The Douglas Allen study of Canadian children of gay/lesbian parents is worthless

This is just a quick post to get down some of the obvious, fatal flaws in Douglas Allen’s new paper in the Review of Economics of the Household, “High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households.” (The article is paywalled, but since you’re a personal friend I will loan you my electronic copy.)

The short story is Allen reports children of gay and lesbian couples are less likel to graduate high school. But you can’t use this kind of data to answer this kind of question. So the results in the paper are meaningless. Here are the notes behind that conclusion.

Boost that sample

Like Regnerus, Allen talks about the benefits of a big, random, national sample. In praising the study, Mark Regnerus calls the dataset “massive.” (Regnerus background here.) However, like Regnerus before him, Allen ends up with a tiny sample of people from gay- or lesbian-parent households, and makes bad decisions to increase its size.

Allen says the law doesn’t permit him to release the sample size, but it’s a 20% file which should mean each respondent on average represents five people in the Canadian population. With a weighted population of gay-father kids of 423, and lesbian-mother kids of 969, that means Allen probably has about 85 gay-father kids and 194 lesbian-mother kids. I have no idea why these numbers are so low (Canada has 35 million people — almost the size or California — and homogamous marriage is legal there).

But to make his sample even that big, Allen says he included all 17-22 year-olds who live with their parents. With weights, that represents 1.97 million people, or (by my calculation) 77% of the 2006 Canadian population ages 17-22. (That seems very high to me, since in 2006 only 57% of American 17-22 year-olds lived with their parents, but I don’t know what’s going on in Canada.)

Graduation rate

From the title through the end of the paper, Allen writes as if he were measuring the “graduation rate” of Canadian young adults. But that’s not the case. In Canada in 2006, 89% of people ages 25-34 had graduated high school (if I read their Census table right). In Allen’s sample, only 69% have graduated high school. Allen counts those in his sample who have graduated to calculate a graduation rate, but that’s not what it is, it’s the percentage of 17-22 year-olds (many of whom are still in high school) who have already graduated high school.

Allen throws up a smokescreen by analyzing the odds that people in his sample are attending school — which 74% of them are — as if this is the selection problem. (This analysis adds nothing, because some of his sample are attending high school and some are attending college.)

Who’s at home

All this is setup for the elephant in the room: selection into the sample. Who is living at home? Allen writes, “Children over the age of 22 were dropped because of a likely selection bias in children who live at home well into adulthood.” Age 22? That’s where you start to have selection bias in who lives at home? And then he’s got one of those throw-away footnotes that work if you trust the researcher:

There’s no reason to believe this selection bias would be correlated with family type, however. All regressions were run with various restrictions on the child’s age within the sample, including keeping everyone, and none of the gay or lesbian family results in the paper change, in terms of magnitudes or levels of significance, in an important way.

What were the “various restrictions on the child’s age”? Unless he got the same result with just the 17-year-olds, I think we can stop reading.

But what about “no reason to believe” the selection is correlated with family type? What drives the selection? There is no analysis comparing the people in his sample to the population of 17-22 year-olds who don’t live with their parents.

Think about the population like this: Here are some possible scenarios for 17-22 year-olds. The “live at home” column represent the people in Allen’s sample; the “doesn’t live at home” column represents threats to the validity of his sample. If the distribution across these columns is correlated with family structure, the study is wrong. What are the odds?

Live at home Doesn’t live at home
High school dropout Happy and supportive family; or stuck at home with no exit plan Successfully employed and independent; or unsuccessful and miserably kicked out of the house; married or not.
High school graduate In college and living with happy and supportive family; in college and stuck at home because can’t afford rent; not in college and living with happy and supportive family; or not in college and stuck at home because too poor to move out. Successfully employed and independent; independently poor and miserable (or married); successfully in college and living on parents’ money; in college but not supported by parents.

I got an email from Kristi Williams, who suggested a hypothetical pattern in which gay and lesbian parents are more successful at launching their children from home after completing high school. In Allen’s analysis, that would be “troubling” evidence of a bad family outcome. That’s just one possible scenario, of course. But this problem alone completely invalidates the study, I believe. I can think of one other study that uses educational attainment among adults living with their parents to study high school dropout rates, but at least that paper included tests for differences between those living at home and not, and cautioned against generalizing to the non-living-at-home population. It’s just a bad idea unless you can solve that selection problem, and you probably can’t.

Who raised them?

