William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: Scientists Claim The Children Of Gay Couples Turn Out Better

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Scientists Claim The Children Of Gay Couples Turn Out Better.

It was inevitable that it would be claimed children raised by adults who have or who act on same-sex attraction would be better than children raised by normal adults, or by parents.

And so it has come to pass in the peer-reviewed paper “Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity: No Differences? Meta-Analytic Comparisons of Psychological Adjustment in Children of Gay Fathers and Heterosexual Parents” by Benjamin Graham Miller, Stephanie Kors, and Jenny Macfie in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

From the Abstract:

…The current study applied…meta-analysis to 10 studies…to evaluate child psychological adjustment by parent sexual orientation…[R]esults indicated that children of gay fathers had significantly better outcomes than did children of heterosexual parents in all 3 models of meta-analysis.

The emphasis on “better” was in the original—a word that was noticed in the popular press.

If the results are true, it is clear that if we want what is best for the nation’s children, they should be placed in the households of men who enjoy non-procreative sex-like activities. (Actual sexual intercourse can only take place between males and females.) Leaving kids to fester with their own parents dooms them to lesser outcomes.

That prescription might to your ears sound absurd, but it does follow if Miller and his co-authors are right. Are they?

The trio used a statistical technique called “meta-analysis”, which I jokingly define as a method to prove a hypothesis “statistically” true which could not be proved by actually true. Actually, it is a way to glue together results from disparate studies, so that one needn’t be troubled by the hard work of investigating the disparate studies. In other words, it is a controversial technique, often badly applied and in the service of confirmation bias. I suspect that is true here…

You know what to do to fill in the blanks.

27 Comments

  1. How do homosexual couples have children?

  2. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scorners. For he delights in the Law of the Lord and in His law does he meditate day and night. He is as a tree planted by the rivers of waters which provides him his fruit in his season. Its leaf also does not wither and everything that he does shall prosper. It is not so with the ungodly and all that they do are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor the sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous and the way of the ungodly is death.” Psalms chapter one
    Perhaps these sort of “scientists” would be better served by broadening their education via the Law of the Lord.

  3. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, NOR stand in the way of sinners, NOR sit in the seat of the scorners.”
    There’s a deeper message there, too.

    Which are the sinners and which are the righteous?
    Depends who you ask.
    Some sinners like the certain type of sin that is least tasteful to them.
    Others prefer a more delicate type of sin when sitting in judgement.

    I’m not impressed by people o f faith who claim to have a special distain for homosexuality which idffers from most other atheists of the male variety.

    That extra zeal is ungodly delicious disgust masquerading as virtue.

    That is quite separate from the question of gay men having guardianship of a child which I believe is wrong. For a court to award a gay couple a child is to
    saddle the child with a problem and rob them of knowing a mother and a father.
    It further normalises the idea that it is normal and acceptable to carry on a homosexual relationship.

    Everyone’s a sinner. Making sin and not crimes a point of law is very wrong.

    Sin is now under the control of civil courts. Freedom of choice is what is taken away.
    “The truth will set you free.” If we could only get to it.

  4. Joy —

    “The Truth will set you free” refers to Jesus Christ.

    And your comments relative to God are nothing but scorn.

    Something deeper there.

  5. Ray: How do homosexual couples have children?

    Some are able to spin straw into gold and have unguessable Armenian names.

  6. Gay couples make more money, on average, than straight couples. In America, the most capitalistic power in the world, money makes a huge difference.

    JMJ

  7. Ah, the poor straight people who been told for years that same-sex attracted are much more attractive than the Average Joe or Jane. Not only are they struggling with the attractiveness deficit, but they learn that they are materially less well-off than their gay peers who are not necessarily burdened with the costs associated with the care and feeding of the next generation. Because they have more resources, so goes this line of thought, same-sex attracted are better parents? Which chicken came before that egg?

    Also, given the current cultural standards, “better” probably means more tattoos and other physical manipulations of the body intended to display jewelry in the oddest places, more sexual partners, and more varied and frequent drug use.

