Thread: Well, Nova should be happy: "Controversial Gay-Parenting Study Is Severely Flawed..."

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  1. #1 Well, Nova should be happy: "Controversial Gay-Parenting Study Is Severely Flawed..." 
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    The comments at the link are a good read, too.

    Controversial Gay-Parenting Study Is Severely Flawed, Journal’s Audit Finds

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolato...it-finds/30255

    The peer-review process failed to identify significant, disqualifying problems with a controversial and widely publicized study that seemed to raise doubts about the parenting abilities of gay couples, according to an internal audit scheduled to appear in the November issue of the journal, Social Science Research, that published the study.
    The highly critical audit, a draft of which was provided to The Chronicle by the journal’s editor, also cites conflicts of interest among the reviewers, and states that “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”

    Since it was published last month, the study, titled “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?,” has been the subject of numerous news articles and blog posts. It has been used by opponents of same-sex marriage to make their case, and it’s been blasted by gay-rights activists as flawed and biased....

    ...At the suggestion of another scholar, Wright, a professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida, assigned a member of the journal’s editorial board—Darren E. Sherkat, a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale—to examine how the paper was handled.

    Sherkat was given access to all the reviews and correspondence connected with the paper, and was told the identities of the reviewers. According to Sherkat, Regnerus’s paper should never have been published. His assessment of it, in an interview, was concise: “It’s bullshit,” he said.

    Among the problems Sherkat identified is the paper’s definition of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers”—an aspect that has been the focus of much of the public criticism. A woman could be identified as a “lesbian mother” in the study if she had had a relationship with another woman at any point after having a child, regardless of the brevity of that relationship and whether or not the two women raised the child as a couple.

    Sherkat said that fact alone in the paper should have “disqualified it immediately” from being considered for publication....


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  2. #2  
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    So...... one person takes a cursory look at it, calls it "bullshit," and we're just supposed to accept that judgment?

    The peer-review process failed to identify significant, disqualifying problems with a controversial and widely publicized study that seemed to raise doubts about the parenting abilities of gay couples
    Interesting how it is only this one study in which the "peer-review process failed."
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  3. #3  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubie View Post
    So...... one person takes a cursory look at it, calls it "bullshit," and we're just supposed to accept that judgment?



    Interesting how it is only this one study in which the "peer-review process failed."
    Some one got in trouble for screwing a sacred cow it would seem.
    How is obama working out for you?
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Madisonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    Some one got in trouble for screwing a sacred cow it would seem.
    Screwing sacred cows is apparently ok. It is screwing members of the opposite sex that gets you in trouble with the peer reviewers.
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    Elspeth I admire the fact that you posted this. I like to think that's the difference between the sides. We'll admit when something isn't true.

    This would be a good study to keep an eye on, I'm sure there will be other opinions about this opinion!
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Elspeth I admire the fact that you posted this. I like to think that's the difference between the sides. We'll admit when something isn't true.

    This would be a good study to keep an eye on, I'm sure there will be other opinions about this opinion!
    I get the impression that this one was poorly done. Someone pointed out on CHE that when you go against the zeitgeist, your research needs to be pristine. I do hope that someone comes along and does truly accurate research in this vein.

    The one good thing about this study is that we get a much better picture of what some same-sex situations look like: that everyone is NOT white and NOT in a blue state. That most previous incidents of gay parenting came from divorce, and that the real dad (or mom) is also part of the set up.
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  7. #7  
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    I just get a kick out of the fact that the "professional" assessment given is nothing more than a swear word. Is that what passes muster in academia these days?
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  8. #8  
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    Parenting.

    I am old enough to know a thing or two about parenting. But I don't.
    I don't know one damn thing about raising children. I used to know a lot about the subject, but alas, my children have proven all my theories to be wrong. But then their children proved my children's theories wrong, too.
    We have recently launched yet another generation in our family, and I can see that he is being raised wrongly, too. His parents aren't even married. That's wrong, by most studies. But it looks as if he'll get to go to the wedding in October. Good thing. He's very photogenic.

    Recently we noticed a young couple had posted on Facebook that baby (son) is going on his first vacation. Baby (son) is three months old, and his parents are on Medicaid. "Vacation from WHAT?", my inner self screamed!
    I did it wrong, my children did it wrong in most cases, and the young couple is certainly doing it wrong.

    And now we are told that if Sally Ride had been my mother, I would be emotionally lopsided, somehow.

    Huh? I just don't think so.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubie View Post
    I just get a kick out of the fact that the "professional" assessment given is nothing more than a swear word. Is that what passes muster in academia these days?
    I thought that was really weird too, but there is a better breakdown of what is wrong with the study. The real issue seems to be the definitions of "lesbian mother" and "gay father", which were sloppy at best and misleading at most. See below:


    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com...12/07/26/44553

    ...Regnerus’s Seeming Falsification of Data

    Falsification of data can be qualitative as well as quantitative.

    If a researcher surveyed 25 Hutu, for example, but intentionally misreported that he had surveyed 75 Hutu, in order to appear to obtain a research result, which result he and/or his study’s funders desired, but which was not a valid result, then the researcher would be guilty of quantitative falsification of data.

    If, on the other hand, the researcher surveyed 25 Hutu, but intentionally misreported that he had surveyed 25 Tutsi, in order to appear to obtain a research result, which result he and/or his study’s funders desired, but which was not a valid result, then the researcher would be guilty of qualitative falsification of data.

    Regnerus appears to have carried out a qualitative falsification of his data, and perhaps a deliberate one, where he labels certain of the parents of his young adult respondents as being “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers” without having formulated an operational definition for “lesbian mother” or “gay father,” and additionally without having done anything scientifically to determine whether the persons he labels as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” are indeed “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers.”

