New study casts doubt on older brother hypothesis and reparative drive theory

A new study by Andrew Francis of Emory University in the Journal of Sex Research casts doubt on both the fraternal birth-order effect and reparative drive theory.
Here is the abstract:

Using a nationally representative sample of young adults, I identify the family-demographic correlates of sexual orientation in men and women. Hence, I test the maternal immune hypothesis, which posits that the only biodemographic correlate of male homosexuality is the number of older brothers, and there are no biodemographic correlates of female homosexuality. For men, I find that having one older brother does not raise the likelihood of homosexuality. Although having multiple older brothers has a positive coefficient, it is not significant. Moreover, having any older sisters lowers the likelihood of homosexual or bisexual identity. For women, I find that having an older brother or having any sisters decreases the likelihood of homosexuality. Family structure, ethnicity, and education are also significantly correlated with male and female sexual orientation. Therefore, the maternal immune hypothesis cannot explain the entire pattern of family-demographic correlates. The findings are consistent with either biological or social theories of sexual orientation.

The sample is large and the measures of sexual orientation, while brief, cover behavior and attractions. Here is more on the sampling:

I use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative study of adolescent health in the United States (Udry, 2003). Adolescents in grades 7 through 12 were initially interviewed in 1995 and 1996 (Waves I and II) and were reinterviewed in 2001 (Wave III). The sample size of male respondents is about 5,000, and the sample size of female respondents is about 5,600. Table 1 displays summary statistics. At Wave III, all respondents in the sample were 18 years old or older. About 88% were between the ages of 20 and 24.

Sexual orientation was assessed with this item:

‘‘Choose the description that best fits how you think about yourself: 100% heterosexual; mostly heterosexual, but somewhat attracted to people of your own sex; bisexual, that is, attracted to men and women equally; mostly homosexual, but somewhat attracted to people of the opposite sex; or 100% homosexual.’’

As noted, the theory that the likelihood of any homosexuality is enhanced via more older brothers is not supported by this large, representative sample. In addition to a look at older brothers, Francis also examined other family demographics. Although unrelated to homosexual behavior or attraction, having older sisters was associated with a slightly reduced identification as less than 100% heterosexual. This finding contrasted with the 2002 Bearman and Bruckner study which found an elevation in homosexual romantic attraction for fraternal twin males with a female twin.
For females, Francis found that having siblings decreased slightly the likelihood of most same-sex outcomes. None of the correlates predict sexual orientation well. In every case, the size of the differences were trivial. With large samples, one does not need a large difference between groups to attain statistical significance.
Francis also examined family structure and found more trivial associations. For instance, he found a 3.8% increase in the likelihood of ever having a same-sex sexual partner among those who did not live with either parent. In contrast to reparative theory expectations, he reported that identifying as less than 100% heterosexual for males was associated with living with only dad. No romantic attraction or same-sex behavior was reported for males living with only mother.
There were other factors which Francis reported but the real take home point from this study is how little any of these variables predict sexual orientation. This study undermines reparative drive theory due to the unremarkable performance of the parental variables to predict orientation. One would expect to find great differences between male heterosexual participants and same-sex attracted participants if fathering/mothering were crucial to male sexual orientation as Joe Nicolosi teaches. In fact in this YouTube video, Nicolosi says that the main factor in the development of male homosexuality is a distant or hostile father.
The Francis article finds very little predictive power in family dynamics of any kind. There is no predictive power at all for those whose parents are separated. Living with dad should insulate against a homosexual outcome and living with mom alone should enhance the likelihood of same-sex attraction and/or behavior. In this sample, it does not.

Obama may delay repeal of "don't ask, don't tell"

The Washington Times is reporting what seems like a smart move: Barack Obama will probably deal with the most serious problems facing the nation first and postpone action on potentially divisive actions, like the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” My guess is that Obama will delay the push until after the 2010 mid-term elections.
Bob Knight is quoted as suggesting that Americans don’t have this policy on their radar now but will be quick to react negatively if the policy is debated nationally. I think he is probably on target. While attitudes toward homosexuals continue to become more positive, I think questions about practical matters of living arrangements, morale and recruitment will be raised by opponents.

