Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gay Parents Study Suggesting Downside For Kids Draws Fire From Social Scientists

Photo courtesy of CNN

Another example of why it is good to read beyond the headline..... and to use one's critical thinking skills when evaluating sensational science article.

Recently a whole slew of you sent us at GCV articles that suposivly linked having gay parents to children with a myriad of problems.

"The results suggested that children of these parents [invlved in same sex relationships] are more likely than kids in other family structures to be on public assistance, unemployed or in therapy as adults, among other negative outcomes."

There was, understandably some outcry.... and a lot of bigoted people on social media sites celebrating. at last, scientific proof that gay parents = bad parents.

Except... except the study is flawed. the sample size is small, the data was mined from a different study, and most importantly:"The study defined same-sex parenting by asking participants if their parents had ever had same-sex relationships, and whether they had lived with the parent at that time. That led to a "hodgepodge" group of people who Regnerus [the "scientist in charge] then compared with kids in stable, married homes."

In other words, kids from unstable homes are less likely to be as stable as kids in stable homes.... a finding that is neither new nor groundbreaking nor relevant to the topic of same-sex parents.

The Huffington Post has a great article detailing the flaws in the study, you can read it here, that we encourage you to share.

And again, don't be swayed by splashy headlines.... and don't forget to use your critical thinking skills. Ask yourself, is this a viable study? Was there a control group? How big was the sample size? Who paid for it? Was there an agenda already?

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