That problem is so bad that you don’t need to worry about the problem of who raised these young adults, which is supposed to be the issue in the first place.

They live with their parents. But for how long have they done that, and for how long have their parents been in gay or lesbian relationships? We can’t know. Allen controls for whether the child has moved in the last year or five years, but we don’t know if the parents moved with them. Controlling for whether they have moved doesn’t address this. A full 60% of the lesbian-mother kids and 39% of the gay-father kids have moved in the last five years, compared with just 24% of the different-sex-married-parent kids. Their life stories are in these mobility histories, and the paper can’t say anything about that.

Interpreting the results

The paper says the children of gay and lesbian parents are “65% as likely to graduate,” a number Regnerus repeats, and Allen repeated in an interview. That’s just preying on the public, who don’t understand that in odds ratios (which I’ve discussed this here), that number would be even more dramatic if the graduation rates of the two groups were 99 and 96 percent. There is no good way to describe odds ratios, really, but they are useful in statistics. Anyway, the paper does provide the marginal effects, which show that the children living with gay parents have graduated from high school at an adjusted predicted percentage 6 points lower than those living with married different-sex parents, that number for kids of lesbian parents — which is not statistically significant with controls added — is 9 percentage points. But it’s not a meaningful result anyway.

Funny-not-funny aside

The paper also splits the kids up by gender, and finds the worst “effects” are for girls living with gay dads. Since the analysis is all bogus, it doesn’t matter, but, in the interview he gave, Allen seems to forget that and think it’s the lesbians+daughter combination that’s worst, because he offers this “speculation” in answer to the question, “It’s particularly hard on girls, isn’t it?”:

Indeed, mothers may provide some parenting services that a father cannot provide, and fathers may provide parenting services that mothers cannot. These services may be necessary for girls but not necessary for boys. For example, I’ve been told by medical people that when a biological father is present in the home, daughters begin menstruation at an older age. Later menstruation is likely correlated with delayed sexual activity, etc., and this may lead to a better likelihood of high school completion.

Of course, girls in gay-father homes probably have a biological father in the home, which goes against his argument. Which is… really?

Believe it or not, there is some evidence that girls living without their fathers hit puberty earlier, which may be a kind of stress response. By earlier, I mean one month earlier on average, or maybe two months (as recorded by a retrospective question asked to adults). And it is true that earlier puberty increases the odds that girls will not finish high school, but that result comes from bigger differences than a month or two, as far as I can tell. If this were a true driver of family-structure effects on girls, we would get at it from studies of single mothers, not lesbian couples anyway.

But anyway, that’s neither here nor there in this study, which offers nothing of value.

Conclusion

I am willing to believe anything, if it’s true, even if I wish it weren’t true. I try to watch out for how my biases might distort my research (which I think is good) or the research that I criticize that I think is bad. Don’t hate on the methods because you hate the conclusion, hate on the conclusion because the methods are wrong.

42 Comments

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42 responses to “The Douglas Allen study of Canadian children of gay/lesbian parents is worthless

  1. Scott Rose

    One could also “hate on the conclusion” because the “researcher” was part of the National Organization for Marriage’s “expert witness project,” which includes Regnerus but which never gets its witnesses into the witness stand at trial. Serious thought must be given about how to expose NOM’s “expert witness project” contamination of the scholarly record to a wider audience, as it is a lot easier to fight anti-gay junk science in U.S. courts than in the Russian DUMA and among Nigerian government officials. It must be noted that NOM’s founder Robert George still is its mastermind and that he is Chair of the egregiously misnamed ‘International U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.” In that position, Robert George is a kingpin, getting NOM’s anti-gay junk science exported to the world. These circumstances must be made known to a wider audience.

  2. etseq

    There are so many things wrong this this paper but to add a bit of comic relief, you really have to read the funniest (in a completely ironic way that is lost on Allen) footnote I think I have ever run across in an “academic” paper. Allen actually uses an episode of Modern Family as empirical evidence for his gender essentialism!

    Here is the sentence that is footnoted:

    “Within the child development literature and pop culture, there is the belief that mothers and fathers provide different parenting inputs that are not perfectly substitutable. 40 These results would be consistent with this notion, but further research is necessary to show any causality.”

    And for evidence he cites:

    40 Within the literature, see Chrisp (2001), which addresses sons in lesbian homes. Within the popular culture, see Modern Family, Season 4, Episode 19, where the gay couple Cam and Mitchell decide their daughter Lily needs the input of aunt Gloria to discuss ‘‘girl issues.’’