    Nock explained the necessity — to valid social science research — of working with a valid operational definition: “In social science literature, the process of translating a concept into one or more empirical indicators is known as developing an operational definition of a concept.” Nock continues: “In social science research, the concepts used, frequently come to have conventional operational definitions. Researchers using accepted operational definitions are able to replicate others’ research, and build upon it. In this fashion, social science advances, as any science might.”

    Writing about the specific requirements for sociological surveys in the field of gay parenting, Nock says: “With regard to the question at hand” – (which question at hand happened to be gay parenting child outcomes, Regnerus’s alleged study topic) — “we would need operational definitions of “gay”, “lesbian”, “bisexual, “parent”, “child”, “child’s health”, and “child’s well being.’” Regnerus apparently did not work with operational definitions for any of those things.

    Nock states that without a valid operational definition of a gay or lesbian parent, researchers cannot know what is being studied. He notes, moreover, that “The precise definition of all concepts to be used is crucial to the capability to replicate studies.” And he says: “Scientific evidence accumulates and gains credibility only through replication.”

    Regnerus, with no operational definition of the terms “lesbian mother” or “gay father,” asked one — (1) – question, only, of his study’s respondents towards his effort in labeling certain of his study subjects’ parents as “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers.” Here is that question:

    “From when you were born until age 18 (or until you left home to be on your own), did either of your parents ever have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex?”

    As the Inquiry Panel will recognize, a parent of a Regnerus survey respondent who had had only one — (1) – “one-night stand” with a same-sex partner, and otherwise personally identified as heterosexual throughout their life, would... be classified as a gay parent.


    That Regnerus’s seemingly – “operational definition-free” – study seems invalid is highlighted in an analysis of it filed as part of an amicus brief in the Golinski-DOMA case by eight major professional organizations including the American Medical Association. The AMA brief very pointedly notes that 1) the Regnerus study placed individual participants between the ages of 18 and 39 into one of eight family structure categories such as “divorced,” and “step family,” but 2) “there was no category for “same-sex couple.”

    The italicizing of that phrase occurs in the AMA brief. It must be emphasized here that eight major professional associations — including the American Medical Association — want to be sure that the Court pays attention to the fact that the Regnerus gay parenting study’s categories do not include a category for same-sex couples....
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  10. #10  
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    Contrasting view from the Weekly Standard:

    Revenge of the Sociologists

    ...Time magazine published a brief and sober description of Regnerus’s methodology. His paper’s great strength was the large and nationally representative sample, so that groups drawn from it could be compared against one another with statistical confidence. The great weakness was that the group of stable gay couples was minuscule, making a meaningful comparison between stable heterosexual households and stable gay households impossible.

    As the study entered the heated debate over gay marriage—which is, after all, the reason Witherspoon paid for it—this sampling weakness was overemphasized by gay activists, who said it discredited the entire study, and -underestimated or ignored by their counterparts in the “pro-family” world, who were often too excited to qualify the numbers accurately. But the weakness is real. Out of the original pool of 15,000 respondents, only 2 young adults reported living with their gay parents for their entire childhood.

    It isn’t Regnerus’s fault that so few gay and lesbian -couples were raising children in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. He tried to boost the numbers by expanding his definitions. He divided respondents into eight family types, including stepfamilies and single-parent families, along with LMs and GFs and IBFs. If a respondent said his mother had a same-sex relationship at some point in his childhood, he was counted as an LM—even if he was also the product of a divorce or raised in a single-parent family. That’s how Regnerus got the number of LMs up to 175 and the GFs up to 73...

    ...Again, it’s not Regnerus’s fault that gay and lesbian relationships were so unstable when today’s young adults were children. But the complication should have tempered the overenthusiastic pronouncements of his popularizers. As the conservative Family Research Council put it:

    In a historic study of children raised by homosexual parents, sociologist Mark Regnerus
    of the University of Texas at Austin has overturned the conventional academic wisdom that such
    children suffer no disadvantages when compared to children raised by their married mother and father.


    This is not only breathless but inaccurate. We may concede that Regnerus’s study could rightly be called “historic”—the data set he collected is unique and likely to yield interesting findings for years to come. But it is not a study of “children raised by homosexual parents.” Regnerus did not ask respondents to give their parents’ sexual orientation; merely whether they knew if their parents had at some point engaged in a homosexual relationship, for however long. The parents may or may not have considered themselves gay, then or now. And many of these children were not raised by a homosexual parent: There were GFs who never lived with their father at all. As a close reading of its title suggests, this is a study of adult children of parents who had same-sex relationships. And the Family Research Council’s use of the present tense is jumping the gun. The study is retrospective—a picture of the nation during the last 40 years, much of it before the gay rights movement and the widespread social acceptance of homosexuality. For all we know, and as Regnerus readily admits, the instability, and hence the bad outcomes, could be largely traced to trauma caused by the antihomosexual prejudice of an earlier time....

    ...Whatever its faults, Regnerus’s study has unique strengths, even beyond the size and randomness of its sample, that his critics ignore altogether. His commendable attempt to include a diversity of views among his advisers is rare within the guild, where the leftism is unrelieved. So too were his willingness to immediately publish his research materials online and his pledge to make all his data digitally available this fall. Rather than a study of monochromatic and well-to-do lesbians or gay men, he managed to capture the full ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic range of gay America. And his study is one of the first to systematically measure outcomes from the children themselves, rather than simply through the reports of their parents....


    ...
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