Friday, July 22, 2016

Study: Children of Same-Sex ‘Parents’ Twice As Likely to Be Depressed

And there is very good data behind this work -- random sample and all.  Very different from the methodologically absurd work that finds the children of homosexuals to be OK

A recent study by Donald Paul Sullins, a research professor at the Catholic University of America, Department of Sociology, reveals that children raised by same-sex parents are twice as likely to suffer delayed-onset depression as their peers raised by heterosexual parents.

Specifically, "[a]t age 28, the adults raised by same-sex parents were at over twice the risk of depression as persons raised by man-woman parents," reads the study abstract.

“As the first study to examine children raised by same-sex parents into adulthood," says Sullins, "this exploratory study aims to contribute new information for understanding the effects of same-sex parenting through the life course transition into early adulthood."

The research article is entitled, Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression Among Adults With Same-Sex Parents, and was published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment.

The study followed a representative sample of Americans from adolescence through young adulthood, interviewing the subjects at ages 15, 22, and 28. This “longitudinal” approach allowed Sullins to test the long-term effects of homosexual parenting on children.

Sullins used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”), which monitors the development of a sample of Americans from age 15 to 28, to ensure his sample would be as representative as possible.

The study found that children raised by homosexual parents were more than twice as likely to be depressed as adults as were their peers raised by opposite-sex parents.

Although children of same-sex parents were slightly less likely to be depressed during adolescence, more than half suffered depression symptoms as adults.

Sullins examined a variety of factors that have been shown to be related to depression, including child abuse, obesity, perceived stigmatization and parental distance.

Children raised by homosexual parents showed higher rates of all these factors than their peers with heterosexual parents.

However, Sullins said "these findings should be interpreted with caution. Elevated risk was associated with imbalanced parental closeness and parental child abuse in family of origin; depression, suicidality, and anxiety at age 15; and stigma and obesity. More research and policy attention to potentially problematic conditions for children with same-sex parents appears warranted."

Children of gay parents, and particularly children of lesbian parents, reported a significantly higher rate of abuse than children of heterosexual parents, according to the study. Ninety-two percent of children with same-sex parents said that their parents had abused them in some way during childhood (verbally, physically, emotionally), and 23% percent reported having been sexually abused.

For comparison, 58% of children with opposite-sex parents reported being abused in some way – verbally, physically or emotionally.

Sullins’ study is the first to report such high levels of abuse, partly because previous studies interviewed the parents, who were more likely to downplay abusive behavior. Sullins’ longitudinal study interviewed the children as they matured, who exposed parental abuse that previous studies failed to uncover.

Sullins also found that children of same-sex parents are more likely to become obese than their peers with heterosexual parents. While obesity is not a cause of depression, it frequently occurs alongside depression.

Although a significant amount of prior research had been done on children of same-sex parents, most of the data were taken from unrepresentative samples. Children legitimately raised by same-sex parents are few in number, making it difficult to gather a sample large enough to count as representative.

In addition, most of the children with same-sex parents who participated in these previous studies were gathered from advertisements, LGBT bookstores, youth events, and other such sources. Participants knew the objective of the study, and were disproportionately inclined to give positive feedback on same-sex parenting.

In its conclusion, the study states, "the present findings should be interpreted with caution and balance, based on the limited evidence presented, and (it is hoped) neither exaggerated nor dismissed out of hand on preconceived ideological grounds. However, well-intentioned concern for revealing negative information about a stigmatized minority does not justify leaving children without support in an environment that may be problematic or dangerous for their dignity and security."


Elizabeth Warren to Airbnb: No Sleep for You!

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and two other Democrat senators sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that it “study and quantify” popular short-term lodging companies, specifically Airbnb. Democrats' claim their purpose for sending this request is that they are “concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities.” The letter continues by citing concerns over potential safety and health violations and mentions reports of — what else? — “widespread discrimination against African-American guests.”

