Thursday, March 16, 2006

Homosexual Parenting: Not Yet Proven Safe for Children

Some arguments for homosexual "marriage" will include rhetoric about 'studies' which seem to show that children raised by Steve & Steve (or Edie & Edie) are "just as stable" as those raised in a traditional parental setting.

Not really.

George Rekers and Mark Kilgus published their analysis in the Regent’s University Law Review. Most of the 36 studies in their analysis concluded that children from same-sex parents were not adversely affected. However, Rekers and Kilgus found across the board problems with these studies. They concluded:

With the exception of the study by Cameron and Cameron, the few studies available are biased with regard to subject selection in that they generally report on a small group of research subjects which are not randomly selected and which do not constitute a scientifically representative sample of homosexual parents and their children.

Furthermore, although the research designs of the available studies are replete with numerous other methodological deficiencies, many of the authors make illegitimate generalizations or unwarranted conclusions from their flawed research studies. Thus, although the available research to date essentially constitutes a number of poorly designed, exploratory pilot studies, both the authors of the studies and many reviewers of the studies have concluded substantially more from these methodologically flawed studies than was warranted scientifically.

In the Cameron and Cameron study, which was methodologically correct but with a smaller-than-valid number of cases, it was found that:

...homosexual parenting is associated with disproportionate rates of homosexual orientation development, undesirable sexual experiences, a first sexual experience that was homosexual, and gender dissatisfaction.

These investigators found that less than 6% of the males and 3% of the females in the general population claimed to be bisexual or homosexual, but by comparison, 75% of the adult male children and 57% of the adult female children reared by homosexual parents claimed that they had developed a bisexual or homosexual orientation. Additionally, at least 35% of the adults who reported having been reared by a homosexual parent became homosexual themselves, and an additional 12% became “less than exclusively heterosexual”, thus a total of 47% of the children of homosexual parents claimed a less than exclusively heterosexual orientation. On that basis, Cameron and Cameron concluded, “Since less than 3% of the adult population is homosexual . . . homosexual parent(s) have a disproportionate fraction of children who become homosexual.”

Further,

This study also reported a disproportionate percentage (29%) of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6% of adult children of heterosexual parents

In addition,

Pointing out a parallel with other studies of sexual victimization of boys, these investigators reported that 67% of the small number of boys who had reported having been molested by their fathers also became bisexual or homosexual themselves.

Children reared by homosexual parents also experience disproportionately higher rates of having both homosexual and heterosexual relations with other caretakers, relatives, and other authority figures. “Males appeared to fare especially poorly in terms of experiencing sexually undesirable events when parented by a homosexual.”

Again, Rekers and Kilgus said that “even though the Cameron and Cameron study was better designed, the small number of homosexual parents in that study make all their results suggestive rather than conclusive.”

Even though Cameron/Cameron is suggestive, however:

...the specific effect of homosexual parenting on child development remains an open question. Until methodologically rigorous research studies are conducted, empirical research has essentially nothing definitive to offer decision-makers in child custody, foster home placement, adoption, or artificial insemination cases. Until such sound scientific studies become available, such decision-making should remain in the realms of ethics, morality, and law.

As is often the case (think Zogby Polls) it's the researcher which often picks a conclusion, then finds evidence.

It turns out that the studies the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has relied upon to draw their conclusions have been conducted by ideologically driven “researchers.”

Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf reports on a recent study which makes this claim and the “authoritative” researcher, Charlotte J. Patterson, who conducted the study:

The study, titled, “Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents: Research, Law and Policy,” claims that the children of lesbian couples are as happy and well-adjusted as children living in traditional homes. In addition, the study recommends — as steps toward “breaking down legal barriers to maintenance of parent-child relationships in families headed by gay and lesbian parents” — repeal of all sodomy laws, legalization of same-sex marriage throughout the U.S., and legalization of adoption by same-sex couples as well as “second-parent adoptions” (adoption of the children of the other same-sex partner). Such reforms, states the report, “would extend to gay and lesbian parents and their children the legal protections that are now generally taken for granted by other families.” In the paper Patterson cites her own research extensively.

Patterson… is a radical homosexual activist “who has a clear agenda to redefine what a family is or should be.” The article went on to point out that Patterson acknowledged in a newspaper interview that her paper didn’t address one of the questions most often asked about lesbian families: do their children turn out to be homosexual? She and others who promote lesbian families have always indicated that such a question is irrelevant because it doesn’t matter, since homosexuality, in their view, is simply a variant of normal sexuality. Such questions are dismissed as “homophobic.”

No, Dr. Patterson, they are legitimate questions posed by ordinary people.

What Cameron/Cameron found is that there are a LOT of questions which are NOT "answered" by research to date.

Oh, there's more:

An article by A. Dean Byrd in Ethical/Theoretical Issues, noted that a number of researchers had been critical of not only Patterson’s research but of all the research used by the American Psychological Association to back up its affirmative position on gay and lesbian parenting. Baumrind (1995), for example, concluded that “Most of the studies are based on small samples of convenience, retrospective data, or self-report instruments subject to social desirability biases” and added that few studies “explored theoretically relevant hypotheses concerning adolescent outcomes or used intensive observational and interview methods most likely to reveal possible problems such as identity diffusion or parent child enmeshment”

Despite the criticism of neutral researchers..., the American Psychological Association still relied heavily on Dr. Patterson’s research in formulating its resolution on same-sex marriage and homosexual parenting, which it announced at its convention in the summer of 2004.

There are some who have ALWAYS had reservations about the Psych Ass'n's resolutions. They are apparently correct...

13 comments:

Ragnar Mentaire said...

I don't get it. What do you mean?

