Sunday, June 09, 2013

An apparently distorted study of homosexual parenting

There is an a priori expectation that children growing up in a family outside the biological norm will be disadvantaged in some way or ways. So pro-homosexual groups have been keen to refute that. 

How keen they are can be seen in the study reported below.  Its introductory elements were reported in a leading medical journal  long before any results were in.  "Watch out for good news" seems to be the implicit message of that.  In my entire academic career I have never before seen the  preamble to a research report published before the report itself. 

And, in addition to that,  we now have a "preliminary report" of the findings issued by way of a press release  -- although it is acknowledged that the study is still half done.  Press release  science reporting is dubious enough as it is without adding to it that the study in incomplete.

To be assigned any credibility the normal scientific criterion is that an article has passed peer review.  Not only has this report not passed peer review, it is not even ready for peer review.

As an author with a large number of published papers in social psychology, I would be regarded as a person qualified to do a peer review of the work.  So I decided to do a review of what we have so far.  I was however handicapped by the lack of detail made  available so far. 

I did however find two methodological limitations.  1). Most of the parents (80%) were lesbians so this is essentially a study of what happens in lesbian homes only.  2).  There appears to have been no control for social class.

I also found that the study detected NO differences in mental health.  Only physical health was different. Given the  obvious role of experimenter expectations (the Rosenthal effect) in the research, the lack of mental health differences must have been disappointing.  One imagines that psychological superiority in  the lesbian-reared kids was expected.

So the one difference found, better physical health, is a puzzle  for us all.  Nobody of any orientation expected that.  And the authors can only speculate about its causes.  It doesn't float anyone's boat.

There is however a glaring methodological lacuna that could explain the finding quite well:  The failure to control for social class.  Social class is one of the best known predictors of better  health generally.  So if the homosexual families studied were of a higher social class, all would become clear. And from the sparse details given about recruitment of the families it seems to me highly likely that recruits were indeed more likely to be middle class. 

So we are just seeing the boring old class effect in this data again:  Nothing else.  The one positive finding is readily explained without any reference to sexual preferences.  The bright-eyed faith behind the study is rather chopped up by Occam's razor.

And once we start talking about class, another fact emerges.  Middle class children should have been BETTER in psychological health.  That they were not in this study indicates that their expected psychological advantage was being cancelled out by something else:  Their abnormal family arrangements? 

So, if anything, this study confirms an adjustment deficit in the children of lesbian families.  About children in male homosexual families it tells us nothing.
Children with same-sex parents are healthier than those with heterosexual parents, new Australian research suggests.

Children aged five to 17 who live with gay parents have ‘significantly better’ general health than those with heterosexual parents.

There is also greater family cohesion in families led by same-sex parents, the research shows.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, studied 500 children aged between one and 17 as part of The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families.

For general health and family cohesion children aged 5 to 17 years with same-sex parents showed a significantly better score when compared to Australian children from all backgrounds and family contexts.

The children of same-sex couples scored so much higher for general health that researchers said it would only occur by chance less than 1 in 10,000 times.

However, for all other health measures, including self-esteem and emotional behaviour, there were no statistically significant differences.

Currently, the researchers do not know why the children of same-sex parents have better general health and family cohesion.

The lead researcher on the study, Dr Simon Crouch, told The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying.

‘This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient. That would be our hypothesis.’


Another one:  British woman, 31, falsely claimed two strangers broke into her house and raped her

A woman who falsely accused two strangers of raping her in a bid to win back her boyfriend has escaped jail.

In an attempt to garner sympathy from her partner, Linsey Attridge, 31, claimed the two men broke into her house in Aberdeen and attacked her.

She even punched herself in the face and ripped her own clothing to make her story seem more credible.

Attridge then spent three days trawling social networking sites so she could hand over profiles of the men she claimed were responsible to police.

The two men were detained, questioned and had to undergo forensic and medical examinations because of her claims.

It was two months before police dropped the case against them because there was no evidence to support the allegations.

Attridge appeared in Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Wednesday, where she admitted wasting police time.

Yesterday, her former partner Nick Smith, 32, said she had put the lives of the two random men she pinpointed as rapists through hell.

Mr Smith said he had also suffered difficulties because he chose to support her.  He added: ‘I’ve spent the last two years trying to build bridges with my parents, my sister and some of my friends – just because of everything that happened.

‘I also feel sorry for the two guys on Facebook. I don’t know who they are, she just picked them off Facebook.  ‘They didn’t deserve that, no one deserves that. These poor guys were tormented. They won’t get any compensation for this.’

Attridge had been in a relationship with Mr Smith for 18 months at the time of the incident in 2011.  But their romance had hit the rocks and the  couple looked likely to split.

She thought, however, that  she could save their relationship by making up a story claiming to have been raped.

Mr Smith spent weeks comforting her after she told him she was attacked and raped by the strangers in their home while he was playing football.

The court heard single mother Attridge, now of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, had made up the story so Mr Smith would be more caring towards her.

But after she was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work in the community rather than jail, Mr Smith said: ‘I think  the sentence was ridiculous. I actually walked out of the court as soon as I heard it. I think the justice system has let us all down.’

The kickboxing instructor from Aberdeen said the worst part of the whole experience had been listening to her lies come out in court.

