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LGBT Scholarships and Academia April 10, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in Legal and Policies, LGBT, Resources.
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The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

Today’s post is about other great websites. Check out this page. Information about scholarships, academic programs in LGBT research and much more.

Studying Complex Families in Context April 4, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT Families, social, Uncategorized.
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From ABBIE E. GOLDBERG Clark University

‘‘How Does the Gender of Parents Matter?’’ is an intriguing follow-up to Stacey and Biblarz’s meta-analysis of the research on lesbian and gay parenting, in which they asked the question ‘‘(How) does the sexual orientation of parents matter?’’ The authors concisely and thoughtfully summarize much of the research on lesbian and gay parenting and single parenting and raise some interesting questions about how, specifically, the gender of parents matters.

Their review stimulated me to consider several key, interrelated issues.

First, it prompted me to reflect upon the ways that we have chosen to think about and study gender. Specifically, Iwould like us to consider a lens that seeks to probe the intersections of gender with other relevant social categories and contexts, as opposed to a framework that aims to identifyhow gender operates ‘‘independent’’ of these.

Second, this review compelled me to consider some of the ways in which our definitions of family have caused us to overlook important elements of diversity within lesbian-parent and gay-parent families.

Third, I was prompted to consider how the data that we rely upon assources of knowledge—that is, quantitative and qualitative—necessarily shapes the conclusions we draw regarding the nature, meaning, and implications of gender and family. In my commentary, I discuss these three issues as they relate to the authors’ review.

For the entire article, here is the link

Studying Complex Families in Context

Wrong data used to claim gays make poor parents April 3, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT Families, psychology.
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Link to the entire article here. Ideal Families From the Journal of Marriage and Family, February issue

A quote from the beginning of this article.

The fundamental conviction that children need both a mother and a father in the home dominates bipartisan family discourse and influences weighty social policy in the United States.What’s more, proponents of this view, including some social scientists, assert social science legitimacy for this claim. The preamble to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act (PersonalResponsibility and Work Opportunity ReconciliationAct of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104 – 193, 110Stat. 2105, 1996) asserts just that.

The Federal Marriage Initiative that diverts money from welfare to promoting heterosexual marriage rests on this premise. On these grounds, the New York Court of Appeals rejected a suit for same-sex marriage (Hernandez v. Robles, 2006), proponent sof Proposition 8 convinced California voters to overturn their state supreme court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage (McKinley& Goodstein, 2008), and the state of Florida successfully defended its ban on gay adoption rights (Lofton v. Kearney, 2005).

Some familycourt judges still deny child custody to divorced lesbian parents on these grounds. Although such family values are generally identified with the Republican Party and the Bush administration, former President Clinton signed the welfare bill and the Defense of Marriage Act, and President Obama has repeated similar claims and statistics about children’s needs for fathers and has continued many Bush-era marriage promotion policies.

The social science research that is routinely cited, however, does not actually speak to the question of whether or not children need both a mother and a father at home. Instead, proponents generally cite research that compares such families with single parents, thus conflating the number with the gender of parents. At the same time, recurrent claims about the risks of fatherlessness routinely ignore research on same-gender parents that actually can speak directly to the issue.

A Biologist Speaks about Parenting Research April 3, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in A Biologist Speaks.
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The February issue of Journal of Marriage and Family is available online for free. Unfortunately, when I try to create a link, I get an error message. Fortunately, I’m able to attach the articles. The lead articles are very positive and show only small, inconsequential differences in parenting. Two moms tend to parent like, wait for it, moms. In fact, two moms are better than heterosexual parents. There is less data for gay men but in general they do just fine thank you. They care for their children in the way that we think of a traditional mom as well as the way we think of traditional dads. Ultimately, the lead article concludes that parents are individuals first.

The notion that children need a mom and a dad is tied to stereotyping men and women’s parenting styles. I find that sad and reflective of a conservative culture that wants to restrict all people. Our notion of the ideal family where mom stays home and dad goes to work, everyone is happy in the Leave It To Beaver world never existed. We simply went into denial about our dysfunctional families. It was so much easier to pretend that we were the families on television.

I encourage you to go to the journals website and check out the February issue. Several articles provide different view points on same sex couples as parents.

While I found all of the articles to be of interest, including the different opinons of researchers, I began to realize that the researchers who believe heterosexual parents are the best are truly grasping at straws. Some have become aware of how other hidden biases have influenced the interpretation of data. Some have not.

So what doesn’t this issue cover? Easy. That each of us, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, is an individual. There is no discussion of how children are harmed in heterosexual unions. Child abuse, neglect, parents that are just too busy, parents who cheat, parents who get divorced, teenage motherhood. We all know that there is a huge range of what children experience in heterosexual marriages.

The microscopic examination seeking out the smallest deficiency in same sex parenting is major overkill and symptomatic of a homophobic society. It is also futile as the data simply is not there.  If we really are concerned about our children, let’s focus on giving all parents the skills, support and resources that they need.

Does the Gender of Parents Matter? April 3, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT, LGBT Families, social.
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Link to the entire publication Gender of Parents

This recent publication is an indepth study of parents. Heterosexual parents, lesbian parents, gay men parents. In general, two moms are better than one mom. Two parents are better than one parent. But the differences are slight and certainly nothing harmful. The paper also discusses how research about parenting has been twisted to be used against LGBT parents. Most research compares two parent families to one parent families. In general, life is tougher for families with one parent.

A quote from this paper.

Family Ideals and Ideal Families

The entrenched conviction that children need both a mother and a father inflames culture wars over single motherhood, divorce, gay marriage,and gay parenting. Research to date, however ,does not support this claim. (more…)

LGBT Parents Better Because Children Are Wanted September 20, 2009

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT, psychology, sexual orientation, social.
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James Dobson seems to do this all the time. Distort the work of other scientists. Check out this interview.