Seton Hall professor: NARTH member “misreported and misrepresented” my research

Another researcher has issued a statement accusing a member of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) of misrepresenting research. In a statement first issued to blogger Rob Tisinai yesterday, Theodora Sirota, a professor of Nursing at Seton Hall University, said, NARTH advisory board member Rick Fitzgibbons “mis-reported and misrepresented the results of my 2009 research.” At issue is a 2009 Archives of Psychiatric Nursing article* authored by Sirota about attachment in daughters of gay or bisexual fathers. In November, Fitzgibbons used Sirota’s research in an article on  Catholic website, MercatorNet, to make the claim that “children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.”

Dr. Sirota told me today by phone that her study could not be used to make a generalization about same-sex couples because the participants in her study did not grow up in same-sex homes. Instead, they grew up in what she called, “heterosexually-organized families where fathers were gay or bisexual.” In other words, the parents were in a mixed orientation marriage, where the mother was straight and the father was gay or bisexual.

In his MercatorNet article, Fitzgibbons refers to Sirota’s article in a section titled, “The children do suffer” and claims that “There are strong indications that children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.” As Sirota points out, her research does not support Fitzgibbon’s claim. He compares apples and oranges.

The women surveyed by Sirota were in families with a mother and father, not same-sex couples as implied by Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons improperly generalizes from mixed orientation marriages to same-sex couples. Sirota pointed this out to Fitzgibbons in the comment section of his article, but he declined to retract his incorrect use of her study.

Another factor pertinent to the findings of attachment problems in women is the frequency of divorce in mixed orientation marriages found by Sirota. Parental divorce was reported more frequently by women who grew up in mixed orientation homes than by the women with two straight parents. Sirota describes these differences in her dissertation (the 2009 study was based on her PhD dissertation research conducted in 1996). On page 81, Sirota wrote,

Daughters of gay or bisexual fathers reported significantly higher rates of divorce among their parents than daughters of heterosexual fathers (x2( 3, N = 112) = 22.53 p .001).  These data are presented in Table 18.  Mean age at parents’ separation or divorce was 12.8 years for daughters of gay or bisexual fathers (n = 39) and 9.4 years for daughters of heterosexual fathers (n = 16).

 

Note that 57.4% of the group with gay fathers reported divorce or separation compared to only 25% of the group with straight parents. Divorce is known to be a relevant factor in attachment formation and the group with gay or bisexual fathers reported significantly more of it. One cannot say that the orientation of the men was the factor which led to the poorer attachment reported by the participants in Sirota’s study. In fact, it makes more sense, especially given the average age of the daughters when the divorce took place (12.8 vs. 9.4), to propose that divorce and related instability is more the culprit for the poorer attachment results than the sexual orientation of the fathers. In any event, without controlling for divorce, one cannot reasonably isolate the father’s sexual orientation as the sole factor relating to differences in attachment, if it is a factor at all.

Having discussed divorce as a confounding variable, the main objection of Dr. Sirota remains. Her study cannot be generalized to say anything about same-sex couples and attachment dynamics in their children. Dr. Fitzgibbons makes an improper generalization in his article and adds insult to injury by defending his treatment of the study when the misuse was pointed out.

There are other studies in the MercatorNet article which are stretched too far (e.g., Sarantakos) and I may come back to the topic in a future post.

*Sirota, T, (2009) Adult attachment style dimensions in women with gay or bisexual fathers. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 23, 289-297.

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  • Bernie

    Thanks for being another voice of reason, Warren. This guy from NARTH should be publicly exposed for misrepresenting another scientist’s data. I believe it to be unethical, and unconscionable that a so-called “professional” would pervert the findings of another just to substantiate his agenda.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren, you have said “to Exodus and NARTH directly” that you think they spread a “distorted narrative” about “change”. You have said that you think they “know it”. You also point out that NARTH repeatedly “distorts” the research of others.

    Why not come right out and say it? These groups LIE to the public — and too many fall for it. I guess it’s true: “People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    oh who needs logic or professionalism when there’s a group to demean and biases to validate?

  • Michael Bussee

    “So let’s do a quick recap:

    ?Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons presents himself as a science-based mental-health professional.

    ?He distorts another scholar’s work to advance his agenda.

    ?This scholar points out the distortion.

    ?Fitzgibbons fails to correct the distortion.” ~ Rob Tisinai

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/01/04/40296

  • Tim Simmons

    I have often thought that Fitzgibbons deserved to be more widely known: he clearly works very hard at what he does, and he’s extremely good at it too.

    Personally, my favorite instance of his mendacity is the whopper he tells some Catholic bishops at the beginning of the article below:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0224.htm

  • Pingback: Gay News Headline Roundup | Skipping to the Piccolo

  • Lynn David

    Someone should write another article concerning Sirota’s work claiming that it proves those “ex-gays” should never marry (or if they do should not have children) because their natural-born or adopted children will end up with attachment disorders. Then we can see how Fitzgibbons thinks about that.

  • David Blakeslee

    This is about right:

    “Someone should write another article concerning Sirota’s work claiming that it proves those “ex-gays” should never marry (or if they do should not have children) because their natural-born or adopted children will end up with attachment disorders.”

    With less hyperbole though, it should highlight the risks so couples can make informed decisions.

    But it also moves us back to the divorce issue generally, which is under-discussed here: fatherless children and children from broken homes do not fare as well as those from intact homes.

    Improving heterosexual marriage seems like a good idea.

  • Jayhuck

    Improving heterosexual marriage seems like a good idea.

    Yes it does

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, I am so glad this is getting extra mileage. You do remember that I brought this information first to your blog, right? Remember “Good job grasshopper” ?

    Not only did Dr. Fitzgibbons misreprest Dr. Sirota’s research, he misrepresented the work of another PhD in the same article. I contacted her as well as Sirota, and she verified to me via e-mail that Dr. Fitzgibbons misrepresented in the same article her research also. I am on vacation on a new iPad or I would give you more info, I can’t figure out copy and paste on this iPad and I don’t want to take the time to learn it right now. If you go to that Mercater article and read my comments you will find the name of the other PhD. Anyway I am super happy that Dr. Sirota reached out even further than talking with me via e-mail and entering a comment in the Mercater article and connected with Rob Tsiani. This way NARTH’s member disreputable actions get even wider expossure.

    Zoe is helping me with something similar so there should be even more exposure of NARTH. Your grasshopper keeps hopping along Warren, I learned at the knee of the master.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I would like to direct everyone’s attention to Tim Simmon’s comment above concerning another article by Dr. Fitzgibbons. Tim feels this is a really good article that he believes in. I am on vacation and don’t have the time to respond to Tim. I would ask others to read the article that Tim linked to and respond. I am fairly sure that this is the same Tim I have conversed with at the Mercater website. I suggested to Tim that he make an effort to get to know more sexual minorities and that his website as well as a few others was a good place to learn. I feel that Tim is simply ignorent of sexual minorities and once he takes the time to learn he will change his opinion. He recently wrote that sexual minorities do not have the same values as heterosexuals, and that they should not be permitted to become parents. These statements were made in the Mercater blog Warren links to above in an article with a titled “Straw dogs…”

    These type of statements could only be the result of animus or ignorence, and I am thinking ignorence. I am sincerely hoping others here will read the Dr. fitzgibbons article Tim refers to in his comment above and respond with accurate information.

  • Teresa

    David Blakeslee said:

    But it also moves us back to the divorce issue generally, which is under-discussed here: fatherless children and children from broken homes do not fare as well as those from intact homes.

    Improving heterosexual marriage seems like a good idea.

    David, well spoken. This, also, points to the ludicrous statements by traditional faith beliefs that think gay marriage will be the downfall of culture, change the definition of marriage; and, that their religious beliefs would come under attack, that they would be forced to perform same sex marriage.

    Divorce, a totally str8 phenomenon, ruined marriage decades ago. it’s a civil, legal arrangement, and no religious group need accept divorced persons as parishioners, or accept divorce. The Catholic Church has no problem with not allowing divorced persons to remarry in their church. No civil law has been enacted to harm them or any faith belief who doesn’t accept divorce, or divorce and remarriage. They are not forced by any law to perform marriages for divorced individuals.

    The same sex marriage brouhaha, as pursued by groups like NOM, falls flat on its face in the light of the whole issue of divorce. Divorce changed the definition of marriage between one man and one woman into an entirely different structure. It’s euphemistically called serial monogamy. Marriage is no longer between one man and one woman until death do them part. It’s a structure of many men with many women … over a course of years.

    Heterosexuals have ruined marriage, have changed the definition of marriage, have in large part destroyed a centuries’ long culture. They’re the ones responsible for the huge out-of-wedlock births. They’re the ones with all the single parent homes … by the millions. The emotional wreckage wrought by attachment issues is a str8 phenomenon, as is most incest and sexual abuse trauma.

    Attacking gays for the demise of a culture is the last gasp of a str8 decadent society unable to right itself … way too little, way too late.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ StraightGrandmother

    Just to point out that Tim Simmons was indulging in mordant sarcasm! His point is that Fitzgibbons’ diatribe is mendacious, and that, when it comes to mendacity, F. is a ‘pro’.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Re : http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0224.htm

    Another review article on SRS concluded sexual reassignment surgery violates basic medical and ethical principles and is therefore not ethically or medically appropriate….[44]

    [44] Fitzgibbons, R., et al (2009) The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery: Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness

    So R.Fitzgibbons quotes R.Fitzgibbons to independently corroborate R.Fitzgibbons’ views.

    That’s scientific misconduct. It demonstrates a basic lack of honesty and integrity, and moreover, he’s stupid enough not to see that he’d be found out – or possibly cunning enough to know that his audience wouldn’t tumble to it..

  • StraightGrandmother

    Richard, well I would have “got” Tim’s comment if I knew what the word “mendacity” meant! I went and looked it up, so I finally get it.

  • Richard Willmer

    Tim’s comment did rather appeal to my English love of irony! :-)

    I see that Fitzgibbons goes on about ‘low self-esteem’ in gay and transgendered youngsters and all that kind of stuff. My own view is that one cannot start to draw any kind of ‘objective’ conclusion about this sort of thing until homophobia and transphobia have been dealt with to the point that most people regard it (homophobia) is a vice engaged in by only by a tiny minority of way-out, loony extremists whom 85%+ of the population doesn’t take seriously.

    Despite huge strides over the last 40 years, both homophobia and transphobia are still worrying evident in the ‘mainstream’ of society, and this surely (if you’ll pardon the pun) ‘queers the pitch’ when it comes to looking at any possible link between sexual ‘non-conformity’ and mental health issues.

  • Richard Willmer

    I meant “… dealt with to the point where most people regard them (homophobia and transphobia) as vices …” in para. 2.

  • StraightGrandmother

    This is the only website where I have to regularly look up words,sigh.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    With less hyperbole though, it should highlight the risks so couples can make informed decisions.

    But it also moves us back to the divorce issue generally, which is under-discussed here: fatherless children and children from broken homes do not fare as well as those from intact homes.

    Yes, good point.

    What Sirota’s work illustrates is that children should be considered when the stresses resulting from mixed-orientation relationships reach the breaking point. Whether the choice is to stay and find a way to make it work or to separate, both parties should put the kids as their first priority and seek counseling to find a way to minimize damage.

  • http://www.mercatornet.com/ Michael Cook

    Thanks for highlighting Rick Fitzgibbons’s article on MercatorNet. I hope that he can respond himself to the points raised here.

    Could I ask you to correct the name of our website? It is MercatorNet (with a capital N, named after the great cartographer).

    As well, MercatorNet is not a Catholic website. We describe ourselves as a “dignitarian” website. Many Catholic readers may detect commonalities with the Catholic Church, but we appeal to people of all faiths and none.

    Cheers,

    Michael Cook

    Editor

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Michael – Thanks for dropping by and offering those corrections. I made them in the article. Perhaps you can allow me to reply to Dr. Fitzgibbons on your site?

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    With all due respect, Warren, you have misrepresented me and my article in mercatornet.com and I want to point this out to readers of your blog. You seem to be more concerned with gay advocacy than with sifting and winnowing toward the truth. To set the record straight, here is my direct-quote response to Dr. Sirota. As you will see, it is neither in her best interest nor in yours to continue with the false accusation that I misrepresented her work. Here are my words to Dr. Sirota:

    Thank you for your post, Dr. Sirota. I am hoping for your own sake that

    you will read my posts that directly bear on your work and consider

    withdrawing your charge of my misrepresentation of your work. Quite

    frankly, this looks quite bad for you because my text regarding that

    work was drawn directly from your abstract. I misrepresented nothing

    and yours is a false accusation, a serious charge in the world of

    academia. I am sorry that you are caught in the middle between same-sex

    advocates and what your findings actually say. Let me remind you of

    your findings, again drawn from your own abstract: Women with gay or

    bisexual fathers were significantly less comfortable with closeness and

    intimacy, less able to trust and depend on others, and experienced more

    anxiety in relationships than women with heterosexual fathers. Your

    wishing away these statements does not invalidate them in the least.

    Never once did I draw any direct conclusions from your study about

    adoption and those who have told you that have led you astray. They are

    obviously more concerned about their activist agenda than your

    reputation. They are more concerned with denigrating my reputation than

    standing in the truth of your data. And, your academic reputation, I

    should add, is at-risk now because of this false accusation. I am sorry

    for being so blunt. Those who have misled you about my statements

    should come forward with an apology to you and to me rather than hiding

    in the shadows.

    One more point. On page 295 you state the following *interpretation* of

    what you found: “Therefore, it is concluded that the attachment

    insecurity in study participants with gay or bisexual father is not

    related to fathers’ homosexuality or bisexuality per se but to

    relational processes occurring in heterosexually organized families

    where fathers identify as gay or bisexual.” You realize, of course,

    that you have a *confound* in your study. You cannot tell if the

    central cause of your findings is homosexuality per se or

    “heterosexually organized families where fathers identify as gay or

    bisexual.” Both of these variables occur simultaneously in the data and

    you had no way of separating them and studying them independently to

    safely draw the conclusion that you did. Do you truly intend to make

    this a *conclusion,* in which case you are making a scientific mistake

    (because of the confound) or are you willing to soften this and call it

    an *interpretation,* in which case you are on stronger scientific

    footing? The latter would be better for your reputation. And if you

    make this move, which is to your advantage, you might consider

    withdrawing your charges against me.

  • Boo

    Just curious Dr. Fitzgibbons; were you involved in NARTH about 5 years ago? Do you remember the last time this kind of thing happened, and the NARTH member’s response was just to dig himself in deeper? Do you remember how that worked out? If not you might want to look it up.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Rick Fitzgibbons

    We ALL have ‘agendas’, including you. Perhaps Warren’s ‘agenda’ is to challenge some assumptions that have been made about human sexuality; this strikes me as entirely appropriate, because – and let us absolutely honest here – we know neither what ’causes’ same-sex attraction nor whether God (assuming he exists – which is something that you, Warren, I and many others on this blog believe to be the case) actually ‘has a problem’ with the generally accepted fact that 4 % (or thereabouts) of adult human persons being essentially ‘homosexual’. (It is interesting to note that the Church in places like the UK has taken a somewhat ‘nuanced’ position on things like same-sex civil partnerships … perhaps in part because she is being truthful about the aforementioned uncertainties.)

    I’m no expert in this area, but would like to make a general point: those who advocate an anti-gay line of some kind have, time and again, made highly questionable claims that often appear to be designed to generate suspicion of, and/or hostility against, gay people, and often under the guise of ‘scientific objectivity’.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    Hello, StraightGrandmother. We meet again. You seem to think that if you say something long and strong enough, then people will believe you. I have just posted a response to Dr. Throckmorton and you will see that, despite your continued false accusations against me, you have failed again. I want the readers of this blog to see one of your tactics—-consensus. If you get enough people to say that Dr. Fitzgibbons misrepresented something, then people will start to believe it. Consensus is not the final bastion of truth, which I am sure you realize. When I drew directly from Dr. Sirota’s abstract, it can hardly be claimed that I misrepresented her. Your accusations just cannot stand One more point to Zoe, who has a problem with my referencing myself. Sorry, Zoe, but it is common practice to refer to one’s own work in scholarly publications. To make me an evil person for doing so is to bring out the ad hominem tactic—to denigrate the messenger in the hope of destroying the message. You are blowing smoke and not addressing my *arguments.* At the very least your ad hominem approach weakens your position because smoke-blowing and stone-throwing just are not good argumentation strategies.

  • Brian

    Mr. Fitzgibbons, you stated in your article that “Experimenting on children by permitting adoption by same sex couples poses serious problems. Children have a right to and a need for parenting by both a father and a mother. This need should be recognized by the state and by professional groups as far more important than an adult’s supposed right to adopt.” One of your reasons you offered was that “Children do suffer” stating “There are strong indications that children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.” You then proceeded to state that “The women (average age 29 in both groups) with gay or bisexual fathers had difficulty with adult attachment issues in three areas” as support for the previous statement.

    Given that, it strikes me as disingenuous to claim that you weren’t drawing a “direct conclusion from your study about adoption”. If you were not, what point was that heading and the subsequent paragraph meant to support?

  • William

    Sorry, Dr Fitzgibbons, it won’t do. The paragraph in which you advert to Dr Sirota’s study is headed “The children do suffer” and begins: “There are strong indications that children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.” After referring to an Australian study, which you say supports this contention, you then write: “The results of a 2009 study of women in New York, Boston, and San Francisco are SIMILAR. [Emphasis added by me.] Researchers interviewed 68 women with gay or bisexual fathers and 68 women with heterosexual fathers.” Your statement to Dr Sirota that “Never once did I draw any direct conclusions from your study about adoption and those who have told you that have led you astray” is patently misleading since, although you did not refer specifically in this paragraph to ADOPTION by same sex couples, you did cite her study as though it gave information about women brought up by same sex couples – although it didn’t – and you obviously meant this supposed information to be regarded as applicable to children ADOPTED by same sex couples; otherwise there would have been no point in your citing it in an article entitled “Same sex adoption is not a game”.

    Whether carefully or carelessly, you suppress the fact that the women in Dr Sirota’s study with gay or bisexual fathers were not brought up by same sex couples, but by mixed sex couples in which the father was gay or bisexual. Irrespective of whether or not your opinion on the matter of same sex adoption is correct, your adducing of Dr Sirota’s study in support of that opinion amounts to a misrepresentation. It is therefore your academic reputation, and not Dr Sirota’s, which is now at stake; your statement that “I misrepresented nothing” is simply a further misrepresentation; and it is your own accusation against Dr Sirota, viz. that she made a false accusation, that is false. I am sorry for being so blunt.

  • Boo

    “When I drew directly from Dr. Sirota’s abstract [...] I misrepresented her.”

    Well, I’m glad you can finally admit you misrepresented research, Dr. Fitzgibbons. I mean, it’s obvious that’s what you’re saying, since I drew that directly from your post.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Yes Dr Fitzgibbons we meet again, but at least now there are more people, and people smarter than me to objectively read your assurtains, the statements from the researchers you misrepresented, and respond to you. I would like to stress how difficult a time I had operating in your domaine of psychology for I am a simple farmer and have no educational background in this. You sent me on quite a chase, with all those footnotes. But now that you are on Dr. Throckmorton’s blog others here have access to all these studies which I do not, and can converse with you on a higher, or more precise level than me. I guess Dr. Sirota does not feel worried about your threats to her. It is rather audacious to lecture her on her own research don’t you think?

    You got caught fibbing by a simple farmer, oh and I am not done yet. You will be hearing back from me again :) And Warren doesn’t censure me like happened to me on the Mercator website. I may not be the brightest light in the chandelier but I have a good work ethic and now with the Internet, if there is something I don’t know about, I can look it up and learn. Personally I think you look really poorly picking on me as if I am hounding you. Don’t blame me that Dr. Sirota followed up on her own, on the misuse of her research.

  • Bernie

    @ Rick Fitzgibbons

    Do say Hi to George Rekers for me.

    Also wish the 200+ members of the American College of Pediatricians a Happy New Year. “We have members in 47 states and 13 countries”, that’s impressive. I’m sure the 60000+ members of the AAP would agree.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com warren

    Rick- you are welcome to post yourreply to sirota, but it did not address my post. Let me know how I have misrepresented you. Also let me know if you read

    Sirotas entire article. Quoting from the abstract is not sufficient to portray her findings.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    Thank you, Richard, for your challenging post. I appreciate your taking the time to be detailed and substantive. Because Dr. Sirota’s data are now published, anyone is free to examine what is described in trying to answer this vital question: Will children fare well if same-sex couples are allowed to both marry and adopt? As we all know, there are not sufficient data to answer the question *with large samples of same-sex couples.* Therefore, because of the import of the answer for society, we must do the best that we can with the available data. What do the available data say? Dr. Sirota’s study undoubtedly focused on the relationship between: a) adult women being raised by a *gay father* and b) these women having psychological difficulties as an adult. The results are unambiguous. You now wish to set aside this conclusion because it was not reached with two gay men as the parents. We must not set aside these data because they do give us one look at gay fathers, and Dr. Sirota admitted as much in her abstract.

    Dr. Throckmorton, StraigtGrandmother, and now you are basing your arguments against my views on one and only one issue: Dr. Sirota’s research design included gay men married to heterosexual women and did not include gay men in a relationship with each other. This is correct. So, let us keep the Sirota findings in mind and turn to the other two studies that I have cited, by Sarantakos and Goldberg. These studies, strong by relative comparison with other studies in this area, unambiguously describe that children raised in an LGB situation (women with women and men with men) do not fare well in a statistical sense. We now have three studies, two of which do include same-sex partners, and all three converge to the same conclusion. While Dr. Sirota’s research design is different from the other two, what is the one and only one common variable across the three? It is this: LGB parents. Again, the common finding is that children (still in the home in one case and grown adults in the other two cases) in all three contexts have psychological difficulties.

    So, of course, Dr. Sirota’s results need to be in the mix when we ask the question: How do children fare when raised by one or two parents who are self-identified as LGB? In drawing my conclusions, I have not said that Dr. Sirotas’ study is *about* adoption or is *about having two same-gender parents.* Her study is *about* gay men as parents and the results relative to their adult children. The results, the best available, should be cause for pause for anyone who is interested in protecting children. Where do you disagree with this?

    Is LGB parenting the *cause* (the explanation) of the adult children’s difficulties? We do not know for sure, but what we do know for sure are the following:

    1. Research unambiguously shows that children do not fare well in a statistical sense when they do not have a mother.

    2. Children raised in LGB situations have statistically reported psychological difficulties, particularly surrounding issues of trust in close relationships. And these three studies cited above are among the scientifically strongest to date.

    3. There are no studies to show that same-sex parenting is good for children.

    Richard, you seem to have a good scientific mind. Where do you disagree with these scientific conclusions?

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    Oops, I meant William.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, please do read the Mercator article and contact Dr. Goldberg. I contacted her at the time of the discussion and she ALSO said that Dr. Fitzgibbons misrepresented her research also. Please call her and let your readers know what she says. Thank you.

  • Michael Bussee

    What I would like to know is how Mr. Fitzgibbons can, in good conscience, remain allied with a group like NARTH — an organization that still clings to “experts” like Berger, Schoenwolfe and Rekers. I would think that would be enough to seek more reputable company.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    Boo and StraightGrandmother, I truly want to talk with you about this. So, let us: a) keep to substance of what is said; b) stop with the ad hominem name calling (‘fibbing”); c) respond to what I say to you rather than ducking behind consensus; and d) courageously face conclusions when facing them is warranted.

    So, let me try again. There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children. I will start there.

    Oh, and one more thing, Dr. Sirota does not have a monopoly on the interpretation of her work. Please do not assume that just because she is the author of the article that she is the only one competent enough to critique it.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Michael, he is not “Mr.” Fitzgibbons, he is Doctor Fitzgibbons, an MD, Psychiatrist. He is also a member of that American Academy of Pediatricians I believe. Is that right Dr. Fitzgibbons?

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am new to using an iPod so it might just be me, in fact it probably is just me, but I don’t see the comments any longer on the article Dr. Fitzgibbons wrote on The Mercator blog. Do you see the comments?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Fitzgibbons = ” So, let me try again. There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children. ”

    StraightGrandmother = Now you very well know that that is not true. I brought you the Patterson study which matched similarily situated families, married heterosexual couples who jointly adopted their children at birth, married lesbian couples who jointly adopted their children at birth, and even gay married men who jointly adopted their children at birth. This study also got assessments from the children’s teachers or child care worker. The is no harm to these children. Now we had a fairly lengthy discussion of this study over on your article so how can you come here and claim that there are no studies? I honestly don’t understand how you can continue to lie. Here you lie again about there not being one positive study of children that are adopted by couples who are a sexual minority and we had a discussion about the Patterson study.

    Oh and it is obvious why you want to reargue with me because I am way under educated compared to you. No way! You want talk about this again well over here you will have others to respond to, not just me like what happened at the end of our conversation over on the Mecator website. I will appreciate it if you will stop stating that I am trying to get everyone to gang up on you, you are the one who came over here, I had nothing to do with your recent and unfortunate ( for you) publicity. I am thankful that there are more people than just me to discuss this with you as it is hard for me to keep up with your misrepresentations. Just wait till Throbert, or Zoe, or Theresa or many others here have a chance to have this discussion with you, they are a lot smarter than me and it won’t be so easy for you. You know I am not the only one who comments over here on Dr.Throckmorton’s blog.

    I am waiting for your response to Dr.Thockmorton, he asked you to explain how he has misrepresented you.

  • Boo

    “Boo and StraightGrandmother, I truly want to talk with you about this. So, let us: a) keep to substance of what is said; b) stop with the ad hominem name calling (‘fibbing”); c) respond to what I say to you rather than ducking behind consensus; and d) courageously face conclusions when facing them is warranted.”

    When have I engaged in ad hominem name calling or ducked behind consensus? If I was given to speculation I might say you sound rather defensive, and I might wonder what that says about you.

    “There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children.”

    Shall we count all the ways you’re equivocating there? No matter how many studies are referenced, you’ll just say you don’t consider them valid or reliable, not to mention you haven’t provided a metric for just what you mean by “good for children.”

    I don’t blame you for wanting to shift the discussion away from your blatent misrepresentation of others research. If I were you, well, actually if I were you I wouldn’t have done it in the first place, but that’s just me.

    You stated:

    “There are strong indications that children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.”

    You then referenced an Australian study, then went directly into this:

    “The results of a 2009 study of women in New York, Boston, and San Francisco are similar. Researchers interviewed 68 women with gay or bisexual fathers and 68 women with heterosexual fathers. The women (average age 29 in both groups) with gay or bisexual fathers had difficulty with adult attachment issues in three areas: they were less comfortable with closeness and intimacy; they were less able to trust and depend on others; and they experienced more anxiety in relationships compared to the women raised by heterosexual fathers.(9)”

    This part of your article was sectioned off under its own heading. You were clearly trying to create the impression that the study you were referencing was support for your claim that “children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.” The study however said no such thing. There are only two possible interpretations; you are such a sloppy and incompetent researcher that you didn’t even bother to read the article you were referencing, or you were attempting to mislead your readers on purpose. Given your behavior after having been confronted, I am inclined to suspect the latter, but only you know for sure whether your behavior was the result of incompetence or dishonesty. (And if you try to evade the point by claiming I am engaging in ad hominem, you don’t understand what the term means.)

    You guys at NARTH really haven’t learned anything since Schoenewolf, have you? When you get caught doing a bad thing, trying to evade responsibility with bluster doesn’t work, it just digs yourself a deeper hole. How about it Dr. Fitzgibbons? Do you have the courage to face that conclusion?

  • Boo

    “they are a lot smarter than me and it won’t be so easy for you”

    You’re selling yourself short, Straightgrandmother. At the very least, you have us all beat by a mile in feistiness. :-) Also pluck. Not to mention gumption.

