Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin (UT) carried out a methodologically-bogus, deceptively and egregiously misnamed “gay parenting” study so blatantly in line with the anti-gay-rights National Organization for Marriage‘s goals of smearing gay people for political purposes, that Regnerus’s work appears far closer to being election year political propaganda than to being respectable science. With no valid sociological comparison between its test and control groups, it appears not even to aspire to be respectable science.
My enhanced allegations against Regnerus include that he appears to be politically in collusion with his study’s NOM-linked funders: a political plant. Towards building that case, people must examine NOM’s long history of filthy dirty political tricks. For, if it is true that a sociological study must be evaluated first on its scientific merits, it is further true that if a study glaring lacks fundamental scientific soundness, and there is an appearance that the study’s invalid conclusion was “fixed” in advance, in order to inflict harm on a beleaguered minority, then people of good conscience have a duty to leave no stone unturned, uncovering the truth about the corruption involved.
The notion that one should only react to an invalid study — (that apparently was schemed up and carried out on a political deadline by parties determined to have the study reach a pre-set conclusion) — only by pointing out what is invalid about the study, but not by fully exposing the underlying anti-gay-rights maliciousness, and corruption involved, is not only obnoxious, but flies in the face of the spirit of the entire Code of Ethics of the American Sociological Society.
All must remember that Regnerus’s funders have exhibited a pattern of conflating homosexuals with pedophiles; a known falsehood. The invalid Regnerus study amplifies Regnerus’s funders’ fraudulent demonization of homosexuals as pedophiles, with a message of: “Homosexuals are dangerous to children.” Writing in The American Prospect, E.J. Graft called Regnerus’s propagandistic distortion of his data set “evil.” She went on to explain:
“Most Americans aren’t nerds like us who look at the underlying questionnaire and drill down to expose the flaws. They’re ordinary people who are following what’s important in their own lives. By the time they hear this news, what they’ll hear is some TV anchor saying, briefly, “A new controversy emerged today about gay parents. Are they bad for kids?” That suspicion is what will trickle down into the debates in Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota, where ordinary folks are voting on whether two women or two men can marry. And the fear that same-sex marriage hurts children is a highly volatile one; raising the suspicion is enough to set back the vote. Preventing their parents from marrying, or letting the falsehood float around that their parents are bad for them, is what will hurt those children. ”
To call a spade a spade: the Regnerus study’s invalid comparison between his test group and his control group — the bottom line of which invalid comparison is “Homosexuals are dangerous to children” — fits Regnerus’s funders’ long-documented pattern of demonizing gay people by conflating homosexuals with pedophiles; a known falsehood.
Regnerus received a $55,000 “planning grant” from the Witherspoon Institute, where NOM’s Robert George is a Senior Fellow. The very strong appearance is that if George-Witherspoon had not approved Regnerus’s disingenuous, sociology-fail of a study design — (which was as though guaranteed not to lead to Regnerus being able to survey his alleged target demographic of young adult children of actual gay parents) — Regnerus would not have received any further funding from his Republican, anti-gay-rights National Organization for Marriage-linked funders. A crushing weight of evidence has created an appearance that the whole study is a rigged hoax, commissioned on a deadline as gay-bashing Republican political propaganda for pernicious exploitation in the 2012 elections. NOM’s leaders arranged for Regnerus to have a known total of $785,000 for his study; and they are known to have had a political stake in the study outcome. Regnerus himself appears to be tacitly endorsing dishonest exploitation of his work, and sometimes he clearly is scheming to communicate deceitful misrepresentations of his own work to a broad public.
NOM’s Maggie Gallagher — notorious for telling endless, shameless lies demonizing gay people — is very obviously panicking about all of the scientifically accurate criticism being directed at 1) Regnerus; 2) Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research, which published Regnerus’s study, and; 3) UT itself, for appearing institutionally to endorse a sociological study that does not make a valid comparison between a test group and a control group.
