Sharonmelissa Roberson (a.k.a. Chef Fresh) interview on food justice
February 2, 2015 11:52 AM   Subscribe

"To me this intersection [between food justice, fat-positive politics, and LGBTQ politics] seems clear as I live in a community where food is not easily accessible and I’m a fat dyke… We can simply look at the numbers and see that folks in poverty and are classified as food-insecure often have greater percentages of fat folks in their numbers. Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks. I’ve been doing food work with street-based queer youth for almost five years now. But beyond just the numbers we share this similar struggle, this fight for what’s just. We are all part of groups that are marginalized by society and many of us are doing work in many of these spaces."
posted by Juliet Banana (49 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
This phrase bothered me and clouded the rest of the article " I think we have the ability to self-determine what our truth is around what works with our bodies and what doesn’t". While there may be a kernel of truth in this I would suggest it also sets a stage for substantial rationalization, retrospective justification if not denial. Of course, I guess it defines what one means by "works". I am also a bit taken back by the cavalier dismissal of GMO. Not a bad read, and probably a compelling personality but rather empty of content.
posted by rmhsinc at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks Is there any actual evidence of this? I would be surprised but interested if this was actually true
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:47 PM on February 2, 2015


You need evidence that there are people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer and also low income? Really?

In U.S., LGBT More Likely Than Non-LGBT to Be Uninsured

LGBT Americans Report Lower Well-Being: Significant differences seen in financial and physical well-being elements

A Study on New Patterns of Poverty in The Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community Lots of numbers and statistics. "A Williams Institute study published in 2009 using data from the early 2000s (i.e. before the recession) showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people were also more vulnerable to being poor than heterosexuals. This study updates and extends that earlier report. We find that poverty rates have gone up for almost all populations, and LGB people are still more likely to be poor than are heterosexual people. The sexual orientation poverty gap has narrowed slightly because heterosexual poverty rates have increased, not because poverty rates have declined for LGB people. "

A PDF on food insecurity in the LGBT Community

Study that finds that gay and bisexual men earn 10%-32% less than heterosexual men

Gay and Transgender People Face High Rates of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment - includes statistics of transgender people who have been passed over for a opening, denied promotions, or fired due to being transgender
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2015 [35 favorites]


Thanks, Juliet Banana. I was about to say something, but you did better than me.

Seriously, even just use Google. "Gay people are rich" is a silly, stupid stereotype, and it's well-established that it isn't true.

rmhsinc: “This phrase bothered me and clouded the rest of the article ‘I think we have the ability to self-determine what our truth is around what works with our bodies and what doesn’t’. While there may be a kernel of truth in this I would suggest it also sets a stage for substantial rationalization, retrospective justification if not denial. Of course, I guess it defines what one means by ‘works’.”

It also depends on what you mean by "rationalization, retrospective justification if not denial." Rationalization, justification, or denial of what, exactly? This sounds disconcertingly like the prelude to the classic argument which negates any attempt at body positivity with the dark claim that any positive feelings anybody expresses about their fatness is "justifying obesity."

People really do have the option of choosing what outlook they take about their body and what tropes they ascribe to as far as what they want to be.
posted by koeselitz at 1:15 PM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


that was poor wording, what I thought the article was implying and what I wanted to ask is whether communities in poverty are more or less LGBT than non-poor communities. (In the U.S.).
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2015


The point was that LGBTQ people are more likely to be poor than non-LGBTQ people rather than a given community in poverty is more likely to be LGBTQ than not. The huge % of homeless youth that are LGBTQ means that that particular group of people are likely to grow up poor, for example.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:30 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Lol, actually I read the full article now. Disregard my ignorance about poverty demographics in the US - that pales in significance compared to things like "Often when people refer to “bad” foods they mean “unhealthy” whereas good food is what’s “healthy.” This is problematic because it lets someone else determine the health value of certain food "
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:50 PM on February 2, 2015


i'm not seeing much new stuff in this article, but i am pretty happy to see anybody bring up that food and eating are fucked in this country in part because of government policies and subsidies. Also happy to see the concept of "good" food and "bad" food in current usage poked at.

I am also rolling my eyes at the GMOs thing, and the activist/woo sounding ‘I think we have the ability to self-determine what our truth is around what works with our bodies and what doesn’t', BUT: I see this sentiment as reacting against systemic denial of self-determination -- that fat people, poor people, and people of color's ways of interacting with food are frequently circumscribed by dehumanizing circumstances and systems. This is basically the same mental exercise I need to perform when people I know who are poorly served by doctors/hospitals for demographic reasons go all out for herbalism and shit like that. And I'd rather reflect on what causes someone to espouse stuff like the above quote and why they feel like it works for them, rather than going straight to "LOL rational actor!! You're WRONG".
posted by beefetish at 2:16 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just to say, another overlap with poverty and weight gain- is that (and there are many studies I can get more about this topic but I will just grab this one for time's sake) :
"High-fat diet selectively protects against behavioural sequelae of chronic stress" -in mice.

It's at least worth exploring better than has been done if the social and physical/psychological stress of poverty is actually buffered by a high fat diet and there are some very real benefits to people undergoing intense debilitating stress.

I would still argue that a HEALTHY high fat diet of real food and vegetables well seasoned and salted would be better but when people are exhausted and many have spent their whole day MAKING FOOD FOR EVERYONE ELSE so the wealthy don't have to cook or doing hard physical labor or high stress jobs- people don't have the energy to come home and cook a fresh healthy meal and they can't afford to eat healthy food out or even buy healthy easy foods that are semi-prepared or frozen- the healthy prepared foods are extremely expensive.

Also the relationship between trauma, social stress, poverty, high stress work environments and metabolism and weight gain are way more complex than just food choices to begin with.

