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."
That'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.