The left's war on traditional marriage took a truly disgraceful turn Monday.
The folks at Salon actually published a piece entitled "Gay Couples Have Happier Kids."
The sub-headline read, "Studies show that the traditional nuclear family is not better. It's a dying model -- and that's a good thing":
If you want what’s best for your kids, one surefire way to provide them with a healthy, happy home is to make sure they have lesbian parents. In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date, zero percent of children reported physical or sexual abuse—not a one. In the general population, 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.
When this news broke, the responses were mixed: It spread like wildfire among LGBT groups and news outlets, the mainstream media reported it as the latest in recent news about LGBT parents being as up to par as straight parents, and—unsurprisingly—conservative groups picked the study apart, trying to find reasons why it was incorrect.
No matter the reactions, however, the study undoubtedly put yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional notion that children need both a mother and a father. This research was just one study in a long line of work showing that children of same-sex parents are just as well adjusted and happy as those raised by heterosexual parents.
This was excerpted from a new book by Jessica Valenti entitled “Why Have Kids: A New Mom Explores The Truth About Parenting and Happiness.”
It's therefore interesting that the headline proudly claimed "gay couples have happier kids." Yet the excerpt said "children of same-sex parents are just as well adjusted and happy as those raised by heterosexual parents."
"Just as happy" is not "happier."
Moreover, well inside the excerpt, the piece claimed, "This isn’t to say that the traditional nuclear family is bad or that it’s completely dead."
But the sub-headline told readers the traditional nuclear family is "a dying model -- and that's a good thing."
I guess it's too much to ask Salon to have its headlines match its content - even when said content is a book excerpt.
Beyond this, not all studies support the contentions being made in this piece.
Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin, countered these arguments in June with his own study:
The basic results call into question simplistic notions of “no differences,” at least with the generation that is out of the house. On 25 of 40 different outcomes evaluated, the children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships fare quite differently than those in stable, biologically-intact mom-and-pop families, displaying numbers more comparable to those from heterosexual stepfamilies and single parents. Even after including controls for age, race, gender, and things like being bullied as a youth, or the gay-friendliness of the state in which they live, such respondents were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life, among other things. Why such dramatic differences? I can only speculate, since the data are not poised to pinpoint causes. One notable theme among the adult children of same-sex parents, however, is household instability, and plenty of it. The children of fathers who have had same-sex relationships fare a bit better, but they seldom reported living with their father for very long, and never with his partner for more than three years.
This of course created quite a firestorm.
As such, one thing's for certain: like so many social debates in our nation, this one is heated.
With that in mind, it would be nice if outlets like Salon didn't inflame the situation further with inaccurate headlines that are guaranteed to attract attention despite their intentional flaws.
(HT Dan Gainor)