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University stands by controversial study on children of gay parents

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  1. Garry Cassell 4 Sep 2012, 1:52am

    Sounds like some studty done at Oral Roberts University or Liberty… if you want to really call it a study…conclusions first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Um, PN – it’s not “controversial”, it’s false. Flat out wrong. Pure, unadulterated meaningless tosh. It has no redeeming features. At all.

    1. Spanner1960 4 Sep 2012, 12:24pm

      Citation required.
      Please demonstrate evidence to the contrary rather than simply hurling abuse.

      1. A company called “Google” has this amazing web tool that lets you search, like, the whole Internet for stuff. You should try it sometime.

        Also check out
        and also Scott Rose’s (long but undeniably complete) list of criticisms at

        1. and also Scott Rose’s (long but undeniably complete) list of criticisms, staring with

          and continuing elsewhere on that site.

      2. Spanner1960, I have to assume that you have Google. There are literally hundreds of citations there. I can’t imagine that even you would defend this “study”.

  3. What a surprise, a university from good ol’ Texas publishes this. I wonder, is this a social scientific study, or a piece of propaganda churned into life via the forces of bigotry and christendom? Once again, clear evidence of sample bias topped with inaccuracies comes to light, and the same smoke and mirrors defence of ‘this is a controversial issue’ is thrown up. The only conceivable reason why any harm comes to the children is due people like this and their religious counterparts going out of their way to discriminate against gay people. This serves only one purpose, to fuel the religious right some concrete evidence, as they previously had none. This piece of shabby intellectualism in indicative of a side which is losing this war of words.

    1. is* indicative.

    2. It was funded by anti-gay christian groups…

  4. study that shows bigotry ruins lives

    1. Actually all it shows is that family break up ruins lives.

  5. Well in homophobic society such as Texas I would also be depressed having gay parents. This is message to society not for gay people to stop having kids but for society to be more inclusive so that kids of gay parents don’t grow up being told their parents are ‘evil’. Marriage equality would go along way to assist this.

    I can bet you if they did a study as to wether a child was more depressed in an orphanage or in gay home then I think we would know the answer – so let’s not let this study confuse matters.

    1. “This is message to society not for gay people to stop having kids but for society to be more inclusive so that kids of gay parents don’t grow up being told their parents are ‘evil’. Marriage equality would go along way to assist this.”

      Absolutely! Also, reducing homophobia in schools would help too.

  6. Utter rubbish. To be ignored. They just want publicity.

  7. If there is any truth or hard evidence of this study, may I suggest it is the Texans themselves, who are so bigoted that they hound and discriminate bully children who do not ‘fit in’ with their ‘family ideals’

    1. Spanner1960 4 Sep 2012, 12:26pm

      I know quite a few gay Texans, and I agree it is something of a ‘redneck state’, but it isn’t all that bad.

      1. David Myers 5 Sep 2012, 7:28am

        You perhaps should have said it isn’t all bad, not it isn’t all that bad. Sure there are good people gay and straight living in Texas who are not homophobes or bigoted. But unfortunately they are still in the minority. It is “all that bad”, but it “isn’t all bad”!

  8. Clearly this news about LGBT parents in Texas is more important and interesting to a UK audience than the news about the 4 British christian cultists today taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights today.

    I read it on the BBC – which has become far better on reporting LGBT issues.

    Pink News on the other hand has become an amateur blog recycling dreary US stories stolen from US websites.

    1. What, you mean this news, that was posted just nineteen minutes after this article?

      Stop bashing PinkNews for its US coverage at any given opportunity.

    2. David Myers 5 Sep 2012, 7:30am

      Same old bitchin about content other than local. Grow up. We are everywhere which means are struggle is everwhere and we should be interested and in support of our cause everywhere!

  9. I’m not sure why this is considered controversial while findings that LGBT people are at a higher risk of mental illness because of issues in society in general.

