Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Study concludes that children of same-sex parents fair better than their peers with heterosexual parents

A new study in the prestigious Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics concludes that the children of same-sex parents are psychologically sounder than children of heterosexual parents. The study is titled: Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents' Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions? The conclusion reads:
Findings suggested that children with same-sex parents fare well both in terms of psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior. The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.
Italy has a progressive society but it remains the only major country in the Western world without marriage equality. How that affects these couples is unknown.

This study used convenience sampling which is non-random. However, the article is published to a highly respected academic journal with rigorous peer review. We can reasonably expect that the investigators minimized the effects of an opportunity sample. The problem that researchers are faced with is finding gay couples raising kids. These represent a minuscule percentage of the general population.

The study's researchers are three psychologists and one medical doctor. The lead investigator, Dr. Roberto Baiocco, is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome since 2006. He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Baiocco has published 103 articles to peer reviewed international journals.

The Defenders of the Faith™ are not pleased.

Doug Mainwaring knows a thing or two about gay couples raising children. The LifeSiteNews blogger is a neurotic gay man married (sort of) to a lesbian. It is fair to wonder about the well-being of his children and whether or not he is projecting. Nevertheless, Mainwaring's only interest is to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church:
Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral…
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Ratzinger would become Pope Benedict. There is no evidence that would ever convince a cultist like Mainwaring of anything contrary to the teachings of the Church. The objective of the Church was (or is) to impose its dogma (and arrogance) on public policy:
If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians.
Mainwaring writes: Fake news: LGBT activists tout flawed research study about children of homosexuals. Fake news? The study says what is says and it is published to a highly respected academic journal. I quoted the conclusion from the study. There is nothing fake about it. In contrast, Mr. Mainwaring provides a very good example of fake news. Perhaps he is projecting.

According to Mainwaring:
A new study purports to have found that children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers show fewer psychological problems than children of opposite-sex parents. Don’t believe it.

Conducted in Italy, the study is deeply flawed, based on a non-random sample of 190 gay and lesbians parents, as well as an equal number of opposite sex couples.
The study is based on a convenience sample. Nevertheless, it could have found that the kids were suffering. After all, in Italy they are disadvantaged when compared to the children of married heterosexual parents. Moreover, it is not just one study. According to Dr. Michael Rosenfeld, a prominent professor of sociology at Stanford University:
“Research…has developed a scholarly consensus that shows that children raised by same-sex couples are at no important disadvantage.” He went on to say, “There is a noisy fringe of academics who claim that children raised by same-sex couples are in disastrous peril,” a view that “has little or no credibility within academia.”
The Church is heavily invested in perpetrating this mythology. Absent a good argument to oppose same-sex marriage directly, they targeted same-sex parenting. The meme was that gays are crappy parents. Therefore, gays create crappy marriages.

Mainwaring continues:
The researcher’s conclusions about the psychological health of the children of gay parents is based not on interactions with the children, but solely on the parents’ response to “self-report questionnaires ... administered through an online survey,” in which, unsurprisingly, gay dads gave themselves high grades…
An important element of most psychological research is the instrumentation. It is supposed to be situational. I lack the erudition to propose a suitable example. However, I can offer an analog based on my training and experience. Were I interviewing a candidate for a middle-management position, asking direct questions is a futile endeavor. Most candidates know what the right answers are. I get there indirectly by asking the individual about the best boss he ever worked for probing for why he or she was the best and so on. Then the worst. But I digress.

Given the rigor of peer review and the experience of the researchers we can safely assume that their surveys were designed to provide accurate information about their children. Under the circumstances it is also safe to assume that they were not trying to obtain a certain result.

That cannot be said about the fringe players like Father Paul Sullins, Mark Regnerus and Douglas Allen. Their objective is to conform science to the dogma of the Church. They have been successful in doing so but the research (often published to substandard and vanity pay-to-publish journals) has no credibility.

