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Letter: Scientifically unsound?

Published: Thursday, April 10 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

As a sociology professor who has been teaching “Sociology of the Family” courses for more than 10 years, I find this newspaper’s continued use of social science research that has been largely to thoroughly discredited by the academic and legal communities to be deeply disappointing (“In Our Opinion: A mom and a dad,” April 6).

The Deseret News certainly has a right to its moral position on the subject of same-sex marriage. But it also has an ethical obligation to be more responsible about the social science evidence it presents to empirically support its position.

Of course, family structure matters in raising families, as does a wide array of other equally significant variables. But to claim, as the Deseret News does, that "girls in a home with homosexual fathers had a 15 percent chance of graduating, compared with girls in a home with a mother and a father" as a legal justification for opposing same-sex marriage (even if the statistic was credible) is just as scientifically unsound as using the fact that "girls raised by Mormon parents are significantly less likely to graduate from college than girls raised by Jewish parents” as a rationale for denying Mormons the right to marry.

Mark Rubinfeld

Salt Lake City

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