    I wouldn’t see this as a condemnation of LGBT parenting, rather as a reason to look at how society in general treats LGBT Families.

    Do people really think that kids seeing all the negative comments in the media about people like their parents might not have some effect… and some will hear or receive comments directly about their parents..

    1. PantoHorse 4 Sep 2012, 12:48pm

      You’re right, those are the questions that need to be asked and (haven’t read the study) may not have been raised by the researcher himself, he may have concentrated on the ‘therefore LGBT parenting is bad’ aspect, which is what this story leads us to believe.

      1. If you want to know what a real statistician would do, try this study from D Potter. Still a right-wing perspective, but a million times better methodology.

        When the facts are unclear, the conclusions are nuanced. Not forced to fit a preconceived worldview.

    2. “I’m not sure why this is considered controversial”

      Because of the source of funding and the way the gay parents were categorised – that is, someone who’d most people would identify as a divorced parent or a straight parent or any number of things is here categorised as a ‘gay parent’ simply because they once had a same sex experience.

      “Regnerus asked respondents whether their mothers or fathers had ever had a same-sex relationship, regardless of the duration of the relationship & “regardless of any other household transitions.” He then allowed those answers to trump others in order to increase the “Lesbian Mother” & “Gay Father” sample size & treated all of the family-form categories as mutually exclusive, even though they aren’t.(To use the Haggard example: altho’ he’s still technically in an “intact biological family,” he would be counted among the ‘Gay Father’ families”

      1. Haggard= Ted Haggard

  10. I am sure SOME children of GLBT families face certain challenges, just as used to be the case for other minority families – like mixed race, immigrant and “broken home”. This will get better as visibility increases. Having said that, this survey was not carried out under proper guidelines and is worthless.

  11. People who are claiming that this is ‘utter rubbish’ etc are being horrendously and despicably closed minded In the same way the religious are on the matters of homosexuality. The findings themselves will be peer reviewed by people who are experts then we will find out if it is a flawed study – my suspicion is it it not. However, if you read the article carefully there is no suggestion of a causal link between having gay parents and having issues in later life. There does however appear to be a correlation (correlation and causation are two very different things) that could be attributed to a whole host of other things, not least of all the homophobic bullying that may have happened to these people. If you read the last bit where the author of the study affirms that orientation is not a cause for poor parenting we can see that even he does not think it is a causal relationship. This could in fact be a good study to show the effect of homophobic bullying on victims in later life.

    1. I agree that any negative effects of having a gay parent might be due to society’s treatment of LGBT people so, in theory, the study might have a point, but isn’t this the study that was criticised because it had a very broad definition of ‘gay parent’ and included people who’d had any kind of gay relationship in their life?

      I can’t remember all the details, but if you look at the original PN report, you can see, for example:

      “As stated earlier, the group is comprised of young adults who experienced multiple family structures, not only a same-sex parent household (indeed, some of the respondents never lived with the mother’s same-sex partner). It is quite possible, for example, that many or most of the negative outcomes result from the divorce of the young adult’s biological parents that preceded the mother’s same-sex relationship.”

      So blaming the gay relationship may be wrong.

    2. In fact, some of the participants were children of straight relationships:

      “Dr Regnerus agreed that instability in the lives of those who took part in the study was a more likely culprit for negative outcomes in adult life, noting that given the age of the participants, they were more likely to have been born into a straight relationship which broke down than they were to have been planned children of gay parents.”

      So instability is the most likely culprit not sexual orientation, which makes more sense.

    3. Scott Rose 6 Sep 2012, 11:34pm

      Regnerus makes a false claim that he proved correlation between “same sex parents” and bad child outcomes. It doesn’t help his study at all, that he says he didn’t prove causation. Causation is not the issue. Any idiot looking at his hoax could see that he made no attempt to determine causation. The problem is, he fraudulently alleges having proven correlation. What’s more is that there WAS peer review of his study, but it was corrupt, including by some of the heads of the organization that funded his “study.” The Witherspoon Institute funded the study, and the Witherspoon Institute’s W. Bradford Wilcox is on the editorial board of the journal that published Regnerus, “Social Science Research;” Wilcox also is a paid Regnerus study consultant and was involved with peer review of studies for the issue. That is to say, there is an astonishing pile-up of conflicts of interest between the journal the funder. The study does not support the conclusions it offers.