Ex-gay history: Charles Socarides and Richard Cohen on CNN

Richard Cohen has added some content to his YouTube account with a new infomercial and a clip of an interview on CNN with Charles Socarides and Cohen from what appears to be the early to mid 90s (probably 1994 given this article). Socarides mentions NARTH so it would be after the founding of that organization in 1992. The sound does not match the speakers but this is an interesting clip nonetheless which demonstrates that NARTH’s premise in the early days was to return homosexuality to a status of mental disorder.

Mankind Project self-destructing?

After a steady rise in influence and numbers, the Mankind Project may now be in decline. More about that in a bit.
Today,
Chris Vogel writes about a dispute within the murky inner-circle of the MKP which has become public. Vogel writes:

Here’s some news for you readers who’ve been keeping up with The ManKind Project, the controversial so-called men’s self-help group that detractors have criticized for targeting members of 12-step recovery groups, practicing therapy without a license and maintaining a dark cloak of secrecy regarding its “New Warrior” rites and rituals.
Reid Baer, the former editor of the non-profit organization’s monthly publication, the New Warrior Journal, says he was fired from the position because the group’s leadership is tired of him demanding more transparency to the public.
“The problem,” Baer tells Hair Balls, “is that they have been a secret organization for so many years that they don’t know how to stop being secret. I fought for stuff for five years and I think they just got tired of me telling the truth, because I would interview men who had dissenting views, and they hated it.”

Nice that Baer confirms what has been obvious: MKP deliberately keeps practices secret from initiates and requires participants to keep these activities secret. Baer’s firing may have been multi-determined though, as Vogel explains.

But, Baer concedes, that was not the official reason he was let go from his $10,000 a year post. According to a letter Baer says MKP’s Executive Director Carl Griesser wrote him, Baer, a former journalist turned poet on the Internet with his own Wikipedia entry, was terminated because he uses the nom de plume “NewWarriorMan.” In his letter, Griesser says the name “New Warrior” is a registered trademark of The ManKind Project and therefore Baer cannot use it.
Baer says that while MKP has trademarked similar phrases to the one he uses, his specific Web name is not one of them.
Griesser also complains in his letter that Baer made the “unilateral decision” not to publish the organization’s periodical in November (to which Baer says his supervisors made the call) and is concerned with “some especially offensive videos in recent weeks.”
One such video Griesser points to, taken by Baer, shows the poet drop trou in front of the camera, bend over a desk, smack lube across his backside and then say, “Go ahead, I’m ready.” The segment is titled, “Jack Nicholson is ready for Barack Obama, et al.”

Thanks to the Houston Press, and several websites, including this blog, men who want to know more about the MKP can find out almost everything about a New Warriors Training Adventure via an Internet search in advance. So Baer argues that MKP should become more transparent, saying,

“Some of the things we do we keep from the public because the surprise value of it, historically speaking, has had more impact. But now that we’re in the Google world, I have for the last five years been campaigning to be more transparent and to share more about what we do on the weekends because men now, before they go, will Google ‘MKP,’ and if all they see are the bad stories, a lawsuit, this and that, then that’s not doing us any good. And so for them to fire the very guy who wants to put good information out there is insanity.”

Another reason Baer may have been fired is to save money. MKP is not doing well and has recently informed members of significant financial problems.

The Mankind Project is currently facing one of the biggest financial challenges of its life. Due to a significant decline in men enrolled in NWTA’s, and despite $30,000 in budget cuts over the past three months, we are facing a projected shortfall this year of $75,000. We need your help.
Historically, about 90% of the revenue generated by the Project has come from tuition from our trainings. The rest is raised through contributions, primarily to the Chairman’s Campaign. For the first
time in 23 years, our average number of men per training has decreased significantly – by about 10%. We expect to initiate 2849 men this year, down from a high of 3209 in 2005. We are budgeting
for a similar decrease in 2009.

MKP is now holding re-initiation weekends where men who have been through the weekend Training Adventure can do it all over again. Despite the gay friendly nature of New Warriors, NARTH, JONAH, Richard Cohen, and Northern Ireland’s Paul Miller continue to recommend New Warriors as a kind of reparative therapy intervention to reduce same-sex attraction via an enhancement of masculinity feelings.
Back to Mr. Baer; he is not too happy about the copyright issue and has created another YouTube identity at NewWarriorMan2.

