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Same-sex parenting studies draw both praise and outrage

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  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 12, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    I read the entire study when it came out on Sunday. The scholars aren't saying that Gays make bad parents. They don't suggest that being raised by biological parents is inherently superior either. As one of the authors pointed out, there are a variety of factors that impact children including the income and education of the parents. Nobody would forbid such people from having children based on those factors.

    I am in favor of Gay Marriage but it is apparent that the 2005 APA report was flawed because of the lack of a sufficient number of openly "gay marriages" to analyze. We need a new approach because Gay Marriage will be a fact of life in the United States, conservatives objections notwithstanding.

    Lois Collins did a great job of presenting the results of this study in her article Sunday. I wish the Deseret News exercised the same care in all its articles on this difficult issue. Unfortunately to many are filled with factual errors and inaccurate generalizations. I hope Lois covers more of these issues so we can have an honest discussion about this important topic!

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 13, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    I examined the data in the research, and those that are spinning the research to suggest that child development is equivalent among kids with parents with samesex coupling and regular divorce and divorce are spinning the truth. The data showed there was disparity and that children of samesex coupling were the least likely to be raised free of negative consequences.

    That's what makes the research so compellingly inconvenient for the gay-politicos. Couple that with the fact that there's absolutely NO COMPARISON to parenting when done by intact family units where biological parents remain responsibly connected to their offspring, and it's clear if there's any "ideal" family unit for raising children, it's the one in which the parents of the child actually raise the child in an intact unit.

    We can continue to experiment with suboptimal means to raising our children, but the data is pretty clear in terms of the advantages of whole, sound, biological parenting in a committed marital relationship between both mother and father.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    June 13, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    In many ways it is too bad that we are human and make mistakes as parents. But in other ways it is by design.

    I like how Elder Boyd K. Packer put it: "Neither man nor woman can bear children alone. It was meant that children have two parents—both a father and a mother. No other pattern or process can replace this one." Go with what is by design. That is going to be best, after all.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    Please ignore any facts, my mind's made up.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    June 13, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    I would venture a guess that children of same sex unions in say S.F., New York, L.A. or Boston fare much better than same sex children in Wichita,Birmingham, Lubic, or Provo.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 13, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    The children I know who were raised in same sex headed families fare the same as those who were raised in other family models. It's going to be pretty impossible to compare the adult children raised in Married same-sex households since Marriage has only been legal for same-sex couples for a handful of years and their children are yet to reach adulthood.

    In any case. We permit exceptionally poor candidates (murderers, adulterers, pedophiles, thieves, druggies, rapists, gang-bangers, etc.) in the heterosexual world to marry and raise children. This isn't a valid reason, even if accurate - which remains to be seen - to prevent same-sex couples from marrying or raising children.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 13, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    In the data studied there were 2 - count them, 2 - children raised their entire life by same-sex parents.

    2

    And from this we are supposed to be able to posit that there is a negative difference.

    Talk about not a big enough sample size...

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    Seems the pro-gay marriage crowd was more than happy to reference prior studies that agreed with their viewpoints despite problems with the studies. Now that the shoe is on the other foot...

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 13, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    @screenname;

    The study shows that kids from BROKEN gay homes have the SAME outcome as kids from BROKEN heterosexual homes and that both have worse outcomes than kids from STABLE heterosexual homes.

    As Kalindra pointed out, it shows nothing about kids from STABLE gay homes compared to kids from STABLE heterosexual homes.

    Apples to apples folks.

    @CI; So, we're intolerant for not allowing you anti-gay-marriage folks to walk all over us? We're the bully? Who is it that is VOTING against whom?

  • AnthonyShaporo new toek, NY
    June 13, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    I believe a great deal of the outrage is the study being underwritten by the Witherspoon Institute and its connection to the National Organization for Marriage and Deseret News. There should have been a disclaimer regarding Robert George.

    Now the media is doing it instead.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    @raybies

    The study made a faulty comparison by comparing intact biological traditional families with households where the mother was in a lesbian relationship at any point (so she could currently be in one, could be a single mother, could be pretty much anything). These studies should be comparing intact biological traditional families with intact two lesbian parent households. That's why it was categorized as lesbian mother, not lesbian mothers, it didn't compare samesex coupling.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 13, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    @raybies,

    "We can continue to experiment with suboptimal means to raising our children, but the data is pretty clear in terms of the advantages of whole, sound, biological parenting in a committed marital relationship between both mother and father."