But yeah I also think the idea of "We can all just decide whether something is healthy without assessing any actual evidence" is a very frustrating way to engage. It's like, "we should all just decide whether we feel like climate change is happening or not" or "we should all just decide how we feel about vaccines"-- these are not good ways to engage with health- however the reality of class privileged and judgements about the behaviors and solutions poor people come up with need to be challenged. I also think poor people should be allowed to be freaked out about GMOs'. I think GMO's are cruel to life itself and as someone who has had to rely on assistance I reject the idea I ama guinea pig with no right to determine what I eat or how I feel about people shredding an organisms very DNA and playing with it and forcing it down my throat since poor people don't get to have opinions or reject current sciences testing on them. And yes the poor tend to become the guinea pigs for experimental medicines or foods or whatever whether they want to be or not.

And it's bullshit. Currently rich people can avoid GMO's if they feel squirmish about them and poor people can't.

That IS a social justice issue.
posted by xarnop at 2:38 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


What I mean by "Rationalization, justification, or denial of what, exactly?" is that when one states "I think we have the ability to self-determine what our truth is around what works with our bodies and what doesn’t" it suggests to me a rather ephemeral nature of the truth and the increased probability that the consequences of more objective truths and realities can be ignored or dismissed. I tend to believe that truth does not reside in what we determine it to be but what it is.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:47 PM on February 2, 2015


[let's not start off this thread by sinking it on a "fat-positive" vs health/"truth" grounds, maybe try talking about it in social justice angles instead?]
posted by mathowie at 3:01 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fat positive and social justice are totally antithetical to truth/health for the exact things that have been quoted… The whole post is about that dynamic matt.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 3:12 PM on February 2, 2015


Thanks for the link!
posted by odinsdream at 3:13 PM on February 2, 2015


Choosing to read that one line as

Who knows if Cheetos are healthier than kale? Only you! Through the magic of fat positive thinking, you can change the base nutrients contained in a food!

rather than

Different people have different needs, and are often the best judge of their own body's requirements. Empowering them to make their own informed decisions is better than pushing a one-size-fits-all solution that shames them if they make "bad" choices.

strikes me as incredibly uncharitable and smug. Cool, you know science. Are you going to apply it toward working for food justice, or just "lol"-ing at people you disagree with?
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:31 PM on February 2, 2015 [15 favorites]


What is unfair to me is not thinking someone is competent that quoting their own words accurately is somehow underhand.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2015


Juliet I don't think arguing with people in your own FPP to make sure they read it right is necessarily helpful?
posted by Sebmojo at 4:14 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


xarnop: "I think GMO's are cruel to life itself and as someone who has had to rely on assistance I reject the idea I ama guinea pig with no right to determine what I eat or how I feel about people shredding an organisms very DNA and playing with it and forcing it down my throat since poor people don't get to have opinions or reject current sciences testing on them."

What does "cruel to life itself" even mean?

While I agree with you in general, in this case you are very wrong. There's nothing "experimental" about GMO foods, they're some of the most extensively tested and safety controlled foods out there, much more so than non-GMO foods. Absolutely all the testing and all the evidence indicates that there's no safety issue at all.

Some rich people choose to avoid GMO foods because they're ignorant and superstitious. While I'd love for poor people to have the privilege and resources to enable them to make that choice, I'd hate for them to actually make it, because it's a dumb, useless choice that no one should make, and it overshadows other, actually important issues about food, like having access to healthy, nutritious food and not have to rely on all sorts of actually unhealthy stuff because it's cheap and widely available.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:17 PM on February 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Is there any actual evidence of this? I would be surprised but interested if this was actually true

This is now twice in the last 30 days or so that you've dropped a comment early in a thread insinuating a (counterfactual) connection between queerness and affluence. The first time I was prepared to read this as merely naive, but I am a lot less inclined to read this type of statement charitably the second time around.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:02 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


(I should add, not just insinuating a connection, but using this nonexistent connection to suggest we should dismiss or discredit the article's author)
posted by en forme de poire at 5:09 PM on February 2, 2015


"There's nothing "experimental" about GMO foods"

I'm referring to the experience of the plants. I recognize a lot of people don't believe in spirit, or that there could be more to consciousness than just being a human and therefore deserving to treat everything else in the universe as existing innately for us to destroy/consume or tamper with, but I think living beings can feel and that we do not understand the nature of other beings experience to determine what exactly we should be doing to them.

I am a harm reductionist, and we all have to eat if we want to live, however I think there may be states of suffering that are worse than death itself and that it's possible sensation is a cumulative process that begins with very cells (or atoms or energetic interactions) themselves. I don't like a lot of research that is being done and while I won't stop people I don't want to be forced to consume it by people who overall are comfortable torturing plants and animals in a way I want to stop if at all possible.

Poor people should be allowed to have such values, it's not like by being poor we have to accept whatever cruel sadistic shit the rich people feel like handing over.

When you're poor you have to shop child slave goods at walmart and you can't stop, you're just pumped with all the unjust shit that you have no choice but to consume or just fucking die. And it's bullshit, you shouldn't have to be rich to have a heart and actual empathy for other beings or care what you consume. Avoiding cruelty, exploitation, and injustice shouldn't be a luxury, it should be accessible to everyone.

The foods we consume is a huge part of our relationship with the world and the poor are often not allowed to have ethics or care about the harms of cold hearted mass production that destroys the environment and harms laborors. There's a lot more to food justice and stomping all over the rights of lower income people to care about these things is another way the poor are dehumanized. We shold just be grateful for whatever scraps get thrown! How dare we question the ethics of the means of production!The scientists know best! They have an ethics panel. They are cultural sensitive because of cultural sensitivity training. They know what's best and we will submit because they are smarter and know what compassion is.

Or not.
posted by xarnop at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


And neither time has there been a good answer - lgbt is not just a pass word to say "boo you suck" to another issue. Almost nothing about Hollywood or food poverty is about lgbt rights, except in the ideology of a very narrow group of weird elites.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2015


Almost nothing about Hollywood or food poverty is about lgbt rights, except in the ideology of a very narrow group of weird elites.

