That’s the ringer from a recent Australian pro-gay marriage ad campaign. Father and mother watch the ultrasound screen as the tech tells them “what they’re having.” The commercial concludes with “Any child can be born gay. So marriage equality is every family’s issue.”
“Being gay or lesbian is not a choice… it has nothing to do with culture or parenting skills. It’s just the way you are. You’re born that way,” says Shelley Argent, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays spokeswoman says of the ad campaign.
What I love about this commercial is it demonstrates that, like every child, gay and lesbian children deserve a father and mother. How wonderful to have the same parents whose love created a child, also nurture and raise that child. The lesbian baby in the commercial is going to benefit from the myriad of advantages that come with having a mother and a father- increased social, physical, mental, academic health- the benefits go on and on. This lesbian child will be raised in the relationship model that provides the greatest statistical levels of permanence and exclusivity. The limited data on hand also indicates that a child with married, heterosexual parents is less likely to engage in homosexual behavior.
Wait, bigot. What did you say?!?
Right, you heard me. If sexuality has any amount of fluidity (which most intellectually honest social scientists will concede is true for at least a portion of the gay population) the modeling and exposure that children have to homosexual behavior can impact their sexual identity. Children with gay parents are more likely to identify as gay.
Stanton Jones writes in First Things:
The small bit of research that exists suggests increased rates of same-sex orientation among the children of such couples; my informal synthesis would be that gay parenting approximately triples or quadruples the rate of same-sex attraction. It may be technically true that “the vast majority of these children eventually grow up to be heterosexual,” but only because if being raised by same-sex parents increases the occurrence of same-sex attraction from 2 percent to 8 percent, 92 percent are still heterosexual. But a fourfold increase is still a sizable effect statistically.
And in the only study ever conducted using large, random samples which compared outcomes of children from heterosexual married couples and those of same-sex couples (among other family arrangements) the New Family Structure Study, rates of homosexual identification among children of same-sex couples increases significantly:
In concurrence with several studies of late, the NFSS reveals that the children of lesbian mothers seem more open to same-sex relationships (Biblarz and Stacey, 2010, Gartrell et al., 2011a, Gartrell et al., 2011b and Golombok et al., 1997). Although they are not statistically different from most other groups in having a same-sex relationship at present, they are much less apt to identify entirely as heterosexual (61% vs. 90% of respondents from IBFs- Intact Biological Families). The same was true of GF respondents—those young adults who said their father had a relationship with another man: 71% of them identified entirely as heterosexual. Other sexual differences are notable among Lesbian Mothers, too: a greater share of daughters of lesbian mothers report being “not sexually attracted to either males or females” than among any other family-structure groups evaluated here (4.1% of female LMs, compared to 0.5% of female IBFs). Exactly why the young-adult children of lesbian mothers are more apt to experience same-sex attraction and behaviors, as well as self-report asexuality, is not clear, but the fact that they do seems consistent across studies.
What does all this mean? Well, it certainly doesn’t mean that children “choose” their sexual orientation. But in light of the ever evasive “gay gene,” neither can we say that people are simply “born gay.” Complicated, I know. But an honest look at the data seems to indicate that post-birth factors contribute significantly to a development of a homosexual orientation and identification.
It also means that, because the lesbian baby in the commercial has heterosexual parents, it’s more likely that the ultrasound tech will correctly pronounce that the parents are simply “having a girl.”
Also see Aren’t People Born Gay, You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion, Moms and Dads Parent Differently- and That’s Good, Chapter Next…
39 thoughts on ““Congratulations, You’re Having A Lesbian””
Sounds to me as though your tone is slowly changing – doesn’t matter if the statisics are true or not, I’ll state them anyway. Not a good idea to listen listen to professional organizations whose bread and butter depends on being right. Stanton Jones certainly has an agenda……similar to yours 🙂
Instead of attacking the motives of those with whom you disagree, care to offer any studies (that are founded on large bodies of random-sample participants) that would contradict what Stanton Jones or I are asserting here?
Despite his past claims not to have an agenda, Tapman’s agenda worries me. IE unbiblical Christianity.
Hi stasisonline good to hear from you again. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve lied…..I do try not to 😦
“Many religious and social conservatives believe that homosexuality is a mental illness caused exclusively by psychological or spiritual factors and that all homosexual persons could change their orientation if they simply tried hard enough. This view is widely pilloried (and rightly so) as both wrong on the facts and harmful in effect. But few who attack it are willing to acknowledge that today a wholly different, far more influential, and no less harmful set of falsehoods—each attributed to the findings of “science”—dominates the research literature and political discourse.” That’s the first paragraph of the article by Stanton Jones cited here. I think any reasonable person who reads the entire article will find it thoughtful and frank, even if they disagree with Jones’s opinions. The conclusion being – we really just don’t know whether people are “born homosexual” or not, and it’s wrong to pretend that we do. One’s set of beliefs may constitute an “agenda” – but certainly Jones has no more of an “agenda” than those claiming with absolute certainty that homosexuality is entirely inborn.
It was considered a mental disorder until protests and political pressure, and a narrow vote gor it removed from the DSM. It was not removed due to medical and psychological research, it was a political decision.
