Paul Cameron: “Mary Cheney Cruel To Children”

Jim Burroway

December 9th, 2006

Paul Cameron is trying to use the occasion of Mary Cheney’s family way to worm his way into the national spotlight. Yesterday, he issued a press release where he condemns “the Vice President’s unmarried daughter”:

Unmarried women should not deliberately have children. Their children are more apt to experience privation and disruption. Consequently, such children are more apt to do poorly in school, disrupt society (e.g., engage in criminality), and be personally troubled. These wrongs are compounded when the child is brought into a homosexual setting.

Cameron offers his opinion on what some of these “wrongs” would be, based largely on his own discredited research:

Mary, 37, is currently “partnered” with Heather Poe, 45. The median age of death for lesbians is around the late 50’s. If Poe and Cheney stay together, odds are this child will lose at least one caretaker before graduating high school.

In 1993, Paul Cameron claimed that the median age of death for lesbians was 44. This is when he released his famous and discredited obituary study. By 1998, he began to raise that estimate to “less than 50 years” although anti-gay activists continue to use his earlier statistic (for example, Christopher Rosik and Kathleen Melonakos, both writing for NARTH).

Now he’s saying “around the late 50’s”. For this, he’s referring to his 2002 paper in the low-ranked pay-to-publish Psychological Reports, “Homosexual partnerships and homosexual longevity: A replication.” Here, he uses the same methodology from his original obituary study, except he limits it to news stories from a single outlet (The Washington Blade) between 1999 and 2001. In that period, only 22 lesbians’ deaths were reported. That tiny non-representative sample yielded a median age of 56. The problem with this methodology is that only notable people make the news; ordinary people who die of old age don’t. Otherwise, it would be very odd to believe that only 22 lesbians died in the metro Washington area in that three year period.

Children of homosexuals testify that day-to-day living is more difficult – and they are more apt to report personal disturbance as a consequence.

Since 1995, Paul Cameron has published more than a half-dozen papers on gay parenting in that same low-ranked journal. Most of his research on “reported personal disturbances” rely on case reports and court reports of children caught up in custody disputes. This is hardly a representative sample.

A high proportion of lesbian “partnerings” break apart — with custody issues haunting the child for the rest of his life.

A high proportion of heterosexual “partnerings” break apart as well. When cohabiting straight couples are combined with non-cohabiting couples, that figure can be astronomical. And since gays can’t marry, that is the only basis for comparison.

But I have a feeling Heather and Mary will do just fine. They’ve been together for fifteen years. These days, that’s quite an admirable accomplishment for any couple, gay or straight.

The child will disproportionately associate with homosexuals – who are as a class considerably more apt to have STDs and a criminal history, be interested in sex with children, involved in substance abuse, etc.

Again no source and no statistics. But it is interesting to point out that many of these claims come from his deeply flawed ISIS Survey. They were also repeated in a more recent 2005 paper he published in Psychological Reports titled, “Homosexual sex as harmful as drug abuse, prostitution, or smoking,” a rambling 47-page screed that exemplifies Cameron’s misuse of data at its finest.

The child will have a much higher probability of learning homosexual tastes (at least a third of lesbian’s children adopt homosexuality).

This one is my personal favorite. “Learning homosexual tastes” is a nice touch. Here, he’s flogging his laughably illogical and unrepresentative study that was published in last May’s Journal of Biosocial Science. The flaws in this study are so incredibly obvious it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to list them all.

Paul Cameron continues to exhibit his lack of regard for the truth, his lack of ethics in reporting scientific evidence, and his highly creative deployment of the English language to denigrate lesbians and gays. If it weren’t for the fact that some very prominent anti-gay extremists take his work seriously, we could all sit back and laugh about it. But we can’t. He doesn’t often get that much attention himself, but his junk science often makes it into mainstream venues with or without attribution. (Update: He does occasionally manage to get himself in front of television cameras however. He appeared today on MSNBC News Live reciting this press release.) And while some anti-gay activists are embarrassed by him, they find his “facts” useful.

Mary Cheney and Heather Poe are having a baby together. Their decision wasn’t a political one but a deeply personal one. And unlike most pregnancies, we know this one was very well planned and is eagerly awaited by both parents. This baby will do just fine. Most children of gays and lesbians do. They turn out just as good — and sometimes just as bad — as anyone else’s kids. That’s what the research really shows.

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