This may sound similar to all the wrangling the past couple of years over the driver network program Uber and other similar ride-share companies. And in many ways it is. As with the complaints about Uber, all the huffing and puffing about safety violations, discrimination and “exacerbation of the housing market” are merely a smoke screen for the real agenda — government revenue and the union racket. Commercial enterprises such as the large hotel industry provide a higher tax revenue to both local and federal coffers than does little Aunt Margaret who rents out her spare bedroom a few times a year. And wouldn’t you know, the hotel industry has also jumped on board the anti-Airbnb bandwagon. Competition is leading to loss of revenue, so the unions are calling in the big dogs to sit on the scales.

Warren and her fellow leftist travelers believe that the only good government is a big controlling one, and statists' primary means to accomplish this aim is through onerous regulations and taxes. Free market capitalism rests on greater individual freedom leading toward greater innovation and individual wealth and a robust economy, as has been proven time and time again. Socialism on the other hand tends toward suppression of individual freedoms, resulting in lack of innovation and growth and large governments whose control and over-regulation leads to a deflated economy. Just ask Venezuela.


Accusations of racism achieve nothing in the immigration debate

Thinking about the denunciation of Australian TV host Sonia Kruger, who wants Muslim immigration stopped

We are a country increasingly divided. A world increasingly divided.

We've seen a rise of anti-immigration sentiment across the world. A person who could be the President of the US calls for the building of a "giant wall" to keep immigrants out and says he will stop all new Muslim immigrants from entering the country.

We have One Nation calling to "abolish multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 based on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as it is unconstitutional."

Then we see another terrorist attack. People killed going about their every day business. Doubts are sewn for many.

The reason we are hearing what Hanson and Trump have to say, the reason they are claiming powerful political positions, is that they have support. An increasing amount of support for 'building walls' to keep immigrants out, old fashioned 'family values', the 'failure' of multiculturalism, scientists being wrong about climate change. A lot of fears - fear of the world changing, fear of losing your job, fear of dying, all being a little numbed by pointing the finger at another group of people.

As Thomas Frank reported in The Guardian about Trump:

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s.

Is it just racism? Are all these people who support Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump out and out racists? Or are they scared, wanting to be listened to, open to another form of comfort, another solution that isn't let's-blame-this- lot-over-there?

I don't for a moment, for a second, agree with Pauline Hanson, Andrew Bolt or Donald Trump. I can't count the number of times I've heard that Hanson is dangerous and should be shut down, given no air-time - blacklisted. But Hanson was voted in by the people.

We need to recognise that people are voting for politicians like Hanson and Trump. To change things we have to open the conversation not close it down.

To change things we need to ask why.

Why are you supporting One Nation? Why are you supporting Donald Trump?

Since the GFC in 2008 jobs are less secure, wages have remained stagnate for the working class and the divide between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically. Inequality is the new normal. There are huge swathes of people who spend a lot of time living in fear that they can't pay their next bill. That they are a payday away from losing their home. They're resentful and angry.

Add the threat of terrorism and you have fear plus an easily identifiable villain.

Dismissing, or not listening to, the societal scaffolding that creates the fear, that then generates bigotry will only grow more discontent and resentment - which simply acts as fertiliser for the guy down the road to turn to blame and hate and people who preach blame and hate.

The world is divided and only becoming more deeply so.

Have you ever changed someone's mind by walking away from the conversation? From yelling in their face?

The end game is not being right, is not being heard, is not shutting down voices when they want to speak.

Call me naive, call me Pollyanna, but the end game is changing minds. It's understanding. We are walking down a dark, dark path and light is the only answer.

So my question is this: Why exactly did Sonia Kruger call for a complete ban on Muslim immigration?

Let's start talking Sonia about Muslim immigration and terrorism, I'd love to tell you a few stories.


