NOM BLOG

Category Archives: Research/Study

Heal With Compassion, Not with Surgery

People opposed to the transgender movement are often accused of being bigots. In truth, I—like many others—harbor no hate for people who suffer from gender identity disorder. Rather, I feel deep compassion and concern for them in their suffering. As someone in the field of psychology, I hope we can one day find a more holistic, less invasive means to treat this disorder. - Nuriddeen Knight

ThinkstockPhotos-56179023In a recent article from Public Discourse, Columbia University’s Teachers College alumna Nuriddeen Knight, an African American, explains how her family encouraged her to be proud of her heritage, while she herself experienced insecurities. At difficult times, she admits that she slipped into the mindset that certain skin tones, body types, and hair styles were “better.” Nonetheless, she overcame these insecurities, and now reflects on how her experiences have helped her understand what the transgender movement really is advocating: self-harm to those who follow its ideals.

If I had gone to my parents begging them to be white, I think they might have laughed, cried, comforted me, and worried what they did wrong as parents. But what if I had told them not only that I wanted to be white but that I actually was white? What if I had declared that the race of my body simply didn’t match that of my mind? I think they would’ve been deeply troubled.

. . .

ThinkstockPhotos-76222524But what if, instead of wanting to be white, I wanted to be a man? What if, instead of crying to my parents that I was really a white person, I told them that I was really a man and that I desperately wanted to change my body to match my mind? If, in this scenario, you think that my parents should applaud my courage, accept my new gender identity, and run to the nearest surgeon, please ask yourself: “Why?”

There’s no doubt that race and sex are two very different issues. Race is a social construct invented during the era of slavery. Before the European enslavement of Africans, there were no united “black people” in Africa, and there were no united “white people” in Europe. Thanks to slavery, the labels of black and white became a convenient way to continue oppression, but they are a relatively new way of identifying one’s self.

But sex is not a human invention. Yes, gender roles are culturally created. Still, that does not erase the fact that every human being (except intersex individuals, who represent a tiny percentage) is born with a distinctive set of physical and biological attributes that constitute them as male or female. That is a truth that cannot be erased with time.

Please read Knight’s full article at The Public Discourse.

“Science-Gilding” of Public Policy

ThinkstockPhotos-160503703The American Public Health Association (APHA) released a study as an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court offering ‘“another compelling reason” for the Supreme Court to overturn state laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.’ However, the study is a sham and is an abhorrent misuse of science to back up the same-sex marriage agenda. Jason Richwine from The Public Discourse, explains the errors in how the study proceeded:

Let’s first consider the weakness of the evidence. The APHA’s brief cites only two studies that directly test the claim that marriage laws affect the health of LGB individuals. (First Study)

. . .

First, the whole exercise of comparing outcomes in two different groups of states is fraught with imprecision. Because no state-level controls are employed, the study effectively assumes that the only relevant change between 2000 and 2005 is that sixteen states passed amendments defining marriage as the union of husband and wife, while the other thirty-four did not.

And there is considerable ambiguity in the findings. Many health disorders among LGBs seemed to increase in both groups of states, but they seemed to go up more in the states that passed amendments. I say “seemed to” because the sample size of LGBs who had certain disorders is small, leading to estimates with wide confidence intervals.

He continues to cite and explain issues with the second part of the study:

The authors of this study refer to it as a “quasi-natural experiment.” Emphasis on quasi. Unlike a real experiment, this study has no control group. It focuses on a single urban clinic dedicated to serving gay and bisexual men, two thirds of whom have a college degree and almost all of whom are under sixty-five. The authors include a one-sentence reference to overall health costs in Massachusetts going up over the same time period, but that is obviously inadequate. A proper control group must resemble the treatment group.

Please read the full article at The Public Discourse.

