A few comments on my last entry note that people didn't see the entry because it didn't appear at the top of their LiveJournal friends page. I wonder if LJ is sorting the entry according to the time i started it, a few days ago, instead of the time i finished writing it, which was yesterday morning.
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Anyway, if you missed it, have a look. It's a long entry about the Texas bill to ban homosexual and bisexual people from adopting foster children, inspired by Tuesday's Daily Show.
I realized something interesting
when i looked back at the data in the
study of child abuse by foster parents
that i discussed recently.
Cameron, P. Child molestations by homosexual foster parents: Illinois, 1997-2002. Psychological Reports, 2005, 96, 227-230. (available online)
Suppose you are the Illinois Department of Child and Family
Services and you come across this study.
Suppose further that
your goal is to place foster children in the homes where they
will be least likely to suffer sexual abuse,
and you have no information other than the sex of the
couples applying to be foster parents
(indeed, quite unrealistic, but this is the assumption Cameron makes).
Among your placement choices are three types of couples:
- A female-male couple of foster parents.
- A female-female couple of foster parents.
- A male-male couple of foster parents.
What does the study tell you about the risk of sexual abuse
for these options? Here's that data again.
|sexual abuse, # of cases
|sexual abuse, % of cases
Look at those red numbers. Girls are more than twice as likely to be sexually abused by a male foster parent than a female foster parent. Therefore, the option with the least risk of sexual abuse is to place a girl with two female foster parents.
Boys seem slightly more likely to be sexually abused by female foster parents than male foster parents, though there aren’t enough data points to be statistically conclusive. So the sex of the parents doesn’t matter very much, though the data suggests that placing a boy with two male foster parents would yield a somewhat lower risk of sexual abuse.
What Cameron’s study really shows is that,
with all other things being equal,
a foster child in Illinois has a lower risk of sexual abuse
when raised by two parents of the same sex as the child
than by a male parent and a female parent.
All other things are not equal, of course.
There are certainly other factors that affect
the quality of foster parenting much more than the sex of the parents,
but Paul Cameron didn't bother to look at them.
And with that, now i'll put this study to rest.
(Update: After thinking about a comment from rebbyribs, i've replaced "homosexual couple" with "two parents," since the former suggests homosexual relationships and there is no data about them.)
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I just received a note mentioning that among the list of publicly available documents
about products that have undergone Common Criteria security evaluations,
there's one about a Sony smartcard that has large sections marked "REMOVED".
What's interesting is that the sections aren't really removed.
They're still there in the PDF document — even though they're
invisible, you can select the empty space in a PDF viewer and paste the text
elsewhere. Or you can just look at Google's HTML version of the document, which reveals all.
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