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Do Kids Need a Mom and a Dad? The University of Chicago biz school study

January 12th, 2012 Comments off

In a previous post, I discussed a Life-Style Leftist blogman’s outraged response to a perfectly reasonable statement about a very sound study, and analyzed the rhetorical strategy of accusing your opponent of saying  something he didn’t say. In this post, I want to talk about the substance of the study, what it shows and what it doesn’t.

It is always dangerous to speculate about people’s motives of course. I’ve never met Zach Ford, the blogman over at Think Progress, so I don’t know exactly what he is thinking. But I can say this: the logic of the marriage redefinition movement requires its advocates to deny that gender matters.

If gender is to become legally irrelevant to marriage, the logic of their position drives them to claim that gender is irrelevant to parenthood. The gender of parents doesn’t matter.  The gender of children doesn’t matter.  There is no difference between “mothers” and “fathers:” those are just empty, social constructs. There are only generic parents. In fact, everyone is a generic person. There are no sons and daughters either, only generic children.  So, the impact of an absent father on a girl should be exactly the same as an absent mother on a girl, or an absent father on a boy, or as an absent mother on a boy.

But now, take a look at the study that Mr. Ford claims that Mr. Stanton has mischaracterized.  The title of the study reveals that it is profoundly about gender, “The
Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior.”
  Mr. Ford characterizes the paper thus: “If anything, the Booth study supports arguments Read more…

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Left-wing rhetorical strategies: mischaracterize your opponents’ statements

January 10th, 2012 Comments off

This is one of our continuing series of posts on identifying the rhetorical tactics of the opponents of marriage. This strategy of mischaracterizing your opponents’ statements is extremely common, and takes several different forms.  Today we are going to deal with just one: being outraged over a statement you attribute to your opponent, but which he did not in fact make!

An example of this from Think Progress crossed my desk yesterday. Here is the breathless statement from left-wing LGBT blogman, Zach Ford, attacking Focus on the Family (FOTF):

But though FOTF is clearly trying to use this as evidence against same-sex marriage, the study did not prove anything “against” same-sex parents. The study in question (PDF here) did not, in fact, address same-sex parenting whatsoever, but instead compared children raised by married heterosexual parents to children raised by a single mother. It is one of many “fatherless” studies that conservative groups use to conflate not having a father/having one mother with having two mothers.

Mercy! Those nefarious right-wingers! Transforming a study that has nothing to do with same sex parents into an attack on gay parents! Read more…

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Categories: Children, Tactics Tags: ,