And here you are deploying the exact same homophobic tropes again: people who care about how LGBT rights intersect with the world are a "narrow group of weird elites," and therefore we don't have to listen to them. Describing queer people and people who care about queer rights as wealthy, powerful people imposing their "ideology" on others simply by talking about their experiences, as you've done repeatedly, is not only offensive but factually incorrect. And while that has has been pointed out in both threads at length, instead of actually responding to any of this criticism you have merely fallen back on reiterating this hypothetical and frankly bigoted connection between queerness and influence/wealth/eliteness.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:36 PM on February 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


xarnop: "I'm referring to the experience of the plants. I recognize a lot of people don't believe in spirit, or that there could be more to consciousness than just being a human and therefore deserving to treat everything else in the universe as existing innately for us to destroy/consume or tamper with, but I think living beings can feel and that we do not understand the nature of other beings experience to determine what exactly we should be doing to them."

I don't believe in spirit or that plants have an experience, but even if I did, I don't see how GMO would be any different from hybrid seeds and plants, which make up a huge chunk of non-GMO edible plants. Basically, if you eat any corn, tomato, broccoli, spinach, onion, etc., you're eating hybrids. Since I'm not sure of what rules govern your ideas about the plants spirit and experience, I can't say for sure, but it seems to me these wouldn't be any different in hybrids than in GMOs.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:37 PM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Metafilter is a website exclusively populated by rich elites. If you are using metafilter you are a rich elite. If you earn the minimum wage in a democratic country you are a rich elite.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2015


My point is mainly that people should be able to make their own food choices for whatever reasons they have. When cheap determines food choices for a subsection of society but not for others it is an injustice regardless of whether the wealthy claim the cheap means of production and lack of respect of a relationship with nature or the earth is something poor people deserve to care about. It is also what allows destruction towards indigenous people and silly spiritual ways when we know their land and resources needs to be turned into the mechanical production we see as normal and efficient.
posted by xarnop at 5:47 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is a website exclusively populated by rich elites. If you are using metafilter you are a rich elite. If you earn the minimum wage in a democratic country you are a rich elite.

I don't think this is a particularly helpful way to look at the world. But even accepting this definition at face value, it does not explain your initial statement in this thread that you doubted that there was any significant overlap between gay people and poor people, nor your use of "elite" and "rich" to single out and discredit people talking about queer rights in a way that parallels rhetoric that has historically been used to attack and silence queer people.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:59 PM on February 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


xarnop: "My point is mainly that people should be able to make their own food choices for whatever reasons they have. When cheap determines food choices for a subsection of society but not for others it is an injustice regardless of whether the wealthy claim the cheap means of production and lack of respect of a relationship with nature or the earth is something poor people deserve to care about. It is also what allows destruction towards indigenous people and silly spiritual ways when we know their land and resources needs to be turned into the mechanical production we see as normal and efficient"

So, I disagree with you on your first point, I don't think all reasons are equally valid or worth respecting. For instance, I think being able to make food choices that are provably good for your health and economy is far more important than being able to make food choices based on religious or spiritual belief, or vaguely spiritual notions. But I agree that it's not fair that price is the only determining factor for one group and not another.

But, for instance, organic agriculture is not doing anything to make this better, it's in fact making it worse. By making agriculture more labor-intensive and yields lower, it forces the prices up (but it also allows for higher premiums, which is why it's reasonably popular among farmers). By only allowing older, more toxic, more broad-spectrum pesticides, it actually increases pesticide exposure both to the environment and to the consumer. None of this helps poor people get better nutrition or more food choices, it just allows certain segments of rich(er) people to feel smug about their food. It's as close as food gets to being a Veblen good. It's certainly not sustainable.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:32 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


"it just allows certain segments of rich(er) people to feel smug about their food."

I guess my problem with statements like this is that it assumes poor people can't and don't ever care about these things too and the only reason to care about this is because you are rich and smug.

I know plenty of people who (for US standards) grew up extremely poor and still care about sustainable and local growing and having a relationship with food growing and the environment.

It's bullshit to say this is something only rich people care about, native people have been fighting for fucking years for anyone to care about this shit and pretending that ignoring their cares about the earth and environment is just some yuppie thing is just false and feeds even more into destructive practices towards native people who DON'T WANT big agriculture and business and resources grabs all over their lands.

They get laughed at all the time because their belief in respecting nature is supposedly silly superstitious stuff that can be disregarded to trample all over them. Who defines who'se beliefs as silly is also a huge issue of power and exploitation.
posted by xarnop at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be clear when I say "native people who don't want" I mean specifically those who don't want this not that all native people are a monolith. There are plenty of indigenous communities that have united and their appeals to fighting against this get laughed at because their whole way of looking at things is considered too silly and spiritual and not worth caring about. Our whole relationship to the environment and other living things is basically fuck with it however is profitable until someone can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt we are doing terrible damage and then it's too late. Some of us don't like that relationship with the earth or other living beings.
posted by xarnop at 7:09 PM on February 2, 2015


xarnop: "I guess my problem with statements like this is that it assumes poor people can't and don't ever care about these things too and the only reason to care about this is because you are rich and smug.

I know plenty of people who (for US standards) grew up extremely poor and still care about sustainable and local growing and having a relationship with food growing and the environment.

It's bullshit to say this is something only rich people care about, native people have been fighting for fucking years for anyone to care about this shit and pretending that ignoring their cares about the earth and environment is just some yuppie thing is just false and feeds even more into destructive practices towards native people who DON'T WANT big agriculture and business and resources grabs all over their lands.

They get laughed at all the time because their belief in respecting nature is supposedly silly superstitious stuff that can be disregarded to trample all over them. Who defines who'se beliefs as silly is also a huge issue of power and exploitation.
"

Note that I'm not saying that "sustainable and local growing", "the environment", "cares about the earth and environment" and so on is "just some yuppie thing". I'm saying specifically that organic agriculture and the anti-GMO food movement is a yuppie thing, is not sustainable, and taxes the environment more than the alternatives.

