“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.

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