He added: ‘Sitting in court and hearing that was hard to take. But I’m glad it’s done and dusted and I can move on.

‘It’s been really quite bad, as while we were together I lost touch with family and friends.  ‘She started arguments with friends. I think it was because they had figured her out.’

Mr Smith said her sentence was not enough, as she could have potentially ruined lives with her lies. He added: ‘She doesn’t think about anyone else or the consequences of her actions. She should have been locked up.’

Attridge has 12 months to complete her community  payback order. She was also placed under the supervision of the social work department for two years.

Police refused to comment on the case yesterday.


Horror British police again

Rugby coach hands son's drug dealer to police...and is charged with kidnapping

Furious that his 14-year-old son had been buying cannabis, Cenydd Nickels vowed to bring the dealer to justice.  His anger was made worse by the fact his mother had recently been violently mugged for the sake of just £6 to buy drugs.

But when the 53-year-old tracked down the culprit and carted him to a police station, officers were not interested.  They let the suspect walk free...and put Mr Nickels in the dock instead.

Their decision triggered a five-month, £100,000 legal battle that ended only when the Crown Prosecution Service decided to drop the charges without explanation.

Mr Nickels had confronted the drug dealer in a ‘sting’ operation at a park, having been promised by police they would be there to make an arrest.  No officers arrived and – following a fight – Mr Nickels, who is a dog warden and junior rugby coach, put the younger man in the boot of his car and drove to a police station.

The station was closed so he telephoned officers who arrived 20 minutes later.

To Mr Nickels’s horror, they arrested him for assault – even though the dealer told them he did not wish to press charges.  The next day he was charged with kidnap and causing actual bodily harm.

That led to ten court appearances until, at Swansea Crown Court last month, prosecutors decided to offer no evidence and he was formally acquitted of both charges.

One of his neighbours in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea, said: ‘Cenydd is a pillar of our community.  ‘He’s there for young people week in week out at the rugby club and is well known in the area for being a lovely guy.

'No one here will have a bad word to say about him. It’s a joke that he was arrested in the first place. What a waste of everyone’s time and money.’

Mr Nickels posted an emotional message on Facebook about his arrest in January.  In it he said his mother had been left black and blue by her mugging ordeal and needed hospital treatment, including stitches, for her injuries.

He added: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, county councillors, community councillors, scout leaders and the people who have supported me over the past few weeks.

‘We have won the battle, but not the war over drugs in our community. We must stick together and keep on top of the drug dealers and report them to the police, so that they will always be looking over their shoulder in future.

‘We as a community have to help the police to get rid of this scum and hope they will respond to our concerns.

'There will always be someone out there who will try to make money on the backs of our children by selling drugs to them.  ‘They will cause misery and heartache to our families. Our community is worth protecting. Our children are worth protecting. Our children are worth fighting for.’

No one from Dyfed-Powys Police was available for comment yesterday.


Labour: Force landlords to bring down rents to reduce welfare bill

Leftists never learn.  Rent control always REDUCES the accommodation available to the poor

Local authorities should be able to force private landlords to bring down rents to reduce the housing benefit bill, Liam Byrne has said.

Mr Byrne, the Shadow Work and Pension Secretary, indicated that a future Labour government will introduce curbs on high rents in a bid to stop the overall welfare bill going up.

His comments came as Ed Miliband prepares to give a speech in which he will promise that a Labour government would seek to cap some parts of the welfare budget.

The Labour leader will also suggest that a Labour government could also cut the benefits paid to welfare claimants who have never worked, and give higher payments to people with a record of work.

The speech is being seen as Mr Miliband’s latest attempt to try and shed his party’s high-spending image.

Mr Byrne told the BBC that one way Labour would seek to reduce the welfare bill is by cracking down on private landlords.

“A lot of people say to us why are we spending £24 billion on housing benefit – a lot of that money is going to private landlords,” he said. “Why don’t we give local councils the power to bring down the cost of rents, particularly in the private rented sector, and use some of those savings to actually build more social housing?

“That would stop the housing benefit bill going up and up and up.”

The Tories seized on a Labour decision to accept the Coalition’s cuts in child benefit for high-earners. David Cameron said that showed Mr Miliband was inconsistent in its policies, since Labour has previously suggested it would reversing the cut.

With less than two years until the general election, Mr Miliband is moving to answer Conservative attacks that his party remains committed to high spending and borrowing, and an over-generous welfare system.

Mr Miliband will use the speech in East London to argue that Labour now accepts the need for restraint in public spending, especially welfare.

Mr Miliband’s most significant promise is a cap on some parts of the welfare budget.

A Labour government would limit “structural” social security spending, the parts of the welfare system that do not vary in line with economic growth.

Labour officials said that the party will not set out any more detail on the welfare cap until closer to the general election

George Osborne, the Chancellor, suggested in his Budget that such a cap could be applied after the general election.

Mr Miliband will also confirm that Labour is considering adopting a “contributory principle” in welfare, where the level of benefit someone receives varies according to their history of work.

Labour will consider a plan to restrict the number of unemployed people who qualify for contributory Jobseekers’ Allowance.

That would mean that people with a long history of work could receive significantly higher benefits than those who have not worked.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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