Mark Regnerus Hub

Researchers To Drive 'Final Nail In Coffin' Of Mark Regnerus Study By Showing It Actually Supports Gay Parenting

University of Texas researcher Mark Regnerus' discredited "New Family Structures Study" actually shows, when corrected, that children with gay parents fare as well as those with "intact biological families."  

RegnerusThat's according to two sociologists who will publish research they're calling "the final nail in the coffin" of Regnerus' widely debunked, right-wing funded study.  

The sociologists — Brian Powell of Indiana University and Simon Cheng of the University of Connecticut — cleaned up Regnerus' data and eliminated respondents who clearly weren't raised by gay parents. 

Right Wing Watch reports: 

By eliminating suspect data — for example, a 25-year-old respondent who claimed to be 7’8” tall, 88 pounds, married 8 times and with 8 children, and another who reported having been arrested at age 1 — and correcting what they view as Regnerus’ methodological errors, Cheng and Powell found that Regnerus’ conclusions were so “fragile” that his data could just as easily show that children raised by gay and lesbian parents don’t face negative adult outcomes.

“[W]hen equally plausible and, in our view, preferred methodological decisions are used,” they wrote, “a different conclusion emerges: adult children who lived with same-sex parents show comparable outcome profiles to those from other family types, including intact biological families.”

In other words, as University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen put it, “when you clean the data and fix the things that are fixable, the results just don’t hold up.” 

Powell and Cheng's work will appear in Social Science Research, the same journal that drew heavy criticism for publishing Regnerus' flawed work. 

Powell and Cheng found that one-tenth of 236 respondents in Regnerus' study never lived with a gay parent, and another one-sixth lived with a gay parent for less than a year. Once those respondents are recategorized or eliminated, the researchers found only one negative outcome out of 40 for children raised by gay parents — they are more likely to have extramarital affairs. But Powell and Cheng say that finding is statistically insignificant. 

Despite nearly universal condemnation of Regnerus' study, including from his own sociology department at UT, he has continued to defend it and try to use it in court to oppose same-sex marriage. In Michigan last year, a federal judge rejected Regnerus' testimony, calling it "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration."

No word on whether researchers also plan to look into Regnerus' more recent claim that the "normalization of gay men's sexual behavior" will cause a surge in the "practice of heterosexual anal sex."

Read the full Right Wing Watch story here

Anti-gay Conservatives Latching On To Regnerus-esque Flawed Study About Same-Sex Parenting

Donald Paul Sullins

Because who cares about scientific rigor in the search for facts when you can just mimic a famously flawed study to produce the results you want? Not Donald Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and sociology professor at Catholic University of America. Sullins is a fellow of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, a project of the Family Research Council, and a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, so objectivity in his research is already on extremely unstable ground.

Sullins pulled data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997-2013 to determine whether or not gay couples make good parents. Unsurprisingly, Sullins' results drew him to the conclusion that same-sex parents are unfit, despite the fact that Mark Regnerus - who oversaw Sullins' study - created a study that was flawed to the point of uselessness and a separate, more reliable study in Australia found the opposite.

Think Progress dismantles Sullins' study piece by piece, pointing out the myriad of flaws present, including the oh-so-small detail that Sullins has no information about whether or not the couples in the data he pulled were actually married, or that somehow according to Sullins' study gay couples are significantly worse for the upbringing of a child than a single parent.

Stand by for this study to be heralded far and wide as proof of the inferiority of gays for a while, or at least until Sullins gets caught in a scandal of some kind.

Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO

Mark regenerus

Discredited anti-gay "researcher" Mark Regnerus, who previously claimed that children of gay parents had higher rates of life problems compared to those raised by heterosexual parents, has published a new "study" which aims to demonstrate that pro-LGBT Christians will lead to an immoral, sexually unrestrained world, reports GLAAD.