  • StraightGrandmother

    #1 Dr. Goldberg told me via e-mail that you are mis representing her research. Her exact quote is in a comment on your article. When I get back from vacation I will go into my computer and provide you again her direct quote

    #2 Dr. Sirota says you are misrepresenting her research

    #3 The Santoros study compared children had one parent who was a sexual minority and the other parent is heterosexual AND the parents broke up, in other words children from a broken home. They were compared to children who were living with their natural born parents and the parents were still married. My point then is the same as now, this study does not compare similarly situated children, one group of children came from broken homes and the other group did not.

    Anything else Dr. Fitzgibbons?

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, you introduce Dr. Sirota’s study by saying, “The results of a 2009 study of women in New York, Boston, and San Francisco are similar.”

    The question arises: similar to what?

    Your article’s preceding two paragraphs dealt with a direct comparison of same-sex parents to opposite-sex parents. Dr. Sirota’s study did no such thing.

    You defend yourself by saying, “When I drew directly from Dr. Sirota’s abstract, it can hardly be claimed that I misrepresented her.”

    But we are not disputing the material you pulled from her abstract. We are disputing the statement you did NOT pull from her abstract — namely that her results are similar to those of a study comparing same-sex and opposite-sex parents.

    That clearly DOES misrepresent her study and results.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Rick Fitzgibbons

    You say: “There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children. I will start there.”

    Well, I’m not expert in these matters, but would point out this is not actually what this thread is about (noone here has presented for discussion the proposition that same-sex parenting, by which I presume you mean parenting by a couple both members of which are the same sex, is [to quote you] ‘good for children’***); rather it concerns your apparent manipulation of another’s work in order to present a conclusion which many of us suspect might be prejudiced. (As someone who has carried out scientific research myself, I do understand that ‘prejudice’ is often very difficult to avoid, especially when the issue is an ‘emotive’ one … which ‘homosexuality’ could perhaps credibly be seen to be for you?)

    (*** Incidentally, I believe that there exist studies that suggest no statistically-significant difference in a number of key respects between outcomes for ‘same-sex-parented’ and ‘opposite-sex-parented’ parented children.)

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, you wrote: “There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children. I will start there.”

    If you think that’s a good starting point, then you’re missing the issue. The issue is not about the existence of credible studies supporting same-sex parenting. Whether there are zero or ten or a million is irrelevant to the immediate question of whether you are misrepresenting Dr. Sirota’s results.

    THAT is the issue here. If you doubt me, check the title of Warren’s post.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    StraightGrandmother, you have a false assumption that I wish to point out to the readers and it is this: You are continually using the method of *authority* to defend your position. Here is what I mean: You are falsely assuming that the one who is the author of an article is the undisputed authority to discuss that article. This is not necessarily the case and social scientists recognize this by using a method that we call “peer review.” Scholars other than the author critique the research and offer advice because it is assumed that the author is not the definitive authority on his or her own work. As a second point, we should not be looking for a definitive “authority” at all. Instead, let us look at the *substance* of what *anyone* is saying to determine if the argument has merit (because it makes sense). So, whatever Dr. Goldberg has to say about her own study is only relevant in this sense: Do her arguments about what she found (and about what I have said) make sense in light of the published findings? Do others also have strong points in that what they are saying about the data make sense?

    I urge you to pull away from the logical fallacy of arguing from authority for your own sake, StraighGrandmother, because it undermines rather than enhances your position. If Dr. Throckmorton enters the discussion, and I hope he does, I am presuming for now that his comments will not reflect this same fallacy. Let us look at the data as they are, not as we wish them to be.

  • Tim Simmons

    I don’t want to interrupt the flow of this conversation, but I would like to take a moment and apologize to Dr. Fitzgibbons for my sarcastic remarks above. They didn’t add to Warren’s post, I probably shouldn’t have made them, and I never dreamed the man himself would show up here to defend his use of Sirota’s study.

    About his defense, I can’t refrain from pointing out that Fitzgibbons himself has pointed out the cardinal difficulty in using Sirota’s study to determine the effects of same-sex parenting: the effects of the fathers’ sexual orientation and of their marriage to an opposite sex partner cannot be disentangled from Sirota’s data (as he said, they are “confounded”). He argued that it was therefore illegitimate for Sirota to infer that the fathers’ sexual orientation had not caused the negative outcomes, but the point everyone has been making all along is that this is sauce for the goose. It was equally illegitimate for Fitzgibbons either to infer that their sexual orientation had caused the outcomes or even that this study could provide evidence for the contention that it had.

    With that out of the way, I will wait patiently for Fitzgibbons’ reply to Throckmorton.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am having trouble working this me iPad but I finally got my comments on the Fitzgibbons article to display, and I somewhat figured out copy & paste. He is the quote from when Dr. Goldberg e-mailed me.

    “The study is attached. You can see the finding is taken out of context; these individuals felt a lack of trust as a function of their parents’ divorce and issues related to their mothers’ waiting so long to come out to them.”

    I also found my other work on the Patterson study

    Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?

    published in the August 2010 issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science

    Here is a descriptive write up of the study as well as a link to the study itself. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010

    Here some key points from the article-

    “All this is rooted in “the deeply entrenched belief that children need one male and one female parent for optimal development,” the authors write. Numerous studies have affirmed the parenting skills of lesbian parents — less is known about the capabilities of gay male parents — but the studies have been criticized for using self-reported data or for lacking comparison groups of heterosexual couples.

    There are no such deficiencies in the current study, titled “Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?” It was penned by U-Va. researchers Rachel Farr and Charlotte Patterson and GWU scholar Stephen Forssell.

    They studied the development of preschool-age children adopted at birth by 27 lesbian couples, 29 gay male couples and 50 heterosexual couples, most in the D.C. and Mid-Atlantic region. The researchers gathered data on child development from parents, teachers and care-givers. Their hypothesis: The development of both child and adult would hinge more on each couple’s parenting abilities — stress, cooperation, laundry skills — than on their sexual orientation.

    And that is what they found. Same-sex parents, and their adoptive children, fared just as well as heterosexual families. It’s worth noting that this study apparently represents the first time that independent reports from teachers on children’s development and behavior have been considered alongside the self-reported data from the parents themselves.”

    I also found my work on the “Australian” study

    StraightGrandmother = In looking at Dr Sotirios Sarantakos, Associate Professor of Sociology at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW study, Children in three contexts, would you say that this is a good summary since you have read the full study. (You have read the full study right?)

    “Sarantakos first selected the children of homosexual partners who had been involved in another project on homosexual cohabitation. The children had been born in a previous heterosexual relationship. They were matched with children living in families with married and cohabiting heterosexual parents with similar attributes in terms of education, occupation and socio-economic status. This process resulted in 174 children – 58 in each family type. The “homosexual” families comprised 11 homosexual couples and 47 lesbian couples.

    The children of the same sex couple had all been born in a previous heterosexual relationship.”

    So we are comparing children who were conceived by a homosexual and a heterosexual who after the child was conceived the homosexual left the other heterosexual parent and is living a homosexually identified life, is this right? In other words children from broken homes.

    I do not have free access to this study so can you kindly look it up and see if the co habitating heterosexual parents are the biological parents of the children being studied or are the children of the co habitating heterosexual couples also, like the children of the homosexual couples, coming from a broken home.

    Certainly we can expect that children living with their biologically and still married parents would fare better than children coming from broken homes, whether those homes are heterosexually or homosexually headed, wouldn’t you say? So we can eliminate the comparison of two groups in the study- the comparison of the homosexually headed homes to the intact married biological heterosexual families. Do you agree that this would be correct as these children are not similarly situated.

    I also question using this study in another way since it is a study of children with their biological parent(s). Adoption is not this. Adoption is where the children live in a home with parents who are not their biological parents. Since this article in your point of view is on adoption, shouldn’t we be looking for studies that shows non biological children in adopted homes by married same sex parents fare worse than non biological children in adopted homes by married heterosexual parents? OR alternately compare non biological children in adopted homes with co habitationg same sex parents to non biological children adopted in homes with cohabitating heterosexual parents. Do you know of such a study that has this comparison Dr. Fitzgibbons?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Rick et al: Regarding Abbie Goldberg’s study of people who grew up with LGB parents, Rick you wrote this as a comment on Mercatornet:

    In a different study (Goldberg, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2007, volume 77, number 4, pages 550-562), of 36 adult children (all women again) of LGB parents 15 of them (42%) “described challenges relating to their ability to trust other people.” Loyalty, trust—-I am hoping you will see this theme.

    Rick, why did you stop there? Surely, you know that we will read the rest of the article. For those who don’t have access to it, here is the rest of the section from which you selectively quoted.

    Fifteen of 36 women described challenges relating to their ability to trust other people. Specifically, 8 women noted, paradoxically, that they strongly valued honesty in their relationships but also that they had difficulty trusting others, on the basis of the fact that their parents (or other family members) had concealed their parents’ sexual orientation from them at some point during

    their childhood. From their perspective, the experience of finding out that a parent was gay—or, the experience of confronting their parent about their suspicions and having them denied—influenced both the types of relationships they desired (honest, direct, and open) and also their orientation to new relationships (somewhat guarded and cautious). It would seem that a guarded approach to

    relationships would undermine or interfere with one’s goal of developing an honest and open relationship; yet this tension was never acknowledged by the participants themselves. Examination of participants’ narratives, however, suggests that, although caution may govern their initial interactions with others, on determining that an individual is “safe” and likely trustworthy, they work to create openness and honesty in those relationships from that point onward.

    Two additional women experienced difficulties with trust that were not related to having been lied to, but, rather the simple fact that their parents were not who they thought they were. Their parents’ coming out made them more conscious of the possibility that what you see is not, in fact, what you get. This translated into a concern that they might be “duped,” like their straight parents. In turn, they only dated people who were sure of their sexuality.

    Noted Deanna, age 22:

    I was with this boyfriend. I was like, “Are you sure you’re not gay?” I’m so insecure, about, you know, is this guy gonna turn around and be someone else? I can’t deal with that. It’s why my mother didn’t get married again.

    Five additional women struggled with trust related to the homophobia and teasing that they had endured as children. They were cautious in developing new friendships and relationships, fearful of rejection for reasons related to, or unrelated to, their parents’ sexual orientation.

    Rick, you want to make these findings about sexual orientation when in fact, the more basic issues relate to the surprise of finding out something previously unknown. The women thought one thing about their parents and then this was changed. The very same thing happens in straight couples when a child learns that dad was seeing other women which might lead to a divorce.

    Also, five of the women related issues regarding stigma and not the orientation of the parents. These women have had to deal with the effects of stereotyping — which your article on Mercatornet promotes.

    The point is that such trust issues can occur whether parents are straight or gay. You have not taken into account the role of divorce in the research you quote, nor have you quoted it in context.

    RE: the Sarantakos study. Rick do you have the article? I do and there are many clear problems with it. I have run it by several social conservative experts who have declined to use it in their work because of the problems. I plan to review it next week, and I can tell you that it is not helpful to your case. Furthermore, Sarantakos believed that stigma was a very real reason why the kids of gay couples did so poorly. He also believed that the govt should recognize legally gay couples in domestic partnerships in part to provide more stability for the children involved, many of whom had been through divorce. None of the studies you are advancing take divorce into account in a way that allows you to make the claims you are making.

    To Michael Cook, I hope you are reading. Given the selective quoting engaged in by Rick, I submit that you would be fair to allow a rebuttal to his article. What do you think?

  • Richard Willmer

    Warren says: “These women have had to deal with the effects of stereotyping — which your article on Mercatornet promotes.”

    This points to an absolutely crucial aspect: one really cannot ‘blame’ the composition of the ‘parenting couple’ for the sub-optimal behaviour of non-family members, or, indeed, those who promote attitudes that lead to stereotype-based stigmatization.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Rob Tsiani & Tim Simmons, yes you are right, I see how Dr. Fitzgibbons changed the subject and I fell for it. See that is exactly what I was saying how it was so hard for me to keep a truthful and on point conversation, I had to work real hard to stay focused because the conversation was a moving target. He did get me to chase my tail here, thanks for pointing that out.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Fitzgibbons = StraightGrandmother, you have a false assumption that I wish to point out to the readers and it is this: You are continually using the method of *authority* to defend your position. Here is what I mean: You are falsely assuming that the one who is the author of an article is the undisputed authority to discuss that article. This is not necessarily the case and social scientists recognize this by using a method that we call “peer review.” Scholars other than the author critique the research and offer advice because it is assumed that the author is not the definitive authority on his or her own work. As a second point, we should not be looking for a definitive “authority” at all. Instead, let us look at the *substance* of what *anyone* is saying to determine if the argument has merit (because it makes sense). So, whatever Dr. Goldberg has to say about her own study is only relevant in this sense: Do her arguments about what she found (and about what I have said) make sense in light of the published findings? Do others also have strong points in that what they are saying about the data make sense?

    I urge you to pull away from the logical fallacy of arguing from authority for your own sake, StraighGrandmother, because it undermines rather than enhances your position. If Dr. Throckmorton enters the discussion, and I hope he does, I am presuming for now that his comments will not reflect this same fallacy. Let us look at the data as they are, not as we wish them to be.

    StraightGrandmother = I do not have a clue what you just said. Now I can read it and re-read it which I will, but as of this reading I do not feel qualified to respond. Hopefully others who understand what you wrote will respond and explain it. In my laymans view I do think the origional researcher knows what their data says and doesn’t say. Am I to understand from your comments that you are providing a full on peer review of Dr. Sirota’s research? What about Dr. Goldman’s research are you providing a full on peer review of her research as well? I guess I am asking did you do a full peer review and this is how you derived conclusions that the origional researchers personally told me, directly to me, are not true?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Warren, I am extremely interested in the Australian study. Why did you know that this study is quoted by the Australian Government on their government Human Rights website as justification to deny civil marriage To sexual minorities

    “1.3 Same-sex relationships are not equal to marriage

    No matter how intense they may appear to be, same-sex relationships cannot be considered the

    equivalent of marriage. They confer none of the unique benefits of marriage and family on Australian society.

    In contrast with marriages, same-sex relationships, particularly among men, are highly unstable and rarely monogamous.9 Lesbian relationships, which are generally more stable than those of male homosexuals, suffer an attrition rate of 50% within the first six years.10 This compares unfavourably with the divorce rate for traditionally married couples of less than 50% over an entire lifetime.

    Same-sex relationships are naturally sterile. Society has no valid interest in encouraging those in such relationships to procure children through either adoption or reproductive technologies, because these processes necessarily involve a third party biological parent. Whatever means are used to procure a child, the child is intentionally deprived of a genuine parental relationship with either a father or a mother.

    A key Australian study has shown significant detrimental outcomes from homosexual parenting. Dr Sotirios Sarantakos, Associate Professor of Sociology at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, has done a number of studies on heterosexual and homosexual couples. In 1996 he published a paper, Children in three contexts, where he explored the relationship between family environment and behaviour of primary school children living in three family contexts – married heterosexual couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples and homosexual partners.11″

    You really should read this Human Rights page, Sarantakos is THE authority.

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human%5Frights/samesex/inquiry/submissions/031.html#1a

    Not only on their official Human Rights documents but public policy by Elected Officials quote this study as Authority

    http://www.davidclarkemlc.com.au/Pages/Article.aspx?ID=234

    I am really interested in seeing a full copy of thi if it is okay if you could e-mail it to. Me I will appreciate it. Another reason I am interested in this research is because Dr. Fitzgibbons said in a comment about the Sarantakos research,

    “Please see entry #8 in the Notes at the end of my article here for a full citation of the Sarantakos study.  You will find it to be one of the strongest to date from a scientific standpoint.”

    I figure if Dr. Fitzgibbons feels that this is the strongest scientific research to date then I definitely want to read this research for myself. After all he said it is the BEST.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    StraightGrandmother, you are yelling. This is not helpful. Here are some of your comments, just to let you and everyone else hear this:

    “….that is not true.” No follow up to show me what is or is not true.

    “lie”

    “lie again”

    “trying to get everyone to gang up on you”

    “your misrepresentations”

    Ahem……whatever happened to civility?

    Please provide the exact reference to the particular Patterson study so that I may give it a thoroughgoing critique. She has a number of studies, which I am sure you are aware. Did you know that her court testimony in Florida was deemed not credible by the courts? You should know that.

    I stand on my statement: “There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children.” Please provide that reference because I eagerly await critiquing the Patterson study or any other you suggest.

    As to the Sirota, Goldberg, and Sarantakos studies, they all show deficits in *important areas of children’s and adult children’s psychological development* in the gay and lesbian groups which they happened to have studied.

    So, to summarize: 1) to date there is not one credible study showing that same-sex parenting is good for children; 2) despite the research designs not being optimal (in that all lack this: the LGB groups all have adopted and only adopted children), the three studies cited above all show negative effects of LGB parenting. They all show this negative effect despite different designs, different variables, and different ages of children studied. There is a convergence of findings despite these considerable variations in the research methods.

    In light of these two issues, all of us who care about children should pause and reflect on these two statements before plowing ahead with an historically untried and cruel social experiment upon very vulnerable babies and children who have the need for and the right to a mother and a father.

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    There is so much text here, where to begin. Let me say thank you, Dr. Throckmorton, for joining the conversation. What you point out below are *interpretations* of the findings. I am first and foremost interested in the *description* of findings. *What is found* comes before *why is this found.*

    What has been found in Sirota, Goldberg, and Sarantakos? The *what* of the findings centers on statistically significant variables that are not favorable in particular groups studied—-in each case, the LGB group. This we must—-we must—acknowledge if we are social scientists and not political advocates. Then and only then do we go to *interpretation,* which is far more difficult to untangle than straightforward findings of *what* was statistically significant. *What* is statistically significant is not favorable to the gay and lesbian activist groups.

    Regardless of the most accurate interpretation, we must put the description of findings on the table first. Are you willing to do that, Dr, Throckmorton? How about you, StraightGrandmother? Boo, how about you?

  • Boo

    “Regardless of the most accurate interpretation, we must put the description of findings on the table first. Are you willing to do that, Dr, Throckmorton? How about you, StraightGrandmother? Boo, how about you?”

    Sorry, I’m not a postmodernist who believes facts can suit whatever interpretation I want to give them. The fact that the gay fathers were all married to women was clearly relevant. You deliberately left it out. All your silly equivocating and prevaricating does not change that simple fact, it only makes you look even more dishonest than you already do. At this point the only question I have is what posessed you to think you could get away with it? Rekers didn’t. Cameron didn’t. Schoenewolf didn’t. Berger didn’t. Why did you think you would be the exception?

  • Erin

    Dr. Fitzgibbons responds to being caught red-handed in lie like a psychopath. Respond with projection and more lies. No one’s buying it, “Dr.”

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Rick – I will reply more tomorrow or Monday, but by your reasoning, we should not allow straight people who have been divorced adopt or have children. There are clear differences between groups of divorced and non-divorced situations and they, according to your way of speaking reflect badly on that group. Single parents better watch out as well.

    Regarding sticking with the findings, I would like to do that but you have not done that. You have selectively reported findings from all three studies you advance. And you have not addressed when I point it out. With Goldberg for instance, you say something about all the text but you don’t address the fact that the 15 women who reported problems with trust did so for different reasons. That is not interpretation, those are the data that Goldberg reported. Also note that the largest group of those women (n=8) reported problems of trust not based on the sexual orientation of the parent, but because that orientation had been concealed. Goldberg reported what the women told her. This was not her interpretation. Two said they felt unsure of people because they did not have a good read on their parents and then five said they had trust issues because of stigma.

    These are the findings, not the interpretations of the researcher. However, you did not report this in context with the 15 women broken down as the researcher found them. This is selective reporting and this is what I object to.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, You should not take my comments as yelling. It is to bad because before on Warren’s website we used to be able to use italics and bonding and such. He is having his website worked on so at the moment all we can do to emphasize is use capital letters or quotes. Since I have not used Capital letters I was not shouting.

    However I have escalated from using the term fibbing, to flat out lying because the more you talk the grace you are receiving from me. You are digging your own grave here, don’t blame me.

    Please look over previous comments and you will find the Patterson research. It is the same research I pointed you to a month ago. It was written up in the Washington Post. Sometimes comments get held in moderation if they are to long, they will show up eventually but you have to read backwards to find them once they do show up. I wonder if this is the same Patterson.

    Why no, I was not aware of a person called Patterson whose testimony was not accepted in a Florida Court. My memory is a bit foggy but wasn’t it Paul Cameron’s testimony that got thrown out in Florida, or was it Reekers? I have noticed the Sarantokos Research referenced in Friend of Court briefs.

  • Daniel

    As far as I can tell, Fitzgibbons is contradicting himself. He commented above that neither Sirota nor anyone else could draw a conclusion as to whether the daughters’ capacity for intimacy was impacted by the fathers’ homosexuality per se or by the fact that the gay father was living in a heterosexual marriage.

    “You cannot tell if the central cause of your findings is homosexuality per se or “heterosexually organized families where fathers identify as gay or bisexual.” Both of these variables occur simultaneously in the data and you had no way of separating them and studying them independently to safely draw the conclusion that you did.”

    But then he proceeds to do just that, breezily asserting that the data are “not favorable to the gay and lesbian activist groups.”

    The data are not favorable to gay activist groups only if you conclude that the daughters’ intimacy problems arose from the fathers’ homosexuality, not the hetero marital arrangement. If the data stem from the marital arrangement – what gay activists would surely call a sham marital arrangement – then the data are quite favorable to gay activists. Gay activists would be delighted to be able to claim that such marriages are unhealthy and to rebut the argument favored by some on the Right that gays already have marriage equality b/c they can enter into traditional marriages.

    So for Fitzgibbons to assert that the data are not favorable to gay activists necessarily means that he has drawn a conclusion about causation, even if Fitzgibbons is not sufficently candid or instrospective to know that he has drawn such a conclusion.

    I don’t think Fitzgibbons helped his cause or his reputation here.

  • grantdale

    Did you know that [Patterson's] court testimony in Florida was deemed not credible by the courts?

    I think you have Patterson confused with Rekers.

    Before that 1997 trial Patterson point-blank refused to hand over the detailed data-sets. (Among other things, if I recall correctly, they contained identifying information about the families she interviewed, including children.) As handing over the data-set to both sides was a condition of testifying, Patterson chose to forgo that part of her testimony. She chose to do so, even under pressure from her side’s counsel; and at the risk of annoying the Court. (And they were very annoyed, as it turned out).

    Personally I think that, as a researcher, if not an expert witness, Patterson behaved ethically; albeit at a cost to that particular case. Patterson has since gone on to make very strong appearances as an expert witness and has a substantial body of work to her name.

    You really should not rely on a href=”http://www.narth.com/docs/masquerades.html”<Byrd nor Schoenewolf nor (disgraced and removed) Rekers for your information.

    I stand on my statement: “There is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is good for children.”

    Aah. Yes. A now classic re-direct from you.

    Wrong question. Your problem, here, is that there is not one credible study in existence showing in a reliable and valid statistical sense that same-sex parenting is bad for children. That’s what matters.

    It’s also the question that has been researched, because it can be done with smaller data-sets, and the answer is that same-sex parenting doesn’t show any statistically significant deficiencies per se. Sure, individual studies show up particular and almost predictable parenting styles at times; but none show deficiencies as such.

    More simply put, the research that is available doesn’t show gay parenting to be ‘bad’ for children. It doesn’t show it to be ‘better’ for children. It is simply equal and comparable to opposite-sex parenting. By default, I’ll take that to mean it is ‘good’ for children in the same way opposite-sex parenting is.

    Unfortunately for you, that’s not what you want the research to show.

    As a result you are reduced to a malignant conflation of studies that are actually discussing other well established factors (such as divorce and separation) with “same-sex parenting”. Picking out parts of researcher’s works, and slyly mixing them in with your own opinions. Presenting people in a way that suggests they’d agree with your unfounded opinions, and then calling their credibility into question or heaping abuse on them when you are challenged.

    Ugly, and so very typical of NARTH.

    ps: SG, stop apologising. If NARTH had even half your desire to ask questions and seek answers … there wouldn’t be a NARTH :)

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @SGM

    Why did you know that this study is quoted by the Australian Government on their government Human Rights website as justification to deny civil marriage To sexual minorities

    Not quite true – this was part of one submission by an interested party. This one is from “The Festival of Light Australia”, a group roughly equivalent to NAFTAH, or possibly the Southern Baptist Convention.

    A list of the hundreds of such submissions is at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/samesex/inquiry/submissions.html

    The Human Rights Commission has the duty to accept public comments and submissions, and to consider them dispassionately, be they from the Ultra-Christian Festival of Light (Submission No. 031), or the Atheist Foundation of Australia (Submission No. 287). All submissions are available for all to view; those from individuals may request their name be witheld from publication.

    By the way – to embolden text, please use <b>this</b>

    To italicise use <i>this</i>

    To quote, use <blockquote>this</blockquote>

    I should add that I’m on the Australian National University’s panel of experts on Intersex and Transsexual issues, called upon sometimes to aid the local ACT Law Reform Council, so am familiar with the process. It was my duty to bring to the attention of the Council some views from various groups, even though I radically disagreed with some of them. All voices should be heard, and it’s not ethical to suppress parts of studies etc or selectively quote in order to shore up one’s view.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @Dr Rick Fitzgibbons

    One more point to Zoe, who has a problem with my referencing myself. Sorry, Zoe, but it is common practice to refer to one’s own work in scholarly publications.

    Indeed it is – I’ve done so myself.

    It is also unethical not to make it crystal-clear that one is quoting one’s previous work on the subject, so there is not the slightest chance that it could be mistaken for independent confirmation. Is it not? Or have I been misled by my PhD supervisory panel?

    Given that the work in question derived many of its conclusions from unevidenced assertions by the Vatican’s advisor on sexual issues, and quoted from political rather than medical journals – including provably false assertions such as “chromosomes don’t change” and “chromosomes determine sex”, it has no place in any article with pretensions to objectivity.

    Just in case you’re not familiar with the basic biology of sex, and believe such assertions:

    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis. — J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9

    CONCLUSION: Donor-derived cells are capable of composing endometrium in recipients, even those of the opposite sex. — Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;201(6):608.e1-8

    So not merely does sex in any meaningful sense not depend on chromosomes, but a person’s body (including ovaries) can change chromosomal makeup over time to that more typical of the opposite sex, without changing anything else.

    Just as quoting from a work on Jewry which advocated that “Judaism be morally mandated out of existence” without mentioning the political nature of the work would show lack of integrity, so one that quotes from a work that advocates “Transsexuality should be morally mandated out of existence” without revealing that it is a politico-philosophical tract rather than a scientific paper is highly mendacious.

    I do welcome Dr Fitzgibbons presence here, and would hope for a debate henceforth without me having to bring up past issues such as this. Overly robust critique can actually be counter-productive, and I’m willing to draw a line under what has happened in the past if that will aid a constructive dialogue in future. I’m sure Dr F has much to teach me, and I hope I may correct what appears to be some radical misconceptions (let’s not worry about the cause of that) on his part.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    I should also mention in the context of the Australian Festival of Light’s submission, that I also made a personal submission to this inquiry.

    It’s at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human%5Frights/samesex/inquiry/submissions/052.doc

    I think Dr Fitzgibbons might find it instructive. To quote the immortal bard, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophie.”

    While for 59 out of 60 people, biological sex is simple, unambiguous, easy to determine, unchangeable, for 1 in 60, there are issues. For one in 600 serious ones. For one in 6000, the issue is both perplexed and perplexing.

