Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

US rabbis using faulty statistics urge Israeli government against gay adoptions

When we see highly intelligent people lie with statistics, we cannot know if that is a matter of stubbornness (just wanting to prove being right), laziness (having made no effort to really read the research), business (having no time to delve into the study), incompetence (being greatly self-important but really having no trouble testifying about stuff they know nothing about) or pure deceit (knowingly trying to mislead).

Let’s give these neo-conservative rabbis the benefit of the doubt, but then which of the above options should we pick? Let’s settle on that they made an honest mistake. We’ll now see how they are mistaken – in many ways. Not to convince them; rather that we will not be misled.

1. The study itself says itself in its conclusion that: “This study is intended to neither undermine nor affirm any legal rights concerning [gay marriage and same-sex parenting].”

2. This study investigated broken-up families with a possibly gay partner and compared them to non-broken-up families, explicitly stressing having at the time no planned gay/lesbian families to include.

3. This study admits that the greater incest “in lesbian-parent families” probably comes from the ex-husband before their separation.

Also: reporting incest is more influenced by the self-awareness and psychological fitness of the victims than by its actual occurrence. A low disclosure may very well reflect intimidation and repression of victims. This is especially reasonable to assume because in this study only a ridiculously low 2% of the children from “the ideal” families report incest. We know from therapies that the percentage is much higher (most sexual abuse happens in the home) – don’t kid yourself.

4. There is no study that confirms any findings of this study, so five years after publication, we can doubt all the results. This study writes itself that its findings also disagree with all previous studies.

5. This study was heavily criticized, like: here, here, here and here!

6. This study actually claimed to compare: A. adults raised by other-sex married couples who stayed together, to: B. broken-up families of which at least one parent ever had a same-sex relationship no matter what length until the kid left home, with: C. another five categories of strictly heterosexual pairs of parents who not had stayed together.

The questionable statistics then show how the children of A. do so much better. Yet, one may not conclude that therefore children in the A. setting are better off than those in the B. setting. Why not? In this supposedly statistically high-quality representative sample group A. and C. are equally large (919 and 914 subjects). That means that for 50% of children their parents’ the marriages did not hold. So it’s completely inaccurate to compare B. to A. It should compare B. to A.+C. or better: B. to C. Even if the conclusions of this study would be valid that A. is better than B., half of the children in A. end up in the not so rosy C.

7. This study is faulty in so many way, or let’s say “not ideal,” that no far-reaching conclusions can ever be drawn. For starters, it’s based on self-reporting on hindsight – a double statistical nightmare.

8. This study mentions all kinds of nuances and reservations all through its text but in the conclusions they have all disappeared. So throughout it seems very reasonable … until the bottom line – NARTH-quality.

9. There are many studies that report fine parenting by gay households and to cherry pick this study because it suits one, does not speak of integrity. Cherry picking is the primordial sin of statistics.

This is all extra disappointing because one of the rabbis mentioned here, spoke out against anti-gay bullying. Yet, another of the three rabbis mentioned is on the editorial board of Jewish Action magazine, which only twice published anything about homosexuals, one (promoting cures for gays) even more hostile than the other (about gays in Hollywood threatening our normal youths – as recent as in December 2014). Also the last rabbi mentioned has written about homosexual orientation, for everyone to see that he knows a lot about Judaism but nothing about homosexuals.

What a disgrace of the Divine when religious Jews sing in the choir of fundamentalist Christians, whether it is assailing Evolution Theory, defending re-orientation therapy or attacking gays and lesbians as parents. This is what Orthodox Jews are about – Evangelicals’ lap dogs?

When your intuition tells you that these rabbis probably have no leg to stand on and are just defending an impossible and untenable position, listen to your intuition!

Most of these hundreds of rabbis are just camp followers who don’t know the first thing about homosexuals or are scared to open their mouth. The recent curbing, gagging and humiliation of Rabbi Dweck was no doubt intended to keep them all intimidated. So far, it’s working.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.