Friday, April 15, 2016
The Iron Rule of Media Discourse on Gender - Areas where women perform less well can be mentioned only to blame men.
//Despite claims to the contrary, same-sex-couple moms display a problem in the study on a measure the authors oddly decided to label “parental stress.” That is, (presumably) lesbian mothers display notably more of it than do opposite-sex parents. The oddity I speak of is why they call the measure “parental stress” in the first place. It is not a measure of stress, and it doesn’t take a psychometrician to see it. Each parent respondent was asked how often in the past month they have:
- Felt that their child is much harder to care for than most children his/her age
- Felt that their child does things that really bother you a lot
- Felt angry with their child
The authors label as “stress” what is far more obviously a three-measure index of irritation and anger (at the child). Why are female same-sex parents more angry at their children than opposite-sex ones? I confess I don’t know. But this study unwittingly reveals that they clearly are. The effect size, moreover, is a “moderate” one, meaning it’s not tiny.
The authors even make overtures toward blaming the absent father for the irritation female same-sex parents feel at their children’s behavior. They don’t cite his absence, though. (That cannot matter, right?) Rather, they question his unknown genes and their possible influence on their child’s behavior:
The NSCH did not collect information about the source of the sperm used for conceiving the children of same-sex mothers. It is conceivable that there might be differences in family relationships, parenting stress, or child outcomes associated with whether the sperm donor was known (i.e., a friend, acquaintance, or relative of the mother) or unknown.
In reality, we don’t know if these children were the product of assisted reproductive technology at all. Nor do we even know if the women self-identify as lesbians, or are even in a same-sex romantic relationship. (At least my study verified the latter.) We must presume they are.