How Dare Mark Regnerus be Shoddy Like Pro-Homosexuality Researchers, Associations?

Regnerus published an article this summer in the journal Social Science Research that concluded that the children of same-sex parents tend to fare worse than the children of parents in stable heterosexual marriages. He presented his findings as probabilistic and did not dismiss variations within all types of families. He openly and honestly acknowledged receiving funding from the conservative Witherspoon Institute. He also explicitly recognized that his was only an initial attempt to look at a controversial issue using a large dataset, while also pointing out the small number of same-sex families and their changing nature over time. Ironically, his very honesty and forthrightness about the sources of his funding and the limitations of his data made it easy for witch-hunters to attack him.

Gay-rights activist Scott Rose has been at the forefront of a vicious campaign to denounce and discredit Regnerus. Rose filed a complaint against Regnerus, accusing the sociologist of violating the Academic Dishonesty Policy of the university. In an open letter to the president of UT Austin, Rose accused the professor of accepting funds from politically active organizations and furthering the goals of those organizations. I am at a loss to understand how this could be "dishonesty," since Regnerus made the sources of his funding clear to the university from the time he applied for university approval of the study and to everyone else. I have no way of knowing whether his research was intentionally or unintentionally directed toward furthering political goals. But using research to pursue political goals is a mainstream activity within contemporary sociology, as long as those goals are popular in academic circles.

Rose misrepresents questions of causation and measurement in the Regnerus study as strategies for defamation. For example, Rose says that "Regnerus fraudulently classed as a present-day young adult raised by a 'gay' parent up until the 1990s anybody from Knowledge Networks list who said their parent ever had a 'romantic relationship' with a same-sex partner." This decision about how to define parents with same-sex partners is certainly open to criticism. But it is most definitely not "fraudulent," since the definition is honestly presented and there for anyone to see and judge.

via The Persecution of Mark Regnerus | The Moral Liberal.

I can't believe that this Scott Rose actually posted his entire letter on my blog as a comment and actually made any headway with it at all. The comment (http://www.realliberalchristianchurch.org/2012/06/21/toms-take-on-the-regnerus-study-and-children-of-parents-who-have-same-sex-relationships-limning-the-psyche.html#comment-564922074) was a mess formatting-wise (it was a copy and paste job, and he didn't even bother cleaning it up even though there's an edit feature in the commenting system) and could easily have simply been a link to his own blog. I did edit the comment to link back to the site where he said he would be posting his letter. More importantly though is that the letter was so poorly thought out that I considered it a waste of time to go at it point-by-point. If that letter scared anyone in any high-ranking academic settings (it apparently did), then academe is in very, very serious trouble for having severely dumbed down since my college days. Wow!

Nevertheless, "liberal" websites and publications are foaming at the mouth over the following:

A University of Texas researcher stirred up controversy last month with a study that raised doubts about the parenting abilities of gay couples. But the journal Social Science Research never should have published his report, according to an internal draft audit.

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Now that's a "draft" audit. That means it wasn't final. Also, some criticisms by a pro-homosexuality sociologist in that draft does not mean that the whole of academe is going to be rolled over by a handful of frantic, catty homosexuals. Yes, I said "catty" and mean it. Frankly, Scott Rose reminds me of the AGW-deniers of the worse sort who won't believe in anthropogenic global warming even while they are dying of it. Now, I'm talking not about average people who have never had time to look into the matter of AGW but just take FOX News' word for it or some of the talking heads on FOX anyway. I'm talking about people who have actually heard and even somewhat read the AGW evidence, which is huge, growing, and absolutely correct that there is AGW. They run from the real debate and rather turn around and preach nonsense to people without the time or background to get into it.

You see, here I am, a surprise, a man who believes in, no, knows that there is, AGW who also is anti-homosexuality. Do you know why I'm that way? I'm that way because I am interested in the truth no matter what. I don't care at all for taking the popular view on anything when that view is false!

More from that same article:

The audit also asserted that three of six peer reviewers were on record as opposing gay marriage. Two of the six, according to Sherkat [sociologist Darren E. Sherkat], have previously collaborated with Regnerus, although not in the past 10 years.

He described the three reviewers who are not publicly conservative as "social science superstars."

