Sunday, September 27, 2009

More irrelevant research from the Families Commission

Family First has alerted the media - unfortunately embargoed til Friday - about the latest research from the Families Commission. It has labelled a report on gay and lesbian parenting as unnecessary, advocacy research, a complete waste of taxpayer money, and reveals nothing new that isn't faced by other blended families.

They 're right on one thing. It is advocacy research. So who are the two researchers who compiled this report?

One lesbian researches queer theory from Canterbury University, the other has published many journal articles on challenging heteronormativity and is doing a thesis on experiences of lesbians and gay men who create family through assisted reproductive technologies - no doubt this tax-payer funded research has helped with her research towards her PhD, despite the Blues Skies Fund that funded the research noting that grants do "not fund degrees".

So this is not unbiased research - it is insider advocacy research, conducted by those who say they live lives "outside the norms of heterosexuality" [whats wrong with the word "lesbian"] with a pre-determined agenda - to normalise gay relationships and to advocate for a change in adoption laws, and laws surrounding how many parents can be on birth certificates. Nothing wrong with that, but some people would not be happy with their taxpayers dollars being spent on this.

I'm more concerned that they interviewed just 19 families. And of those interviewed, just three were gay men, one of whom was a multiparent with a lesbian couple in another family, although treated as one family for the purposes of the research.The other couple were not even actively parenting children. Obviously gay men who parent are not as worthy of being researched as are lesbian parents. Why? Perhaps if they had gay men researching this they may have struck a more gender-neutral balance.

The research was done via snowball sampling which, crudely put, is getting an interviewee to recommend their mates. Surely lesbian parents have gay male friends who parent?

And your taxpayer dollars paid for it. Thanks, Peter Dunne.




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