There is a clue in Stantons own words -“the small bit of research” and the phrase “it may be technicaly true but…”
The statistcs she uses, she uses because she has an agenda. There was a book that came up with similar results and I was trying to find it to see whether Stanton was drawing her information from that. In this book the test subjects, were all specifically chosen because they had gay children (from memory) purely from these sample families that were “randomly” selected a pile of statistics was formulated. For me I have lost interest in trying to prove either way – the undeniable fact is we have Gay people – the most reliable data suggests that the primary reasons are not choice – for me that says they are not choosing to sin, they are not doing what Romans 1 is taken to suggest they are. I think also Alan Chambers who is the President of Narth or Exodus…can’t remember, when he said that 0.1 percent of all the people he has known experience change we can rely on that conclusion – he would have known far more than any of us and he works for an organization that treats them.
The point is – in this day and age – with the information we now have and the people we know the arguments about what causes this or that are just a red herring. The question is – how is a Gay person to live a Godly life – that is the question we as Christians want to answer. We also need to consider how we all sound to the gay person – that is why your blog gets under my skin – you sound so very nice but really you have the same hurtful message for the Gay person. The Bible may make us feel better about the situation but I believe our feelings are not the ones that matter in this instance.
You seem to know a lot about Stanton Jones. I tried to keep HIS comments brief for the sake of the post, hoping that those with questions would take the time read his measured and objective review of scientific findings related to homosexuality. This is what preceded his statement quoted above:
“One common obfuscation of such matters can be illustrated through the sensitive issue of rates of homosexual attraction among children raised in homosexual households. Summarizing this research, Gregory Herek, a psychologist who specializes in the study of homosexuality, wrote that “the vast majority of those children eventually grow up to be heterosexual.” It appears he is right, technically. Terms such as “a vast majority” are often used in this literature to obscure probabilistic trends in the data.”
Again, I would request that you refute the assertion- that children with gay parents are more likely to experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay- with solid social science. No need to emote or take us away to the well-worn road of the Romans 1 discussion. Please just respond with reliable, non-volunteer-based studies that point to the contrary. I would be interested in seeing it!
Hi again, never heard the name Stanton before, obviously got that wrong. Must of just assumed that with such ill informed views he must be a she :b (humour) Look askthebigot, I am sure we have both done our fair share of googling, I hate it, I must be terrible with the key wording, it frustrates me no end. I particularly like the youtube videos of ex-gay leaders renouncing their former views as dangerous and those of scientists exasperated by Christians misusing their data. I know it is a cop out but I am not interested in a game of tit for tat. My main concern has turned to that of Christianity itself – their is something fundamentally wrong with a religion that is afraid to question. I am now a proud heretic, joining people like Luther and Jesus. I am just as arrogant and obnoxious as Luther I might add…..but he did give the lay person the Bible in their own language and stood up to a powerful church that had lost its way.
“No need to emote or take us away to the well-worn road of the Romans 1 discussion. Please just respond with reliable, non-volunteer-based studies that point to the contrary. I would be interested in seeing it!” The evidence overwhelmingly points to factors other than choice – even if the environmental factor (note: I would be interested in finding out what these environmental factors are…I would suspect many of these would be in the womb) is abuse or some other factor it is still a far cry from what Romans 1 says. You don’t want me to return to the Bible? Is that because it contradicts what you are trying to prove? Gay people have not been given over to a depraved mind because of idolatry, so please lets stop using this verse against them…..particularly if we are looking to science to find the reason.
My exhortation was that we cover new ground and do so using empiricism. I am not interested in rehashing your interpretation of Romans 1 on every post that I publish.
Also, please strive to present data in response to data, rather than how it makes you feel or your perceived motive of those with whom you disagree. If you have a problem with the studies I have presented and their conclusion, I welcome another perspective from an equally rigorous study to the contrary.
You know, you really should read Jones’ article. I love the conclusion which is fair, sensitive and underscored by the recognition of all that we have failed to accomplish as believers on this topic:
“[The church] off-loaded responsibility for the articulation of a thoughtful, caring, theologically rich, and pastorally sensitive understanding of sexual brokenness grounded in our various religious traditions by conceptualizing homosexuality as a disease, and so we were unprepared for the vacuum created by that explanation’s timely demise. The best ecclesiastical, professional, legal, and social policy will be founded not on falsehoods or grotesque and indefensible simplifications but on a clearheaded grasp of reality in all its complexities, as well as on a humble recognition of all that we do not know.”
Merely pointing out that you are contradicting yourself – you can’t believe the Bible then turn around and contradict it with statistics. But I guess truth isn’t important as long as Gay is wrong.
The Christian should answer: a homosexual, if his or her heart is truly for God, would abstain from an activity which God has said in no uncertain terms same-sex sexual activity is sinful. Every sinner, regardless of the sin needs to repent and turn toward God.
Doesn’t every professional organization’s success depend on them being right? I’m with Aksme on this, why don’t you address the figures? Why is your immediate strategy to try to impugn the name of the source rather than the facts reported?
