Same-Sex Parents and their Children: A Response to a Meta-Study Reporting

A study on Same-Sex Parents and their children found “The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way…” I thought that was interesting. Especially in light of other quotes in the article.

“Some studies showed that single heterosexual parents’ children have more difficulties than children who have parents of the same sex,” Perrin says.

Some studies showed that. Some studies is not the same as “the vast consensus of all studies.” She doesn’t say how many showed that, at least not in this article. And I wonder how many of the studies showed that and how well done the studies were.

Then, on the second page, she doesn’t say the same thing again. She moves from “some” back to the “consensus.” “‘What is striking is that there are very consistent findings in these studies,” Perrin says.” Whoa. We went from “some studies” to “consistent findings.” And I wonder some more.

Another thing to wonder about in the “some” quote is that she says, “Some studies showed that single heterosexual parents’ children have more difficulties than children who have parents of the same sex…” So she is saying that some studies show that one parent, of any sex, is not as good as two parents, of any sex. You know, that is probably correct. Two parents are more likely to be able to be better parents because there are more of them. But does that mean, as it implies, that heterosexual parents’ children have more difficulties when there are two parents? Or did the study only examine the differences between single heterosexual parent families and dual homosexual parent families? Or did only the studies that differentiated between a single heterosexual parent family and dual homosexual parent families show that the children were less well off in heterosexual families?

I have a lot of questions from this article.

Another article on this same study indicated that the study in the earlier paragraph was about divorced heterosexual moms vs. divorced homosexual moms. That would probably be a better match, since they’re both divorced. But I wonder if the groups were equal in financial status. It has been my experience that homosexuals are not poor. At least none of the seventy or so I know are poor.

In addition it said, “Four other large studies of more than 100 couples that evaluated children either born or adopted into families found that same-sex parents were more likely to have contact with extended family for social support as well as a more equal division of labor in the home.”

I wonder if that might be because in some of those couples the mother stayed home. I am a stay-at-home mom. I do most of the labor in our home because of that. My husband works 40 hours outside our home. Though he does come home and vaccuum, why should he have to do the same amount of work on the house, especially since I don’t have to spend all my time chasing children around any more? It’s just a thought.

The researchers used a meta-study, which is a study of studies already done on other topics, to examine this question. They chose 15 studies. Anyone who has done any type of research knows that the choice of studies will influence the results. How were these studies chosen? They couldn’t have been chosen randomly or they wouldn’t be on the topic. So how did they choose them? Perhaps they chose them because of the “striking” “very consistent findings” that “some studies” showed. I wonder.

At the end of the first article another of the researchers is quoted. And I think we may find that there was a conscious choice here in the studies chosen.
“This subject evokes a lot of emotions,” she (Berkowitz) says. “Some of the studies on this subject in the past have been weighted and biased, based on nothing more than the researcher’s views.”

I don’t know about you, but I am betting that the studies chosen for this meta-study are “weighted and biased, based on nothing more than the researcher’s views.” I think the whole meta-study was probably weighted and biased.

This does not mean it couldn’t be right. It could be. But a meta-study is made up of studies that were to look at one thing and the meta-study uses it to look at something else. So there may be some distortion there. (Like taking my reading glasses and trying to read the sign across the road.) In addition, it is a meta-study. So they picked which studies they were going to study. And I would guess, based on what little is here, that they were looking for a specific outcome and they got it from the studies they chose. Again, that doesn’t mean they aren’t correct. It just means that there probably was bias in their work, just as they mentioned that others’ work was biased.

And, if you think I might be biased, you may be right. But remember most scientific papers are probably wrong, according to a study done by John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece. He “says that small sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias, and selective reporting and other problems combine to make most research findings false.”

I have another question from the articles. This quote is from the second, but there’s a very similar quote in the first. “The value of this presentation is these are all evidence-based studies, Dr. Berkowitz said, adding this information will help pediatricians in their practices and for setting policy.” I wonder what evidence-based studies are. Which, I guess, means I have two questions. My other question is what in the Sam Hill difference does it make to a pediatrician if their patients are from homosexual or heterosexual homes? I’d like to know the answer to that one.

Just because there is a study on a topic doesn’t mean the study is right. Even if it’s a meta-study.

I did try to find the study on-line, but even with Google Scholar I did not turn up the original thing. Though there were other Perrin and Berkowitz collaborations there.

I found out about this study originally through TFS Magnum.