Gallagher titled a National Review post –”Attacking Freedom of Thought and Scholarship” – as though responsible persons do not have a duty to point out when a sociological study does not make a valid comparison between a test group and a control group. Absurdly, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher suggested that this reporter is part of a “Liberal war on science.” I was raised by a Chemical Engineer with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also has been a holder of the Blaise Pascal Chair at the University of Paris. Make no mistake about it; I was raised to revere science; my father to this day shares his latest scientific thinking with me with greatest enthusiasm. Gallagher holds a B.A. in Religious Studies. She has written that she is not willing to live in a country that extends anti-discrimination protections to homosexuals, which defines her parallel disconnect from a willingness to make objective assessments of whether Regnerus’s sociological study makes a valid comparison between its test and control groups. And, Gallagher has been on a very aggressive and malicious disinformation campaign with the bogus Regnerus study.
The National Organization for Marriage, whose leaders funded Regnerus’s unacceptable propaganda, is notorious for political dirty tricks. Understanding that NOM plays ghastly political dirty tricks is essential to a comprehension of what appears to have gone on, and appears still to be going on, between NOM and Regnerus, with possible collusion between those parties and certain UT administrators, who have actually placed seeming advertorials for the Regnerus study.
The New York Times, The New Jersey Star Ledger, and umpteen additional publications have resoundingly condemned NOM’s malicious, documented strategies of driving wedges and fanning hostilities between minorities — as well as of seeking out children of gay parents to denounce their own parents on camera — towards a political goal of oppressing gay people.
The Star Ledger said this:
“It is sick beyond words that a group to ‘save’ marriage would exploit racial and ethnic divisions, stir intolerance and fear, and even rip families apart by pitting children against parents. In their self-described ‘battle,’ they come across as the biggest losers of all.”
Writing in The Washington Times — a conservative venue — R. Clarke Cooper said:
“Putting aside NOM’s callous disregard for LGBT families, my party, the Republican party, cannot afford to be associated with an organization that arrogantly seeks to manipulate African American and Latino voters, particularly when the Republican Party is working hard to promote our message of economic opportunity and individual liberty among these communities. Crude identity politics has no place in today’s conservative movement.”
Regnerus himself has admitted that if, instead of taking easy money from NOM-linked anti-gay-rights kingpins, he had sought funding for a gay parenting study from the National Institute of Health, their genuinely professional study protocol would have worked in the long-term best interest of science.
This reporter filed a COMPLAINT with the University of Texas (UT). The on-going Complaint does not only regard alleged Misconduct in Science and other Scholarly Activities according to UT’s relatively broad definitions of Misconduct; the Complaint also alleges that 1) Regnerus has violated UT’s Academic Dishonesty Policy; 2) Regnerus has violated the American Sociological Assocation’s Code of Ethics; and that 3) Regnerus appears to have been politically in collusion with his funders since before the time they gave him a $55,000 “planning grant” — (with which money he did not formulate a plan adequate to the surveying of young adult children of the kinds of persons who conscientious sociologists say actually qualify as “Lesbian mothers” and/or “Gay fathers”) — and 4) Regnerus appears to remain in political collusion with his funders to the present day.
I made a Public Information Act request to UT for all documentation between Regnerus and his funders, Regnerus, and UT related to his study. UT has now requested of the Republican Texas Attorney General that he grant UT an exemption to the document request. If Regnerus and his NOM-related funders at the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation — (as well as UT authorities, who have placed seeming advertorials promoting the Regnerus study to the public) — have nothing to hide, they will release the requested documentation immediately.
The following message apropos of that was sent to Texas A.G. Abbott:
Dear Texas Attorney General Abbott:
This regards outstanding Public Information Act and/or FOIA requests that I, as well as reporters from The American Independent have made for documentation of 1) all of UT’s Mark Regnerus’s communications with the funders of his recent parenting study — at least including The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation – as well as 2) all UT officials’ communications regarding the Regnerus study; and 3) All of Regnerus’s study-related communications with the National Organization for Marriage’s Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and John Eastman.
I understand that UT has asked Attorney General Abbott for complete exemptions from the document requests.
Regnerus is suspected of political collusion with his funders to produce a politically “fixed” research result on deadline in time for pernicious exploitation during the 2012 elections. The public has a legitimate interest in knowing about the requested documentation, in order better to understand the workings of a publicly-financed school.