  8. Ah ha, a nerve is touched. As a veteran of 22 years in the Armed Service, I am personally versed in my past sins and sacrifice. Yes a slow maturity in other than the arts of war, I am also ever thankful of the truths learned under fire. It was after Korea and Vietnam that I returned to college and learned the shallowness of the learned without experience. In the interim years I’ve watched much of the supposed higher education overtaken by those professors turn education into propaganda. You only have to listen to the childlike protest over a presidential election and yes, I am not unaware of the support given by George Soros, an American citizen actively trying to destroy our country along with his acolytes in the Senior Executive Service. Yet through it all, I am content with the dispensation of the Lord’s Providence.

  9. cricket:

    Was Rumpelstiltskin an Armenian Tale? (Didn’t think it was…)

    One of those villains that one MIGHT feel sorry for (except for his vanity).

  10. What’s Rumpelstiltskin? We were talking about gays.

  11. Googled it. It’s German… but, yes, I can see the similarities.

  12. JimnotJoe,
    What you find Jesus says is not what you find in Deuteronomy. If all were said that had to be said he would never have needed to come.

    This favoured quote about ‘revenge from heaven” is not in your remit or my remit. What Jesus said about how people should behave with respect to the sins of others is clear and unambiguous.

    Your own disgust is no different from mine if faced with the notion of the act we are discussing. That’s an emotional response. Nothing more.

    The truth quote is so well known *by christians, that it didn’t need saying. Google the words and the quote will come up. There’s no point being angry about this.

    What JMJ says is true about earning higher salaries. That is likely how they measured success and so on. I’m sorry to say that in today’s world a child with richer parents will tend to have a better education, have better chances in life. That is an inescapable truth. Whether they benefit from a mother AND a father in other ways is quite a different matter. I made my point clearly on that.

  13. Sander van der Wal

    November 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Let me guess: the child with two mothers was the worst one off?

  14. BRIGGS Says: “meta-analysis”… often badly applied and in the service of confirmation bias. I SUSPECT that is true here…” [EMPHASIS added]

    ‘Suspecting’ the meta analysis was badly applied…that’s the same thing as saying, “Just maybe they’ve done a really good analytical meta analysis.”

    Or, put another way: He really doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but at least he admitted it.

    Briggs does pick on a few topical issues associated with the meta analyses of the studies examined…along the way citing as a counterweight the famous Regenerus study–the original study–conveniently omitting comparable issues later uncovered there of exactly the same sort he cites with the latest study he belittles. In other words, all the studies are flawed in the same way.

    Apparently, its all well and good to cherry-pick one’s data, or ignore such cherry-picking by another, when it gives the answer one wants … but if the answer is somehow distasteful, THEN the intellectual rigor kicks in — insofar as the candid disclosure, “I SUSPECT that is true here,” constitutes “rigor” … but its not rigor at all, just semantic “smoke & mirrors.”

    This from a guy that’s written a book in which he asserts “we’re doing it wrong” (where “we” is readily apparent to mean “you” are “doing it wrong,” he isn’t); see: http://wmbriggs.com/post/19441/

    As the saying goes, ‘that’s the pot calling the kettle black.’

    For those open-minded enough to find out more about Regenerus’ own study, including his own post-publication admissions, start with WaPo & follow its links:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/10/new-criticism-of-regnerus-study-on-parenting-study/?utm_term=.ee7fcd75e3ff

    Basically, ALL the studies on the impacts (good & bad) on gay vs straight child-rearing are weak for any variety of reasons. But one thing is absolutely clear: Youth mental illness trends on college campuses, rising proportions of (socially disruptive) narcissism in youth show that despite the generations of experience & folk wisdom, straight parents are doing it worse at increasing rates. There’s spades more of dysfunctional straight families churning out dysfunctional & socially toxic youth than gay families — and its such progeny from straight families that are the overwhelming impetus for social change.