That sounds like a litmus test for reviewers. If you aren't for homosexuals marrying each other, you can't review journal articles on research into homosexuality.

One day, will they say that if you aren't for pedophiles marrying "consenting" children, you can't review journal articles on research into pedophilia? Of course they will, if we all keep traveling in Scott Rose's direction.

Oh, he'd probably swear that's not true, but consider how long ago it was when the idea that not being for homosexuals marrying each other wouldn't even have crossed anyone's mind when it came time to review research on homosex. It won't take long at this rate.

That's the way it is though. It has to get much worse before it will get better. People will have to make themselves very, very sick before they'll plead for salvation. Will it be too late?

Scott Rose doesn't care. Ask him how many men he's sodomized and who have sodomized him? Ask him how many of them he only saw once? Ask him if he has experienced any physical problems related to his sodomy? Will he be even slightly as honest as he has been insisting Mark Regnerus must be (even though Scott has zero proof Mark did anything with fraudulent intent)?

Ask him if his father was distant and his mother smothering. Ask him if he was ever sexually abused, homosexually sexually abused. Ask him if he thinks that it should be illegal for children who have unwanted same-sex attraction directly and solely because they were homosexually raped to see Reparative Therapists (CA SB-1172). He calls people monsters. Does he take monstrous positions? He sure does.

Frankly, if Regnerus loses his job because of Scott, I wonder if Mark's litigious. I don't think he'll lose his job though. In fact, I'm waiting for the blowback. Yes, Sociology is "liberal" and there are many homosexuals in it, but they can't be so obviously political without shooting themselves in their scientific feet. Think! Don't let Scott the Illogical run your show from the outside or in.

The reason I took the position I did toward Scott Rose's comment was two-fold. Firstly, Mark freely admitted the difficulties he encountered and openly stated that he looks forward to further research into those areas. Secondly and most importantly, the standard being insisted upon by the pro-homosexuality crowd has never been applied to the very studies they most often cite in support of their (false) conclusions regarding homosexuality.

Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Therefore, the homosexualists can look forward to having the exact same standards applied retroactively to all of their cherished studies and to all new studies going forward. That's fine with me. I thought Mark Regnerus' study was in need of more work. I thought his definition of "homosexual" its weakest point. Of course, the definition of what it is to be a homosexual is a highly charged debate. Rather than having approached his study as the homosexuals did, I would have simply asked Mark to avoid making certain comparisons without more work. Scott Rose called for Mark's head, so to speak ("sanctions") -- very telling about Scott's mentality. In other words, Mark left himself open to the hyperbolic attacks by the type of person who doesn't understand how to be consistent. Here's very nearly what I thought of Scott Rose's letter (at least Scott's letter is formatted on the site): http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/open-letter-to-university-of-texas-regarding-professor-mark-regneruss-alleged-unethical-anti-gay-study/civil-rights/2012/06/24/41977#IDComment388759135 (Let the whole page load so it can then jump to the comment.)

Anyway, this is all far from over. In fact, it's only just begun. The homosexualists fired off their "best." The same cannot be said for those who sympathize with Mark Regnerus. They've seen what Scott Rose has brought to the table. They've seen what the knee-jerk homosexual-fearing (talk about phobic; "pro-homosexuality" associations, etc., have said against Regnerus). They know exactly what the hurdles are now and exactly when to place those same hurdles in front of pro-homosexual researchers and publishers.

How many of the Regnerus "bashers" (they love that term) will censor calls for the same standards when their favorite and lauded studies don't meet those standards. Just watch. The only thing that will prevent that is talk like mine here, and that will work in my favor too (because their stuff isn't good enough and never will be). They can't live up to their own supposed standards. Just watch. Then join the right side. This side. My side. God's side.

Will all of this force good studies? If it does, Mark Regnerus may not end up being vindicated in his definition of homosexual. He will though end up being vindicated in believing that all other things being equal, children raised by heterosexual parents over homosexual ones are better off.

Here's the problem the homosexualists now face in spades.