Whereas; 1) Regnerus’s funders are documented as being a branch of the national Republican Party; and whereas 2) the “fixed” research apparently commissioned by Regnerus’s funders is false, and defamatory of sexual minorities; and whereas; 3) the Texas Republican Party Platform for 2012 is chockablock with venomous anti-gay bigotry that incorporates known falsehoods about gay persons; and whereas 4)Texas Attorney General Abbott is a Republican, it would be unfortunate were he to enable UT to shield Regnerus, his funders, the National Organization for Marriage and UT itself, at the expense of the public’s legitimate interest in knowing what is in the requested documentation.
In addition to stonewalling on document requests from multiple publications, UT attorney Jeffery Graves told this reporter there is no need for me to supply UT officials with information related to the allegations against Regnerus.
UT Director of Communications David Ochsner says he has already answered enough of my questions, and is too busy to answer any more.
The only way to gain urgently needed clarity of insight into the relationship between Regnerus, his funders and UT is to have a full record of their communications related to Regnerus’s study.
Readers are reminded that when a local University of Texas venue interviewed Regnerus, and asked him why he did not seek funding for his study from the National Institute of Health, he said:
“I had a feeling when we started this project that it would not survive the politics of, in my opinion, the peer review system at the National Institute of Health (funding) — and it takes so long to get money from them, and there are revisions and revisions; I understand that works to the long-term benefit of science, but some scholars don’t feel like going that route.”
Despite Regnerus’s protests against National Institute of Health study protocol, his previous study on Race and Religion in Adolescent Sexual Norms and Conduct – which was apparently not needed by a deadline for political exploitation in an election year — was funded by the NIH.
In that connection, an enlightening portion of Vincent Olterigo’s comment made under the above video of that Regnerus interview is reproduced here:
“Mr. Regnerus says NIH takes time? Yes, they do, but they also know faulty research. They also know that you don’t compare apples to oranges. They also WOULD have realized that Mr. Regnerus threw in too many variables together to make any meaningful comparison, out of which you can draw NEW conclusions.”
Readers not acquainted with previous reporting on the NOM-Regnerus matter should consider reading: NOM-Regnerus ‘Gay Parenting’ Study: A One-Percenter Dirty Campaign Trick and should also consider reading: Mark Regnerus And NOM’s Anti-Gay-Rights ‘Expert Witness Project’
Now, here is some of the evidence of political collusion between Regnerus and his funders:
Regarding the Regnerus study, in relation to this from the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics:
Standard 3 (b) about the acceptance of grants from “organizational clients or sponsors that appear likely to require violation of the standards in this Code of Ethics.”
Here is information pertaining to why it appears that The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation “appeared likely to require” Regnerus to violate standards in the ASA Code of Ethics. The specific allegation is that Regnerus colluded with his funders to produce fraudulent, anti-gay-rights, election year political propaganda. The allegation further specifies that Regnerus knowingly entered into the arrangement with his funders, understanding that they needed a fixed, pre-determined research result from him, and that they needed it on deadline, in time for pernicious exploitation in the 2012 elections.
I am going to build the case in some detail, because doing so is required for an understanding of how Regnerus’s funders “appeared likely to require” him to commit apparent violations of ASA’s Code of Ethics:
1) Some background is necessary on the political motivations of the funders. As previously stated, the funding sources are inseparable from the so-called National Organization for Marriage, whose anti-gay-rights pledge Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has signed. Robert George is 1) founder and “chairman emeritus” of NOM, and is listed on NOM’s website among its current personnel; he is an author of the NOM pledge; 2) George also is a Board member of the Bradley Foundation, which funded Regnerus, and also financially supports the Witherspoon Foundation, which also funded the Regnerus study, and where a) Robert George is a Senior Fellow, and where b) Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member.
In other words, there is no daylight between the Republican, anti-gay-rights group NOM, and the funding of Regnerus’s study. For enlightenment purposes, please do read the NOM “pledge.” It is an exceedingly strange document. Beyond that it calls for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the land, it calls on Romney to appoint only those attorneys general, federal judges and Supreme Court justices who are unwaveringly against gay rights and who will apply “the original meaning of the Constitution.” Who knows what that means? The Constitution says nothing about marriage, yet in its original version, it did not give women the vote, and it called slaves 3/5ths of a person each.
The question arises, do Regnerus’s personal views on homosexuals and their rights coincide with those of his funders?
At one point, Regnerus was an anti-gay-rights evangelical. His Trinity Christian College bio says:
“I believe that if your faith matters, it should inform what you teach and what you research.”
