole months!

            How many Jews were released after ten months?

            Claims of a “gay holocaust” have been greatly exaggerated, and largely for propaganda purposes.

          • ahermit

            Ah, there it is! I knew it was coming… “The Pink Swastika”, that vile piece of a-historical, fictional BS propaganda. It’s right up there in the annals of bigoted libel with “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion… http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/forum/x254542695/Did-Nazis-persecute-gays-or-were-they-gay-themselves

    • Steven Barton

      Raymond, there is no experiment here. Gay people have been raising children for ages, as have bisexual people. I don’t see how two gay people raising children in the same home makes much of a difference over one, unless you think that gays are a danger to children. Nor is having a home without a mother or father parent. It’s been going on as long as humans have been on this planet. So have there been homes with multiple men and multiple women in the home helping with the child rearing.

    • Sven2547

      Incredible. You’ve managed to contrive a comparison between same-sex parenting and the Nazis.

      • kiwi57

        While others have contrived a comparison between those who support marriage sancitity and the Nazis.

        Did you object?

        • JT Rager

          I haven’t seen these comparisons and I haven’t seen Sven make them on the multitudes of Disqus threads I’ve seen him on. Your post amounts to “I know you are but what am I?”

  • Lucy Mcgee

    It seems to me that young children raised by same sex couples would have a much easier time of it if their parents lived in states with laws which are pro gay marriage, and in communities which offer support. If the cited studies were done using data collected from same sex families living in adverse environments, wouldn’t it make sense that this adversity could cause a bunch of negatives to be expressed by these children? Conversely, if children of same sex parents were studied who lived in supportive communities, this could make all the difference in the world.

    I grew up in small town Wyoming in the 60′s where same sex attraction was clearly taboo, as was having long hair, or being black or Hispanic. I couldn’t imagine trying to raise children there as a same sex couple today.

    • Lark62

      It reminds me of the arguments against interracial marriage – the children will suffer from discrimination, therefore we will discriminate against the parents so they won’t have kids for us to discriminate against.

    • kiwi57

      It seems to me that, all else being equal, young children raised by same sex couples would have a much better upbringing being raised by mix sex couples.

  • Guest

    I have seen a lot of Facebook traffic on this issue lately, to which I have just jumped in. So, I am going to just cut and paste my FB post here, as it addresses this article by the American College of Pediatricians. It is probably too long for anyone to read in its entirety.

    There has been a lot in Utah lately about polygamous marriage and its effect on children…the institution is still illegal but its practice decriminalized, in large part, by federal judicial fiat. This post does not address that. What it does address is gay marriage and its effect on children. All people, whether gay or straight have to be appreciated as individuals, yes, but to make sweeping statements about groups as a whole from the good or bad individuals (good or bad being defined by own norms, however those norms are formulated) with whom we are acquainted: is that valid? I personally have delivered infants to both male and female gay couples (in California) and from my experience the new “parents” seemed as loving and kind as any I know, but can I predict the future of their children from my brief acquaintance of the “parents” in the office/hospital? Can I predict the effect of gay parenting on society as a whole from those I know personally or read about? The answer to both questions is no. Nonetheless, the overwhelming tide of secular society…politics, popular culture, education (with California at the forefront), legal, and public opinion is going to normalize gay marriage and gay families with children. Some may say why not? After all, are not heterosexual marriages failing society, with divorce rates “at 50-60%” (I read that somewhere on a post…they have not actually been at that high rate now for decades)? Well, to some degree yes, but it’s another discussion. But for the sake of the children, what will gay parenting contribute to our society? (I am leaving out single parenting out of the discussion).

    The answers to that, leaving out the pressures of popular culture, are not
    good…not for the children on the whole. If one wants to uncomfortably jump off the bandwagon, and look at what is actually known, I would suggest linking to the article below from the American College of Pediatricians from earlier this year (probably cut and paste into your browser). They took a stance against the political pressures of the time to opine from actual evidence on the matter (…remarkable because medical societies often do flow with the sociological tide). To be informed, one must read and reread carefully the article…because you won’t hear it anywhere else on Facebook or on TV or in the medical journals one sees at the checkout line at the grocery store. You may hear about it in your religious associations online or at church, but the American College of Pediatricians leaves out any religious bias (I am not disparaging religious bias…any religion that isn’t biased is not worth much, in my opinion) from the article. Since some may never read the article, I will cut and paste two important paragraphs from the piece here:

    #1 ” Risks of the homosexual lifestyle to children…Finally, research has demonstrated considerable risks to children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle. Violence between same-sex partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples.27,28,29,30,31 Same-sex partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average same-sex relationship lasting only two to three years.32,33,34,35 Homosexual men and women are reported to be promiscuous, with serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed” relationships. 36,37,38,39,40 Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness,41,42,43 substance abuse,44 suicidal tendencies 45,46 and shortened life spans.47 Although some would claim that these dysfunctions are a result of societal pressures in America, the same dysfunctions exist at inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures where the practice is more widely accepted.48″ (end of quote…the numbers in this are footnotes to studies that the AAP deemed sufficiently well done, i.e. valid, to put in their article). These statistics make some uncomfortable, and even surprised, because gay society is never so portrayed in our current culture (although it is increasingly common for religious society to be so disparaged).

    #2 “Conclusion: In summary, tradition and science agree that biological ties and dual gender parenting are protective for children. The family environment in which children are reared plays a critical role in forming a secure gender identity, positive emotional well-being, and optimal academic achievement. Decades of social science research documents that children develop optimally when reared by their two biological parents in a low conflict marriage. The limited research advocating childrearing by same-sex parents has severe methodological limitations. There is significant risk of harm inherent in exposing a child to the homosexual lifestyle. Given the current body of evidence, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on same-sex parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.” (end of quote). If we are going to be passionate for the welfare of children in our society as a whole, it would be helpful to know exactly what it is that is worthwhile to be passionate about. This article addresses it. It leaves religion at the door. It addresses the issues clearly, in behalf of the children.

    I have said nothing about gay marriage itself, nothing about the exceptions to the rule regarding people we know, nothing about the individuals involved in any particular society, many of whom we love personally. Finally, here I will reveal my religious bias: God loves each and every of His children to a degree unfathomable to any of us. Thus so, He has made suggestions, from time to time, in regards to His children’s behavior. In this post, I have tried to leave that bias out.

    • Lucy Mcgee

      From an abstract of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy paper:

      To promote optimal health and well-being of all children, the American
      Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports access for all children to (1) civil marriage rights for their parents and (2) willing and capable foster and adoptive parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation.

      The ACP claims its position is rooted in the “best available science”. Really? The original article was written in 2004, which quotes studies from the early 90′s. The ACP, as a special interest group, was admonished by Dr. Frances Collins:

      April 15, 2010

      “It is disturbing for me to see special interest groups distort
      my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality. The
      American College of Pediatricians pulled language out of context
      from a book I wrote in 2006 to support an ideology that can
      cause unnecessary anguish and encourage prejudice. The information
      they present is misleading and incorrect, and it is particularly
      troubling that they are distributing it in a way that will confuse
      school children and their parents.”

      Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
      Director

      The authors of the “study” you cite, are the President and VP of the ACP.

      Lastly:

      In an amicus brief, the National Association of Social Workers
      described ACPeds as a “small and marginal group” which was “out of stepwith the research-based position of the AAP and other medical and childwelfare authorities.”[4] PFLAG identifies the American College of Pediatricians as an anti-equality organization, describing the group as a “small splinter group of medical professionals who do not support the mainstream view of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) that homosexuality is a normal aspect of
      human diversity.”[13]

      You trust the study, I do not.

  • Jon

    “Perhaps it’s merely a sampling error on my part”

    That does seem to be the case here.

    • DanielPeterson

      Maybe. Maybe not.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Why would you even question the parenting abilities of law abiding, tax paying minority adults? Reminds me of the “loving concern” racists had for the children of interracial couples back when I was young.

    Your denigration of minority relationships is petty and pathetic. What about your own “marriage?” If you are personally attacked and defamed for this column… gosh, I wonder why people would do to you what you are doing to others?

    • Gregory Peterson

      By the way, Daniel Peterson and I are not related. After reading this column, that is something for which I’m grateful.

      • DanielPeterson

        Lucky you!

    • DanielPeterson

      I’ve been reasonable and respectful on this topic, and see no reason for personal hatred and hostility.

      If that’s your preferred style, GP, please go elsewhere.

