Tag Archives: Rate

Study finds that gay parents are more likely to raise gay kids

A peer-reviewed study about gay parents raising gay kids in AOL News.


Walter Schumm knows what he’s about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.

[…]His study on sexual orientation, out next month, says that gay and lesbian parents are far more likely to have children who become gay. “I’m trying to prove that it’s not 100 percent genetic,” Schumm tells AOL News.

His study is a meta-analysis of existing work. First, Schumm extrapolated data from 10 books on gay parenting… [and] skewed his data so that only self-identified gay and lesbian children would be labeled as such.

This is important because sometimes Schumm would come across a passage of children of gay parents who said they were “adamant about not declaring their sexual orientation at all.” These people would be labeled straight, even though the passage’s implication was that they were gay.

Schumm concluded that children of lesbian parents identified themselves as gay 31 percent of the time; children of gay men had gay children 19 percent of the time, and children of a lesbian mother and gay father had at least one gay child 25 percent of the time.

Furthermore, when the study restricted the results so that they included only children in their 20s — presumably after they’d been able to work out any adolescent confusion or experimentation — 58 percent of the children of lesbians called themselves gay, and 33 percent of the children of gay men called themselves gay. (About 5 to 10 percent of the children of straight parents call themselves gay, Schumm says.)

Schumm next went macro, poring over an anthropological study of various cultures’ acceptance of homosexuality. He found that when communities welcome gays and lesbians, “89 percent feature higher rates of homosexual behavior.”

Finally, Schumm looked at the existing academic studies… In all there are 26 such studies. Schumm ran the numbers from them and concluded that, surprisingly, 20 percent of the kids of gay parents were gay themselves. When children only 17 or older were included in the analysis, 28 percent were gay.

Here’s the paper entitled “Children of homosexuals more apt to be homosexuals?“. It appeared in the Journal of Biosocial Science.


Ten narrative studies involving family histories of 262 children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers were evaluated statistically in response to Morrison’s (2007) concerns about Cameron’s (2006) research that had involved three narrative studies. Despite numerous attempts to bias the results in favour of the null hypothesis and allowing for up to 20 (of 63, 32%) coding errors, Cameron’s (2006) hypothesis that gay and lesbian parents would be more likely to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure (of sexual orientation) sons and daughters was confirmed. Percentages of children of gay and lesbian parents who adopted non-heterosexual identities ranged between 16% and 57%, with odds ratios of 1.7 to 12.1, depending on the mix of child and parent genders. Daughters of lesbian mothers were most likely (33% to 57%; odds ratios from 4.5 to 12.1) to report non-heterosexual identities. Data from ethnographic sources and from previous studies on gay and lesbian parenting were re-examined and found to support the hypothesis that social and parental influences may influence the expression of non-heterosexual identities and/or behaviour. Thus, evidence is presented from three different sources, contrary to most previous scientific opinion, even most previous scientific consensus, that suggests intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation can occur at statistically significant and substantial rates, especially for female parents or female children. In some analyses for sons, intergenerational transfer was not significant. Further research is needed with respect to pathways by which intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation may occur. The results confirm an evolving tendency among scholars to cite the possibility of some degree of intergenerational crossover of sexual orientation.

Please exercise caution when commenting, we do not want to be Brendan Eich’d by the Obama administration.

Fazale Rana responds to new paper claiming that rapid evolution explains Cambrian explosion

Dr. Fazale Rana of Reasons to Believe takes on a new paper that claims that the evolution can explain the Cambrian explosion.

They linked to this article from NBC News, showing how the paper was popularized.


The team found that the emergence of many sea creatures during the Cambrian explosion could be explained by an accelerated — but not unrealistic — evolution by way of natural selection, or the process in which organisms change over time due to changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. (For instance, changes that give an organism a leg up will help it survive to pass down that trait to offspring.) The team focused its study on animals related to arthropods, the group that includes crustaceans and other insects.

“In this study we’ve estimated that rates of both morphological and genetic evolution during the Cambrian explosion were five times faster than today – quite rapid, but perfectly consistent with Darwin’s theory of evolution,” Lee said.

That’s the challenge. If you can’t listen to the entire podcast, then let me say that the problem with the paper is the way that they are measuring the “rate of change”. They are only measuring the rates of change in genes and phenotypic characters. They are not measuring other important requirements for the new body plans, like the network interactions and regulatory elements of the network. Also, they haven’t demonstrated a mechanism for even the rapid change they do measure in the genes and phenotypic characters.

Here’s is the MP3 file. (29 minutes)

The interviewer is Joe Aguirre and the scientist is Dr. Fazale Rana.