I'm not interested in defining anyone's beliefs as "silly". I am, however, interested in giving more weight to stuff that has science and scientific evidence behind it. It's not viable to just say that everyone's opinion is equally important. This is a pretty close parallel to the vaccination discussion going on in another thread here, actually, where the anti-vax crowd's argument also boils down to "my opinion/feelings are as important and valid as the scientific consensus", and no, they're not.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:20 PM on February 2, 2015


This is absolutely nothing like a science vs anti-science argument! Sincerely, it's wrong that people jumped to that conclusion - absolutely wrong. Robertson says that people get to define what "works" for them, body-wise. What "works" is not the same as what is healthy or scientific or anything like that. Sometimes it "works" for me to eat chicken and waffles for breakfast, or drink a few beers, even if those things aren't scientifically healthy. The logic of what I eat and how I live is bigger than the scientific question of what is healthy. That's what this article is saying - science is totally valid, but the larger sociological question of "what should people eat?" has to do with their psychic health, their desires, the way they look or want to look, etc.

I understand that it's easy to read "what works" as "what is healthy," but please, let's read this great interview in context and see that's not what she's saying.
posted by koeselitz at 8:01 PM on February 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Back to the other contentious issue, of LGBTQ finances, I think the reality is a bit more complicated than gay = poor or gay = rich.

Several studies indicate that gay couples earn more, save more and carry less debt. Some of this is often traced to not having kids, though 2 million gay couples have kids and those that do are more poor, but all childless couples have more money.

Some of these studies are looking at gay men, and here the effects of sexism are probably swamping those of queerness. Gay male couples earn more than straight couples, but less on average than men in straight couples -- it's not having a low-earning female in the couple that seems to make the difference, as lesbian earning rates confirm. On the other hand, lesbians earn as much as straight women while gay men earn less than straight.

Many of these effects may be related to the (until recent) lack of gay marriage, as marriage has consistently been shown to help all aspects of finance. So that should change pretty quickly, and the (extremely) slow growth of anti-discrimination laws should gradually help as well.

And all of these studies look at couples, leaving singletons out in the data cold.
posted by msalt at 9:16 PM on February 2, 2015


koeselitz: "I understand that it's easy to read "what works" as "what is healthy," but please, let's read this great interview in context and see that's not what she's saying."

It's hard to avoid when you also read her comments about GMOs and "built in a lab to resemble our notion of food" and whatnot.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The quote "built in a lab to resemble our notion of food" is referring to "Hydrogenated fats, lab-made sugars, high-fructose corn syrup" (the wording is a bit confusing).
posted by taz at 11:18 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


msalt, the studies you're linking to at that CNN Money site in support of gay people earning more are consumer surveys by Prudential and Experian. This Atlantic article does a good job of summarizing the problems with relying on this type of research to make claims about LGBT people as a class (see also):
“The downside,” says Gates, “is that those marketing studies looked at the LGBT community as a consumer market, which is a very different perspective compared with how a social science researcher who does poverty research would look at those questions.” ...

Further corrupting the data, not all partnered gay people feel comfortable declaring their sexuality in surveys, and, a high-earning gay couple is more likely to report their sexual orientation to a census-taker than a low-earning couple, making wealthier gay people overrepresented in national surveys. Only when asked anonymously, are more gays and lesbians more willing to disclose their sexuality. In such surveys, the poverty and food-insecurity rates for LGBT people rise.
The problem of willingness to disclose sexuality to a putative researcher also applies to census data, which as you've mentioned is layered on top of the additional problem of not sampling single individuals. (The sampling used in the Prudential study is also totally opaque - it was an online survey, not a phone survey, and there doesn't seem to be any public information about how sampling was performed.)

Most damningly, the largest study to actually look at LGBT individuals to date, as opposed to only couples or households, comes to the exact opposite conclusion as the linked market research: in other words, it finds that LGBT people tend to earn less than their straight counterparts, and are overrepresented in the lowest income bracket measured.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:33 PM on February 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes and accepted "science" as defined by people with power has historically often ignored risks to the poor and vulnerable being tested on or forced to accept whatever has been scientifically accepted as safe and healthy by industry- the poor tend to have less education, less access to the scientific community and less voice within it- and tend to be at the mercy of whatever scientists decide is safe and healthy to be done to them or the world around them.

You can't just say "I trust "science" like science is some pure trustworthy entity that doesn't itself has a history of abuse towards the poor and vulnerable, outright torture of both animals and humans, and damage to the earth and environment.

If you say poor people have to use science as effectively as those with class privileged, titles, university access etc you are basically saying they have no rights to express their concerns with what scientists are doing to them and the world.
posted by xarnop at 5:35 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


'Science' is a very vaguely defined term, and people often use it to mean different things in a given discussion. The empirical method is pretty damn trustworthy. Western academic institutions of science? Generally not too terrible. But once you start putting a profit motive in there, well... And then if you're talking about scientific research selectively employed by the marketing department of a for profit company? That's pretty darn unreliable.

When people say they trust in "science" usually they're referring the the empirical method and consensus opinion of Western academic research. And honestly that's the stuff that finds out a lot of things industry touts as good and safe are actually unsafe or unhealthy.

Due to lobbying, whatever the FDA requires to let a corporation sell food is generally not independent of profit motive for the safe part. And there are very low requirements for claiming a food is healthy.

So I think there is both a reason to trust science, but very good reason not to trust "science," and if you don't have training/education, I bet it's really damn hard to distinguish the two.
posted by Zalzidrax at 7:54 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Scientific" consensus has been used to laugh at and destroy native and indigenous beliefs about sacred connection to the land, to the remains of their ancestors and basically anything else colonialists want to trample all over, ironically even sometimes coming from people who have the audacity to believe in "god" but laugh at corn mother. It's not only yuppies concerned about GMO's, indigenous people should have the right to not trust the shit out of white people's "superior" science and claims to make all the decisions about who get's what kind of support and what destruction to the environment is permitted to spill over into other's lives that "won't have any consequences" or so they say. Until...oops everywhere there is fracking the earthquakes are increasing like crazy? Huh! What do you know. Just keep trusting "science" everyone! Trust our judgements about what we get to do to the earth and to shove in your body! If we're wrong, then hey no accountability because we were just serving "progress"!

Pretending it's only yuppies concerned is false and a smear campaign to belittle those who have such concerns.
posted by xarnop at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


en forme de poire - As I said before, the reality on LGBTQ income and wealthy appears to be more nuanced than gay = rich or gay = poor.

