What the Australian Study Really Tells Us About Gay Parenting

This article will send many religious people into a hot flush of anger, but I honestly don’t care. I am in no position to say this is right or wrong, and neither are you. Some old book says it wrong. WOOPY FRIKKIN DOO! Lets all live our lives to a book that is older than the invention of grass and trees. Anyway, read on, you might learn something!

The Right is in a flap this month about a new Australian parenting study that shows gay parents raise children who are as healthy as those from straight parent families, but if anything the Right’s reaction is actually more edifying than the study itself.

The study employed data from the cross-sectional survey known as the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (2012). The survey used a sample of 390 patients who self-identified as same-sex attracted and who had children aged up to 17-years-old. Of them 315 same-sex parents ultimately contributed to the analysis, which led to data on around 500 children. The ratio of female and male parents was as follows: 80 percent of the children had female parents, while 18 percent were raised by a male couple.

You will have noted that the sample was self-identifying. We’ll discuss why that has become important below. Regardless what the researchers found was that, when comparing to national data on average heterosexual parent families, same-sex parent families tended to raise children who scored about 6 percent higher than the general population when it came to things like general health and sense of family cohesion.

Why might this be? Well same-sex parent families in the sample tended to be more affluent than the national average (and, again, we’ll talk about that more below), and we might guess based on other research that they probably waited until they were financially stable before having children, therefore they could create an optimal environment.

Unsurprisingly though, in most other regards the children of same-sex parent families scored roughly the same in things like mood, behavior, and also in mental health and self-esteem. This, the researchers say, is despite the fact that anti-gay stigma may still affect many children of same-sex parent families, which in turn can as they get older impact a young person’s mental and sometimes physical health. What we’re likely seeing, then, is that same-sex parent families are able to mitigate the hostilities that they might face and raise children who are roughly the same in terms of wellbeing as heterosexual families.

“It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health,” said researcher Dr. Simon Crouch of the University of Melbourne in comments made to NBC. “We know that same-sex attracted parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual parent families, based more on skills rather than gender roles. This appears to be contributing to a more harmonious household and having a positive impact on child health.”

As you might expect, the Religious Right has taken a dislike to this study. In fact, they’ve decided it is flawed and in fact misleading research. They charge that, as we mentioned above, the research is meaningless because the participant families were not randomly selected but rather volunteered data themselves. This, they say, meant that same-sex couples with an agenda could have biased the research. They also say that because Crouch himself identifies as gay, he was not qualified to carry out this research.

In particular, criticism has come from American researcher Mark Regnerus.

You may be familiar with Regnerus’ work as he is the lead researcher behind the highly dubious and flawed (his own department’s word choice, not mine) New Family Structures Study which, using a national data sample, was billed as showing that same-sex attracted parents are worse for children. Except that it didn’t. By Regnerus’ own admission the study relied on a sample where the parents were divorced and only one of them identified as gay and sometimes not even that–some had just had one same-sex relationship in their lives. We know that divorced children often face hardship. Regnerus’ study appeared to imply that the hardship was a result of having a same-sex attracted parent, and Rengerus has allowed his research to be represented as such and to attack same-sex marriage in places as high profiled as the Supreme Court of the United States.

So what is Regnerus’ criticism of the Australian study? He believes the population sample is biased because same-sex parents with an agenda might have volunteered precisely to affect the results. “To compare the results from such an unusual sample with that of a population-based sample of everyone else is just suspect science,” he writes.

We could laugh at how ironic this is given the problems with his own population samples. Yet it may surprise you to learn that we can agree with him that it would be better if this was a random national sample. Of course it would. However, because Australia does not collect data in a way that would allow for such an analysis, this study works within the parameters it is allowed. The fact is the researchers recognize and highlight the drawbacks of this in their methodology. That, contrary to what Regnerus might think, is actually good science.

Regnerus has a great deal of waffle on this subject, but we’ll settle for looking at his main criticism because I think it’s worth discussing.

Regnerus takes exception to the fact that the children in the study were conceived through planned medical treatment. While it is true that not all same-sex parent families may have planned for having a child, say where one parent was involved in another relationship where they conceived a child, for Regnerus to claim as he does that this research is virtually meaningless for the wider gay parenting population because it involves only “elites” who could afford fertility treatment disregards the fact that the research actually specifically notes that same-sex couples have to be financially stable in order to have and raise children:

Higher relative income in same-sex families is not surprising however, given that there is often a need to engage in costly and complex medical procedures in order to create a family where the parents are same-sex attracted. Children with male index parents are more commonly born through surrogacy arrangements. However, with commercial surrogacy illegal throughout Australia, and altruistic surrogacy poorly established, these arrangements often take place overseas, and thus parents with lower incomes may be less likely to avail this method.

While Regnerus’ may think this helps his critique, it actually dramatically undercuts him.

Lately he’s been busy arguing in a Michigan federal court that same-sex marriages shouldn’t be legalized because based on his research only heterosexual married families provide the best environment for child rearing. It’s worth noting that, just as many in the scientific field have not been impressed with his research, nor was the judge in this case who in quite biting terms said, “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.”

