Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Author defends study said to have been ‘flawed and misleading’ about gay parents

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. I suspect that Regenerus wrote his report in such a manner to satisfy his funders (who have links to homophobic hate groups). They wanted a report that “appeared” to have credibility and which they could use to slam gay parenting, whilst the author was able to claim this was not his intention. He was deliberately provocative in what he wrote – and he intended to disparage gay people – in my opinion.

    This man should be referred to appropriate regulartory bodies in the USA – as he appears to be using similar tactics to those of the discredited and bigoted “researcher” Dr Paul Cameron.

    The American Sociological Association said of Cameron that he deserved condemnation for “consistent misrepresentation of sociological research”.

    Cameron has links to the same hate group the funders of Regenrus’ study are linked to.

    1. StraightGrandmother 12 Jun 2012, 9:17pm

      Dr. Regenerus’s Respondents were raised in a MIXED ORIENTATION MARRIAGE (MOM), or a MIXED ORIENTATION SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. A MOM is where one spouse is gay and one spouse is straight. That is who responded to this survey people who had parents in a MOM. Regnerus confirms that he found only a few Respondents who were raised in a straight up lesbian or straight up gay home. Here is part of his e-mail he to me which he asked me to post.

      [snip]”By the way, one of the key methodological criticisms circulating is that–basically–in a population-based sample, I haven’t really evaluated how the adult children of stably-intact coupled self-identified lesbians have fared. Right? Right. And I’m telling you that it cannot be feasibly accomplished. It is a methodological (practical) impossibility at present, for reasons I describe: they really didn’t exist in numbers that could be amply obtained *randomly*. It may well be a flaw–limitation, I think–but it is unavoidable.

      1. StraightGrandmother 12 Jun 2012, 10:29pm

        You can read all of Dr. Regnerun’s e-mails to me where he admits there are only a couple and I mean really a couple respondents who were raised in a straight up Lesbian or gay home.

        1. And where are the figures for the children raised in fractured homes where neither parent had any homosexual relationships? That would be the only fair comparison. Comparing fractured families to stable marriages is wholly unfair.

      2. That discredits his study and claims

        Its not the only way his study is discredited!

    2. StraightGrandmother 12 Jun 2012, 9:22pm

      Dr. Regenerus’s Respondents were raised in a MIXED ORIENTATION MARRIAGE (MOM), or a MIXED ORIENTATION SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. A MOM is where one spouse is gay and one spouse is straight. That is who responded to this survey people who had parents in a MOM. Regnerus confirms that he found only a few Respondents who were raised in a straight up lesbian or straight up gay home. Here is part of his e-mailto me which he asked me to post.

      [snip]”By the way, one of the key methodological criticisms circulating is that–basically–in a population-based sample, I haven’t really evaluated how the adult children of stably-intact coupled self-identified lesbians have fared. Right? Right. And I’m telling you that it cannot be feasibly accomplished. It is a methodological (practical) impossibility at present, for reasons I describe: they really didn’t exist in numbers that could be amply obtained *randomly*. It may well be a flaw–limitation, I think–but it is unavoidable.

      1. Reed Boyer 13 Jun 2012, 7:13pm

        Spot-on. I’ve enjoyed your excellence over at Box Turtle Bulletin for many months now, and I’m delighted to see you in the Pink News commentary thread.

  2. Sounds like a complete opposite finding of the RAND study done several years ago that actually showed children of two lesbian parents fared better than all kids. I’m very suspicious about the “research” of this man .

  3. In a nutshell

    The study cannot infer any causality from a random one of time limited sample, with also serious problems with the reliability and validity of its research instruments.

    Only a longitudinal study, i.e. a study which views change over a long period of time, 5, 10 or 15 years can warrant claims about causal relationships.

  4. As an intellectual, I can boldly say that the findings of this study is valid until proven otherwise by another rigorous peer reviewed study. Criticism based on sentiments and anecdotal evidence CANNOT override such a finding

    1. There is already sufficient room for concern – by peers in the field – and from other academics.

      The funding arrangements stink of bias and set up. The usual practice of hate groups (there are strong links to more than one hate group with the funders of the research).

      Given the bias that appears to be there, the significant methodology concerns of independent academics in the same field and other prior issues involving the author where his studies have been rightly discredited.

      To me the study is dirty and meaningless, it is stained with the appearance of absolute bias.

    2. The problem is that while the findings may be valid, the conclusions draw from the study are not. The author attempts to compare the children raised by married heterosexual couples with those whose parents report having had a same sex relationship (regardless of length). This is not a fair comparison – if you wish to know whether children raised by same sex couples demonstrate similar outcomes to those raised by heterosexual couples, then you need to control for other variables other than sexual orientation. You cannot fairly compare a child raised by a single, unemployed lesbian mother, who was the product of a one night stand with an unknown father, living in a council estate against a child raised by a happily married middle class heterosexual couple with professional jobs.

      The author is either being deliberately obtuse or unbelievably naive to suggest that these findings should not be used to negatively label lesbian and gay people when he draws these conclusions himself.

    3. “As an intellectual, I can boldly say that the findings of this study is valid until proven otherwise by another rigorous peer reviewed study.”

