Congratulations to University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus for making anti-gay hate groups happy and ignoring basic principles of surveys all in one publication. The outspoken professor has a new study in the July issue of Social Science Research entitled How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study. Great title — lousy science. One expects better from University of Texas, Austin–shame on you UT Austin.
Regnerus claims that his extensive research
clearly reveals that children appear most apt to succeed well as adults — on multiple counts and across a variety of domains — when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father.
Unfortunately, a cursory review of the study clearly reveals two things: Regnerus’ methodology is fatally flawed and the outcomes he trumpets aren’t that obvious even allowing for those flaws. The main thing he proves is that kids in stable homes do better than kids in unstable homes (DUH) and that he only looked at heterosexual stable homes. He makes no effort to create a matched set of households for comparison and uses some truly bizarre logic to determine what constitutes a same-sex household (really? have you ever taken a basic research class, Mark?).
Regnerus has a history of headline-grabbing sensationalism based on bigotry. He wrote a piece for Slate arguing that the sexual revolution has actually been harmful to women as well as pieces maintaining that good Christians should ensure that their children marry early before society can corrupt their values. His new study was funded by two socially conservative groups: the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation.
Both the New Yorker and Media Matters do an excellent job of dismantling the Regnerus study. What a shame this right-wing bigot wasted over $750,000 dollars in research funds just to give NOM and Tony Perkins another lie to spread.