  • David

    It is interesting to note that, while Dr. Fitzgibbons “instructs” StraightGrandmother not to use an appeal to authority, he is himself putting on his best professorial face and trying to act as an authority over her. He writes to her in an academic language with which she has admitted being unfamiliar. Given her admission, his insistence on this language comes across as professorial bullying. I have seen at least one other academic use this tactic with a student who had the temerity to challenge him. It was not effective in that case either.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, if you insist on using academic language, at least pick on someone who is as familiar with the rules of that language as you are. As things stand, it seems StraightGrandmother has gotten under your skin. Your apparent attempts to intimidate her are showing a great deal about who you are.

    Incidentally, it is not an ad hominem fallacy to observe the interpersonal dynamics of a conversation, and make some judgments about the participants.

  • Bernie

    @ Rick Fitzgibbons,

    Please Sir, quit while you’re not ahead. Your mendacities are not fooling anyone. Alvin McEwen has even brought this topic to the HuffPost.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvin-mcewen/rick-fitzgibbons-theodora-sirota_b_1185223.html

    Sincerely, Bernie

    @ Straightgrandmother, Thank you, and God Bless you my dear, for being such an intrepid vanguard against the falsehoods.

  • William

    “Richard, you seem to have a good scientific mind. Where do you disagree with these scientific conclusions?

    “Oops, I meant William.”

    Dr Fitzgibbons, whether or not your conclusions about parenting by same sex couples are sound or scientific is not the point on which I take issue. What I disagree with is your assertion that citing Dr Sirota’s study as though it substantiated those conclusions was not a misrepresentation of her study. It was.

  • David

    Bernie says, “Straightgrandmother, Thank you, and God Bless you my dear, for being such an intrepid vanguard against the falsehoods.”

    Amen to that!

    StraightGrandmother, you describe yourself as a simple farmer. Farming is anything but simple, and you are far from a simpleton. I am so glad you are on the front line in the battle for truth. For all our sakes, please keep up the good work.

  • StraightGrandmother

    GrantDale, Thank you for providing the information on Dr. Patterson.

    I found the information very helpful and pertinent to this discussion. I was completely unaware of these facts and will remember this for future reference. Thank you very much for you detailed reply and the time you spent to craft it.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, I will try better to be more civil. It is hard because we went over these exact same facts a month ago and it appears to me that you are acting like this is all news to you, when I know darned well you remember it as good, probably better than I do. For the sake of decorum will sincerely try to make my points by perhaps saying ,”not forthcoming” instead of my normal day to day simple vocabulary which would be, “he’s lying”

  • Rod Swift

    Just for the record, I note this discussion has suggested the Sarantakos study has somehow been officially endorsed in some way by the Australian Human Rights Commission, because it appears at the following page…

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/samesex/inquiry/submissions/031.html#1a

    It has not been endorsed by the Australian Government. Indeed, if you scroll to the top of the page, you will see “Festival of Light” mentioned. This group is a fundamentalist right-wing political extremist organisation — now called Family Voice Australia. Their website: http://www.fava.org.au/

    What this page is really is a copy of the Festival of Light’s public submission to a 2006 inquiry into entitlements for same-sex couples. Indeed, all the submissions can be found at…

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/samesex/inquiry/submissions.html

    Indeed, this inquiry heard many many more voices of reason than that of the unreasoned Festival of Light. For example, the Australian Medical Association, which wrote:

    “1.3 Strong family connections are important to the health and well being of individuals, and recently there has been greater recognition of the diversity of family structures that exist in our society. These family structures could include nuclear families, single parents, blended families from remarriages as well as gay and lesbian parents. Accurate statistics regarding the number of parents who are gay or lesbian are difficult to obtain, as this data is not routinely collected. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that ‘the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes towards parenting. No data have pointed to any risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with one or more gay parents.’ ”

    Source:

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/samesex/inquiry/submissions/314.doc

    Indeed, the resultant outcome of the Australian Human Rights Commission was a 400+ page report which made sweeping recommendations to fix up the discrimination faced by same-sex couples, and the children of same-sex couples.

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/samesex/report/pdf/SSSE_Report.pdf

    Chapter 5 dealt with the children of same-sex couples. These recommendations were implemented in 2009 in Australia.

    The sum total of the Festival of Light’s submission that was used in the final report was on page 71:

    “Other submissions argued that same-sex marriage: ‘promotes different models, values and behaviours’ compared to opposite-sex marriage,(89) is ‘highly unstable’, (90) and is not in the best interests of children. (91)”

    Festival of Light was responsible for footnotes 90 and 91 only. Hardly a ringing endorsement against same-sex marriage by the Australian Human Rights Commission — merely a glib acknowledgement that some crackpots wrote in.

    For the record, I was a participant in this national inquiry, having given evidence in both written submissions, and with oral evidence to the inquiry.

  • David

    @StraightGrandmother: “It is hard because we went over these exact same facts a month ago and it appears to me that you are acting like this is all news to you…”

    Winston Churchill once said, ““Every once in awhile, a man stumbles upon the truth — but most pick themselves up, dust themselves off and continue along their way as if nothing happened.”

  • StraightGrandmother

    Zoe & Rob Swift,

    I am quite relieved to find out that the Sarantakos research was simply a submission to the Austrailia Human Rights Commission. I have been quite concerned thinking I was reading the Austrailia Government’s official position. Glad you cleared that up for me.

    I did a little more research on the Sarantakos study and found a review of it on the American Psychological Association Website

    “1 A study from Australia (Sarantakos, 1996) has been cited as demonstrating deficits among children raised by gay and lesbian parents in Australia compared to children raised by heterosexual couples. The anomalous results reported by this study–which contradict the accumulated body of research findings in this field–are attributable to idiosyncrasies in its sample and methodologies and are therefore not reliable. An expert reading of the Sarantakos article reveals that certain characteristics of its methodology and sample are highly likely to have skewed the results and rendered them an invalid indicator of the well-being of children raised by gay and lesbian parents in at least three respects:

    The children raised by gay and lesbian parents experienced unusually high levels of extreme social ostracism and overt hostility from other children and parents, which probably accounted for the former’s lower levels of interaction and social integration with peers (see pp. 25-26);Nearly all indicators of the children’s functioning were based on subjective reports by teachers, who, as noted repeatedly by the author, may have been biased (see pp. 24, 26, & 30); andMost or all of the children being raised by gay and lesbian parents, but not the children being raised by heterosexual married parents, had experienced parental divorce, which is known to correlate with poor adjustment and academic performance.

    Indeed, although the differences Sarantakos observed among the children are anomalous in the context of research on parents’ sexual orientation, they are highly consistent with findings from studies of the effects of parental divorce on children (see, e.g., Amato, 2001, and Amato & Keith, 1991). Children Australia is a regional journal that is not widely known outside Australia. As such, it cannot be considered a source upon which one should rely for understanding the state of scientific knowledge in this field, particularly when the results contradict those that have been repeatedly replicated in studies published in better known scientific journals. In summary, the Sarantakos study does not undermine the consistent pattern of results reported in other empirical studies addressing this topic.”

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx

    Here are examples where the Sarantakos research is used in American Courts

    Friend of Court brief in Florida adoption case by the American Academy of Pediatricians

    http://oldsite.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/DoeAmicusBrief.pdf

    Another adoption case to the Supreme Court in North Carolina Friend of Court Brief again by American Academy of Pediatricians

    http://christianactionleague.org/wp-content/Amicus-Brief-Filed.pdf

    Supreme Court State of Washington in Civil same sex marriage case. Note Warren you are also referenced as an authority in this Court Brief.

    http://christianactionleague.org/wp-content/Amicus-Brief-Filed.pdf

    Supreme Court State of California Prop22 declaration by George Reekers

    http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/GRekers_homosexuality___psych-1.pdf

    I can’t get the serve to respond but it is referenced in the current DOMA Trial, Gill vs Office Of Personnel Management

  • http://www.maritalhealing.com Rick Fitzgibbons

    There is a consensus building on this blog that I misrepresented Sirota’s, Sarantkos’, and Goldberg’s findings. I keep saying that consensus can be a pernicious little thing because people can hide behind it as if consensus itself is the truth. Well, readers, it is time to shine a light into your consensus bunker. Here are five points about Sirota’s, Sarantakos’, and Goldber’s work that are indisputable and show clearly that I have represented their work very clearly:

    1. In 2009 Sirota states in her abstract that adult daughters of gay men “were significantly less comfortable with closeness and intimacy” than daughters raised by heterosexual men. They were “less able to trust and depend on others.” They experienced “more anxiety in relationships…than women with heterosexual fathers.” I have simpIy and clearly stated this. Yet, the false accusations against me on this blog continue. You cannot dispute these findings and they do bolster a case against a cruel social experiment of deliberately depriving a child of a mother and a father. I will not let consensus trump the scientific findings and Dr. Sirota has accurately represented her own findings in her abstract and I have accurately,without misrepresentation, reported those findings.

    2. There have been some criticisms that the gay men in Sirota’s studies have been divorced and so this confounds the results because the heterosexual fathers have not been divorced to the same extent. I refer you to Schumm [2008, Re-evaluation of the “no differences’ hypothesis concerning gay and lesbian parenting as assessed in eight early (1979-1986) and four later (1997-1998) dissertations. Psychological Reports, 103, 275-304]. Dr. Schumm has shown statistically that the variable of divorce does not cancel out the findings discussed above.

    3. Sarantakos also has shown statistically significant differences between children in LGB households and heterosexual households, as I have stated. The confound of divorce again surfaces for the 1996 Sarantakos study which I cited. Yet, the Schumm analysis published in 2008 shows, from a statistical viewpoint, that the divorce variable does not invalidate the findings. The findings remain as they are even when the effects of divorce are considered. The conclusion is that the children in the LGB homes from a statistical viewpoint do not fare well compared with those raised by heterosexual parents.

    4. Sarantakos has many other studies besides the one above. His findings tend to show greater instability in the LGB relationships and more domestic violence, neither of which are favorable to the developing child. See, for example, Sarantakos, S. (1996b) Same-sex couples: problems and prospects. Journal of Family Studies, 2, 147-163. My point is that no one can say that the Sarantakos study that I cited is a rare outlier that has not been supported with additional findings. And by the way, Sarantakos was sympathetic to the LGB cause of being treated fairly by others. I share this call for fair treatment, despite anyone’s false judgment of me to the contrary.

    5. Finally, Goldberg did report that 42% of her sample had problems with trust as adults (15 of 36). Regardless of the *interpretation* of this statistic, we first must *describe* that statistical finding. To fall back only on the participants’ own views as to *why* they are mistrustful is to give a great deal of scientific credibility to their insights when they are reflecting on the meaning of this issue of mistrust probably for the first time in their lives. There must be more careful study into the *why* of this finding of mistrust. For now, we can draw the fair conclusion that 42% of the Goldberg sample had difficulty with trust in adulthood.

    Finally, I wish to point out a political tactic of those who are responding on this blog. There are two points to this tactic. First, there is the frequent use of ad hominem attacks on me as a person (psychopath, lier). This tactic is intended to weaken the message by weakening the credibility of the messenger. Those trained in logic will see this and not be persuaded. Yet, Dr. Throckmorton, may I suggest that you more carefully monitor such attacks. It reflects poorly on the quality of your blog as you allow this incivility. My second point regarding the political tactic is in the use of slogans, heavily used in rhetoric but never used in logical argumentation. “Misrepresentation” is the slogan of this set of blog posts. It is a rhetorical device to quickly form an opinion about me so that we do not have to address the hard realities of the statistical findings above. Your continual chant of your slogan, “Misrepresentation,” itself becomes an ad hominem attack. In the end, those who have attacked me have not persuaded me that they have a rational case to make against my ideas, drawn directly from science. I am hoping that the open-minded people who read these posts see all of this and now ask the question: Is there incontrovertible evidence to support this radical new experiment, unique in human history, that puts adult wants before children’s needs, that deliberately deprives children of a mother or a father?

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, I will repeat my post from two days ago, as you have not responded, and in fact have once against defended yourself by saying,”Dr. Sirota has accurately represented her own findings in her abstract and I have accurately,without misrepresentation, reported those findings.” Here’s the problem with that, as I described above:

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, you introduce Dr. Sirota’s study by saying, “The results of a 2009 study of women in New York, Boston, and San Francisco are similar.”

    The question arises: similar to what?

    Your article’s preceding two paragraphs dealt with a direct comparison of same-sex parents to opposite-sex parents. Dr. Sirota’s study did no such thing.

    You defend yourself by saying, “When I drew directly from Dr. Sirota’s abstract, it can hardly be claimed that I misrepresented her.”

    But we are not disputing the material you pulled from her abstract. We are disputing the statement you did NOT pull from her abstract — namely that her results are similar to those of a study comparing same-sex and opposite-sex parents.

    That clearly DOES misrepresent her study and results.

  • Bernie

    I wish I had time to respond to your audacious pontification, mayhaps tonight. Your pomposity amuses us.

  • Teresa

    Mr. Fitzgibbons stated the following:

    I am hoping that the open-minded people who read these posts see all of this and now ask the question: Is there incontrovertible evidence to support this radical new experiment, unique in human history, that puts adult wants before children’s needs, that deliberately deprives children of a mother or a father?

    Mr. Fitzgibbons, I have followed this thread with great interest. I hope you understand, Rick, that there is no general consensus on this Blog as to what being gay translates for behavior. To help you understand, I am a gay woman who tries to live harmoniously with my faith belief, i.e., translates to being celibate.

    If I, me personally, concede the better part of your argument, which is simply, children do not fare as well with gay parents because of the instability present, manifesting itself by detachment, violence in some homes, separation … are you willing to concede the vast body of literature that says the exact same thing about str8 parents who divorce, violence in some homes, separation, abandonment … ultimately ending up in single parent homes … transitionally, in a framework of serial monogamy, live-in partners, etc.

    Rick, the onus is on ‘you’ … meaning the larger ‘you’ of society … to own the problem you are attempting to place on the shoulders of gay parents … sometimes successfully, sometimes not … as very much a str8 problem. Divorce with its multi-faceted problems has become so socially accepted, so common, so practiced in all faith beliefs … whether we call it divorce, annulment, what have you … society has become innured to the devastating effects of this now commonly accepted practice … be damned the outcomes.

    Yes, Rick, Sirota was describing mixed-orientation marriages, whether you want to extrapolate that to gay partners is your choice. Simply concede that point and move on.

    I’m a gay woman whose personal choice is not in favor of same-sex marriage, and I’m not in favor of adoption in those cases … of course, knowing who I am. But, I am old enough, and somewhat wise enough to know that you are on thin ice here, Rick, concerning your point of attributing bad outcomes to gays, while completely ignoring, conveniently it seems to me, the elephant in the room … which is the devastation in str8 marriage.

    Trying to square the circle, by showing research of the results in mixed orientation marriage … which, btw, was the common outlet for gays throughout the centuries … is proving what, Rick?

  • Robert Enright

    Hello, all. I am new to this blog. I am a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a position I have held for 34 years. I felt a need to enter here because of the spirited debate. Dr. Sirota did not study a group of same-sex men, as Ron Tisinai says. Dr. Sirota did study two groups in her 2009 study: one group consisted of adult women “born into heterosexually organized marriages who reported that their fathers were gay.” The second group consisted of: “women who reported that their fathers were heterosexual.” These two groups, as Dr. Fitzgibbons is claiming, do have relevance for the discussion here. The point of the Sirota article is to examine the long-term effects of adult women raised by gay men or heterosexual men. This does have implications for the question concerning same-sex parenting. The data are as Dr. Fitrzgibbons reports them. To dismiss the findings because the design does not include a group in which two males raise the child (now an adult woman) is to miss the important point that we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting, and that, I think, is Dr. Fitzgibbons’ point. What can we learn from the statistical difference between these two groups? I am impressed in a scientific sense that Dr. Fitzgibbons is not making his point based on one study alone. Each of the studies is imperfect in answering the important questions here, but so too are the studies such as Patterson’s, which can have the flaw of small sample sizes and self-reports from lesbian mothers (a possible social desirability bias). All studies have flaws and so we cannot make our case based on only one of these. We need tolerance to examine the evidence as we have it. I get the sense that some of you want to shout Dr. Fitzgibbons down. Please do not do that. I am at one of the most liberal and revered universities in the world and to shout a speaker down is the ultimate affront to academic freedom. Bernie, please cesase and desist from using harmful words. You are only making Dr. Fitzgibbons’ case against the ad hominem attack stronger and stronger. There are data on the table. Do not be afraid to look at them.

  • William

    “I keep saying that consensus can be a pernicious little thing because people can hide behind it as if consensus itself is the truth.”

    I quite agree, Dr Fitzgibbons, but the truth is that you misrepresented Dr Sirota’s study. Neither the soundness (or otherwise) of your conclusions about same sex adoption nor the fallacy of regarding a consensus as a guarantee of truth has any bearing on the plain fact that the findings of her study were not germane to your thesis and that to cite it as though they were was a misrepresentation.

  • Teresa

    Thank you, Dr. Enright, for joining the conversation. I’d like to make an observation and then ask several questions:

    First, yes, you’re absolutely right about being dismissive of the study, and the shouting and ad hominem attacks. So, let’s reset ourselves to move further on with this discussion.

    Second, yes, the study is important; else, why would Dr. Sirota have undertaken it to begin with? From only this study, can we conclude that the impact was the gay father, or rather the disclosure much later in childhood that the father was gay? My take was the disclosure seemed to be of paramount importance. I could be wrong.

    I think we need to reach common ground on each of the studies cited by Dr. Fitzgibbons, independently … then move on from there. Frankly, I don’t care who’s citing whom … I care about ‘seeing’ the results in the most truthful possible way.

    I have a bias in all this, which I’m trying to distance myself from in this conversation. My bias is toward Dr. Fitzgibbons, even though I’m gay; but, I’m troubled with some of his conclusions. I don’t want to be dismissive of Rick’s assertions; neither, do I want to descend into a shouting contest.

    Back to the original question, Dr. Fitzgibbons and Dr. Enright, are the troubling results of a mixed orientation marriage, gay father, because the father was gay, or because of the disclosure to the daughter? Is it an inability on the part of the gay dad to attach properly to his daughter (as a closeted gay dad), or to what came later?

  • Robert Enright

    Thank you, Teresa, for the great question. I do not know the answer, but the question itself is of great value because it is leading us deeper into the issue. Having followed the posts here, I think that Dr. Fitzgibbons is correct when he says that the social sciences are not very strong when it comes to answering the “why” questions. We social scientists are strong in the *descriptive* nature of data—-What happened, when did it happen, to how many people did it happen? I would not presume to be able to answer the question from the limited (but scientifically-credible) study that Dr. Sirota published in 2009. What do you think? Do you have an *interpretation* in which you have some confidence? Perhaps we need, not so much *explanations,* as *hypotheses* to be tested at this point.

  • Teresa

    @All,

    My comment to Dr. Fitzgibbons, Teresa# ~ Jan 9, 2012 at 11:04 am … should in most part be ignored to the discussion at hand, as to Dr. Fitzgibbons extrapolations of studies concerning gay parents and children.

    It was, certainly, a red herring, in a sense, and definitely a diversive maneuver … and, oh so not science, at all … for this discussion. It was my feeling of being ‘attacked’ in a sense because I’m gay. My apologies.

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    Dr. Enright: “To dismiss the findings because the design does not include a group in which two males raise the child (now an adult woman) is to miss the important point that we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting, and that, I think, is Dr. Fitzgibbons’ point. What can we learn from the statistical difference between these two groups?”

    No one is trying to dismiss Dr. Sirota’s findings. Our issue is with Dr. Fitzgibbons’ reporting and interpretation of those findings.

    His point is not merely “that we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting.” His point is that there are “strong indications that children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father,” which is unsupported by Sirota’s work.

    You appropriately ask, “What can we learn from the statistical difference between these two groups?” but your post treats that as a rhetorical question,. It is not.

    What can we learn indeed? We can (perhaps) learn it’s likely that:

    1. Married biological parents with compatible sexual orientations do better on average than married biological parents with incompatible sexual orientations.

    2. Divorce can be damaging to children.

    3. Children can be damaged when they discover an important truth their parents have been hiding.

    All of those things are directly relevant to the comparison Dr. Sirota studied.

    Unfortunately Dr. Fitzgibbons wrote the following two sentences in succession: “Cohabiting couples were second best [after married opposite sex couples] and homosexual couples came last.(8) The results of a 2009 study of women in New York, Boston, and San Francisco are similar.”

    In fact, of course, Dr. Sirota’s results were in no way similar, as she only studied one of those groups (married opposite sex couples). She did not study cohabiting couples or homosexual couples.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons does not note this in his article, and his terminology above actually implies the opposite. For the purposes of this thread, it doesn’t matter how many other studies he presents. The fact remains that he has misrepresented Dr. Sirota’s work by leaving out key information that a discerning would surely find relevant, and that’s what’s under discussion.

  • Robert Enright

    Teresa, you strike me as someone with a good heart. You did a wonderful thing on this series of blog posts—-You quieted the crowd and started a respectful approach. Perhaps it is time to set this series of postings aside because the following in particular has been accomplished, I think: You and I (and perhaps others) have decided to examine the imperfect evidence as it is. This is a huge step and for this I congratulate you. It will take time to explore the various studies and I fully intend to do that. I will take seriously your questions to me and examine the findings in light of what is good for all concerned. I will let the data be my guide and follow the arguments wherever they lead. Of course, some will be offended by my conclusions and perhaps by yours. Let us not be concerned about that now, but commit to exploring with open minds and hearts. Take care.

  • Boo

    Dr. Fitzgibbons-

    “There is a consensus building on this blog that I misrepresented Sirota’s, Sarantkos’, and Goldberg’s findings. I keep saying that consensus can be a pernicious little thing because people can hide behind it as if consensus itself is the truth.”

    The fact that you choose to ignore wholesale the criticisms that have been raised against you in favor of the red herring of “consensus” is quite telling. Each of your critics on this blog has raised very specific points about the flaws in your article and your misrepresentation of Sirota’s study. Why are you afraid to address them?

    “In 2009 Sirota states in her abstract that adult daughters of gay men “were significantly less comfortable with closeness and intimacy” than daughters raised by heterosexual men. They were “less able to trust and depend on others.” They experienced “more anxiety in relationships…than women with heterosexual fathers.” I have simpIy and clearly stated this. Yet, the false accusations against me on this blog continue. You cannot dispute these findings and they do bolster a case against a cruel social experiment of deliberately depriving a child of a mother and a father. I will not let consensus trump the scientific findings and Dr. Sirota has accurately represented her own findings in her abstract and I have accurately,without misrepresentation, reported those findings.”

    The misrepresentation was in the implication you were trying to create from those findings. You claim these findings as evidence that children should not be raised by gay couples. yet the findings had nothing to do with gay couples. Since we have now established that you knew the study had nothing to do with gay couples, your attempt at generalizing these findings to gay couples can only be seen as willfull dishonesty on your part. Simple repeating the same nonsense about how you quoted her abstract over and over would seem to indicate you know there was no excuse for your behavior. Again, when you find yourself in a hole, the first sensible thing to do is to stop digging. At this point, your willfull obstinancy appears more than a little ridiculous.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Dr. Enright,

    With all due respect, when you assert that “the point of the Sirota article is to examine the long-term effects of adult women raised by gay men or heterosexual men”, you are making an assertion that is contrary to that of Dr. Sirota. I dare say that she has a better grasp on “the point” of her article than your suppositions may provide.

    At no point did Sirota examine “the long-term effects of adult women raised by gay men or heterosexual men” as you assert. And to phrase the nature of her work thusly is baffling, bordering on the sort of positioning that is so common with NARTH and its associates.

    Rather, Sirota examined the long-term effects of adult women raised by opposite-sex parents in which the fathers were either gay men or heterosexual men. This may seem to you to be quibbling, but considering the purpose of Fitzgibbon’s article, it is the single most important distinction.

    The title of Fitzgibbon’s article is “Same sex adoption is not a game”; the premise is “Allowing same sex couples to adopt children deprives them of a mother or a father and subjects them to a dangerous social experiment” the section is titled “The children do suffer” and the assertion to which Fitzgibbons applies Sirota’s work is “children raised by same sex couples fare less well than children raised in stable homes with a mother and a father.”

    To find relevance in Sirota’s research, it is irrefutably true that her work must have so bearing on same-sex couples. That was the sole subject of Fitzgibbon’s article. Let us not pretend otherwise.

    I am curious as to what might compel you to ignore all of that, to mischaracterize Sirota’s work as you did, and to come to conclusions that have no relationship to either Sirota’s data or to common sense. As you advise, let us look at the data. But in looking at the data, let us not pretend it is some other data altogether.

    And if you are impressed by Dr. Fitzgibbons’ “reliance” on multiple sources (including himself) then I wonder at your analytical abilities. I’ve long since abandoned lists as impressive and find that the quality of the research listed along with the consistency of the analysis as paired to the actual research to be far more important.

    We all could list dozens of studies and make any claim we like. But unless the studies had some bearing on the claim and unless the “interpretation” of the studies is supported by the actual data, then we are just list-making.

    And finally, sir, it is offensive to insist that refutation of Fitzgibbons’ distortion equates to shouting him down. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Those who have found Fitzgibbons to be responsible for gross distortion of a fellow’s research have not silenced Fitzgibbons but have, rather, exposed him to a far greater audience than otherwise might have read his assertions.

    That the result is mockery and derision is due to the nonsensical and irresponsible nature of his distortions. Had he been accurate and honest, then those who mock him would have been exposed as fraudulent.

    And finally, I ask you what you think is the appropriate response of a people under attack? Let me emphasize this, and please do not pass it blithely.

    Fitzgibbons wrote an article with a stated purpose. That purpose is to “protect these children” from “the additional trauma of being exposed to a cruel social experiment” by which Fitzgibbons means adoption by a same-sex couple. This is a political position. Fitzgibbons is engaged in political advocacy.

    In order to advance his political goals, he distorts the work of others, draws conclusions from others that are not supported by the research, and exaggerates others. It is this distortion for the advancement of political goals that you are defending here.

    And let us be absolutely clear that there is a target of Fitzgibbons’ work. It is not the children – to which he claims champion – that are his focus. They are secondary and, indeed, he never discusses how these hypothetical children are to obtain “a sensitive and stable father and mother” which he claims that same-sex adoption denies them. Like a good many anti-gay activists (and this is a factual and accurate description of Fitzgibbons based on the cumulation of his writings), he avoids any discussion of real children, choosing instead to create impressions of same-sex couples as damaging.

    His target is same-sex couples. His intent is to deny them adoption rights.

    To suggest that same-sex couples be dispassionate about the article and that they not “shout down” Fitzgibbons by exposing his fraud, his duplicity, his intentional distortion, and his history of virulent anti-gay bigotry is absurd. In fact, it is extremely offensive to suggest that we all just discuss interpretations and care nothing whatsoever about Fitzgibbon’s history or intent. It demands that gay people take on the role of “danger to children” until Fitzgibbons unsupported guesses are proven to be false to your full satisfaction.

    And that is both unfair and ridiculous.

    Unless, of course, you are willing to place your own rights, freedoms, and equalities up to the same level of dispassionate hypotheses and speculations until such time as it is proven that you are not a danger to children. I doubt that is a role that you would quite

  • Boo

    Dr. (I assume) Enright

    “Dr. Sirota did not study a group of same-sex men, as Ron Tisinai says. Dr. Sirota did study two groups in her 2009 study: one group consisted of adult women “born into heterosexually organized marriages who reported that their fathers were gay.” The second group consisted of: “women who reported that their fathers were heterosexual.” These two groups, as Dr. Fitzgibbons is claiming, do have relevance for the discussion here. The point of the Sirota article is to examine the long-term effects of adult women raised by gay men or heterosexual men. This does have implications for the question concerning same-sex parenting. The data are as Dr. Fitrzgibbons reports them. To dismiss the findings because the design does not include a group in which two males raise the child (now an adult woman) is to miss the important point that we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting, and that, I think, is Dr. Fitzgibbons’ point.”

