Betraying Your Own Supporters

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Janice Shaw Crouse’s assertion that gay families are nothing more than a group of people.  The more I wrote about this — the more I thought about it — the more she seemed like a monster, and as you’ll recall, my spirit faltered a bit at the prospect of calling her one.

I shouldn’t have worried.  Janice Shaw Crouse isn’t just out to get us; she’s willing to betray her most ardent supporters in order to promote her own brand of bigotry.  This week she’s pushed on them a common lie about same-sex parenting.  Compare this statement from her recent column, Five Myths about Same Sex Marriage, to the findings of the American Psychological Association (especially the parts I’ve highighted):

Janice Shaw Crouse American Psychological Association
Social science research sends a clear and unequivocal message: the married couple, mom-and-dad family is best for children — not just good, but best in comparison to any other household arrangement…American children are at risk in carefully-documented ways when they are raised in any household but a married mom-and-dad family: They make worse grades, are likely to drop out of school, more prone to getting into trouble, have greater health problems, are more likely to experiment with drugs and/or alcohol, and will likely engage in early sexual activity and thus be more likely to contract a sexually-transmitted disease, have an abortion(s) and/or teen pregnancy. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.

How to explain the discrepancy?  Is it simply that Janice Shaw Crouse is no mental health professional, just a former speechwriter for Bush the First and now a political commentator for Paranoid Concerned Women for America?  Actually, it’s worse than that.

When Janice Shaw Crouse — and the National Organization for Marriage, and Focus on the Family, and the Traditional Values Coalition — crow about their research, they’re doing something almost unbelievable:  They’re citing studies that didn’t look at same-sex couples at all.

Good lord, even the National Organization for Marriage admitted as much to its readers.  Janice Shaw Crouse, though, leaves that bit of information out.  It’s a sad day when you’re not even as honest as NOM.

Here’s what troubles me.  Janice Shaw Crouse is writing this article for her core audience.  She knows these people are counting on her for the truth and will believe what she tells them.  And she doesn’t care.  She’s happy to deceive them if it will advance her political goals.  I know this is naive, but my gut tells me she ought to honor some measure of trust with this small, select crew.  But she won’t do it.  She’s not treating them as readers.  She treating them as dupes.

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6 comments to Betraying Your Own Supporters

  • 1
    Bill S says:

    I sometime have fantasies about having some kind of “Truth Ray” device that I could zap people like Shaw, that would FORCE them to be honest. Especially in the middle of a public address to her supporters.

  • 2
    David says:

    Since the APA stopped classifying homosexuality as a disorder, people like Janice Shaw Crouse have no reason to trust it. It’s a liberal establishment…because common sense (to them) says that homosexuality couldn’t be anything but a disorder.

    Once you have that inoculation against facts, anything from the APA about gay parenting and other research about gays is moot. Tainted by that perceived poison of “liberalism.”

    You’re likely to find her support for facts from NARTH, or at least, that’s the organization most people on the right-wing trust for truths about homosexuality. But most certainly this isn’t because they have a confirmation bias in the mix…

  • 3
    Mrs. Chili says:

    Here’s where we may part ways in the tiniest little bit; while I strongly believe that while speakers (writers, whatever) have an ethical responsibility to the truth, the biggest burden by far rests on the CONSUMER of this information. I’m teaching my children (both biological and academic) to be critical consumers of their information; there’s no excuse for just swallowing wholesale ANYTHING ANYONE tells you (“even me,” I tell my kids).

    The greatest power we have is the power to think for ourselves; if people are WILLING to be treated like dupes – if they go along with the game – then they deserve exactly what they get.

  • 4
    Kenny says:

    As a parent of four children, I get so tired of hearing about how people don’t want their kids “indoctrinated” in the schools to accept homosexuality; therefore, we’re not supposed to mention gay people in schools or pass anti-bullying legislation that protects gay kids. However, these same folks have no problem spewing this garbage at my children. Why should my kids be subjected to this nonsense?

    While my youngest two haven’t reached school age, my oldest two are now in college. My oldest two never had any of the issues this lady lists. However, I don’t attribute that to my being a gay parent. I attribute it to always letting my kids know that they were loved and the most important thing in my life, staying engaged in their life, explaining what values my partner and I felt were important, clearly defining what our expectations were for their conduct, and implementing appropriate consequences for misbehavior.

    A stable, consistent, loving environment is much more important than the sexual orientation of the parents or whether the parents are single or a couple. It’s sad that these “family-focused” and “family-oriented” organizations don’t spend their time promoting that message.

  • 5
    Christopher says:

    It always amuses me when people claim that the APA is “biased” because I’m not sure they know what exactly it means. One definition of “bias”, and one I think they have in mind, is “prejudice”, although anyone who dismisses the APA seems to be doing so out of prejudice. One prejudice doesn’t necessarily cancel out another. They may also mean “A systematic distortion of an expected statistical result due to a factor not allowed for in its derivation”, but that’s referring to specific research, not the organization itself.

    As you point out in the post above “Janice Shaw Crouse is no mental health professional”, but, if she’s aware of distortions in the research conducted by the APA or other organizations she should point them out. Instead, though, she’s relying on “research” done by NOM and the TVC–organizations which have a history of distortion.

  • 6
    Mykelb says:

    Her doctorate is in communications. She sure did learn how to lie well.

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