I vaguely recall a while back blogging about someone’s statistics that claimed millions of gay households in the US and then having looked up the background data finding out that the report completely and artificially inflated the number. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact posting or find it in my archives.
What brings it to mind is a recent posting by Harry Forbes at Squaring the Globe in which he finds the Boston Globe doing the same thing in a story about same-sex adoption. The story claims that “forty percent of same-sex couples aged 22 to 55 are raising children, about 5 percent of whom are adopted,” and that “up to 10 million children are estimated to have a lesbian or gay parent.” So Harry decided to check out those claims in the survey the Globe claimed as its source.
First, he looks at the CIA World Factbook, which tells him that the US has 60 million kids under the age of 15. I looked at the US Census data and it says there are 79 million kids under the age for 18. So the Globe claims that 1 in 8 kids in the country under the age of 18 have at least one gay or lesbian parent. Harry uses the lower under-15 number to come up with 1 in 6. Either way, that’s very doubtful.
But it’s when he goes right to the report, it says not 10 million children, but 250,000.
Same-sex couples in the United States are raising approximately 250,000 children.
Many same-sex couples in the United States are raising children. The Gay and Lesbian Atlas finds that same-sex couples were raising approximately 250,000 children under age 18 in 1999.
Gee, why would the Boston Globe have any reason to over-inflate (by a factor of 40!) the number of children living in gay or lesbian households? What could have been happening in the news recently related to this?
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