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Liveblogging the Prop 8 Trial: Day Five Friday AM (19)

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Thompson: There is evidence showing that boys growing up w/o fathers have probs with sexual and gender identities. Evidence that comes from 1990s.

Lamb: Not familiar with research on gender identity in 1990s.

Thompson: your Role of father, 1997 edition. Describing Chapter 11 of volume. Seem to have problems with school performance, and social aggression. You were describing state of art lit.

Lamb: If you look at paragraph in context it cites earlier lit, it’s a reference to earlier studies. Absolutely these are discussed.

Thompson: You intended your book to be up to date and current.

Lamb: I intended to put results in context. To quote from previous sentence.

Thompson: There is increasing evidence that relationship w/father long term impact of adjustment.

Lamb: It is correct that children who grow up in hetero families do benefit when they have good relationship with father, contrarily may be probs if they don’t have good rel.

Thompson: Relationship with father, and way they interact with peers.

Lamb: Quality of rels that children have with parents, have short and long term effects.

Thompson: David Blankenhorn. You said easily most provocative commentary published in 1995.

Lamb: I’m glad. He found it a rather negative review. I’m glad I couched my criticism so carefully.

Thompson: Parents may be different, and some may be related to gender. You think probably beneficial from having relationships with different people.

Lamb: The more different people you have deep relationship wiht the better.

Thompson: You would concede that it’s relevant to have male role model.

Lamb: Both boys and girls do copy people in a variety of way. It’s a way children learn about different ways of behaving.

Thompson: It’s not irrelevant.

Lamb: Children do benefit from role models, and society is replete with role models.

Thompson: Influence on children’s gender roles.

Lamb: Evidence on extent to which children make a great deal of use of role models inside and outside the home.

Thompson: There isn’t any evidence for children to see traditional role model.

Lamb: Whenever I hear the word “any” my attenae start to wiggle.

Thompson: Turn to Howard deposition.

Lamb: There isn’t any evidence to see that in a home. In part because children see so many role models outside the home.

Thompson: You would include someone on TV.

Lamb: Most real world, it’s someone child comes in contact with: teachers, relatives, friends.

Thompson: Having committed father good.

Lamb: When children do have father having him involved in life is important.

Thompson: Having a mother is really important too. Do you think having a mother is important to a child’s development?

Lamb: It depends. There are certainly circumstances when children do perfectly well when raised by someone other than mother.

Thompson: Is there a rich empirical literature in your field showing that mothers are irrelevant.

Lamb: One would have to ask what use of word mother used in that phrase. If you mean mother biologically conceived and bore the child.I testify ni everything I have written about importance of relationships of people taking care of them. When that person is a woman, and identified as mother, supremely important. But gender is not the important part.

Thompson: You used phrase traditional family. Married biological mother and father.

Lamb: Usually broader than that. Cases where not only married biological mother and family. Stay at home mother, early child care provided in home. Anything deviating from those non-traditional family.

Thompson: Some elements that still assume traditional family best for children. Even among social scientists, diverse range of opinion.

Lamb: Consensus is structure is not as important.

Thompson: Personality under genetic influence. Similarities between genetic parents and offspring.

Lamb: There can be similarities, because two different parents, it may be a blend, also quite common that child like one parent and not like other. Genetics is one factor that influences those things.

Thompson: Those similarities would influence adjustment.

Lamb: If there were similarities it would be one factor. You could conceive of those situations where someone’s temperament is irritable, that might affect parenting.

Thompson: Your deposition. Certainly we know personality influenced by genetic influence. Genetic factors significant influences. You gave that testimony.

Lamb: Yeah.

Thompson: Importance of family structure. Marriage is correlated with outcomes. Ways in which marriage correlated, varied in both direct and indirect pathways of influence. Let’s look at reconstituted family. Fairly substantial body of evidence, addition of stepfather often not posiive event.

Lamb: Certainly true.

Thompson: But you don’t think family structure affects processes.