    • DanielPeterson

      I’m not questioning their “abilities.”

      And I haven’t personally attacked anybody or any group, nor defamed anybody or any group.

      I’ve been quite calm and reasonable.

      For which you call me petty and pathetic and compare me to racists.

      Drop the personal nonsense and deal with the issues, or else please go away.

      • Gregory Peterson

        Why do people who write much like the so called moderate race segregationists did back when I was young, insist that they’re not denigrating a minority group, that they’re actualy dealing with the issues? You should deal with your own issues about Gay people.

        You’re being calm and reasonable…in a rather hysterical way, such as denigrating the marriages of minority couples with the petty “marriage.” They’re married, not “married.”

        You must know what a reliable source looks like, and judging from your hemming and hawing, you must strongly suspect that the ACP isn’t one of them…yet you use that one questionable link to denigrate the abilities of everyone of a somewhat largish, though not major, minority group, Gay people, to be good parents.

        The ACP link reads much like a slightly edited “Massive Resistance” era study questioning the abilities of “mixed race” parents.. See, for starters, “Race, Racism, and Science: Social Impact and Interaction,” by By John P. Jackson, Nadine M. Weidman, 2004.

        • DanielPeterson

          My “issues about Gay people”?

          Treating dissent from Your views as evidence of psychological defect isn’t civil disagreement, GP.

          • Gregory Peterson

            It’s not my dissent from my views, it’s your motivated reasoning about “those people” which suggests that you may have issues about Gay people.

          • DanielPeterson

            It’s very helpful of you, GP, to put the words “those people” within quotation marks, as if — racist style — I’ve been making casually dismissive and bigoted comments about homosexuals.

            But I haven’t. Those are your words, not mine.

        • kiwi57

          Gregory Peterson,

          You previously accused Dan of “question[ing] the parenting abilities” of your favourite group. Dan flatly denied doing so, yet you blithely repeat the accusation without any evidence to back it up.

          Yet another reason to conclude that you are not engaged in civil discussion.

          BTW, and just so you know: “Gay” is an adjective. Adjectives don’t get capitalised except at the beginnings of sentences. Your reverence towards “Gay people” seems to border upon veneration.

          • Gregory Peterson

            “Gay” can be an adjective. However, I’m using the word as a proper noun. English is funny that way.

            I would capitalize Norwegian people, Sámi people etc, so I capitalize “Gay people.” We’re talking about a worldwide minority community named Gay and people of that community.

            This reminds me of the NAACP and it’s 1930s campaign to have “Negro” capitalized. We should capitalize “Black” for the same reason.

          • kiwi57

            Gregory Peterson: “‘Gay’ can be an adjective. However, I’m using the word as a proper noun. English is funny that way.”

            But opinionated individuals don’t just get to unilaterally decree that an adjective becomes a proper noun because they want it to. English is funny that way.

            Gregory Peterson: “I would capitalize Norwegian people, Sámi people etc, so I capitalize ‘Gay people.’ We’re talking about a worldwide minority community named Gay and people of that community. ”

            So you think “gay” is equivalent to a nationality, do you?

            Gregory Peterson: “This reminds me of the NAACP and it’s 1930s campaign to have ‘Negro’ capitalized.”

            The attempts to create artificial parallels between the current “gay” agitation and the former civil rights movement are looking increasingly desperate.

          • Gregory Peterson

            “Artificial parallels?” Go tell that to actual Civil Rights activists like John Lewis, Julian Bond, Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery. Or you might research Coretta Scott King, Mildred Loving, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin. Also supporting the Gay rights movement, NAACP, Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West come to mind. Oh… Archbishop Tutu and the late Pres. Mandela…

            I may be early to the capitalization of Gay and Black, but I’m hardly the first, let alone the only. I would also write, the Civil Rights Movement.

            If the worldwide Gay community were a nation…it would probably be the fourth most populous nation, displacing Indonesia…perhaps even knocking the United States from third place.

            Gay can be a proper noun. It does not modify or describe a noun when it is the name of a community, a minority group and an egalitarian movement. Gay is a community…a more and more interconnected, worldwide, very diverse (though likely majority Asian) community. Gay is also a liberation movement, a civil rights movement, the Gay Rights Movement.

            Conservatives usually hate that sort of thing…pobrecitos.

