Mark Regnerus

Good article by Glenn Peoples on a study that found same-sex partners did not make the best parents.

Glenn examines some of the criticism of the author.

Look through the list of factors that David Sessions (the author of the above article). These are listed as things that Gays and Lesbians should be alarmed by when seeing this study:

  • The research project was led by a person who engages in “attention grabbing” research
  • This man’s findings sometimes agree with what social conservatives think about the sexual revolution.
  • This man was once a professor at a Christian College
  • This man wrote a cover story in a Christian magazine, saying that Christians should encourage marriage at a young age.
  • This man wrote an article claiming that the sexual revolution has had some negative consequences for women.
  • This man’s latest research (the study on same-sex parenting) was funded by groups that are not socially liberal, but socially conservative instead.

Quite a modest set of charges when dealing with this sort of thing. Which of course suggests strongly that the guy is sound, but leans conservative in his convictions.

Oh, and if you think those things are legitimate reasons to ignore research, then I feel very sorry for you.

Glenn then points out that the study is far from a slam dunk anyway. It seems that the offence just may be (and this is my opinion) that it wasn’t a ringing endorsement.

So there you have it. It’s not the bombshell revelation-to-end-all-revelations study that settles every argument that some might have hoped for, and it’s not the atrocious omg-I-can’t-believe-anyone-would-publish-this piece of trash that some are claiming it to be. What the appearance of this study has done, however, is to again allow the ugly side of intellectual policing to rear its head. Some things just shouldn’t be allowed to be said, so when they are, they must be shouted down by any disreputable means necessary.

Have a read and make your own mind up. As I write, there’s two comments – the first a vicious attack on Glenn for his “hateful” criticism, which is of course completely ironic as the second comment says.

I goggled Mark Regnerus (he’s the guy who did the study) and found this article. It is the sort of response that liberals should be making, but starts by noting the response that liberals have been making.

Mark Regnerus is a hateful bigot. He’s an ultra-conservative with links to Opus Dei. His new research paper on same-sex parenting is “intentionally misleading” and “seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents.” His “so-called study doesn’t match 30 years of scientific research that shows overwhelmingly that children raised by parents who are LGBT do equally as well.” His “junk science” and “pseudo-scientific misinformation,” pitted against statements from the American Psychological Association and “every major child welfare organization,” deserve no coverage or credence.

That’s what four of the nation’s leading gay-rights groups—the Human Rights Campaign, the Family Equality Council, Freedom to Marry, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation —declared in a joint statement this week. Flanked by a mob of bloggers, they’re out to attack Regnerus’ motives, destroy his credibility, and banish his study from the scientific record. Even Slate contributor E.J. Graff says “Slate‘s editors should be ashamed” for publishing Regnerus’ “dangerous propaganda.”

Nice people, aren’t they?


  1. I’ve just read through the article and I found it refreshingly robust compared to the standard nonsense that usually sits in social science journals. Not surprising that it was published in one of the most prestigious peer reviewed journals – they must have been overjoyed to get a study of this quality!

    The major criticism of the study – that gay families with children are mostly ex-divorcees is, to my mind, not a very valid one. The study separates out results for stepfamilies and single parent families as well as gay families. Simple comparison of these two sets of results should be sufficient to eliminate this criticism.

    If one compares gay family results with only step families and single parents, one comes to several scary conclusions. Firstly all sexuality-mediated parameters are worse – children are more likely to be promiscuous, more likely to be gay, more likely to have been forced into sex and more likely to have had an STI. They are significantly more likely to have had inappropriate sexual contact with a parent if their mother is lesbian.

    Secondly, they do less well socioeconomically, being less likely to be employed and more likely to have committed minor crimes.

    Lastly they have poor mental health outcomes, being more likely to be anxious, depressed and commit suicide.

    I can see why the gay lobby hates it. While I don’t think it provides a viable argument for banning civil unions of gay couples, it should give everyone great pause when it comes to allowing gay couples to adopt children who are not born to one of the partners in the union. Statistically, stranger adoptions do worse across the board anyway.

    I would support minor changes to the civil unions bill to allow the other gay parent in a union to adopt the other’s child(ren), but not a wholesale change in the marriage act that would allow gay couples to adopt a family.

  2. The Regnerus study was only published through corrupt peer review. That fact has not been well documented and chronicled elsewhere. It is striking how readily “MacDoctor” accepts as accurate, “data” from a study that only got published thanks to corrupt peer review. Go take a look at Regnerus’s study “Codebook.” He asked the question “Have you ever masturbated?” and gave respondents the opportunity to decline to answer; 110 did not answer. But, 620 respondents between 18 and 39 said that no, they had never even once in their lives masturbated. Obviously, that is false. If that question has such an obviously false, published response, why should anybody believe the Regnerus/Witherspoon/NOM data for child sexual victimization of “lesbian mothers”? Regnerus’s funding organizations have documented histories of distorting the scientific record in order to demonize gay people. The funders specifically have bad records of conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood; the 2012 Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report on the National Organization for Marriage (whose leaders also head the Witherspoon Institute that funded the Regnerus study) is titled “National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays.” In sum, unreliable data, study only published through corrupt peer review, funding organization notorious for lying about gay people . . hello?

    1. Mac is a medial doctor of many years experience.

      Thanks for your input but it’s not exactly news to me that people are saying that sort of thing. In fact the way you seem to think it is says a lot about you.

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