The Atlantic article you cite is straight up advocacy that completely ignores inconvenient facts such as savings rates or accumulated wealth in its attempt to make the author Nathan McDermott's point. His major source (Gary Gates) is a professor of law working for an advocacy institute. McDermott dismisses marketing studies such as Experians as "biased" without giving any reason, while accepting Gates' at face value. Why would a major research firm be biased? I think it's more reasonable to see those kinds of studies as one valid perspective, and the anonymous demographic surveys McDermott prefers, as another.

Both sides raise interesting points. The Experians study points out that while gay men in their survey had similar incomes to straight men, they had less money for non-essentials because they were overrepresented in urban areas with more expensive housing. This dovetails with McDermott's point that people are increasingly coming out in poorer areas such as Alabama, revealing more poverty.

Similarly, Gates and McDermott note the higher poverty among LGBTQ couples raising children. This is of course true for straight couples too, and children are much more common among straight couples (a fact they ignore). On the other hand, they make a good point about the massive overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth among the homeless due to getting kicked out of their parents' homes.

Add the extremely rapid change in social acceptance of gays and gay marriage, and I think it's wise to avoid sweeping generalizations. Parsing all this data, it seems likely that gay poverty AND gay income and savings may be higher -- more extremes at both ends, less of a middle. Luckily the trends all point to improvement, as discrimination, marriage bans and the social stigma that causes people to kick out gay teens decline.
posted by msalt at 1:10 PM on February 3, 2015


gay = poor

To be totally clear, this is a total strawman that nobody in this thread is arguing. I'm pushing back against the stereotype of queer people as wealthy and powerful, as well as the idea that there is no intersection worth studying between queer people and poor people. These stereotypes are unfounded and have been used to attack queer people and to spin reforms as catering to powerful "special interests," as well as to erase queer people who don't fit this stereotype and ignore their needs.

Why would a major research firm be biased?

The article I linked to is not calling the firm itself biased: it is calling their sampling methods biased: as in, their sampling is not independent of some of the things they're trying to measure. Big difference. As for not giving any reasons for this statement -- honestly, I'm kind of at a loss, because he straight up lists the problems with previous studies and I blockquoted some of them here. I'm also not sure why you're calling things like savings rates and accumulated wealth "inconvenient facts" since these factors were identified in exactly the same two market research studies, and could of course be affected by exactly the same demographic biases as estimates of income (e.g., financial security can influence how open a respondent might be with a researcher).

His major source (Gary Gates) is a professor of law working for an advocacy institute.

...who did this work in conjunction with Gallup, one of the most famous non-partisan public opinion polling firms in the USA.

Similarly, Gates and McDermott note the higher poverty among LGBTQ couples raising children. This is of course true for straight couples too, and children are much more common among straight couples (a fact they ignore).

What that paper actually says is that children of LGB parents are more likely to be poor or low-income than the children of straight parents. In other words, no, it's not just equally "true for straight couples too," because that was the control group they compared against. It is indeed more nuanced than this, but not in the way you describe: instead, parents of white children are at the same risk of poverty whether they're same-sex or different-sex, but same-sex parents of Black children are almost five times more likely to be poor, again, compared to opposite-sex parents of Black children. (Intersectionality!)

Another related paper from the same group found that same-sex parents use SNAP benefits at twice the rate of straight parents -- again, not just compared to other same-sex parents or to hetero couples in general! (And they hardly ignore the difference in child-bearing incidence, but children are not actually "much more common" among straight people: the numbers they give is 30% for same-sex couples vs. 51% of straight couples.) The same study found a similar trend for LGB vs. straight individuals as well, most pronounced in bisexuals, Black people, and women (again, intersectionality!).

I feel like it should almost go without saying that the interactions between race, gender, and orientation with regard to food insecurity described in these studies are particularly relevant to a piece written by a Black queer woman about food justice, but I'll say it anyway.

Parsing all this data, it seems likely that gay poverty AND gay income and savings may be higher -- more extremes at both ends, less of a middle.

I don't see any reason why a U-shaped curve would be supported by any of the available data. Also it is pretty ballsy and hilarious for you to, in the same post, try to cast doubt on a study carried out by a reputable polling agency with n = 120,000 because you think there's ideological bias there, misinterpret some of that study's results, caution against "sweeping generalizations", and then turn around and offer a completely made-up "meta-analysis" that you think represents the most probable scenario.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:16 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be totally clear, this [gay=poor] is a total strawman that nobody in this thread is arguing.

Juliet Banana is arguing that. And you are touting Gary Gates' various pieces and the Atlantic article by McDermott, which fiercely argue this point. It's true that you don't say those actual words in this thread, though.

I'm pushing back against the stereotype of queer people as wealthy and powerful, as well as the idea that there is no intersection worth studying between queer people and poor people.

Great. Me too. Why so antagonistic toward me, then?

I'm also not sure why you're calling things like savings rates and accumulated wealth "inconvenient facts"

They are important measures of financial security that your sources completely ignore while responding to an argument largely based on how much people are able to save and accumulate wealth. Whether or not the marketing surveys are biased, your alternatives offer no evidence whatsoever on the point of savings or accumulated wealth. Given the advocacy role of Gates and McDermott, Occams' Razor says they didn't just happen to forget 2 of the 3 major points.

intersectionality

Did you even read my comments? I talk extensively about intersectionality, saying for example that some of the effects you notice may be as much about sexism and child-rearing as queerness. That's much of the nuance I refer to. Your points about the greater poverty of LGBTQ parents simply support this, since lesbian couples have children at a much higher rate than male same-sex couples. News flash: women earn less than men in the United States, and a couple with two women will (on average) earn less than any other combination. Ditto Black people, the homeless and rural vs. urban dwellers.

I don't see any reason why a U-shaped curve would be supported by any of the available data.

Intersectionality. White, male same-sex married couples who were not kicked out of their parents' house, don't have kids and live in major cities will tend to have high combined earnings, savings and accumulated wealth. These also happen to be the most highly visible segement of the LGBTQ community to the less sympathetic parts of the population who happen to live in big cities (i.e. conservative writers, pundits, TV personalities and Supreme Court justices), so they make a convenient target for unsympathetic partisans.