  • Surprise123

    Children need adults in their lives who are able to provide a roof over their heads, a sense of security and well being, abundant love, and high expectations regarding the development of their character (moral, as well, as performance-based). They do not need overindulgent parents, nor do they need neglectful parents.
    Instead of seeking to prove that the children of two male gay parents or two lesbian parents are “harmed” by having parents of the same sex, why not investigate the causes associated with ACTUAL young people who have fallen into drug addiction, crime, and prostitution, and determine THOSE causes?

    • DanielPeterson

      How about simply permitting general freedom of inquiry and discussion, without penalties?

      What about allowing scholars and scientists to research whatever they want, on the whole, without fear of persecution or reprisals?

      • ahermit

        How about simply permitting general freedom of inquiry and discussion, without penalties?”

        How about making decisions about the fitness of potential adoptive parents on the basis of an evaluation the individuals seeking adoption rather than on a potentially flawed study representing the minority view?

        Do you really think it’s a good idea to penalize individual families on the basis of such generalizations?

        What about allowing scholars and scientists to research whatever they want, on the whole, without fear of persecution or reprisals?”

        Having your work criticized, or the flaws in it pointed out, is not “persecution” or “reprisals.” It’s called “peer review” and if you can’t take that heat don’t step into the science kitchen…

        • DanielPeterson

          “Peer review” has a very specific meaning, and what has happened to Professor Regnerus goes far beyond mere “peer review.”

          • ahermit

            In what way? Regnerus’ methods were criticized, his conclusions refuted; I don’t see anyone calling for his head (either figuratively or literally) so isn’t it a bit absurd to try and paint criticism of his work as equivalent to terrorism, as you do in this post?

            Peer review isn’t always polite…in fact it frequently is anything but polite.

          • DanielPeterson

            I’m not sure that you really understand what academic peer review is. Would you mind sketching it out for us?

            And, yes, Professor Regnerus has been subjected to a great deal of hostility that has precisely no place in academic discourse. I’ve provided links to accounts of it.

          • ahermit

            The peer review process can often get nasty and even personal. It shouldn’t happen, but it’s not unique to Regnerus.

            Regnerus still has his job, his research is still available for anyone to read, and he even has a blog here on Patheos. So where is this terrible persecution? Where are the reprisals?

            Has he been subjected to strong criticism? Yes, and rightly so; he produced what appears to have been a remarkably sloppy piece of work.

            Meanwhile, you appear to be advocating denying adoption and marriage rights to same sex couples. That looks more like real persecution to me.

          • DanielPeterson

            Again I ask, What do you understand under the term “peer review”?

            And, again, have you read the links that I supplied?

          • ahermit

            I’m familiar with the whole debate around the Regnerus study. It was a sloppy piece of work which doesn’t support the conclusions Regnerus claimed.

          • Ben Zeeman

            In other words, no, you have not read what Daniel posted, you simply came here to argue your ideology? To make such a blanket statement that you are familiar with “the whole debate” is petty and dishonest. Clearly you came here to prove his arguments valid.

          • ahermit
          • DanielPeterson

            You can’t, ahermit, have read a year ago what I’ve just posted within the past two days.

            And you still haven’t described what you understand by “peer review.”

          • kenofken

            Let’s talk about peer review. It’s a critical piece of the Regnerus controversy, and one that probably isn’t fully appreciated outside of academic circles.

            As a molecular biologist, I have some experience in this area. The long and short of peer review is quality control. Everything we do in science builds on the foundation of past research, whether we’re trying to refute it, confirm it or expand it in some new direction. We need some assurance that the work we build upon and cite was done with sound methods and integrity and rigor.

            To do that, we have academic journals vet our work before publishing, and they in turn rely on peer review to do that. Journal editors find a handful of experts in the field of the submitting author and ask them to read it with a critical eye. They look for accuracy, and sound methodology/best practices. Was the study well designed to answer the questions posed by the research? Do the data support the conclusions? In short, is the work up to snuff for the field as a whole and the standards of the particular journal?

            Ideally, you find reviewers who understand the fine points of the field of study (hence “peers”), and who are, as much as humanly possible, impartial and diverse. This system failed in the Regnerus case, and this is not simply my rant. It is the conclusion of Darren Sherkat, the man who conducted an independent audit of the submission process which led to the publication of Regnerus’s work in Social Science Research. Sherkat found that the review of Regnerus’s work was badly compromised by ideology and inattention and that the work should not have been accepted for publication based on serious flaws in the research which fell below the journal’s standards.