Subsequently, Regnerus converted to Catholicism. A Notre Dame University profile of him says this:.
“Mark alluded to the fact that his academic interest in family formation trends and processes had arisen while still an evangelical and his recent entrance into the Catholic Church has shaped his own thinking about fertility and family life. While only a brief exchange, his comments highlighted potential intersections between Mark’s personal engagement with his Catholicism and his research on sexual behavior. It also hinted at future contributions that his academic research could potentially make to the larger Catholic Church.”
Please be sure to note where that says that Regnerus’s entrance into the Catholic Church has shaped his thinking about family life, as that is relevant to his study. The Pope has said that the future of humanity depends on banning gay marriage, while Cardinal Dolan has threatened President Obama with a conflict between church and state of unprecedented proportions, if he does not stop advancing gay rights.
All of NOM’s leaders — in other words — all of Regnerus’s funders — are Catholic, and not just Catholic, but strong political enablers of the Catholic Church in the US. It is perhaps necessary to remind readers that the Catholic Church fights dirty in its politics. Where it fights tooth-and-nail against proposed legislation to lift the statutes of limitations on the prosecution of child rape, for example, NOM’s Robert P. George is involved in politicking on the Church’s side in those efforts; the Republican Party is helping to shield the Church from making adequate reparations to its child rape victims. Robert George has told the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that they shouldn’t concern themselves with helping the poor, and instead do more to fight gay rights and women’s access to contraception and health care. NOM’s William Duncan gave a symposium session at Liberty University titled “Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens: Who Deserves Protected Class Status?”
As a further example of what the political enablers of the Catholic Church are involved with; the Church signed a political treaty with Adolph Hitler; the notorious Reichskonkordat. At the end of WWII, the Vatican helped known Nazi war criminals to evade justice via the ratlines to South America. Many of those Nazi war criminals paid Vatican officials for their services using assets stolen from gay as well as from Jewish Holocaust victims. The Vatican has never allowed outsiders to inventory those alleged stolen assets. Readers should consider reading this article: What’s the Real Reason the Catholic Church Wants to Keep Gays Oppressed? Also read about how Cardinal Dolan took to his blog to trash a 16-year-old female alleged victim of Church sex abuse.
That is the very same Catholic Church of Rome — the Vatican, a “Sovereign State” foreign to the United States — that NOM’s leaders as well as their commissioned researcher Mark Regnerus support personally and politically.
While his study was awaiting publication, Regnerus authored a New York Times op-ed – One Man, One Woman, One Marriage — that coincides precisely with his funders’ anti-gay-rights political goals, as well as with those funders’ explicit website instructions for how to deceptively “message” the public to achieve those anti-gay-rights political goals.
How Regnerus’s study planning, design, and design implementation make evident that his funders “appeared likely to require” him to violate the ASA Code of Ethics:
Regnerus’s purported topic was that of comparing young adult children raised by heterosexuals compared to those raised by homosexuals, with the birth dates of the survey respondents to fall between the 1970s and the early 1990s.
Regnerus received a $55K “planning grant” from Witherspoon/Robert George. Yet, he alleges that only after he received the full $785,000 in funding, and carried out his entirely inadequate attempts at surveying the target demographic, did he “discover” that he was not going to be able to survey enough of the target demographic — young adult children of gay parents.
Ordinarily, with a $55K planning grant, one would do a pilot study to see what was going to be necessary to surveying an adequate number of the target demographic. Regnerus’s target demographic is a small niche demographic, yet does exist in numbers sufficient to a probability-based study. However, far more money and time would have been required, for Regnerus to survey a proper number of his supposed target demographic.
It appears evident that either i) Regnerus did not do due diligence to understand what would be necessary to finding and surveying an adequate number of his announced study demographic, or ii) that he intentionally used an under-financed surveying scheme that would allow him duplicitously to say, in effect, “I did what I could, but I couldn’t survey enough of the target demographic.”
