Chinese Researchers Announce Kids Raised By “Sexual Minority” Parents Do Better Than Normal Kids
A curious, if not bizarre, peer-reviewed paper has emerged, which said things like this: “The quantitative synthesis results suggested that sexual minority families may perform better in children’s psychological adjustment and parent–child relationship than heterosexual families”.
Now this is absurd on its face, especially since (their term) “sexual minority” families are incapable of having their own children. And thus it is impossible their children, of which they have none, could do better, or even do worse, than children from actual couples. So what could they have meant?
The peer-reviewed wonder is “Family outcome disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual families: a systematic review and meta-analysis” in BMJ Global Health by Yun Zhang—and ten other Chinamen, or possibly Chinawomen. All but one are from the “School of Nursing, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China.” The lone exception has appointments at Duke.
China? The society which does not allow the sorts of, to put it nicely, “experiments in living” the West does? And they don’t allow it for the very good reason these experiments are destructive of society.
This little introduction risks poisoning the well, so you’ll have to take my word for it if you leave off reading early that the paper itself, and the papers (that I bothered to check) it references, are misleading. But I want to suggest first that the presence of this bizarre paper smacks of propaganda.
Not in the usual Expertocracy way that most Regime-friendly science is promulgated. Which is often propaganda, true, but sincere propaganda. The people who write the papers believe what they are pushing. I mean propaganda in the sense that this paper was planted. As in “Here, decadent West, is science showing your decadent desires are good. Use this science to further weaken yourself.”
By propaganda, I don’t mean the paper does not conform to the usual standards, such as they are, in “social science.” It does. But I can’t help wondering the impetus behind it. More on that below.
Let’s now look at the paper itself.
It’s a meta-analysis. They found 34 papers about children living under “sexual minority” adults, and some papers with children under couples. But only half the 34 papers were used in the study. And individual papers were further split, so that one, “Farr (2010)” for example, appears as four separate papers, so that it contributes to total meta analysis sample size four times. All of the 16 eventual papers used, save one, were at least double counted.
Let’s examine Farr (2010). It, too, is peer-reviewed. It’s “Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?” in Applied Developmental Science by (ta da) Farr and others. From the Abstract:
This study investigated child development and parenting in 106 families headed by 27 lesbian, 29 gay, and 50 heterosexual couples (80% White, M = 42 years) with young adopted children (41% White, M = 3 years). Parents and teachers reported that, on average, children were developing in typical ways. Measures of children’s adjustment, parenting approaches, parenting stress, and couple relationship adjustment were not significantly associated with parental sexual orientation.
Adopted? So this isn’t a comparison with natural children and those acquired into experiments in living after all. It’s a snapshot of a small group shortly after adoption: this was not looking at kids some piece down the road.
And did you notice that this result is based on parents’ self report? You have to dig into the paper to find teacher contribution was slight; and anyway these were mostly preschoolers. How many adopting parents, especially experiments in living parents, would answer negatively about their adoptees?
Judging by the other papers included, this seems to be the pattern. Self-reports by parties interested in the outcomes, which were scores on simple questionnaires (so common in sociology).
The one mostly objective measure was the kids’ “gender identity/sexual orientation”. From the Chinese (main) paper:
These studies found that compared with the children who lived in heterosexual parent families, the children who lived in sexual minority parent families had a lower expected likelihood of developing as heterosexual.
One of the papers they cited (ref. 29 in Table 1) said:
Children in lesbian families felt less parental pressure to conform to gender stereotypes(1.46 (0.53) vs 1.69 (0.65)), were less likely to experience their own gender as superior(2.15 (0.49) vs 2.51 (0.64))and were more likely to be uncertain about future heterosexual romantic involvement.
And so we return to the propaganda. A big headline announcing this paper said, “Children of same-sex parents see outcomes as good or better than heterosexual couples: study“. Well, exaggeration in service to the narrative is, after all, the purpose of “news.”
They said “The researchers, who were based in the U.S. and China”, which is true, but not so accurate, as we saw. They end their story with this, which I’ll let be the last word:
“The next step is to integrate multiple aspects of support and multilevel interventions to reduce the adverse effects on family outcomes with a long-term goal of influencing policy and law making for better services to individuals, families, communities and schools,” the study reads.
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