  12. Do they face problems because of their parents or because of how society treats them BECAUSE of their parents.

    Throw this study out the nearest window.

    Let’s return to the 1980s and 90s when all those credible studies said women bringing up children were found to be a better unit than heterosexual units (of course, let’s get some studies for the lads too!)

  13. Nice to see that the fundies at University of Texas see absolutely nothing wrong in supporting a study that is basically nothing but lies when it comes to LGBT parenting. What the bloody hell ever happend to “thou shalt not bear false witness”?

    Having livd in Texas for a while (too long) in the 1980s, this is what I would expect out of a bunch of nimorlds such as those backing this “study”.

  14. Spanner1960 4 Sep 2012, 12:28pm

    As usual, people automatically react and accuse the university of homophobia, poor standards, bad research and anything else they can throw at it without actually looking at the facts.

    This is obviously a serious study done for a reason, and bias either way makes this sort of thing a pointless exercise, so it is critical that the data remains truthful and accurate.

    I am not leaning either way, but I would like to see a better breakdown of their information before I draw any conclusions as to the outcome.

    1. Dude, seriously, read the study for yourself. You’ll see immediately what crock it is. You don’t even need a stats degree to understand how badly its done.

      1. Eg:
        “Together these eight groups account for the entire NFSS sample. These eight groups are largely, but not entirely, mutually exclusive in reality. That is, a small minority of respondents might fit more than one group. I have, however, forced their mutual exclusivity here for analytic purposes. For example, a respondent whose mother had a same-sex relationship might also qualify in Group 5 or Group 7, but in this case my analytical interest is in maximizing the sample size of Groups 2 and 3 so the respondent would be placed in Group 2 (LMs). Since Group 3 (GFs) is the smallest and most difficult to locate randomly in the population, its composition trumped that of others, even LMs.”
        LM = Lesbian Mother, GF = Gay Father

        So he ignores any possible confounding factors and attributes all overlaps to gay/lesbian parenting. As identified by the CHILD, note, not self-identified by the parent.

  15. Does the study give underlying reasons why children of gay parents go onto to have problems as adults i.e. homophobia and bigotry from their peers, rather than suggest the blame is on the parents themselves?

    1. all this study actually proves, and the author has said this, is that kids from stable two parents families do better than ones brought up in ‘broken’ or single parent homes. Most of the children of parents who had ‘gay’ relationships never lived with the parent’s partner. And many had only brief gay liaisons, not proper relationships.

  16. But they DIDN’T study 248 families with a “gay parent”. They studied 248 families where one of the parents had, at some point in their lives, had a sexual experience with a person of the same sex.

    HUGE difference!

  17. burningworm 4 Sep 2012, 9:25pm

    How long was the study?

    Either way.

    I’m interested in whether a child from a homo home feel the need to come out to their parents.

    Whether coming out is an answer to the hetero world or if it is infact another thing all together.

    I’m all for a post-coming out world. Where a kid brings home their bf/gf/partner/lover without so much of a raised eyebrow to their sexuality.

  18. Well, it could have been rather interesting if they had compared it with the outcome for children from fundamentalist christian homes. I’ve heard of so many persons with troubled childhoods because of parents with uncompromising religious beliefs that it can’t be just coincidence.

  19. 3000 people in the study on 248 or something have gay parents hardly a fair student.
    I have straight parents and suffer from depression as well as several other things. The sexuality of your parents doesn’t make you more or less likely to suffer as an adult…that comes from what kind of childhood you have; how stable your life is …. not if you have gay or straight parents!

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