Cameronesque Award: Family “Research” Council’s “Slippery Slope” Brochure

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2008

Cameronesque AwardThe Family “Research” Council is at it again, doing what they do best. Their brochure, “The Slippery Slope of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’,” which the FRC is touting in a recent action alert in their battle against same-sex marriage in California, is a prime example of the sort of “research” the FRC is all about.

It’s a lengthy brochure and it would take days to research the whole thing, but its entire premise is build on three specific claims. The first two are:

Relationship duration: While a high percentage of married couples remain married for up to 20 years or longer, with many remaining wedded for life, the vast majority of homosexual relationships are short-lived and transitory. This has nothing to do with alleged “societal oppression.” A study in the Netherlands, a gay-tolerant nation that has legalized homosexual marriage, found the average duration of a homosexual relationship to be one and a half years.

Monogamy versus promiscuity: Studies indicate that while three-quarters or more of married couples remain faithful to each other, homosexual couples typically engage in a shocking degree of promiscuity. The same Dutch study found that “committed” homosexual couples have an average of eight sexual partners (outside of the relationship) per year.

Both of those claims come from the same so-called “Dutch study,” published in 2003 bt Maria Xiridou and her colleagues in the journal AIDS. We’ve already published a full analysis of that report, but here’s the Cliff Notes version:

  • This study was not about gay relationships, as most people who misuse this study claims. Its purpose was to study how HIV is transmitted in the Dutch population. That’s why the study was based only on those with HIV/AIDS attending STD clinics. It is no more generalizable to the general LGBT population than heterosexuals with STD’s are representative of straight people overall.
  • This study excluded everyone over thirty — the prime age in which people are more likely to settle down and marry.
  • “Relationships” weren’t defined. Anything including a second date to a lifetime commitment could be counted. You simply cannot compare that to straight couples who are married as the FRC does.
  • FRC cites the study as taking place in a country with “legalized homosexual marriage”, but the Netherlands didn’t have anything like it when the study ended in 1998. Registered partnerships for same-sex and opposite-sex couples didn’t begin until October 1, 1999. A limited form of same-sex marriage wasn’t available until 2001.
  • And this is the most important point of all: Because the purpose of the study was to look at how AIDS is transmitted, all monogamous couples were specifically excluded from the study. Because monogamous couples aren’t transmitting HIV, they would have been completely irrelevant to the study’s goals.

And what happens when you exclude all monogamous people from the study? It turns out that when people say they’re not monogamous, they tend to sleep around. But it has absolutely nothing to do with those who are monogamous, or the broader population generally.

This misused study is one of the FRC’s favorites. At the end of our “Dutch Study” report, we maintain a list of those who misuse this study, and the FRC are repeat offenders — including in two amicus briefs that we know of before the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of New Jersey. If the FRC has no fear of lying to the courts, then they certainly aren’t ashamed of lying to the public.

The third point the brochure is built on is this:

Intimate partner violence: homosexual and lesbian couples experience by far the highest levels of intimate partner violence compared with married couples as well as cohabiting heterosexual couples. Lesbians, for example, suffer a much higher level of violence than do married women

They base this claim on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Violence Against Women Survey (PDF: 62 pages/1,475 KB) If you want to see how they construct this particular distortion, I encourage you to download the report yourself and we’ll go through it step by step. Believe me, it’s worth it because this is a classic example.

On page 29, you will find that when you only look at victims with a history of same-sex cohabitation and compare them with those with a history of opposite-sex cohabitation, then it’s true, gays and lesbians experience higher levels of intimate parter violence. But that’s not true for gay and lesbian couples.

To see this, go to the next page. Among women with a history of same-sex partnership:

  • 30.4% were raped, assaulted or stalked by their husband/male partner
  • 11.4% were raped, assaulted or stalked by their wife/female partner.

And among men with a history of same-sex partnership:

  • 10.8% were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their wife/female partner.
  • 15.4% were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their husband/male partner.

So here is what it all means. Many women with a history of same-sex partnership also have a history of opposite-sex partnership. Because of that, they are far more likely to report being raped, assaulted or stalked because it is the men in their lives who are doing the raping, assaulting or stalking, not the women. Same-sex cohabiting women were nearly three times more likely to report being victimized by a male partner than a female partner.

And here is where the statistic gets really interesting: 20.5% of women in opposite sex relationships were raped, assaulted or stalked by their husband or male partner. That compares to 15.4% of men who were raped, assaulted, or stalked by their male partners. In other words, gay men are safer around their same-sex partners than straight women are around their husbands or opposite-sex partner.

But if course the Family “Research” Council didn’t want you to know the full story. That’s what makes their “research” so Cameronesque, and it’s why they are such deserving recipients of our latest award.


July 21st, 2008

And they say ‘opposites attract’ ha!

Paul Decelles

July 21st, 2008

Excellent review. And thanks for the links to the reports!


July 21st, 2008

Great job, Jim.

One would think that a “research council” would be more interested in accurately presenting research rather than mis-using it.

What a shame.


July 21st, 2008

Perhaps their next study should be about False Witnessing.


July 21st, 2008

Let’s see… gays sleep around and that’s bad, so therefore they should NOT be encouraged to instead form committed partnerships to each other under the law.
Do I have their logic correct?