Thanks John – I guess it is a bit of once bitten twice shy – Christians have a history of using scientific data to meet their own ends, with scientists frustrated to the point of making public statements saying “I never said that”. Christians also like to fund organisations that will give them the evidence they want. Like I said in one of my comments recently – it is a waste of time trying to throw data back and forth. A Christian will go to the grave saying “this is what the word of God says”. Truth is we have people that are different to us – I like to use the example of intersex people because no-one can object and say they chose to be that way. The main objection we have is that it is God’s ordering of life that we are going against – he made us male and female. This places a lot of people outside of Gods order – some are born with a penis and ovaries, some are born with ambiguous Gender, xxy instead of xy, penis and vagina etc. Is the Bible black and white on this issue – most of us would like to think so, I don’t believe it is. Apart from a period where operations were performed on intersex people to make us feel better about them – I think society as a whole is growing more accepting of them because they can see a physical thing – eg a penis. The marriage of intersex people is thus not as much of an issue for us. This shows us the shallowness of our thinking – we think in terms of a penis and a vagina, we have a childllike view of sexuality. Gays and transexuals meet with far more opposition because we see sexuality in terms of boy has penis girl has vagina….the only clear text we have in scripture, I believe any way is the Levitical prohibitions, if you want to hammer them with Mosaic law be my guest. I for one faced my fears about the Bible and came to the conclusion that not everything is black and white and acceptance of this fact is liberating. I think the truth is found in the LGBTIQ people in front of us not in the Bible.
I know there are Gay people who live lives of chastity – and that is a good choice for some – some have been burned by sexual sin and the nature of selfishness that affects all of us. But guilt is a funny thing – as a teenager I remember the guilt I carried for being a normal heterosexual male and the agony of facing God as a masturbator. Sexuality is a tender subject and a person facing same sex orientation will feel guilt more acutely because they are different. The law is portrayed in the New Testament as something that Veils the Gospel – this is what is happening here, people created and loved by God (as they are) are thrown Law and told to repent and burdens placed on their shoulders when they are as natural as we are. Under the same curse as we are but we place additional burdens on them. Hope you can see the issues are not as clear as they seem, loving is not as simple as tough love as Beth just said – is my truth better than yours?
Tapman, I agree with your points about sexual guilt in general, feeling guilt more acutely when it comes to same-sex attraction, and the difficulties of addressing these complex issues from a Christian perspective (and in doing so, I will be the first to admit that Christians are bound to screw up, and have done so often). These are important pastoral concerns for all Christians, and the duty to repent rests upon us all – no more so when the issue is sexual sin of a homosexual nature than sexual sin of a heterosexual nature. And we cannot judge another person’s soul. Ever. The orthodox Christian teaching is that the appropriate physical expression of human sexuality takes place within the confines of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. To some degree, this places burdens on us all. Most especially, of course, on those who do not marry – though married folk and heterosexual singles who someday plan to marry sure seem to have more than their fair share of difficulty walking this walk. It’s true, God made us male and female. He also gave us certain other characteristics and abilities that not every person shares, due to various differences and disabilities that are inborn or acquired. We live in a fallen world, and things are not always what they were meant to be. I disagree with you on the idea that a hetero-normative view of sexuality is therefore “childlike” simply because some are born different from the prototypical male and female – assuming here that “childlike” is meant to be an insult, because I think sometimes children see things more clearly than we do. 🙂 I’m thinking you mean “infantile” or “immature” – as in, stunted and not justifiable by reason. I can only speak from my own particular Christian perspective on this, but I would highly recommend John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” and “Love and Responsibility”. Finding objective meaning within sexuality beyond attraction and pleasure may not suit modern sensibilities – but it is not “childlike”.
I also don’t think it’s either/or – as in, either you’re “born gay” or you “choose to be gay”. Human behaviors like sexuality are very complex, there are likely many influences (genetic and environmental) on their development, and a great deal can happen in a child’s life before he/she would be capable of consciously “choosing” his/her sexuality. Frankly I think that is the red herring: That if one doesn’t buy into the popular conclusion that people are “born gay”, then one must believe that people “choose to be gay” – which seems in most cases to be ridiculous on its face, therefore people must be “born gay” and to think otherwise makes you an idiot. Or a bigot. It’s abysmal reasoning, but that’s where we are as a culture. How are gay Christians to live? The same as the rest of us – by practicing the virtue of chastity, which requires sacrifice regardless of one’s state in life. Father Richard John Neuhaus (founder of “First Things”, so you might say he also had an agenda 😉 ) once wrote, “Spare me a Gospel of easy love that makes of my life a thing without consequence.” We shouldn’t be hurtful with our words, but we do have to tell the truth.
Anyone who does anything has an agenda (bias), but that doesn’t mean we will be dominated by our bias. There are many instances of people preferring one ideology or belief or preference, yet still being willing to deal fairly with the evidence. We might never do that consistently – and let our bias slip through – but the point is, do we refuse to try to be objective and hold to our beliefs come hell or high water, or are we willing, even if we’re reluctant, to follow what we believe to be true? This is true only of people, not of groups: even if the group consists of like-minded individuals. We shouldn’t tar groups of people with the same brush, unless the tar is an essential characteristic of the group.
I can think of several people who were/are guilty of succumbing to their biases or, on the other hand, of holding to the facts, even when those facts were opposed to their own beliefs. Some of these people worked in science, others in different fields. Their job did not determine how they reacted to their bias. Some scientists allowed their bias to affect their objectivity, some didn’t. Some non-scientists allowed their bias to affect their objectivity, some didn’t.
The benefit of any work that deals with empirical facts – like those using the scientific process – is the peer review process, where one person’s bias can be noticed and corrected for, and the group benefits. Less formally, in internet forums – or responses to blog posts 🙂 – the responses from various people has its own peer review process, where people who are willing to put their bias in stasis can learn where their opinions and beliefs are flawed, or wrong. They may even learn different ways of interpreting their sacred tomes. Like a more stringent peer review process, if you prove to be recalcitrant in a particular forum, others might refuse to talk with you. You might be you might even be refused publication!