            There were also glaring conflicts of interest. Two of the three reviewers of the Regnus article were involved in conducting the work they were reviewing. One, Brad Wilcox, was a senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, the conservative culture war think tank which funded the study! He was personally and deeply involved in conceiving the study, approving the financing for it, and then working on the study as a paid consultant, and then steering it toward the journal in question, where he “reviewed” it. Does that strike anyone here as ethical or sound?

            Here’s Sherkat’s article on the matter:

            http://freemarry.3cdn.net/7ff283327f0b9a3ad0_6nm6bnjvk.pdf

  • https://www.facebook.com/etseq97 etseq

    Someone is a sore loser – don’t worry though we don’t want anything to do with your precious “temple” – it does say alot about your character that you compare gay parents to radical islamic terrorists and then dare anyone to call you out for it. Methinks you have a persecution complex but its the LDS church that has waged a non-stop legal campaign against gay marriage all the way back to the 90s with the Hawaii case. My suggestion is to get over it…

    • DanielPeterson

      In my experience with this issue, by far most of the personal hostility, derision, and even hatred has come from the pro-SSM crowd.

      Etseq’s post above offers a fairly mild example of such “discourse,” but is consistent with the pattern that I’ve observed.

      • kenofken

        The anti-SSM movement has never once brought anything to the debate worth respect. It has shown nothing but seething hatred of LGBT people, and it has never, even once, brought any secular, real, peer-reviewed scientific data to the table.

        You claim an interest in free scientific inquiry, but you only acknowledge the “results” of ideological junk science institutes which ignore all basic rules and procedures of real scientists. ACPeds is not a scientific organization. It is a religious ideological think tank made up of members who happen to have scientific training. Anti-SSM forces have about as much interest in “letting science lead where it may” as do creationists.

        • DanielPeterson

          kenofken: “The anti-SSM movement has never once brought anything to the debate worth respect. It has shown nothing but seething hatred of LGBT people, and it has never, even once, brought any secular, real, peer-reviewed scientific data to the table.”

          Your claims above are flatly false, and exemplify the kind of rhetorical total war that poisons discourse on this topic.

          • kenofken

            So we’ve gone once round the circle, and I still see no data or citations of mainstream science being put forward. This is why your movement is where it is today, on the outside looking in. Hundreds of courts, many of them in very socially conservative states, have been asking for your evidence for decades when deciding cases surrounding gay parenting, adoption etc. You’ve given them nothing but junk science, and they’ve seen through it. Anytime anyone ever asks for your data, they get the same song and dance. “Gay parenting is so harmful that we can’t even quantify how harmful it is, and anyway all science is hostage to the gay activists.”

            Unless you have real, apples to apples peer reviewed science conducted with scientifically sound methods, you have nothing on which to conduct “discourse.” That’s not hostlility, it’s just a statement of reality. If two parties propose to hold a scientific debate and only one side comes prepared with any science, it’s not much of a debate or worth anyone’s time.

          • DanielPeterson

            What in the world are you talking about, kenofken?

            I belong to no “movement,” and have never been asked by any court to present anything on this topic.

            I’ve simply passed on a couple of interesting items in social science, with bibliographies. And the Regnerus piece is most certainly not “junk science,” no matter how passionately you hate it.

            Nor, though it’s not “social science,” is this peer-reviewed article:

            http://www.harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/GeorgeFinal.pdf

            “Science” isn’t the only relevant approach here.

            (And fortunately so, because somebody could, conceivably, declare homosexuality a gene-diffusing and evolutionary dead end, and, on that basis, with no guidance from non-scientific ethical principles — there being, after all, no strictly “scientific” ones on which to draw — give people with same-sex attraction a whole lot less respect than I have ever done.)

          • kenofken

            The Regnerus study is pure, 100-proof unadulterated junk science. It was commissioned by culture war ideologues with the express purpose of trying to sway the SCOTUS decision, and the study design was rigged to produce the conclusions its sponsors paid for. It deliberately avoided making valid, head-to-head comparisons of same sex and hetero parenting. All it “showed” was that unstable households produce worse outcomes than stable ones, and the samples were rigged to make sure stable hetero households were matched to unstable same sex ones. Oh, Regnerus made sure to make all the requisite fine-print disclaimers, but his culture war made the media splash they wanted. SCOTUS of course was not dense enough to fall for the scam.

            This other link you posted is interesting as a bit of philosophical musing, but it’s not science.

          • DanielPeterson

            You’re flatly incorrect about the Regnerus study. You’ve been told this, but you don’t seem to care about facts.

            And what you dismiss as “a bit of philosophical musing” is a disciplined and substantial argument.

            As I’ve pointed out, “science” — as you style it — isn’t the only relevant mode of thinking about this matter, which is, after all, an ethical and political issue, among other things. Neither litmus tests nor surveys can resolve a moral issue. Even if 98% of all Bolivian florist’s assistants favored the liquidation of the Jews (or of gays), and even if water molecules had four particles rather than three, it would remain wrong.

          • kenofken

            I’m engaging the issue on science because that is the field upon which you opened the debate. When you interject a group like ACPeds into the debate, you’re trying to cast it primarily as an issue of science. ACPeds seeks to stake its claims upon the credibility we accord doctors and scientists. They’re seeking to frame the issue in terms of science. Why is it unreasonable or dogmatic for me to then engage the issue on that basis?

          • DanielPeterson

            Stop trying to read my mind, or pretending that you’ve successfully done so.

            And take a break.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            I totally agree. There should be a basis from which these debates are made. If one wants to use the arguments and studies offered by groups like the ACP, then one should be willing to defend those arguments and studies.

            I’m still searching for anything I can find on SSM and the kids raised within such a family in Scandinavian countries. This seems like the best place to examine the lives of children who have grown up in such families.

            It also seems to me that the field of study will be burgeoning as more and more states allow SSM and adoption.

          • kenofken

            I’m all for doing real long-term studies which examine outcomes of kids, but the comparisons need to be truly matched for income, education, family stability etc. The way to do science is to isolate the one variable you want to measure, not to let the effects of one variable take credit or blame for another, and not to put your thumb on the scale to achieve one outcome or another, as Regnerus did in his design. Let’s also do studies which are funded by NIH or NSF, not some ideological think tank which is determined to come up with the “right” results at all costs.

          • Lucy Mcgee

            Exactly!

          • DanielPeterson

            Stop misrepresenting the history of the Regnerus article.

            You know better. Or, at least, I’ve given you the material on the basis of which you could know better if you cared about the truth.

            I won’t allow continued mendacity here.

          • kenofken

            The weaknesses and ideological backing and conflicts of interest in the Regnerus study have been very well documented. The concerns and criticisms I have raised about his work are very widely shared by scientists within his own field of study. Of course it is your prerogative to control anything within your own blog, but a decision to forbid any criticism of the Regnerus study would say far more about its relative strength as a body of scientific work than anything I could raise.

          • DanielPeterson

            I don’t mind serious, substantive criticism of the article — though I rather doubt that very many people here (including you, kenofken) are equipped to do it or to evaluate it.

            What has grown wearisome is your repeated employment of the genetic fallacy, compounded with plain factual error.

            You’ve been warned. Don’t do it again.

          • DanielPeterson

            Stop misrepresenting the funding and origin of the Regnerus study, kenofken, and stop falsely imputing motives.

            I’ve supplied a link that tells the actual story. You have no excuse for continuing to distort it.

      • Lucy Mcgee

        You’ve got to be kidding? Perhaps you’ve not heard or read the inflammatory words of those fundamentalist Christians who excoriate gays/lesbians and have for decades. This culture war was started by the Robertson’s and Falwell’s of the world. At least admit that Dr. Peterson.

  • Peter’s Legacy

    There are two obvious points to make regarding this article. One: strict, aggressive peer review is not persecution. It is essential to evaluating social policies which have the direct potential of harming people’s lives. I welcome careful, thorough evaluation of same-sex parenting. The facile conclusions of the ACP deserve the criticisms they have received. We don’t throw those conclusions aside because we don’t like them. We hold them in abeyance because they are very poorly supported. Two: we can have no respect for the implicit taint of prejudice woven into this article. The article suggests studies questioning the quality of same-sex parenting should be looked at more seriously without explicitly stating that granting them a closer look does not justify restricting or hindering the expansion of same-sex families. In other words, while it may or may not be true that same-sex parenting is equivalent, the great weight of evidence clearly shows that there is no discernible difference. It is appropriate, perhaps, to suggest a closer look. But it is reprehensible to insinuate that there may be some lurking evil hidden out behind the woodshed.

