Friday, June 11, 2010

Concerned Women For American Prejudges Study About Lesbian Parenting

[Cross-posted at Our Big Gayborhood]

Even though it's a new rightwing meme that every choice a woman makes is a feminist choice just because it's a woman making it (see, eg, Sarah Palin Feminism), the rightwing movement doesn't generally believe that. Take, for instance, the anti-gay, anti-feminist Concerned Women for American's opposition to gay ladies who raise children, despite a new study showing positive outcomes for children of lesbian parents.

Via CNN, "A nearly 25-year study concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers....

Funding for the research came from several lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy groups, such as the Gill Foundation and the Lesbian Health Fund from the Gay Lesbian Medical Association....

Children from lesbian families rated higher in social, academic and total competence. They also showed lower rates in social, rule-breaking, aggressive problem behavior."

This research directly undermines the varied, cocksure claims of LGBT rights opponents that same-sex parenting is detrimental to the well-being of children. Unfortunately, anti-gay individuals and organizations are resorting to their typical irration and reliance on Good Ol' Folksy Folks Common Sense Trumps Science arguments to "discredit" this study.

Observe, within the CNN article, Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright:

"[That LGBT groups funded the study] proves the prejudice and bias of the study," she said. "This study was clearly designed to come out with one outcome -- to attempt to sway people that children are not detrimentally affected in a homosexual household."

This is classic poisoning-the-well illogic. Rather than demonstrating in any manner how the study is flawed, she claims that it is flawed merely because of where the money that funded it came from. She treats this research as though it is self-evidently and obviously wrong, without regard to the merits of the study itself, its methodology, its integrity, or its logic. Rather than letting the research findings stand or fall on their own merits, Wright distracts the public from these favorable findings about same-sex parenting, choosing instead to harp on the "biased" researcher and organizations affiliated with the study.

She continues:

"Studies have shown that children thrive having both a mother and a father, Wright said."

Note that studies showing "that children thrive having both a mother and a father" does not contradict this study's finding that "children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers." If we put these two statements together, we could logically conclude that children can thrive in both male-female households and in lesbian households.

The articles ends, giving Wright the last word:

"'You have to be a little suspicious of any study that says children being raised by same-sex couples do better or have superior outcomes to children raised with a mother and father,' she said. 'It just defies common sense and reality.'"

Again, Wright fails to address the merits of the study, choosing instead a typical rightwing argumentum ad gastrum. The reality of these findings don't comport with her gut, you know, like how the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun didn't jive with the Vatican's gut in Galileo's day. Thus, she claims the entire study is "suspicious" and counter to reality.

Given the egotistical Monopoly on Truth and Reality that pervades the anti-LGBT movement, it is not surprising that the folks who get paid to Oppose Everything Gay rarely feel the need to offer substantive arguments. Believing that they really really know the one true truth, they instead tell us over and over again that they are right about everything, pretty much, because It's Just Common Sense and their common sense is everybody's common sense self-evident truth. And when studies show that they aren't, actually, right about everything, or that they don't know all that they think they know, they begin emoting, playing on manipulative fears and rage about The Incredible Power of the Gay.

But here's the thing about fact and opinion. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions but we're not entitled, however, to our own facts. In the interest of logic, reality, and integrity, it's time for the anti-LGBT movement, and those whose prejudices are fed by this movement, to learn that distinction.

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