July 21st, 2008

Cross-Post from PHB


FRC’s argument seems to assume that a marriage can only exist when there is a long-term, monogamous, non-violent, “natural” commitment between the spouses. Not only is this not a legal requirement for a valid marriage in ANY United States jurisdiction, but it is patently false as to existing heterosexual marriages.

Moreover, grafting such a set of requirements on to marriage puts the government in the unenviable position of having to intrude into the inner workings of intimate family bonds in a way that subverts the very promises of “liberty.”

Now don’t get me wrong. Is domestic violence bad? You bet. Do many couples find long-term happiness within a monogamous relationship? Absolutely. Is non-procreative (i.e., “unnatural”) intercourse for everyone? Of course not. But adhering to the FRC’s notions of what makes a valid marriage has never before been a requirement for entering into the civil aspects of the institution.

And for those reasons, even if we (jokingly) concede that ALL homosexuals have short-term, promiscuous, violent, “unnatural” relationships, that fact alone is an insufficient reason to bar them from marriage.


Regan DuCasse

July 21st, 2008

I informed several people representing this organization as well as the typical bloggers on TH and other conservative journals of my background with LAPD and access to criminal databases.
I can, as Jim does (you’re brilliant my man!), give the full analysis of certain demographics and when those demographics ARE broken down in proper and original context…the information will shake out that heterosexual men, heterosexual men of certain ages and heterosexual men criminally convicted of violent crimes, sex crimes, robberies or kidnapping OR domestic violence, ARE a dangerous breed indeed.

It also depends too, on information about the demographic of VICTIMS, not just perpetrators.

And wouldn’t you know…what I have to offer is dismissed or not even acknowledged, no one asks me questions or where they can find public online information on criminal databases.

Oh, NO…they firmly and wholly and unquestionably, believe EVERYTHING about homosexuals that massresistance, or FRC or TVC of the AFA and ADF has to offer.
Now…if, as these people are always claiming, that they are so imbued with The Truth….why IS their trust placed in said information and not someone full engaged intimately with the most depraved human behavior their is.

Of course too, I’m accused of not recognizing evil when I see it only for defending gay people.
Why I’d be accused of accepting terrible human behavior while working for an agency that combats and enforces it, just shows you something important.

We try to be kind here. We really do. And we don’t want to call someone bad names.
But STUPID is as STUPID does. And denying someone their empirical experience, whatever it is…when clearly you can’t, don’t or couldn’t have had the experience yourself…IS stupid.
Or at the very least, intellectual cowardice.


July 21st, 2008

Johno; Yes; their logic would then be to pass a law that all gays MUST get married, if they are to engage in sex.

JTW; I like the way you frame your argument, may I copy it to send via email to some friends and family members?


July 21st, 2008

Dahl: Of course. And thank you. I’m very flattered.

Priya Lynn

July 21st, 2008

Jim, I sure like the way you expose these frauds. Excellent job. It never fails to amaze me just how outrageously these people lie and distort, trying to use a study that specifically excluded monogamous gays to claim all gays are non monogamous – how despicable can you get?!


July 21st, 2008

Why do they constantly insist on violating the 9th Commandment?


July 21st, 2008

For the FRC’s sake if gays are allowed to marry I promise not to push for the state to recognize my right to marry a farm for at least decade. Not just animals, but actual marrying of farm implements and land. I won’t push for my right to marry a rake. Promise.


July 21st, 2008

The other report they ref. for IPV is here. (with an update here). Look in vain to derive any figure from these, because you cannot: the data is not presented in a way that allows you to.

Often wonder if they continue to misreport that report with this other report. (We know how good FRC is at basic fact-checking…)

It shows a markedly different state of affairs to that offered by FRC.

> yes, if a woman assaults a partner… in 11.6% of cases she will have attacked another woman.

> but these represent only 1.9% of women who are attacked by a partner. 98.1% of female victims are attacked by a male partner.

> similarly, if a man is attacked by a partner… in 9.7% of cases the perpetrator will be another man.

> but only 1.5% of attacks by men are directed at another man. 98.5% of male perpetrators attack a female partner.

All this simply reflects two simple facts: men commit 86.1% of IPV, and women are 86.4% of the victims of IPV. Men commit violence and women are the victims of violence; regardless of the sex of the couples involved.

> overall, 2.9% of IPV occurs in same-sex relationships.

Meaning, violence in same-sex relationships occurs at the same rate or are lower than in opposite-sex relationships.

On a side note, always missing from the “married women are at least risk” canard is the other part of the life-time risk.

Marriages break down. The woman “safe” in her marriage soon finds herself at dramically higher risk from the ex.

As the report notes : “Divorced or separated women had higher rates of violence by intimates (16 per 1,000 persons) than women who never married (7 per 1,000) or married women (1.5 per 1,000).”

Assume 40% of marriages end in divorce. Lifetime risk from a heterosexual marriage is 7.3 per 1000.

She’d have been slightly safer if she’d never married the bastard in the first place.


July 21st, 2008

Another fine example of Teh Malicious Stupid.

I am sending you (JB) another fine example by email.

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