  • JA: Does this paper explain the sudden origin of the Cambrian era fossils without the need for an intelligent cause?
  • FR: The paper claims that the rapid rate of change in the Cambrian explosion is within the capability of Darwinian mechanisms
  • JA: What is the Cambrian explosion?
  • FR: Sudden appearance in the geological record of 50-80 percent of the animal body plans that have ever existed
  • FR: Prior to that there were single-celled organisms
  • FR: The only multi-cell organisms (Ediacaran fauna, etc.) are not precursors to the new body plans
  • FR: This is not a diversification of plans from existing plans, this is about 30 new body plans
  • FR: Not just body plans, but complex organs like eyes appear suddenly
  • FR: The paper focuses on one body plan – arthropods (crustaceans, arachnids and insects)
  • FR: The paper looks at anatomical features as well as genes
  • FR: Paper says the rate of evolutionary change needed would be about 5 to 6 times the normal rate of change
  • JA: Has the rate been the same since that time
  • FR: No the rate of change we see is a fifth of what is seen in the Cambrian explosion, and it is constant
  • FR: The claim is that the rate of change of 5X is anomalous, but is reasonable
  • FR: The researchers established that what happened in the Cambrian explosion is unusual
  • FR: The researchers just assert that the faster rate of change is plausible
  • FR: They have not provided a mechanism for this faster rate of change
  • JA: Has anyone come up with a mechanism for the higher rate of change?
  • FR: No. There are speculations, but no one has published a robust, defensible explanation
  • FR: They are saying, if you embrace the evolutionary paradigm, then the rate of evolution has to be 5 to 6 times faster
  • FR: But they haven’t demonstrated a mechanism that can produce that rate of change, they just asserted that it’s no big deal
  • FR: To me, a requirement for an accelerated rate of evolution is an argument for intelligent design
  • JA: Why aren’t people working on the mechanism?
  • FR: The Cambrian explosion happens at a time when Earth is exiting a frozen stage
  • FR: The environment becomes hospitable to life as we exit this “snowball event”
  • FR: But just because the environment is now hospitable, that does not mean that the genetic changes are automatic
  • FR: On a Genesis creation account, the Cambrian explosion is described in the 5th day
  • FR: God creates the new animal types when the environment can accommodate them
  • JA: Can the naturalist explain how they go from single-celled organisms to compound eyes with 3000 lenses?
  • JA: Why did evolution-agitator Eugenie Scott say that the Cambrian proceeded “at a leisurely pace”?
  • FR: doing a calculation like from single cells to compound eyes is difficult
  • FR: these visual systems are intricate and sophisticated, with respect to field of depth, resolution, etc.
  • FR: additionally, the eye requires support systems in order to function
  • FR: The Cambrian era goes from 540 mya to 490 mya
  • FR: The two most important sites to study it are the Burgess Shale and the Chengjiang Valley
  • FR: The Chengjiang site shows the earlier period of the Cambrian, and the animals are there in the first 5 million years
  • FR: The period is at most 5 million years
  • FR: We are talking about completely different body plans and architectures
  • FR: It’s been shown that you cannot go from one body plan to another body plan, it will kill the intermediate forms
  • JA: You have to explain how ALL of the phyla came in together in a short period
  • FR: Yes. When evolutionists just assert that higher rates of change are “plausible” without specifying a mechanism, that’s not good science

Uncommon Descent had another response to the paper.


I’d like to make two very general observations here. First, measuring rates of change in existing traits is not the same thing as measuring the rate at which new traits appear.

Second, the rapid appearance of new body traits that occurred during the Cambrian explosion could never have taken place without a host of underlying changes at the genetic level. It is these changes that we need to explain. How do we explain, for instance, the sudden increase in the number of new cell types that occurred during the early Cambrian period? Lee et al. do not even discuss this question in their paper: a search on the phrase “cell type” turns up empty.

[…]In a recent post over at Evolution News and Views, Casey Luskin drew readers’ attention to a new book by paleobtologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine, entitled, The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity (Roberts and Company, 2013). The authors, who are recognized authorities in their field, are no friends of Intelligent Design, but they firmly reject the standard neo-Darwinian explanations that have been put forward for the Cambrian explosion. In particular, they take issue with the claim that macroevolution is nothing more than an extrapolation of microevolution.

He then prints a few excerpts from the Erwin and Valentine book.

Here’s one:

Increased genetic and developmental interactions were also critical to the formation of new animal body plans. By the time a branch of advanced sponges gave rise to more complex animals, their genomes comprised genes whose products could interact with regulatory elements in a coordinated network. Network interactions were critical to the spatial and temporal patterning of gene expression, to the formation of new cell types, and to the generation of a hierarchical morphology of tissues and organs. The evolving lineages could begin to adapt to different regions within the rich mosaic of conditions they encountered across the environmental landscape, diverging and specializing to diversify into an array of body forms.

