The American Psychological Association Charade

When it issued an official report on “lesbian and gay parenting” in 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) made the bold claim, based on fifty-nine published studies on homosexual parenting, that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” The only way the APA could claim such is by assuming that thousands of other studies that quantify handicaps accruing to children whose married mothers and fathers separate (or do not marry at all) do not apply in situations when parents are homosexual. But another reason the trade association got it wrong, according to Loren Marks of Louisiana State University, is that the studies lacked scientific validity; they failed to meet the methodological and statistical standards that the discipline is supposed to uphold. According to his exhaustive review of the studies the APA cited, not a single study “compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of random married parents and their children. The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalization claim either way.” The Louisiana researcher lists a number of reasons for questioning the integrity of the APA in subordinating objective research to the advocacy of homosexual parenting: Seventy-seven percent of the fifty-nine studies were based on small samples of fewer than a hundred participants; moreover, the samples were composed almost exclusively of upper-income, white lesbian mothers.Nearly half of the studies (44 percent) did not include a comparison group of married mothers and fathers.When the studies did include a comparison group, the group represented an imprecise category of “heterosexual parents” that frequently represented single parents, not a two-parent intact
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