    The point of Dr. Fitgibbons article was that same sex couples should not raise children. The Sirota article does not address same sex couples, yet Dr. Fitzgibbons referenced it in his article as though it did. Since we have established that he knew it had nothing to do with same sex couples, how can the representation he attempts to make of the study in his article be seen as anything other than dishonest?

    “I get the sense that some of you want to shout Dr. Fitzgibbons down.”

    How exactly do you shout someone down in a written discussion? Has anyone threatened Fitzgibbons? (Certainly his response to Sirota could be seen as a veiled threat) If Fitzgibbons chooses to be dishonest, are we not allowed to call him on it? If people express frustration that Fitzgibbons repeatedly refuses to address the actual criticisms that were raised in favor of simply repeating himself over and over, couldn’t Fitzgibbons end the frustration by simply addressing our points instead of trying to divert the discussion to red herrings like tone and “consensus”?

  • Teresa

    Dr. Enright asked:

    What do you think? Do you have an *interpretation* in which you have some confidence?

    Thank you for asking, Dr. Enright. My first observation is that I’m very troubled by the lack of good science finding its way out of academe, today … even in the so-called hard sciences. How long will it take for the many studies that show damage to brains from over-exposure to cell phone use … the very real, documented changes especially to children’s brains to ever be acknowledged, or see the light of day without continually being buried or ignored? The very citadels of curiosity, questioning, searching are often totalitarian regimes of political agenda. Enough said on that.

    I’m a Russell Kirk Conservative who believes very much in the Ten Conservative Principles, so my natural inclination is to move cautiously when ‘novel’ changes are introduced into society; but, I also know some ‘change’ is necessary in an organism. How much change can a society undergo without imploding … we’re living that experiment, right now.

    Cut-to-the-chase, I’d like to see decent long-term studies of the effects of gay parents on children as to: sexual orientation. We have such a small population for that right now; but, I think it’s possible to find a sample size sufficient to draw some conclusions. My hypothesis going in would be that adopted children of gay parents (men or women) would be show a higher percentage of being gay or ‘bi’ than the statistical norm.

    To obviate some bias in the matter, I’d throw this study over-the-wall to a mechanical or engineering grad student to undertake without any suggestion as to hypothesis … only, find a decent sample size of adoptees … who do these children marry. Something, alone these lines.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Robert Enright, three questions-

    #1- Did you read the original article taking note of the placement and surrounding text to Dr. Fitzgibbons statements regarding Dr. Sirota’s & Dr. Goldberg’s research? Additionally it would be useful to expand and read all the comments and replies, especially his and mine.

    This is relative to your statement above

    “To dismiss the findings because the design does not include a group in which two males raise the child (now an adult woman) is to miss the important point that we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting, and that, I think, is Dr. Fitzgibbons’ point.”

    #2- Does the statements that Dr. Fitzgibbons has misrepresented their research from the original researchers have any relevance for you?

    #3- Which is MORE important, a description of a research report or the actual research report?

    Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright are you the author or an article published in Courage, a Roman Catholic organization for homosexuals, presented at

    Pontificia Universita della Santa Croce Rome, Italy

    called “A Paper on the Psychology of Forgiveness”

  • William

    Professor Enright:

    “The point of the Sirota article is to examine the long-term effects of adult women raised by gay men or heterosexual men.”

    What the Sirota article actually gives us is information about the long-term effects on adult women of being raised by gay and bi-sexual men in mixed orientation marriages and by heterosexual men in marriages where both spouses are heterosexual, as the author herself has pointed out. It does not give us any information about the long-term effects on adult women of being raised by gay men living in gay relationships. The effects in the latter case MIGHT turn out to be the same of course, but whether they are or not cannot be deduced from the former case.

    “…we can and should learn something of importance from gay parenting…”

    No doubt, but there is no justification for simply assuming that what we learn about gay parenting in mixed orientation marriages must necessarily apply to gay parenting in gay relationships. The difference between the two categories cannot legitimately be regarded as being of no more significance than whether the children are brought up in Glasgow or in Edinburgh.

    “I am impressed in a scientific sense that Dr. Fitzgibbons is not making his point based on one study alone.”

    I am not impressed in a scientific sense that Dr. Fitzgibbons is attempting to make his point by misrepresenting one of the studies that he cites.

    “All studies have flaws and so we cannot make our case based on only one of these.”

    Which is no justification for trying to augment the data which possibly flawed studies provide by adding a study whose findings we misrepresent.

    “I get the sense that some of you want to shout Dr. Fitzgibbons down. …to shout a speaker down is the ultimate affront to academic freedom.”

    Shouting a speaker down and drawing attention to a misrepresentation are two different things.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Robert Enright – Thanks for dropping by.

    Rick does want the Sirota study to say something about gay fathering and then apply what he thinks it says to same-sex parenting in general. Surely, you can see the problem with this. Sirota’s participants were raised in a home that to outsiders would look like a straight home. The women in the study had a known mother and father. Those people were married to each other for a time. A larger number of those parents divorced than the comparison group (which introduces a confound, as you must agree). But these were not gay couples, they were not lesbian couples. Rick in his article says children are hurt by gay couples but uses a study about some other family form to make his point. If Rick interprets the data to relate to gay couples, then he is doing the very thing he criticizes his opponents for doing. He is interpreting results, not reporting them.

    There is a very important point which Rick obscures by wanting to make the problems reported by the women in Sirota’s study about the fathers. The women also reported significant problems with their mothers. Perhaps the problems with trust result from poor mother-daughter relationships. It is highly biased to look at the other factors involved (divorce, maternal problems) ignore them, and then conclude that gay fathering is so bad that it warrants inclusion as evidence in an article about gay couples.

    In general, I don’t the Sirota study tells us much about anything. She recruited people by posting fliers and ads in large cities where she thought she might find women raised by gay parents. Here is her ad:

    Women Who Have Gay or Bisexual Fathers

    NYU doctoral candidate seeks volunteers eighteen and over for study on how women’s feeling about love relationships may be influenced by their fathers’ sexual orientation. Call 1-800-000-0000 and leave message to receive two questionnaires to complete and return anonymously.

    What if you are a woman and you don’t think your father’s orientation had anything to do with your love relationships? Sirota’s volunteers had something to talk about but I suspect that there were others who simply dismissed the notion of a relationship. In other words, the sample will consist of those people who think their fathers may influence their love relationships. In any case, one cannot make much of the results when the sampling is conducted in this manner.

    Robert, you say that Rick uses other studies to come to his conclusions. First, he should not use Sirota at all since there are at least two other factors which are uncontrolled (mother and divorce). Second, the other studies also suffer from the same confound which he does not mention. When you have two possible factors, one of which is known to cause problems and one of which is not known to do so, and then you ignore the known factor for the unknown factor, I consider that bias. Sure, in this case, the sexual orientation of the parents might have something to do with the outcomes, but given the confound, there is no way to know. However, Rick wrote in Mercatornet as if he knew and as if the other factors were not worth mentioning.

    I also would appreciate your answer to Straightgrandmother’s first question. Have you read Sirota, Goldberg and Sarantakos?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Teresa,

    My hypothesis going in would be that adopted children of gay parents (men or women) would be show a higher percentage of being gay or ‘bi’ than the statistical norm.

    I would offer a caution to your proposed study. Often gay couples will adopt children who are considered less desirable by heterosexual couples. And some of the considerations about desirability lie in the child’s gender non-conformity. It is not at all unusual for an effeminate boy or masculine girl – especially one who is above toddler age – to be adopted by gay parents. Such a study would need to take this into consideration.

  • StraightGrandmother

    @ Teresa, you know I love you dear, but with all due respect, you are being punked. Go look at the original article written by Dr. Fitzgibbones, follow the link from Warren above. And Teresa you tell me if he put the Goldberg and Sirota research in their correct context in the article he wrote. Did he?

    Robert Enright is doing to you what Fitzgibbons tried to do with me, make you chase your tail. They are trying to focus you on the studies and NOT how these studies were referenced in Dr. Fitzgibbons article. It is all about context Teresa. And Dr. Fitzgibbons is so good at it, he even had me doing the same thing here on Warren’s blog. That is until Rob Tsiani & Tim Simmons showed me what he was doing, here

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2012/01/05/sirotafitzgibbons/comment-page-1/#comment-427016

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2012/01/05/sirotafitzgibbons/comment-page-1/#comment-426357

    You remember Teresa that I came to Warren’s blog about a year ago seeking truth. I originally came here to find the answer to the question, “Can homosexuals change their sexual orientation?” Like you Teresa, I have always sought the truth, let the chips fall where they may.

    Teresa, do not let Dr. Fitzgibbons nor Dr. Enright distract you from the topic read the title to Warren’s article (an trust me they even had me chasing my tail for a bit) which is, were these two research reports accurately presented in the correct context in Dr. Fitzgibbon’s article? Were they Teresa?

    Please re-read Tim Kincade’s comment which I think is well, masterful. I know these things, I see the flaws in Dr. Fitzgibbons article but I have trouble expressing them and am so thankful for others who have a greater gift of writing than me.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2012/01/05/sirotafitzgibbons/comment-page-1/#comment-426357

    And Boo

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2012/01/05/sirotafitzgibbons/comment-page-1/#comment-427009

    Teresa, I know you, you like to be the voice of reason, you are fair, but honestly they are trying to distract you from the actual context of where Dr. Fitzgibbons presented this research.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I just got off the phone with Dr. Sirota. She stand’s by her rebuttal to Fitzgibbons. (See Warren I DO learn at the knee of the Master). She thanked me sincerely for bringing this to her attention originally and she stands by her rebuttal statement to me and to Rob Tsiania.

    She is reading these comments and is highly impressed with the caliber of comments. Higly Impressed, so keep ‘em coming guys. Not to toot my own horn, well maybe a little, all I had to say is, “This is StraightGrandmother calling” and she knew me straight away. She is not going to comment further but she IS going to continue her research on “Attachment” and how it relates to sexual minorities. I don’t know this for a fact, but I betcha she is going to be extra careful how she words the “description” of her research.

    signed

    StraightGrandmother, a/k/a Grasshopper

  • StraightGrandmother

    William, don’t let the digs at you distract you. You are doing a terrific job.

  • StraightGrandmother

    This hymn is about me, I cannot speak like Angels, I cannot preach like Paul, but I can tell the love of Jesus and I can say he died for ALL.

    Gladly take the works he gives you

    Let his work you pleasure be

    Answer quickly when he calleth,

    Here am I send me, send me.

    Truly I cannot preach (or write like) Paul (or Timothy Kincade) but I know deep down in my heart that Jesus loves people who are lesbians, gay, bi-sexual and transgender. And he loves then AS THEY ARE. For truly they were made in HIS image. I don’t believe it is the parents fault that children turn out to be a sexual minorities as NARTH declares. I simply believe that they are human beings loved by their Creator, but not heterosexual like me, and this is the way God made them. I CAN tell the love of Jesus I CAN say he died for ALL (NOT just the heterosexuals).

    I have hand written the words to this hymn, as well as many other hymns, a long time ago in a notebook. When I am troubled, as I am now reading Dr. Fitzgibbons words, this is the notebook I reach for. I can say HE died for ALL, NOT just the heterosexuals..

    We cannot ask people to change who they are at their core in order to receive the Grace of God. No more can I change from heterosexual to homosexual than can the homosexual change to heterosexual. HE died for ALL!!!

    I wish so much I could (preach or write) like Paul for I am a simple farmer, not very well formally educated, but I DO KNOW he died for ALL. And it is WRONG to condemn them.

    http://youtu.be/IXti0XZDp_E

  • Walter Schumm

    What some of the bloggers do not seem to realize is that Sirota had a number of other findings that are relevant besides attachment issues. Furthermore, had she controlled for divorce or even mother’s issues, it is not certain that her significant results would have been nullified (wish she would send me her data, I’d be glad to investigate further). In addition, the recent paper by Goldberg found significantly increased rates of drug use among daughters and sons of lesbian mothers who did not have children from previous marriages, so the higher drug use that Sirota found (10X greater if I recall correctly) was confirmed by a study with a much different methodology. At the moment I am working on a summary of Sarantakos’s research, all of it, not just the one 1996 article. By the way, has anyone besides myself looked at the effect sizes in the Sarantakos article for school outcomes as well as the role of past divorce??? Perhaps somebody will try that for a change. The fact is that Sarantakos had about eight major findings about same-sex relationships and all of them have been confirmed by recent research. So keep throwing darts at each other, I am busy putting together a 50+ page paper on this.

  • David

    The issues being discussed here are troubling to me, not least because I am a gay father of two beautiful daughters. Until three years ago, I was faithfully married to their mother and closeted. When we speak of potential harm to the daughters of men in mixed-orientation marriages, I shrink, feeling the spectres of fear and shame breathing on the back of my neck.

    I resent the fact that familial and societal homo-hatred places the onus on me to prove I am a good father. I have done everything in my power to be a good father, and nothing that would place any straight person under the microscope. I love my daughters deeply. The most difficult, gut-wrenching aspect of separating from their mother was my concern especially for the one daughter who was still a minor living at home. I cried desperately about that more times than I can count.

    My experience allows me to make at least two contributions to this discussion. First, I remind us that this is not merely an academic discussion we are having. Nor is it merely a political discussion. It is also a deeply personal discussion. We are talking about the most tender and intimate of relationships. If someone here makes the claim that gay men do not make good fathers, that one is saying that I am not a good father. I do not ask that a concern for gay persons skew our perception of the data, such as it is. I do ask that due concern temper the pointedness of such remarks. The data will not show that all gay men are poor fathers, nor will they show that all gay men are good fathers. The findings in any case will only represent statistical probabilities. Never before in our society have the probabilities dictated who should not be allowed to have children. We do not prohibit drug addicts or prostitutes or vagrants from having children. Should we then prohibit all gay men from having children because they are connected with some statistics of probability? I know the issue as presented has to do with adoption. But the argument made by Dr. Fitzgibbons is more general, that gay men are inadequate parents, regardless of their personal qualities or marital status.

    Second, I would add to the list of hypotheses as to why daughters of heterosexually married gay men may show some signs of attachment issues. This, of course, assumes that Dr. Sirota’s findings can be replicated and better controlled for confounding factors. I believe that so far four hypothesis have been offered:

    1. The sexual orientation of the father.

    2. The greater likelihood of divorce.

    3. The trauma of the daughter’s finding out something significant about her father that has been carefully hidden from her.

    4. Qualities of the mother. I appreciate Dr. Throckmorton bringing this to the fore, since some clinical observations have suggested that gay men tend to marry women who are withholding. I believe I unconsciously did this. I do not wish to criticize my ex-wife, but to put it mildly, she was sexually and romantically undemanding. She is extremely introspective, and rarely made friends. My gay attractions did not overtly get in the way of our relationship as a couple.

    To these I would add a fourth hypothesis:

    5. The daughter has grown up in a home where a lie, a hidden duplicity, has been at the heart of her parents’ relationship, or at the heart of who her father is. I am not referring here to the father’s being closeted, or the mother not knowing of the father’s homosexual desires. My wife knew about my desires before we married, though neither of us knew back in those years what my attractions would mean once we were married. The duplicity I refer to here is existential. A heterosexually married homosexual man is living at odds with himself. He can never give himself fully to his wife. Homosexuality is about more than sex. It is a relational orientation. A woman could never be the person with whom I longed to be one flesh. She could never love me in the psychic place I needed to be loved. Despite my faithfulness, I was living without personal integrity, that is, integration. NARTH-types may quibble with my calling this duplicity. But I suspect every homosexual man who has been heterosexually married knows exactly what I mean. What does it do to a child to grow up in a duplicitous environment? In the end, I decided all would be served better by my being true to myself. Of course, a homosexual couple would not have this duplicity at the center of their relationship.

    How a researcher might control for all these variables is beyond my expertise. At least, they may be real-life observations that may deserve some consideration in this discussion.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave,

    OMG, thank you o SO much for your post!!!

    Your words that leapt out at me are these:

    “My experience allows me to make at least two contributions to this discussion. First, I remind us that this is not merely an academic discussion we are having. Nor is it merely a political discussion. It is also a deeply personal discussion. We are talking about the most tender and intimate of relationships. If someone here makes the claim that gay men do not make good fathers, that one is saying that I am not a good father.”

    AND

    “I resent the fact that familial and societal homo-hatred places the onus on me to prove I am a good father. I have done everything in my power to be a good father, and nothing that would place any straight person under the microscope. I love my daughters deeply. The most difficult, gut-wrenching aspect of separating from their mother was my concern especially for the one daughter who was still a minor living at home. I cried desperately about that more times than I can count.”

    AND

    “My experience allows me to make at least two contributions to this discussion. First, I remind us that this is not merely an academic discussion we are having. Nor is it merely a political discussion. It is also a deeply personal discussion. We are talking about the most tender and intimate of relationships. If someone here makes the claim that gay men do not make good fathers, that one is saying that I am not a good father.”

    AND

    “Never before in our society have the probabilities dictated who should not be allowed to have children. We do not prohibit drug addicts or prostitutes or vagrants from having children. Should we then prohibit all gay men from having children because they are connected with some statistics of probability?

    I know the issue as presented has to do with adoption. But the argument made by Dr. Fitzgibbons is more general, that gay men are inadequate parents, regardless of their personal qualities or marital status.”

    AND

    “A woman could never be the person with whom I longed to be one flesh. She could never love me in the psychic place I needed to be loved. Despite my faithfulness, I was living without personal integrity, that is, integration.”

    AND

    “What does it do to a child to grow up in a duplicitous environment? In the end, I decided all would be served better by my being true to myself. Of course, a homosexual couple would not have this duplicity at the center of their relationship.”

    These words touch me profoundly,

    “I resent the fact that familial and societal homo-hatred places the onus on me to prove I am a good father. ”

    Dr. Soritos is reading this blog. You have reached her directly.

    You state a really powerful point of view, I hope especially Teresa is touched as I am by it. I believe you Dave, 100%. The hardest part is probably coming to terms with all the years you, and your spouse “lost” but at the same time acknowledging the two blessed children you produced during these “lost” years. It’s a two edged sword, isn’t it? This is NOT merely an academic discussion, this is real life flesh and blood. You are a flesh and blood real person and so are your daughters. You have touched me profoundly. Not many people would open up like you did, you did a good thing.

  • Robert Enright

    Thank you, everyone, for the very thoughtful comments on my posts here. I would like for us to see if we can agree on what Dr. Sirota did scientifically and what she reported before we progress further. I hope we can do so in this spirit: All of us who are taking the time to do this are persons and all persons are special, unique, and irreplaceable. We all have inherent worth—build in, unearned. We are all precious. OK?

    Now to the Sirota study:

    1) There was a group, let us call it Group A, in which there are 68 adult women (average age of 29) and a father who, by the adult woman’s report, is gay. We have group B, in which there are 68 women (average age of 29) and a father who, by the adult woman’s report, is heterosexual. All grew up in households with one mother and one father, but we do not know further details (when one couple divorced, when another separated, and so forth). Details are vague other than how I defined the groups, based on Sirota’s statements.

    2) These women are studied “long-term” and by that I mean, after they have grown up and have left home.

    3) All of the women are given a psychometrically sound attachment measure which has at least 3 dimensions: secure, avoidant, and anxious attachment styles.

    4) The findings show that in the three instances of attachment, Group B performs better (in a psychological sense) than Group A on all three attachment variables. In each case the difference is about one standard deviation. Dr. Sirota calls this “highly significant,” but I think she means strongly significant.

    5) We should look at the issue of divorce since that, too, was statistically significant. It does not appear to be as strong of a finding, suggesting that divorce is not the proximate cause of the attachment results.

    6) It is concluded in the abstract: “Women with gay or bisexual fathers were significantly less…..” (you know the rest of the story).

    What can we and what can we not conclude from all of this?

    First, we need not dismiss the data as unrelated to the question: What is the effect on children if a gay man or gay men raise a child because, as we know, homosexual men can and do have heterosexual partners at some point in their lives and so this is not a unique sample relative to gay men in general.

    Second, it is not a direct test of that question. Thus, we cannot answer the question directly from the Sirota study and everyone who has been saying this is correct.

    Third, it does allow for hypothesis-forming ideas. In other words, it allows for careful thought about what we might expect if we studied one gay man or two men raising a child.

    Fourth, in conjunction with other studies which include gay men raising children, we may be able to strengthen our hypothesis. This is where Goldberg’s and Sarantakos’ studies prove to be very useful, as hypothesis-forming studies.

    Now, may we try to understand Dr. Fitzgibbons’ thinking?

    First, I doubt that he was assuming that the Sirotas study was a direct test regarding same sex parenting. Instead, and I hope I am capturing this correctly, he was using it as an indirect set of data on which to make an induction. Inductions are pieced together through various observations. Dr. Fitzgibbons used a variety of observations to draw his inductive conclusions.

    Second, he was not reductionistic, as you are claiming in your most recent post, Dr. Throckmorton, by claiming that this one and only one study is sufficient evidence for the induction. He was taking an imperfect study and combining it with other imperfect studies to put the pieces of a puzzle together—-to engage in inductive reasoning toward the answer to an important question.

    Third, I think that Dr. Fitzgibbons would say that the Sarantakos study in particular, then the Sirota study, and then the Goldberg study are what we could call “close approximations” to answering the question: How do children fare when raised by one gay man or two gay men? If you think about it, there literally is no way to answer the following question: How do children fare if raised by one gay man or two gay men when the child is his through natural means? He would have had to be in union with a woman and then have separated or divorced from her, as happened in the Sirota study. My point: Some studies are not exact fits with important questions, but we try to engage in inductive logic and hypothesis testing with the “close approximation” designs. My friend, Dr. Ron Serlin, at the University of Wisconsin, used to talk of “the good enough principle,” meaning that at times we can only get close to the ideal design and not reach it. Then we use inductive logic to form our hypotheses or in the case of the impossible design, we draw our conclusions as best we can.

    We must first understand the thinking before criticizing.

    One final tongue-in-cheek point to StraightGrandmother, who is accusing me of being a Christian. I have been asked to speak to an African American group, an Eastern Orthodox group, a Jewish group, a Muslim group, a secularist group, a Catholic group and a Lutheran group. I have been asked to speak in Brazil, Rome, Padua, Bogota, Belfast and other places. What does that make me? If I am to be recused for my beliefs and affiliations, we had better recuse Dr. Throckmorton for working in a Christian college, don’t you think? And do you work at gay advocacy, StraightGrandmother? Bias! I guess we are all recused. And yes, I am Christian and proud of it. I am a scientist and proud of it.

    We are all recused…..unless, of course, we can all assume that we can think clearly regardless of our belief systems, and regardless of our affiliations with certain groups.

    OK. That is my attempt to understand and to be understood. Please remember: We are all precious persons with inherent worth. Let the games begin.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave = “Of course, a homosexual couple would not have this duplicity at the center of their relationship.”

    StraightGrandmother = Yes you are right there Dave.

  • Richard Willmer

    That’s an interesting point, David.

    The kind of ‘uncertainty’ that might exist in a homo-hetero pairing might well be a source of ‘subconscious perplexity’ to a child, although it is surely how well any parents/guardians (whatever their sexuality might be) care for their young charges that is most important. Children are not stupid, and they know that the most important thing is to be respected, protected and loved. Everything else comes second, third, fourth, …

    (A little post-Christmas thought: if God had wanted to make a ‘big splash’ about so-called ‘traditional family values’, might he not have postponed the Incarnation by a few months, until Mary and Joseph were safely married?! The angel could have shown just after the wedding, and told Joseph to ‘lay off’ until Mary had given birth! That would have been so much more ‘respectable’!)

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, are you the same Robert Enright that spoke at

    “Enright spoke in Rome Monday morning, as part of a conference on “Neuroscience and Moral Action” sponsored by the Opus Dei-run Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.” ???

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/forgiveness-catholic-yoga

    AND

    Would you be the same Robert Enright mentioned here-

    “Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons is the director of the Institute for Marital Healing outside Philadelphia and has worked with several thousand couples over the past 34 years. Trained in psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center, he participated in cognitive therapy research with Aaron T. Beck. In 1986 he wrote a seminal paper on the psychotherapeutic uses of forgiveness in the treatment of excessive anger and in 2000 coauthored Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope,with Dr. Robert D. Enright, University of Wisconsin, Madison, for American Psychological Association Books. APA Books also offers a DVD on forgiveness by him and Dr. Enright.”

    http://www.maritalhealing.com/practice/staff/staffprofiles.php

    Would you be the author of this article published in Irish Catholic?

    http://www.irishcatholic.ie/site/content/eucharistic-congress-forgiving-and-remembering-new-ways-robert-enright

    And this article from Vatican City

    “The study of forgiveness has nevertheless ended up nurturing Enright’s own faith, ultimately bringing him back to the Roman Catholic Church of his youth. He is now preparing, for the first time, to make that faith explicit in his work.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/02/forgiveness-scholar-opens-up-o.php

    Didn’t you say to Teresa that you were just now going to start on an impartial review of Dr. Fitzgibbons referenced research?

    Teresa, I warned you,you have been punked. I cant imagine how Enright & Fitzgibbons thought we would not put 2 + 2 together especially when they are writing books or papers jointly.

    I may be out of line here but I am thinking I merit another “Good job Grasshopper”

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, just a passing thought. Are you in any way affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics?

  • David

    I hope it will not be improper for me to step back for a moment from the intricacies of this discussion to frame it in a larger picture. I believe the problem we are having here is rooted in Christian theology itself (no offense intended to those here who are not Christians). We Christians believe that God both created the natural order and inspired the Scriptures. So, we believe that the book of nature and the book of Scripture should speak with one voice about the human condition. Some of us, including I presume, Dr. Fitzgibbons, who teaches at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, also believe that God has given the authority to interpret the Scriptures to bishops and specially to the Pope.

    The problem that frames this discussion is that the book of nature and the book of Scripture seem to saying two different things. The study of nature here is represented by science, and in this particular instance, certain studies in the social sciences. Generally, science tells us that homosexuality is a naturally occuring phenomenon in many species, including humans, and that it falls within the range of ordinary human experience. The study of Scripture, as traditionally understood, says that homosexual acts are immoral and that homosexuality is, in the words of the Catholic hierarchy, a “strong tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil.” But we believe that science and Scripture ought to be speaking with one voice.

    We are at an impasse. Christians have been wrestling hard with this dilemma for a generation or two, and so far there is no consensus — and in Christian theology, the consensus of the faithful is a sign of truth, even if it is rejected by logicians. The easy answer is to take one of the two books and use it to trump the other. Which book is chosen is a choice of conscience. Some Christians in all good conscience say science must stand and Scripture must be reinterpreted. That is easier for Protestants to say than for Catholics. Catholics must wrestle with a belief not only in Scripture, but also in the teaching authority of bishops, and in particular, the Pope. In any case, many Protestants and Catholics alike opt for a traditional understanding of Scripture, and say that science must be reinterpreted. This, I suspect, is what Dr. Fitzgibbons is saying, though I must let him speak for himself.

    The church is at an impasse. Theology is at an impasse. Most personally, gay Christians face this impasse. Here we have the irresistable force of science meeting the immovable object of Scripture traditionally understood (well, almost immovable and almost irresistable).

    In the interest of civility and grace, I believe we must respect the fact that Christians in good conscience try to get beyond this impasse in different ways. But so far Christians as a whole have not figured a way beyond the impasse. So we debate, we argue, we get angry, we apologize, we pause and contemplate, and then we’re back at it again. Sometimes the vehemence with which we state our positions is directly correlated with the intensity of our fear that we are wrong.