Like Dr. Rana said, the new paper never takes these factors into account.

UD continues:

Reading through the introduction, it is readily apparent that Erwin and Valentine have thought long and hard about the issues relating to the Cambrian explosion, and that they truly appreciate the magnitude of the problem of explaining this seismic event in the history of life. By contrast, the new study by Lee et al. fails to grapple with the deeper issues: its aim is merely to defend Darwinism, and it “succeeds” only by shrinking the problem by focusing on minutiae such as rates of change in genes and phenotypic characters. No wonder, then, that the study’s authors perceive no threat to Darwinian evolution in the Cambrian explosion.

So should we be concerned about this paper? I don’t think so – not until they have a mechanism that can drive the required level of innovation. The paper pushes a naturalistic explanation, and so we are within our rights to ask for a naturalistic mechanism. Even if they had the mechanism, they still aren’t taking into account everything that needs to be explained – like regulatory elements in the coordinated network that Erwin and Valentine mentioned.

UPDATE: Kylie asked me a question that caused me to update this post. She asked me what about Behe’s work that shows that Darwinian mechanisms cannot even account for the NORMAL rate of change? I just want to be clear and say that I don’t think that Darwinian mechanisms can even account for that. What the paper does is assume that Darwinian mechanisms can account for the 1X “rate of change” they see. Then they further assume that evolution is able to do the 5X change rate as well. All they did was measure the amount of change and then assert that it’s not that far off of normal. But I don’t accept that Darwinian mechanisms can even do the normal rate of change, because of Behe’s book on the limits of Darwinian mechanisms to drive change.

Dawn Stefanowicz explains her experience being raised by a gay parent

*** WARNING: This post is definitely for grown-ups only! ***

I was listening to a Dr. J podcast on “Why Marriage Matters”, and I heard about a woman named Dawn Stefanowicz, who was raised by her gay father in Toronto.

So, I looked around and found this interview with Dawn posted on MercatorNet. This is mature subject matter.


Gay marriage and gay adoption are being fiercely debated in a number of countries. Usually these issues are framed as a human rights issue. But whose rights? Patrick Meagher, MercatorNet’s contributing editor in Canada, recently interviewed a woman who was raised by a homosexual father. She feels that her rights as a child were completely ignored.

Dawn Stefanowicz (www.DawnStefanowicz.com) grew up in Toronto. Now in her 40s, she has written a book, Out From Under: Getting Clear of the Wreckage of a Sexually Disordered Home, to be released later this year. Stefanowicz has now been married for 22 years, is raising a family, and also works as an accountant. She has also testified about same-sex marriage in Washington and Ottawa.


MercatorNet: How did you feel about what was going on around you?

Stefanowicz: You become used to it and desensitised. I was told at eight years old not to talk about this but I knew that something was wrong. I was not thinking “this is right or wrong” but I was disturbed by what I was experiencing. I was unhappy, fearful, anxious and confused. I was not allowed to tell my father that his lifestyle upset me. You can be four-years-old and questioning, “Where is Daddy?” You sense women are not valued. You think Daddy doesn’t have time for you or Daddy is too busy to play a game with you. All this is hard because as a child this is the only experience you have.

MercatorNet: How did this affect your relationship with others?

Stefanowicz: I had a hard time concentrating in school on day-to-day subjects and with peers. I felt insecure. I was already stressed out by an early age. I’m now in my 40s. You’re looking at life-long issues. There is a lot of prolonged and unresolved grief in this kind of home environment and with what you witness in the subcultures.

It took me until I was into my 20s and 30s, after making major life choices, to begin to realise how being raised in this environment had affected me. Unfortunately, it was not until my father, his sexual partners and my mother had died, that I was free to speak publicly about my experiences.


MercatorNet: Why do so few children speak out?

Stefanowicz: You’re terrified. Absolutely terrified. Children who open up these family secrets are dependent on parents for everything. You carry the burden that you have to keep secrets. You learn to put on an image publicly of the happy family that is not reality. With same-sex legislation, children are further silenced. They believe there is no safe adult they can go to.

Have you ever considered what effect it has on a child that they have to grow up without their mother or their father? Is that good for them? Is that something that we should be promoting so that there is more of it? It’s a sad thing to tell adults that they cannot do whatever they want, but it’s a sadder thing to harm children just so that adults can do whatever they want. We need to choose to be careful not to harm children by making poor decisions.

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