Lamb: Entry of stepfather in trying to establish relationships would. Clearly correlation in structures.

Thompson: Family structures matter married biological family and cohabiting family.

Lamb: You’d have to look at those processes. Evidence shows that its the within the family processes.

Thompson: As between married biological family and cohabiting you don’t think affects structure. Turn to deposition in Cole case. Five weeks ago?

Lamb: Or four weeks ago? Recent.

Thompson: How does married biological family structure in a way different from cohabiting couple where only one person related. “I don’t think family structure affects family processes.” You gave that testimony, correct?

Thompson: If we did not control for other factors.

Thompson: Child trends research group.

[Objection–sounds like this is one of the ]

Thompson: Withdrew Dr. Marks and other experts bc of concern of video recorded. They were extremely concerned about personal safety. Did not want to appear with any recording whatsoever. No limitation on court’s ability on taking judicial notice, same thing SCOTUS in Brown and Roe and others has looked at.

Thompson: It is not simply the presence of two parents, but presence of two biological parents that seems to support children’s development. You didn’t even consider this document when you put together your report.

Lamb: Research review, put together by very well respected people. Not a scholarly document. Primarily designed to contribute to popular understanding of these issues. It’s not something I would want to distance myself from. Review of research on children born to hetero parents, grow up with them or in families with only one of them. Believe it probably also talks abotu effects of step parenthood. In that context, that particularly summary statement seems to be reasonable summary of it. Uses causal language more often than is warranted, I suspect bc written not for academic audience but as public education document.

Thompson: Impact of family formation change. Paul Amato. Well-respect?

Lamb: Yes.

Thompson: Research clearly demonstrates that children growing up with two continually married parents less likely than other children to have problems.

Lamb: Large scale studies of children being raised by hetero parents.

Thompson: Even stronger if two happily married parents.

Lamb: Entirely consistent with what I testified the importance of relationships between indivs.

Thompson: Consequences of marriage for African Americans. Marriage itself appears to contribute to better outcomes.

Lamb: I wouldn’t want to say I’m familiar with all the research on African American families. I would suggest it’s on shaky grounds when it suggests more than correlation.

Thompson: William Doherty and others, Responsible fathering. Doherty well-respected, is he not? “We conclude that in pracice the kind of mother-father relationship, is a caring, committed collaborative marriage. Outside of this, stand in way of active, involved fathering.”

Lamb: It accurately reflects studies they’re talking about: hetero parents and children.

[What Thompson appears not to realize, is that some of this actually REFUTES the traditional father idea, bc “collaboative relationships” aren’t necessarily traditional. In any case, he seems to be making a great case for marriage.]

Thompson: Marriage matters, better than single parents.

Lamb: That’s true, on average, as I testified earlier.

Walker: With reference to statement.  Is that drawn on opposite sex couples.

Lamb: Not to my knowledge.

Walker: Not same sex?

Lamb: I believe that’s true. Institute for American Values promotes a particular view of marriage, mostly focused on promoting marriage among hetero couples. I believe that their research seems to involve studies of such families.

Thompson: You say lobbying group. Comes from scholars. UVA, Doherty, Norville Glen, highly regarded.

Lamb: He’s quite ideologically committed. I’m not a sociologist.

Thompson: Are you familiar with sociological lit.

Lamb: I’ve tried to cover sociological and demographic lit as you know from our previous discussions.

Thompson: Putting Families first.

Lamb: On average, children being raised by two married hetero parents do better than those growing up with a single or divorced parent.

Thompson: [sorry didn’t get name of scholar] Are you familiar with this study. Very large set of data. Children who grow up in household with only one biological parent worse off then children growing up with two biological parents.

Lamb: Accurate of what the study says.

Thompson: Adolescents in married two-biological family, cohabiting step father, advantage of marriage better when biological child.

Lamb: All of the research that involves hetero families in different configurations.

Thompson: Father absence in youth incarceration. Sarah McLanahan. Results from longitudinal event history analysis, sizeable portion of risk could be attribtued to other fators. Worst is stepfather.