But even this is individual. If one person chooses to allow their beliefs/ bias/ agenda to determine how they deal with facts, it doesn’t mean all people who share an affiliation (religious/ racial/ gender/ age) with that person will do the same.
Ultimately, it depends what you prefer more: truth or comfort. In scientia veritas!
Absolutely Troy – the two words truth or comfort sum it up – not sure what it is like in the US but over here in Australia we still have many Christians who will not accept evolution or an old earth. Science or what the Bible literally says?……the thought of letting go of something in the Bible is not comforting….one would think that one of the central tenets of Christianity was under fire.
“one would think that one of central tenets of Christianity was under fire”. Some people – Ken Ham et al – think it is. I know Christians – Australians, since I’m living here – on both sides of the debate. And in between. 🙂
Because I’ve read a bit on the topic, I’ve changed my position on the whole creation/evolution thing several times. Evolution – creation – theistic evolution – gap – don’t know – doesn’t matter – I think I’ve held just about every view at some stage or another.
The more I read on the topic – and others – the more I’m convinced it’s unwise to be too assertive about any position. The only issues I tend to be confident about are those when people from both sides of the debate agree: like, this universe (not just any universe) is so mind-bogglingly complex and finely-tuned that it’s next to impossible for it to have happened by accident. The conclusions atheists and theists draw from this differ, of course. 🙂
One of the things I love doing is critiquing someone’s logic on topics like this. I get a schadenfreude from spotting someone’s logical errors, no matter what position they take. Someone else might be richer, more famous, stronger, more attractive than you/me, but being right is something that no one can top you on.
I urge you to look at this data further and vet it more. It is very cumbersome to read (and I am a data person). I would have to devote days to even attempt to use it in a professional document as a citation.
Just a cursory glance, however, tells me there is something wrong. The data indicates that of the sample of adult children 2% had been touched inappropriately by one of their heterosexual, intact (marriage-wise) mothers or fathers while 23% had been touched inappropriately by their lesbian mothers. Based on data from all over the web, one in four girls will be abused before age 18 and one in six boys. Three-quarters will be by someone in their family or someone they know. And according to this (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childsexualabuse.html) most of the abusers will be men, but your link suggests that most abuse comes from within a woman-only head of household. Based on the link you cited, fully 74% of the respondents had been touched inappropriately. Was this a random sample? Only 25% of girls and 17% of boys have been sexually abused (touched inappropriately) according to almost every reliable source I’ve seen; and while it probably goes under reported, I imagine it is not by as much as much as 70%.
Also, if 23% of child molestation cases were occurring in lesbian households and 23% of children adopted by strangers were turning out “gay”, I think there would be oodles of evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, to support that finding.
BTW, the first link in your post directs to a malicious site according to my Norton’s Security program.
Hi Cindy, thanks for your comments and for scrutinizing the data- something that is really important throughout this discussion. I have spent a good amount of time reviewing this study, though admittedly most of that was in the fall of last year. This is the *only* study that compares outcomes for children who had a gay or lesbian parent with those from intact biological families which uses random samples- and thus it has garnered more of my attention than most other “studies” (which usually rely of volunteer or recruited participants).
Regarding the child abuse question, it doesn’t appear that the abuse was necessarily from the lesbian parent. The children who were interviewed for this study had the following make-up regarding their childhood as it related to their mother’s relationships:
“Among those who said their mother had a same-sex relationship, 91% reported living with their mother while she was in the romantic relationship, and 57% said they had lived with their mother and her partner for at least 4 months at some point prior to age 18. A smaller share (23%) said they had spent at least 3 years living in the same household with a romantic partner of their mother’s…
Fifty-eight (58) percent of those whose biological mothers had a same-sex relationship also reported that their biological mother exited the respondent’s household at some point during their youth, and just under 14% of them reported spending time in the foster care system, indicating greater-than-average household instability.”
“It is entirely plausible, however, that sexual victimization could have been at the hands of the LM respondents’ biological father, prompting the mother to leave the union and—at some point in the future—commence a same-sex relationship. Ancillary (unweighted) analyses of the NFSS, which asked respondents how old they were when the first incident occurred (and can be compared to the household structure calendar, which documents who lived in their household each year up until age 18) reveal this possibility, up to a point: 33% of those LM respondents who said they had been sexually victimized by a parent or adult caregiver reported that they were also living with their biological father in the year that the first incident occurred. Another 29% of victimized LMs reported never having lived with their biological father at all. Just under 34% of LM respondents who said they had at some point lived with their mother’s same-sex partner reported a first-time incident at an age that was equal to or higher than when they first lived with their mother’s partner. Approximately 13% of victimized LMs reported living with a foster parent the year when the first incident occurred. In other words, there is no obvious trend to the timing of first victimization and when the respondent may have lived with their biological father or their mother’s same-sex partner, nor are we suggesting by whom the respondent was most likely victimized.”
PS- Is it the link to the New Zealand article that is problematic?
I don’t think I understand how you came to the 74% figure…
I added all the percentages of abuses up. I assumed you could not have both intact parents, lesbian parents and gay parents at the same time. Or single parent homes and in tact homes at the same time. You couldn’t have an intact “biological” family and be adopted by strangers at the same time. Therefore I assumed there were no overlaps in those categories.
