The Unexpected Harm of Same-sex Marriage: A Critical Appraisal, Replication and Re-analysis of Wainright and Patterson’s Studies of Adolescents with Same-sex Parents
Wainwright and Patterson’s 2004 studies (WRP 2004) have been used by many who champion the cause of SSM as evidence that there is no difference between kids raised by SSC and OSC (opposite sex couples). Sullins reanalysed these studies to determine if the findings were repeatable and correct. There were 3 steps to this process:
1.Critical analysis of the elements of WRP 2004 to clarify whether any sampling errors had been made. Indeed, of the original 44 cases, 27 had resident male father even though mother identified as lesbian. This left only 17 that could be truly called a ‘same sex parents’ household.
2. Analysis then replicated after correcting for sampling error
3. It was noted that 40% of the SSC reported their marital status as ‘married’ even though SSM was not legal at the time. ‘While not legally recognized marriages, these cases clearly reflect a marital self-understanding, and the partners may well have been married in a religious or private ceremony during this era’ (Study author). Outcomes between SSC that regarded themselves as ‘married’ were compared with those that did not.
The conclusions can be summarised by two statements:
1. Outcomes in general are poorer for kids raised by SSC than those raised by MBP.
2. Outcomes in general are actually WORSE for the SSC that are married than those who are not married.
‘In the data observed in this study, the greatest harm for children with same- sex parents came from the most stable and most marital family arrangements. This unexpected harm was present despite warm and loving parents who promoted positive school outcomes, but also may be related to higher rates of abuse…. As noted in the introduction, a steady drumbeat of dozens of studies based on small, non-random samples has been celebrated by the American social science establishment as definitive proof that having same-sex parents is innocuous for child well-being. In the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, the American Psychological Association continues to claim: “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 present study definitively demonstrates that statement to be false.
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