...to date, there is only one other gay parenting study that draws from a large, random sample, that of Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford University, who relies upon 2000 U.S. Census data. Every other gay parenting study thus far relies upon small or non-probability samples, which do not allow for generalization and are thus inadequate for drawing conclusions about the population at large.4 For example, the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study used a "convenience" sample and recruited respondents entirely by self-selection (from announcements posted in lesbian newspapers, women's bookstores and lesbian events in Boston, Washington, and the San Francisco areas).5 While these types of studies are valuable for gathering information about the specific lesbians who demonstrate those kinds of behaviors (that is, who attend book stores, read newspapers, and are "out" enough to attend lesbian events) they are problematic when the goal is to generalize to the general population of lesbians, some of whom may not have the social, economic, or behavioral patterns of the former group. Any claims about the general population that are based on a group that does not represent it will be defective, because the sample will be less diverse than what a truly representative sample would reveal.

This problem is compounded when these studies compare data from the small convenience samples of gay parenting with data on heterosexual parenting from large, population-level samples. (http://www.familystructurestudies.com/summary)

Check this out. It's hugely important, and you've possibly never even heard of it (you know why too):

Social Science Research

Volume 41, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 735–751

Same-sex parenting and children's outcomes: A closer examination of the American psychological association's brief on lesbian and gay parenting
Loren Marks,
Louisiana State University, 341 School of Human Ecology, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States
Received 3 October 2011. Revised 8 March 2012. Accepted 12 March 2012. Available online 10 June 2012.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.03.006

Abstract

In 2005, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued an official brief on lesbian and gay parenting. This brief included the assertion: "Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents" (p. 15). The present article closely examines this assertion and the 59 published studies cited by the APA to support it. Seven central questions address: (1) homogeneous sampling, (2) absence of comparison groups, (3) comparison group characteristics, (4) contradictory data, (5) the limited scope of children's outcomes studied, (6) paucity of long-term outcome data, and (7) lack of APA-urged statistical power. The conclusion is that strong assertions, including those made by the APA, were not empirically warranted. [emphasis added; where's Scott Rose's call to sanction the APA?] Recommendations for future research are offered.

Unless you are deep into this subject matter, you never heard of that before. Think about it. The Regnerus Study is famous, but the Marks Study much, much less so, even though it should have profound implications because of the power that the homosexually co-opted APA has over people's lives. ("Homosexual / Gay Rights" v. Science at the APA (American Psychological Association))

Listen, the exact same criticism Marks leveled about parenting also applies to homosexuality itself. The pro-homosexual studies cited by the APA are fraught with problems every bit as severe as those leveled against Regnerus. That's why this whole thing is great in that it will force light into the APA and its politicization for the purpose of homosexualizing America, even though homosexuality is likewise fraught with inherent problems, physical and mental problems that will remain and manifest regardless of attempted masking.

Now that you've read all of that, read this: "The Regnerus Audit," By Robert VerBruggen. National Review Online. August 3, 2012 4:11 P.M. It takes Darren E. Sherkat (the sociologist who was one of the auditors of the Regnerus Study) to task in a very fair way.

You should read that whole article, but here's a bit that's very important:

Sherkat also notes that Wright is not "part of a conservative conspiracy" against gay rights; in fact, the editor accepted one of Sherkat's own papers last year "over the objections of two conservative reviewers." All in all, Sherkat says, his "review of the editorial processing of the [Regnerus study and an accompanying one on the same topic] revealed that there were no gross violations of editorial procedures."
[...]
Social science does need to raise its standards, and we should all hope for a day when academic journals can reject every study that lacks rigor in basic ways. But the simple fact of the matter is that the research on gay parenting from both sides leaves much to be desired, and in some ways the Regnerus study is a step in the right direction [bigger sample sizes, etc.].

Lastly, here's a good, short summary of where things stand: "The Politics of Science: Recent studies on gay parenting and the abortion-suicide link showcase key tensions in our public life," by Tobin Grant. Christianity Today. 8/1/2012.

In November, Social Science Research will publish an internal audit of the paper and the review process. The auditor concluded that while the editor was not at fault, the review process was flawed. According to the audit, several reviewers should have excluded themselves because of their connections to Regnerus and his project. Better reviews would have caught some problems with the paper that would have normally excluded it from publication [pending edits]. Most notably, Regnerus submitted the paper before his data were completely collected. Also, his measure and labels of his measure were deemed deceptive [loaded term that; hmmm]; few in "lesbian mother" or "gay father" categories were actually raised in a same-sex households.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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