Why I Don't Respect the "Respect" Campaign

Malcolm Smith, writing from Brisbane, says that Australia's  campaign against domestic violence is dishonest and has become a vehicle for feminist propaganda.  As such, it is unlikely to do much good

     "You must be the last man who still does that," said my cousin's daughter, as I manoeuvred to walk on the outside of her on the footpath. But childhood training runs deep, and I was brought up to be a gentleman. So I would normally be sympathetic to the government advertisements encouraging respect for women. But when it showed a man telling his son, "Don't throw like a girl," depicted as a bad thing, I decided to look up the government website it recommended.

     First of all, please understand that this article is not about the Respect domestic violence hotline, which is probably doing a good job. It is about the government "information" campaign on the website, which explains that, while disrespect for women does not necessarily lead to domestic violence, all domestic violence (by men) invariably starts by disrespect. (Rather like pregnancy starts with kissing.) Go over to the page entitled, "Stop the Excuses" and upload the brochure, "The Excuse Interpreter".

     Before we start, if you haven't already done so, please read my article of November 2014, in which I examine the real official statistics on domestic violence, and pointed out that:
the problem is not domestic violence or violence against women, but violence per se, with males being the most common victims (usually from other males, admittedly); the incidence is low, and getting lower; and there is no culture of violence against women, but rather the actions of a minority who are fully aware they are behaving contrary to community norms.

     The reason I bring this up is that the brochure opens with a set of false statistics. Firstly, it claims that on average one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner, and quotes as reference the 2015 homicide report of the Australian Institute of Criminology.

     False! The report does list 109 intimate partner homicide for the financial years 2010-12, but you have to download the full PDF report to see that only 83 of these were women. That's one every 9 days. No, this is not a quibble. Overquoting by a quarter to make a point is not a light matter. Even more serious is the fact that the authors simply quoted a popular figure without even reading their own reference.

     To put this in perspective, let us compare the figures for the previous double year, 2008-2010.

Total women killed by an intimate partner: 83 in 2010-12, down from 89 in 2009-2010. Total female homicides: 182, up from 175 previously. Total male homicides: 328, down from 366.

     Also, this is Australia, not Liechtenstein. For a population of 24 million, the homicide rate is very low, and is now the lowest it is ever been. We are winning the war on homicide, but nobody notices.

     There is no "epidemic of domestic violence". However, in order to inflate the figures, we have seen a subtle change in the popular reporting. They often talk of "domestic and family" violence. The latter includes the killing of parents, children, siblings, and more distant relatives. Many of these did not share a house with the offender and, in any case, the motive is likely to be different to that for the killing of an intimate partner. A ten year overview reveals that intimate partners were the victims of 23½% of homicides, and other family members 18%. It demonstrates the truism that whatever has a potential for great good has an equal potential for great evil. Families are usually the source of our greatest happiness, but when they go bad they can cause us terrible suffering. As Joy Davidman once wrote: although we think killing a close family member is far worse than killing a stranger, the family members who get themselves murdered have often done a lot more to deserve it than the average casual stranger.

     The next set of statistics provided by the brochure is that one in three women have been the victim of physical or sexual violence by someone they knew since the age of 15, and one in six has suffered violence from a current or former partner. The source given was the 2012 Personal Safety Survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

     Misleading! You have to read the report closely, but it includes both actual and threatened actions in its definition of violence. As I pointed out in my earlier article, the rates of actual violence are about a half or a third of these figures. Also, the survey includes even pushing or grabbing in its definition of violence. One thing, however, it does make clear: the situation is getting better. The incidence of violence (broadly defined) was lower in the 2012 survey compared to 2005, and much lower than in 1996. (Check out the charts in the lower part of this page.)

But does it matter?

     I have an ingrained objection to exaggerations even in a good cause. But it doesn't mean the cause isn't good. If we concern ourselves with cases of one person injuring or terrorising another, then we are probably looking at one or two percent of couples. In absolute terms, this is still an important social problem. So does the "Excuse Interpreter" provide any help in the matter?