Mainwaring continues:
One wonders how these researchers can be comfortable publishing sweeping conclusions about children whom they have never met, never observed, never interviewed.
Simple. They published a study to a respected journal with full disclosure. This allows people to draw reasonable conclusions about the reliability. Doug is not done:
That didn’t stop these academics from authoritatively asserting, “The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.”
Now he is projecting. Note the quote above from Ratzinger's bigoted treatise about the duty of Catholic politicians based on their belief system which relies on faith. Contrast that to a warning based on evidence. Mainwaring is not attacking this based on the best interests of children. He is attacking it because his neuroses perceive that these researchers are attacking the Church.

Mainwaring goes on to quote Regnerus and Allen. Very compelling. Then, … Oh you'll love this part:
This is the Same Junk Science that Led to Same-Sex ‘Marriage’
Before the peculiar notion of same-sex ‘marriage’ became enshrined in law in western nations, similar sorts of studies were conducted in order to pave the way for non-conjugal, non-complementary marriage.

Gay “marriage” proponents insisted that scientific studies lead to the irrefutable conclusion that children raised by same-sex couples do just as well or better than those raised in homes with a mom and a dad.
“Junk science” means untested or unproved hypotheses presented as fact. When Mark Regnerus claimed that gays were not good parents without studying same-sex parents and with undisclosed conflicts of interest in order to oppose marriage equality in advance of deliberations in United States v. Windsor, that was junk science.

Moreover, there is no study published to a respected academic journal to refute the general consensus of science that the children of gay couples are healthy, happy and secure. And it continues and with each paragraph Mainwaring gets deeper into the woods:
California Supreme Court Justice Vaughn Walker––himself a gay man––in overturning California's Prop. 8, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in his Windsor decision, made ill-informed decisions based on seriously flawed research:
Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology. (Justice Vaughn Walker, section 70, Perry v. Schwarzenegger)
The fact that Judge Walker is gay is irrelevant. Mainwaring is gay. Walker's quote is absolutely accurate and was based on a great deal of evidence. Mainwaring doesn't like the quote because it differs from dogma.
The research was most certainly not “beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.” It was junk science.

In 2013, Professor Doug Allen of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, called into question the reliability of such studies and their conclusions…
Peer-reviewed research that draws conclusions based on evidence is not junk science. Doug Allen creates junk science. Allen is an economist. He is unqualified and he publishes to vanity journals. Allen is also highly biased. He was affiliated with National Organization for Marriage and is on Ruth Institute's board of advisors. Allen did a literature review to “prove” that children raised by gay couples became high school dropouts at a significant rate. His prime source was Michael Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld, by the way, refused an offer from Mark Regnerus to be one of his investigators. Regarding Allen's conclusions, Rosenfeld wrote (emphasis added):
Allen et al.’s results depend on their inclusion of children whose family at the time of their grade retention is unknown, plus adopted and foster children whose selection process into families is unknown. Children whose family has been through upheavals or transitions are less likely to make good progress in school than children from stable families. Children raised by stable same-sex couples do remarkably well in school.
Towards the end of his diatribe, Mainwaring clearly admits that he is influence by dogma over evidence:
Here’s why it is so important to not allow these sorts of studies to obtain even the slightest patina of legitimacy:

“To entrust children to so-called homosexual couples signifies the violation of the fundamental right of any child: to grow and be educated by a father and a mother,” said Bishop Athanasius Schneider in a recent interview. “Entrusting children ... to so-called homosexual couples in the ultimate analysis represents a moral abuse of the children, of the smallest and most defenseless.”
Mainwaring and the quoted prelate want to pretend that all of this evidence does not exist in order to defend the faith. That too is junk science. so is the pronouncement that gay people are “objectively disordered.” Mainwaring actually believes that he is disordered because of the dogma.

While this post on my behalf is a “fuck you Doug,” at the same time he saddens me. I feel sorry for a gay man who has succumbed to dogma based principally on ancient texts. He believes that he is unworthy unless he pretends to be a heterosexual married man. Even then he is inferior to people who are not “same-sex attracted.” The Church does this to people. It should not and Mainwaring should not believe it. Who knows what contributions he could make were he true to himself?

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