Focus On The Family Distorts Another ‘Fatherless’ Study To Oppose Marriage Equality

Focus on the Family’s duplicity is not always obvious, but execution of their anti-gay rhetoric is becoming more transparent. In a post yesterday, FOTF’s director of Global Family Formation Studies Glenn T. Stanton boasted that a new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business proves that boys benefit behaviorally from having “a home with a mom and a dad”:

STANTON: This supports over three decades of consistent research showing that kids who grow up in a home with their married parents tend to do better in all measures of educational attainment than their peers being raised in single, divorced and cohabiting-parent homes. This is true from everything from grade-point average, behavioral issues, high school graduation and going on to graduate from college. Moms and dads both matter here, as well as the type of relationship between them.

But though FOTF is clearly trying to use this as evidence against same-sex marriage, the study did not prove anything “against” same-sex parents. The study in question (PDF here) did not, in fact, address same-sex parenting whatsoever, but instead compared children raised by married heterosexual parents to children raised by a single mother. It is one of many “fatherless” studies that conservative groups use to conflate not having a father/having one mother with having two mothers. Recall when Sen. Al Franken eviscerated FOTF’s Tom Minnery at a July Senate hearing for attempting to do the very same thing.

If anything, the Booth study supports arguments in favor of marriage equality, because it found that it was neither family structure nor biology that were the direct cause of differences in boys’ behavior, but environmental factors determined by levels of parental input. Stanton’s conclusions reflect nothing found in the actual research data — merely his discriminating ideology.