    From this gem he concludes “it seems this result is inconsistent with any type of discrimination theory for the lower graduation rates among children of same-sex households” Can we say non-sequitur?

    There is a place for the academic study of pop culture but this study isn’t it :)

    • bealoideas

      The study is highly rigorous. Good science (eg Douglas et al 2013 ) and junk political ideologies like that above are incompatible.

  3. Thank you VERY much. I was waiting for a real Sociologist or Demographer to explain this to me.
    Yes, us regular people on the street really don’t know about “odd ratios” and “weighting the sample.” We are 100% dependent on real professionals to analyze and explain this paper to us. I hope other Sociologists will add comments with anything they noticed.

    Basically you have Douglas Allen lying about what his “study” says, and then Regenrus swearing to it. Isn’t his stuff, these actions, statements unethical? From what I heard about Regenrus, he is a bright guy, at least Sherkat thinks so. So these misrepresentations can’t be made from lack of skill.

    To close, thank YOU Dr. Cohen, thank you very much. I hope others will provide their analysis as a lengthy comment so I can really fully understand. I hope you understand how utterly dependent we are on on you professional scholars.

  4. Judith Levine

    Thank you so much for your professional opinion on this “study” which turns out to be more junk science. I hope you will post this on the ASA open site so folks can see that this is another ethics violation within the field that is being created and used exclusively for political and religious reasons to harm gay families and their children.

  5. Take a look at Table 4 of the Allen study. A few things to note. One is that children of gays and lesbians are, on average, younger than children of married straight couples. This alone would cause a significant difference in the % who had graduated from high school.

    Another thing to notice on Table 4 is that the value for province isn’t coded properly – there are ten provinces in Canada, and the way they’re coded in the census microfiles is a little weird. What would be informative is, say, the % of children living in Quebec. The one thing that you can tell, though, is that children living with gay parents and children living with straight parents do, on average, differ in terms of which province they’re from. This is really important because Quebec has both a very open attitude towards same sex relationships *and* a low % of people who are legally married *and* an additional year of high school – kids don’t typically graduate until age 18 in Quebec.

    Another thing that’s interesting is that children of gay males are more likely to be members of visible minorities or disabled than other children. The higher rates of disability might either be a product of a small sample or the product of a relatively high % of these children being at-risk adoptees – this too might explain differential high school graduation rates.

    One final data thing: the Canadian census asks people’s sex, and it asks people’s marital status, but it doesn’t ask people whether or not they are married *to each other*. This actually turned out to be an issue with the 2011 National Household Survey (the voluntary survey that replaced the census in 2011). People couldn’t figure out why there was an explosion of gay marriage in the northern Alberta oil patch, until they realized that lots of oil workers were married with families back home, but sharing accommodation to cut down on costs/because of housing shortages.

    B.t.w., if you want to know how representative Allen’s sample is of partnered gays and lesbians, you can look at Kit Carpenter’s work, or my unpublished work with Casey Warman.

  6. Another thing that’s weird is that 40% of partnered gay “head of households” and 37% of partnered lesbian “head of households” seem to list their marital status as divorced. That seems high to me based on what’s known from from the CCHS.

    • Given that marriage equality is so recent, that suggests that the parents were previously mostly in straight marriages, and the children were the result of those. Since those marriages would probably have been stressful and obviously ended in divorce, those children would have much worse outcomes for those reasons (similar to the offspring of divorces in straight marriages) compared to children raised from the beginning by a gay or lesbian couple.

  7. I have a question, I think it is reasonable that Allen probably has about 85 gay-father kids and 194 lesbian-mother kids
    But what about brothers & sisters in the same sample?
    Most of the time they have the same parents, but wouldn’t that household be counted twice?
    Frances Woolley thanks for stopping buy. I did find your paper, however it was to hard for me to understand. I am used to reading psychology & sociology research, the way economists write their papers seems different, and I am not able to understand it. I’m sure after reading 10 of them I would get the hang of it. To save me from having to do that, when you have a few more minutes, could you come back and give a high level overview about the sample?

    I never did find Kit Carpenter in Google, it just sent me to kits for Carpenter Ants.

    Finally I find no economic question that Doug Allen’s research looks to solve. It appears to me that he is an economist who is trying to do sociology research.

