Saturday, October 19, 2013

Advantage: Marriage

The Witherspoon Institute passes on a summary of a Canadian research article showing that outcomes are better for children with married parents. It compares graduation rates for the children of same-sex couples with married heterosexual parents and finds them worse, especially for girls, and especially from lesbian parents. Whether both married heterosexual parents were also the birth parents does not seem to have been included in the measuring.
- children of married opposite-sex [i.e., normal] families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.
The caveat is that this tells me what I want to hear, and so I should view it with some suspicion.  Whether it is what the researchers wanted to find, I don't know.

Update: See comments for some possible sources of weakness in the data.

HT: Steve Sailer

5 comments:

Unknown said...

I'm providing a link below (courtesy of comments at iSteve) where there is criticism of the study.

Much of it is of the "of course this is wrong, we just have to figure out how it is wrong so that we have talking points against it" variety. Most of the limitations pointed out are limitations of the data set, so it is not as if they have the means to do any better.

But one commenter Frances Woolley has criticisms of the paper that are cogent, real, and on-topic.

This is not to say that the paper is wrong, or absolutely right.


http://familyinequality.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-douglas-allen-study-of-canadian-children-of-gaylesbian-parents-is-worthless/

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Thank you. The link does indeed focus on things that might possibly be wrong with the data without providing evidence that these limitations are true, then dismissing the study as worthless and dishonest. In the discussion of the odds ratio, the true statement that a comparison of 96% to 99% graduation rate would be more dramatic according to that measure rather ignores the fact that we aren't talking about graduation rates near that high, so why choose those numbers? Easy. Distraction.

The writer can't be held responsible for the stupidity of the commenters who went quickly to the "Bigots!" mode. Yet neither is there any note of cautioning them away from such.

Woolley's criticisms are indeed better, and provide the proper note of doubt, I think.

Unknown said...

FYI, I'm pretty sure that the data is responses to the 2011 National Household Survey. The questions which were asked are here:

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/NHS-ENM/ref/Questionnaires/2011NHS-ENM-eng.cfm

staffanspersonalityblog said...

It seems the children of gay parents are more often of minorities and have more disabilities. I suppose you could adjust for that but research of that kind is mainly to prove that it's good or bad rather than finding the truth.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, not adjusting for adoption - in general, not just of minorities or disabled children - weakens the whole deal. With that small a sample size, a few could make a big difference.