David Barton isn’t just a terrible and unaccredited historian, he’s also an awful amateur sociologist. While talking to co-host Rick Green on today’s edition of WallBuilders Live about how same-sex marriage will take away from society the benefits of marriage, Barton argued that “spousal abuse is through the roof, up to ten times higher in homosexual couples whether they be gay or lesbian, male or female, spousal abuse is higher.”
He also said that “no sociological study out there” is supportive of same-sex parenting, adding that “we know that kids coming out of those homes are having much more difficulty.”
Green: If you were to come and totally rearrange my house when I wasn’t here and do something totally different than what it was intended for that would— if you do that with marriage and government does that with marriage it also changes the benefits of that institution that God created. Now you’re not going to have that stability of the home, you’re not going to have that environment for a child to be raised where they won’t go down those paths that you were talking about. Just like if you were to change my house I wouldn’t have the benefit of the way that we designed our house and the things that we enjoy about our house, so if we allow government to go outside its jurisdiction and redefine what marriage is we’re going to lose all those benefits of the family and marriage as one man and one woman.
Barton: Lose is the right word because you don’t create new benefits, I mean there is no sociological study out there that says ‘hey look kids do so much better when they are in a home without a mother and a father, when they are in a home with two mothers, two fathers.’ By the way, we know that in those homes where gay marriage exists, spousal abuse is through the roof, up to ten times higher in homosexual couples whether they be gay or lesbian, male or female, spousal abuse is higher; we know that kids coming out of those homes are having much more difficulty.
But the CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey [PDF] notes that lesbian women experience slightly higher rates of intimate partner violence (43.8%) than heterosexual women (35.0%) and found comparable rates among gay men (26.0%) and heterosexual men (29.0%).
Bisexuals are much more likely to experience partner violence, but the CDC notes that the vast majority of them — 89.5% of bisexual women and 78.5% of bisexual men — reported that an opposite-sex partner was the perpetrator.
The anti-violence group Jane Doe Inc. found that “Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are abused at approximately the same levels as heterosexual couples, but the abuse may be exacerbated by social isolation caused by societal oppression and discrimination,” and the Center for American Progress similarly reports that “studies have found that domestic violence occurs among same-sex couples at comparable rates to straight couples.”
Barton’s claim about children is also erroneous.
The American Sociological Association maintained in an amicus brief that “the social science consensus is both conclusive and clear: children fare just as well when they are raised by same-sex parents as when they are raised by opposite-sex parents.” The Washington Post adds that “there is a growing consensus among experts that the sexual orientation of parents is not a major determinant in hos well children fare in school, on cognitive tests and in terms of their emotional development,” noting that one recent survey found that children of lesbian parents “did fine—better even, than children in a similar study involving more diverse families.”