Regnerus’ agenda in testifying before the court was to keep marriage out of the hands of same-sex couples, and in so doing he wants to define them out of being able to access the state and federal benefits of marriage that support child rearing. You may have guessed where the rub lies on this.

He complains that there are only financially well-off families in the above Australian study and that it can’t give us a true picture of same-sex parenting ability or what the average same-sex parent family is really like. The fact is, it probably does give us a fairly good grasp of same-sex parenting because it’s precisely the discrimination that Regnerus supports that is keeping same-sex couples who aren’t affluent out of being able to raise children because without assistance, and with all the extra hardships of not having their partnerships recognized, they can’t afford it.

Yet, perhaps the best answers to all this and other criticisms comes from the lead researcher himself. On the subject of the parent sample, Crouch points out in a recent blog post that, besides Australia not handling national data in the same way as the US, there’s a serious flaw in the criticism:

It is argued that only parents with a vested interest in promoting positive health outcomes will volunteer. While this cannot be discounted as a possibility there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case.

Interestingly, no commentator on the Right has been able to provide said evidence despite the fact that the methodology and protocol for the study have been published. This criticism, therefore, should stop there until such a time as that proof is offered.

As to how outrageous people seem to find the notion that the children of same-sex parents might score slightly higher on some measures, Crouch points out that this happened in only three of the 29 measures. Besides, the study was never to prove that same-sex parents are better but to assess whether they can provide stable environments for child rearing, which as the biggest survey of its kind anywhere in the world is an important inquiry. It also tallies with other, smaller research but it is worth saying, as the researchers themselves note, that the study is limited.

That to one side, Crouch then turns his attention to attacks made on him based on his sexuality. He points out that while he was the lead researcher, his entire team is diverse and made of many heterosexuals from many different backgrounds. He then goes for the metaphorical throat on that criticism:

To suggest that my family situation is of relevance implies that no heterosexual researcher can produce unbiased work on heterosexual families. Or that any non-Caucasian researcher would be able to objectively conduct research on racial discrimination and child health.

In essence, the fuss over this study has never been about the data. Really it is a reaction from the Right to the sound trashing the Regnerus study rightly received. That research was supposed to be a weapon in the court battle against same-sex marriage, but when its flaws were exposed it became impotent.

What we’re seeing now is that the Right is trying to blunt any research that shows same-sex parenting in a positive light. Discount what this data shows us about same-sex parents if you must, but it shows the Right is acting out of desperation and is far removed from the facts.

Giant Hailstones Batter Sunbathers On Beach in Novosibirsk, Siberia

Beach-goers were left shocked and bruised when a cloudburst struck – and battered them with hailstones the size of golf balls. Crowds were sweltering in temperatures of 37C (99F) on a popular river beach in Novosibirsk, Siberia, when the clouds suddenly darkened. Heavy winds hit the area as people tried to stop their beach gear blowing away. Footage of the freak weather shows swimmers running out of the water, covering their heads as hailstones rained down. Others crowded under parasols to shield themselves from the bombardment. “If we die, I love you,” a female voice is heard saying on the video. Some children were in tears, sheltering under nearby trees, said The Siberian Times “It was like being hit by raining bullets from the sky,” one sunbather told the newspaper. “My husband was protecting my young daughter but his back was exposed to the hailstones and he has bruising all over it,” another beach-goer said.



A Norwegian doctor in the besieged Gaza Strip has strongly criticized Israel for using cancer-inducing bombs against Palestinian civilians. Dr. Erik Fosse told Press TV that the majority of patients hospitalized in Gaza are civilians injured in attacks on their homes and about thirty percent of them are children. Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, is an explosive device developed to minimize collateral damage in warfare. Experts say it has a relatively small but effective blast radius and is believed to have strong biological effects on those who are hit by the bomb’s micro-shrapnel.

Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike using phosphorus shells at a UN school. (File photo made – Operation Cast Lead War)
PressTV | Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:38PM GMT

Via: iStateOfMind3

Kid hit by Chemicals from Israel

Kid hit by Chemicals from Israel

Man with Chemical burns to his body

Committing crimes against humanity, Israel, will they be brought to task? don’t count on it!

A Norwegian doctor in the besieged Gaza Strip has strongly criticized Israel for using cancer-inducing bombs against Palestinian civilians.
Dr. Erik Fosse told Press TV that the majority of patients hospitalized in Gaza are civilians injured in attacks on their homes and about thirty percent of them are children. Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, is an explosive device developed to minimize collateral damage in warfare.

Experts say it has a relatively small but effective blast radius and is believed to have strong biological effects on those who are hit by the bomb’s micro-shrapnel.
Fosse, a department head at a university hospital in Oslo, also says some Palestinian in the besieged enclave have been wounded by a new type of weapon that even doctors with previous experience in war zones do not recognize.

Israel also used depleted-uranium and white phosphorus shells in the besieged region during their previous assaults.
This comes as Israel continues to pound the Gaza Strip for the sixth straight day. The latest Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 32 Palestinians in the besieged territory. Palestinian sources say Israeli fighter jets have hit nearly 200 targets over the past 24 hours. At least 167 people have lost their lives and more than 1100 others injured in Gaza since Tuesday when the Israeli attacks began. People have held a funeral in Gaza for the Palestinians who have been killed in Israeli attacks on the coastal enclave. The participants in the funeral condemned the US support for Israel.

