Saturday, May 12, 2018

The pretentious Mr. Stanton exports his BS

“Were Stanton really concerned for the best interests of children raised by gay couples then he would stop trying to marginalize their parents.”
Family First New Zealand, a conservative Christian organization, hired Glenn T. Stanton to write a report titled Why Mothers Matter for Mother's Day. With one exception that I will point out, it is not an anti-gay treatise. Despite the efforts of Family First New Zealand, marriage equality came to New Zealand in 2013. To the best of my knowledge they have not endured any frog rain, locusts or plague over the last five years.

Presumably with boilerplate supplied by Stanton, he is described as follows:
Glenn T. Stanton is the Director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. Glenn holds a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of West Florida with an emphasis in philosophy and history. He has been working professionally as a respected researcher in the field of sexuality and gender for nearly 25 years.
It is the part about being a professional researcher that I find pompous and pretentious. For starters Mr. Stanton has no training in human sexuality. To the best of my knowledge Stanton has never published anything to a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. A “respected researcher” earns that respect by publishing articles to respected journals. Stanton is just another run-of-the-mill culture warrior. Ultimately his opinions are formed from ancient chronicles of dubious provenance.

Within the piece, according to Stanton:
The ability and confidence to solve problems is critical in healthy child development.
This is demonstrated in a very interesting real-life example. A number of years ago, a major newspaper did a large profile on various ‘new kinds of families’, including multiple-adult and same-sex families. One of these families embraced the idea that gender difference didn’t really matter, and that all kids needed was love. But, unwittingly, the adults in this family proved precisely how much gender difference does matter for children. The family in question consisted of two lesbian women, their sperm donor friend, and his gay partner. It was essentially a four-way family with the two women as the primary parents of a little boy. If all the child needed was love, then wouldn’t four doting ‘parents’ be a developmental gold-mine for him?
According to a footnote, the article was by Karen Peterson; “Looking Straight at Gay Parents,” USA Today, March 10, 2004. Stanton does not do peer-reviewed research and neither does a reporter for USA Today. Stanton does not provide a link and I cannot find one. However, Stanton has cited this article before. It is in a 2009 book that he wrote called Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-sex Marriage and Parenting.

In the current New Zealand piece, Stanton writes:
The journalist asked the adults if they ever had problems parenting in such a unique set-up. One of the women said that yes, of course they did. The biological father spoke up to explain. He said that when Alec, the boy, was trying to figure out a puzzle or was having trouble with his building blocks, the women are more inclined to step in at the first sign of frustration to help him solve the problem. Why would coming to the child’s aid possibly be a problem? The father explained that he and his partner thought it best to hold off a bit in order to give Alec a chance to solve the problem for himself.
The above link to Stanton's book is to the relevant section. As you can see, the story in 2009 was quite different. Rather than a puzzle, the biological father claimed that the women pampered the three-year-old too much. If the kid fell down, they rushed to help.

Eureka! According to Stanton, in the absence of a father, the kid was suffering. I wish that I could find the original story to see which version is correct (it is not at USA Today's site). Perhaps neither version is correct. Mr. Stanton cannot keep his own bullshit straight.

Stanton comes to the same conclusion that he arrived at in 2009. The father might have better answers so the child is deprived. The women have legal custody and the biological father might be clueless meaning that the child is better off without him. I do not know and neither does Stanton. He, however, claims to know and that leads to misrepresentation.

Were Stanton really a researcher he would know that one family is not a representative sample. He would also know that an interview by someone who is not a social scientist is not certain to ask neutral questions or to recount the answers as given. Stanton is not a researcher and he is biased and he is unable to provide a link to the original article.

This is also not the first time that Stanton has confused a newspaper article with research. In that cited example, he drew conclusions that made no sense whatsoever and called the article research. He looks like a fool because Stanton lacks the intellectual curiosity to look into something that seems to be in agreement with his presumptions.

With limited wit, Glenn T. Stanton is an easy target. Yet in more than two decades with Focus on the Family, Stanton has done real damage to some very decent people. Were Stanton really concerned for the best interests of children raised by gay couples then he would stop trying to marginalize their parents.

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