    I can’t resolve this tension for anyone else, nor can any of us. I can only tell you how I am seeking to live beyond this impasse, for I must get beyond it if I am to live at all. I have not jettisoned reason by any stretch. But I have given up on logic as a way to resolve this. I have jumped into my intuition — that is, I trust I am being led by the Spirit in my quest for personal integrity. I am living as a partnered gay man (my state doesn’t allow gay marriage). If I am wrong, may God have mercy. If I am right, may God give me courage to help others find the way.

    I presume that all of us here are well-motivated. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether science is being twisted beyond its limits in order, presumably, to protect the integrity of theological beliefs, namely, in the authority of Scripture and the authority of papal teaching.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons, if I have misjudged your motives or your core beliefs, please forgive me.

  • Robert Enright

    Teresa, you have been respected and honored, not punked. Dr. Fitzgibbons asked me not to get involved here, but I could not sit back any longer. Teresa, I am very impressed with your honest and forthright approach. Thank you. I have never written a word in this area of same-sex marriage, and that is what I meant, StraightGrandmother. I am becoming interested in studying the literature in this area. An apology may be in order to both Teresa and to me.

  • David

    One more thing: If Dr. Fitzgibbons is twisting scince in order to safeguard theological beliefs, he is abandoning his professional commitment to be a man of science. He is, of course, free to abandon his commitment to science. But if so, it is then duplicitous to represent himself as a man of science when he has abandoned scientific principles.

    What I would hope for, Dr. Fitzgibbons, is some honesty about your true commitments. If you are really speaking as a man of science, then we may analyze your skills at scientific reasoning. Many of your colleagues find your skills lacking. If you are speaking as a man of the church, it is disingenuous to claim otherwise. It is, of course, possible to be both a man of science and a man of the church. Then, I would argue, you would hold the findings of science and the teachings of the church in tension until in some far-distant day the tension can be resolved. As it stands, you seem to be co-opting science for the benefit of the church. I love the church too. I understand the wish that the two would speak with one voice. But let’s be honest. At the moment, they do not. To be specific, the data do not, in the view of the vast majority of scientists, support your contention that gay men make poor fathers.

  • Boo

    “First, we need not dismiss the data as unrelated to the question: What is the effect on children if a gay man or gay men raise a child because, as we know, homosexual men can and do have heterosexual partners at some point in their lives and so this is not a unique sample relative to gay men in general.”

    It’s fascinating to watch you guys bob and weave on this. It’s like the good old days of the NARTH blog all over again. You weren’t “Sojourneer” or “JJohnson” by any chance, were you?

    Are you seriously expecting us to believe this line about a gay man in a sham relationship to a woman being comparable to a gay man in a genuine relationship with a man? Because regardless of whether or not the husband is out to the wife, or whatever arrangements they have made to cope with their sexual differences, every marriage involving a gay man and a woman is to some degree a sham relationship, and any objective observer will realize the overwhelming likelihood that that sort of sham relationship is going to cause stress on the entire family, and could obviously lead to trust issues in any daughters in the family. The daughter’s role model for how husbands and wives relate to each other includes a husband who lacks the capacity for sexual attraction to his wife, while simultaneously they represent themselves to the public as if he did have that capacity.

    Your position is as ridiculous as if I were to show you ten kids raised by gay couples who speak Russian, and ten kids raised by straight couples who do not speak Russian, and you concluded that the parents gayness is to account for their kids speaking Russian, while ignoring the fact that all the gay parents happened to live in Russia while the straight parents happened to live in the US.

    This has gone beyond absurd, now it’s just sad. The Sirota study said nothing about gay couples. Fitzgibbons claimed it as evidence against gay couples. Those are facts, and all your empty rhetoric does not change those facts.

    “And yes, I am Christian and proud of it. I am a scientist and proud of it.”

    And yet right now you’re acting like neither.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @ Prof Enwright

    Quoting from your own work at http://couragerc.net/Courage_Home_Page/Santa%20Croce%20paper%20%28PDF%29%20February%2028,%202011.pdf

    We need not reserve the development of forgiveness only in hearts and communities where there is considerable animosity and obvious injustice.

    Triage though would seem to be an appropriate approach outside one’s daily life, with universal forgiveness within it. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.

    Is forgiveness primarily for the benefit of those forgiving, or those forgiven? Your paper provides evidence – not strong, but good enough for me – that there are direct, tangible and measurable objective benefits for those doing the forgiving.

    If nothing else, I personally have gained by this thread by having my attention brought to this paper of yours. My thanks.

    We all, even in the most seemingly peaceful communities, encounter the fallen nature of those around us (and within ourselves) which results in unjust actions in need of merciful responses.

    “Fallen Nature”? Please don’t insult us by implying that your view is that of an impartial non-religious scholar. We forgive you of course, but please don’t repeat it, OK? There’s nothing wrong with being a believer, why. some of my best friends are practicing Christians. By being honest and forthright, you gain, not lose, credibility. Evasion and half-truths, not so much.

    Forgiveness for past wrongs is relatively easy. If there’s recognition of wrongdoing, repentance, and restitution, then the moral onus is on those initially wronged to forgive. If they don’t, not only is it bad for them in a moral sense, it is in an objective sense too. With me so far? Do you agree?

    If there’s no recognition of wrongdoing, it’s harder. but there the onus is on those wronged to educate, and bring about this recognition. Assuming that most people are basically good (a proposition I adhere to, though contrary to much mainstream religious belief). that’s all that needs doing in many cases. Once recognition of “OH HECK I screwed up….” is achieved, then repentance and restitution follow.

    What to do if such recognition is not forthcoming? Well. there’s “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” as a principle. It may not help those being forgiven, but it certainly helps those wronged, as your paper shows. So it should be done out of basic self-interest, it’s not a moral issue.

    Is it possible to pre-emptively forgive? Is it possible to forgive someone who knows what they’re doing is wrong, but continues anyway, simply because they can, and they like to hurt you?

    It’s possible – but I think only by recognising that we’re all human, fallible, imperfect. By forgiving our own trespasses (while resolving to do our level best not to repeat them. but in the knowledge that being human. we will anyway), forgiving others becomes automatic.

    When it comes to an issue where someone does something so evil that you can’t imagine any possible circumstances that could cause you to do likewise, when you’d literally die or endure a fate far worse than mere death rather than do something like that, then I think forgiveness may not be within human powers, no matter how desirable from either a moral or self-interested perspective.

    Forgiveness does allow a polite request for an offence not to be repeated though. “Go thou and sin no more”.

    I’d like to address your comments at greater length, and will do so later. One thing – my thanks for disrupting the consensus. They’re malign when taken to extremes. See Asch Conformity. Pluralistic Ignorance etc – http://aebrain.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/todays-battles-theory-behind-them.html

  • Bernie

    Dr Enright, You are correct, I had been harsh for which I retract my previous statements.

    As far as to what I was going to say in response to Dr Fitsgibbons, I don’t think I could have said it any better than Timothy Kincaid.

    It is true that we should all recuse ourselves because of our positions. Still I find Dr Fitzgibbons motives to be purely political in nature and to support the ideologies of his homies back at NARTH.

    However, when Dr Fitzgibbons makes such an egregious statement as this, to StraightGrandmother on the original blog, “These conclusions are a cause for us all to pause when considering placing children into a family context with “gay or bisexual fathers.” Why? Trust, loyalty in the children may be damaged as gay men themselves do not practice trust or loyalty.” That certainly smacks of a personal opinion, and a severely jaded one at that. Please do not try to convince me that his motives are clearly from a scientific standpoint.

    It is this same method of prevaricating facts that is used against the homosexual community by numerous others; Linda Harvey, Bryan Fischer, Peter Sprigg, David Barton, et al. Their MO is quite simple, to appear as pious and devout Christians with the sole intent to vilify homosexuals at every turn. To which I remind them of Matt 7:21-23.

    I am much like Theresa and David in my life situation. I wish I had the time to be as vigilant and on top of of everything as StraightGrandmother.

    Everyone asks me why I waste my time fighting these battles, to which I remind them of Edmund Burke,”The easiest way for evil to prevail, is for a good man to do nothing.” I refuse to sit by and allow the same ostracizing and myopic bigotry occur to the upcoming generation, as was so gratuitously afforded mine

    God does not make junk! And believe this, there is no way to change one’s sexual orientation. If anybody has a problem with it, than they should take it up with God Almighty himself.

    I shall continue to remain as One Of The Watchers, be rest assured that when I catch one of them trying to lead their uneducated listening audience with a misleading falsehood so as to mold their opinions into one of hate, fear and loathing, I’ll be their along with Warren, Timothy, and StraightGrandmother, and all the other true souls.

  • Teresa

    @All, where to start.

    SG, thank you for the research on Dr. Enright and his Paper on forgiveness. Amazingly, I had read this Paper not long ago; but, totally forgot the author’s name. Kudos to you, SG, for bringing that to light.

    Timothy Kincaid, thank you for bringing to my attention the fact that often the ‘less wanted’ children are those adopted by gay parents. I had never given any thought about the status of the adopted child, but only the parent.

    David, I’m grieved that you’ve been dragged through the virtual mud during this thread, and that I may unwittingly treated you unkindly. To paraphrase, forgive us, David, for we knew not what we did. Thank you for the courage to speak out; and, for reminding us this is about flesh and blood, laughter and tears, joy and sorrows … real people, living real lives, and doing the best they can under some very daunting circumstances.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Robert Enright – You did not deal with the points I made. I did not say that Rick was reductionistic for using one study. I said the other studies he used suffer from the same confound as the Sirota study and that he was biased to assume sexual orientation is the culprit for the findings of these highly selective findings.

    Also, you did not answer the question about whether you have read the studies in question.

    The other problem with Rick’s article as I see it is that he is speculating about what certain studies might mean collectively but he is doing it in a popular press article. He is portraying to the public what psychiatry knows about same-sex parenting and adoption. You are defending his inferences which might be fine in a scholarly article where academics speculate about what various studies might mean taken together. However, he is offering his credibility as a psychiatrist to the public based on studies which are not capable of answering the questions he is raising.

    Surely, as a lifelong academic, you see that this body of research is very poor and not capable of making the conclusions Rick makes. That he makes conclusions at all is unwarranted by the studies he cites.

  • Teresa

    Dr. Enright, I’m much interested in your Paper on Forgiveness; and, find that it may be helpful in my own life’s circumstances.

    Some added notes: first, I never felt ‘punked’ by you or Dr. Fitzgibbons; and, SG will forgive me for not aligning with that notion. I respect your candor, Dr. Enright, and your willingness to jump into the fray here. You have to know that for most of us here who are gay, bi, trans or intersex, and remain gay, bi, trans, or intersex; our lives, reputations, careers, families have often been threatened beyond what some people can imagine … and, that threat continues for some of us even as we speak.

    It’s not easy to wake up to the fact that a goodly number of people consider us perverted, disordered, mentally ill, ill-fit for decent company, a threat to children everywhere, social lepers who should neither be seen nor heard … and, any and every variant of those deprecations and ignominies.

    So, we’re skittish about scientific studies, and how they can be used, interpreted, and downright falsified to substantiate any position. We’re not immune from doing the same things ourselves.

    I suspect you know all these things, Dr. Enright, as you’ve commented with the utmost graciousness; but, sometimes it helps to remind ourselves what we’re about, and how best to move to the next step. I can do no better than to quote Abraham Lincoln again, at this point, as it seems to fit the Philosophy of Forgiveness:

    With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

  • David

    @Teresa

    All is well, and I remember no slight from you, inadvertant or otherwise. Though I framed my comments in very personal terms, I was making a larger point. It is, as you say, that we are talking about real flesh-and-blood people who, like everyone else, are doing the best they can in a complicated world. And yes, though I have no experience with being straight, I believe it is much more difficult to be gay.

    I believe people like Dr. Fitzgibbons and Dr.Enright like to keep this discussion at an “objective” distance. They do not want to see us gays as real people, since gay people, in their eyes, are not worthy to be considered normal human beings. We are something less. (And a patronizing “We’re all precious in God’s sight” doesn’t mitigate this dehumanizing.) I am reminded that our American constitution once defined a black person as three-fifths of a human being. (I’m sure they were considered precious too.) It is always this way when a society decides to marginalize a group of people. It dehumanizes them. It is society’s way of enforcing conformity and turning a blind eye to oppression. I admit to being deeply hurt by this. Perhaps I am defensive. Is a person attacked required not to defend him/herself?

    I respect the social sciences and am willing to hear what they have to say. But as long as the question is whether gay people are fit to parent children, the question itself is prejudicial. It plays into the hands of bigots. It covertly questions the psychological health of gay people. One cannot say both that gayness is as psychologically healthy as straightness (as the APA says), and at the same time question whether gays can be good parents.

    So as long as gays are considered an abstraction rather than real human beings, and so long as the question is whether or not they are fit to parent, prejudice stands. Being gay remains pathological, or at least, quite possibly so. In reality, being gay is not something we choose, and it is not something we can change, and yet we are sent to hell for it? I mean not only the hell of Christian belief, but the hell of social stigma as well.

    If the people of NARTH are keen on protecting children, there are better targets for their contempt than gay people. Their twisting of the science is not benign or innocently ignorant.

    BTW, I have discovered that another person responding here is going by the name “David.” (A post by him is on the 99.9% page. Hmm. Did someone say occupy? ;-) ) My last initial is G., but there is also a Dave G. So from now on, I will use the name David M., using my middle initial rather than my last. Unless, of course, someone wants to claim that too.

  • StraightGrandmother

    @ Teresa, you quoted from Abraham Lincoln, truly an inspiring speech that we remember today. However he was speaking as a white man when he said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all” I wonder if the people who were slaves felt as graciously as Lincoln.

    I respect your right to form your own opinions, mine is different, but I am fine with that. I would simply ask you to comment on the central question, that being if Dr. Fitzgibbons correctly described the research of Dr. Sirota and Dr. Goldberg in the proper context in his original article, reading the surrounding text in which these studies were referenced. That is what this article by Warren and Rob Tisnai’s article is about.

    What has happened is that Dr. Fitzgibbons has re-directed the conversation here to the studies themselves and NOT how he referenced those studies in his article. He has now been joined by Drs Enright and Schumm further distracting us from the original question, the title of this article.

    Now if you read the original article and the responses by Warren and Drs. Sirota and Goldberg and come to the conclusion that Dr. Fitzgibbons properly referenced the Goldberg and Sirota research in his conclusions, fine. Maybe I have missed it, but I don’t recall your commenting on the central point of this article.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Drs Enright and Schumm, I would like to ask you 3 things and if you can kindly respond referencing #1, #2, and #3 in your response it will make the conversation easier to follow. It is rather unfair to come here and express your point of view without directly responding to questions posed to you. It is kind of re-directing the conversation so that you don’t answer the short questions.

    #1- Did you read the original article taking note of the placement and surrounding text to Dr. Fitzgibbons statements regarding Dr. Sirota’s & Dr. Goldberg’s research? Did you read the full report from Drs Goldberg and Sirota? Additionally it would be useful to expand and read all the comments and replies, especially his and mine.

    #2- Does the statements that Dr. Fitzgibbons has misrepresented their research from the original researchers have any relevance for you?

    #3- Which is MORE important, a description of a research report or the actual research report? I kind of think of this as, “Which is more accurate the back cover of a book describing the book, or the actual book itself?”

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Shrumm, I listened to your video where I believe you are describing the work of Dr. Sirota. I think in your comments to the Human Rights Board Meeting in Manhattan Kansas you should have mentioned that these women were NOT raised by two gay men but instead were raised by mixed orientation parents, the father being gay and the mother being heterosexual. I think the previous comments in this article here are enough and I don’t need to add to that.

    http://youtu.be/cX8D12Tm8qw

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    SGM – Thanks for finding the video. I think that makes some things make sense.

    Rather than keep going back and forth on these studies, I think I will simply review them in separate posts.

    Let me reinforce a comment I made to Dr. Enright. Part of what is at issue here is that Fitzgibbons used research in an article meant for the public. He did not offer speculations in an academic journal, or offer a hypothesis in a peer reviewed paper and then present articles in favor of his hypothesis. instead, he made a public statement about what science says on the topic. There are ethical boundaries about public statements and I believe mental health professionals must be very careful when making conclusions based on poor quality studies. I know I have not observed those guidelines perfectly in the past and I have spent lots of time making up for it. I do not believe the Mercatornet article meets minimum standards for ethical public presentations of conclusions about research. That is another reason why I believe Mercatornet should allow a rebuttal but the editor declined to allow it.

  • StraightGrandmother

    On page 651 of your book you do describe a research method that has been successful for you,

    “To the dismay of Texas Tech and Indiana University, I turned down positions there to accept a temporary job at Kansas State. Eventually I got the job at K-State on a permanent basis. At that time, getting a job at K-State in our department was a genuine ordeal by fire. One job applicant was so badly raked over the coals during her research presentation that she was found weeping in the restroom afterwards. Knowing what I was in for, I knew I had to change tactics to spare myself the same grilling. I took the approach of criticizing others research, so my prospective antagonists would have to defend that research in order to attack me. Since the research was so poor it couldn’t possibly be defended, this would silence them. And it did, with the attack switching from me to the issue of the quality of research in the field in general. I got the job!

    ……………

    Some text from your book I found interesting,

    I have always thought the Christian Right would at least show an interest in some of my research, but my independent spirit has probably gotten the better of that aspiration. So, I have never been invited to Focus on the Family (Dr. James Dobson) or the American Family Radio Network (or any other religious talk show for that matter!), unlike some of my more famous students…

    ……………………

    http://books.google.com/books?id=jjQkM2vKNwAC&lpg=PA635&dq=walter%20schumm%20pioneering%20paths%20book&pg=PA635#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I see that you are also a contributor to the Mercator website in fact on this very same subject

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_other_story_about_same-sex_parenting

    As far as your views in your Mercator article on same sex parenting where you say, “Recently, Gartrell and Bos reported that over 56 per cent of lesbian parents had separated by the time their child was 17 years old.” You make the same mistake that Dr. Fitzgibbons makes, here I will just copy and past my comment to him here as it applies to your article as well,

    “StraightGrandmother= Since the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (lesbians Study) started in the 1980′s and same sex marriage was first legal in the United States in 2004 we do not have apples (married lesbians) to apples (married heterosexuals) do we Dr. Fitzgibbons? If you make the statement that the lesbian families break apart at an alarmingly high rate (40%) compared to heterosexual married people shouldn’t you be accurate when using this statistic and note that the Lesbians were not married? I think marriage matters in longevity of relationships, don’t you? Of course a better study would be Massachusetts Lesbians who married in 2004 and had a baby using a sperm donor, now we are putting the arrival of the child in say 2005, or adoption immediately after marrying in 2004 and studying those now 6 & 7 year old children compared to 6 & 7 year old children of heterosexual married couples. I will look at data you provide that shows that Lesbian marriages dissolve at an alarmingly higher rate than heterosexual marriages and are thus unstable. Do you have that data? Marriage, not civil unions. If your aim is to deny married lesbains the chance to adopt children where is your scientific basis for this?

    You have another article on Mercator this one on same sex marriage

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/flawed_evidence_about_gay_marriage

  • StraightGrandmother

    Drs Enright and Schumm, Are either one of you members of the

    American College of Pediatricians

    ?

    Dr. Fitzgibbons is a member.

  • Tobias

    @Warren: Can you say what about the video helped you make more sense of things? I watched it and while I had a feeling that he used his sources selectively (the very thing he accused others of) I have just not enough knowledge of the data to be sure about it. So I’d like to hear your opinion on what he said there…

  • Teresa

    @SGM,

    Teresa# ~ Jan 9, 2012 at 11:04 am … Yes, Rick, Sirota was describing mixed-orientation marriages, whether you want to extrapolate that to gay partners is your choice. Simply concede that point and move on.

    Thank you, SGM, for keeping on the str8 and narrow (no pun intended) as to the diversionary tactics used by Dr. Fitzgibbons. I was, however, aware that there was a bait-and-switch as to headlines, studies, and interpretation of those studies. The quote above by me shows that I was somewhat on to that.

    Allow me to congratulate you on your intense, devoted pursuit of facts, figures and associated studies. I, and I’m sure many others, appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to root out these materials and comment on them as well as you do. You may have just found yourself a new career in social science research.

    SGM, don’t hesitate to call me out if you see I’m wandering far afield. I appreciate it.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Teresa, and vice versa Te, keep me on the straight and narrow. I gotta be honest with you I hate doing this work, just hate it. It takes an enormous amount of time and I wish I didn’t have to do it. At first I was proud of myself for finding the flaws but to keep it going is a lot of work, and it is not fun any more. I give the guys at BoxTurtleBulletin credit for the enormous amount of work that they do, exposing faulty research.

    Turning now to Dr. Schumm I encourage you to read ALL the comments to Dr. Schumm’s Mercator articles, I found them to be quite enlightening especially as a commentor named Patrick points out most of Dr Schumm’s work is published in a Pay to Publish Journal.

    I can see why Shrumm and Fitzgibbons work extra hard at knocking down that Patterson study because it has so few defects and shows that sexual minorities make good parents. And notice they both cite as HIGHLY important Dr. Sirot’s work in both their articles. This is why we are seeing the impassioned response because they both rely so heavily on Sirota and she comes along and says you are misrepresenting my work.

    You can read in Dr Schumms book where he says he started off in science simply knocking down the work of others and not doing any original work himself to be judged on. It seems like in the sexual minority area he has simply continued this modus operendi.

    The commentor Patrick said, and I don’t know if it is true, that Dr Schumm is no expert on sexual minorities having only produced one original piece of sexual minority research involving 12 people (yikes talk about small sample size), well there is more, just go over there and read the articles and expand all the comments and see what you think.

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_other_story_about_same-sex_parenting

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/flawed_evidence_about_gay_marriage

    I am still waiting for my answers to #1, #2, and #3 but I doubt that we will hear from them again. It will be interesting to see what Warren writes.

    You know what a PIA it is going to be to slug through 50 pages of Schumm’s forthcoming Sarantakos research critique? I think his method must be to simply pile it on until the hill is so big nobody wants to climb it. Just bury you in paper. That is what he says he does in the book he wrote. I do NOT look forward to reading that report, I hope somebody else does it.

    This is going to make you laugh. Here is my dream research, the Home Depot Gays. Get your sample by standing in front of Home Depot and recruiting sexual minorities and heterosexuals for a study. Research where they recruit out of gay bars drives me crazy. Is that really representative of the sexual minority population, people who frequent gay bars? Another thing that drives me crazy is when experts compare non civilly married sexual minorities to married heterosexual couples. It seems to me that that marriage license means something. I understand why the research was done this way previously because we have only had civil marriage for sexual minorities in the U.S. since 2004. As the yeas go by and sexual minorities marry at least we will have better research. I may be wrong but I think the data is going to show that sexual minority marriages, especially those with children where both spouses are the children’s parents, are more stable than heterosexual marriages. I may be wrong, we will see.

  • Robert Enright

    Hello, Teresa and all others. I apologize for my silence on this blog yesterday. I am working on a new book on forgiveness, an edited volume with 14 authors and so that dominated my time. But, I am back. Teresa, I first want to thank you for your post asking about the forgiveness work and adding the refreshingly honest statements about feeling attacked and wounded. I am sorry that this is happening to you. Forgiveness can help with emotional wounds and in my experience most people on the planet are walking around with such wounds. I am not saying that to minimize your wounds but instead to make the point that most of us are the walking wounded and this is why we need to approach our discussions with gentleness, as far as we are able.

    I would like to send you a copy of my book, Forgiveness Is a Choice, as a gift to you. Please do not give your email in this public forum. If you go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison website and type in my name in the Directory, you will find my email address. Please email me and I will arrange for a copy to reach you in 2 days.

    Here is the gist of forgiveness, which actually has bearing on this entire thread: When we forgive we realize that the one who hurt us has inherent worth, not because of what he or she did, but in spite of that. It takes practice and courage to realize that this person who hurt us can be seen as a person—special, unique, and irreplaceable. When we forgive, we do not condone what the other did. We do not necessarily reconcile if his or her actions remain unjust. And we can and do seek justice as we forgive. In other words, forgiveness and justice are not mutually exclusive.

    Now, here is one very interesting thing that I find in the forgiveness work: As you practice this difficult task of seeing the inherent worth in the one who hurt you, then you begin to ask this question: Well, then, what about me? Do I have inherent worth, too? The inevitable conclusion is yes, you have inherent worth, too, and this is something that you do not have to earn. This can be a revelation to people who have been deeply wounded. Do you know why? Who do you think that wounded people end up not liking in particular? Emotionally wounded people so often end up not liking themselves. Think about it—Someone is very cruel to you and you end up not liking yourself. It happens over and over. Yet, the practice of forgiveness restores this sense that “I, too, have inherent worth and no one can and will take that away from me.”

    Just recently I worked with a young man who had only recently let the world know that he is gay. He told me that he found it hard to go on. He told me, with a sad and quiet resignation, that when he goes home from college for the winter break (which is now) that his father is going to throw him out of the house. He needed an infusion of the truth—-he is a young man of unconditional (not earned) inherent (built into him) worth (great value). His father needs a lesson in the same—that his son possesses inherent worth. So, we devised a strategy of helping the father understand and practice inherent worth thinking in a wide variety of contexts before the son tells the father about his being gay. If the father can train his eyes and mind to see inherent worth in many, then in all, he then will (we hope) see it concretely and specifically in his son. And this takes work. Has it worked? I do not know because we are still on winter break. We shall see.

    So, Teresa, if you wish, please contact me by email and I will happily give you my book in the hope that it will help you with others and with yourself. Your soft heart impresses me. Take care.

  • Boo

    Dr. Enright- great post. I sincerely mean that.

    Now will there be a follow up on that’s on topic?

  • Robert Enright

    Yes, I will follow up “on topic,” Boo. If you don’t mind, I would first like to hear from Teresa on this issue of forgiveness and inherent worth. All of you have stirred my academic curiosity about the research in this area. I have learned a great deal from each of you. Here is what I have learned the most so far, and it has surprised me: We must not jump into the research findings until we first take the time to nurture a deep respect for one another because everyone involved in these debates, struggles, whatever you want to call them, is emotionally wounded. If we just jump into the statistics, we open more wounds, everyone gets upset, and we end up talking past each other. We miss each others’ humanity and each others’ special gifts to help us understand. So, yes, I would like to continue the conversation…after we pause in this way, ok? Take care, Boo. I am sure you are as concerned for my friend at the university as I am. I hope his father has an open mind and heart—after all, this is his son we are talking about.

  • Boo

    “We must not jump into the research findings until we first take the time to nurture a deep respect for one another because everyone involved in these debates, struggles, whatever you want to call them, is emotionally wounded.”

    When we do continue, I have a question. Do you include yourself and Dr. Fitzgibbons among those who are emotionally wounded?

  • Robert Enright

    I include myself, but I do not presume to speak for Dr. Fitzgibbons. Do you have any idea how hard it has been to introduce the notion of forgiveness into the scientific study of psychology? I have been beaten black-and-blue for even daring to raise the question of whether or not we can and even have the right to study that topic. Academia appears to be open-minded, but it is only open-minded with regard to the topics that are already on the table. Yes, Boo, I am among the wounded.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr Enright = “We must not jump into the research findings until we first take the time to nurture a deep respect for one another because everyone involved in these debates, struggles, whatever you want to call them, is emotionally wounded.”

    StraightGrandmother = Although this is an admirable sentiment I find it to be rather like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped. From my perspective Dr. Enright, the article written by Dr. Fitzgibbons was to press his political point of view and the science is misrepresented to prop up Dr. Fitzgibbons political point of view. Example look at his footnote (4) Xiridou, M. et al. (2003), then go over to BoxTurtleBulletin and read about that research http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,003.htm

    In footnote (3) Gartrell, N. & Bos, H. (2010) US national Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-year-old Adolescents, Pediatrics, Volume 126, Number 1, July 2010, 28-36.

