According to LifeSiteNews.com, University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus created an outcry in the homosexual community when he published the results of a recent study that found children of homosexual parents have significantly more social and mental-health problems than children raised by heterosexual parents.
Regnerus’ study, which was published in the July issue of Social Science Research, is now considered to be the "gold standard" because unlike previous research in this area, it relied upon a large, random sample and included responses from children raised by both same-sex and opposite-sex parents. Prior studies typically used small "convenience" samples and relied upon input from parents rather than children. As a result, the study found significant problems in children raised by same-sex parents, results that defied the prevailing idea that there is no difference between children raised by same-sex or opposite sex parents.
The study caused an uproar in the homosexual community and resulted in Regnerus' being accused by homosexual activist Scott Rosensweig of bias and of designing the research "so as to be guaranteed to make gay people look bad, through means plainly fraudulent and defamatory.”
In an open letter to William Powers, president of the University of Texas, Rosensweig, a writer on LGBTQ issues for The New Civil Rights Movement blog, said Regnerus' research received funding from institutions that support traditional marriage, and claimed that he "harbors anti-gay prejudices" because of his recent conversion to Catholicism.
As a result, the University of Texas has launched an official investigation into the charges.
This move caused yet another uproar, this one coming from a group of 18 notable social scientists who published their own public statement of support in response to the criticism against Regnerus' study. Published on the Baylor University website, the statement not only affirms the scientific integrity of Regnerus' methods, but also points out the inadequacy of previous studies on the same subject and criticizes the media for failing to report on their limitations.
" . . . (T)here are limitations with prior research on this subject that have seldom been discussed by the media," the statement reads. "The vast majority of studies published before 2012 on this subject have relied upon small, nonrepresentative samples that do not represent children in typical gay and lesbian families in the United States.
"By contrast, Regnerus relies on a large, random, and representative sample of more than 200 children raised by parents who have had same-sex relationships, comparing them to a random sample of more than 2,000 children raised in heterosexual families, to reach his conclusions. This is why sociology professor Paul Amato, chair of the Family section of the American Sociological Association and president of the National Council on Family Relations, wrote that the Regnerus study was 'better situated than virtually all previous studies to detect differences between these [different family] groups in the population'."
They add: "We are disappointed that many media outlets have not done their due diligence in investigating the scientific validity of prior studies, and acknowledging the superiority of Regnerus’ sample to most previous research."
For his part, Regnerus stands by his study. “I stand by everything I did, said, wrote," he told The Daily Texan. "I don’t have a political axe to grind… I will always follow where the data leads.”
He continued: “My views have never been a part of this process or affect how I go about analyzing things. And I think most people have made up their mind about a lot of these political questions, regardless of data, so I never set about assuming I could change people’s minds one way or another with data. It’s irrelevant to my task.”
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