We know this is, white phosphorus

More of the same, Chemical Warfare against Palestine!





Yellowstone Alert! Massive Heat Melts Roadway, ‘Turns Asphalt Into Soup’

Extreme heat from a massive supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park is melting a major roadway at the popular summertime tourist attraction. Park officials have closed the area to visitors. Firehole Lake Drive, a 3-mile-plus offshoot of the park’s Grand Loop that connects the Old Faithful geyser and the Madison Junction, is currently off limits. Park operators say the danger of stepping on seemingly solid soil into severely hot water is “high.” “It basically turned the asphalt into soup. It turned the gravel road into oatmeal,” Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle said. The affected roadway offers access to the Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser, and Firehole Lake.


“There are plenty of other great places to see thermal features in the park,” park public affairs chief Al Nash told The Weather Channel. “I wouldn’t risk personal injury to see these during this temporary closure.” While thermal activity under the park often gives way to temperature fluctuations that can soften asphalt throughout Yellowstone, Hottle said the latest wave seems worse than usual. “But it’s hard to tell if a thermal area is hotter than normal, because it’s always fluctuating here,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Road closures are business as usual for us.”

Yellowstone National Park

Maintenance workers now must lift the melted asphalt from the roadway, then apply sand and lime to soak up any remains, according to Hottle. The spokesman said he hopes the road will be reopened by next week, adding that he does not believe the activity will significantly curb visits to the park. Yellowstone’s supervolcano last erupted about 640,000 years ago, according to US Geological Survey records. Last December, geologists reported that the magma reservoir under the supervolcano is two-and-a-half times larger than previous estimates.

“That’s not to say it’s getting any bigger,” said analysis team scientist James Farrell of the University of Utah. “It’s just that our ability to see it is getting better.” The supervolcano has the potential to spew more than 240 cubic miles (1,000 cubic kilometers) of magma across Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. “We believe it will erupt again someday, but we have no idea when,” Farrell told National Geographic. In March, a viral video of bison stampeding through the park gave rise to rumors of an imminent eruption.

Remember this?

In early April, scientists and park officials debunked the fears, saying the bison run was a natural migratory occurrence, not a sign of impending volcanic activity. That very same week, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook the northwest section of the park, marking the largest seismic activity at Yellowstone since 1980.

The earthquake occurred near “an area or ground uplift tied to the upward movement of molten rock in the super-volcano, whose mouth, or caldera, is 50 miles long and 30 miles wide,” Reuters reported at the time. The uplift does not make volcanic activity more likely, though, according to Peter Cervelli, associate director for science and technology at the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Science Center in California. “The chance of that happening in our lifetimes is exceedingly insignificant,” he said.


China in Africa: investment or exploitation?

Chinese Ghost Cities in Africa, Angola is the main place

I blogged about a year ago on my old blog that China were building super Cities all over African, well it’s kinda all official now. I have no idea the real reason, but these images and video are open to suggestion

China’s Premier Li Keqiang is making his first visit to Africa since taking office last year. The week-long trip will take him to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya.

China is investing billions of dollars in Africa but Beijing has been accused of exploiting the continent’s vast mineral and energy resources, at the expense of local people. Premier Li has dismissed talk of any problems as “growing pains” and “isolated incidents”.

China has been Africa’s biggest trade partner since 2009. Bilateral trade stood at just under $11bn in 2000, by 2006 this figure had jumped to nearly $60bn and last year bilateral trade had soared to $210bn.

Chinese investment in African countries has also risen some thirty fold in the past ten years. Foreign direct investment went from $500mn in 2003 to almost $15bn by 2012. And last year, China pledged $20bn in loans for infrastructure development.

Premier Li called on Chinese companies to “shoulder responsibility” for local communities in Africa, adding: “I wish to assure our African friends in all seriousness that China will never pursue a colonialist path like some countries did or allow colonialism, which belonged to the past, to reappear in Africa.” But what is at stake for African countries, and who stands to gain the most from the China-Africa relationship?

As Israel Kill Kids In Palestine, what are you doing about it? What are your thoughts?

As the World sits back and does nothing Protests are happening all over the globe by people like you and I. The World, the Governments and pretend presidents are doing nothing. In the Arab World people are scared to demonstrate because they will be killed. Ex UK Labour member George Galloway was part of a demonstration in London, England yesterday, there was one in Scotland also, but all we can do is shout words. Or can we do more? I think when it comes to the next elections, we don’t vote. There are many things people on the street like you and I can do against Israel and her ‘Friends’ We have to do something against this genocide

George Galloway

In Israel people are having parties watching bombs fall on kids. I wish I was making this up, here, is this good? Do you, Mr/Mrs I support Israel support this here? > Bomb parties.

I ask what can you do. I ask what you will do. I ask why you do nothing. I ask why you sit back and allow THIS to happen