    • DanielPeterson

      I’ve said nothing whatever against rigorous (“aggressive” is a rather odd adjective in this context) peer review.

      And peer review isn’t and shouldn’t be about “social policies.”

      • Peter’s Legacy

        Thank you Mr. Peterson. It was kind of you to reply. Perhaps I mistook your statement, “I realize that the American College of Pediatricians has drawn intense fire for its socially conservative stance” To me it sounded as if you felt they were being persecuted for being conservative. Whereas, weighed in balance, most people would find the paucity of their arguments merits a fair amount of criticism. One aspect is clear–nothing that they or other conservative agencies have come up with merits restricting same-sex parenting. Imposing legal barriers to otherwise capable and dedicated adults because a small portion of the population gets the vapors about it does not speak well for Christianity.

        • DanielPeterson

          I think I’ll comment in the blog itself on your “one aspect is clear” rhetorical gambit.

          But that will have to wait until at least some time later today. I have places to go and people to see.

  • Oshtur

    The argument has to be taken in context – we are talking about ‘parenting’ which has massively wide acceptable parameters that include parents who are felons, drug addicts, and other sundry ‘less than optimal’ configurations and qualities.

    To be ‘very concerned’ about same sex parents as being less than optimal when the degree of that could even be is minuscule compared to what has been allowed seems a bit ‘result oriented’ concern,

    I would love to see some qualitative study that shows there are parenting qualities that require a parent of a particular sex other than the suppositions stated in the link. In my experience the various parenting roles are fulfilled in a home regardless of the sexes of the parents.

    and finally, the rights and interests of the children? One of the primary would include the right to have legally married parents, whatever their wealth, status in the eyes of the law, or sexes.

    • kiwi57

      Oshtur: “and finally, the rights and interests of the children? One of the primary would include the right to have legally married parents, whatever their wealth, status in the eyes of the law, or sexes.”

      To begin with, their biological parents are without question of opposite sexes, and it is a recognised right of every child to be raised by her own biological parents.

      Second, if we are talking about adoptive parents, it is the right of every child unable to be raised by her own biological parents, to be adopted and raised by a plausible facsimile thereof. That is why government-approved adoption agencies are, inter alia, still able to use ethnicity as a factor in selecting adoptive parents, despite decades of anti-discrimination legislation.

      That’s because adoption is a right that attaches to children, not to would-be parents.

      • Oshtur

        Actually there is no right to be raised by biological parents, there is a (not absolute) right of biological parents to raise their child.

        And while an adoption agency can place in the best interest of the child that isn’t derived from any right of a child to any particular kind of parent.

        • kiwi57

          Thank you, Oshtur. However, I have to disagree with you.
          I don’t know whether any (heh heh) “progressive” American courts have recognised it yet, but the right of a child to live with his or her own parents is a reality.

          Perhaps you feel that the rights of children include some right to be seized by the state and placed in the care of more politically acceptable parents.

          In any event, when it comes to adoption, the child has a right to a real family, and not to have a legally fictitious one foisted upon her.

          • Oshtur

            Fantasy. If there was such a right people with children wouldn’t be able to get divorced.

            I can understand the reason to wish this were the case it’s just not.

          • kiwi57

            Thank you. You clearly assume that rights are either absolute or non-existent.

            Reality, however, is rather more nuanced.

            Every child has a right to be raised by his or her own parents; a right that can only be abrogated if there are compelling reasons why that is not possible.

            For example, in the case of divorce.

            Particularly if one of the parents then embarks upon a lifestyle that children should never be exposed to.

          • Oshtur

            You seem to be meandering around, if the parents right to divorce over rides your proposed right of children to be raised by their biological parents, its not much of a ‘right’ to begin with.

            Few children are adopted against the parent’s will, only in the most severe forms of neglect. And I don’t know what lifestyle you are referring to but its irrelevant – many find certain religious lifestyles repugnant but they are free to adopt regardless.

            I can guess what you are trying to say but until you actually come out and do, the discussion is too faint hearted for me.

