FRR Jul 2010 – Are Fathers Irrelevant?

That’s what the headlines claimed. 77 lesbian families with 78 offspring gotten by artificial insemination [AI] were studied when the kids attained 17 years of age. And the kids did fine without fathers! Indeed, perhaps a bit better than those kids with fathers. Homosexuals are WONDERFUL.

Unfortunately, this study in Pediatrics is an example of the usual ‘gay investigators find gay parenthood is nifty’ kind of study promoted by the professional associations. No matter how poorly done the study or absurd the conclusions, the study gets great coverage and the investigators ‘get away with murder.’

In the Pediatrics article, the kids of lesbians were “rated [by their mothers] significantly higher in social, school/academic, and significantly lower in social, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than the [standardized] comparison group.” Hmm.

Reports of lesbian mothers about their children collected in 2009 were compared with reports of heterosexual mothers regarding their own 93 children in a ‘standardized’ sample collected in 2001. Scientifically speaking, the investigators should have compared the kids of lesbians with a similar sample of heterosexual mothers who used AI. While the differences between the two groups of kids were generally small — based on their mothers’ ratings — ‘mothers with a motive’ are suspect raters of their own child. Surely it would have been more impressive if teachers had rated all the kids in their classes that the children of lesbians attended, and the lesbians’ kids stood out as better.

Likewise, if the kids had taken a version of same questionnaire devised ‘just for them,’ and the kids of lesbians scored themselves higher on the same things that their mothers did — that would be somewhat impressive (though not as impressive as the teachers doing the ratings). However, no such kid-ratings were reported (even though they were apparently collected), except for complaints of being discriminated against.

The scores on the mother-rated questionnaires were ‘standardized’ with a convenience sample of 93 ‘regular’ kids rated by mothers about possible social and personality problems. A glaring difference between the standardized sample and the lesbian mothers was the proportion of white mother respondents — 96% of lesbians vs. 68% in the comparison sample. Why is this important? Because non-white kids — blacks and Hispanics especially — usually have more ‘social,’ ‘school/academic,’ ‘rule breaking behaviors,’ ‘externalizing,’ and ‘aggressive’ behaviors than whites. These, it turns out, were the very areas in which differences favoring the lesbians’ kids were reported!

If these kinds of racial differences were present in the ratings of the heterosexual mothers (not reported, of course, by the authors), all the study’s differences might be due to the standardized sample being about a third non-white. In that scenario, the findings might be explained by the fact that white kids generally do better than minority kids on following the rules — in or out of school. However, if the lesbian mothers’ ratings were compared to just those 62 kids with white mothers in the standardized sample and the differences persisted, then the ‘finding’ might suggest something more significant and comparatively valid.

Of course, the race of the child may make little difference in these comparisons, but the race of the mother usually makes a difference because whites have a different ‘subculture’ than blacks or Hispanics. That is why comparative studies generally attempt to match their samples on demographic characteristics, including race, so that such cultural or other disparities are properly accounted for. Times may also have changed in the 8 years between when the comparison sample was drawn and the lesbians’ sample, so the differences may partly reflect ‘then vs. now’ changes in cultural attitudes toward social and behavioral problems.

Whether there is nothing or a lot to ‘prove,’ probably the best persons to rate a child on these kinds of issues are their teachers. Of course, getting parents’ and the child’s answers are useful, but these lesbians had gotten artificially inseminated and volunteered to join a long-term study — most likely they had something to prove. Without a reasonable comparison group how can one know which results are due to ‘lesbian mothers’ vs. ‘people who get AI’ vs. ‘kids in 2001 instead of 2009?’ Those who get AI have gone to some trouble to have children. Do they make better parents as a consequence? We don’t know from this study, because the ‘artificial kids’ were compared to ‘regular kids’ in the 8 year-older, more ethnically diverse standardization sample.

Nevertheless, there are ‘miracles’ in this study. For instance, adolescent lesbians almost always test as more rebellious in surveys (e.g., more frequently are involved in violence, use drugs, are more frequently promiscuous), but apparently this did not carry through to their children in this study — really? Further, 56% of lesbians who had been ‘partnered’ at the time the child was born were now ‘divorced.’ Yet there was no difference in the mothers’ ratings of both kinds of kids — those in ‘intact’ homes and those in ‘broken’ situations. Another miracle is that kids who knew and didn’t know their donors tested ‘the same.’