An internal audit of Regnerus’ previous study of same-sex parenting concluded that it barely studied gay parents, contained no original research, had a “highly unusual” timeline with an “unseemly rush to publication” and that all three of the report's peer-reviewers had ties to the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute that funded the study to begin with.

Regnerus' latest blog post - also published by the Witherspoon Institute - is titled Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future and relies on "the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project...that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014."

According to Regnerus, the survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with seven statements:

1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.

2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.

3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.

4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.

5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.

6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.

7. I support abortion rights.

The University of Texas at Austin sociology professor reports that "there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights."

In a Box Turtle Bulletin analysis of Regnerus' new study, Jim Burroway says that Regnerus, interprets a chart provided without context and few caveats as follows: Regnerus-Graph

“If more and more people, including church-going Christians, continue to come around to supporting marriage equality, then more and more people, including church-going Christians, are going to begin supporting...polygamy. Or anything-goes sex. Or the breakdown of the family through divorce. Or unlimited abortion. And so on.”

Burroway goes on to provide his own explanation for Regnerus’ findings:

Those who oppose marriage equality are much more likely to be the kinds of busybodies with Deeply Held Beliefs about how other people should live their lives. They may say they they oppose pre-marital sex, extra-martial sex, no-strings sex, and getting divorced despite having children — for other people — but they will wind up doing those many of those Very Bad Things themselves at rates rather similar to, and in some cases (divorce, for example) higher than many other people, despite what they may say in a survey.

Conversely, those who support marriage equality are more likely to have a healthier, more laissez-faire attitude toward how other people order their lives, and they tend to be much less judgmental of other people. And gays and lesbians, who have experienced a lifetime of busybodies giving them unrealistic, unsolicited edicts in how to order their lives, are the most reluctant of all to turn around and do the same to others. And what about the Population Average? Well, nobody likes a busybody.

Watch an interview with Regnerus on his previously debunked study, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mark Regnerus 'Study': Pro-LGBT Christians More Likely To Support Polygamy, Casual Sex - VIDEO" »

Judge Keeps Documents On Anti-Gay, Discredited Mark Regnerus Parenting Study Away From Public Eyes

This last week, an Orlando judge overturned a November ruling stating that the University of Central Florida had to turn over any documents related to the Social Science Research journal’s peer review and publication of Mark Regnerus’ widely discredited study against same-sex parenting.

Mark_regenerusLGBT activist and writer John Becker had requested the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act, but for now they will remain sealed — at least until Becker appeals, which he plans to do. Writing for The Bilerico Project, Becker said:

Judge John Marshall Kest found that, despite the fact that the journal Social Science Research was housed at UCF; the university granted UCF use of its computers, servers, pass-through networks, email addresses, and office supplies; the university paid Dr. Wright's journal-related travel expenses; and UCF awarded full assistantships and tuition waivers to grad students to work solely on the journal, a sufficient distance exists between the university and the journal to exempt the journal-related records held by UCF from Florida's extensive Sunshine Law.

Regnerus’ study claimed to show that the children of gay parents had higher rates of life problems compared to kids raised by straight parents, and has been used ever since its publication to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption in civil court battles.

However, an internal audit of the Social Science Research journal concluded that Regnerus’ study was “bulls--t,” that it barely studied gay parents, contained no original research, had a “highly unusual” timeline with an “unseemly rush to publication” and that all three of the journal’s peer-reviewers had ties to the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute that funded the study to begin with.

Utah Distances Itself from Anti-Gay Activist Research Mark Regnerus in 10th Circuit Letter


The State of Utah filed a letter to the Tenth Circuit court yesterday ahead of today's hearing on the Utah gay marriage ban distancing itself from discredited UT research Mark Regneres and his flawed parenting study which was recently cited to disastrous results in the Michigan gay marriage case.

Says the letter: Regnerus

Utah files this supplemental letter in response to recent press reports and analysis of the study by Professor Mark Regnerus, which the State cited at footnotes 34 and 42 of its Opening Brief, and which addresses the debate over whether same-sex parenting produces child outcomes that are comparable to man-woman parenting.