    To read Briggs one would conclude that what those parents are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms is the overwhelming factor of concern … not what they’re doing outside of their bedrooms when they’re actually interacting with and raising their kids. That’s strange thinking.

  15. Ye Olde Statistician

    November 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Gay couples make more money, on average, than straight couples. In America, the most capitalistic power in the world, money makes a huge difference.

    And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson

    It might could be that material wealth ain’t all she wrote.

    Youth mental illness trends on college campuses, rising proportions of (socially disruptive) narcissism in youth show that despite the generations of experience & folk wisdom, straight parents are doing it worse at increasing rates.

    It was my impression that broken families have been on the rise.

  16. Goodness me Ken You’re in your toxic upbringing period. There’s a poem about parents but it’s too rude to quote and I don’t say I like it but this brings it to mind. I hate most poetry.

    What I liked about this post was that Briggs makes an important and simply stated point about this method of analysis. You imbue motive. Who’s being emotional?

    Despite the best efforts of alarmists on this topic the number of couples is vanishingly small. Perhaps there’s an epidemic in the states. Little comfort, clearly, for those who are one of the small number.

    That doesn’t alter the fact that gathering a load of studies to make a conclusion is demonstrably wrong. It measures what people are interested about at the time of the studies. It measures suspicion, special interest, politics of the day, is who has most research money, rather than the truth about a thing. Hoping that if you get enough information together the average will be the truth….when one study can’t show the thing on it’s own. Also that the study of the studies is counting data which it takes as representations of reality. It’s IPCC all over again.
    The academic equivalent version of a gang of bullies.

  17. Well, YoS, here in America (I’m sure you’ve heard of it), K-12 education is primarily a local concern. If you grow up in a wealthier area (and I’m not talking about the the rich here, just the better off, the middle and upper-middle class – the rich have all sorts of problems), odds are you will receive a much better education than you would in a poorer area. As well, there will be more activities, parks, clubs, mainline churches, things to do, and less crime and temptation to engage in bad behaviors. Just that alone makes a huge difference in child’s life. That’s why liberals like me regularly excoriate conservatives like you for ignoring the reality of American life and destroying the opportunities to growth the middle class. People like you ruin children’s lives. They don’t have a choice. They are born to whom they’re born. But good people, yes, even good gay people, can give them better chances, rather just just sit back on intellectually lazy Social Darwinism and watch children’s lives go nowhere.

    JMJ

  18. Andrew Sims, (Past president of the Royal society of Psychiatry. )

    is quoted as saying the following:
    “THE ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECT OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND SPIRITUALITY IS ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN PSYCHIATRY aND MEDICINE GENERALLY. ”

    If the findings of the huge volume of research in this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front page news in every newspaper in the land.”

    He was citing a Major Meta analysis, American Journal of epidemiology. The majority of studies showed that
    well being,happiness, Greater meaning in life, life satisfaction, higher self esteem, better adaptation to bereavement,
    hope, optimism, greater social support lower rates of depression, faster rates of recovery from depression, reduced loneliness….”

    according to professor John Lennox.

    I’m inclined to agree with this. So the meta analysis is also sampled before the mainstream media print it which is another bias filter that the study must pass though before the public are reliably informed of the truth!

  19. Sander, unfortunately, that is probably true. I don’t think it really matters if your parents are straight or gay. If they are of good character, that’s the main thing. If they have good resources and time, a good education, that’s next. After that, most of the rest is just dumb luck.

    JMJ

  20. BRIGGS Says: “meta-analysis”… often badly applied and in the service of confirmation bias. I SUSPECT that is true here…” [EMPHASIS added]

    ‘Suspecting’ the meta analysis was badly applied…that’s the same thing as saying, “Just maybe they’ve done a really good analytical meta analysis.”

    Meta-analysis has a builtin bias. This is true regardless of how well it is done. With the proliferation of badly done studies, this particular one has a good chance of being badly done.