The Real Revelations from the Faked Same-sex Marriage Study

An op-ed in The American Spectator reviews muted media reaction to the disclosure that a widely publicized study claiming that a gay canvasser speaking to a voter at their home would produce remarkable and long-lasting change in support of same-sex ‘marriage’ was faked. They note that the media’s coverage of the scandal was tepid, especially compared to the original coverage when the false study was issued.

dv763009Some news outlets even carried comments from same-sex marriage activists stating that even though the study was completely fabricated, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t true! Some even urge the study be redone properly. The author provocatively suggests that social scientists instead conduct studies to determine the effect on public opinion of the media portraying supporters of marriage as bigots, or the impact of judges ignoring the will of voters and imposing their own views in the law, or the impact on public opinion of a small business owner losing her shop rather than her religious principles.

Daniel Flynn, author of the article, comments on the fraudulent study.

Two aspiring political scientists exposed a widely referenced study, which maintained that homosexuals discussing gay marriage with citizens proved “capable of producing a cascade of opinion change,” as a total fraud.

Berkeley grad student Joshua Kalla and Stanford professor David Broockman, eager to add to the project with their own study, discovered that the survey firm identified in “When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality” maintained “no familiarity with the project,” “never had an employee with the name of the staffer” believed as assisting the research, and “denied having the capabilities” to conduct such an endeavor.

He continues to show that voters never really wanted same-sex marriage in many of the places such laws were passed, and the result of such laws on the average person.

What happens to donations to traditional marriage initiatives when they result in job loss, let’s say from a tech company that produces a popular web browser, for one who gives to a ballot initiative protecting man-woman unions? Perhaps an experiment could focus on the effects of the mass media’s incessant, not-so-subliminal name calling—e.g., “bigot,” “homophobe,” “hater”—on public opinion. Or, maybe, researchers could study the rather straightforward cause-and-effect of how judges refusing to allow people to vote on the laws that govern them transform the laws that govern people—and ultimately the public’s views. Another alternative might be to gauge the uptick in support for gay marriage resulting from a small business owner—a baker, for instance, who refuses to cook up a wedding cake for a homosexual couple—losing her shop instead of her religious principles.

Codifying gay marriage has never been about canvassers, gay or straight, persuading Americans. Voters, after all, rejected same-sex marriage in California, Wisconsin, Oregon, and other blue states only to watch judges order them to embrace it. America’s evolution on gay marriage came as a conversion by the sword.

His commentary shows the corruption in academia, and the media, for what it is:

We imagine science as disinterested, dispassionate, impartial, objective. The reality of science, particularly so-called social science, occasionally reveals biased partisans gathering data to support a predetermined conclusion.

Data Faked by Same-sex Marriage Researchers

Last year, the media was awash in stories reporting what was considered a major study that “proved” that once people had a conversation at their home with a same-sex canvasser, their minds were changed on whether same-sex ‘marriage’ should be accepted.

ThinkstockPhotos-467417087Further, the study claimed this was such a profound tactic, that follow up research showed that the change had lasted for an entire year, and that it had spread to others in the person’s family. This is reminiscent of what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said (in her now infamous interview), claiming that the reason attitudes on same-sex ‘marriage’ had supposedly changed was that people were interacting with gay friends and neighbors who support it.

Now comes proof that the study was a fake, and it appears that the data was completely fabricated. The study’s lead author, a professor from Columbia, has formally retracted the study, blaming his co-author for the irregularities:

A study claiming that gay people advocating same-sex marriage can change voters’ minds has been retracted due to fraud.

The study was published last December in Science, and received lots of media attention. It found that a 20-minute, one-on-one conversation with a gay political canvasser could steer voters in favor of same-sex marriage. Not only that, but these changed opinions lasted for at least a year and influenced other people in the voter’s household, the study found.

Donald Green, the lead author on the study, retracted it on Tuesday shortly after learning that his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, had faked the results.

While this development is proving to be an embarrassment to those orchestrating the movement to redefine marriage, it reflects much deeper issues:

First, it shows how willing the media is to massively publicize any claim that shows people are changing their minds on same-sex ‘marriage’ because it feeds into the narrative that this is inevitable and they are on the right side of history.

