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Sanity Prevails!!

 Woke this morning to some good news coming out of Florida for a change:   www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/us/23adopt.html .  Though this ought to come under the heading of 'Well, DUH', it's still nice to see idiocy get get the kick in the ass it so richly deserves.

Another lovely thing that made my morning - a new bunch of ficlets/drabbles from methleigh .  My favorite of the bunch was The Sorting Hat Said Slytherin, but I really liked the whole lot.  Go check them out!! 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
kellychambliss
Sep. 23rd, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
About time! But those "common sense" ideas about what is "obviously" and "naturally" best for children are the hardest to dislodge.

We had an on-campus speaker a few years ago who said, "studies repeatedly show that children do better on most psychological and academic measures of success when they are raised by their two biological parents." (Not even just two opposite-sex parents, but the actual biological parents.) When asked "what studies?" she cited some that one of our sociology profs said were not at all conclusive.

But my reading suggests that once you control for education and income levels, there's no statistically-significant differences in "success" among children raised by biological parents, same-sex couples, adoptive parents, single parents, etc. (When I asked our speaker about controlling for income, she did agree that "some studies suggest it might make a small difference, but not enough to challenge the overall findings." She said she was "sorry if it's not what a lot of single mothers want to hear," but the fact was that if you couldn't guarantee your child a home with both its biological parents, you should know that you were limiting its chances of success and happiness.)

And to many people, like the one cited in the Times article, these sorts of ideas are just such "common sense" that they don't pay attention to statistics or evidence at all.

There was an article in Newsweek or Time last spring, about how much *better* the children of lesbian mothers fare on many measures. I wish that essay had been out at the time our speaker came to campus!
albalark
Sep. 24th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
We had an on-campus speaker a few years ago who said, "studies repeatedly show that children do better on most psychological and academic measures of success when they are raised by their two biological parents." (Not even just two opposite-sex parents, but the actual biological parents.) When asked "what studies?" she cited some that one of our sociology profs said were not at all conclusive.

If I can let my inner Snape out for a minute (it's hard to stuff him back in when I do ::g::), if there's anything that's more pathetic than sociologists pretending what they do is science, I don't know what it could be. I once used to teach a course in statistical methodology to resident physicians, and to a person they were all stunned that you could take the same data set and end up with completely opposing conclusions. What you get greatly depends on just who you choose to be the cohort group, how large this group is, what one chooses as the parameters defining 'success' (all of which are influenced by things like race, socioeconomic class, in what part of the country the cohort resides, the age at which the child was adopted, what their experiences were before adoption, etc.), and then there's little things like how one decides who fits the study criteria, what tests are used to determine statistical significance, and how wide the margin of error is allowed to be before data gets discarded. In other words, even if one could get a large enough sample, control for all the biases, and actually tease out a statistically significant answer to the question, the answer is probably not worth knowing, because it cannot be generalized.

The truth is, these 'studies' are not done with an eye to helping better serve children, they're done by people pushing a political agenda. Even if it is true that children are more 'successful' when raised by their biological parents (which I have seen no evidence for), it does nothing to address the real world, where there are millions of children, who for one reason or another, cannot possibly be raised by both or either of their biological parents. To say that such children would do better under 'ideal' circumstances is ridiculous - they can't have them. So, are those children then supposed to languish in orphanages or be passed from foster home to foster home to spare them the fate of being loved and raised by people to whom they are not actually related on the grounds that they will be less 'successful'? Of course not - no one would ever suggest such a thing (or so one would hope). So, there's no point to these 'studies' other than attempting to influence the legislatures to pass laws designed to favor their ideas about families and to handicap anyone who doesn't fit. And the poor kids who get caught in the crossfire? Well, I'm sure they regret that damage they do to them - maybe - but ideology comes first, dontcha know.

I am sorry to be ranting - I'm usually good at pulling arguments to bits without resorting to it, but when it involves children, I can't seem to keep hold of my formidable Celtic temper. People who would stoop so low as to hurt children to try to prove a point, while pretending that they have science backing them up, just make me see *red*. A cold hearted bunch of bastards, the lot of them. There's no child in the world that can fail to do well in a home where they are loved, no matter who is supplying it. Shutting up now . . . :-).

::goes off to find enough single malt to drug inner Snape back into submission::
kellychambliss
Sep. 25th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, please, do rant away /g/. Your inner Snape is absolutely right. I'm no statistician, but even I am skeptical of the various conclusions drawn by so many studies -- ideas offered as "fact" that are so obviously open to all sorts of different interpretations. And people inferring cause/effect from what is often clearly just correlation.. very frustrating.

I hope the single malt did the trick /g/
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )