Category Archives: Research/Study
Throughout history it's been obvious to any observer that children in intact families with a married mother and father do much better than children from broken homes or those living in alternative family structures. In recent years, there's been an attempt to deny that reality and convince people that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are somehow exempted from the realities of family life, claiming there are "no differences" in outcomes for these kids or even sometimes suggesting they do better than children raised by a married mother and father in the home. Increasingly, social scientists have been examining this "no differences" claim and, as you might suspect, find it without merit. A distinguished social scientist from the University of Virginia, W. Bradford Wilcox, writes a detailed piece this week for National Review reviewing three recent developments that make it harder for the "family structure denialists" to continue to make the "no differences" claim. He says:
"It’s been a rough two weeks for the family-structure denialists, those progressive academics (Philip Cohen, “How to Live in a World Where Marriage Is in Decline”), journalists (Katie Roiphe, “New York Times, Stop Moralizing About Single Mothers”), and pundits (Matthew Yglesias, “The ‘Decline’ of Marriage Isn’t a Problem”) who seek to minimize or deny the importance of marriage and family structure. That’s because three new pieces of scholarship — a journal, a report, and a study — were released this month that solidify the growing scientific consensus that marriage and family structure matter for children, families, and the nation as a whole."
The studies and reports mention by Wilcox confirm many of the outcome problems that children who lack a married mother and father in the home experience, especially boys lacking the presence of their father at home. Wilcox says these children "are floundering in school and society" and details findings including problems in the areas of truancy and educational attainment, increased behavioral problems, higher cognitive disability, perform worse on standardized school tests and are less likely to graduate from high school. And the article details important new findings that states with higher levels of married parenthood enjoy higher levels of growth, economic mobility for children growing up poor, higher median family income and markedly lower levels of child poverty. Says Wilcox,
"[W]ith study after study showing that children, families, and now even states benefit from strong and stable married families, the job of those who would seek to deny that marriage and family structure also play an important role — the family-structure denialists — is getting harder and harder. That’s because the facts just aren’t with those who seek to deny the scientific evidence that family change is having a major impact on our social environment and — in particular — our boys.
The complete article is available at National Review.
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
In 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.
. . .
But 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.
The 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.
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.
Some 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.
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.
Further, 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
[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.
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.
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:
A 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.
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:
What 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.
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:
Every 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.
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:
Using 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.
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.
Those 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 reveals a timeless truth:
"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)
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?
A 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.
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