  8. str8grandmother – “Kit” was just me trying to be cool – Christopher Carpenter Economics will find him. His web page is here http://web.merage.uci.edu/~kittc/ – scroll down to find his work on sexual orientation. He’s very smart and creative, and the Canadian Journal of Economics paper has data on same sex couples in Canada and discusses different ways of identifying same sex couples.

    It’s late here in this time zone and its Canadian Thanksgiving weekend – I’ll dig up my paper and look at the sample stats tomorrow.

  9. I wish there was an edit button :(
    There is an error in Table 2, he did not list married as a family type.
    The other point I would like to make which Regnerus, Marks and now Allen make is their dissection of all previous studies. Practically all the previous studies are done by psychologists, not sociologists much less economists. I think it is kind of an overeach on their part to make declarations that the psychologists have insufficient samples. Who are they? They are not psychologists. In fact on small populations that is the way the research is built up in psychology, and you have to use snowball & convenience samples. Regnerus & Marks started it, criticizing the work of psychologists, but now to have an economist step in like he is a big expert on psychological studies is a bit rich for my blood. I always try and stick to the data and not revert to adhomien attacks, however this is a valid point about reaching and writing authoritatively when you don’t have any experience in the field.

  10. etseq

    Query – not to start a disciplinary pissing match but is it unusual for an economist to study child development? Are their economic theories or models that can measure/predict the effects of family environments and high school graduation? I can understand economists studying sexual orientation and say employment discrimination or consumption habits, which involve markets and goods/services. I don’t see the connection to child outcomes – am I missing something?

    • It’s not at all unusual. Economists are, generally speaking, pretty good at working with large data sets, and take a “have data will do analysis” philosophy. Shelley Phipps and Peter Burton at Dalhousie, for example, have written a number of interesting and carefully done papers in this area. There is also a huge literature on economics of education – see, for example, the work of Doug Allen’s colleague Jane Friesen.

      • Scott Rose

        What Douglas Allen is doing in his role as one of NOM’s “expert witnesses” is the adult equivalent of slamming a homo up against the high school hallway lockers and screaming pejoratives at the victim.

        Empirically we know that in 2006, Canada had high, high-school graduation rates and that since then to the present day, the high-school graduation rate has gone up. Might the lengthier period of equality have had something to do with the rise in graduation rates? We also know that since equality became law in MA, teen suicide rates for all categories of teens have gone down. NOM’s “expert witnesses” can’t be bothered with pesky facts like that.

        NOM’s current Douglas-Allen-fueled high-school graduation propaganda is especially disturbing because in many jurisdictions (and I’m thinking of the story of Luke Herbert in Flagler, Florida as an example) bigots hound gay students out of the schools and then the gay students are left twisting in the wind. In Luke’s case, a teacher organized an anti-gay campaign against him, only because he was gay. Once Luke had had enough, he left the room to report what the teacher was doing to him to school administration (which then did nothing to help him). During the next class session, the teacher announced that everybody would be getting an A, except for Luke, who would be getting an F.

        Statistics manipulated by the malicious anti-gay NOM bigots don’t tell us stories like that.

  11. JHW

    I agree with almost all of this post. But I’m confused by the odds ratio discussion. You write:

    “The paper says the children of gay and lesbian parents are “65% as likely to graduate,” a number Regnerus repeats, and Allen repeated in an interview. That’s just preying on the public, who don’t understand that in odds ratios (which I’ve discussed this here), that number would be even more dramatic if the graduation rates of the two groups were 99 and 96 percent.”

    But this doesn’t seem right. A graduation rate of 96% for children of same-sex couples compared to 99% for children of different-sex couples would produce an odds ratio of .96/.99 = about .97, which is a dramatically weaker result (“97% as likely to graduate”) than the one the study finds.

    • Exactly how people don’t understand odds ratios. What you just did is a ratio of the proportions. The odds ratio is this: (96/4) / (99/1) = 24/99 = .242, or 24% as likely to graduate, in Allen’s way of putting it. For mathematical reasons it’s good to do the analysis this way (sometimes), but it requires explanation to interpret (and it’s good that he included the marginal effects, but he should have talked about them instead of the odds ratios).

      • JHW

        Thanks, that’s helpful. That makes it sound like “65% as likely to graduate” is a literally false interpretation of the study’s results, though; is it standard to talk that way?

      • Dr. Cohen,
        Trust me I really want to understand what you are saying, but I still do not understand. I don’t get it, I mean like not even a little bit.
        Forget about odds ratios that I really do not understand. Can you take his same odds ratios numbers and say it a different way? A way that I can understand it.

