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Post image for Elsevier’s James Wright Publishes Walter Schumm’s Anti-Gay Junk Science To Defend Regnerus

Elsevier’s James Wright Publishes Walter Schumm’s Anti-Gay Junk Science To Defend Regnerus

by Scott Rose on November 19, 2012

in Analysis,Bigotry Watch,Hate Groups,News,Scott Rose


The June, 2012 issue of the Elsevier journal Social Science Research contained a scientifically invalid “study” on gay parents’ child outcomes, carried out by Mark Regnerus.

Funded by the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute, the commissioned hit job has become a staple of anti-gay hate groups’ propaganda.

Regnerus falsely claimed to have proven correlations between gay parents and bad child outcomes. The “scientist” has since confessed that he “does not know about” the sexual orientation of his study respondents’ parents.

 Social Science Research editor James Wright published the Regnerus study without benefit of valid peer review, for which reason many scholars are calling for the Regnerus study to be retracted and for James Wright to be removed from his position. (To read some of the calls for retraction of the Regnerus study, see herehere and here).

In response to the criticism for having published Regnerus without valid peer review, editor James Wright published — in his November issue — a non-peer-reviewed defense of Regnerus by Walter Schumm, a Kansas State University sociologist who was a paid consultant on the Regnerus study. A link to the Schumm article was rapidly crosss-posted to the stand-alone site that Regnerus’s anti-gay funders created for promoting the Regnerus study.

Schumm purports to show that all aspects of Regnerus’s heavily-criticized study methodology have been used in other studies, a documented falsehood.

Schumm does not address the most devastating of the criticisms made of Regnerus. Furthermore, Schumm states as fact things that he does not actually know to be fact.

Schumm has a history of distorting the scientific record in order to demonize homosexuals, all the more reason that Elsevier’s James Wright should not have published a non-peer-reviewed contribution from him.

Social Science Research previously had a reputation as a peer-reviewed journal, which Wright, Schumm, Regnerus and his funders are illicitly exploiting to promote non-peer-reviewed work as being scientifically legitimate.

Typically, when anti-gay-hate groups publish their promotions of these Regnerus-study-related materials, they state that the materials were published in “a peer reviewed journal.” In his November issue, Wright published Regnerus’s own non-peer-reviewed article of “Additional Analyses.” Wright presents these articles in publication, as though they had been peer reviewed. It can no longer truthfully be said that “Social Science Research” is a peer reviewed journal.

Schumm provided “expert” testimony for “In Re: Gill,” the landmark case that ended the ban on gay parent adoption in Florida.

In her decision, Judge Cindy S. Lederman noted that Schumm “integrates his religious and ideological beliefs into his research. In an article he published in the Journal of Psychology and Theology he wrote, “With respect to the integration of faith and research, I have been trying to use statistics to highlight the truth of the Scripture.”

In his “expert” testimony, Schumm claimed to show — through reanalyses of others’ work — that gay parents correlate to bad child outcomes, precisely Regnerus’s false “finding.”

Addressing Schumm’s tactics in his reanalyses, Judge Lederman wrote that Schumm “suggests that his reanalyses, mostly unpublished, should be accepted over the analyses of well respected researchers in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Schumm admitted that he applies statistical standards that depart from conventions in the field. In fact, Dr. Cochran and Dr. Lamb testified that Dr. Schumm’s statistical re-analyses contained a number of fundamental errors.”

Judge Lederman further noted Schumm’s “objection to allowing homosexuals in the military due to the ease with which they can have oral sex and his belief that, since homosexuals violate one social norm, they are likely to also violate military rules.”

In October, 2010, Schumm addressed the Manhattan, Kansas Human Rights Board, arguing against a proposed expansion of the anti-discrimination ordinance, to include sexual orientation and gender expression. Schumm claimed to have reanalyzed a prior study and to have found that while gay teens do suffer discrimination, the anti-gay discrimination — (so Schumm actually alleged at a government meeting) — had no connection to gay teens’ elevated suicide risk. Commission Meeting minutes note that Schumm “stated if this ordinance is approved, do we really want to establish a social approval of this in our society.”

During the 1990s, Schumm served as a “Family Impact Panel Member and Statistical Analyst” as part of the family impact policy initiative for then-Congressman Sam Brownback, one of the most malicious political gay-bashers in the United States.

Schumm has a long association with the discredited anti-gay pseudoscientist Paul Cameron. He is on the editorial board of Cameron’s fatuously-named Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior. A typical article from that publication alleges that the Nazi Party was a homosexual movement. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch noted that as a journal editor, Schumm published a Cameron article claiming to prove that homosexuality is a mental illness, and likening homosexuality to alcoholism and drug addiction.

Schumm has an extensive additional record of presenting anti-gay hate speech under the false guise of “scientific” research.

The non-peer-reviewed Schumm article that Elsevier’s James Wright published in defense of Regnerus repeats the documented falsehood that Regnerus designed and carried out his study independently of his funders’ anti-gay-rights political goals for it. Brad Wilcox, Director of the Witherspoon Institute program that organized the Regnerus study in 2010, collaborated with Regnerus on study design, and later on data collection, data analysis and interpretation.

Among the invalidating aspects of Regnerus’s study is that he correlated bad child outcomes to gay parents even for those of his study subjects who had not lived with a parent while the parent was having a same-sex relationship.

To clarify; some of Regnerus’s study respondents did say that they lived with the parent who had a same-sex relationship. The specific complaint at issue now is that even for those of his study subjects who had not ever lived with a parent while the parent was having a same-sex relationship, Regnerus’s correlated the “bad” child outcomes to gay parents.

Schumm’s defense of Regnerus ignores that particular demonizing defect in Regnerus’s methodology.

Both Wright and Schumm were sent e-mails, asking how many studies they can name — other than Regnerus’s — in which bad child outcomes for children who did not live with gay parents are correlated to gay parents.

Neither Schumm nor Wright responded.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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{ 3 comments }

david0296 November 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this insane statement:
Judge Lederman further noted Schumm’s “objection to allowing homosexuals in the military due to the ease with which they can have oral sex and his belief that, since homosexuals violate one social norm, they are likely to also violate military rules.”

So it ISN'T easy for a woman to give oral sex to a man, or vice versa? Seriously? …or does this moron think that opposite-sex couples don't even have oral sex? Perhaps the chastity belts that all women wear would prevent a man from giving oral sex? How this guy has ANY credibility is a mystery to me.

johnnguyen24 November 20, 2012 at 2:57 am

Look like James Wright is going for the last hurrah before he is given the boot. What a sad pathetic twit.

KnottiBuoy November 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

How much longer is Elsevier going to steadfastly stand by and support this editor, Regnerus and his NFSS?

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