New Report Exposes Flimsy Scientific Basis for Transgender Agenda

A report published by The New Atlantis yesterday casts significant doubt on the prevailing “gender identity” narrative sweeping the nation and raises serious questions about exposing children to a harmful and scientifically suspect gender ideology.

The report, authored by Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and Lawrence Mayer, a professor of biostatistics at Arizona State University, outlines three key findings on “gender identity”:

1.) “Gender Identity” Is Not Innate

“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”

2.) The Majority of Children Who Experience Gender Dysphoria Grow Out of It

“Children are a special case when addressing transgender issues. Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.

“There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification. There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”

3.) Sex Change Surgeries Are Linked to Worse Mental Health Outcomes

“Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population… Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. Continue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Transgender School Mandate

This month has been full of reasons to celebrate for social conservatives. First, religious liberty activists won a major victory in California, putting pressure on far-left legislators to back down from an aggressively anti-religious freedom bill. Then, new polling came out, confirming that the American people think the Democratic Party’s position on abortion is unconscionably radical. More recently, Target had to change their “transgender bathroom” policy because a boycott orchestrated by social conservatives cost them over $10 billion in revenue.

The latest good news is that a federal judge has blocked President Obama’s most recent unconstitutional executive order, mandating dramatic changes in bathroom and locker room policy in local schools to accommodate transgender minorities.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that forcing schools across the country to change longstanding policy on such short notice — the changes are meant to be implemented for the new school year in September — presented “severe disruption” to schools’ functioning, as well as threats to local control of education and privacy matters.

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor said. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.”

As the legal battle lines are being drawn around this policy, the science surrounding gender dysphoria (the medical term for transgenderism) is turning increasingly against LGBT activists’ ideology. Continue Reading

The Poverty Cure: Get Married

Photo credit: Jeff Belmonte via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A great piece by the last center-left Democrat in America, Prof. William Galston:

Of the many barriers to equal opportunity for African-Americans, differences of family background may well be the most consequential—and the least likely to yield to public policy. This is the gravamen of research made public in recent weeks, much of it collected in the fall 2015 issue of the academic journal the Future of Children.

Although there were signs of trouble to come in the 1960s, racial differences in marriage rates remained modest until 1970, when 95% of white women and 92% of black women had been married at least once. By 2012, however, a large gap had emerged: 88% of white women age 40-44 were or had been married, compared with only 63% of black women.

Education makes a difference: Among black women with a bachelor’s degree or more, the ever-married rate is 71%; for those with no more than a high-school diploma, it is only 56%. But race also matters. The ever-married rate for college-educated black women is 17 percentage points lower than for white women, while the black/white gap among the least-educated women is a stunning 31 points.

As a result, other differences are stark. Consider that 71% of African-American infants are born to unmarried women, compared with 29% for white women. The birth of a child doesn’t motivate many African-American couples to get married: 66% of black children are not living with married parents. Nor does it keep their unmarried biological parents together.

Continue Reading

Santorum: “The Greatest Antidote to Poverty in America Is a Stable Family”

At a presidential forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas, Rick Santorum used data and social science to reveal the real solution to poverty:

GRAHAM: Talk to us about how you believe government should appropriately show compassion towards the outsider, the person who is down, the person who needs help. How do we help them?

SANTORUM: Yeah, the Bible is very clear about the responsibility to help the poor. I mean, it’s mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. I don’t think I see anywhere in the Bible where it says the government is supposed to do that.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be certain government safety net programs. I don’t think anyone here is saying we should get rid of social security, or unemployment insurance. They’re basic programs that most folks have agreed to accept. But what we see is an ever-increasing expansion. If you listened to the Democratic debate the other day, it was like, ‘Okay, I raise you one new entitlement and two more!’ I mean, it was just more and more. ‘I’ll pay for this. No I’ll pay for that!’ That’s the problem that we have, is that we’ve got into a bidding as to how we’re going to, quote, help people. And what we’ve found is that these programs actually don’t help people.

If you look at welfare as an example, and the other means-tested entitlement programs – I’m talking about Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance and the like – all of them create a problem by infusing themselves and creating a dependency, number one.

Continue Reading

Science Shows Married Couples Protect Children

Source: David Autor, David Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, Jeffrey Roth, And Melanie Wasserman, “Family Disadvantage And The Gender Gap In Behavioral And Educational Outcomes,” October 21, 2015.

