Sociologists File Brief in Prop 8 Case

Sociologists File Brief in Prop 8 Case March 6, 2013

The American Sociological Association has filed a brief in the Prop 8 case before the Supreme Court that slams the now-infamous Regnerus study on same-sex parenting. You can read the full brief here. There were two main problems with that study, both of which seriously undermine the validity of the conclusions Mark Regnerus reached and the way anti-gay leaders have used it.

The first is that Regnerus created the gay parent sample group by defining anyone who had ever had any same-sex interactions at all. The ASA brief addresses this:

First, the Regnerus study does not specifically examine children born or adopted into same-sex parent

families, but instead examines children who, from the time they were born until they were 18 or moved out, had a parent who at any time had “a same-sex romantic relationship.” As Regnerus noted, the majority of the individuals

characterized by him as children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” were the offspring of failed opposite sex

unions whose parent subsequently had a same-sex relationship. In other words, Regnerus did not study or analyze the children of two same-sex parents.

The second was that he did not control for the variety of other variables that we know have a huge impact on family stability and the development of the children in those households, thus ending up comparing hugely different families against one another based solely on sexual orientation:

Second, when the Regnerus study compared the children of parents who at one point had a “same-sex romantic relationship,” most of whom had experienced a family dissolution or single motherhood, to children raised by two biological, married opposite-sex parents, the study stripped away all divorced, single, and stepparent families from the opposite-sex group, leaving only stable, married, opposite-sex families as the comparison. Thus, it was hardly surprising that the opposite-sex group had better outcomes given that stability is a key predictor of positive child wellbeing.

This is so obvious that any claim to the contrary can only be the result of ideology and mendacity. If you compare children from parents who were initially in heterosexual marriages despite one of them being gay so the marriage dissolves to children raised by intact straight families without the strife and divorce that comes with all those negative results, the result can’t possibly be anything other than what it is. You’re not comparing apples to oranges, you’re comparing apples to bowling balls.

This is the kind of pseudo-science you have to resort to when the facts aren’t on your side. The ASA brief cites dozens of studies of same-sex parents that show conclusively that their children fare no worse than the children of straight parents when you control for things like income, having two parents vs having one, and so forth.

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