However that might be, Regnerus did not act within the ethical and procedural guidelines of accepted professional sociological practice when he went ahead and, for his published study, compared young adult children of married heterosexuals to those of a hodge-podge of broken homes, the majority of which appear to have consisted of failed heterosexual marriages, of which at least one spouse was either a closet case, or bi-sexual, or experimented once or twice only with a same-sex partner — Regnerus slopped a motley crew of young adult children of broken homes into a single bucket, and then unethically and unsociologically compared them to young adult children of “biologically intact families.” This is what E.J. Graff means, when she says that Regnerus’s propagandistic distortion of his data set is “evil.”
What Regnerus might instead have done with the data he was able to collect, was to compare children of divorced heterosexual parents with those of divorced mixed-orientation parents. He still would not have known anything about children actually raised by gay people, but at least he would have made a valid comparison of children of divorced heterosexual, and of divorced mixed-orientation couples.
But, such a variant in the topic of the study, occasioned by the dictates of the data collected, would have been at odds with the funders’ political goals for the study, which were extremely well, and widely known before Regnerus even accepted the $55,000 “planning grant” from them.
I repeat: Regnerus’s study funders had a stake in the study outcome. Those funders gave him $785,000, because they had a stake in the study outcome.
Regnerus went ahead and improperly compared children of married heterosexual couples to children of broken, mixed-orientation marriages. He did that, because that is what his funders required him to produce, without any variation from their required result that the study demonize gay parents, particularly vis-a-vis “intact biological families,” and, that that “fixed” desired result be produced by deadline to correspond with their political needs for it related to the 2012 elections.
To support that Regnerus produced this study according to his funders’ set deadline for it, consider i) that he submitted his study to the Elsevier journal Social Science Research *before* all of his data was collected, and ii) the study was rushed through to approval for publication according to an exceptionally speedy schedule. See this article in re: Regnerus submitting his study before all data was collected.
Consider further, that the Regnerus study was published, twinned in simultaneous publication in June, 2012 in Social Science Research with another study by the (known anti-gay-rights religious figure) Loren Marks. That Marks paper with precisely the same conclusion had previously been published on the internet in October, 2011, without peer review, and then used in DOMA-related court filings. The funders, though, have been promoting the re-publication of the Marks study as though it were brand new as of June 2012. Here is why that raises suspicions:
Regnerus and his funders have been promoting the Regnerus study as being superior to all prior studies on gay parenting by virtue of its sampling method. There is an active campaign from both the funders and Regnerus to discredit all prior studies — because they were based on convenience and/or snowball sampling. Yet, those prior study authors always mention the limitations of their sampling methods. Regnerus’s public campaigns about his study, just like those of his funders, always emphasize his ‘superior” sampling method, without mentioning that he made no valid comparison between a test group and a control group. The Marks study is specifically focused on calling out the shortcomings of prior gay parenting studies, with a specific focus on the shortcomings of their sampling methods (which were noted by the original researchers of those studies). In other words, the Marks study is conspicuously a political propaganda boost for the political aims of the funders of the Regnerus study.
The Marks study references the Regnerus study in its footnotes, showing that Marks and Regnerus were in communication about their studies as their studies were progressing towards publication. Both have already been used in DOMA court case filings. It is necessary now to point out that Robert George is an adviser to Speaker Boehner on all DOMA matters. It is very curious that the day after the Regnerus study appeared, the “American College of Pediatricians” — a tiny, religious-right splinter group — filed a Golinski case amicus brief relying largely on the Regnerus study.
One month later, that brief occasioned what is essentially a “response” amicus brief from a number of major professional organizations including the AMA. That AMA-inclusive brief has the following, devastating criticism of Regnerus’s study qua science:
“The Regnerus study placed participants (individuals between the age of 18 and 39) into one of eight categories, six of which were defined by the family structure in which they grew up — e.g., married biological parents, divorced parent, divorced but remarried parent, etc. There was no category for “same-sex couple.” Instead, the final two categories included all participants, regardless of family structure, who believed that at some time between birth and their 18th birthday their mother or their father “ever ha[d] a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex.
Hence the data does not show whether the perceived romantic relationship ever in fact occurred; nor whether the parent self-identified as gay or lesbian; nor whether the same sex relationship was continuous, episodic, or one-time only; nor whether the individual in these categories was actually raised by a homosexual parent (children of gay fathers are often raised by their heterosexual mothers following divorce), much less a parent in a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner. Indeed, most of the participants in these groups spent very little, if any, time being raised by a “same-sex couple.