    What about those with no parents at all? Just leave them to fend for themselves or allow a gay couple to raise them?

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    June 13, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    This study is deeply, deeply flawed. It categorized ALL children from a family in which a parent had ever had a gay relationship as "the child of gay parents." So, this included kids from families with a married dad and mom, but the dad came out of the closet 20 years in, etc. Then it took all the kids from heterosexual families, but excluded from the study all the "hetero-family" kids that came from broken homes, divorced parents, single-parent homes, etc. Also, the study did not include ANY gay-parent families in which the kids grew up in a time or state in which gay marriage was legal.

    In other words, the study (funded by conservative groups) was designed from the outset to compare kids from unstable "gay" families to a pool of "hetero" families that had had all the unstable family situations weeded out.

    This is like saying "Hondas are more likely to have flat tires than Toyotas, as long as you only count Hondas that have flat tires and don't count any of the Toyotas with flat tires."

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    June 13, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    "In the data studied there were 2 - count them, 2 - children raised their entire life by same-sex parents."

    Where did you get that only 2 raised their entire life by same-sex parents were studied? Please provide a source. After that, please tell us why you think that these statisticians would be so stupid as to have a sample size of 2 if they could have bigger. A statistician wouldn't, unless 2 was the entire population. In that case, it's not a "sample", it's a census. A census is much more accurate than a sample, which makes the calculations easier (since part of statistics is dealing with the error you get from sample variance, which is reduced as the sample size gets closer to the population size).

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    Gay bashers remind me of people who still argue the world is flat or climate change is not happening. Ignorance and intolerance are what they practice. After being one year removed from the executive order to remove "don't ask, don't tell" from our armed forces we still have the best military in the world. Also, reports show no negative effect on moral or effectiveness. In other words, the gay bashers were wrong. Go ahead and believe what you want and no one is telling you not to live your life the way you want. Just don't tell anyone else how to live their life. It's a small study that can be looked at many ways. The bottom line is gays have the same rights as every other american, and that includes being parents if they so choose.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 13, 2012 5:16 p.m.

    @ Riverton Cougar: I got the number 2 from the data in the study - the link is provided in the article.

    And if you take those 2 kids and add them in with all the other kids who answered "yes" to the question:

    "S7. From when you were born until age 18 (or until you left home to be on your own), did either of your parents ever have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex?
    Yes, my mother had a romantic relationship with another woman
    Yes, my father had a romantic relationship with another man
    No"

    you have a very misrepresentative sample because you are treating all the apples and oranges as if they are plums.

    Mr. Regnerus treated everyone who answered yes to question S7 exactly the same - even though there is nothing in that question to indicate the length of the relationship, the type of relationship (dating? cohabitation? one night stand?), or anything else. Every kid who responded yes was lumped in as raised by same-sex parents. That is like classifying everyone whose parents ever divorced as being raised by a single mom - broad brush, generic, inaccurate.

    Why not compare those 2 to intact families?

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    June 13, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    I applaude Mr. Regnerus' honesty. He basically says that the results of his research don't reach any conclusions on the well-being of children in a same-sex household. The research only suggests that children raised in a hetrosexual family where the children are raised by both biological parents are most healthy. However, the facts don't compare adoptive hetrosexual couples vs adoptive same-sex couples. Therefore, no reasonable conclusions can be made.

    I am of the opinion that the best environment for children to be raised is in a hetrosexual, committed relationship. However, that's only my opinion. Normally, I disagree with L'Valfre on most any subject. However, in this case, I find myself agreeing with L'Valfre. Are children with no loving parents or guardians better off in an orphanage, or in a same-sex family where both parents love the child as their own? I agree with L'Valfre - I'd take the latter ANY DAY over the former.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    June 13, 2012 7:30 p.m.

    "I got the number 2 from the data in the study - the link is provided in the article."

    Kalindra,

    You're doing better at citing your source by saying the article, but I still cannot find the number 2 in there. Here's what I see:

    "For this particular study, I compare outcomes across eight different types of family-of-origin structure and/or experience. They were constructed from the answers to several questions both in the screener survey and the full survey. . . . The eight groups or household settings (with an acronym or short descriptive title) evaluated here, followed by their maximum unweighted analytic sample size, are:

    1.IBF: Lived in intact biological family (with mother and father) from 0 to 18, and parents are still married at present (N = 919).
    2.LM: R reported R’s mother had a same-sex romantic (lesbian) relationship with a woman, regardless of any other household transitions (N = 163).
    3.GF: R reported R’s father had a same-sex romantic (gay) relationship with a man, regardless of any other household transitions (N = 73). . . ."
    -Section 2.4 in the first study

    Where do you get your 2? It's not specified.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 14, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    My point is that this data demonstrates superiority of intact biological pairings relating to children's wellbeing. It accentuates the need for strong civil support for traditional marriage in child rearing.

    From childrens biological standpoint, having full access to both genetic parents is strongly beneficial. The statistics can't be manipulated like rhetorical debate. There's a tendency (saw it done in replies in this very article) to take worstcase heteropairings and the best gaypairings and compare. Then say, "See!? Gaydom's great for kids." That's deceitful. Statistics normalize those empirical anectodotal stories, such that they're irrelevant (and should be regarding general policies).

    Society's longterm civil interests rely upon a healthy generation of offspring. Government has the duty of securing the next hundred generations. Government really has no business bequeathing you perks just because you "feel good", nor legitimizing suboptimal couplings.

    It should incentivize all people to contribute in a positive fashion to the future wellbeing of the society as a whole. Clearly in this case, there's an obvious benefit to intact biological families--and we should be taking up the torch to preserve these unions OVER all other distractable forms of pairings.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 14, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    @CI;

    You still don't understand the issue. We don't care that you have a different opinion, you are welcome to have that opinion. We're not bullying you to change your opinion; you're welcome to continue to believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, etc. You are also welcome to NOT have one if you don't want one.

    YOU, on the otherhand, are trying to FORCE us to adhere to your opinion by legislating what we can and cannot do. That is the true bullying. You're not only telling us our opinion is wrong, you're attempting to force us to follow your views through the law. That, sir IS bullying.

    The fact is that the majority of people against same-sex marriage and same-sex couples raising kids are doing it through the lens of their religious views and are unwilling to even TOLERATE the idea of others living under different standards. That sir, is also bigotry. So, no, we're not bullying someone using their religion when we say they're bigoted. They are.

    Tolerance is a two-way street. I tolerate your religious lifestyle, you can tolerate my non-religious lifestyle.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    @raybies
    "There's a tendency (saw it done in replies in this very article) to take worstcase heteropairings and the best gaypairings and compare. Then say, "See!? Gaydom's great for kids." That's deceitful. "

    That's not what's being done but won't stop you from deceitfully misinterpreting what people say. The data shows that traditional families do better than any family where a mother had lesbian relationships at any point in her life (I've already explained why this is a faulty comparison when it should be comparing same-sex couples). Pointing out that there are crappy heteropairiings and good gaypairings is not to say that same-sex parenting is ideal. It is pointed out to assert that the idea that heteropairings is ideal is only more often the case and not universally the case.

    You seem to be suggesting that because one demographic scores higher on average, we should ignore the good ones in the lower scoring average and ignore the bad ones in the higher scoring average and suggest that the higher average is an ideal. Using your logic... we should discourage black people raising kids since they score lower on average.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    June 14, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    @counter intelligence: What you call the politically correct fundamentalists are indeed intolerant - intolerant of falsehoods and misinformation. I would feel an obligation to disagree with and be intolerant of "flat earthers", "bush did 911" and "gay bashers". All are so far away from reality as to make conversation almost impossible. Let's suppose your study is in fact, the truth. What is your recommend course of action within our legal system?
    Ban divorce, adoption and any declaration of sexual identity other than "straight"? I see the only purpose of this study was to discredit same-sex parents.

  • the_lobotomist PORTLAND, OR
    June 15, 2012 1:03 a.m.

    I can honestly say that any problems I had when I was a child were directly related to my heterosexual Mormon mother.

    On the other hand, my homosexual father was nothing but loving, caring, and supportive to me.

    Basing one's opinions on gays off of studies like these is comparable to someone basing their whole opinions on Mormons off of that ONE Mormon family in town that has 10 kids, drives a huge monster-of-a-truck, and dresses like they're from Amish country. (And yes, I'm speaking from experience- Almost every town I've lived in has had one of "those" families.)

    My point being, it isn't right to judge the majority based on a sample group of the minority (There will be horrible parents- No matter which group of people you're looking at.)