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And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, April 16, 2021

Observercast

Pseudo-Science Attacks Same-Gender Parenting

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BY SCOTT J. HAMILTON

A misleading new study claims to find disadvantages for children raised by same-gender parents. The biggest problem with this study, though, is that it does not really study same-gender parents.

This is another example of propaganda being disguised as “science.”

Conducted by right-wing Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas, this recently published report was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, two conservative, anti-gay foundations.

Because this study is deeply flawed, it contradicts three decades of solid science that shows little difference in the lives of children raised in a home by two heterosexual parents or two same-gender parents. The most striking, unifying chord in this body of research is that children raised in loving homes of two committed parents have far more opportunities than other children. It must be noted that some studies indicate that children raised by same-gender parents have more success than any other group.

This genuine research is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Psychological Association. Each of these professional organizations concur that same-gender parents make good parents.

There are currently over two million children in the United States being raised by same-gender parents, the majority of whom are doing very well. The danger in a “study” such as this is that anti-gay groups will seize it as yet another weapon in a burgeoning arsenal to attack LGBT Americans.

To this point, an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times holds up this study as a cautionary note in the debate over marriage equality.

This study is not worthy of publication in a scientific journal.

One can only hope that the researcher – and those who funded the study – are discredited swiftly by their peers.

Cimarron Alliance solidly denounces this study, its author, and the funders.

Scott J. Hamilton is executive director of the Oklahoma City-based Cimarron Alliance Foundation

Illustration: Rob Tsinai

2 COMMENTS

  1. June 15, 2012

    William C. Powers
    President
    University of Texas, Austin
    Austin Main Building 400 (G3400)
    Post Office Box T
    Austin, Texas 78713-8920
    512.471.1232
    President@po.utexas.edu

    NOTE: This letter is being published on http://www.TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com
    President Powers:
    Your employee Professor Mark Regnerus is shaming and disgracing your institution by violating your university’s academic honor code. The code specifically forbids using misinformation to inflict harm on others; Regnerus is doing precisely that.

    Regnerus and his funders, both, appear to have approached his projected “research” on same-sex parenting – (which, it must be noted, does not actually measure same-sex-headed households with children) – determined, above all, to create a propaganda tool that could be used against gay citizens politically. This does not appear to have been an instance of a researcher wondering what the results of his study were going to be; it appears to have been an instance of a researcher having in mind an end result that had to be produced for a paying, political customer, and pursuing that end result in violation of all ethics of scientific research. When Robert George arranged for Regnerus’s $785,000 of funding through the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation – (where he is, respectively, senior fellow, and a board member) – George knew that he would have influence over the direction of the study, as well as over the propagandistic uses to be made of Regnerus’s very severely biased, anti-gay political interpretations of the data, that verifiably are fully contradictory of the actual data. The appearance is that Robert George arranged the funding for his desired anti-gay political product, and that Regnerus manufactured that product to Robert George’s specifications.

    You should note, incidentally, that the LDS Church’s Deseret News has been trumpeting misleading information about Regnerus’s study with an evident aim of further inciting people against homosexuals’s rights. The propagandizing follows aspects of a playbook published on Robert George’s National Organization for Marriage’s website, under the heading “Marriage Talking Points.” The Deseret News has yet to mention that Robert George arranged the funding for Regnerus’s study, and/or that Robert George is on the Deseret News’s editorial board. Regnerus apparently furnished written statements to the Deseret News, without any public disclosure that his study’s funder had direct editorial control over what gets published in that venue.

    Robert George is the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group notorious for telling deliberate, defamatory anti-gay lies. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that NOM is especially dishonorable for conflating homosexuality with pedophilia, which is a falsehood. Now, NOM and Regnerus are escalating the defamation, by broadcasting far and wide the fraudulent notion that all homosexual adults are dangerous to children. Regnerus and NOM at this moment are engaged in an apparently coordinated, political, anti-gay defamation campaign based off of Regnerus’s study, all the while telling outright lies about what the study measured and shows; and Regnerus is unethically exploiting his associations with the prestige of your institution of higher learning, to attach an unwarranted imprimatur of respectability to his blatantly unscholarly abuses of his “research,” and of your school’s name.

    If you take no stand against Regnerus’s coordinated political anti-gay hate campaign with Robert George and the National Organization for Marriage, then you are leaving your institution’s reputation in a garbage-bin of iniquity with Liberty University, where NOM’s William Duncan headed a session titled “Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens: Who Deserves Protected Class Status?”

    Honorable academicians do not stand by silently when ill-intentioned bigots smear a minority as sub-humans, or malevolently and falsely insinuate that all adult members of the minority are dangerous to children. NOM and Regnerus each have long-established records of using religion as an alibi for their bullying non-acceptance of gay people. And, Regnerus right now is deliberately lying about the sources of his anti-gay hatred in connection with promotions of his study. For example, on June 10, 2012, he said in the pages of Patheos, an Evangelical publication, that there was no religious motive behind his study. In striking contradiction to that duplicitous claim, though, Regnerus in his Trinity Christian College alumnus bio says that his “faith” – in this case, actually, his anti-gay bigotry — informs what he researches.
    The University of Texas, Austin, must not allow its professors to violate its honor code by contaminating their allegedly scientific research with a theologically-fueled nasty bigotry against a social minority.
    Please respond by informing me as soon as possible how you intend to act on this letter.
    Sincerely,
    Scott Rose

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.