These are instances of the notion that ‘as long as a homosexual parent is involved, everything turns out OK and nothing else really makes a difference’ so commonplace in studies run by homosexual investigators. Interestingly, the mother-ratings of the 41% of lesbians’ kids who said they were discriminated against because of their mothers, did not differ from the 59% of kids who did not say they were discriminated against (that is, based on the kids’ answers to the questionnaire). However, when lesbian mothers said their kids had been discriminated against (38% of kids in the lesbian sample), they rated their kids lower than the mothers of the 62% kids who supposedly hadn’t been discriminated against (again, according to the mothers’ reports)!

These results show the truth of the old saying, ‘It all depends on who you ask.’ Mothers said one thing, kids said another, and their teachers weren’t asked at all.

The ratings from this study do not justify the conclusion of the authors: “our findings show that adolescents who have been raised since birth in planned lesbian families demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment and thus provide no justification for restricting access to reproductive technologies or child custody on the basis of the sexual orientation of the parents.” (pp. 7-8) Yet this absurdity was the real reason for the study. Since when do a small set of lesbians’ kids who might have tested OK — at least when rated by their mothers — justify saying that “adolescents who have been raised since birth in planned lesbian families demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment?

One sample taking one questionnaire does not a rule make. Further, how can the same small sample “provide no justification for restricting access to reproductive technologies or child custody?” Perhaps some evidence has been generated to support not restricting access to AI, but none of this evidence bears upon “child custody.” And as to fathers being irrelevant, this study provides no clear evidence either way.

Reference: Gartrell N, Bos H (2010) US National longitudinal lesbian family study: psychological adjustment of 17-year-old adolescents. Pediatrics, posted online June 7, 2010.

2010 US Supreme Court: Homosexuals 1, Evangelicals 0

Higher education and the U.S. Supreme Court don’t like Evangelicals, or any group that ‘discriminates’ against those who engage in homosexuality. In Christian Legal Society vs. Hastings (2010), the Court did just about everything to ‘make it possible’ for academic institutions to eliminate groups that don’t accept homosexuality from campus life. So far, in the ‘big decisions’ involving homosexuals, the Supreme Court has ruled against Colorado voters’ attempt to stop homosexuals getting special privileges (1994), upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to discriminate against homosexuals (2000), outlawed making homosexual conduct illegal (2003), and now has ruled that broad interpretations of ‘civil rights law’ trump religious rights. So the overall ‘score’ is gays 3, Christians 1.

At issue was whether a Christian club, with standards that included not engaging in homosexuality, would be permitted on the campus of Hastings Law School like 60 other clubs. The California state school said no, and now the Supremes have said no.

Why? Well, it doesn’t make much logical sense. In 1972, the US Supreme Court held that Students for Democratic Action — a violent left-wing group — had First Amendment rights to be permitted on campuses. But as Justice Alito noted in dissent “Hastings admitted in its answer, which was filed prior to the former dean’s deposition, that at least as of that time, the law school did not follow an accept-all-comers policy and instead allowed “political, social, and cultural student organizations to select officers and members who are dedicated to a particular set of ideals or beliefs.”

He also noted “If an organization is to remain a viable entity in a campus community in which new students enter on a regular basis, it must possess the means of communicating with these students. Moreover, the organization’s ability to participate in the intellectual give and take of campus debate, and to pursue its stated purposes, is limited by denial of access to the customary media for communicating with the administration, faculty members, and other students. Such impediments cannot be viewed as insubstantial.”

“The forced inclusion of an unwanted person in a group infringes the group’s freedom of expressive association if the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group’s ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. Dale, supra, at 648. A Free Love Club could require members to affirm that they reject the traditional view of sexual morality to which CLS adheres. It is hard to see how this can be viewed as anything other than view point discrimination [which]… will allow every public college and university in the United States to exclude all evangelical Christian organizations.”

Thus, with this ruling, anyone can have freedom of speech and association unless you offend “the prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.” Indeed.

If we give persons with compulsive sexual interests the cat-bird seat, they will discriminate vigorously against all opposition. Since Christianity was ‘to blame’ for clearing the Roman Empire of strong homosexual influence, if we elevate homosexuality to a ‘right,’ it follows our society must be cleansed of Christianity. A terrible trade, given the benefits of Christianity and the liabilities of homosexuality.