     It commences with stating, plausibly, that the cycle of violence starts with disrespect, but then goes on to explain that, without realising it, we end up saying things which teach that aggression and disrespect are a normal part of life. For example, one of them is "making fun of girls because of their appearance." Of course, if you cast your mind back to your own childhood, you may remember that girls also make fun of other girls because of their appearance. It is part of the devious power play for which the female of the species is famous. They also make fun of boys because of their appearance. And boys make fun of other boys for the same way. It's a jungle out there. And, of course, saying "Don't throw like a girl" is "using gender as an insult."

     They then follow it up on page 3 with a list of comments which justify bad behaviour, and how they may be interpreted by the young people involved - such things as: "It's only a bit of fun", "It's just a joke", "It's tough being a boy", and "Boys will be boys", among other things. Read it all.

     Now, it should be obvious that occasions exist where such statements are just plain common sense, and others where they really are just excuses for bad behaviour. Most parents are capable of using their common sense in this matter. Whether any of this spills over into bad behaviour in later life is a moot point. It may not have escaped your notice that a certain antagonism between the sexes exists in childhood. Before they "discover" each other at puberty, boys and girls regard each other as members of rival, and often hostile tribes.

      Note that this antagonism rarely spills over into fisticuffs. Boys may settle their differences by fighting, but girls belong to a different tribe, and so are outside the male power structure. That is why parents easily drum into their sons that hitting girls is definitely taboo, but find it harder to stop them hitting each other. Socialisation always works best when it follows the natural lines of human instincts.

     Apart from that, you might consider that whether a boy grows up to bash his lady love may have less to do with whether his elders say that boys will be boys, or his father tells him not to throw like a girl, and more to do with how he sees his own father treat his mother. If nothing else, this reveals the weakness of the whole campaign: it is aimed at ordinary, decent parents whose children are the least vulnerable. Like the white ribbon campaign, it is preaching to the choir.

     But the real crunch comes on page 4 with the section, "Avoiding Gender Stereotypes".

"Gender stereotypes are labels that reinforce outdated ideas of how men and women should behave. Popular phrases imply that boys should take control and suppress their emotions, and girls should be passive and accommodating"

     Outdated? The male and female roles which exist in every society on earth, which are older than the human race, and which have evolved for their adaptive value?

     First up, you shouldn't say, "Man up". It might make a boy think that men need to be tough. And you wouldn't want your son to be tough, would you? It might make him more resilient to the trials of life, and to succeed in the corporate jungle. Indeed, you might like to ask the opinion of grown women about this, because I haven't heard many of them include the term, "wuss" in their description of their ideal man.

     Also taboo are "Who wears the pants?", "She has you under the thumb", and "You're so whipped". Really? These sound like the things one might say, rightly or wrongly, to a grown man in a settled relationship or marriage, not a nervous teenager testing the waters of the dating game.

     As for girls, it is apparently inappropriate to say, "She's such a bossy boots", because it implies she shouldn't be assertive. I know a couple of girls who would say that about their own big sister, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is female; it's because she's such a bossy boots. It also appears to be against the rules to refer to a girl as a tomboy, because it implies she is not feminine enough, nor as a little princess, which implies she is too feminine. How any of this makes her more likely to be a victim of domestic violence is far from obvious.

     In other words, this is a case where a good cause has been hijacked by politically correct social engineers seeking to overturn the traditional ie natural roles of men and women. And the irony is, such campaigns are not only ineffective in the long run, but counter-productive. If you want to inculcate respect for women and reduce domestic violence, the best way is to reinforce the male's natural role as protector and provider. Socialisation always works best if it goes with the flow of natural instincts rather than against it.

Who's responsible? The campaign claims to be a joint Australian, state, and territorial government initiative. The relevant ministers must have signed off on it. Did they read it fully? Do they agree with it all? We never voted to have social engineers try to change us. Who wrote it? Someone whispered in the ear of someone in the corridors of power that a campaign to respect women would be a good idea, and then outsourced it to those with a more sinister agendum. It just goes to show that we must never relax our vigilance, for democracy is slowly being taken over from within.



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 POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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