What if Regnerus’s methods were legitimate…

From the Scientific American blogs,
Why Mark Regnerus’ study shouldn’t matter, even if it were the most scientifically robust study in the world
written by Ilana Yurkiewicz. Excerpt:

Suppose for a moment that all the critiques of his methodology did not apply, and that his was a robust study. Would its conclusions change your opinion on gay and lesbian couples having children?

If your answer is yes, I’m afraid you have your work cut out for you. By saying empirical data on who rears more stable children is a factor in deciding who should be able to have children, you would be scientifically remiss in stopping at gay and lesbian couples. Rather, you would have to study all groups who want to have children, and compare and contrast outcomes. By race. By religion. By age. By political affiliation. By socioeconomic background. And the list goes on and on. This task becomes even more difficult when you consider that drawing lines between groups can be an arbitrary thing in the first place, and how you decide to draw those lines can impact your results. I have absolutely no doubt you would find data revealing differences between other groups – ones that have no restrictions whatsoever on having children, and who are not under political scrutiny for wanting to.

So now you face a dilemma. If you want to say that differences between groups constitute a legitimate argument for limiting parenthood rights, you don’t have a leg to stand on if you want limit gay and lesbians’ rights, but no one else’s.

What we have to remember is that there is a big difference between an empirical finding and a policy recommendation.

This entry was posted in hard data, Symbolic data, symbolic vs hard data. Bookmark the permalink.

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