Only 23% of those whose mother ever had a same-sex relationship had lived in a household with the mother’s partner for as much as 3 years. Only 23% of those whose father ever had a same-sex relationship had lived in a household with the father’s partner for even 4 months, and more than half had never done so. Regnerus does not provide the number who were raised exclusively by a same-sex couple from infancy to age 18. Possibly none were.”
Further to all of that, it is curious that for the perceived “bad” outcomes experienced by the young adult children of (deliberately, misleadingly labeled) “Lesbian mothers” and “Gay fathers” in the study — in place of the accepted designations “MSM” or “WSW” — Regnerus assigns to the unscientifically-labelled “gay” parent only, the “bad” outcome for the child. In most cases, the other divorced parent remained active in the child’s life, that is to say, in the life of Regnerus’s study subjects, and very often that other divorced parent was heterosexual, yet Regnerus characterizes his study subjects as products only of either a “lesbian mother” or a “gay father,” as if every last one of the heterosexual parents of those same young adult children had waltzed off and had nothing more to do with their children’s lives.
Regnerus has been attempting to defend the integrity of his study by saying that: “the protocol” for the study was “approved by the University of Texas’ Institutional Review Board.” But who at UT was on the Institutional Review Board panel that approved Regnerus’s study design? We do not know the answer to that question. (An e-mail sent to UT’s Director over the Institutional Review Board, Dr. Wayne Patterson, asking the identity of those on the UT IRB who approved Regnerus’s study design has gone unanswered as of publication time). I have since made an additional Public Information Act, to attempt to get at that simple bit of information.
However that may be, we do know this: Regnerus’s New Family Structures Study is associated with UT’s Population Research Center. The Director of UT’s Population Research Center, Dr. Mark D. Hayward, co-signed the letter from over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, questioning the intellectual integrity of Regnerus’s study, as did four additional UT sociologists, including another one — Dr. Chandra Muller — also with the Population Research Center. UT’s Sociologist Dr. Debra Umberson, wrote in the Huffington Post that she has been conducting research on gay and lesbian family relationships for many years, and was dismayed to learn of Regnerus’s study only upon its publication; Regnerus did not once even inform her that he was doing a study in one of her fields, still less consult her for advice on the study. There is an appearance that where UT’s Institutional Review Board approved Regnerus’s study design, the approval was based more on politics than on science. UT owes the public an immediate, complete and completely truthful documentation of who on the UT Institutional Review Board approved Regnerus’s study design, and how they decided to approve it.
Regnerus’s public, mass media promotions of his study often have jettisoned whatever nuance might be in his written study, apparently to abet his funders’ political goals of demonizing gay parents. See this ABC-TV interview of Regnerus, in which he tells a national audience that his study found dramatically poor child outcomes for lesbian mothers and gay fathers.
Regnerus dishonestly told The National Review “This study definitely affirms that there is a gold standard” of the “biologically intact family,” though he had done exactly zero sociological research into planned same-sex headed families with children, and thus is entirely unable to conclude anything about how children fare in same-sex headed families — for all he knows, they could do better than children in “biologically intact families.” He did not at all survey young adult children of same-sex couples, so can not say that his study affirms a “gold standard” of married heterosexual couples with children in comparison to married gay couples with children. He. Did. Not. Make. That. Comparison. When he falsely alleges that his study affirms a “gold standard,” that is his prejudice and anti-gay bigotry speaking on the basis of ignorance, and certainly not on the basis of anything in his study comparing children of heterosexual couples to children of same-sex couples. As the record so copiously has shown, and continues to show, his prejudice and anti-gay bigotry match those of his study’s funders.
Then, notice the inflammatory, anti-gay-rights thing Regnerus said about his study here:
“it may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”
Regnerus did not study children of same-sex couples, yet he has the towering nerve to say that “the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples.” He is outright lying to the public about his study, with language entirely characteristic of his NOM-funding-fixers, his apparent political puppet masters.
How dare he, and just how stupid does he think people are? His defense for not using a sociological valid comparison between his test and his control groups is that he could not find enough young adult children of same-sex couples, but he tells the public that his study “revealed” that instability among same-sex couple “is just too common.”
How can UT not feel embarrassed to be associated with this jerky, anti-gay bigot, and shameless NOM shill?