Second, it shows how the underlying methodologies of many- if not most -studies supporting the same-sex ‘marriage’ movement are questionable – often using small convenience samples featuring people who have an interest in a study turning out a particular way.

This phenomenon was discussed in a ground-breaking report by Professor Loren Marks on the many studies used to support the claim that there are “no differences” for children raised by same-sex couples. Professor Marks looked at 59 of these studies and concluded that not one of them compared a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random representative sample of married parents and their children:

“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, said in his retraction letter to the journal, as posted on the Retraction Watch blog.

People – including Supreme Court Justices – would do well to remember these fake and flawed studies when the media trots out the next claim purporting to show how beneficial it will be if we redefine the most important social institution civilization has ever known.

Source via Buzzfeed

Poll Shows Support for Redefining Marriage Has Stagnated

According to the results of a new Pew Research Center survey, "support for same-sex marriage could be leveling off," reports the Associated Press. Some other findings of the survey are significant:

Pew Poll SS Weddings[N]early three-quarters of Americans said religious influence in public life was waning and most saw that as a negative trend. About half of respondents said churches and houses of worship should speak out more on public issues.

Nearly half of all the respondents said businesses that provide services for weddings, such as florists, should be allowed to deny service to same-sex couples if the owners have religious objections. The Pew survey also found the percentage of people who consider gay relationships sinful had increased from 45 percent a year ago to 50 percent last month, although other surveys have found that people with religious objections don't always oppose legal recognition for gay relationships.

[...]

[Jessica Martinez, a researcher in Pew's Religion and Public Life Project] said the drop in support in the Pew poll was not driven by any particular religious or political group in the sample, but was a change across the board. Pew used similar groups of respondents in terms of political and religious views for both surveys, she said. The number of Americans who told Pew they were undecided on gay marriage increased from 7 percent in February to 10 percent last month.

You can review all the survey results here or read a press synopsis here.

Quack On! Share a Flier to Support Phil Robertson

For those interested in sharing a flier to encourage others to support Phil Robertson and the right to share our beliefs in the public square, feel free to download one here. Whether you're at work or school, your place of worship or simply around town, these fliers are a great way to spread support for the Robertson family and let the executives at A&E know that the majority of Americans stand with Phil.

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If you haven't signed the petition to support Phil, please do so here.

Obamacare's Marriage Penalties

At The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog, Chris Jacobs writes of "How Obamacare Discourages Work and Marriage."

Jacobs explains that " the law perpetuates some of the country’s worst trends that trap people in poverty. It includes disincentives for individuals to marry and for Americans of low and modest incomes to work."

The two marriage penalties included in Obamacare, "one for families with low and moderate incomes and another for families with higher incomes," are revealed by Jacobs by use of a concrete illustration:

PenalizedA 50-year-old non-smoker making $35,000 per year would qualify for a sizable insurance subsidy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s insurance subsidy calculator. The individual’s premium would be capped at 9.5 percent of income, resulting in an insurance subsidy of $2,065 paid by the federal government.

However, if this 50-year-old is married to another 50-year-old who also makes $35,000 per year, the couple would receive no insurance subsidy at all. This couple would incur a marriage penalty of $4,130 in one year—equal to the $2,065 that each individual could have received if they were not married.

Click here to read Jacobs' full article.

Marriage as a Social Justice Issue

If you live in or around Washington, DC you may want to plan to visit Georgetown University this evening for what is sure to be a fantastic lecture by NOM friend and What is Marriage? co-author Ryan T. Anderson. The title of the lecture is "Marriage as a Social Justice Issue."

Here is the description from the event page:

Ryan AndersonWhat is marriage? Why does marriage matter? What would be the consequences of redefining marriage? These are just some of the questions Ryan T. Anderson will address in his lecture on Marriage as a Social Justice Issue.  Anderson is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of the book What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, cited by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito twice in his dissenting opinion on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case. Anderson makes a secular case for marriage without appeals to theology, revelation or morality.