The other end of the U-curve is everyone else; singles, lesbians, POC, rural gays, and those were were kicked out of their parents' house and faced every horrible consequence. All of those people face all of their particular disadvantages on top of anti-gay discrimination. Presto! Intersectionality.
posted by msalt at 12:41 AM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Juliet Banana is arguing that

Actually, I said "there are people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer and also low income," not "all people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer are also low income."

That being said, I agree with the rest of your comment! Yes, it's true, there's some well off white gay dudes who are overrepresented in the media; we've all been to Pride and seen who's throwing the rooftop parties in chic Boystown condos, right?

Hopefully this thread got us all thinking a bit more about the "singles, lesbians, POC, rural gays, and those were were kicked out of their parents' house and faced every horrible consequence," and how those populations face challenges like food deserts, insufficient wages, and cuts to benefits that create food insecurity.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:08 AM on February 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


And you are touting Gary Gates' various pieces and the Atlantic article by McDermott, which fiercely argue this point.

No, Gary Gates' work does not argue that "gay = poor," and I'm honestly confused as to how you would have come to that conclusion. For example, here is a literal quotation from the introduction to the Gallup poll: "The following sections review the percentage identifying as LGBT across specific subgroups of the U.S. population. Overall, the results from this analysis run counter to some media stereotypes that portray the LGBT community as predominantly white, highly educated, and very wealthy."

Or here, a paragraph in this Atlantic article which according to you is arguing nothing more nuanced than "gay = poor":
“I think we have this sense, borrowing from the campaign, that ‘it gets better’,” Gary Gates, a law professor and the author of the Williams Institute’s report, told me. “And that’s true: It is getting better, but it’s not getting better everywhere all the time. Things in rural Alabama look very different from Seattle, and as more LGBT people come out, they are disproportionately more likely to come out in Alabama than Seattle."
They are important measures of financial security that your sources completely ignore while responding to an argument largely based on how much people are able to save and accumulate wealth.

Is it your position that these measures of financial security would not affected by the same sampling problems as income? The Experian and Prudential studies both mention geography as a potential factor, for instance (salary and housing co-varies with states that are friendlier to gay rights, which co-varies with the percentage of out gay people), but don't attempt to control for it by matching LGB households with straight households in the same cities. This is probably because unlike the Gallup survey, they did not actually sample any straight people, which also makes it very difficult to assess any confounding with their random sampling.

Whether or not the marketing surveys are biased, your alternatives offer no evidence whatsoever on the point of savings or accumulated wealth. Given the advocacy role of Gates and McDermott, Occams' Razor says they didn't just happen to forget 2 of the 3 major points.

I'm sorry, are you accusing the people who performed the Gallup survey of actually collecting data about savings and accumulated wealth, and then discarding it because it undermined what they were saying? Do you have any support for such a serious allegation, other than a general mistrust of gay rights advocates?

Did you even read my comments? I talk extensively about intersectionality, saying for example that some of the effects you notice may be as much about sexism and child-rearing as queerness.

Yes, I read your comments. That is how I noticed your incorrect statement about child-rearing: you said that any increased risk of poverty from child-rearing was also borne by straight people and that they failed to mention this. In fact, they explicitly compared the rates of poverty among LGB couples raising children to those among straight couples. You are also completely incorrect about this:

Your points about the greater poverty of LGBTQ parents simply support this, since lesbian couples have children at a much higher rate than male same-sex couples.

In fact, the increased risk of poverty is highest for male parents. (See Table 10.) Maybe I should be the one asking questions starting with "did you even read."

Intersectionality.

There is no particular reason that intersectionality would actually produce a U-shaped curve overall. The studies showing interaction effects between race and orientation obtained these results from subgroup analysis, which of course can give you a completely different curve from the overall trend. My point was that it is statistically unfounded to take multiple studies with completely different sampling methods and data analysis and then mentally superimpose the trends they identify.

Great. Me too. Why so antagonistic toward me, then?

You appear to be mistaking criticism of how well-supported your statements are with personal antagonism.

I am happy to hear that you also agree that the conflation of "gay" with wealthy, powerful interests is a harmful stereotype. However, in this thread you also seem to be determined to misread me, Juliet Banana, and the sources that we have cited, and have also appeared to be dismissing claims that people were making without actually reading them very closely. You have implied that you mistrust gay rights advocates and I would suggest that this may be coloring how you interact with this subject.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:52 AM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


en forme de poire, I'm not sure what you think we disagree on or why you're fighting so fiercely over... what? I've consistently rejected stereotypes of gay = rich or gay = poor. I'm looking for the nuances, which we agree lie in the intersectionality. Aside from my misreading of her comment on poverty, for which I apologize, Juliet Banana and I seem to agree. Where exactly do you disagree? What are you wanting me to concede to you?

Gary Gates' work does not argue that "gay = poor," and I'm honestly confused as to how you would have come to that conclusion.

Gates repeatedly argues that "LGBT people are at a higher risk of poverty," "LGBT Americans Tend to Have Lower Levels of Education and Income," "same-sex couples are more vulnerable to poverty in general," "higher rates of LGB poverty," "Children in same-sex couple households are almost twice as likely to be poor." On re-reading, he does add some interesting counter-examples that underscore the intersectionality, but he downplays these and emphasizes the poverty. He is clearly making a point that poverty is greater among LGBTQ populations, one that I think his data doesn't fully support. Why? Simple. Sexism and racism. Same sex couples obviously magnify the effect of sexism.

There is no particular reason that intersectionality would actually produce a U-shaped curve overall.

Perhaps you are making some very subtle point about sampling methodology that's over my head, or defining terms differently. In my terminology, a U-shaped curve would describe a situation where, for example, white male urban same-sex couples (especially when married or in domestic partnerships) have higher than average income, wealth and savings, while other demographic combinations tend to have lower than the average of each. Given the higher visibility of the privileged group, this has the advantage of partially explaining the origin of the stereotype of "wealthy gays."

