The Science Is Settled, Only More So

As I read a few U.S. blogs, I am reasonably well-informed about current debates they have over there. Currently the hot topic seems to be gay marriage, with a lot of the discourse focusing on the well-being of children who grow up in same-sex-parents households. Via Jeremy Freese, here's Sally T. Hillsman, executive officer of the American Sociological Association, and apparently not a fan of Karl Raimund Popper's, sending her two cents to the Washington Post:
Social science research consistently and incontrovertibly has shown that parents’ sexual orientation has no bearing on children’s well-being.
Hard-and-fast rule: When someone claims that the evidence on a social science topic has shown something "incontrovertibly", you know you've left the realm of scientific discourse and are in the ugly land of policy advocacy.


As a side note on the topic, I am surprised that - as far as I can see - nobody opining on the matter mentions the general finding of behavioral genetics research that the influence of parents on how children turn out is not nearly as strong as Tom, Dick and Harry believe. It's indirect evidence, sure, but if you want to make the case for gay marriage and gay adoption rights, at least you'd want to mention this in passing, no? My best guess on why one does not see this more is that many of the people who are most fervently for gay rights have stored the concept behavioural genetics research in their mental folder marked "Hitler, etc."

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