Forgive me, because I (like most other parents, I suspect) am in the midst of the hazy, crazy days of summer and I think the spray sunscreen is starting to go to my brain a bit. 🙂 I skimmed through the NFSS, but in my quick glance I could not find the abuse statistics being discussed. I don’t do much math these days, either. But I don’t think you can just add the percentages together. The percentages need to be added as the numbers of respondents they represent based on the sample size for each group, then that total is taken as a percentage of the total respondents. For example, let’s say (for the sake of simplified math), that there were 100 total respondents to this survey, 50 of whom were raised in intact biological families, 40 raised in single-parent homes, and 10 by lesbian mothers. Now let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that 10 percent of each group reported sexual abuse. The abuse rate for the entire group is 10 percent – not 30 percent. Right? Another example – let’s say the adult children from IBF reported an abuse rate of 10% (5 respondents), the adult children of single parents reported a rate of 20% (8 respondents), and the rate for those raised by lesbian mothers was reported at 10% ( 1 respondent). (Again, just taking figures that are simple to work with and using the same proportion of IBF, SP and LM as in the first example – this is not meant to be a commentary on the likelihood of sexual abuse among those raised by single or lesbian parents vs. both biological parents.) That would mean, out of the 100 total respondents, 14 individuals would have reported sexual abuse. For an overall rate of 14% – not 40%. Maybe I am misinterpreting what you are saying, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that, according to the data as reported in this study, 74% of the respondents were sexually abused. I will look again when I have more time and try to find the stats in the study and how they were reported, in order to get a better understanding of the findings. But that was just an initial response to the discussion, because you’re right – 74% would be a very suspect figure for sexual abuse in a random sample of any type.
So, I’ve looked at the data more closely. It still is confusing. I think I misinterpreted the percentages the first time around as a percentage of total population and not a percentage of sub-populations. But I would like to ask you some questions about the data, because perhaps (since you have looked at it thoroughly) you can send me immediately to the right place.
1. Were the adult kids (AKs) who said they were touched NOT included in the AKs who said they were forced to have sex? In other words, are these two distinct groups; only touched (ouch, feels wrong saying it that way) and forced to have sex? I am presuming that those who said they were forced to have sex are not also included in the “touched” group.
2. Was there any distinction between WHEN the families who were divorced or who had never been married (i.e., the subgroups DL, Stepfamily, Single Parent) occurred in the AKs life? In other words, how many of those divorces (where there was a divorce) occurred later in the AKs life, say 16, 17 or almost 18?
3. Did I read correctly that 51% of the AKs were female and 57% were white? Does that mean 49% were male and 43% were black, hispanic, american indian,or asian? How many of these “others” were there of each race other than white?
4. Were those that were adopted by strangers kids of IBFs, LMs, GFs, DLs, Steps, SPs, or others? I mean, clearly something is going on with THAT group!
5. What is the breakdown male/female in each group. I am really curious about the LM and the GF group.
6. Besides deceased parent(s), what other family dynamic is in that other group which makes up almost 14% of the total sample identified as “others”?
Now, I have some questions relative to “What is the point?” and some questions about things you’ve concluded:
“The limited data on hand also indicates that a child with married, heterosexual parents is less likely to engage in homosexual behavior.”
I question if that is what it really says? First, because the author of the article (I think, because it is really hard to follow) says that 1.7% of the population, or at least between 1% and 2% have a gay parent (or one who has had a gay relationship), yet the study includes 5.5% LM kids and 2.4% GF kids for a total of 7.9% of the respondents having a gay mother or father (or whose mother or father has had a same sex relationship). Just how much of the rest of the data is cherry-picked? 57% of the respondents are white. According to the US Census, 72.4% of the US population was white in 2010 and 75.1% in 2000; either way, considerably more than 57%. What would have happened if the author, from the more than 15,000 original respondents, would have kept enough white people and IBFs to make the population reflect reality?
Why separate IBFs and DLs? Again, what affect would knowing just when the parents divorced have affected the outcome. And what about those pesky adoptive parents group which had 23% of them in a same sex relationship; fully three times greater than LMs and almost twice the GFs. And what about those Single parents? Their kids were LESS likely (according to the study) to have homosexual children (or at least homosexual children that are actually engaged in a “romantic” homosexual relationship at the time of the study) than IBFs; which begs the question relative to your conclusion “less likely than WHO”? And based on the study, AKs are more likely to engage in a homosexual “romantic” relationship if they have had a step-family or if they have had an adoptive family than if they have a LM or a GF (perhaps that is where the REAL story is).
The bottom line is that men (sorry guys), based on their positions of power in our society, do a lot of really harmful things to women and children (even in those quaint IBFs). A lot of women flee that environment for the SAKE of their children. Many of them don’t do it soon enough or at all. How many of those LMs fled an abusive relationship? How many of those 31% of AKs of LMs were forced to have sex BEFORE their mom divorced or left their dads and all were damaged because of it? Look at how many of those DL (divorced late) AKs had been forced to have sex; 24%. How much longer did their moms force them to be abused because they stayed with the husband; perhaps some because the church told them that is what they should do? Yes, I know that some of these kids are abused by someone other than their father, but most abuse is done by men and by men who are part of the family or who the family knows. Either way, it is usually the dysfunctional “intact” family dynamic (either biological or step-family) that allows this to continue to happen.
Anyway, here is another conclusion you reached?
“Children with gay parents are more likely to identify as gay.”