Gate's Williams Institute report that you cite says directly "Poverty rates for men in same-sex couples are much lower in large metropolitan areas than rates for married different-sex couples." He also notes that poverty rates are lower for both gay men and women in California, which is a great hopeful sign for the future as that state is ahead of the current trends on legal and social acceptance. Combined with the poverty we all agree exists, that's a U-shaped curve the way I'm defining it.
posted by msalt at 10:51 PM on February 4, 2015


en forme de poire: I'm sorry, are you accusing the people who performed the Gallup survey of actually collecting data about savings and accumulated wealth, and then discarding it because it undermined what they were saying? Do you have any support for such a serious allegation, other than a general mistrust of gay rights advocates?

This is a tremendous stretch and uncharitable to the point of personal attack. Slick rhetorical trick trying to sneak in an alleged "general mistrust of gay rights advocates," too, but that's dirty pool. No, I'm not accusing anyone of hiding data. I'm saying that in advocating his position, Gates ignores two of the three important measures of personal wealth. And given that he's clearly a shrewd and well educated lawyer, I am inclined to believe his did this for tactical reasons rather than out of forgetfulness. IE, he just ignores the points he can't refute.

It's hilarious that you deny personal antagonism immediately before saying that I'm "determined to misread me .... dismissing claims that people were making without actually reading them very closely ... [and prone to] mistrust gay rights advocates..." If that's what your open-hearted criticism of support presented for statements looks like, I'd hate to see your personal attacks.

I don't mistrust gay rights advocates. I'm close to a couple, in fact. In a politically charged discussion over data, though, I will take any advocate's advocacy role into account in evaluating the data they present. That seems like common sense in working out a complicated and nuanced situation. In this case, I'm not even considering data presented by any conservative advocates, because frankly there aren't any I consider even remotely credible. Perhaps you are mistakenly imagining that I'm some poorly hidden conservative activist or something? Because that is how you're reacting to my arguments.
posted by msalt at 10:53 PM on February 4, 2015


No, I'm not accusing anyone of hiding data. I'm saying that in advocating his position, Gates ignores two of the three important measures of personal wealth.

Great, I'm glad we're on the same page that nobody is deliberately hiding data. But, and I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself here, the problems brought up in the article with previous studies also apply to other measures of personal wealth besides income. Even the original Prudential study talks about how the increases they see in income could be due to geographical confounding (more people are "out" to the degree of telling a random researcher in wealthier cities and states, where both home values and salaries are higher). The McDermott article that interviews Gates also brings up the point of economic confounding: that people who are more secure economically may be less guarded with researchers about their sexual orientation. Given these sampling problems, it's not really valid to say well, maybe the first studies got higher numbers for income, but their numbers for home equity and savings are still totally ok: those numbers are calculated from the exact same group of respondents. This is why I don't get how Gates would be hiding or obscuring something by not talking about savings and home equity specifically.

In my terminology, a U-shaped curve would describe a situation where, for example, white male urban same-sex couples (especially when married or in domestic partnerships) have higher than average income, wealth and savings, while other demographic combinations tend to have lower than the average of each.

A U-shaped (relative) income distribution would mean that LGBT people, overall, were actually overrepresented at both the top and bottom ends of the income distribution. Different subgroups can have different or even opposite trends without actually adding up to a U-shaped overall trend. The overall trend depends on the magnitude of the effects (how much richer or poorer) and exactly how prevalent each subgroup is (white gay urban DINK couples are a minority of all LGBT people, for instance). And when you start trying to combine information from multiple studies, as you suggested, you need an entire set of other statistical tools (i.e. meta-analysis) to try to make these original studies comparable -- and even then it's very difficult to do right. Which is why I'm so skeptical of someone claiming that the "truth" is a U-shaped curve based on just mentally integrating some figures from the Experian/Prudential studies and the Gallup poll.

Gates repeatedly argues that "LGBT people are at a higher risk of poverty," "LGBT Americans Tend to Have Lower Levels of Education and Income," "same-sex couples are more vulnerable to poverty in general," "higher rates of LGB poverty," "Children in same-sex couple households are almost twice as likely to be poor."

Yes, and indeed, these statements are accurate descriptions of his data -- because urban white male DINKs turn out not to be representative of the group of LGBT people as a whole. "At a higher risk" is not "equals"; "tend to have" is not "equals"; "higher rates" are not "equals." He is describing the entire population. His first points show that this population does not actually have the demographic breakdown that one might naively assume.

I don't mistrust gay rights advocates.

OK, I'm glad to have read you wrong there and I apologize.

It's hilarious that you deny personal antagonism immediately before saying that I'm "determined to misread me .... dismissing claims that people were making without actually reading them very closely ... [and prone to] mistrust gay rights advocates..."

You accused me and Juliet Banana of arguing or endorsing the simplistic viewpoint that "gay = poor", and then instead of apologizing or backing off when I said that this was a straw-man and not actually what I was arguing, told me I was being disingenuous and that this was in fact the narrative I was "touting." I don't think you have very much room to lecture me about "personal antagonism."

In a politically charged discussion over data, though, I will take any advocate's advocacy role into account in evaluating the data they present.

I don't think you're secretly a social conservative and I believe you when you say you're pro-gay rights. I do suspect that you want there to be a "truth is in the middle" kind of answer to the question of whether gay people tend to be affluent or not. I also think that this depends on taking a more "moderate" position than someone who is openly a gay rights activist, which means you have to find some points on which to disagree with or be skeptical of those people. In trying to carve out this rhetorical space, though, I think that you have played pretty fast and loose with what other people have said both within the thread and in cited sources, and that you have made several criticisms that were either based on misreadings of what I and others have said or were just factually incorrect, without ever acknowledging that you were mistaken.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:35 AM on February 5, 2015


the problems brought up in the article with previous studies also apply to other measures of personal wealth besides income.

Sure. And those are all valid points, about wealthier people likely being more comfortable to out themselves to a survey person. But where Gates presents alternate data on income, he presents none on the savings rate or accumulated wealth. It's possible that there simply is no such data meeting his standards on the subject, but when attempting to refute the wealth hypothesis, a fair analyst would at least say as much.

"At a higher risk" is not "equals"; "tend to have" is not "equals"; "higher rates" are not "equals."