          • kiwi57

            Oshtur: “You seem to be meandering around, if the parents right to divorce over rides your proposed right of children to be raised by their biological parents, its not much of a ‘right’ to begin with.”

            I agree with you. Adults frequently fail to consider the rights of children when making selfish decisions.

            But rights are not rights because they are legally enforceable. They are rights first, and then they subsequently become legally enforceable.

            (The exception to this is when brand new “rights” are created ex nihilo by judicial fiat; but I digress.)

            Oshtur: “Few children are adopted against the parent’s will, only in the most severe forms of neglect. And I don’t know what lifestyle you are referring to but its irrelevant – many find certain religious lifestyles repugnant but they are free to adopt regardless.”

            Oh, I think just about everyone, except a little coterie of shameless ideologues, agrees that children should not be exposed to sexual promiscuity, or a parade of ever-changing “partners.”

          • Oshtur

            I agree but again don’t understand what it has to do with this blog entry.

  • Frank

    homopedes on the loose
    www(dot)markshermansimpson(dot)com

  • JT Rager

    The fact that they look at “same gender” parents as opposed to “same sex” parents already raises eyebrows for me. Same gender parents are already allowed to marry. It’s same sex parents whose marriages are contested (parents with matching genitalia).

  • axelbeingcivil

    All the statistics I’ve seen seem to suggest that the children of gay couples do just as well as those children in similar situations (financially, socially, etc.). Generally speaking, gay parents who adopt instead of having had kids by a previous marriage are often the cream of the crop for adoptive parents, lesbians especially. I’ll dig up sone stats, if you’re interested.

    Still, though, I do have to say that a part of the reason no-one really talks much about adoption in the gay marriage debate is because it’s irrelevant; gay people can already adopt, have children by other marriages, etc. and no-one seems to be proposing a law to stop that, nor to take children from single parents, nor to raise the minimum standard of care children must receive by law (it is, in many ways, appallingly low). The whole question just comes off as something of a red herring, to bait people who are increasingly comfortable with the notion of gay marriage.

    Edit: The ACP, I should add, is pretty much the incarnate form of this concept; a Judeo-Christian group that sets forth its ideology with a veneer of scientific authority to try and play to people’s fears and give an air of legitimacy to what is ultimately a religious grievance.

  • Søren Kongstad

    I think the point is that, allowing same sex marriages will not change the fact that thousands of children live in same sex households.
    What it will change is that the parents, or guardians if you prefer, will enjoy the same rights as other married couples. This means that in the event that one of them dies, the home have a greater chance to persist and not be split up, because egotistical relatives insist on taking the inheritance instead of letting the other parent continue to raise the children in the environment they are used to.
    Allowing for adopting also insures that the children can stay with the known and loved guardian, instead of being send to another place.
    These are just a few of the things which will help children be more safe and secure when their parents are no longer denied the rights allowed hetero couples.
    So allowing gay marriage will secure the relationships of gay parents, and more stable homes will in turn be a good thing for the children.

    Like I said even without gay marriages, children will be brought up in same sex households, even if I were to concede the point that a same sex household leads to less favorable outcomes for children, which I do not concede, allowing same sex marriage will only work to make same sex relationships more stable, thus leading to more favorable outcomes for children from same sex households.

  • swbarnes2

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has 60,000 members. This article comes from the American College of Pediatricians, which has about 200. This is a tiny fringe group, a fraction of a percent of pediatricians. I’m sorry, but when one is arguing against a vast consensus in one’s profession, and advocating policies that absolutely will be harmful to innocent people, one has to do better than “Social science is hard, here are a bunch of citations to studies (some of which don’t even talk about same-sex relationships)”

    • DanielPeterson

      The mere membership numbers of the two organizations mean relatively little to me.

      Moreover, I very much doubt that all 60,000 members of the AAP support same-sex marriage, let alone that the only or principal reason they belong to the organization is because of their desire to endorse SSM. Many union members, likewise, demonstrably vote against their union leadership in presidential and other elections. They belong to their unions for professional reasons, not necessarily because they share, say, the Teamster bosses’ political preferences.

      As to “harming innocent people”: Most social policies do some degree of harm. The question is whether more innocent people will be harmed, over the long haul, by redefining marriage to include same-sex unions or by declining to do so.


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