Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dude Just Tells It Like It Is Without Knowing WTF He's Talking About, Part 4,222,153

Yesterday, I posted a link to The Lesbian Family Study and provided an overview of it. Today, I will examine a response that our trusty anti-gay friend Playful Walrus wrote to an article about this study. To reiterate, let's note that his response isn't to the study itself, but to an article about the study. Indeed, his entire post is an exercise in coasting through a blogpost expecting one article in the mainstream media to hand everything to him on a silver fucking platter, thereby causing him to mistake his own ignorance and laziness for How The Homo Activists Are Getting Everything Wrong.

Given that, let's see how it is he who gets it so very wrong.

First, his title: "Lesbians Report That Lesbians Make Good Mothers"

Just so we're clear then, when heterosexual researchers report that heterosexuals make good parents, is the claim not to be trusted? Here, Walrus' first error is in assuming that the heterosexual life experience is the inherently objective, reality-based one, and that the experiences and observations of those who are not heterosexual are biased. Clearly, egocentric heterosexuals need to be reminded that, as always, an argument should stand or fall on its own merits, not on the characteristics of those who are making the argument. Many folks on the internet misuse the phrase ad hominem to mean basically any sort of personal attack, but Walrus' title and its implications are classic ad hom.

Secondly, and this is just a tangential point regarding general creepiness, the article nowhere states that the researchers are lesbians, yet Walrus seems to Just Know this bit of personal info.

He continues, misinterpreting the study in a very fundamental way:
"...let's take a closer look at what is really being claimed here. After all, it can't just be a celibate straight woman raising the child by herself. No, according to this, it is important that the woman be attracted to other women. That a child's mother is attracted to other women makes the kid do better in math. Right. Now golf, I could believe."

First, har har har. Kudos to Walrus for being so "in the know" about the lesbian sportiness. Maybe he should look into a writing gig at Our Big Gayborhood or AfterEllen. Two, note that he claims that the study claims that the sexual attractions of the parents lead to better child outcomes. Yet, nowhere does the study say or imply that it is the lesbian parent's attraction to other women that makes the child "do better" at anything. Had he read the Discussion section of the study, he would have read the actual arguments made.

A bit later things get substantially more interesting when Walrus mansplains that up is down and down is up. In response to the study's findings that "children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression," Walrus tells us that:
"Self-esteem and confidence aren't necessarily good things – especially when they are unwarranted. Rule-breaking can be a good thing when the rule is unjust. Aggression is not necessarily a bad thing."
So you see, folks. Self-esteem and confidence are bad, when displayed by children of lesbian parents, that is!

But seriously, how fucking desperate of an Oppose Everything Gay agenda does a person have to have to make spurious bullshit special pleading argumentation stating that now, suddenly, Self-Esteem and Confidence Are Bad For Kids To Have, now that a study has shown that kids of lesbians have these traits? Yes, unwarranted and excessive self-esteem and confidence can indeed be bad things, Cap'n Obvious, but why in the hell assume that kids of lesbian parents have these traits in excessively bad quantities?

Later, in response to the finding that "children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together," Walrus ejaculates "Does anyone really believe this?" and claims that had he personally "come up with these results" he'd just realize the study was flawed and throw it away. Had he read the actual study, he would've read the researcher's proposed explanation for this. While that explanation may or may not be adequate, it is logical and does make sense. It certainly beats, to paraphrase Walrus' sentiment, "this result doesn't sound right so I'm just going to throw it in the trash." Namely, the researchers noted that non-custodial lesbian mothers tended to stay more involved in the lives of their children after separation than did non-custodial fathers, correlating with more positive child outcomes. But rather than thinking about actual explanations for this, he takes the lazy way out, chalking it all up to homosexual "politics" and a biased study (tm).

After ignoring or dismissing the positive outcomes of the children of lesbian parents, Walrus then proposes some areas of future research. He does aptly note here that the sample size was small, which the researchers also noted in the study, but then he concernedly wonders:
"Are the misandry levels in these children higher than the general population?"
This statement, like his golf joke above, is yet another reliance on the uninspired Lesbos Hate Men stereotype. No worries, though. I would welcome such a test as readily as the one that demonstrated that it is non-feminists who are more hostile towards men than are feminists. Hardy-har-har! Studies are fun.

In a further demonstration of his ignorance, Walrus writes:
"Of course a child is likely to be better off raised by a generally good, financially stable woman who planned the pregnancy over an abusive mother and abusive father who are in and out of police custody and spend their money on their substance abuse habits rather than food for the kid."
Well yes, this comment falls into the No Shit Category, but Walrus seems to be confused about something. Namely, he seems to be under the impression that the Biased Lesbian Researchers in this case deliberately found well-off lesbians and compared them to the worst possible, most abusive, druggy hetero parents possible in order to contrive these results. Had he read the study, he would know that this was not the case.

Then, based on alll of this combined, clusterfuck of ignorance, he concludes:
"The study does not past the smell test."
Well, if you say so, bro!

But seriously, what this statement means is that the results of this study don't comport with Walrus' already-held views about the necessity of a momma and a daddy for each child, and so without regard to the merits of the study, he dismisses it as flawed. And newsflash, ladies and gent! No study showing anything other than negative outcomes for children of gay couples will ever pass his smell test.

He continues, praying to the altar of the gender binary:
"Parenting is an interpersonal relationship. Therefore, there has to be a difference between mothering and fathering. All children, gay or straight, will grow up to deal with both men and women. As such, they benefit from having a parent of each sex parenting them and modeling cooperative interaction between the sexes."
Now this statement here falls squarely into the Making Shit Up bucket of Bozo the Clown's Grand Prize Game. Without a single shred of evidence or any sort of citation, he tells us that men and women are so very very different from one another that children of lesbian parents will grow up not knowing how to have "cooperative interaction" with members of the other sex because of inadequate modeling opportunities.

Here, I say, even if that were true, so. fucking. what? Men and women both would be better off with less modeling of "appropriate" gendered behaviors and performance. For, Walrus ignores the fact that "traditional marriage" has historically been a relationship between a dominant man and his submissive sex property, and instead he tries to tell us that it is and always has been a utopian equal hierarchical relationship where boys learn to become men and girls learn how to become women and the sexes integrate hand-in-hand skipping together in a field of aromatic tulips. The reality is that his version of gender truth, which perpetuates the idea that men and women are different and complementary, is actually anti-feminist code for Men Are Better! I've taken a whiff of that "truth," and that shit stinks.

He ends with a rhetorical question:
"Would the same publication publish a study that was funded and released by Focus on the Family in which evangelical Christian parents raised children according to the principles of Focus on the Family, and the study said that such children are better off?"
It's not clear here whether the "publication" he's referring to is the newspaper or the academic journal that published the study. So, I will end with a much more relevant observation. Advocacy groups, while entitled to their opinions, are not entitled to have their opinions, supported as they are by crackerjack studies, published in every single forum they wish in the interest of Representing an Other Side. The far more relevant question is, assuming for the sake of argument that Focus on the Family could produce such a study, would its methodology, procedures, or logic be flawed? Surely it wouldn't be biased just because of where it came from and the fact that it was conducted by heterosexual evangelicals, right?

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