Dad29 said...

Ummmnnnhhh...I don't know if more can be said than what's on the post.

But you can always read the source, linked, as usual, if you need even more info.

Bernard Brandt said...

Thank you for the presentation of evidence regarding some of the ramifications of "gay marriage" on the offspring of such "marriages". I recall back in the 70s, when I stopped listening to the local "free" radio station, KPFK, at about the time that the radical feminist Maoists who took that station over were espousing (in elaborate and disgusting detail) artificial semination for lesbians so that they could have children.

Ah well. I still think that the best thing said about "gay marriage" was by Frank Zappa in a song at the end of his deranged motion picture, Two Hundred Motels:

Lord, have mercy
on the hippies and faggots
and the dykes and the
weird little children they grow!

Todd said...

As soon as you begin quoting Paul Cameron, you know you've lost the debate.

From lethimstay.com:

Cameron has been discredited by, thrown out of, and publicly chastised by numerous professional organizations. In December of 1983, he was dropped by the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association for violating the Ethical Principles of Psychologists. In October 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association voted to "formally disassociate" itself from Cameron. And in August 1986, the American Sociological Association voted to condemn Cameron's "consistent misrepresentation of sociological research."

His testimony was discounted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Gay Student Services v. Texas A & M University, 737 F.2d 1317, 1330 (5th Cir. 1984), and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said Cameron's testimony, including his claims about gay parents and molestation, constituted fraud and misrepresentation, in Baker v. Wade 106 F.R.D. 526 D.C.Tex., 1985. Even Gale Norton, then Attorney General of Colorado, in 1994 dropped Cameron as an expert witness in her failed fight to defend anti-gay Amendment 2.

According to former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Paul Cameron advocated as early as 1983 for the extermination of gay men. In an interview with Penthouse Forum magazine he lobbied for the forcible tattooing and quarantine of people with AIDS, then said, "It probably would be a lot cheaper to just exterminate male homosexuals." (See Mark E. Pietrzyk, "Paul Cameron, professional sham," The New Republic, October 3, 1994.)

Paul Cameron is a discredited scientist, and the willingness of those opposed to gay parenting to cite him indicates that they base their arguments on misinformation and deceit.

Moreover, as I said over at Shark and Shepard: the social science research has looked thousands of children raised by hundreds of couples over decades. It's good enough for all the major organizations that work with children and make children's well being their central priority. These, moreover, are all the organizations that are most familiar with social science research on children's well being and on what kind of research enables solid conclusion.

These include: the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers.

Dad29 said...

Sorry, Todd--the Cameron study was not the point, much as you'd like it to be so...

The point was Rekers and Kilgus' Regent's U. Law Review.

They have nothing good to say about ANY of the studies, although they think that Cameron's is less deficient.

IOW, Todd, the studies which you do NOT name, endorsed by Intellectualoids, are NOT VALID.

Square One. Your turn.

Todd said...

Again, from lethimstay.com:

In the past 20 years, respected researchers have looked at over 1,000 children and over 500 lesbian and gay parents. All of these studies have been published in peer-reviewed, respected journals, whose standards represent expert consensus on accepted social scientific methods. Most child development studies benefit from having in-depth observations of children with multiple reporters (parents, teachers, clinicians, researchers, etc.) and instruments. The studies of gay and lesbian parents have been conducted in this manner, and the research designs that have been criticized adhere to the generally accepted scientific standards of psychology. Indeed, if we were to accept what these activists say, we would have to dismiss virtually the entire discipline.

Rekers and Kilgus determined their conclusion before beginning their study.

Todd said...

I would, moreover, point readers to Dad29's comments on the Shark and Shepard blog.

There, you'll see that I wrote:

the social science does emphatically assert that children raised by gay couples are as healthy, adjusted, and wonderful as children raised by heterosexual couples.

And Dad29 responds with the following:

As to the relative social health of children raised by gay couples, what Todd demonstrates (and I will assume that his facts are spot-on) is that children are remarkable little critters. Ummmnnnhhh, should I say "natural law" again?

Dad29 said...

Todd--the benefit of the doubt I gave you in S&S was obviated by the challenges to the study.

Your citation of interested parties to support your particular position is, ah, less than statistically significant.

And by the way--1,000 children? 500 "parents?" Get serious. You don't have to be a statistician to know that friggin' NEILSEN has bigger numbers than that for validity. Even Wisconsin political polls use larger numbers.

Give it up, Todd.

Todd said...

Readers needn't take my word for it.

An interview with Judith Stacey, a leading expert in the field is href="http://lethimstay.com/wrong_socscience_expert.html"> here. The site, which Dad29 will no doubt claim is biased, usefully cites 22 studies that compare children raised by gay couples with children raised by nongay couples, all of which were published in peer-reviewed, established, and credible journals.

To anyone unwilling to accept the conclusion of organizations such as the Child Welfare League of America or the American Academy of Pediatrics, take the bibliography to the library, have a look, and come to your own conclusion.

Todd said...

My apologies for sloppy coding:

the hyperlink is here.

M.Z. Forrest said...

If the studies controlled for divorce and other such things, I wouldn't be surprised to see comparable statistics. Typically children enter homosexual households as a product of divorce. I take that back, psychologists are only now getting around to saying that divorce might be bad for children. The statistics regardless are ripe for manipulation.

Ragnar Mentaire said...

Sorry, my earlier post was in response to an incomplete version of your entry. Now, your feelings about gays are much more clear.

Dad29 said...

Ragnar,

I doubt that my "feelings about gays" are more clear.

However, my feelings about gay "marriage" should be more clear.

It's a distinction WITH a difference..