Is that what the data says? Not in my opinion. The question asked is if the AK identified as entirely heterosexual? That seems like an odd way to ask that question. Why not just ask them if they are gay? Also if you equate the response that only 61% of the AKs of LMs self identified as entirely heterosexual as meaning 39% identify as being gay, then why are fewer of them in same sex relationships than AKs of adoptive parents and step-family parents? And if you look at Single Parents and All Others, they had 7% to 8% less of their respondents self identifying as entirely heterosexual and yet had fewer percentage (3% and 2%) of AKs in same sex “romantic” relationships than IBFs. And, if you appropriately kept the DsL and IBFs together, and had more DLs and IBFs or fewer LMs and GFs to mirror reality, how much different would the data look?
I am intrigued by the 12% figure of the GF group and would really like to know the particulars; male/female, white/other race, divorced/planned child of two committed gay/lesbian adults.
I, for one, believe that environmental factors can affect someone’s sexual preferences. However, that does not change the fact that many, many, many, many, many children that would appear to not have had severe negative environmental forces acting upon them, report that they have always, always, always, always, always, been attracted to the same sex from a very early age (about the age that boys and girls start doing stupid, silly things to get the attention of the opposite sex). Either they are liars or they are telling the truth (or perhaps they are mentally ill).
The fact that the “elusive” gay gene has not been found doesn’t mean that is does not exist nor does it mean that there are not complex biological processes that predetermines sexual orientation. We do not know why people get cancer, but we do know that people get cancer. We have a lot of evidence that suggests that some of it is environmental and some of it is biological. But whether it is caused from biological or environmental factors, it does not change the fact that someone has cancer (and I am not trying to equate gay people with cancer as something bad or evil). If a cancer is caused by environmental factors, a person cannot just decide not to have cancer. The cancer manifests itself the same way whether it was caused by a genetic predisposition or because they had to breathe in a lot of second hand smoke.
This is why I get really discouraged when I see people create studies trying to prove that people aren’t “born” gay. Even if the study is right, and almost every gay person is that way because they had the misfortune of being born into a family that is not perfect, it does not change the gay person who is a product of that environment that produced him or her. If I cut off my finger because I did not use a knife appropriately, even if I use a knife appropriately for the rest of my life, it will not make my finger grow back. If a person is so damaged by abuse that they cannot even think about being sexually or mentally intimate with a person of the opposite sex, isn’t that part of who they have become? I don’t know. All these hoops and twists and turns and leaps that people go through to prove that gays are somehow choosing to spit in God’s eye makes me sad. But now that someone from a Christian college has taken the responses of just under 3,000 adult kids and has finagled a conclusion that being around gay parents makes you more likely to identify as being gay while being around IBFS makes you less likely to be gay should make all Christians breathe a little easier, right? Now if we could only get ALL heterosexuals to stop molesting their children.
Thanks again, Cindy, for your willingness to examine this (the most credible of family structure/outcomes) study. All of the questions that you have are valuable and I think that for the most part, the researchers addressed many of them in their introduction and explanation about how/way they grouped AK who fell into more than one group. Also, they state several times that the percentage of children from GF homes were low as that demographic is harder to capture in a random sample.
For me to answer your questions here, I would have to quote huge swaths of the study and it would probably be best for you or, others with similar questions, to simply read the report. With the exception of the data regarding adopted children (which I haven’t seen addressed but may be in there somewhere), I think that many of your other objections/questions have been thoroughly explained.
The point of the NFSS study was not to “create studies trying to prove that people aren’t born gay.” Rather it was performed in light of the “studies” which find that there is in essence “no difference” in outcomes for children raised in IBF and those whose parents had same sex relationships. This from the study’s abstract:
The study compares “how the young-adult children of a parent who has had a same-sex romantic relationship fare on 40 different social, emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared with six other family-of-origin types. The results reveal numerous, consistent differences, especially between the children of women who have had a lesbian relationship and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents. The results are typically robust in multivariate contexts as well, suggesting far greater diversity in lesbian-parent household experiences than convenience-sample studies of lesbian families have revealed.”
I don’t think it’s fair to say that the purpose of these studies (at least the thoughtful, well-designed ones) is to prove that people aren’t “born gay”. There are plenty of studies out there being performed by people who hold the belief that people *are* born gay – but if it’s a good study, it’s a good study, and certainly there is room for criticism regardless of the researchers’ bias either way. The whole point of this discussion (and, perhaps, some of these studies) is to question the idea of absolute biological determinism with regard to sexual orientation – a theory touted as indisputable fact by many of those advocating for a gender-neutral definition of marriage. It simply hasn’t been proven. And between an absolute biological cause of same-sex attraction and the “choosing to spit in God’s eye” mentality, there are many alternative possibilities and combinations that may (for all we know) be different for each and every person who identifies as gay. I think there will always be an interest in figuring out why people are the way they are. It doesn’t necessarily come from a position of fear or self-righteousness.
I think this particular study tried to throw everything including the kitchen sink at how bad being gay is for children. Unless I’m mistaken, Askme did make a point that she believed (based on the study) these gay parents were more likely to have children that identified as being gay themselves. I did not get the impression that this conclusion was that these children were led to be gay through defective “gay” genes (hence the illusive gay gene remark) but because being exposed to gay somehow damages children; makes them gay, on welfare, more likely to commit suicide, more likely to be molested, etc.
Here are a list of articles about Mr. Regnerus and his study. Some of them are from what would be considered “left-leaning” publications, but not all. If you only look at one, I would look at the last one because this is a site dedicated to the many negative critiques of Mr. Regnerus’ research and his conclusions, including excerpts from ones by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Sociology Association, and the internal audit prepared by Social Science Research (the one who published the study). You can use it as a jumping off point to find the actual critiques from the source.