    He blanketly says in his article that lesbian couples break up at a high rate than heterosexual couples but doesn’t tell the whole story, the study startled long before lesbians had the right to civil marriage and only a few of them ended up marrying. It is not fair to compare unmarried lesbian couples to married heterosexual couples and lament how the lesbians don’t stay together as long. As an ethical researcher that is something you need to disclose in your article.

    In a comment to me on the article he says to me,

    “In a different study (Goldberg, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2007, volume 77, number 4, pages 550-562), of 36 adult children (all women again) of LGB parents 15 of them (42%) “described challenges relating to their ability to trust other people.” Loyalty, trust—-I am hoping you will see this theme. ” You can read Warren’s comment on the Goldberg study as his comment here.

    Since I was already familiar with the Xiridou study thanks to the great work at Box Turtle Bulletin, and I was already aware of the Gartrell study and knew that he was not stating the facts about the research correctly, omission is a sin as well, and now we hear from Goldberg and Sirota I don’t think we are making unfair conclusions about his misuse of scientific research to make a political statement.

    And his political point of view, not supported by science, HURTS people, even that young man you told us about. That young man is directly hurt by this article that Dr. Fitzgibbons wrote.

    BoxTurtleBulletin

    #1, #2, #3

    Just a FYI from time to time Warren let’s people know that he appreciates it if people stay on topic.

  • Boo

    “I include myself, but I do not presume to speak for Dr. Fitzgibbons.”

    Good. Now how about we stop all the tone diversions and get back to the subject of Dr. Fitzgibbon’s misconduct?

  • Robert Enright

    ….as soon as we give Teresa a chance to respond. If she does not wish to do so, then I will gladly commence with you. Please do not see this as a diversion. I truly want to hear Teresa’s ideas before I continue. Take care, ok?

  • Teresa

    @Dr. Enright, thanks for the offer of your book. I may contact you through the way you’ve recommended.

    @All, and let’s hope this in on-topic for all of Warren’s Blog, in a way.

    I think each of us needs to look at our basic view on homosexuality: this drives much bias. I certainly understand that the DSM change in ’73 no longer listed homosexuality as a mental illness. But, it’s also well known that many faith beliefs still consider homosexuality to be ‘disordered’ and a mental illness. This is the bottom line for me; and, in the way research may be conducted and interpreted.

    I have a big bias going in looking at research results. It is incredibly hard for me to see beyond that. But, Warren, and his dispassionate words … seeing what needs to be seen … sticking to how research should be conducted … pointing out the good, the bad, and the ugly, has helped me a great deal with overcoming some of my bias; which, in point of fact, does not align with the DSM.

    On to Dr. Fitzgibbons: I think I see his bias, and I can understand it … but, it doesn’t help his present essay, nor the desire to be seen as ‘science’. Dr. Fitzgibbons, you have, in my opinion, taken a study concerning mixed orientation marriages, never acknowledged that as such, and extrapolated those results for gay marriage, in general. I think you need to acknowledge this first step before you can proceed honestly to including the other studies.

    Dr. Sirota’s study is not about gay parents, at all. If we can’t reach common ground on that point, the rest sort of falls apart, at least for me.

    It’s, also, not about mixed orientation marriages such as Alan Chambers, John Smid, or Jeremy Marks; where the gay husband has already acknowledged that fact, and is not ‘in the closet’. Do we know what it’s like to live with a ‘secret’ such as this, and how that impacts attachments.

    Dr. Sirota’s study is about mixed orientation marriages, where the husband spent years as a closeted gay man … and, not about, married gay men with children.

  • Teresa

    @David M., I believe,

    One cannot say both that gayness is as psychologically healthy as straightness (as the APA says), and at the same time question whether gays can be good parents.

    David M., here’s the heart of the matter. It’s where all the discussion, seemingly at higher levels, is based upon. If I, as a gay woman, see homosexuality as healthy, then I’m apt not to pay attention to, disregard good studies (if any) that show problems with being gay … and, the opposite bias does exactly the same thing.

    We all know this. So here’s where someone of Warren’s caliber brings great insight, wisdom, and grace. If we’re in the realm of science, first admit our bias; and, do everything we can to create unbiased studies, and review the results in as unbiased a way as possible … no matter where it leads us, and no matter the cost to our ego.

    If I hypothesize that gay parenting is troublesome, as a scientist, I best be prepared to let the data take me where it goes, regardless of my bias going in. If neither side can do this, the game’s over. True scientific research should never be viewed as the playground for a moral battle. If we say we’re scientists, and have some credentials to work with, if we can’t do the above … our best avenue is to move to another discipline, such as ethics or philosophy. At least, that’s my opinion.

  • Teresa

    @All,

    One last thought on bias and scientific research. And, yes, Boo, this is not so quite off-topic as you might imagine.

    Timothy Kincaid was kind enough to let me know through a comment on this thread concerning gay parents and adoption. Scrolling through this thread, you’ll find it. He said, often, gay parents adopt children no one wants … that no one means str8 parents, mainly. I hadn’t any idea this was the case. That little bit of information, seemingly nothing at first glance, helped me see more “with eyes wide open” rather than “with eyes wide shut”.

    And, isn’t this what we all want to do.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Here is the critical tell in Dr. Fitzgibbons comment to me on the Goldberg research, in the comments are of his article.

    “(all women again) of LGB parents

    NO! The Parents (plural) were not, both parents, a sexual minority. In fact the parents were in a Mixed Orientation Marriage, one parent was straight and one parent was gay. The correct wording even if he was trying to fudge would be.

    “(all women again) of a LGB parent” (Parent singular)

    Dr. Enright, I have to admit being very curious about you. Clearly your Catholic faith is central to your life, from what I have read about you, and we all know that Catholicism teaches that sexual minorities are “intrinsically disordered,” and may I add, what an awful phrase .

    I am on pins and needles, especially since you have collaborated with Dr. Fitzgibbons on a joint book, to see how you are going to respond to the topic. I am curious to see your professional man of science critique in this open and shut case. I think you have to do like Warren does, put all bias aside and call it like you see it. So far it appears you are doing a little cat and mouse bringing us your research area of interest while not responding to the topic at hand. Nothing we can do but wait for you.

  • Robert Enright

    OK, it is time to continue the discussion. First, I will not be providing an answer here. My intent is to continue to understand.

    So that the readers can better understand me, please note that I am what might be called an academic libertarian. I am not a political libertarian. I stand very, very, very strongly for the right to ask bold questions regardless of the consequences.

    You are asking bold questions here: Are the data that Dr. Fitzgibbons uses in his article appropriate to answer his questions about adoption rights? Has Dr. Fitzgibbons acted in such a way as to show misconduct?

    Here is the context of Dr. Fitzgibbons’ article that has stirred so much controversy: The State of Illinois recently has ruled that Catholic Social Services in that state must now act in direct opposition to the church’s beliefs or else (or else what….I have not studied the situation to be able to answer the “or else what” side of this). It is my understanding that all Catholic Social Service agencies are shut down in that state. I may be wrong on that. Is my understanding correct?

    Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding to this crisis. Why is it a possible crisis? One could make the claim that the State of Illinois is denying the Church its rights to act as it always has. This clashes with the call for gay and lesbian desires (as some would put it) or rights (as others would put it) to adopt. One could also make the claim that the rights of children are being usurped if the decision in Illinois was hasty and was supposed to be founded, at least in part, on good science.

    There are three actual or supposed rights here: the Church’s, the gay and lesbian couples’, and the children’s.

    When responding to a crisis, we all do the best we can with what we have. Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding with existing data and did describe the data accurately. The area of contention is in the proper use of the data in that all research designs and methods currently in existence either are only indirect looks (as in Sirota, Sarantakos, and Goldberg) at the question of adoption rights or are methodologically flawed (in the case of Patterson’s limited research).

    The posts here are basically claiming that Dr. Fitzgibbons is jumping to hasty conclusions. His rebuttal is likely to be this: Has not the State of Illinois jumped to hasty conclusions? I think the spirited discussions here indicate that Dr. Fitzgibbons has a point (if he would claim this). No one here is confident that the research is unequivocal. If this is so (that the research is not definitive), then on what basis did the State of Illinois act? If Dr. Fitzgibbons has usurped rights, then so has the State of Illinois.

    I think the ultimate gambit by Dr. Fitzgibbons was to stir this kind of debate and to show the listening world that the scientific evidence is not strong enough one way or the other on the questions which led Illinois to act. I have examined the evidence as a novice here, and so far that conclusion seems the most reasonable: If social science will be a major rationale for Illinois’ decision, then they need a better rationale. I can anticipate a rebuttal from Dr. Fitzgibbons on my points in this paragraph: The data are definitive in that children fare the best, in the copious studies to date, with one mother and one father in a stable, monogamous relationship.

    Stirring such debate is not misconduct from the viewpoint of an academic libertarian such as myself. He has the right to use what existing data are there to answer a question in a time of crisis concerning conflicting rights. In summary, we have four rights or supposed rights now on the table: Illinois’ claim that it is good to control Catholic Social Services, gay and lesbian claims for adoption, children’s rights, and Dr. Fitzgibbons’ right to use what data exist to draw conclusions and to stir debate in a time of crisis of rights.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Here you go, let me help you with the State of Illinois question. I happened to have read the trial briefs as well as reading the Illinois Human Right Act. This article is a good accurate summary. When Illinois, using public revenue generated from tax paying sexual minorities as well as heterosexuals, stopped paying the invoices that Catholic Charities was sending them the Catholics decided to shut it down. It never even was a charity in the traditional understanding of a charity as 62% of their income was from the public purse. They were more of a business than a charity.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/us/for-bishops-a-battle-over-whose-rights-prevail.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2&adxnnlx=1325215656-GFpJeM4mXSKSP9aKUKXUHQ

  • StraightGrandmother

    Please scroll back up, look for my comment and definitively and precisely answer #1. #2. #3

    Thank you. If you are unwilling to answer 3 short questions then you are equivocating.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Pretend I am a student in your class, would you please answer the questions asked, please, seriously, please.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Here, I’ll make it easy for you, I’ll repost my questions to you-

    Drs Enright and Schumm, I would like to ask you 3 things and if you can kindly respond referencing #1, #2, and #3 in your response it will make the conversation easier to follow. It is rather unfair to come here and express your point of view without directly responding to questions posed to you. It is kind of re-directing the conversation so that you don’t answer the short questions.

    #1- Did you read the original article taking note of the placement and surrounding text to Dr. Fitzgibbons statements regarding Dr. Sirota’s & Dr. Goldberg’s research? Did you read the full report from Drs Goldberg and Sirota? Additionally it would be useful to expand and read all the comments and replies, especially his and mine. It is in a comment to the article that Dr. Fitzgibbons brings uo the Goldberg study.

    #2- Does the statements that Dr. Fitzgibbons has misrepresented their research from the original researchers have any relevance for you?

    #3- Which is MORE important, a description of a research report or the actual research report? I kind of think of this as, “Which is more accurate the back cover of a book describing the book, or the actual book itself?”

  • Boo

    “The State of Illinois recently has ruled that Catholic Social Services in that state must now act in direct opposition to the church’s beliefs or else (or else what….I have not studied the situation to be able to answer the “or else what” side of this).”

    The State of Illinois told Catholic Charities that they must abide by antidiscrimination laws or lose their contracts with the state. Catholic Charities of Illinois decided not to abide by those laws in the areas of adoption and foster care, so their adoption and foster care contracts were not renewed. At the time they did so, their adoption and foster care contracts represented a significant portion of their revenue, so they decided to scale back some other operations, but are keeping most of their offices open. (And this is slightly off topic, but I used to work for Catholic Charities and I’ll tell you a little secret; a big chunk of their staff in probably most of their agencies are LGBT.)

    “One could make the claim that the State of Illinois is denying the Church its rights to act as it always has.”

    Catholic Charities Illinois sued the state to get its contracts back, but it was ruled that they do not actually have a right to have contracts with the state.

    “One could also make the claim that the rights of children are being usurped if the decision in Illinois was hasty and was supposed to be founded, at least in part, on good science.”

    One could also argue that Catholic Charities Illinois is putting its desire to discriminate against LGBT people above the best interests of the child. LGBT couples have been adopting and fostering children for quite some time, yet no state child protection agency has sounded an alarm. Those who want to claim that there is a problem where none has been observed have the burden of proof, it seems to me.

    “Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding with existing data and did describe the data accurately.”

    Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding with data that was not relevant to the question, and misrepresented it as though it were. If I were to write an article claiming that Catholics have a tendency to commit mass suicide, and supported my claim by referencing Jonestown (after all, they were Christians too), I too would be responding with “existing data” and describing that data “accurately.”

    “The posts here are basically claiming that Dr. Fitzgibbons is jumping to hasty conclusions”

    Confining myself to Sirota, my posts have been about how Dr. Fitzgibbons lied about his source. This is a point it seems he wishes to evade.

    “I think the spirited discussions here indicate that Dr. Fitzgibbons has a point (if he would claim this).”

    Of course Dr. Fitzgibbons has a point in his posts here. His point is to divert the dicussion away from questions of his misconduct. Unfortunately, this seems to be your point here to. Please feel free to prove me wrong by providing simple yes or no answers to the following two questions:

    Did Dr. Fitzgibbons write an article concerning whether it was good for children to be adopted by gay or lesbian couples?

    Was the Sirota paper he referenced about gay or lesbian couples?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Boo,

    Enrich won’t answer the specific questions asked of him, in my gut I never thought he would answer my specific questions. If you ask me all he cared about was his religion, Catholicism because that is what he wrote about in his non answer, and was unwilling to think and act as a man of science, as surely any scientist could answer my three short questions. He ignored the questions asked of him. He threw up a cloud of diversionary Catholic smoke and surely has slipped away.

    If he is not going to answer my questions Boo, he won’t answer your 2 short questions either. And we have not heard back from Schumm lately either. It could be that Dr. Schumm has just been busy for the last few days and he will be back. Let’s keep an open mind on Schumm for a few more days.

    And Dr. Enright we are not saying this at all what you said,

    “The posts here are basically claiming that Dr. Fitzgibbons is jumping to hasty conclusions”

    We are saying that he deliberately misrepresented Dr. Sirota’s and Dr. Goldberg’s research. Heck Ill throw in the Xiria research as well, as being a misrepresentation. If you are going to quote a study you should know the study. We are not saying Dr. Fitzgibbons conclusions are hasty we are saying he misrepresented research from others.

  • Teresa

    @All,

    I think there’s still some changes going on in Illinois:

    Pledging to adhere to state legislation requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois is separating from the Diocese of Belleville. The agency will now be called Christian Social Services of Illinois.

    Another note, I find the following quite interesting:

    Catholic Charities affiliates received a total of nearly $2.9 billion a year from the government in 2010, about 62 percent of its annual revenue of $4.67 billion. Only 3 percent came from churches in the diocese (the rest came from in-kind contributions, investments, program fees and community donations).

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    “When responding to a crisis, we all do the best we can with what we have. Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding with existing data and did describe the data accurately.”

    That’s simply untrue. Dr. Fitzgibbons wrote that Dr. Sirota’s results are similar to those of a study comparing same-sex and opposite-sex parents.

    That clearly DOES misrepresent her study and results.

  • Teresa

    Dr. Enright:

    Dr. Fitzgibbons was responding to this crisis. Why is it a possible crisis? One could make the claim that the State of Illinois is denying the Church its rights to act as it always has. This clashes with the call for gay and lesbian desires (as some would put it) or rights (as others would put it) to adopt. One could also make the claim that the rights of children are being usurped if the decision in Illinois was hasty and was supposed to be founded, at least in part, on good science.

    The question, Dr. Enright, is the following: Is Dr. Fitzgibbons acting as a scientist or a political activist? As your comment shows, the waters are very murky right from the start.

    Here’s the scenario:

    Scientist, Dr. Fitizgibbons, because he is a Catholic, because he believes the Catholic idea that being gay is a ‘disordered’ condition; and, because he believes the Catholic approach that this disordered condition makes one not eligible to adopt children … now proceeds to find any study that just might carry water for his already pre-determined outcome; to wit, gays parents hurt children in any number of ways.

    I continue, Dr. Enright, to try to be charitable with commenting; so don’t misunderstand me; but, here’s the above in a syllogism:

    1. Dr. Fitzgibbons – conservative Catholic

    a. Believes homosexuality is a mental illness – disordered

    b. Believes homosexuals should not be treated as a discriminated class, but

    rather should seek treatment for mental illness

    2. Dr. Fitzgibbons – political activist

    a. Believes his conservative Catholic ideas should be the law of the land

    b. Believes gays should not marry

    c. Believes gays should not adopt

    d. Believes gays harm children

    3. Dr. Fitzgibbons – scientist

    a. Seeks for studies supporting his views

    b. Stretches study results to support his faith belief and political agenda

    c. Misrepresents some studies to make them appear what they’re not

    Isn’t this more of what’s going on here, Dr. Enright? Isn’t this just political activism using the cloak of ‘real science’ to further a Catholic belief?

    If you’re talking about ‘rights’ here, Dr. Enright, we’re not talking science or scientific studies. There’s a big, big difference.

    I have absolutely no problem with Dr. Fitzgibbons using his Constitutional rights to use every means possible within the political realm to foster his beilefs. I have a big problem when that political agenda misuses the scientific method; and, still calls it science.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Apart from the poor science .. I have a bit of a problem when an organization takes in government money .. (2.9 billion per Teresa’s post of Jan 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm) and then claims religous discrimination when they have to abide by government rules. If you don’t want to jump through the hoops then don’t take the money. This is the reality that every organization out there has to face. It is not an attack on Catholic beliefs .. it is a reality of life for anyone taking govt money.

    Dave

  • Robert Enright

    I am very impressed with the care that all of you are taking here. I recognize that this is a difficult topic and everyone is handling it with dignity. Again, thank you. Now to the issues.

    StraightGrandmother, I’m confused. Why would I fear answering any question? There is a lot of text here and I simply did not recall that they are posted.

    Here are my answers, and I consider the questions to be civil and quite tame/benign:

    #1- Did you read the original article taking note of the placement and surrounding text to Dr. Fitzgibbons statements regarding Dr. Sirota’s & Dr. Goldberg’s research? Did you read the full report from Drs Goldberg and Sirota? Additionally it would be useful to expand and read all the comments and replies, especially his and mine. It is in a comment to the article that Dr. Fitzgibbons brings uo the Goldberg study.

    Yes, I have read the articles by Drs. Fitzgibbons, Sirota, and Goldberg. I find the latter two articles to be strong science, but surely not definitive to answer important social policy questions.

    #2- Does the statements that Dr. Fitzgibbons has misrepresented their research from the original researchers have any relevance for you? Yes, the question has much relevance and it is my studied opinion that he did not misrepresent the studies in what he described. He described what was found and the description was accurate.

    #3- Which is MORE important, a description of a research report or the actual research report? I kind of think of this as, “Which is more accurate the back cover of a book describing the book, or the actual book itself?” The question is unclear to me. If the description is accurate then what is in that description and what is in the article will not be incompatible. Goldberg’s study, for example, did report that 42% of the participants had difficulty with trust. Goldberg’s interpretation is not as important as the finding in my scientific opinion.

    OK, Boo, your turn:

    Did Dr. Fitzgibbons write an article concerning whether it was good for children to be adopted by gay or lesbian couples? Yes.

    Was the Sirota paper he referenced about gay or lesbian couples? The assumption here is that this is the only permissible evidence and I would disagree on that. Sirota had gay men in her sample and this makes it legitimate to examine. You and StraightGrandmother are correct that this is not direct evidence and I want you to know that I see this.

    You are both bright, engaging, and challenging. I appreciate this very much. Thank you.

  • Erin

    “Was the Sirota paper he referenced about gay or lesbian couples? The assumption here is that this is the only permissible evidence and I would disagree on that. Sirota had gay men in her sample and this makes it legitimate to examine. You and StraightGrandmother are correct that this is not direct evidence and I want you to know that I see this.” No. The answer is no. The study did not look at same sex couples. Period. End of story. Fitzgibbons implied that they did. He left out the pertinent info that all the parents examined in the Sirota study were in heterosexual marriages. You guys can dance around this blatant misrepresentation all you’d like.

  • Teresa

    @Erin,

    Teresa stated:

    On to Dr. Fitzgibbons: I think I see his bias, and I can understand it … but, it doesn’t help his present essay, nor the desire to be seen as ‘science’. Dr. Fitzgibbons, you have, in my opinion, taken a study concerning mixed orientation marriages, never acknowledged that as such, and extrapolated those results for gay marriage, in general. I think you need to acknowledge this first step before you can proceed honestly to including the other studies.

    I don’t think we’re dancing around this, at all. If Dr. Fitzgibbons won’t acknowledge this first ‘problem’, in my opinion, there’s no sense in proceeding with the rest of his ‘scientific analysis’.

    If Dr. Fitzgibbons can’t see the difference between a mixed orientation marriage involving a closeted gay husband … a radical difference in the psychological profile of these men … and, a gay married couple … if he continues to say the operands are the same … if he thinks 2 + 2 = 2, because a ’2′ is a ’2′ is a ’2′, then there’s no common ground for discussion.

  • Boo

    The assumption here is that this is the only permissible evidence and I would disagree on that. Sirota had gay men in her sample and this makes it legitimate to examine. You and StraightGrandmother are correct that this is not direct evidence and I want you to know that I see this.

    Okay, this is beyond sad now. It’s getting positively Cameronesque. The issue with this study is that Fitzgibbons attempted to give his readers the impression that the study dealt with gay couples when it did not. You know this. I know this. Everyone knows this. Why are you afraid to acknowledge what we all know? Are you that afraid to give “the gays” a victory? Is that how a Christian should act?

  • David M.

    In the interest of clarity, it seems to me we need to make some distinctions regarding what various groups say is disordered or not disordered about homosexuality and homosexuals. The Catholic Church’s use of the word “disordered” relates to morality. The APA’s position that homosexuality is not a disorder relates to psychology. NARTH disputes this. There is a third sense in which homosexuality may or may not cause “disorder,” which is sociological, namely, that homosexuality causes relational harm within the family. I confess to not being a scientist, but I think the question of disorder in one discipline does not necessarily correlate with the question of disorder in another discipline. In other words, homosexuality may not be a psychological disorder, but might still be morally disordered, for instance. I plead guilty to being fuzzy in my earlier thinking and posts.

    What some of us think we see in Dr. Fitzgibbon is that his belief that homosexuality is morally disordered is getting in the way of his scientific judgment about the psychological and sociological healthiness of homosexuality. It is as if scientific evidence could somehow prove the correctness of a moral judgment. This is an error of categories. Science can inform moral judgments, but it does not and cannot be determinative of moral judgments, at least not in most ethical systems.

    But recent comments are moving toward the even more damning judgment, that Dr. Fitzgibbon’s misuse of science is motivated by a desire to protect Catholic financial interests. I find no joy in believing there’s a financial motive, but is that what the evidence demonstrates? The state of Illinois was clearly not prohibiting Catholic social services from continuing to mediate adoptions consistent with their moral beliefs. So isn’t the issue really one of fighting for tax dollars to accomplish ostensibly charitable work in the name of the Catholic Church? I find this deeply distasteful.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @David M …

    If you are refering to my comments in regard to financial interests then that would not be an accurate representation of my views. My issue with Christianity in general (and yes I am a Christian) is when it complains about alleged attacks on religous freedom when all it is really experiencing is the what everyone else experiences who accepts govt funding .. re: conditions and requirements.

    As for the Catholic definition of disordered .. yes I agree with you that there is some confusion here. As I understand Catholic doctrine .. if I were to have sex with my wife (and yes I am straight) and use a condom for birth control that would also be disordered… because .. according to Catholic ideology .. I would not be using sexual expression for its God given purpose .. re: producing children. The language of disordered does create some confusion here.

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, Many thanks for coming back and answering Boo’s and my short questions. I have to agree with you, I think that all of us who comment on Warren’s website do try and stay on topic have a reverence for “the truth.” A real reverence, let the chips fall where they may.

    “You and StraightGrandmother are correct that this is not direct evidence and I want you to know that I see this.”? Thank you for that.

    Hopefully we can beg your patience for an additional short time. In #2 I would like to ask you to explore this a bit more deeply.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons talks with me on the Goldberg research in the comments of his article and says to me,

    “(all women again) of LGB parents

    You have read the Goldberg research so you know that the Parents (plural) were not, both parents, a sexual minority. In fact the parents were in a Mixed Orientation Marriage, one parent was straight and one parent was gay.

    Question #4

    Do both of these statements say the same thing, or something different? If different please explain.

    “(all women again) of LGB parents

    “(all women again) of an LGB parent

    Thank you in advance for your patience with us, especially to me for answering #4.

  • Robert Enright

    Good morning, StraightGrandmother, Boo, and all. First, thank you for being so detailed. I appreciate the rigor of your thinking and I am challenged by it.

    OK, now to the issues. Let us take up the sample issue in Goldberg, as you suggest, StraightGrandmother. Quite frankly, Goldberg’s wording in her Methods section is vague. Here are some direct quotes from page 553:

    “at least one LGB parent” (which does imply that some in the sample constituted LGB parents (plural).

    “…geared toward children of gay parents” (plural)

    “an organization serving LGB-parent families” (implies plural, but is imprecise)

    Then in the Description of the Sample, she unequivocally states: “10 participants (7 women, 3 men) were raised by and lived with two lesbian mothers.”

    So, part of the problem here centers on Goldberg’s writing, which is not precise in places. And it is clearly the case that she does have a significant number of participants who are raised by two lesbian parents.

    To your point 4, because of Goldberg’s vague wording, it is the case that all adult women participants were raised by LGB parents and now that needs to be unpacked by all of us, including Goldberg. This definitely is not a problem that is exclusive to Dr. Fitzgibbons. Even you, StraightGrandmother, erred in your description of the sample. And that is ok, please do not get me wrong. We are sifting and winnowing here and we are finding new issues in this interesting study. It is in the exploration that we learn.

    Boo, given my exposition of the Goldberg study here, do you still think it is beyond sad now? I think it is clear that exploration is still in order rather than a claim of “victory.” I am not going to judge issues of victory or defeat here at all. I will claim at this point that victory belongs to all of us who courageously explore and learn.

    Take care.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, you are right, I did make an error. I was mixing up the Goldberg and Sirota research. Sorry to send you off on a wild goose chase, LOL!

    I had to go back and re-read my comments, about the Goldberg research, and re-read Warren’s comments where he looked at it.

    Let me ask you this, do you agree or disagree with Warren’s review of the Goldberg research which is shown here in his comment here

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2012/01/05/sirotafitzgibbons/comment-page-2/#comment-426363

    Dr. Goldberg wrote to me and said exactly this to me,

    “The study is attached. You can see the finding is taken out of context; these individuals felt a lack of trust as a function of their parents’ divorce and issues related to their mothers’ waiting so long to come out to them.”

    You can n Dr. Fitzgibbons tried to generalize that children of sexual minorities have problems with Trust as he did say to me in his comment, below is what he wrote (remembering the Goldberg Study said nothing about having a sexual minority was the reason for the lack of Trust)-

    “In a different study (Goldberg, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2007, volume 77, number 4, pages 550-562), of 36 adult children (all women again) of LGB parents 15 of them (42%) “described challenges relating to their ability to trust other people.” Loyalty, trust—-I am hoping you will see this theme.

    But as Dr. Goldberg herself states and Warren Throckmorton notes, the women raised with at least one gay parent had trust issues but NOT related to having a gay parent.

    If the study says that the lack of Trust is NOT related to having a gay parent is is quite fair to say that it does, as Dr. Fitzgibbons says in his comment to me?

    “Loyalty, trust—-I am hoping you will see this theme” (the theme being children are harmed by having parents who are a sexual minority couple as that was what the article is about)

    Be fair and honest. You are surprising me by coming back and answering the questions we are asking you.