The lecture will be in McCarthy Hall in the McShain Large  Conference Room (37th and O St. N.W.) from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. It is free and open to the public.

RSVP on Facebook event page here.

"As Close to an Ideal Test as We've Seen"

Over at Public Discourse, Professor Mark Regnerus reports on the important new study from Canada which we told you about yesterday.

Regnerus shares his opinions on the research by Douglas Allen published in the Review of the Economics of the Household last week:

FamilyEvery study has its limitations, and this one does too.... [but] its limitations are modest in comparison to its remarkable and unique strengths—a rigorous and thorough analysis of a massive, nationally-representative dataset from a country whose government has long affirmed same-sex couples and parenting. It is as close to an ideal test as we’ve seen yet.

The study’s publication continues the emergence of new, population-based research in this domain, much of which has undermined scholarly and popular claims about equivalence between same-sex and opposite-sex households echoed by activists and reflected in recent legal proceedings about same-sex marriage.

Read Professor Regnerus' full piece here.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

The famous line from founding father John Adams comes to mind with the publication of yet another study - published in a peer reviewed academic journal - that demonstrates the negative outcomes for children when they are denied the love of either a mother or a father. Maggie Gallagher reports on the study over at NRO:

Just-the-FactsUsing Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples.

So once again science confirms the truth about the importance of marriage that the wisdom of the ages and common sense have always told us: marriage matters because kids need and deserve a mom and a dad. Redefining marriage, though, means that kids as a norm will be denied at least one of these parents' vital role in their lives - and there are consequences, whether we like it or not. Facts are stubborn things.

Men and Woman: There's a Difference (Shocker!)

Same-sex marriage advocates will tell you "love is love". That there is zero difference between men and women, apart from sexual organs. But the differences between genders are far more than what meets the eye. Scientifically, our brains show major genetic differences as well.

Mothers and fathers play unique roles in the lives of their children because ultimately, they are complementary beings.

There is a growing number of people in our nation today who think that sex (that is, maleness and femaleness) is not an objective biological reality, but rather a social construct.

Human BrainThose who reject the objectivity of sex will often say that although male and female bodies may have some differences between them, our brains are just the same. One man, who is currently raising three “genderless children,” argued, “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”

As it turns out, male and female brains are biologically different.

In 2004 an all-star team of fourteen neuroscientists, from the University of California, the University of Michigan, and Stanford University, published findings showing that male and female brains are genetically different.

The differences between male and female brains affect many aspects of our behavior, including memory, emotion, vision and hearing, how we handle stress… and even the toys we like to play with.

In 2002, Melissa Hines of City University London, and Gerianne M. Alexander of Texas A&M University decided to conduct experiments on vervet monkeys, one of our closest biological cousins. They found that the monkeys showed “sex differences in toy preferences similar to those documented previously in children.” The boy monkeys typically preferred playing with cars and balls, while the female monkeys preferred playing with dolls and pots. (And they didn’t have parents or toy catalogues telling them which they should prefer.) -MattFradd.com

New Research: Dads Who Bond With Kids Help Keep Marriage Strong

New research reveals a timeless truth:

Father and Baby Hands"In our study, the wives thought father involvement with the kids and participation in household work are all inter-related and worked together to improve marital quality," said Adam Galovan, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Missouri, in Columbia. "They think being a good father involves more than just doing things involved in the care of children."

... Doing household chores and being engaged with the children seem to be important ways for husbands to connect with their wives, and that connection is related to better relationships, Galovan explained.

The research was recently published in the Journal of Family Issues.

... Men and women differed in how they reported marital quality. For wives, the father-child relationship and father involvement was most important, followed by satisfaction with how the household work was accomplished.

For husbands, satisfaction with the division of family work came first, followed by their wife's feelings about the father-child relationship, and then the degree of involvement the dad had with his children. (WebMD)

New Study: Children of Surrogates Face More Adjustment Problems

Today Health:

Over the past decade the number of births involving surrogacy with donor eggs and sperm has surged. What, experts wondered, does this mean for the mental and emotional health of the growing number of kids who may or may not know the truth about their distinctive origins?