    As for meta-analysis itself, it is very rare to find a paper that says: “We did a regression but did not find X is related to Y.” Such a paper has a low likelihood of publication given the criterion of P below 0.05. All meta-analyses will likely only find confirmation that X and Y are related.

    Also, of course, X being related to Y says little about the causes of both.

    Joy,
    Good point about casting stones.

  21. Setting aside the usual, no-real substance rhetoric about statistics in the post, I am curious to know what other readers get out of reading it. So I read the comments left on the stream.org site… for the first time. I hope those comments don’t actually echo Brigg’s views. Unfortunately, they probably do.

    Ugly. ugly. ugly.

    Why? They remind me of the prejudiced, ignorant, uneducated, small-minded, birdbrained people who (behind my Dad’s back, you know, a behavior that a coward does best) said my hardworking and never-raise-a-hand Dad should not have children and was not fit to be a parent just because he is deaf.

    I have forgotten many things that had happened during my first eight years of life; but not the pain caused by those stupid people. I hated those adults. They made me feel inferior and ashamed of having a deaf dad for a while.

    I sure wish I knew how to curse them to hell.

    So, I cannot help but wonder what it’s like to be a child of same-sex parents? How do those same-sex parents help their children overcome such negative, uncalled-for criticism? Imagine the challenge of facing the society’s taboo against his or her parents.

    Be kind. Otherwise, you are the problem.

  22. Joy —

    Read the Bible and you will see that Jesus refers to Himself as the Truth. So “the truth will set you free” is self-referential.

    What he is stating is not some hippy-esque reference to truth, man. Nor is He claiming that telling the truth — such as before a judge — will set you free (in a temporal sense). Nor some psycho-babble that expressing some sense of a personal truth will free one from sin and sins associated manifestations.

    He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    That, my friend, is the only Truth that matters.

    BTW: I am not angry. I am simply applying the George Orwell rule on the use of cliches and idioms. The quote has a meaning that has been clouded into a cliche and idiom, yet its real meaning conveys the most powerful Truth. But to use it outside its meaning reduces it to mush.

  23. Cricket

    When you referred to spinning straw into gold? …
    … and an unknowable name? …
    You weren’t referring to
    (a perhaps gay) Rumplestiltskin with the wherewithall
    to raise a child?

    HOW did you do that?
    Really need to get to know and understand you, dude!

  24. Jim,
    I don’t believe you’re not angry. That’s the truth.

    Yet again you paint a false picture about hippies and with the interesting use of the psycho-babble word that’s my word,

    I need no bible lesson from you.
    The truth is not a word up for grabs. It’s no use trying to pretend your idea of truth is different from mine.
    Jesus did say I am the way the truth and the life. Any christian who is confirmed will know this for sure, certainly a protestant one anyway as they teach this in confirmation classes and in baby Sunday school in England. It’s not clear who or what you think I am but I suggest you get off and bother someone else.

    Again,
    “The truth will set you free” Jim. Even when you, Jim, find it hard to handle. Once the tears have dried.

    The truth refers to the WORD of God. So it refers to the words of Jesus rather than some bizarre language twist as you implied. He said “I am the way” but that doesn’t mean that we all must be crucified or live in Rome or that he’s a road or other ridiculous literal meanings. It means that he is the conduit.
    He then said,
    “I am the life”
    This is because God is responsible for all life’s existence. All roads lead to him.

    Nobody can reach the father without me is so important and I’m glad you brought this up because Catholics believe that Mary must do the negotiation for them. I believe the clean word is intercession.

    This is fine and dandy but don’t ask me to swallow this. It is in direct contradiction with your quote and it’s always been a mystery (which I’m happy to leave as such but I have some theories) why some think they are so low that they must pray to Mary.
    Lay off…..

    ‘“47 Ginger Headed Sailors.”

    Or my other favourite:

    Putting On The Ritz.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LObPaCloY8E

  25. Really need to get to know and understand you

    Really not worth it. Better to spend your time hunting down Joycean allusions.