  • Boo

    “Boo, given my exposition of the Goldberg study here, do you still think it is beyond sad now”

    Given your continued evasion on Sirota, yes.

    “I think it is clear that exploration is still in order rather than a claim of “victory.””

    Fitzgibbons claimed the study as evidence against gay couples. The study did not address gay couples. What more is there to explore about that particular issue? To discover how many different ways you can dissemble? Is this the kind of thing you teach your students?

    Dr. Fitzgibbons purposefully attempted to mislead his readers about what that study addressed. Why is it so hard for you to admit that?

  • Robert Enright

    Thank you, Boo. I did not discuss Sirota because StraightGrandmother asked me to discuss Goldberg and I was complying with the request. I would like to pause here briefly because I just got off the phone with Teresa. We had an hour and a half conversation and it was the highlight of my week. Thank you, Teresa. The first (among many) take-home messages that she gave me was this: “I am condemned in society for being who I am.” A second take home message is this: All of the talk about rules and regulations and research can make a gay or lesbian person feel condemned and that just leads to more bickering. Teresa and I both concluded (I think we both concluded) that the following is needed in such conversations: Affirmation of the other person’s humanity first and foremost. Then we can talk about the research. I do not want you to feel condemned, Boo, for my not discussing Sirota. I had no intention of leaving that research out of the conversation as explained earlier in this paragraph. I would like to take a little break here, based on Teresa’s and my conversation, and thank you for trying so hard—and I mean that sincerely. As Teresa says, everyone can bicker so easily when feeling condemned. I do not condemn you, Boo. I do not condemn you, StraightGrandmother. You have come alongside me and discussed important matters and so we will be forever linked in that way, even if we end up disagreeing on certain points. Yes, those points matter, but, and I think Teresa would agree, our shared humanity is more important than who “wins” here. I am not diminishing the quest for truth, please do not get me wrong. I am only saying that our acknowledging the truth of each others’ humanity is even more important. Take care.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Okay take a break and then come back refreshed.

  • Boo

    “I do not condemn you, Boo.”

    I condemn you, Dr. Enright. I condemn you for not debating in good faith. I condemn you for defending a liar, and doing so in dissembling ways. I condemn your refusal to face reality. I condemn your hypocrisy. I condemn you for having plenty of opportunity to address the actual issues raised here and choosing instead to divert.

    I forgive you, but first I condemn you.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Did you read the other research that he says supports his hypothesis? This is what he wrote

    Fitzgibbons about Xiridu in his article

    “And third, the couple may not necessarily be physically healthy. Dutch research has found that most new HIV infections in Amsterdam occurred among homosexual men who were in steady relationships. The researcher concluded that: “Prevention measures should address risky behavior, especially with steady partners, and the promotion of HIV testing.” (4) Xiridou, M. et al. (2003) “

    Box Turtle Bulletin unpacked this research for us below is from their website

    —————

    Dr. Xiridou and her colleagues based their research article on the Amsterdam Cohort Studies of HIV infection and AIDS among homosexually active men.6 These studies began in 1984, and had several different protocols in their lifetime:

    Oct 1984-1985: Gay men aged 18-65 with at least two sexual partners in the previous six months. In other words, monogamous partners were explicitly excluded.

    April 1985-Feb 1988: Study enrollment was continued, except HIV-negative men were now excluded. Only HIV-positive men were added.

    Feb 1988 – Dec 1988: The study was re-opened to HIV-negative men.

    Various additional enrollments continued from through 1998. Especially notable was a special recruitment campaign for men under the age of thirty beginning in 1995. After 1996, all HIV-negative men above the age of thirty were dropped from the study. Their data was excluded from subsequent analyses.

    Nobody outside of Amsterdam was accepted into the study except for AIDS patients who attended clinics in Amsterdam for treatment. This makes the study almost exclusively an urban one.

    Dr. Xiridou and colleagues used a smaller subset of this population by further excluding everyone under the age of thirty.

    So, what do we have? We have a study population that was heavily weighted with HIV/AIDS patients, excluded monogamous participants, was predominantly urban, and consisted only of those under the age of thirty. While this population was good for the purposes of the study, it was in no way representative of Amsterdam’s gay men, let alone gay men anywhere else.

    ———————————-

    Dr. Enright

    Goldberg+Sirota+Xiridou

    Do you still say this research was represented accurately to the GENERAL PUBLIC in Dr. Fitzgibbons article about sexual minority COUPLES adopting children? The words he wrote and the comments he made about this research, was is truthful on it’s face?

  • StraightGrandmother

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,003.htm

    link to the unpacking of the infamous Netherlands study.

    Thank you Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin

  • Robert Enright

    Well….I kinda want to thank you, Boo, but I think I’ll pass on that since it is hard to thank someone for a whack on the old cabeza.

    OK…..I am back from my little break….had to earn a living there for a while. Let me try very hard to be understood. Let us start with an analogy. Suppose that we have 4 suspension bridges in our little imaginary country. Modern suspension bridges have a box section roadway which is supported by strong, high tensile strength cables. They are different from, say, arch bridges, so that when we focus on suspension bridges, there is a certain engineering feature common to them, despite quite different appearances.

    Now suppose suspension bridge # 1 (SB1) is 7,000 feet long in the moderate climate of our country with characteristic high winds.

    SB2 is 3,000 feet long in a frigid part of the country with little wind.

    SB3 is 2,000 feet long in a hot part of the country with frequent storms.

    Continuing with our analogy, suppose that SB1 collapses, SB2 has some significant structural damage (but has not yet collapsed) and SB3 has a known weakness of concern but not yet critical.

    An official in another part of our little country has a suspension bridge 4 (SB4) and is aware of the issues with SB1-3 and asks the question: Should I allow cars to cross my bridge?

    There is a hearing and two sides are taken. Side 1 says this: All four bridges are of quite different lengths, in very different climates with different wind conditions and so it is unfair to close SB4 because of what is happening to SB1-3. Keep the bridge open.

    Side 2 says this: You are correct. None of these bridges is the exact same in terms of length, climate, and wind conditions, but all 3 are modern suspension bridges with similar engineering characteristics. We must not send cars over SB4 at this time.

    Side 1 are literalists, and will not think inductively about the common features, but instead are focused on the dissimilar features of the structures. For Side 1 each bridge is distinctive and independent.

    Side 2 people are inductive reasoners, piecing together evidence from similar but not literally similar circumstances for the SBs.

    If you were in our little country and you were the official, would you let people drive over SB4 without further investigation? Side 1 allows for freedom of choice, but the consequences of being wrong are more serious than the more cautious approach of Side 2.

    We now have Sides 1 and 2 in this debate here. Our “bridges” are the Sarantakos study (collapsed bridge), the Sirota study (structural damage), and the Goldberg study (some observed weaknesses). Boo, StraightGrandmother, and Dr. Throckmorton are seeing very different kinds of studies when the articles by Sarantakos, Sirota, and Goldberg are put on the table. Fitzgibbons sees the common features across all three, which are: a) the presence of at least 1 LGB parent and b) a child who is being raised or was raised by that parent and another parent (or more than one other parent). Fitzgibbons is now thinking inductively about LGB parents raising children in an adoptive situation (still involving LGB and still involving children).

    The debate continues.

    Are Sides 1 and 2 in the suspension bridge debate worth our time? Yes, both have a point to make and we should listen to both, but especially Side 2 because the consequences for being wrong in Side 1 are more serious than for Side 2.

    It is the same in this debate. Side 1 has rational ideas worth taking seriously. Side 2 has rational ideas worth taking seriously. The consequences of being wrong are more serious in the case of Side 1, if the proponents are wrong that there is no connection between the three studies and adoption for the developing children.

    This is why Dr. Fitzgibbons is calling for caution and calling on us all to protect the children.

    What do you think? Boo, are you gonna whack me on my cabeza for this :) ?

  • StraightGrandmother

    This is what we are talking about here. Children who need parents. And good parents who want them and will raise them and love them as their children.

    http://www.stopthedeportations.com/blog/2012/01/showdown-with-doma-mark-fred-meet-with-uscis-and-fight-for-their-family-at-green-card-interview-in-philadelphia.html

  • Robert Enright

    Let’s see…..I just gave an exposition on the philosophy of science and you follow with a case study? I don’t get it. We can present heart-warming stories all we want, and we can do this for cases of one man and one woman, gay men, polyamorous combinations of men and women, and even man-boy love, but this will not address the post.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Well that is an interesting comment Dr. Enright.

    Were you going to be responding to my question to you here?

    StraightGrandmother# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Just wondering since you did mention referencing the post.

    “…but this will not address the post.”

  • David M.

    @StraightGrandmother

    Your comments about the Amsterdam study are well made. I find it reprehensible that anyone would try to use the Amsterdam study as evidence that being gay is physically unhealthy. The sampling issues you have raised are quite telling. In any case, I would not take the gay scene in Amsterdam to say much of anything about gays elsewhere, no more than I would take Amsterdam coffee houses to be representative of coffee houses in general.

    There is certainly evidence that promiscuous gay males have issues with STDs. But so often, we gays are described as if it is our gayness that is unhealthy, when in fact it is promiscuity that is unhealthy, gay or straight. The promiscuity of some gays is in fact a result of social stigma, in that short-term relationships are less discoverable that long-term ones. So closeted men sometimes feel it necessary to keep to short-term relationships in order not to be outed. Strange that some would perpetuate social stigmas by appealing to the conditions which those very stigmas help create.

    I don’t know how many other gay men are like me. I have had sex with only one man in my lifetime, and he is my partner. He has had sex with no one but me, male or female. So much for the inherent promiscuity of gay men!

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enrich, so you have read the Sarantakos research?

    Will you ever be providing a straightforward answer to the point being raised?

    Goldberg+Sirota+Xiridou

    Do you still say this research was represented accurately to the GENERAL PUBLIC in Dr. Fitzgibbons article about sexual minority COUPLES adopting children? The words he wrote and the comments he made about this research, was is truthful on it’s face?

  • Boo

    “What do you think? Boo, are you gonna whack me on my cabeza for this ?”

    You don’t blame a rabid dog for biting. At this point, I know you are a fundamentally dishonest man who refuses to address the actual issue put to him. Said issue is not what the studies say. The issue is specifically that Fitzgibbons lied by omission in an attempt to portray to his audience that Sirota’s study was about gay couples when it was not. Since you refuse to acknowledge this fact and are taking every opportunity you can to avoid addressing it, I don’t see any point in discussing any other issue with you, since you have shown me you do not debate in good faith.

    But maybe you can show me I’m wrong. Answer one question yes or no. That’s “yes” or “no.” Not your usual diversions into tangents. One word answer: “yes” or “no.”

    Does Dr. Fitzgibbons present the Sirota study in his article in such a way as to imply to his readers that the study is about gay couples?

    Yes or no Dr. Enright.

  • David M.

    @Dr. Enright,

    Wow! That was a very long exposition on suspension bridges, maybe appropriate for a freshman science class but hardly on point here. No one is denying that one can draw inductive conclusions, or that science works by making inductive hypotheses. Nor is anyone denying that Dr. Fitzgibbon’s argument was inductive. Rather, we are arguing about whether he misrepresented the studies. Please try to answer the real questions being asked.

  • David M.

    @Dr. Enright: “We can present heart-warming stories … [for] even man-boy love.”

    I dare you to present here a heart-warming story about man-boy love. Maybe you would find it heart-warming. I would not. You are obviously invoking again the comparisons between gay love and paraphilias. Next you’ll be saying there are heart-warming stories about bestiality. Why, why, why do you insist on demeaning us?

  • Robert Enright

    I will answer your question, Boo, if you answer one for me first. I have been answering questions for days, but have not asked one.

    Dr. Goldberg’s description of her sample needed *clarification.* It is not quite clear who was in her sample and even StraightGrandmother, in trying to explain Dr. Goldberg’s sample, got it wrong today. Yet, you did not condemn her as a person for a failure in *clarification.*

    StraightGrandmother erred in describing the Goldberg sample, an important misrepresentation of her work. Yet, you were silent toward StraightGrandmother (SG). And, I might add, we have not heard a peep out of the usually quite verbal SG regarding his own error. SG needed *clarification* regarding what he wrote. Yet, you did not condemn him as a person for this.

    Dr. Sirota in her abstract was not precise and so she mentions gay and bisexual fathers, without any important clarifications, such as whether these fathers were in heterosexual relationships, gay relationships, or single. Dr. Sirota’s description of her sample needed *clarification* Yet, I hear no thunderous condemnation of her as a person at all.

    Now we come to Dr. Fitzgibbons who describes the Sirota study almost exactly as Dr, Sirota did. And now his words need *clarification* because hers do. Yet, you are condemning him and severely I must add.

    Complete silence toward Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Sirota, and StraightGrandmother and thunderous abuse heaped onto Dr. Fitzgibbons when all four need clarification— is this fair to Dr. Fitzgibbons?

    Are you being fair or unfair to Dr. Fitzgibbons, Boo?

    One word answer, Boo: Fair or unfair.

  • David M.

    @Dr. Enright

    Once more, in the words of your bridge analogy, if the man in charge of bridge #4 is lying about what’s happened with bridges 1-3, is he still raising a legitimate concern about bridge #4?

  • David M.

    Dr. Enright, with all due respect, SGM never claimed to be a scientist. Please don’t change the subject.

  • Teresa

    Dr. Enright, your analogy of broken suspension bridges, acting in the place of gays, makes sense if you start out with the premise that we gays are ‘broken’, mentally ill and perverse, just as we are. None of this makes any sense unless the premise is that homosexuality should never have been removed from the DSM. If it hadn’t been removed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’s really the bottom line here, isn’t it?

    Let’s dispense with all our rigamarole surrounding these studies; and, is it is … or, is it ain’t …

    The belief of Dr. Fitzgibbons posing as an hypothesis, and I mean no disrespect to him, is that gay parents are dangerously harmful to children, whether in mixed-orientation marriages, or same-sex marriages. Whether Dr. Fitzgibbons found a study to support his belief or not, he would still be an advocate for “keeping traffic off what he perceives as broken bridges”.

    Just my .02 cents.

  • http://wakingupnow.com Rob Tisinai

    Why on earth would we condemn Dr. Sirota for the limited information in her abstract — an abstract, after all, is meant to be a limited presentation of much fuller results. It’s almost as if you’re admitting that Dr. Fitzgibbons drew his analysis entirely from her abstract without bothering to read her full analysis before characterizing its results in a blog directed to the general public.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, there is a bit of a difference here. When I made a mistake and it was pointed out to me, I readily admitted it and apologized.

    StraightGrandmother# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Dr. Enright, you are right, I did make an error. I was mixing up the Goldberg and Sirota research. Sorry to send you off on a wild goose chase, LOL!

    At least when I make an error I recognize and apologize for it right away which is more than we can say about Dr. Fitzgibbons. He has had ample time to admit that he made errors in referencing the research of others and has not done so. Perhaps Dr. Enrich what you are failing to do is to scroll the comments backwards since the last tie you visited as some comments get caught in moderation, they do eventually show up, but placed in chronological order at the time the person pushed the Submit button, even though it may not show up until hours later. In other words you have to scroll backwards in the comments for a good bit to make sure you are not missing anything, such as apologies people may offer, since your last visit. Do you think perhaps the reason I have not been condemned here for making an error is, because the members here accepted my apology and forgave me, believing my error to be unintentional?

    I think I will number my question since you seem to do a bit better at answering questions when they are numbered.

    SG #5

    Dr. Enright

    Goldberg+Sirota+Xiridou

    Do you still say this research was represented accurately to the GENERAL PUBLIC in Dr. Fitzgibbons article about sexual minority COUPLES adopting children? The words he wrote and the comments he made about this research, was is truthful on it’s face?

  • Robert Enright

    I have waited about 8 hours for a response to my question about fairness toward Dr. Fitzgibbons and have received no response from anyone. I had said that I would answer you, Boo, contingent on your answering me. I was hoping for an answer first because I wanted you to hear my response in its complete form. If you can humbly acknowledge unfairness toward him, I think you would be more open to my response.

    The time has come, nonetheless, to answer you and to break with my requested contingency because it is time for me to leave the site. I do so because my very close friend has requested this: “…is it possible to stop posting comments on the site? I am angry at them.” I will fill you in on this issue of anger after I have addressed the question.

    “Does Dr. Fitzgibbons present the Sirota study in his article in such a way as to imply to his readers that the study is about gay couples?

    Yes or no Dr. Enright.”

    My answer is “yes,” Boo, as you say, Dr. Fitzgibbons does present the Sirota study in such a way as to imply it is about gay couples, but I now must continue this complex-compound sentence to assure that I am not misunderstood because you are incorrect in two ways.

    You are incorrect if you claim victory from my sentence. Your victory is won only if we think in “either-or” ways, which you are doing. Either Dr. Fitzgibbons is correct or you are correct: a false assumption.

    You are incorrect in a second way because if the clarification comes, and all of you have helped me see the necessity for a clarification for which I thank you, it does not alter Dr. Fitzgibbons’ message at all. The message remains, with this alteration: There is *indirect* (not direct) evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature showing statistically significant (in the case of Sarantakos and Sirota) negative effects for children when at least one LGB parent is studied scientifically. Goldberg applied no statistics to her analysis and the conclusions are compatible with the other studies.

    I entered the discussion because I could not stand for one more minute the treatment of Dr. Fitzgibbons on this site. I entered to engage the readers toward understanding—not assenting to my views, but to understand and to be understood.

    In the encounter, I have learned from you, as I stated in previous posts and as I state in this post. I once again offer my thanks. As an academic libertarian, who is unafraid to explore any topic, I have in good academic faith explored with you and have come to realize how important it is to describe the sample exactly as it is. The samples in the LGB community can become quite complex because of relationship fluidity, divorce, separation, and other demographics making the description of the sample quite a challenge. (Even the authors themselves err in their lack of precision).

    I leave with a sense of sadness because, in the final analysis, we did not engage each other. Only Teresa heard me, at least that is my studied impression. All others were focused on victory and there can be no academic victory where there is no thorough understanding. There is no evidence of subtle or thorough understanding as I read the comments, thus my sadness.

    I have learned, especially from Teresa, how deeply wounded the LGB community is and, I am sure, articles like Dr. Fitzgibbons’ only open the wounds more deeply. Yet, the academic libertarian in me must—must—conclude that there is science published which does raise important questions that need addressing. Shouting the messenger (in this case, Dr. Fitzgibbons) down is not helpful. Ignoring every statement that I have made will not get us closer to the truth.

    I acknowledge the woundedness that you feel. I do not think its source is the messengers only. Boo, you referred to yourself last evening as a rabid dog biting. David, you referred to my post, which I consider an apt description of Dr. Fitzgibbons’ views, as freshman-like. I have been condemned publicly on the site for trying to understand. All of this shows great woundedness. Some see this woundedness and label it as significant anger or, as Teresa reminds me, as unhealthy. I will not judge but only acknowledge the wounds. I know this will mean nothing to most of you, but I do want to say that I am sorry you are feeling so wounded.

    In the final analysis, this woundedness is a barrier to our encounter, which was a one-way street. A one-way street when trying to learn is a tragedy because it is a lost opportunity. We lost the opportunity.

    My dear friend is angry because she is a soaring intellectual who cannot stand to see personal attacks where there should be encounter. She opposes the ad hominem move because it shuts down debate, encounter, and learning. I am honoring her request now because the discussion has degenerated to name-calling and one sided monologue.

    My final challenge to you: Please examine your postings specifically on me once I am gone from the site. What is the content of your posts? Will you be claiming victory? Will you find a way to criticize the messenger (in this case now, me, rather than Dr. Fitzgibbons)? All of this is part of the problem, not part of the solution. I wish you well, even if you cannot hear me as I say that. You are important to me because I have learned from you.

  • Boo

    “I have waited about 8 hours for a response to my question about fairness toward Dr. Fitzgibbons and have received no response from anyone. I had said that I would answer you, Boo, contingent on your answering me. I was hoping for an answer first because I wanted you to hear my response in its complete form. If you can humbly acknowledge unfairness toward him, I think you would be more open to my response.”

    You posted your question at 11:03 last night. I’ll tell you a secret about us gays, but you must promise never to reveal this world-shaking truth: we require sleep.

    “Dr. Goldberg’s description of her sample needed *clarification.* It is not quite clear who was in her sample and even StraightGrandmother, in trying to explain Dr. Goldberg’s sample, got it wrong today. Yet, you did not condemn her as a person for a failure in *clarification.*”

    I don’t know for certain whether Dr. Goldberg misrepresented her sample on purpose, as it has been established that Fitzgibbons misrepresented Sirota on purpose. Dr. Goldberg has not come to this site and engaged in continued evasions and misrepresentations as you and Fitzgibbons have. Rest assured if she does I will condemn her too.

    “StraightGrandmother erred in describing the Goldberg sample, an important misrepresentation of her work. Yet, you were silent toward StraightGrandmother (SG). And, I might add, we have not heard a peep out of the usually quite verbal SG regarding his own error. SG needed *clarification* regarding what he wrote. Yet, you did not condemn him as a person for this.”

    StraightGrandmother does not claim to be a scientist, did not write a paper posing as an academic claiming the authority of science. Oh, and this is rather important: StraightGrandmother admitted error rather than engage in the Fitzgibbons-Enright Dance Of Evasion. If you want to criticize someone, stick to me. StraightGrandmother is way out of your league.

    “Dr. Sirota in her abstract was not precise and so she mentions gay and bisexual fathers, without any important clarifications, such as whether these fathers were in heterosexual relationships, gay relationships, or single. Dr. Sirota’s description of her sample needed *clarification* Yet, I hear no thunderous condemnation of her as a person at all.”

    Perhaps when Dr. Sirota was writing her abstract the thought of all the ways anti-gay ideologues might attempt to misrepresent her study was not foremost on her mind.

    “My answer is “yes,” Boo, as you say, Dr. Fitzgibbons does present the Sirota study in such a way as to imply it is about gay couples, but I now must continue this complex-compound sentence to assure that I am not misunderstood because you are incorrect in two ways.”

    “You are incorrect if you claim victory from my sentence. Your victory is won only if we think in “either-or” ways, which you are doing. Either Dr. Fitzgibbons is correct or you are correct: a false assumption.”

    My position is that Dr. Fitzgibbons presented the study as though it is about gay couples when it was not. You have admitted he did this, thus by definition I am correct. As for Fitzgibbons, strictly speaking, being correct doesn’t enter into it. It was a matter of deliberate misrepresentation, as you have acknowledged even though your first impulse is to backtrack and evade yet again.

    “There is *indirect* (not direct) evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature showing statistically significant (in the case of Sarantakos and Sirota) negative effects for children when at least one LGB parent is studied scientifically.”

    Any person not blinded by anti-gay prejudice would immediately recognize the fact that the gay fathers were in sham marriages to women as a confounding factor. You and Fitzgibbons gloss over this and immediately leap to the conclusion that the fathers gayness is the relevant factor, yet this has not been established, either directly or indirectly. See my above example about speaking Russian. I suspect Fitzgibbons knew this, which is why he chose to misrepresent the study as being about gay couples instead of representing it the way you just did.

    “I entered the discussion because I could not stand for one more minute the treatment of Dr. Fitzgibbons on this site.”

    Liars don’t get treated well. Except in the anti-gay industry, of course.

    “As an academic libertarian, who is unafraid to explore any topic”

    You have a gift for comedy too.

    “I leave with a sense of sadness because, in the final analysis, we did not engage each other. Only Teresa heard me, at least that is my studied impression”

    I heard you quite clearly. Hence my condemnation (followed by forgiveness).

    “Boo, you referred to yourself last evening as a rabid dog biting.”

    Actually I was referring to you. The “You” in “You don’t blame a rabid dog for biting” was meant to be you in the general sense, as in one does not blame a rabid dog for biting, not you as in you specifically. I apologize for the misunderstanding. My point was that because of your behavior I now accept that dishonesty is a part of your character and am no longer shocked by it.

    “I have been condemned publicly on the site for trying to understand.”

    No, you have been condemned for your continual evasion, diversion, and misrepresentation, which you are still continuing.

    “All of this shows great woundedness. Some see this woundedness and label it as significant anger or, as Teresa reminds me, as unhealthy. I will not judge but only acknowledge the wounds. I know this will mean nothing to most of you, but I do want to say that I am sorry you are feeling so wounded.”

    I’ll tell you another secret. When I’m away from this site, I don’t think about you or Fitzgibbons at all. And when I’m here, it’s more grim satisfaction than anything else. Be it Schoenewolf, Berger, Richard Cohen’s man-cuddling, or now this, it’s not just that scandals occur in the anti-gay industry, it’s like you guys bend over backwards to hand us the scandals on a silver platter. Why would I be angry at getting such nice presents?

    “In the final analysis, this woundedness is a barrier to our encounter, which was a one-way street. A one-way street when trying to learn is a tragedy because it is a lost opportunity. We lost the opportunity.”

    You threw away the opportunity in a cloud of evasion. But I’ll be honest, I don’t consider yet another written record of the dishonesty of anti-gays to be just a lost opportunity. More of a consolation prize, I suppose. If you must persist in this kind of behavior, at least it now stands as testament.

    “My dear friend is angry because she is a soaring intellectual who cannot stand to see personal attacks where there should be encounter. She opposes the ad hominem move because it shuts down debate, encounter, and learning. I am honoring her request now because the discussion has degenerated to name-calling and one sided monologue.”

    Your friend’s soaring intellectualness does not appear to encompass an understanding of what the term ‘ad hominem” actually means. Ad hominem is taking the argument to the person *instead* of the argument. The argument here, however, is misrepresentation on the part of Fitzgibbons and your evasions on acknowledging it. If I say “Dr. Enright is dishonest because he teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison” that would be an ad hominem. If I say “Dr. Enright is dishonest because he claimed indirect evidence of something that has not been established to be evidence at all and because he continually evaded the points put to him and instead attempted to divert the conversation, as demonstrated in the posts above” that is not an ad hominem.

    “What is the content of your posts?”

    I’ll go with quixotic attempts to get a straight answer out of you and Fitzgibbons.

    “Will you find a way to criticize the messenger (in this case now, me, rather than Dr. Fitzgibbons)?”

    Dishonest messengers get criticized. Sorry, that’s just a fact of life. If you don’t like it, next time choose to be honest.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dr. Enright, you have a better chance of having your questions answered if you number them I think. I would like to remind you that you never did answer SG #5.

    Dr. Enright you said:

    My answer is “yes,” Boo, as you say, Dr. Fitzgibbons does present the Sirota study in such a way as to imply it is about gay couples,

    What took you so long to say this? This is in fact what Dr. Sirota said in her statement, i.e. Dr. Fitzgibbons is misrepresenting her research. AND it is the Title to Dr. Throckmorton’s article you are posting on” Why didn’t you just come out and say this days ago?

    As your final harrah, you finally admit it, and walk away. That is fine, I am surprised though, I didn’t think you ever would admit it. You occupied vast amount of real estate on Warren’s blog to talk about anything but the question we asked you. Was he representing research truthfully and accurately or not. Now you also know darned well he misrepresents Xiridou, also to generalize that COUPLED gay men are at a higher risk of contracting AIDS.

    Fitzgibbons = “Dutch research has found that most new HIV infections in Amsterdam occurred among homosexual men who were in steady relationships.

    I believe what has come out is that Dr. Fitzgibbons is guilty multiple times of misrepresenting data to the GENERAL PUBLIC. The GENERAL PUBLIC is not expected to go look at these research reports and see if the correlation is Direct or Indirect. Or that the GENERAL PUBLIC is expected to go look up for themselves a research report to see that monogamous men were deliberately excluded from the Netherlands Xiridou study. Dr. Fitzgibbons has an advantage over the GENERAL PUBLIC including me, we do not have access to these reports so we have to take him at his word with what he writes, that he is reporting accurately on the state of science. Do you honestly think he did not know about the Patterson study? I don’t. And yet he claims that there is no research that shows no harm to children when adopted at birth by a COUPLE of the same sex.