Surrogate ChildrenA team of British researchers, led by Susan Golombok, a professor of family research and director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, has found that children born with the help of a surrogate may have more adjustment problems – at least at age 7 – than those born to their mother via donated eggs and sperm.

Their results, published in the June issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggest that it’s more difficult for youngsters to deal with the idea that they grew in an unrelated woman’s womb, than with the concept that they are not biologically related to one or both parents.

With the number of births involving a surrogate or donated sperm or eggs on the rise, this issue may become increasingly relevant.

The latest statistics from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) show that the number of children who were created with a donated egg rose more than 30 percent from 7,284 in 2004 to 9,541 in 2011, while the number of births involving a surrogate jumped more than 200 percent, from 530 in 2004 to 1,179 in 2011. No one knows how many births have resulted from sperm donations, but estimates range from 30,000 to 60,000 per year, according to a New York Times report.

New Danish Study of 6.5 Million: Health Benefits of Marriage are Unique to Male-Female Unions

A new study in the Journal of Epidemiology followed 6.5 million Danish persons for nearly 30 years (for a total of 112.5 million person-years) looking at how living arrangements (being single, cohabiting, married, widowed or in a same-sex union) affected their health outcomes.

IJEFrom the official abstract:

"[Hazard Ratios] for overall mortality changed markedly over time, most notably for persons in same-sex marriage. In 2000–2011, opposite-sex married persons (reference, HR = 1) had consistently lower mortality than persons in other marital status categories in women (HRs 1.37–1.89) and men (HRs 1.37–1.66). Mortality was particularly high for same-sex married women (HR = 1.89), notably from suicide (HR = 6.40) and cancer (HR = 1.62), whereas rates for same-sex married men (HR = 1.38) were equal to or lower than those for unmarried, divorced and widowed men. Prior marriages (whether opposite-sex or same-sex) were associated with increased mortality in both women and men (HR = 1.16–1.45 per additional prior marriage)."

The conclusion of the authors:

"Our study provides a detailed account of living arrangements and their associations with mortality over three decades, thus yielding accurate and statistically powerful analyses of public health relevance to countries with marriage and cohabitation patterns comparable to Denmark’s. Of note, mortality among same-sex married men has declined markedly since the mid-1990s and is now at or below that of unmarried, divorced and widowed men, whereas same-sex married women emerge as the group of women with highest and, in recent years, even further increasing mortality."

Commentary from the English Manif blog:

"During 2000 to 2011, Danish male-female married couples were the healthiest and least likely to die at various ages compared with individuals who were unmarried, divorced or widowed. In contrast, same-sex married men in Denmark were no healthier than unmarried men. Same-sex married women had much higher mortality rates than other women, including the ones who were unmarried, divorced or widowed. There was no apparent marriage “benefit” in terms of better health or longer life for these same-sex married women.

While this is just one study that needs to be supplemented by more research, it does suggest that the health benefits of marriage may be unique to the male-female union. Governments may try to legislate a revised version of “marriage,” but they cannot legislate the health and longevity benefits that come from a man marrying a woman."

Stanton: Pediatrics Association’s Support for SSM Rooted in Activism

Glenn Stanton at CitizenLink:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued what appears to be a politically motivated statement suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents do just fine. In fact, the AAP goes so far as to suggest that children are more affected by the health of the relationship between the people raising them than by whether they are being raised by their own mother and father.

...To be clear, this recent announcement is not science, but propaganda rooted in social activism regarding the family, which is the foundational unit of humanity. That such a credentialed and well-known organization would play politics with this issue should grieve all of those who are committed to the integrity of science when it comes to the future of our children. Their well-being and health is far too important an issue to play politics with, especially of such a radical nature.

The AAP would be well-advised to stick to what the reliable and time-tested body of research tells us about what kinds of families promote the robust array of child-health: a family where children are raised by their mother and father who are in the midst of a healthy marriage.