« 42 Years Later, Here’s Where Americans Stand on Abortion | Main | All Paths Do Lead to God »

January 23, 2015

Comments

There are plenty of studies about what happens when a child doesn't have a mother or doesn't have a father. I tend to trust these more than studies that are specifically about children of same-sex parents because they aren't so politically charged.

Well that's just brilliant. Essentially you think that, due to "political charging", studies on single-parent families are more relevant to the same-sex marriage issue than that studies of actual same-sex households.

Interesting that you think "politically charged" research can be ignored. That nonsense Canadian paper you posted about in 2013? Nothing "politically charged" about that, just an Christian, creationist economics professor with a purely academic interest in the lives of gay people. And there's certainly no hint of anything political when Brave Mavericks like Stephen C. Meyer, Dembski, Behe et al. fight The Scientific Establishment and its Darwinian orthodoxy. The conservative Discovery Institute just likes funding Brave Maverick Science.

Phillip, if a big problem with same-sex marriage is that children will be denied a mother or a father, then of course it's relevant how children do without a mother or a father. And since this has been studied for much longer than same-sex marriage, the issue has had time to build a track record. I think it's perfectly reasonable to trust them and use them in arguments more than studies about same-sex marriage (which I do), which have not had the benefit of time, and which have been seriously challenged on both sides for various reasons. You'll notice I didn't limit my comment to pro-same-sex-marriage studies. I'm including studies that find problems with same-sex marriage, as well. Studies on children without mothers or fathers get right to the heart of the issue and don't have political baggage to overcome. People are more likely to listen and less likely to dismiss.

That doesn't mean I don't report on same-sex-marriage-specific studies. I'm pretty sure I've commented on ones from both sides. And the one you linked to is specifically about gender differences in parenting, which is related to the more established studies I've been talking about, so that seems plausible to me. It just makes sense to be more cautious about same-sex-marriage-specific studies.

Phillip, you'll also notice in the comments of the post you linked to that you pointed out the problems with that study and I agreed that was a valid complaint. That was one of those times that fed into my caution about this kind of study.

So you actually look at the multitude of studies that say intact families do better than families broken apart by divorce, abuse, incarceration and think to yourself:

Now why is this? Is it because of, y'know, the divorce, abuse, and incarceration? Naaah. It must be 'cause women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Living with two parents of the same gender must be just as bad.

I refer you to the studies I linked to above.

Now that I have a moment, I can clarify my last comment. People don't just study what happens when a mother or father isn't there, they also study the positive contributions of each sex when they are there. For example, see the study in the Atlantic article.

Now you're moving the goalposts. What I originally responded to was

There are plenty of studies about what happens when a child doesn't have a mother or doesn't have a father. I tend to trust these more than studies that are specifically about children of same-sex parents because they aren't so politically charged.

...in other words, your claim that single-parent households, for the purpose of social science research, are a valid analog for same-sex households. That, due to political bias, single-parent families tell us more about same-sex families than same-sex families themselves. It's a remarkable thing to say, and I don't blame you for trying to Gish Gallop away from it.

(To briefly address your yeah-but-what-about, studies have consistently shown differences in parenting between men and women. They have also shown differences between black and white parents, and between parents of different socioeconomic backgrounds. You make the monumental assumption that the gender differences are innate, immutable, and of such vital importance to raising healthy children that the State has a legitimate interest in preventing other types of families from forming.)

@Phillip A says:

"You [assume] that the gender differences are [...] of such vital importance to raising healthy children that the State has legitimate interest in preventing other types of families from forming."

You nailed it.

Now my question to you: what evidence do you have that gender differences are NOT vitally important to raising healthy children?

Sorry for the confusion, Phillip. I was including it all under the same umbrella (as readers can see from the Atlantic article I listed). Part of knowing how not having a mother or not having a father affects a child is knowing what mothers and fathers provide. That's a big part of knowing what's missing when it's not there.

The comments to this entry are closed.