Friday, October 9, 2020

The Same People Are Still Trying to "Prove" That Gay Couples are Crappy Parents

It is hard to fathom why people continue to a) oppose marriage equality and; b) do so through unqualified people attempting to denigrate thoroughly settled science.
Friday I received an email from Austin Institute (of Mark Regnerus1 and Luis Tellez2 fame) promoting a paper titled: Are Mothers and Fathers Interchangeable Caregivers?

The article is published to a third-rate journal (more on that later), Marriage & Family Review. The abstract does not mention gay parenting. However, everyone involved in this project has been obsessed over marriage equality for many years. Parenting is their core — and flimsy — argument in favor of marriage discrimination.

Ever since marriage equality came to Massachusetts in 2004, the principal argument of the faithful has been that gay people should not be allowed to marry because they are terrible parents. It never made any sense. It was the best they could do to voice a seemingly secular argument to support a religious objection. It is a lie.

It also represents the losing argument in United States v. Windsor (DOMA), Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and Obergefell v. Hodges. In fact it backfired when justices of the Supreme Court concluded that marriage equality was in the best interests of the children that gay couples were already raising.

The issue of same-sex parenting has been settled for years. Elite researcher, Dr. Michael Rosenfeld at Stanford University, explained in 2015:
“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.”
According to the APA (2012!):
On the basis of a remarkably consistent body of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, the American Psychological Association (APA) and other health professional and scientific organizations have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation. That is, lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. This body of research has shown that the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children are unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish.
The two authors of the subject article are constituents of the lunatic fringe that Rosenfeld refers to. They have “little or no credibility in academia.” These are:

Catherine R. Pakaluk: Pakaluk has undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in economics. While she pretentiously claims to have other areas of expertise, her training is limited to economics. In 2012, while she was with Ave Maria University, Pakaluk along with Douglas Allen (an obscure Canadian economist) and Joseph Price (see below), authored a study published to some home economics “journal” asserting that the children of gay couples would almost certainly become high school dropouts.

They included a laundry list of adversity. Over the last eight years none of it has been realized. I don't expect a correction or apology but you might think that some humility would be in order.

Pakaluk has since moved on to Catholic University's Busch School of Business where she is an untenured assistant professor. She continues to smear LGBTQ people as a mindless Defender of the Faith. Her three degrees are from Ivy League Schools (Penn and Harvard) which proves that religion has the potential to make smart people spectacularly stupid.

Joseph P. Price: Price is an associate professor of economics at Brigham Young University. He serves as a senior fellow at Austin Institute. Price has done some good work in his field, particularly in the area of child nutrition. He has published a number of papers. Only two are detractors from his reputation: The subject article and the 2012 article (referenced above) with Douglas Allen and Catherine Pakaluk.

Walter R. Schumm: Schumm, a sociology professor at Kansas State University, is an anti-gay careerist. He is obsessed with something that does no affect him in any way. In a 2010 paper Schumm claimed that the children of gay parents were more likely to be gay. This was actually a paper in support and defense of thoroughly discredited Paul Cameron.

Schumm is not a contributor to the subject article. However, Schumm is the managing editor of Marriage & Family Review, to which the article is published.

Schumm is infamous for having written a commentary which appeared with Mark Regnerus' anti-gay paper. He failed to disclose the simple fact that he was a paid consultant (presumably by Witherspoon Institute) in the developmental stages of the study. In some circles that is called academic malfeasance. I prefer “prostitution.”

Which explains how even a substandard journal would publish an article dealing with sociology, written by two economists who are at odds with the overwhelming scientific consensus. That's not to say that every consensus of science is correct.

However, challengers to settled science should be experts in the subject field. These experts will have written peer-reviewed articles related to the issue being challenged. Those papers will have been published to reputable academic journals.

1 Regnerus was the author of 2013 study intended to influence the Supreme Court as it deliberated United States v. Windsor. The principal funder of the study was Witherspoon Institute. Regnerus' own professional organization, the American Sociological Association, filed an amicus brief in Windsor. ASA's brief specifically demolished Regnerus.

2 Tellez is an Opus Dei numerary who serves as chairman of Austin Institute. Tellez, along with Robert P. George, founded Witherspoon Institute (see above). He has also served on the boards of other ultra-conservative Catholic pressure groups including National Organization for Marriage and American Principles Project which were also founded, in part, by Robert P. George.

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