Over at National Review, Professor Bradford Wilcox says it’s been a rough week for family structure denialists:

It’s been a rough two weeks for the family-structure denialists, those progressive academics (Philip Cohen, “How to Live in a World Where Marriage Is in Decline”), journalists (Katie Roiphe, “New York Times, Stop Moralizing About Single Mothers”), and pundits (Matthew Yglesias, “The ‘Decline’ of Marriage Isn’t a Problem”) who seek to minimize or deny the importance of marriage and family structure. That’s because three new pieces of scholarship — a journal, a report, and a study — were released this month that solidify the growing scientific consensus that marriage and family structure matter for children, families, and the nation as a whole.

On October 14, Princeton University and Brookings released a new issue of The Future of Children, focused on marriage and child well-being. After reviewing family research over the last decade, the issue’s big takeaway, co-authored by Princeton sociologist Sara McLanahan and Brookings economist Isabel Sawhill, was this:

Whereas most scholars now agree that children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children in other family forms across a wide range of outcomes, there is less consensus about why. Is it the quality of parenting? Is it the availability of additional resources (time and money)?

Continue Reading

New Study Says Key to Marriage Is Shut Up About Your Problems

A review of the literature posted on the National Council for Family Relations concludes that one neglected key to being happily married: stop talking about your problems with your spouse.

For young couples that means, stop talking to your girlfriends about everything that is wrong in your marriage (or romance).  Early in marriage talking about problems with your spouse may help.  But after you’ve tried that strategy for a while, and nothing gets better, because your husband just doesn’t like going to parties, and you do (or vice versa), the key to happiness in marriage is to stop ruminating about all the things you don’t like and focus on the bright side:

Gottman and Levenson (1999) reported perpetual marital challenges often concern fundamental differences between partners (e.g., one partner is more social) that may be difficult to resolve. Wile (1988) also added “[e]ach potential relationship has its own set of inescapable recurring problems…There is value in realizing that you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of irresolvable problems that you’ll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty, or fifty years” (pp. 12-13). Avoiding discussing problems has proven an effective strategy later in life (Birditt & Fingerman, 2003), as such discussions may run counter to older adults’ primary goals of increasing positivity and intimacy.

Good news for husbands everywhere.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Why Don’t Liberals Recognize Their Own Bias?

A pair of truly enterprising social scientists, Jussim and Crawford, have been investigating bias against science among conservatives and liberals. Jussim reports the results of their study published in a peer-reviewed journal that showed in this sample, liberals are “far more biased” than conservatives:

Liberals viewed the articles reporting ‘liberal’ results (affirmative action and same sex relationships are good) as truer and reflecting less author bias than the articles reporting ‘conservative’ results.  Conservatives, in contrast, viewed the truthfulness and bias in the articles as nearly identical, regardless of their results.

That is not the most interesting part however.  When they tried to publish their findings that in this one study at least biases were larger for liberals, “We could not get this published.  It was rejected at two separate journals.”

So they rewrote it keeping the data in the tables, but never mentioning in the text the major new finding that liberals’ bias was greater in this sample:

This time, it was accepted.  Now, even though the text does not mention finding that liberals were more biased than conservatives, the pattern is right there, in the data reported in tables and figures, for anyone to see.  The paper shows that liberals are more biased than conservatives, at least when and how we studied it.  Neither I nor Jarret would or did claim that such a pattern is always necessarily true.  But it was true in our data.  We were just not permitted to say so.

Social science is extremely vulnerable to liberal groupthink. Continue Reading

Taking on the Real Marriage Inequality

Photo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

The Democrats like to talk about every kind of inequality, except the most devastating: marriage inequality.

No I am not talking about the fact that non-marital unions aren’t treated as marriages (whether it is same-sex unions, or the latest progressive complaint over “singlism”).

The most important marriage inequality in America is that 42 percent of children are growing up apart from their own mom and dad joined by marriage, according to the Census data (Current Population Survey) analyzed by respected family scholar Nicholas Zill.

Of course the half-full good news in that is marriage is showing persistent and surprising strength: overall almost 6 in 10 children are living in intact married, biological families. And additional 4 percent are living with their biological mom and dad who have not (or not yet) married. (Less than 1 percent of American children live with two adopted parents.)

I was surprised to learn that families like my own, consisting of a biological parent and a stepparent are just 5 percent of American families (although many more children “pass through” such a family form temporarily—children are typically older when they enter this form and blended families typically have fewer joint children than intact families).  In fact children are just about as likely to be living with no parents at all (4 percent) as in a blended family.  Almost a quarter, 23 percent) live with a single mom, and an additional 4 percent live with their single dad.

Almost 9 out of 10 children with college-educated parents live in intact married families with their mom and dad (86 percent), compared to just 51 percent of children whose parents have only a high school diploma. Continue Reading