  12. Pingback: Why is The New York Times Lying for NOM and Regnerus? | Lez Get Real

  13. Scott Rose

    odds ratio
    the ratio, used particularly in case-control studies, estimates the chances of a particular event occurring in one population in relation to its rate of occurrence in another population.

  14. Victor

    What I am wondering is how do papers like this get published? Do economists not believe in peer review? Is the journal respectable?

    • Scott Rose

      This is a consequence of James Wright not being held professionally accountable for enabling the Regnerus hoax. Other editors with struggling impact factors see that publishing such a thing brings a bigot stampede to their journal. Remind me of what Allen in his paper said is his null hypothesis and his alternate hypothesis? Oh, that’s right. He didn’t say. Oh well; who needs those anyway?

      • Victor

        Very sad. I wonder if the editor of the journal is proud to have contributed to the persecution of LGBT people in Eastern Europe and Africa, in particular.

  15. Steve

    If it were true, there is another possibility. It’s known that same-sex couples are more like to adopt children with behavioral or medical issues. Maybe because it makes it easier for them to compete with straight couples for what is essentially a limited resource. If such such children make up a high enough percentage of the studied population, it makes sense that that the rate of academic success would drop a bit.

    • Canada only legalized the adoption to children by gays and lesbians in 1995 so given that these “children” are now adults they are not likely the product of adoption. Which really raises the question, were in fact did they come from? My concern with Regnerus’s study has always been that is ignores the possibility that these children are the products of abusive marriages. Thirty-five percent of lesbians (apparently) have been in a abusive relationship at some point in their lives. It is entirely possible that the explanation for the poor outcomes of children of lesbians is that their fathers were abusive.

  16. Well, there is so much to say but my favourite part of the paper is where Allen says that legalization of marriage reduces the “stress and stigma of homosexuality” and since marriage was legalized in 2005 this isn’t an issue. So, obviously, by the time the data was collected in 2006 people could hardly even remember a time being a homosexual was stigmatized.

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  19. Perhaps the readers will be interested to read Doug Allen’s interview on Mercatornet.
    Q. It’s particularly hard on girls, isn’t it? Why is that?

    Allen: It is important to point out that I make no theoretical claims in the paper. I’m simply pointing out an empirical finding that is based on a high quality large random sample, and which is inconsistent with almost everything that has come before.

    Having said that, as an economist, I would make the following speculation: specialization. It makes sense to me that fathers and mothers are not perfect substitutes. Indeed, mothers may provide some parenting services that a father cannot provide, and fathers may provide parenting services that mothers cannot. These services may be necessary for girls but not necessary for boys.

    For example, I’ve been told by medical people that when a biological father is present in the home, daughters begin menstruation at an older age. Later menstruation is likely correlated with delayed sexual activity, etc., and this may lead to a better likelihood of high school completion.

    It seems to me there could be dozens of channels this could work. As a father of two girls and one boy, I’ve often had discussions with other parents noting that with boys you just have to keep them fed and away from explosives, but with girls rearing is a little more complicated. That’s a poor attempt at humour, but the bottom line is, this is an interesting question that deserves to be looked at.

    One explanation of poor school performance in general is that children of same-sex couples may be discriminated against at school. This seems less likely given the different finding between boys or girls. Or at least one would have to come up with a different more complicated story of discrimination.
    [snip]
    Q. In such a contentious field, will your study make an impact upon the public debate?

    Allen: I don’t know, but I suspect it will have little impact. The debate seems to have shifted from the statistical lab to the bumper sticker. The concept of “marriage equality” and the alignment of same-sex marriage rights with the civil rights movement seems so powerful that I doubt one little study will matter much.

    If there is merit to the study, and if there really is a difference that matters, I think it is much more likely that 20 years from now we’ll be asking “how did we get here and how can we clean up the mess” — in much the way we now wonder how we ended up in a world where so many children are raised by single parents.

    Sociologist Mark Regnerus published a paper which came to a similar conclusion last year and was all but crucified by his colleagues and activists. Do you expect a similar reaction?

    Allen: Prior to the publication of his paper I was unaware of Professor Regnerus’ existence. Because I was working in this area I saw what immediately happened. I was struck by the hypocrisy of those who attacked him.

