Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heather Knows Best: Two Moms Really Can Make A Right!

And She's No Accident!!

This event has two important revelations:

First: for the first time since I've covered the machinations of FOX News, it has managed to get something from the left right (got that?). OK, I'll start again: FOX News has dared to put a gay-positive piece (from Reuters) in its daily net news! Yes. OMG! And it didn't edit the headline.

Which brings us to the second (and more important) revelation Children of Lesbian Couples Do Well in School, Life. Oh, some of the other MSM picked it up, (TIME/CNN did a good piece, but the headline said Study: Children of Lesbians MAY Do Better Than Their Peers), but Fox News stated it as a straight news piece.

The Christian Right is reeling from the shock at both the results of the study and the fact that their biggest voice dared to publish those "inspired by Satan" results. Do they have enough time to launch a counter-attack? Of course,  you can bet that members of the Christian Right community are hatching plans to thwart reporting in as many MSM venues as possible.  

They've already attacked co-researcher Nanette Gartrelle as a lesbian and therefore biased. But they have another Elena Kagan on their hands, in a sense because, like Kagan, Gartrelle and  her co-author, Henny Bos have flawless academic careers: (Gartrelle) MD: Center of Excellence in Women's Health, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California and JD: Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California,  (Bos) Graduate School of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women of America was the first to fire a shot at the study:
"You have to be a little suspicious of any study that says children being raised by same-sex couples do better or have superior outcomes to children raised with a mother and father," she said. "It just defies common sense and reality."
But "Common Sense and Reality" in this case, are both on the side of a lesbian's children: who but a person  who has experienced discrimination is fit to raise children who might be discriminated against? In a sense, Wright is also condemning the journal Pediatrics, a trusted judge of such findings. Like other medical journals, Pediatrics subjects a rigorous investigation to each and every study it publishes. Is such a criticism rational?  Bryan Fischer of the radical Right American Family Association is, at this writing, podcasting a tirade against the study, citing past (discredited) studies by the mouthful.

The study, labeled US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents, was conducted over 17 years with 78 sets of lesbian parents who underwent in vitro fertilization and resulted in these findings:
Results According to their mothers' reports, the 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts in Achenbach's normative sample of American youth. Within the lesbian family sample, no Child Behavior Checklist differences were found among adolescent offspring who were conceived by known, as-yet-unknown, and permanently unknown donors or between offspring whose mothers were still together and offspring whose mothers had separated.

Conclusions Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment. These findings have implications for the clinical care of adolescents and for pediatricians who are consulted on matters that pertain to same-sex parenting.
None of the children, by the way, were home-schooled. The study also points to the fact that lesbian parents are more attentive to the needs of the children which may account for their having less behavioral problems. 

It is unclear why kids of same-sex couples would be in better psychological shape than those of heterosexual parents. While the researchers are still analyzing the internet questionnaires, Gartrell said one reason could be that lesbian mothers had planned their parenthood carefully and were prepared to help their children though any discrimination they might face.

"These were chosen children, they weren't accidents," Gartrell said.
But future children of lesbians may still have a barrage of discrimination hurled at them in the coming years. Remember the bruhaha over Heather Has Two Mommies? According to the American Library Association, the book ranked 11th as the most frequently challenged book in the United States in the 1990s.

(Pssst) An aside: Guess who's hometown library refused the donation of Heather Has Two Mommies for Banned Books Week? Hint: the town's in Alaska. You Guessed! Yeah! Mrs. Palin has already had some tense times with her local library, but we're sure she'll accept the news of this report very well. (Giggle) 

And the rabid discrimination against lesbian mothers was evident in the Right's media coverage of the Florida adoption case:
Melanie Leon and Vanessa Alenier, the South Florida lesbian couple who last month won a court case to adopt a child despite Florida's gay adoption ban, apparently weren't sufficiently ugly for the Florida Family Policy Council's propaganda purposes. So in an email blast to its members decrying the decision, the group swapped out a picture of the pair for a photo of two women wearing men's button-down shirts, mullets, and a little upper-lip hair.

We'll see more of this kind of intentional slander in the coming weeksNow that the LGBT community has some solid research on its side concerning lesbian moms, the next step is obvious: one involving gay dads. 

Well, just in time for Father's Day! Hmmm...