Saturday, March 23, 2013

Remember, you're not allowed to ask certain questions at a University

"University" doesn't mean "place where the universe of knowledge is studied", it means "place where the universe of Approved™ knowledge is studied".  Shockingly, this rule has been violated by a professor at the University of Texas in Austin whose peer reviewed article on the differences between the children of traditional families and gay or lesbian families revealed some Unapproved™ results:
  • 23% of now-grown children of families with a lesbian mother said ‘yes’ to “Ever touched sexually by parent/adult“, versus 6% of those of families with a gay father and only 2% of those now-grown children from traditional mom-dad, Ozzie-Harriet families.
  • 31% of now-grown children of families with a lesbian mother said ‘yes’ to “Ever forced to have sex against will“, versus 25% of those of families with a gay father and only 8% of those now-grown children from traditional mom-dad families.
  • 12% of now-grown children of families with a lesbian mother said ‘yes’ to “Thought recently about suicide“, versus 24% of those of families with a gay father and only 5% of those now-grown children from traditional mom-dad families.
  • And perhaps the worst of all (to Regenrus’s career prospects) only 61% of now-grown children of families with a lesbian mother said ‘yes’ to “Identifies as entirely heterosexual“, versus 71% of those of families with a gay father and with a full 90% of those now-grown children from traditional mom-dad families. So much for theories that acculturation plays no role!
The reaction from sociologists and their cheerleaders in the Press was predictable:
Journalists and academics on the left reasoned: these results cannot be true because we don’t want them to be; therefore, they are not true. And that’s when the frenzy started. They began by pointing out what Regnerus admits in his article as a weakness: that the “lesbian” moms and “gay” fathers might not be (but also might be) full-time lesbians and gays, but have, at least once, engaged in a “same-sex” relationship, even if married to a heterosexual. This, according to progressives, invalidates the entire study, is not a “fair” comparison, is “deeply flawed” methodology, etc.


Neither do the folks at the New Civil Rights Movement who resorted to the standard political trick, when they could not disparage the results, they attacked Regnerus: “His professional integrity was cast into doubt…” etc., etc. The New Republic said “It’s a real relief to see the takedowns pile up in response to” Regnerus. It sure is! The LA Times used the phrase “hopelessly flawed.” And there was more, much more.

So much more that a team of academics who wanted nothing more than a return to peace and quiet were forced to issue an open letter which said “Although Regnerus’s article in Social Science Research is not without its limitations, as social scientists, we think much of the public criticism Regnerus has received is unwarranted for three reasons.”
Click through to RTWT which includes more of the defense.  It seems that this is the most comprehensive study to date, and is backed by other studies. But no matter.  It reaches Unapproved™ conclusions, and so the auto-da-fe is organizing.

Long time readers will recall that I quite frankly don't care whether someone is straight, gay, or in between.  You'll also know that my response to someone telling me that I'm raising my kids wrong is that they can shove off with my compliments.  Not my business how someone runs their own life.

But you'll also know that I don't much care for how scientific study has been bent by Progressives - the Democrats War On Science one might call it.  For extra credit, compare and contrast with climate science.

A University is a setting, we're told, where ideas can flow freely.  But only some ideas.  What a wreck of a once noble institution.
LEARNING, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


Divemedic said...

Although I am not gay, I oppose using this study to attack gay marriage for the same reason why I oppose using science to attack gun owners:
I don't care if a thousand people committed (molesting, rape, murder) yesterday because they were (gay, gun owners, or of a certain race) I didn't, so piss off.

Dave said...

Kind of like what happens when studies show that blacks have vastly disproportionate violent crimes rates. I seem to remember someone crunching the numbers and coming up with the result that, if you removed America's black population, the US violent crime rate would be less than Canada's. Can't remember where/when I saw that though.

For another date point, Houston actually has, percentage-wise, a bigger minority population than Chicago. But Houston's minority population is mostly Latino, while Chicago's is mostly black. That'd be another item that might help account for the difference in murder rates, along with gun laws.

But you don't dare say that, because that'd be racist.

Sevesteen said...

"Identifies as entirely heterosexual" sounds like a question carefully worded to elicit a specific response. An initial study of bisexuality used self-reported orientation, with no further screening. It measured physical signs of arousal when various images were displayed, and virtually none of the subjects displayed significant arousal to both genders. (A later test used past history rather than self-reported identification, and found bisexual arousal patterns). I think it is far more likely that someone raised by gay parents would identify as bisexual despite only having straight sex than someone raised in the Westboro Baptist church.

Old NFO said...

Yep, sucks when the truth actually gets in a peer reviewed journal... :-)

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Assuming I'm understanding both the study itself and the various articles pointed to in the one you linked to, it appears that - inappropriate personal attacks on Regnerus aside - there truly is a serious flaw in the study's comparisons: Except for one, the "gay parent" respondents were all subject to unstable parenting environments (divorce, adultery, probable hostility between the parents, etc.), but were being compared to respondents from stable parenting environments (successful, 18+ year marriages).

In other words, while the raw data may be useful in other analyses, this particular study says more about broken families vs. intact families than it does about gay families vs. straight families. It would be more appropriate (and potentially useful) to compare the broken gay families with broken straight families than with intact straight families.