Some key things merit being repeated, so the idea is firmly established in everybody’s mind when considering whether Regnerus is guilty of the allegations against him; even as Regnerus says he was not able to survey young adult children of SAME-SEX COUPLES, he is telling the public that his study, “the NFSS reveals” that instability is “just too common” among SAME-SEX COUPLES.
He should be telling it to The Horse Marines.
He certainly is creating an impression that he “appeared likely to be required” to produce results for his funders that would throw actual same-sex parents into a bad light, by whatever devious means that could be accomplished, and no matter that it was deviously accomplished by making a sociologically invalid comparison between a test and a control group. That he goes on from having done that, to “messaging” the public with multiple blatant lies about his study and what it implies for public policy in law, in terms virtually identical to the multiple blatant lies about his study and what it implies for public policy in law that his funders are spreading far and wide is in itself evidence exceedingly relevant to my allegations against him.
Note further that Regnerus’s written study specifies the uses of studies like his in political contexts:
“The well-being of children has long been in the center of public policy debates about marriage and family matters in the United States. That trend continues as state legislatures, voters, and the judiciary considers the legal boundaries of marriage. Social science data remains one of the few sources of information useful in legal debates surrounding marriage and adoption rights, and has been valued both by same-sex marriage supporters and opponents.”
That, combined with all of the above, speaks to the political needs Regnerus’s funders had for the specific study results that he produced for them. Having gotten $785,000 for this study from those funders — (who invested $785,000 while having a stake in the study outcome) — he was not going to publish a study that would not serve their political ends for the study they appear to have commissioned on a deadline.
There was no scientific justification — (once Regnerus had his data, and knew he could not make a valid comparison between children of married heterosexual couples and those of a hodgepodge of divorced-parent backgrounds) — for Regnerus not to use his data to make a valid comparison between a test group of children of broken homes and a control group of children of broken homes. However, there was, on the part of Regnerus’s funders, a manifest use for having “fixed” research results in time for pernicious exploitation during the 2012 elections.
Now, regarding this from the ASA’s Code of Ethics:
Standard 2 Competence. While 2 (a) says that “Sociologists conduct research….only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, or appropriate professional experience,” 2 (b) adds that sociologists can move into new areas of research “after they have taken reasonable steps to ensure the competence of their work in these areas.”
One of Regnerus’s paid study design consultants was Penn State’s Dr. Paul Amato. In their letter complaining of the Regnerus study’s lack of intellectual integrity, over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s noted that Amato had never published work that considers LGBT family or parenting issues. In other words, in apparent violation of the ASA’s Code of Ethics, neither Regnerus nor Amato were credentialed to guide each other on a gay parenting study, yet they collaborated on one. The blind Regnerus leading the blind Amato; and paid with the anti-gay-rights NOM-linked funders’ dollars.
Regnerus tells apparent untruths to the public about those who participated in his study design. For example, he has said that all involved in the study design “lean left.” Yet, some of those involved in the design are from Brigham Young University, whose “Honor Code” specifies that nobody in the university community may do anything to say or even to suggest that homosexuality is morally acceptable. And, BYU is known for strict enforcement of its anti-gay “Honor Code.” Regnerus has not revealed names of those who participated in his study design, yet the fact that some were from Brigham Young alone speaks to Regnerus’s lack of good faith actions, and good faith communications about his study. Above all, those designing a study should be devoted to achieving an authentically scientific result.
Nobody from Brigham Young University can possibly have been working in an environment that would consistently allow them to develop an unbiased understanding of gay parenting. I note that where bullying non-acceptance of a minority prevails, it makes no sense to describe those who do not exhibit such bullying non-acceptance of that same minority as being “biased” in favor of the minority. Yet, that is what NOM and Brigham Young University do. Any person who has ever said that they have no “moral” objections to gay people is said to be “biased” in favor of gay people. The reason I am mentioning this, is that it is preposterous to claim as Regnerus does, that in order to design a scientific study on gay parenting, one should have study designers of varying “ideologies.”
He has not demonstrated that anybody involved in his study design was not a NOM/Brigham Young type, in any event. And why is anybody mentioning a need for people of different ideologies to be involved in a study design? Shouldn’t the question be “How will we make the most authentically scientific study of young adult children of gay parents?” and then proceed to answer the question? And, doesn’t the answer have to include “By devoting the full, necessary time and resources to surveying this small minority.”?