Click to access 12-144_307_Amicus_%20%28C_%20Gottlieb%29_ASA_Same-Sex_Marriage.pdf
And aside from the last link, the one that I found most enlightening was the Scientific American link. The author makes the point that if you are going to use the study to put before the Supreme Court (which was why it was rushed to publication) to assert that gays should not be allowed to be married because it is bad for children (kind of weird because gay people still have children, married or not) then you necessarily will have to do a study to determine the relative efficacy of the parenting of blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, poor, rich, young, old, etc. and then determine who should be allowed to marry based on whether they could produce acceptable (better) outcomes for their adult children. How is that for social engineering?
Regenerous’ findings challenged the claim that is oft made among gay marriage advocates- that children fare no worse within gay families. As a result, like all of us who dare to challenge anything from the pro-gay lobby, he was labeled a racist, hater, bigoted homophobe. I am familiar with the outcry. A widely broadcast investigation was launched into Regenerous’ methods. A much quieter exoneration was given by his university. http://www.ruthblog.org/2012/09/07/the-ruth-institute-congratulates-university-of-texas-professor-mark-regnerus-ut%e2%80%99s-research-integrity-office-finds-no-academic-misconduct/?s-research-integrity-office-finds-no-academic-misconduct/
Cindy, I encourage you to apply this level of scrutiny to any other study that examine outcomes for children of same sex couples. Regenerous himself will admit that much more research, over many years/decades using large random samples must be conducted before anyone has any business making claims about outcomes for children of gay parents. But this study is weighty for the following reason:
“If we have to throw out the Regnerus study, we have to throw out virtually every other study on the impact of same sex parenting on children. Previous studies are far worse, using less representative samples and drawing far more unjustified sweeping conclusions than the Regnerus study.”
I have no doubt that there is bias in some of the “pro-gay” studies. In my work, I have seen a number of biased feasibility studies on development projects because the developer wanted to borrow money to do their development. Even people who know better choose to look at the conclusion only and care little for the voracity of the content because they already agree with the conclusion (the end justifies the means). We are ALL guilty of doing this at one time or another.
I read the information about Mr. Regnerus’ own college clearing him of any wrongdoing, though they did not say that his study was necessarily valid. The scientific publication’s internal auditor had a lot to say about the relationship between Mr. Regnerus and the outfit that funded the publication and those that reviewed the publication – none of it good – though all that seems a little “day late and a dollar short”. I don’t know how many of the links you looked at, but there was one which compared how fast Mr. Regnerus’ article was cleared for publication compared to other articles in the same volume and others published in the same journal. Mr. Regnerus’ article was very unique in its speedy publication. As I recall, his was three or four months while others took a year, sometimes more. Juxtapose that with the internal emails and letters showing that Mr. Regnerus and the funders were all concerned about having this article published before the Supreme Court of the United States heard a gay marriage case. And if the study was truly representative of a “problem”, then we should be looking at adoption more closely, too. But that wasn’t even brought up.
Aside from the conflict of interests, there were many problems with the way the participants were categorized (regardless of how Mr. Regnerus tried to backpeddle or explain it) and the way their parents were categorized. Many of these entities making these claims were not just “pro-gay” outfits. Askme, consider a picture of a beautiful garden of daffodils in a gardening magazine with the caption “Mrs. Smith’s garden grows the best daffodils” next to a picture of a garden with many drooping, faded, misshapen daffodils with the caption “Mrs. Jones garden grows daffodils with negative outcomes” (i.e., bad). What you don’t see in that picture is that a group of people that really like Mrs. Smith and really don’t like Mrs. Jones went and dug up all the daffodils from Mrs. Smith’s garden that weren’t the best specimens and planted them in Mrs. Jones’ garden. It is true that Mrs. Jones’ garden still has many nice flowers (if you looked closely, maybe they were even more beautiful than the flowers in Mrs. Smith’s garden), but it is also clear that some of them are struggling to thrive. Nevermind that most of the people who read the garden magazine will never know that these “bad” flowers were actually grown in Mr. Smith’s soil and not Mrs. Jones’ soil. That is how I see Mr. Regnerus’ study. He took out “divorced late” and “adopted by strangers” (even though these two subgroups had families that were intact with a mom and a dad all the way through the participants’ childhoods) to weed out negative outcomes. He retained only the most stable intact biological families and then lauded that intact biological families produce the best results for adult children. And then, he didn’t even retain enough intact biological families or other white and/or non gay (even by his definition) families to reflect the percentages that actually occur in society on average.
Words and statistics, once entered into the public consciousness (and the internet), are hard to undo. There are still people (I’ve heard them with my own ears) that believe we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that President Obama was not born in the United States. Of course, the people who say these things want to believe them already and they have an agenda.
When I hear the words “pro-gay”, it is a political term (for me). To say anyone is pro-gay is to suggest that you know they are endorsing, glamorizing, or otherwise condoning being gay. I just don’t see it that way. I am pro-humanity, pro-equality, pro-fairness, and I am pro-American. As a Christian and an American, I wear two hats. I cannot wear them at the same time, though they can influence some of my beliefs and actions relative to the other. As a Christian, I try and emulate Christ. I try to remember that sins are against God or against the individual themselves NOT against me and that God is the judge; not me. As an American, I try and work from the premise that we are a nation of many people, with unique ideas and religions and customs. The Founding Fathers thought this was a good thing and they wrote the Constitution with this in mind. As we discussed in a previous post, I believe the Founding Fathers were so grounded that they did not fear separating religion and politics and truly believed that keeping religion out of politics was the best way to have a successful republic and keeping politics out of religion was the best way to have religious freedom.