  26. Is that why your name no longer links to your blogspot?

    (It did up until I “outed” you to Bob Kurtland and Joy)

  27. Ye Olde Statistician

    November 23, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    JMJ: Well, YoS, here in America (I’m sure you’ve heard of it), K-12 education is primarily a local concern.

    Insofar as the federal Dept of Education allows it.

    JMJ: If you grow up in a wealthier area (and I’m not talking about the the rich here, just the better off, the middle and upper-middle class – the rich have all sorts of problems), odds are you will receive a much better education than you would in a poorer area.

    You will receive at least a costlier one. However, it is likely to be gussied up with all sorts of Fichtean baggage, inherited by way of Mann.

    “Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished.”
    — Johann Gottlieb Fichte

    See also: https://yardsaleofthemind.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/post-election-schooling-rant/

    Consider the Washington DC schools, which have always been under full congressional control and a completely liberal administration. They are hardly a beacon shining on a hill.

    Education can be defined as a log with a pupil sitting on one end and Socrates sitting on the other. The problem has never been a shortage of logs.

    As well, there will be more activities, parks, clubs, mainline churches, things to do, and less crime and temptation to engage in bad behaviors. Just that alone makes a huge difference in child’s life.

    All of these things available to me in my youth were also available to everyone else in town. (I’m not sure why you insist on “mainline” churches.) The school I went to had two grades to a classroom, we waxed the floors by bringing in waxed-paper bread wrappers and rubbing them against the floor by our desk. There was no science lab, let alone an Olympic-size swimming pool or other modern ‘must-have’ amenities. We did not have assistant principles for this that or the other things. The 8th grade teacher doubled as principal.

    There were no “clubs,” though there were boy scout troops. Oh, there was the Italian club, Castel di Lucia, but you sorta had to be Italian; and there was the YMCA and YWCA and so on. The parks were open to all; and heck, we didn’t need no stinking parks. We could throw on a rucksack with beans and wieners and matches, walk out into the woods and build a campfire; behavior that would likely get a kid arrested today. A cousin’s father nailed a hoop to a telephone pole, but formal courts were later built in the projects. Ten years later, my brothers were being chased off those basketball courts by gangs for being too pale and the public housing had turned into places you didn’t walk through or even past and a fourth cousin of mine was raped. A few years after that, a dead body showed up at the corner and a drive-by shooting hit the house up there, where another fourth cousin once lived.

    That’s why liberals like me regularly excoriate conservatives like you

    And yet on another venue, I was called a flaming liberal. Go figure. Might could be I am neither.

    ignoring the reality of American life and destroying the opportunities to growth the middle class.

    Back during the Great Depression, people on the South Side here baked bread in their homes and sold it around the neighborhood. That is now illegal. Kids got odd jobs under informal conditions. That is also illegal now. There used to be textile mills within a few blocks of the house. Zoning would keep them out of residential neighborhoods now, if any still existed. The Dixie Cup factory (the Dixie Cup was invented here) is empty and barren. Two Ingersoll-Rand factories are shut down. Up the river a stretch, the primary Bessemers for Bethlehem Steel, once the second largest steel company in the world, are cold and the place is now an entertainment venue. No one can lift themselves out of poverty because the bottom rungs of the ladder have been sawed off by public policy, social engineering, and declining education. (HS students even among the top performers now often must take remedial math and writing when they enter college. And college is often the equivalent of an old high school education.)

    During most of that time, from 1934-1995, the Democrats were in control of the House, save for two breaks of two years back in Eisenhower’s day and before. And this control was a virtually veto-proof majority running on the close order of 60% of seats. The Senate was similarly arranged, except for an additional break early in Reagan’s first term when the Republicans held the Senate for a few years. Even recently, when the Republicans have become more conservative, their majorities have been relatively thin and have more often than not had a Democratic president to veto their efforts. So conservatives have enjoyed little opportunity to call the shots.

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