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/does_same_sex_parenting_really_make_no_difference

    Doug Allen is lying when he says he never knew or heard about Regnerus prior. How do these right wing Christain Researchers think they can get away with lying? You would think Doug Allen would have learned from Regnerus NOT to lie, as when Regnerus said nobody from Witherspoon participated in the research. CLEARLY Brad Wilcox did from start to finish. I direct the readers to start reading the linked to file at pdf page 32. In fact Allen’s funder had sent the 3 Economists (Allen et al) research attacking Rosenfeld to Regnerus who reviewed it and gave postiive feed back.

    These guys are being completely fake when they say, “Oh I don’t think my study will have much impact” You can see from the record on Regnerus that that is the very purpose OF them being funded FOR the research is to drive the Courts and Public Opinion to deny Civil Rights to Sexual Minorities.
    Link to the Doug Allen & Regnerus collaboration PRIOR to Regnerus being published. Are you going to tell me that his funder never told Allen et al what Regnerus said about their research? C’mon I got a bridge to sell you.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/161749375/Regnerus-UT-FOIA-March-1-1 [start at page 32 of the .pdf)

  20. In addition to your dissection, there’s another thing that seems to me even more strikingly obvious – in Table 3, the graduation rates for children of gay parents is almost the same as that of unmarried opposite-sex parents. Given that SSM had only been legal for a year, and marital status of same-sex couples wasn’t recorded, one could just as easily argue that the study is a data point in favor of marriage equality.

  21. maggie gallagher

    Phillip, waiting for you to analyze a study that supports “no difference” and assessing its value. Are these standards you apply only to studies whose conclusions you don’t like? What do you think of the pro-gay parenting literature in terms of its scientific status? Possibly you’ve done this and I’ve missed it in which case point me to the link?

    Every social science study has limitations. They are often misinterpreted. “worthless” is pretty strong language.

    • NOM must be on defensive when Maggie has to troll blog comments to shill for the very “studies” that NOM underwrote and sponsored. Talk about chutzpah! Say what you will about Gallagher but she will fight this to the very end. It’s never been about marriage for her – it’s always been about stigmatizing gays & lesbians. Indeed, I ran across a blog post yesterday that was literally a blast from the past – an extreme 1997 right wing conference that prefigured the modern religious right’s public response to gay rights – and Gallagher, Robbie George sound almost exactly the same but probably embarrassed to share the same platform as George Rekers, Nicolosi and the ex-gay kooks. Check this out from Jeremy Hooper from a few years back http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2011/02/flashback-thursday-the-homosexuality-and-american-public-life-conference.html

    • Scott Rose

      Maggie, if you would pay attention to what Dr. Cohen wrote, you would understand that NOM’s Douglas Allen’s paper can not answer the question it poses with the data used. That *fact* does make the paper worthless from a scientific point of view. The Allen paper obviously, however, is not *worthless* to NOM’s unethical so-called “expert witness project.” Another of NOM’s so-called “expert witnesses,” Mark Regnerus misrepresented what the Allen paper shows to Hawaii Republicans who invited him to gay bash politically. When the Regnerus propaganda package was first published, you lied to the public by alleging that you personally and NOM had nothing to do with the study. We know now, however, that Regnerus told Brad Wilcox in a 9/22/2010 e-mail that he wanted to know more about your hopes for “what emerges from this project,” this project being the Regnerus study. Why did you lie to the public by alleging that you and NOM were not at all involved?

  22. Pingback: Hold Maggie Gallagher Accountable for NOM's Regnerus Hoax | Lez Get Real

  23. Sunshine5Haas

    I am confused as to why t-scores and tests were not reported. Also, where are the numbers for the straight parents that table 5 is comparing to? How am I supposed to statistically and scientifically, rigorously check the numbers Allen provides if there are no reference values? What exactly is his equations that he assumed in doing his logit regression? Finally, Allen writes this (page 12 last sentence to page 13):
    “Parental education matters a great deal: if the parents have graduated from high school, the child is almost twice as likely to do so.”
    On page 14, last sentence (continuing to page 15) Allen writes this:
    “This is because gay and lesbian homes are characterized by high levels of parent education which contributes to child graduation, and so conditional on this the odds of a child graduating are even lower.”
    So, within mere sentences Allen states two differing facts. If children are twice as likely to graduate high school if their parents did, then how is it statistically defensible that children with gay and lesbian parents are less likely to graduate; when according to Allen gay and lesbian parent households are characterized by high levels of parent education? And this is considered peer reviewed?

  24. Rockon

    Why would Allan’s sample be anything other than 17-22, when the study itself is about graduation rates?

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