First, we wish to emphasize the very limited relevance to this case of the comparison addressed by Professor Regnerus. As the State’s briefing makes clear, the State’s principal concern is the potential long-term impact of a redefinition of marriage on the children of heterosexual parents. The debate over man-woman versus same-sex parenting has little if any bearing on that issue, given that being raised in a same-sex household would normally not be one of the alternatives available to children of heterosexual parents.

Second, on the limited issue addressed by the Regnerus study, the State wishes to be clear about what that study (in the State’s view) does and does not establish. The Regnerus study did not examine as its sole focus the outcomes of children raised in same-sex households but, because of sample limitations inherent in the field of study at this point, examined primarily children who acknowledged having a parent who had engaged in a same-sex relationship. Thus, the Regnerus study cannot be viewed as conclusively establishing that raising a child in a same-sex household produces outcomes that are inferior to those produced by man-woman parenting arrangements.

Think Progress notes:

During the district court trial, Utah cited Regnerus to suggest that the debate on same-sex parenting was inconclusive and thus should not be trusted. Judge Robert Shelby dismissed that argument, making essentially the same point Utah concedes in this letter: promoting parenting by different-sex couples has no connection to banning same-sex couples from marrying.

In appeals briefs, Utah officials have indeed focused more on different-sex parenting. For example, they have argued that banning same-sex marriage promotes “diversity” in parenting and helps protect birth rates from declining. Still, they have also continued to argue that same-sex parenting would be a threat to children’s well-being.

By focusing so much on the state’s “powerful interest in parenting by heterosexuals,” Utah’s briefings have actually attempted to paint heterosexuality as superior instead of homosexuality as inferior — arguably, a distinction without a difference.

Here is some excellent background if you want a preview of today's Utah hearing.

Ari Ezra Waldman: What To Watch For in Today's Tenth Circuit Court Marriage Hearing on the Utah Gay Marriage Ban; and,

Lisa Keen: Tenth Circuit to Hear Challenge to Utah's Gay Marriage Ban Tomorrow: A Preview of the Players

Watch a preview of the suit from the AP, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Utah Distances Itself from Anti-Gay Activist Research Mark Regnerus in 10th Circuit Letter" »

As Mark Regnerus Takes Stand in MI Gay Marriage Case, U-Texas Calls His Study 'Fundamentally Flawed'

Mark Regnerus, the UT researcher, whose rightwing-funded, biased parenting studies have been thoroughly discredited and debunked, took the stand yesterday for the defendants in the trial challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage and gay adoption.

The AP reports: Regnerus

“We aren’t anywhere near saying there’s conclusive evidence” that children with same-sex parents grow up with no differences when compared to kids with heterosexual parents, he said.

“Until we get more evidence, we should be skeptical. … It’s prudent for the state to retain its definition of marriage to one man, one woman,” said Regnerus, who believes that’s the best scenario for kids.

He’ll be cross-examined Tuesday.

But even as he took the stand, the Sociology Department at the University of Texas, where Regnerus is employed, blasted his work as "fundamentally flawed" and distanced themselves from Regnerus' toxic views, issuing this statement:

Like all faculty, Dr. Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view.  However, Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin.  Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families.  We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.
The Sociology Department at The University of Texas at Austin aspires to achieve academic excellence in research, teaching, and public service at the highest level in our discipline. We strive to do so in a context that is based on the highest ethical standards of our discipline and in a context that actively promotes and supports diversity among our faculty and student populations.
The Sociology Department resides in the College of Liberal Arts, which has issued a statement regarding Dr. Regnerus.
The Sociology Department has no affiliation with the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

Defendants' testimony in the Michigan trial had a rough start already yesterday after a judge barred the state's first witness from the stand, saying Sherif Girgis had nothing to offer:

“He’s very eloquent … but right now, all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said of the witness. “The court does not believe ... that he should be allowed to testify.”


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