I believe they were right and I believe we are at a dangerous place in this country now being divided as we are by three issues that are religious rather than common issues relative to a civil government. The church is being used to its detriment by the Republicans and vice versa because they are aligning on their positions relative to gay-rights and abortion, and to an alarmingly increasing degree, women’s rights. Many Americans are upset (as I think they should be) and are rejecting both. As a result, our country is just treading water and the church is getting a black eye.
There are plenty of issues involving children that we do little about; especially those on the Right. Child abuse in this country, which is in large part tied to poverty and a lack of education, is a huge problem; much bigger than any potential negative affects that a gay or lesbian couple might have on a child they choose to have or adopt. We even have child abuse within the church that we aren’t dealing with very well. Yet, we are spending our precious government resources trying to block gay marriage for religious reasons (now cloaked in the secular due to this ONE study) and meanwhile kids are going hungry, being beaten and abused, some die, some grow up to beat and abuse because they just don’t know anything else. We call their mothers sluts and whores and takers and some in government work overtime trying to take away any assistance they might be provided. When they grow up, we’ll call those children these same hurtful names. We’ll incarcerate a huge portion of the rest of them We pretend we care because we try to protect them in the womb. But we don’t. We say we’ll take care of them through our churches; government isn’t needed for that. But we don’t. If our actions speak of the condition of our hearts, WE DO NOT CARE. We only care that we can try and force our belief that being gay and having abortions (and even being a strong woman to some Christian sects) is a sin and should be part of the fabric of the United States Constitution. We say this is because we care about children and families. IT IS NOT TRUE. We only care about winning, whatever that means, and maintaining the status quo.
By the way, I am happy to look at a “pro-gay” study if you want to link one. Also, I am happy to consider that gays and lesbians (removed from any other dysfunctional family dynamic like child abuse or spousal abuse) might in fact be damaging children, but I want to give equal consideration and resources to determining how certain religious sects, like the Quiverfull movement and Scientology are damaging children.
Cindy, I love your heart for God. In many ways you are right about a Pharisee-like attitude among churches who would like to pronounce judgment on hurting people without extending mercy. Christian America must, and I believe is moving in the direction of, living out their faith sacrificially. Those who don’t will shrivel up in the face of a skeptical culture that is looking for evidence of our living faith.
On studies that support gay parenting, this summary evaluation is helpful:
“…the available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim [for or against same-sex parenting]. Such a statement would not be grounded in science. To make a generalizable claim, representative, large-sample studies are needed—many of them.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580
By the way, I skimmed your discussion with Ark on Violetwisp’s blog. You make me proud, girl! Measured, strong, non-emotive argumentation based in God’s truth, reason and humility. Truly inspiring. Grateful to call you a Sister In Christ.
“…the available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim [for or against same-sex parenting]. Such a statement would not be grounded in science. To make a generalizable claim, representative, large-sample studies are needed—many of them.” But you’ll go to great lengths to make claims knowing full well you don’t have the data you need. Gulity until proven innocent. Wasn’t there a commandment something about bearing false witness? Seeing as though you love the law I thought you might appreciate that one.
Tapman, unquestioningly decades of large group, random-based studies must be conducted before any group can scientifically declare that same-sex parenting produces outcomes equal to mother/father parenting. Any honest researcher (including Regenerous) or observer will admit that. On the other hand, the burden of proof is on those who would redefine parenthood as there is a virtual mountain of social science that testifies to the beneficial nature of both genders parenting together.
My smiley face translated to a square. Hope you didn’t think I was making some sort of cryptic statement. Thanks, as always, for being you. Smiley Face.
Thanks Cindy! I wasn’t sure what that was and I had meant to write you and tell you that if you had a comment it did not come through. But thank you for all the time and attention that you give to commenting here. I know that I as well as many others are edified and challenged by your thoughtful comments. Grateful to have you in the family!
Seems to me, a steady percentage of the human population has been, is and likely will be in the 3 sigma area of the sexual behavior.scale. Historically, we tend to feel threatened by them. That’s appropriate for some deviations, such as child-oriented or sadistic cases; it seems inappropriate for homosexuals who harm no one. And that appears to be an increasingly accepted view.
It’s not clear how a child is a homosexual; a child is a child. Sexual preferences take time to show up and sometimes, shift. But it’s obvious that parents are powerful role models and while there’s no other obvious reason homosexuals shouldn’t adopt, that seems to ,merit caution and more research If parental behavior can increase the probability a child will be homosexual, such parents appear to do their kids no favors. .
Thanks for your comments, Jack.
There are selfish, negligent parents who are heterosexual, homosexual, and single parents. There are also loving, involved, selfless, responsible heterosexual, homosexual, and single parents. So, assuming that everyone is parenting well, gender still adds a significant and valuable aspect to child development. Both in how the child understands her world:
and in how she sees herself:
Statistically, biology also plays a role in the life of the child:
I have the best example of a woman in a same-sex relationship who was a great parent! As a matter of fact, many of the things that I do well as a parent are because I am reproducing what my mother did for me. But fathers cannot mother. And kids need dads, not just “parents.”
Should homosexuals adopt? At minimum, gender needs to be a factor in a placement agency’s decision when assigning children to parents.
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