AHO!

Donofrio vs. Wells: NJ Obama citizenship case slated for SCOTUS conference

I have posted on the Berg vs. Obama case challenging the U.S. citizenship of Barack Obama. I am not posting on this because I have special knowledge of or belief in the assumptions of the case. I am more interested in how this narrative has become a parallel universe to the daily transition to an Obama administration and the ongoing economic problems of the nation.
There are several of these cases meandering their way through various courts. Here is one which has gotten to the conference stage (Donofrio vs Wells).

No. 08A407
Title: Leo C. Donofrio, Applicant
v.
Nina Mitchell Wells, New Jersey Secretary of State
Docketed:
Lower Ct: Supreme Court of New Jersey
Case Nos.: (AM-0153-08T2 at the New Jersey Appellate Division without a docket number)
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nov 3 2008 Application (08A407) for stay pending the filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, submitted to Justice Souter.
Nov 6 2008 Application (08A407) denied by Justice Souter.
Nov 14 2008 Application (08A407) refiled and submitted to Justice Thomas.
Nov 19 2008 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of December 5, 2008.
——————————————————————————–
~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:
Leo C. Donofrio P.O. Box 93
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Party name: Leo C. Donofrio

Donofrio also asked Justice Souter for a stay of the election and simultaneously in the same application (08A407) for a writ of certiorari in his challenge made in New Jersey. Souter dismissed both the stay and the writ petition. Donofrio exercised his right to petition another Justice and in this case petitioned Justice Thomas on November 14. Yesterday, the petition was distributed to the other Justices for a conference on December 5. It is important to remember that the conference will be devoted to whether to grant review of the case. As with Berg, I will be surprised if SCOTUS grants review.

Voter registration fraud indictment handed down in Ohio

This morning Franklin County (OH) Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced the first in what will be a series of indictments of individuals for voter registration fraud. Here is the new release via Palestra.net
Ohiovoterfraud
I am wondering if the six cases referred last Friday involve these folks or this woman?

Berg vs. Obama: Dept of Justice waives right to respond to petition

Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed a waiver with the Supreme Court regarding the petition for writ of certiorari from Philip Berg.
Here is the amended Docket entry:

No. 08-570
Title: Philip J. Berg, Petitioner
v.
Barack Obama, et al.
Docketed: October 31, 2008
Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Case Nos.: (08-4340)
Rule 11
~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~
Oct 30 2008 Petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment filed. (Response due December 1, 2008)
Oct 31 2008 Application (08A391) for an injunction pending disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, submitted to Justice Souter.
Nov 3 2008 Supplemental brief of applicant Philip J. Berg filed.
Nov 3 2008 Application (08A391) denied by Justice Souter.
Nov 18 2008 Waiver of right of respondents Federal Election Commission, et al. to respond filed.
——————————————————————————–
~~Name~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:
Philip J. Berg 555 Andorra Glen Court, Suite 12 (610) 825-3134
Lafayette Hill, PA 09867
Party name: Philip J. Berg
Attorneys for Respondents:
Gregory G. Garre Solicitor General (202) 514-2217
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Party name: Federal Election Commission, et al.

Nothing about this has appeared on the Berg website. I suspect the Court will eventually deny the petition for certiorari. Here is the waiver:
bergvobamawaiver
Note the document says: “The Government hereby waives its right to file a response to the petition in this case, unless requested to do so by the Court.” At this point, SCOTUS has not requested a response, only provided a date by which a response could be filed.

Bringing Clinton Back – Holder on hold for Attorney General

Barack Obama is floating Eric Holder (Bill Clinton’s Deputy AG) as his Atty General pick. Add this name to John Podesta (co-chair transition team), Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff) and Hillary (if the Secretary of State story turns out to be true) and you have a Clinton reunion. Surely Obama could find something for Bill to do.
I can hear justin timberlake now…”I’m bringing Clinton back. Them other pols don’t know how to act…”