      Ken, I was wondering about two things, which university are you based at, and which journals have you published in?

      1. I think the fact he can type in full sentences might make Ken consider himself an intellectual. It’s certainly not down to what he says now is it?

      2. Its okay for you to wonder but I only disclose relevant details about myself.

        I stand by my statement and that’s what you should focus on. Intellectuals critique arguments not personality – a fact lost to the militant gay ‘marriage’ lobby seeing that they are throwing most of their arsenal at the author rather than his research

        1. You claim you are an intellectual – JohnK asked you to explain why you feel this.

          How is that not a relevant detail?

          Ashamed of yourself, hiding behind anonymity?

        2. Ken,
          if you make claims about being an intellectual, do you not think it would be an act of integrity to substantiate that claim?

    4. ‘Ken,you’re an intellectual? I never would have guessed. Why do you act so stupid then? Is it because you think girls don’t like clever men or something?

  5. Sham science.

  6. Shake Spear 12 Jun 2012, 8:07pm

    I think Mark Regnerus has just destroyed his career. No one will ever take him or his ‘research’ seriously again, especially when they know who he had to get into bed with in order to produce it.

    1. When you sleep with the devil …

      The Family Research Council (who are linked to both of Regnerus’ major funders) are certainly demonic!

  7. Other scientists say the research is deeply flawed, and does not measure the effect of same-sex parenting at all. The study defined same-sex parenting by asking participants if their parents had ever had same-sex relationships, and whether they had lived with the parent at that time. That led to a “hodgepodge” group of people who Regnerus then compared with kids in stable, married homes, said Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University who was not involved in the research.

    “He doesn’t have an actual category of gay parents in the project that you can isolate and say the most important thing in this kid’s childhood is that they were raised by gay parents,” Stacey told LiveScience. “These are kids whose parents, maybe they divorced, maybe they separated, maybe they had a scandalous affair, we just don’t know.”

  8. From Orlando Sentinel:

    Will this embarrassing piece of statistical acrobatics mark the beginning of the end of Mark Regnerus’s credibility with respectable news outlets?

    Fingers crossed. Regnerus is a regular on the op-ed circuit and tends to get the first call when a sex-and-youth piece in one of the big dailies needs an expert voice. But for all his statistical abilities (a disaster though this latest study was, he’s still got research chops), Regnerus’s preeminent contribution to mainstream conversation has been his personal misogynist ideas about sex and marriage.

    Take the book he co-authored in 2011, Premarital Sex in America, most notable for its description of the sexual interactions of young people as “sexual economics,” which holds that all sex between unmarried heterosexual people, from fleeting one-night-stands to sex in relationships of many years, is sterile, transactional, and satisfying exclusively for the male participant. The book provides the weird and icky

    1. concept that is the basis for most of his moralizing essays—like this one for Slate, which blames male commitment problems on women who have failed to be “more fully in charge of how their relationships transpired.” (If they were, “we’d be seeing, on average, more impressive wooing efforts, longer relationships, fewer premarital sexual partners, shorter cohabitations, and more marrying going on.”)

      Or take this Washington Post op-ed he wrote in 2009, which is informed more by his personal conviction that “marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed” than by actual research. In it, he frets about the increasing tendency among young people to marry later in life than did previous generations (a trend he admits wouldn’t worry him if it were only a tendency among men):
      “Marriage will be there for men when they’re ready. … But according to social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, women’s “market

    2. value” declines steadily as they age, while men’s tends to rise in step with their growing resources (that is, money and maturation). Countless studies — and endless anecdotes — reinforce their conclusion. Meanwhile, women’s fertility is more or less fixed, yet they largely suppress it during their 20s — their most fertile years — only to have to beg, pray, borrow and pay to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s.”

      What do we need with a retrograde researcher who instructs young women to reorder their lives according to men’s “market value,” who can’t imagine a world in which women have sex for sexual reasons (once describing female consent as “sexual strategies for making men ‘fall in love’”), and who traffics in the mid-century notion that the timing of marriage should be arranged around a woman’s “most fertile years”? Now that Regnerus has definitively added “provider of ill-conceived research to Focus-On-The-Family types” to his CV, here’s hoping that more news outlets will decide

    3. that his isn’t a voice we need at all.

      —-

      Excellent comment, which demonstrates the sociological bias of this discredited researcher!

      1. This is what happens when (bad) researchers guide their work by their own biased, prejudiced opinions rather than by an imparcial analysis of the data.
        We can all tweak the data to make it align with one’s agenda, but I am surprised that this passed the peer review process.