Sure. But his writing as a whole works very hard to create an image of higher LGBTQ poverty, which is his rhetorical mission here. Perhaps you disagree. Fair enough.

I said that this was a straw-man and not actually what I was arguing

I've already apologized to Juliet Banana, and I'm sorry if I've misrepresented you as well. You continue to dispute the idea of a U-shaped curve without actually arguing that it's not true, and this confuses me. It appears to me that you continue to fight against any perception that any part of the gay community is wealthy, even if you now concede (after several back and forths) that white male urban DINKs have above average wealth and income.

I do suspect that you want there to be a "truth is in the middle" kind of answer to the question of whether gay people tend to be affluent or not. ... In trying to carve out this rhetorical space, though, I think that you have played pretty fast and loose with what other people have said

That's not my self-perception. What I'm hoping to do is to exit "rhetorical space" altogether and move into factual, nuanced space. I understand the project of opposing the "gay wealth" stereotype and support it -- when engaging conservative activists. Anytime you see Justice Scalia embracing a position like gay = rich, you know there's a pointed right-wing motive behind it.

However, I am personally interested in the nuanced truth, not the rhetorical battle, and I've never liked calls to follow the party line or shut up about inconvenient truths. Even rhetorically, I think that an accurate position that can explain the common perception of gay wealth is very useful in convincing non-partisans. Especially when it illuminates other social justice issues such as racism and sexism.

So, is there some important reason why "white urban male DINKs" having more wealth & income than average, but the remainder of gay folks tending to have less, isn't accurate or shouldn't be described as a U-shaped distribution? I have no stake in that phrase, it just seems like a good image that would be useful in convincing people like my dad on this issue.
posted by msalt at 2:46 PM on February 5, 2015


It's possible that there simply is no such data meeting his standards on the subject, but when attempting to refute the wealth hypothesis, a fair analyst would at least say as much.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree here; I don't find it unfair that he didn't go point by point through all of the previous work that's been done and that he mounted a more general criticism instead, and I think because his points are largely about sampling, there probably really isn't any relevant data yet. His study is really still quite recent, and sampling LGBT populations accurately is a pretty hard problem with a lot of unique pitfalls. You might be able to extrapolate from previous studies by doing some very careful re-weighting using the new demographic information, but it would be pretty finicky stats and you'd have to get the raw data from e.g., Prudential.

However, I am personally interested in the nuanced truth, not the rhetorical battle, and I've never liked calls to follow the party line or shut up about inconvenient truths.

I actually agree, but this is exactly why I have been critical of several of the things you've said here even though I think in broad strokes we're on "the same side."

It appears to me that you continue to fight against any perception that any part of the gay community is wealthy, even if you now concede (after several back and forths) that white male urban DINKs have above average wealth and income.

I don't agree with this characterization of what I've written here, though. My first response to you only talked about sampling biases in previous studies, and my second response to you had a couple of paragraphs about different subgroups being differentially affected by poverty. I think that white male urban DINKs are likely to be wealthier than average overall, but I haven't really talked about this group at all in this thread, mainly because the article isn't about them and because, as the Gates study mentions, they're also not such a large percentage of LGBT people in general.

Even then, I feel like it's important to mention here that as the podcast you cited way upthread mentions, if you control for age, education, race, and geographic location, gay men still seem to earn less, not more, than you would expect (and a lot of studies over the past couple of decades have reproduced this result [see, e.g., those reviewed in this meta analysis], both for couples data and individual data). To be 100% clear, I am not at all arguing that "gay = poor" or anything like that: many gay households certainly still, at the end of the day, have above-average wealth and income. This specific point is only about relative differences between two groups of pretty-well-off people. I am only stating that being a well-off gay white male doesn't mean you don't still potentially face an economic penalty for being gay, just like being a well-off Black male doesn't mean that you are immune to the structural effects of racism.

Sure. But his writing as a whole works very hard to create an image of higher LGBTQ poverty ... So, is there some important reason why "white urban male DINKs" having more wealth & income than average, but the remainder of gay folks tending to have less, isn't accurate or shouldn't be described as a U-shaped distribution? I have no stake in that phrase, it just seems like a good image that would be useful in convincing people like my dad on this issue.

I think these are related so I'm going to respond to them together. Basically you would only see a really U-shaped relative income distribution for LGBT people overall if white urban male DINKs (or some other hypothetical more-privileged-than-background subset) were both 1. a pretty big proportion of the LGBT population and 2. had a quite large wealth/income bonus compared to everyone else. Say you have four income bins from low to high and just two groups, one of which is overrepresented at the high end and lower at the bottom, and one of which is the opposite. The overall curve is going to (roughly speaking) be equal to the population of the first group times its income distribution, plus the population of the second group times its income distribution. If the first group is small and the second group is big, you won't see a U shaped distribution; likewise if the trend is weak for the first group and strong for the second. (And of course this depends exactly on what each distribution is, etc.)

If anything the data argue against a U-shaped curve: in fact, Gates' overall point when he's discussing the results of the survey is really that the income of the more-privileged gay/white/male/DINK group doesn't really contribute much to the overall trend, in large part because most LGBT people don't actually fall into that category. In other words, when we're talking about LGBT people in general, it's a mistake to assume that this means mostly people in that first category; it actually seems to mean mostly people outside of it.

If I were going to communicate that idea to someone else, I'd just say that the majority of LGBT people aren't white male DINKs living in the Castro, that the economic realities are very different for LGBT people overall than they are for that subset, and that there seem to be important interactions between race, gender, and sexuality that aren't explained by just looking at those factors independently.

Honestly I'm feeling kind of burned out talking about this for now so this is probably the last I'll say about this topic in this thread. I hope what I've said here makes sense.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:50 PM on February 5, 2015


Yes, thanks. I guess if one wanted a letter image, a J-curve might be more accurate, depending on the distribution. Thanks for the discussion, you and Juliet. Some definite stereotype-busters in that data, notably gay and straight females having the same rate of child-raising, and the poverty of child-rearing gay men being almost entirely concentrated in African Americans.
posted by msalt at 11:18 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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