The homophobic right-wing seems genuinely taken aback at how poorly received their precious Regnerus study has been. Clearly, being widely and loudly called out on shoddy science with a hateful agenda isn’t something they’re used to. And in another decade, these results might have been accepted at face value despite the study’s many flaws, simply because it aligned with the conventional wisdom of the time that gay people must be bad for children, society, and everything. This is no longer the case – these traditional assumptions aren’t assumed anymore, and the anti-gay movement have found themselves out of their element.
In their shock that someone would dare question their latest instrument of propaganda, the Heritage Foundation asks, “Why the Liberal Intolerance for New Family Structures Study?” To them, criticism of methodology is actually just a matter of partisan politics. This isn’t just deception, but self-deception: by characterizing any disagreement with this study as rooted purely in personal political opinion, it becomes completely acceptable for them to endorse its results without acknowledging or understanding its numerous errors. It’s no longer a question of reality and sound science – it’s “us vs. them”:
The author of a new study showing some negative outcomes for young adults whose parents had same-sex relationships is under attack because his findings conflict with what, in some corners, has become conventional wisdom.
Wrong! This study is not being criticized because some people found its results to be disagreeable. It is being criticized because its definitions, analysis, and conclusions are misleading and unsupported by the data. It’s been criticized because it used even a single occurrence of any same-sex relationship involving a parent to define that parent as a “lesbian mother” or a “gay father”. It’s been criticized because Regnerus treated these parents as representative of “same-sex parents” when a vast majority of their children spent fewer than four years living in a household with same-sex parents. It’s been criticized because its sample of “same-sex parents”, even by Regnerus’ distorted and practically useless definition, is too small to draw valid conclusions from.
Apparently, the idea that there is “no difference” between children of same-sex parents and their peers raised in traditional married mother-and-father households has become so entrenched among some advocates that new research presenting a contrasting picture is unwelcome—to put it mildly.
No! This study is not unwelcome because it contradicts an “entrenched” idea. It is unwelcome because it uses bad science to portray same-sex parents as being incompetent. It is unwelcome because Regnerus openly admits to boosting the sample sizes of his “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” groups (which, again, were defined in a ridiculous manner that defies all sense) by packing them with the children of divorced families, step-families and single parents, and because he then compared these groups to children whose biological parents were married throughout their entire childhood. It is unwelcome because he did not compare children who were raised by their married biological parents until the age of 18 to children who were raised by married same-sex couples until the age of 18. It is unwelcome because he ruthlessly stacked the deck against these badly defined “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” groups in a way that no one could avoid noticing, and then used these erroneous conclusions to attack actual same-sex parents who were underrepresented in his study, to the extent that they were represented at all.
And these are the folks who urge us to be tolerant of differences and respect scientific research.
Incorrect! We do not accept methodological flaws as simply a matter of personal “differences”. We do not respect “scientific research” that is poorly interpreted and used – indeed, seemingly designed – to perpetuate untruths. We do not respect just any damn thing that someone manages to publish in a journal, without examining its contents and verifying the soundness of the research. And we do not consider blind acceptance of faulty science, with results that will be deceptively used as a weapon of ignorance against same-sex parents and our children for the rest of our natural lives, to be a requirement of tolerance. The Heritage Foundation ought to tolerate Regnerus’ own admission that his study was completely unable to produce useful data about children from stable households with same-sex parents, and respect the fact that the study’s design does not support their assertion that its results are representative of the children of same-sex parents.
It’s telling that intolerance for lying and wronging innocent people is apparently limited to “liberals”.