Further to that, why, if Regnerus was interested in comparing child outcomes for gay and heterosexual parents, did his Survey Instrument ask respondents “When did you last masturbate?” How is that legitimately a measure of child outcomes, and who on the study design team decided that asking that question was more important than precisely identifying the sexual orientations of the respondents’ parents? Why did the anti-gay-rights, Catholic Mark Regnerus ask “When did you last masturbate?” (To put my question in perspective: The Catholic Catechism section on Offenses Against Chastity calls masturbation “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”)
“Gravely disordered”? What does that have to do with what is scientifically known about human sexuality? The Catholic Catechism carries out a just absolutely ridiculous, ignorant, hateful shaming exercise against masturbation.
Why are gay human beings subject to demonization through an invalid sociological study 1) funded by powerful, deep-pocketed, religious right-wing, anti-gay-rights figures who constitute a branch of the National Republican Party, and 2) carried out by a Catholic researcher of whom it has been said that “his recent entrance into the Catholic Church has shaped his own thinking about fertility and family life.”
Who on the study design team approved a Survey Instrument that did not pose enough questions to determine a respondent’s parents’ sexual orientation, but did ask “When did you last masturbate?”?
The public has a legitimate interest in learning more about why this apparent, politically-motivated hoax was carried out through a publicly-financed institution of higher learning.
Regnerus — (who is utterly without prior credentials for the study of gay parents, and who is a member of a Church very aggressively campaigning against gay rights worldwide) — and his “team” did not devote the full, necessary time and resources to surveying the small minority that was the announced target demographic of his study. Though he did not survey adequate numbers of actual young adult children of gay parents, he rushed his study into production with a sociologically invalid comparison between his test and his control groups. He is, finally, documented as having spoken about his study to the mass media in inflammatory anti-gay-rights terms, not truthfully representing his invalid study’s “findings” — and that is to say, blatantly and repeatedly lying to the public about his study — and lying about it in line with his funders’ notorious, very well-documented political strategies and goals.
NOM head Robert George, personally accountable for the funding of the Regnerus study due to his being a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, and a Board member of the Bradley Foundation, also is a Princeton University Professor with a history of making fact-challenged negative assertions about gay people.
I interviewed Robert George’s Princeton colleague, Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, who holds a joint position as Senior Lecturer in Princeton’s Department of Sociology, and as Research Associate in the Office of Population Research. Dr. Fernandez-Kelly offers withering criticism of George’s zeal for funding a non-scientific study to advance towards his right wing goals. She tells me; “George appears to ignore that such use of shameful, glaring pseudoscience echoes exactly what was done against African-Americans and Chinese, among others, in the country’s past. The very fact he is resorting to it, shows he is losing the argument.”
“I read Regnerus’s study conclusion very closely,” Fernandez-Kelly continues, “he does not conclude that a homosexual parent provokes a poor outcome in a child. He hedges his statements, admitting that factors like poverty and class could have more to do with adverse outcomes than does sexual orientation. The people most deserving of condemnation in this are those who, having funded it, are now using it against a disadvantaged minority, to allege it says something it in fact does not at all say. It strikes me, particularly, that the study included a disproportionate number of Hispanic and African-American broken homes. Robert George is too close to God to know about real life and the struggles of real people. From empirical research, we know that many people judged to be “bad” parents actually want the best for their children, but lack resources.”
I sent this message to Robert George in an e-mail:
I am working on an article about the Regnerus parenting study, which your organizations The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation financed first with a $55,000 “planning grant” and then with known total funding of $785,000.
The published study does not make a valid comparison between a test and a control group, which is a sine qua non for a sociological study.
That it makes no valid comparison between a test and a control group is a fact that has been expressed by many hundreds of professionals in the field. Only recently, a group of major professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, filed a Golinski-DOMA amicus brief, analyzing what Regnerus did, and plainly stating that he did not survey actual young adult children of same-sex couples, i.e. that he did not make a valid sociological comparison between his test and control groups.
Do you nonetheless endorse the Regnerus study as scientifically valid?
NOM’s and Princeton’s Robert George has yet to respond.
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