Maggie Gallagher, writing at the National Review, is claiming New Civil Rights Movement author Scott Rose is “Attacking Freedom of Thought and Scholarship” — or so her blog post is titled. Of course, Gallagher quick to protect her investment in the flawed Regnerus “study,” couldn’t be more wrong. Let’s examine the facts — especially those Gallagher excludes from mention.
But before we do, one quick question everyone should ponder: Why is Maggie Gallagher protecting Regnerus?
Gallagher’s post is short, so I’m sure she’ll forgive me for posting both paragraphs:
Scott Rose, who writes that I have blood on my hands for opposing gay marriage (read this to get a flavor of who Scott Rose is and how he thinks), has filed an ethics complaint charging a serious scholar with “scientific misconduct” for publishing a study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The study was incidentally reviewed by three major family sociologists, Paul Amato, Cynthia Osbourne, and David Eggebeen.
Will Saletan’s question about a “Liberal War on Science?” is beginning to look prophetic. Will the academic community react against political attacks on scholarship like this? Or will liberalism trump the guild? Stay tuned.
First, allow me to get to that “will liberalism trump the guild?” malarkey.
Science — good science — isn’t partisan, it isn’t left or right, conservative or liberal. Science is science. Period, and Mark Regnerus stands accused — by a great many — of bad science.
Next, I’d like Gallagher to explain how Scott Rose is attacking “freedom of thought.” Please, enlighten us!
I find it ironic that Gallagher would quote Saletan, who early on said, “Regnerus’ paper certainly has flaws,” and then went to great lengths and, in several articles, explained just how flawed Regnerus’ “study” is.
Scott Rose’s tireless work debunking the anti-gay parenting Regnerus “study” has led to an inquiry by the University of Texas. If Rose’s work were without merit, the UT would not have blinked. (If Rose’s work were without merit, well, read on.)
Gallagher neglects to educate her readers into the full depths of how and why the Regnerus “study” is flawed, and neglects to inform her readers that, as Scott Rose wrote last month, more than 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, and professionals in sociology, psychiatry and other relevant fields, have sent a letter to James Wright, editor of “Social Science Research,” the journal where Regnerus’s study was published, questioning the scholarly merit of the “study.”
The letter — which you can read in one of Scott Rose’s many pieces on the Regnerus “study” — closes with this:
We are very concerned about the academic integrity of the peer review process for this paper as well as its intellectual merit. We question the decision of Social Science Research to publish the paper, and particularly, to publish it without an extensive, rigorous peer review process and commentary from scholars with explicit expertise on LGBT family research. The methodologies used in this paper and the interpretation of the findings are inappropriate. The publication of this paper and the accompanying commentary calls the editorial process at Social Science Research, a well-regarded, highly cited social science journal (ranking in the top 15% of Sociology journals by ISI), into serious question. We urge you to publicly disclose the reasons for both the expedited peer review process of this clearly controversial paper and the choice of commentators invited to submit critiques. We further request that you invite scholars with specific expertise in LGBT parenting issues to submit a detailed critique of the paper and accompanying commentaries for publication in the next issue of the journal.
Maggie may want to trot out her “three major family sociologists,” “Paul Amato, Cynthia Osbourne, and David Eggebeen,” but I again will cite how Gallagher neglects to address simple facts — or educate her readers.
Scott Rose, of course, has already addressed most of this:
“Another concern is that whereas the signers cite Paul Amato’s commentary on the Regnerus study as evidence of the study’s alleged integrity, they do so without disclosing that Amato was a paid adviser for the study.”
The letter signed by more than 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, and professionals in sociology, psychiatry and other relevant fields also addresses this:
We further question the selection of commenters for the Regnerus paper. While Cynthia Osborne and Paul Amato are certainly well-respected scholars, they are also both active participants in the Regnerus study. According to her curriculum vitae, Dr. Osborne is a Co-Principal Investigator of the New Family Structure Survey. Dr. Amato served as a paid consultant on the advisory group convened to provide insights into study design and methods. Perhaps more importantly, neither Osborne nor Amato have ever published work that considers LGBT family or parenting issues. A cursory examination of this body of literature would reveal a wide range of scholars who are much more qualified to evaluate the merits of this study and were neither directly involved in the study design nor compensated for that involvement.
Finally, Media Matters takes on David Eggebeen:
In 1996, David Eggebeen testified in support of Hawaii’s efforts to ban same-sex marriage, saying “To me, the conclusion is clear that marriage is the gateway to becoming a parent.” Eggebeen further testified that “same-sex marriages where children [are] involved is by definition a step parent relationship,” and suggested that the children of a same-sex couple would similarly be at a “heightened risk” for poverty and behavioral problems, according to the ruling. In 2010, Eggebeen told MercatorNet that his research suggests that fathers make “some unique contributions” that cannot be replicated by a lesbian couple.
Again, here we are, having to straighten out Maggie Gallagher’s “facts.”
There is no “liberal war on science.” The Regnerus “study,” which ignores two to three decades of research that prove actual same-sex couples raise children at least as well developed and successful as their peers raised by heterosexual parents is an attack on science — not proving a so-called study is flawed and useless.
To suggest to those who embrace the science of evolution and climate change that there is a “liberal war on science” is, well, ludicrous.
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