    Great GOOD has come out of this discussion as Dr. Fitzgibbons now knows that he has to as you say Dr. Enright

    “and have come to realize how important it is to describe the sample exactly as it is. The samples in the LGB community can become quite complex because of relationship fluidity, divorce, separation, and other demographics making the description of the sample quite a challenge. (Even the authors themselves err in their lack of precision).”

    Dr. Fitzgibbons can no longer claim that there is

    Rick Fitzgibbons# ~ Jan 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    3. There are no studies to show that same-sex parenting is good for children.

    He came on the blog and said that there are no studies to show that same sex parenting are good for children which is another misrepresentation as he writes a comment to me on the Mercator website article he wrote

    “Regarding the Patterson study, I am surprised that you failed to see that this is a study of *pre-school* children, who hardly have had the time to develop divergent social and emotional patterns, given their young age.”

    So when he comes onto Dr. Throckmorton’s website a month later and says there are no good studies he is not being forthcoming, we talked about the Patterson study so he knows about it.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons asked me to look for patterns in research to come to a conclusion, he doesn’t like the fact that I did find patterns, a pattern that he misrepresents research and lies. He can’t come a month later and say that there are “no studies” that show a positive outcome for children because, it is right there on the internet for all to see. I may not be highly educated but I can read, and I am not stupid, and so can everybody else. You FINALLY admitted it,

    Dr. Enright = “My answer is “yes,” Boo, as you say, Dr. Fitzgibbons does present the Sirota study in such a way as to imply it is about gay couples,”

    You did not admit to the rest but everybody else can read it and form their opinion.

    What is interesting to me is, if you read my comments to Dr. Fitzgibbons on the Mercator website I was quite civil with him, but I did correct him. The reason why I am a bit more blunt here is because he refused to accept a correction and comes on here and again tries to tell me I am wrong. He very well could have easily simply said,”Yes I did word that poorly, make a correction to the article, and moved on. If he would have done that I am sure Dr. Sirota would have been satisfied. Dr. Throckmorton does that from time to time. He will write something, people will point it out to him, he will agree and make a correction to his article. it is really no BIG DEAL. The ONLY reason this IS a BIG DEAL is because Dr. Fitzgibbons refused to correct his error, he thought he could get away with it I assume. Well now he knows that will not work.

    I was as surprised as everybody else when Dr. Sirota made her statement last week and I am deeply deeply grateful to her that she did. I have set up a Google Alert and will be watching anything Dr. Fitzgibbons writes. As long as he writes truthfully and accurately as a DOCTOR writing to the GENERAL PUBLIC summarizing research, he will have nothing to worry about.

    I am not one of the walking wounded as I am not a sexual minority. I will not criticize you Dr. Enright but I am not going to praise you either. You dug your heels in and tried so very hard to divert our attention, only at the bitter end did you finally admit the truth. You could have said the same thing days ago, boo is right when he said, “since you have shown me you do not debate in good faith.” And your snide remark

    Dr. Enright = “We can present heart-warming stories … [for] even man-boy love.”

    is the HEIGHT of insensitivity posted on a website that has many sexual minorities as participants, from a man who has a PhD in Psychology. Nice way heap on even more stigmatization doc. I am NOT attacking YOU I am attacking your message. I would give you a grade of D-, passing but barely.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Well .. I guess my question would be: What is the intention and personal bias in using sceintific research to support a moral position? I mean if you want to use statistics to determine truth . .. then what about single parent families where one parent is not present? Should the adoption agency refuse to allow single parents to adopt? Is this somehow also substandard? And is this something the church should make a big stink about? I did a peruse on the web of Catholic Adoption Agencies and various forums on single parent adoption from a Catholic perspective. I did not see a consensus against single parent adoption with at least one charity saying they did not exclude single parent adoptions (http://www.catholiccharities.org/en/cms/363/). It seems to me .. that if we are to take these studies seriously .. re: that a child needs a father and a mother .. then the church has its work cut out for it in insuring that single parents are not allowed to adopt and in letting their parishoners know that single parenting is substandard. And if this is not the course the church wishes to take then I would have to ask : Why not? This all gets back to intention .. re: why is this an issue? It seems to me that the Catholic church should just be honest here and say it does not support same sex couples and leave the (questionable) research out of it.

    The reality is that there are already single parent homes .. due to divorce. And .. I might add that if statistics guide us in truth then the simple oft stated fact the the church’s divorce rate equals the world’s divorce rate would be a good reason to question whether Jesus makes any difference at all in keeping marriages together. Now I am a Christian and I happen to believe that Jesus does make a difference. And I am sure that other people (and me) could find reasons for why the statistics are not showing this. But that would require a serious look at how these statistics were gathered and what other factors were involved. .. But of course .. this is the very thing I am hearing from some here that we cannot do in regards to these various studies of what appears to be mixed oreintation marriages… that to actually look deeper into other causalities would distort the science or the results .. So which is the correct answer?? .. Is it right to look deeper into the studies or just gleen off of them what best supports our own personal bias??

    I might add that I really don’t know of any peer reviewed studies that woud support same sex parenting .. nor do I know of any that would not. But I am not sure what the point is in this. The reality is that there are single parents out there .. there are families that have torn apart due to divorce .. and there are same sex parent famillies. Shouldn’t we be doing our best to support all these folks rather than rather than using science to tell them how allegedly bad they are? And if we don’t .. are we not contributing to the very thing that the article said to avoid?

    Dave

  • carole

    Teresa, I haven’t followed this thread incredibly closely in that I have not read the studies. I did see that your last comment included this:

    “Dr. Enright, your analogy of broken suspension bridges, acting in the place of gays, makes sense if you start out with the premise that we gays are ‘broken’, mentally ill and perverse, just as we are. None of this makes any sense unless the premise is that homosexuality should never have been removed from the DSM. If it hadn’t been removed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’s really the bottom line here, isn’t it?”

    I don’t feel at all up-to-speed on this topic to be able to offer anything of worth, but I thought that since you do seem to be always one striving to understand others and to communicate w/out rancor I’d offer this for what its worth since it might be one more illustrative example of just how differently the mountain looks to the person looking up at it from the west than it does to the person looking up at it from the east.

    When I read the suspension bridge analogy Dr. Enright offered, I, a straight woman, thought it a fairly good one to prompt discussion. It never occurred to me that it would cause hurt feelings and anger. It never occurred to me that a gay person such as yourself would read those words and think that the damage ascribed to the bridges would be equated with damage to the parents much less to the gay parents. So, when I read your comments this morning, I thought, “Wow, what’s she talking about?” I went back and read the analogy over and over and then thought, “Okay, I see what she means, but that never would ever have popped into my head. Then again, I am not gay.”

    So, what did I, a straight woman “see” when I read his analogy? I “saw” the suspension bridges as examples of partnership (marriage, cohabitation) types, including what many here have deemed as “sham marriages.” (I’d like that term not to be ascribed to me).

    In other words, the “collapsed bridge” to me symbolized a marriage that was no longer a marriage at all–divorce was on the way or in the process, etc. Well, here…I’ll find his words:

    “Continuing with our analogy, suppose that SB1 collapses, SB2 has some significant structural damage (but has not yet collapsed) and SB3 has a known weakness of concern but not yet critical.”

    The partnership, marriage that “has some significant structural damage (but has not yet collapsed)” I saw as just that–a marriage or parental coupling that literally had problems but was still intact….

    You get the drift. I was on one side of the mountain; you are the other. We didn’t see/read/hear the same thing.

    To sum up, Teresa you saw/read/heard the analogy “of broken suspension bridges, acting in the place of gays…” and I saw/read/heard the analogy acting in the place of differing relationships/partnerships in the raising of children.

    It’s nice to believe that we can walk in the shoes of others, but I wonder sometimes if even conscious attempts at empathy fall short not out of anger or bitterness or hate ….but simply out of an innate inability of the human brain to disconnect the dots and the paths they connect since birth and then place down a new route. Sometimes, I, we need to be reminded of our limitations–the mountain looks different from each side. What we see so clearly is unseen from the other side.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Carole, you didn’t get the bridges analogy, and I don’t blame you I don’t think it was very good.

    Each bridge represents a research study referenced by Fitzgibbons as Dr. Enright explains

    “Our “bridges” are the Sarantakos study (collapsed bridge), the Sirota study (structural damage), and the Goldberg study (some observed weaknesses)”

    It’s all BS because the island is a COUPLE who are sexual minorities, Sexual Minority Island SMI. He claims that Sarantakos breaks one bridge from the Sexual Minority Island over to Adoption Island, but I do not agree that this bridge is collapsd. At this point I am not going to take Fitzgibbons word, I’ll wait until I can read a copy of the research report for myself or until Warren writes about it.

    Bridge Two from Sexual Minority Island to Adoption Island is the Sirota Bridge. It is in fac t unsafe for couples in Mixed Orientation marriages to travel on that Bridge to Adoption Island but is perfectly safe for a Same Sex Couple to cross the Bridge.

    Bridge Three from Sexual Minority Island to Adoption Island is the Goldberg Bridge.I fully read the Goldberg research, and it looks to me like this Bridge will carry our Same Sex Couple from Sexual Minority Island to Adoption Island, but when crossing back from Adoption Island to Sexual Minority Island with their new child they should take extra care to be always honest with their child.

    Like Dr. Fitzgibbons Dr Enright ignores the BEST BRIDGE on the whole darned Island who can support the entire sexual minority population moving across the bridge at one time, the Patterson Bridge. In fact the Patterson Bridge has extra reinforcements which makes is very strong, Please read about the Patterson Bridge and some reinforcements here

    http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/articles/pwInPress.pdf

    http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/articles/ffp10b.pdf
    :) :) :)

    Teresa read it as the “Bridges were homosexuals.” I didn’t read it that way, I read it as the Bridges were the research that disrupts a bridge, preventing a same sex couple from crossing over it. I have to admit I did have fun naming the Islands, reminded me of Survivor the TV Show.

  • Teresa

    Hi Carole,

    My, I hadn’t thought that anyone else reading that would have construed something differently. And, I do like your analogy of looking at a mountain from different directions.

    To clear up a little something, Carole, I saw the bridges as somewhat what you said; but, I saw the ‘brokenness’ of the bridges, the cracks, the instability as the gay parent(s). Perhaps, even looking from the same vantage point, what you’ve so aptly pointed out is we see different things. I should have been more specific in my interpretation of Dr. Enright’s analogy.

    Since this thread is all about how partnered gays of any stripe may be (or have been proven to be in some people’s eyes) an endangerment to children, such that they should not be allowed to adopt … and being gay, myself … I was focused solely on the ‘teh gay’.

    Oh, how I would like to practice what Wendy Gritter calls “gracious spaciousness” to everyone I chance upon, even virtually, as best I can … but, I gotta tell you, Carole, it takes someone with a thicker skin, with more virtue than I have to accomplish that.

  • David M.

    @Dr. Enright: “I have been condemned publicly on the site for trying to understand. All of this shows great woundedness. Some see this woundedness and label it as significant anger or, as Teresa reminds me, as unhealthy. I will not judge but only acknowledge the wounds. I know this will mean nothing to most of you, but I do want to say that I am sorry you are feeling so wounded.”

    No, Dr. Enright, you have been challenged because you did not understand, or claimed not to understand, what we were saying about Dr. Fitzgibbons’ twisting of science.

    Yes, I am angry. But you don’t mention the positive uses of anger. Anger helps give an attacked or oppressed person the energy to fight back. It is a sign of psychological health to get angry in such circumstances. It means there is a sense of boundaries, and a reaction to boundaries transgressed.

    You trot out the old dog-eared equation of homosexuality with child abuse, and you expect me not to be angry? You fight against my rights and the rights of people like me. And you expect me not to be angry?

    To clear up another comment of yours, I was not discrediting you personally by calling your digression about bridges a freshman lecture. I was saying your analogy was both unapt and inane. Again, the problem was not the use of induction; it was the misrepresentation of the supposed facts on which the induction was based. If there were studies showing that gay partners parent in a way that is demonstrably more harmful to children than other parents, Dr. Fitzgibbons would have reason for his induction. In reality, the evidence so far shows that gay partners’ children are about as healthy as other kids.

    As for you personally, you are a well-educated man, capable of nuance and sophistication. But to what end do you use your intellect? It appears to me and some others here that you use it to obfuscate. Since the bridge analogy was not apt, and I give you enough credit to believe you knew this, then why might you have used it? The answer which seems to fit best with your other posts on the blog is that you did it to confuse the point and shift the conversation. It was a red herring.

    A word about ad hominem: Dr. Enright, you wanted Boo to acknowledge some unfairness before you acknowledged that Dr. Fitzgibbons was wrong. Why? You never said. I surmise that you wanted to be able to say pretty much what you did say, that is, that Dr. Fitzgibbons was wrong, but quickly add that someone who pointed this out was wrong too. That, sir, is an ad hominem argument — that we should not look at the topic under consideration but rather the person who is raising the topic. The fallacy is that by discrediting the messanger, you somehow discredit the message. Nice try. Yes, the topic at hand was about the actions of a certain man, but that in itself does mean an accuser is engaging in ad hominem tactics. If it did, then every charge brought in a court of law could be countered by a libel suit. I do not suggest that what Dr. Fitzgibbons did was criminal, but it was unethical, and lacked intellectual integrity.

    I close with a comment Dr. Fitzgibbons made to Dr. Sirota far above: “I misrepresented nothing and yours is a false accusation, a serious charge in the world of academia.” He told her that, because of her claim of misrepresentation, things looked quite bad for her academically. It’s hard to read this section of his post as anything but a veiled threat against Dr. Sirota. It was silly and petty and unprofessional. That is, in a sense, how we began. Now as you end your posting, Dr. Enright, you resort to shaming. It’s all our fault, you say, for not trying to understand you or Dr. Fitzgibbons. Obviously we are hurt, angry and unhealthy people. What a great scientific argument: threats and blame. Do you still wonder why we have such a hard time with this?

  • David M.

    Correction: The post above should read: “Yes, the topic at hand was about the actions of a certain man, but that in itself does NOT mean an accuser is engaging in ad hominem tactics.” My apologies.

  • StraightGrandmother

    What happened to my Sexual Minority Island and Adoption Island and the Bridges comment? I think it was a pretty good comment. Did it get lost?

  • StraightGrandmother

    This is the one

    Jan 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Boo

    Are you pitching a new reality show StraightGrandmother? :-P

  • StraightGrandmother

    Boo, I hope my comment gets out of moderation soon, I think you are going to really enjoy it. I know it’s in moderation because it is long, that’s the norm. Yeah the way I named the Islands and the Bridges I did it like Survivor. And I do think it worked.

  • David M.

    As the dust appears to be settling on this page, I want to wrap up a couple of loose ends. First, thank you, StraightGrandmother, for your kind response to my initial post on this page. You wrote about my marriage, “The hardest part is probably coming to terms with all the years you, and your spouse “lost” but at the same time acknowledging the two blessed children you produced during these “lost” years. It’s a two edged sword, isn’t it?” Oh, you are exactly right. There’s a real ambivalence about those years. Like others in similar positions, I loved my wife, though I wasn’t in love with her. Honestly, I still care about her. I want her happiness. But I realize that is no longer within my influence. I don’t know if she will ever again be able to see me as a friend. And that is a profound loss.

    Some here have called mixed-orientation marriages sham marriages. I cannot agree with that. I did not enter into it with any intent to deceive anyone. I was simply doing what Christian culture at the time said I should do. I was doing the best I could. I did love her.

    But marriage was always a struggle internally. I suffered through years of anxiety and depression. I doubt I would be alive today without the intervention of medicine. I am so thankful to live in an age of psychiatry. I will probably always need medicine, since my brain has been ravaged by the effects of prolonged high stress.

    But today I am happy to be in love with a wonderful man who loves me better than anyone else possibly could. I believe he is God’s gift to me of a second chance to live joyfully and at peace.

    Well, this is not the place to tell my whole story. But I wanted to say thank you, StraightGrandmother, for making me feel understood.

  • Boo

    “Some here have called mixed-orientation marriages sham marriages. I cannot agree with that. I did not enter into it with any intent to deceive anyone. I was simply doing what Christian culture at the time said I should do. I was doing the best I could. I did love her.”

    It was not my intention to insult you, but the fact is that at the end of the day, a mixed-orientation marriage cannot be what a marriage is supposed to be. If I blame anyone or anything it’s that warped version of Christian culture that led you to it.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Dr. Sirota did not study a group of same-sex men

    (but then he goes on to say, “So what, let’s apply that data towards Couples who are of the SAME SEX, there must be some relevance here somewhere, I think I see relevance )

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    First, we need not dismiss the data as unrelated to the question: What is the effect on children if a gay man or gay men raise a child because, as we know, homosexual men can and do have heterosexual partners at some point in their lives and so this is not a unique sample relative to gay men in general.

    Second, it is not a direct test of that question. Thus, we cannot answer the question directly from the Sirota study and everyone who has been saying this is correct.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Dr. Fitzgibbons asked me not to get involved here, but I could not sit back any longer. Teresa, I am very impressed with your honest and forthright approach. Thank you. I have never written a word in this area of same-sex marriage, and that is what I meant, StraightGrandmother. I am becoming interested in studying the literature in this area.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

    All of you have stirred my academic curiosity about the research in this area. I have learned a great deal from each of you.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    #2- Does the statements that Dr. Fitzgibbons has misrepresented their research from the original researchers have any relevance for you? Yes, the question has much relevance and it is my studied opinion that he did not misrepresent the studies in what he described. He described what was found and the description was accurate.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    StraightGrandmother. You have come alongside me and discussed important matters and so we will be forever linked in that way, even if we end up disagreeing on certain points. Yes, those points matter, but, and I think Teresa would agree, our shared humanity is more important than who “wins” here

    SG = (I didn’t respond at the time as I was hoping to keep Dr. Enright focused on the topic which we all agree he didn’t want to stay focused on the central question, but I will share my thoughts now. Shared humanity? No, Sexual Minorities are perceived and accorded by much of the worlds population as not being as “human” as the rest of us (me being heterosexual), not deserving of the same HUMAN RIGHTS as heterosexuals. This is validated by the civil laws we implement which deny them Equal Civil Rights. Shared Humanity sounds nice to say but I would like to see those “pretty words” put into action. Once I see EQUAL Human Rights for Sexual Minorities then I would say that we ALL have a, Shared Humanity. The way it is now one group is getting more Humanity than another group.)

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Let me try very hard to be understood. Let us start with an analogy. Suppose that we have 4 suspension bridges in our little imaginary country.

    The debate continues.

    This is why Dr. Fitzgibbons is calling for caution and calling on us all to protect the children.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I don’t get it. We can present heart-warming stories all we want, and we can do this for cases of one man and one woman, gay men, polyamorous combinations of men and women, and even man-boy love, but this will not address the post.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Dr. Sirota in her abstract was not precise and so she mentions gay and bisexual fathers, without any important clarifications, such as whether these fathers were in heterosexual relationships, gay relationships, or single.

    (SG- No Dr. Sirota was clear the adult children were begot in a Mixed Orientation Marriage. These adult children had a biolical father who is gay, not an adoptive father who is gay. Dr. Fitzgibbons wants to use the short synopsis of Dr. Sirota’s study called the abstract and NOT the study itself.)

    Now we come to Dr. Fitzgibbons who describes the Sirota study almost exactly as Dr, Sirota did. And now his words need *clarification* because hers do. Yet, you are condemning him and severely I must add.

    Robert Enright# ~ Jan 13, 2012 at 8:49 am

    The time has come, nonetheless, to answer you and to break with my requested contingency because it is time for me to leave the site. I do so because my very close friend has requested this: “…is it possible to stop posting comments on the site? I am angry at them.”

    “Does Dr. Fitzgibbons present the Sirota study in his article in such a way as to imply to his readers that the study is about gay couples?

    Yes or no Dr. Enright.”

    My answer is “yes,” Boo, as you say, Dr. Fitzgibbons does present the Sirota study in such a way as to imply it is about gay couples

    I entered the discussion because I could not stand for one more minute the treatment of Dr. Fitzgibbons on this site. I entered to engage the readers toward understanding—not assenting to my views, but to understand and to be understood.

    As an academic libertarian, who is unafraid to explore any topic, I have in good academic faith explored with you and have come to realize how important it is to describe the sample exactly as it is.

    SG = FINALLY! FINALLY! FINALLY! an honest answer to the Topic under discussion from Dr. Enright. Did Dr. Fitzgibbons represent the Sirota research as being the children of men who are half of a SAME SEX COUPLE. If anything the Sirota research shows that couples in Mixed Orientation Marriage should be cautious about their biological children, it says NOTHING about the outcomes of children adopted by a couple of the same sex.

    This is my hunch, I think because of Dr. Enrights self acknowledged strong Catholicism he came in to the discussion to defend his friend Dr. Fitzgibbons never having examined any research on the topics of Sexual Minorities. He came over here with simply a belief in his friend and a belief in his Faith, and that Faith says that sexual minorities are Intrinsically Disordered.

    I think he left with the knowledge that families are all the same in some ways and all different in others and when it comes to sexual minorities he better make darned sure he is comparing apples to apples as a Mixed Orientation Marriage is very different than a marriage where the couple is of the same sex. I think we all knew that at the start of the discussion but I don’t think Dr. Enright did.

    He says he is an Academic Libertarian, we will see how true that is. If this is true then why did we see NO comments of his about the Patterson research? He wanted to talk about the research itself and dig into it and we all wanted to talk about the misrepresentation of the research.

    But when we did talk about the research and I told him about the Patterson study he did not look into it at all. I do think there is a chance for Dr. Enright to improve his grade at the mid-term but he has started the semester out very slow.

    For supplemental reading on Mixed Orientation Marriages I would refer Dr. Enright to the Straight Spouse Network for anecdotal research

    http://www.voy.com/86426/

    and to this article for a discussion of scientific research

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2011/07/15/new-study-sexual-behavior-changes-but-not-sexual-orientation/

    Dr. Enright, Dr. Fitzgibbons is a member of NARTH, which few of us here respect. We have seen this time and time again, of NARTH and their members misrepresenting scientific research, to promote their political anti-gay agenda, here is just one

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2011/12/06/university-of-utah-professor-narth-article-irresponsible-and-unscientific/

    On this website simply use Key words of ex-gay or NARTH or Exodus or reparative therapy or sexual orientation to read very many interesting articles and discussions

    How does religion factor into all of this, well here would be a good article to read

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2011/12/07/the-evangelical-blackout-of-research-on-sexual-orientation/

    I hope we have piqued your curiosity Dr. Enright and that you are a true academic libertarian.

  • David M.

    @Boo: “It was not my intention to insult you…”

    No worries, Boo. I didn’t take it as an insult. I understood the intent of what you were saying, and I agree with your intent. There have certainly been some mixed-orientation sham marriages. Hollywood used to pressure gay stars to marry, and so on. I’m sure it still happens.

    I vaguely recall reading somewhere of a study which found that half the homosexually-oriented men were in fact heterosexually married. I can’t put my fingers on the reference now, so please don’t quote me. If anyone knows what I might be thinking of, please let me know.

    My hope is that these mixed-orientation marriages will in time become a thing of the past. I don’t want gays of future generations to go through some of my experiences. I believe Anthony Venn-Brown is another who can relate to this.

  • David M.

    I found the reference to the study I mentioned. Jones & Yarhouse, in an essay in the book Homosexuality, Science and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture, p. 87, reference the study with the “surprising finding that 42 percent of the self-identifying gay or bisexual men in a national probability sample were married to women.” The study referenced is J. Harry, “A Probability Sample of Gay Males,” Journal of Homosexuality 19 (1990): 89-104. I have no clue whether this statistic is accurate or not.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    I came across an article on same sex parents who adopt and a study of lesbian same sex parenting. Here are the links ..

    http://news.yahoo.com/why-gay-parents-may-best-parents-131902676.html

    http://www.nllfs.org/images/uploads/pdf/nllfs-quality-life-january-2012.pdf

    I do not know that I am academically qualified to critique the second reference which seems to show positive outcomes for their children. Those of you more qualified are free to do so. Suffice to say that the research does not all point in the same direction.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave, thanks for the link to that article, this one

    http://news.yahoo.com/why-gay-parents-may-best-parents-131902676.html

    In the time it took me to read the article over 200 comment were added. I thought this was a long conversation there are over 1,400 comments already on that article. I was pleased to see Abbie Goldberg talk about her research in the article.

    It just makes sense to me, if children suffer by having parents who are sexual minorities then why is this information not accepted in court? At the Prop 8 Trial they had unlimited resources and yet the Defendants brought NOT ONE Social Scientist to Court to testify under oath. The reason is under oath they cannot lie, you have to tell the truth. And a preponderance of the evidence clearly shows that children who have parents who are sexual minorities, meaning 2 mothers or 2 fathers do just fine. Do they sometimes get stigmatized by other children and teachers, they almost all report yes they do, but it doesn’t seem to screw them up. Case closed!

    Dave I bookmarked that link, thanks.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Height of irony!! Dr Richard Fitzgibbons is not only against couples of the same sex from adopting children but he is also against Civil Marriage for sexual Minorities

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/british_conservatives_and_same_sex_marriage

    (see comments)

    I checked my Google alert and was amazed to see Dr. Fitzgibbons quoted in an article 4 days ago

    http://www.blackchristiannews.com/news/2012/01/new-film-shines-light-on-the-problem-of-pornography.html

    and so I followed some links and see that he was interviewed in the National Catholic Register in October about a documentary he was in about pornography. As a psychiatrist he is interviewed about how bad pornography is and he says this,

    “Fitzgibbons offers healing to his patients by teaching them about the nature of God’s love. He tells them that the first thing God said about them is: “It is not good for man to be alone.” True love isn’t inward-turned, he shows them: “Love is diffuse; it goes out.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pornography-addiction-documented/#ixzz1jeMWZmsq

    Is it not hypocrisy to tell the Catholic Register in October that more or less human beings are meant to couple up, yet deny through civil laws marriage for sexual minorities? Or maybe hypocrisy is not the right word, what is the word I am looking for? If he truly believes that we humans are meant to find and be with a life partner, then why does he deny this civil right right to sexual minorities?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Dave, that article you posted from Yahoo news has now gone viral with over 8,000 comments. When I first started reading it only had 1,200 hundred comments which by itself is a lot. It is adding about 1,000 comments an hour.

    http://news.yahoo.com/why-gay-parents-may-best-parents-131902676.html

  • David M.

    @StraightGrandmother, quoting article on Fitzgibbons, “Fitzgibbons offers healing to his patients by teaching them about the nature of God’s love. He tells them that the first thing God said about them is: “It is not good for man to be alone.” True love isn’t inward-turned, he shows them: “Love is diffuse; it goes out.”

    Again here we see Fitzgibbons speaking as a theologian of sorts rather than as a psychiatrist. Western Christianity has suffered from problems with sex ever since St. Augustine. This Father of the Western Church believed it was better to have sex with a prostitute than to masturbate because masturbation is “inward-turned.” For Augustine, sex was a result of the fall, and allowable only for purposes of procreation. Even then, he believed the “concupiscence” inherent in the sex act tainted it. By this concupiscence, he wrote, original sin is passed from one generation to the next.

    The Catholic Church today would not agree with Augustine on all these points, but it is still bound by Augustine’s view of sex in general. One can speculate about whether Augustine was a psychologically healthy man. But it seems clear enough that his views of sex have led to untold misery among Protestants and Catholics alike.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    @SG .. Glad you found the article helpful ..

    Dave

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