  9. Calling it a “flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound paper that seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents,” GLAAD, HRC, The Family Equality Council and Freedom to Marry yesterday condemned a parenting study trumpeted by its author Mark Regnerus (pictured) yesterday in Slate which on its face appears to overturn three decades of research into families with same-sex parents.
    The study is being lauded, of course, by right-wing groups like NOM
    A heterosexually married female prostitute who on rare occasion services women;
    A long-term gay couple who adopt special-needs children;
    A never-married straight male prison inmate who sometimes seeks sexual release with other male inmates;
    A woman who comes out of the closet, divorces her husband, and has a same-sex relationship at age 55, after her children are grown;
    Ted Haggard, the disgraced evangelical pastor who was caught having drug fueled-trysts with a male prostitute over a period of several years;
    A lesbian who conceives via

    1. donor insemination and raises several children with her long-term female partner;

      Give up? The answer—assuming that they all have biological or adopted adult children between the ages of 18 and 39—is that they would all be counted as “Lesbian Mothers” or “Gay Fathers” in Mark Regnerus’s new study, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?
      The paper is fundamentally flawed and intentionally misleading. It doesn’t even measure what it claims to be measuring. Most of the children examined in the paper were not being raised by parents in a committed same-sex relationship—whereas the other children in the study were being raised in two-parent homes with straight parents.

      Given its fundamental flaws and ideological agenda, it’s not surprising that the paper doesn’t match the 30 years of solid scientific research on gay and lesbian parents and families. That research has been reviewed by child welfare organizations like the Child Welfare League of

    2. America, the National Adoption Center, the National Association of Social Workers and others whose only priority is the health and welfare of children and that research has led them to strongly support adoption by lesbian and gay parents.

      In addition, the paper’s flaws highlight the disconnect between its claims about gay parents and the lived experiences of 2 million children in this country being raised by LGBT parents. Americans know that their LGBT friends, family members and neighbors are wonderful parents and are providing loving and happy homes to children.

      The paper fails to consider the impact of family arrangement or family transitions on children, invalidating any attempt on its part to assess the impact of sexual orientation on parenting. The paper inappropriately compares children raised by two heterosexual parents for 18 years with children who experience family transitions – like foster care – or who live with single or divorced parents, or in blended families.

    3. Moreover, the limited number of respondents arbitrarily classified as having a gay or lesbian parent are combined regardless of their experiences of family instability.
      Regnerus is well known for his ultra-conservative ideology and the paper was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation – two groups commonly known for their support of conservative causes. The Witherspoon Institute also has ties to the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, and ultra-conservative Catholic groups like Opus Dei.
      A growing majority of people today already realize the harms this kind of junk science inflicts on loving families. If the media decides that this paper is worth covering, journalists have a responsibility to inform their audiences about the serious and glaring flaws in its methodology, and about the biased views of its author and funders.

  10. StraightGrandmother 12 Jun 2012, 9:12pm

    Dr. Regenerus’s Respondents were raised in a MIXED ORIENTATION MARRIAGE (MOM), or a MIXED ORIENTATION SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. A MOM is where one spouse is gay and one spouse is straight. That is who responded to this survey people who had parents in a MOM. Regnerus confirms that he found only a few Respondents who were raised in a straight up lesbian or straight up gay home. Here is part of his e-mail he to me which he asked me to post.

    [snip]”By the way, one of the key methodological criticisms circulating is that–basically–in a population-based sample, I haven’t really evaluated how the adult children of stably-intact coupled self-identified lesbians have fared. Right? Right. And I’m telling you that it cannot be feasibly accomplished. It is a methodological (practical) impossibility at present, for reasons I describe: they really didn’t exist in numbers that could be amply obtained *randomly*. It may well be a flaw–limitation, I think–but it is unavoidable. We maxxed Knowledge Netw

  11. I see Ken is down arrowing anyone who sees that this study is totally discredited – what a child!

  12. I notice he does not try to defend the links his funders have to hate groups!

  13. Methinks Regnerus doth protest too much. He knew exactly what he was doing. He made deliberate choices to mislead and deceive. The problem is not his random selection, it is his decision to compare unstable families with stable families and deduce from that comparison that children of gay parents do worse than the biological children of happily married straight parents. What he actually proved was what has been known for years and years and years, and that is that children need stability. He is a fraud. His study was done in bad faity. He has satisfied his funders who wanted a peer-reviewed study that can be cited in briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court when it hears cases related to same-sex marriage. The attorneys against ssm will cite this pseudo scholarship as evidence that is perfectly rational to oppose same-sex marriage. Regnerus’s hands are not clean.

  14. Would the Catholic Church give you US$ 700,000 to fund a research comparing unstable Catholic holseholds to stable Atheist ones? We didn’t think so, Mr. Regnerus…

    1. Maybe someone should fund such research, just for the fun of it ;)

  15. More anti-gay Christian propaganda.

  16. This Ken chap isn’t like the other trolls around here, he can form a sentence around logc and sense (or at least his own logic and sense) and can carry on a converation briging up (his)valid points. (rather than the standard “gays are evil/silly/deluded/cureable/blah blah blah”
    Yet he still can not see!! Do we know if he is religious?? is that what it is, the religious block that dissallows the brain to complete logical thought to its conclusion?

  17. Such an old, tired, and transparent trick – compare apples with oranges instead of apples and apples.

  18. Paddyswurds 18 Jun 2012, 8:18pm

    If this whole nurture thing were in any way valid it would mean that all the boys in a family would be gay surely? As in my own family where we were raised by a widowed mother, this is proven as wrong as both my brothers are most definitely straight!

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all