Thompson: Another study, large sample size.

Lamb: The actual study focuses on small number of individuals.

Thompson: Is that a problem?

Lamb: No, just clarifying.

Thompson: Adolscents in cohabiting families, significant more problems.

Thompson: Paul Amato. Whites and African Americans separated from parent, worse than those raised in continually intact families.

[Again, doesn’t this make a great case for same sex marriage?]

Thompson: Does father absence place daughters at special risk? Father absence overwhelming factor for early sexual activity.

Lamb: it’s interesting that you would raise this. In most recent edition of childhood education, study that addresses one weakness that these researchers discuss. Possibility that genetic difference. That analysis makes clear that this had to do not with father absence but inherited dispositions of indivs in study.

Thompson: Comparable size?

Lamb: Don’t remember same size.

Thompson: Analysis of interviews obtained, 17% who had step-father was abused, comparable for biological father was 2%.

Lamb: Much more work on incidents of sexual abuse. None contradicts the conclusion that girls are at greater risk, but specific figures.

Thompson: Volume three! We’re halfway home, your honor.

Thompson: Change topics from biological parenting. Divorce has painful adverse effects?

Lamb: That’s correct, as a summary.

Thompson: Children with divorced parents, do more poorly than married parents.

Lamb: On average, yes, that’s what I testified earlier.

Thompson: Stepfathers do not develop authoritative relationships with chidren. Children whose parents are divorced. Many gay fathers have children in hetero relationships before coming out. Difficulties involve coming to terms with sexual orientation. Lesbian couples have them in hetero relationships, true?

Lamb: That used to be true, I don’t have data.

Thompson: For those whom it is true, children would have suffered from trauma of divorce or death of parent. Look closely at study. None of the studies on gay parenting draws on all gay and lesbians in US.

Lamb: I’m interested in those raising children.

Thompson: there’s no study that can address parenting ability of those who don’t have children. WRT same sex couples who do have children, any study that purports to be random study?

Lamb: Closes that would come would not be random sample, anlysis of US census data. There are now data drawn from US census.

Thompson: They don’t purport to be random sample.

Lamb: You don’t have a random sample when you sample the entire population. Most of us would consider this to be better.

Thompson: Which study purports to be random sample. Do you know of any study that purports to reflect a study of all gay and lesbian couples in US.

Lamb; We have one study looking at all G&L raising children. Another conducted by Waingright and Patterson focusing on children drawn from national representative. REpresentative of population with children in that age range.

Thompson: Which is study drawn from Census.

Lamb: Rosenfeld which is to appear i nDemography.

Thompson: Which IS to appear? That’s not something you cite?

Lamb: No.

Thompson: Proportion of male couples who have children.

Lamb: 20%?

Thompson: cites from study 33% lesbian, 22% gay men. Most studies study lesbian mothers. Issue is that fewer gay fathers.

Lamb: And also gay fathers also more difficult to locate.

Thompson: Lesbians tend to be better than average?

Walker: You’re talking about financially?

Thompson: yes

Lamb: I don’t know about that.

Thompson: Would you admit that one obvious concern brought up by trying to research gays and lesbians is that you’re confined by those who identify themselves as gay and lesbian. Some suggestion that samples drawn tend to be form middle class, don’t reflect full totality of G&L community.

Lamb: No, that wouldn’t be true.

Thompson: Appearances can be deceptive. Self-selection and political mobilization. Seguera (sp), will be testifying on behalf of plaintiffs next week. “If ability to mobilize is one incentives for identification, then indivs from invisible groups likely to be more politically active than visible groups.” Isn’t professor Seguera right about this point, sorts of indivs who are willing to be in these studies not representative of overall community.

Lamb: As far as I can tell this has nothing to do with parents. G&L raising children area already visible.

Thompson: Logical breaking point.

Walker: Logical breaking point is as good as any.

Lunch time. Reconvene at 1PM.

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