The Regnerus Affair

I have written a number of times on this blog about Mark Regnerus (a simple search on the blog home pahe can reveal the respective posts), including lately some news about his getting in trouble at the secular university where he teaches, because of the politically incorrect conclusions of a study he made on the negative effects that homosexual coules have on the development of the children they adopt.

A recent interview with Regnerus in Christianity Today discusses this incident.

Here is the beginning of it.

* * *

If you want to know how University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus’s summer has gone, look no further than The Weekly Standard. On the cover of the conservative magazine’s July 30 issue are two hooded henchmen impishly turning the gears on a medieval torture wheel holding Regnerus, sweating beads as he tries to stay in one piece. The cover copy—”Revenge of the Sociologists: The perils of politically incorrect academic research”—hints at the situation sparked by the publication of Regnerus’s newest research as well as the broader political discourse over same-sex marriage.

The survey, known as the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), is remarkable in its scope. It’s a random national sample, considered “the gold standard” of social science surveys. NFSS measures the economic, relational, political, and psychological effects on adults ages 18 to 39 who grew up in families where the father or mother engaged in homosexual behavior. Despite Regnerus’s repeated caution that the NFSS does not account for stable same-sex marriages (since same-sex marriage as such didn’t exist when the survey participants were children), he has undergone professional censure. Social Science Research conducted an internal audit on the peer-review process of the NFSS, and the University of Texas at Austin investigated Regnerus following allegations of “scientific misconduct.” (The school has since cleared Regnerus of the allegations.)

Regnerus agreed to an e-mail interview with Christianity Today associate editor Katelyn Beaty to set the record straight on the NFSS and its many discontents.

Other studies have been done on the well-being of children raised by same-sex couples, with many sociologists concluding there’s no real difference between children raised by same-sex couples and those raised by heterosexual couples. Why was the NFSS needed at this time?

Most family scholars had, until recently, consistently affirmed the elevated stability and advantages [for children] of the married, heterosexual, biological, two-parent household, when contrasted with all other family “makes and models.” Other types of family arrangements were perceived to fall short—even if not far short—in a variety of developmental domains such as educational achievement, behavior problems, and emotional well-being.

For the children of gay and lesbian Americans, however, social scientists have largely shifted their sentiment. Since 2001, and picking up steam more recently, scholars have been increasingly quick to declare “no differences,” and some have even moved to suggest that same-sex parents may be more competent than a man and woman in a traditional family arrangement. Ten years is pretty speedy to overthrow a long-stable paradigm, and frankly, some of us found it a bit suspicious, so we decided to look into it ourselves.

I don’t think there is a time-sensitive component to this study, other than it was time to evaluate what had become a rapidly-shifting consensus on the subject.

Read HERE the entire article.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

4 thoughts on “The Regnerus Affair”

  1. thare is lot to say about the subject of scientific research vis-a-vis same parents couples and what is coming out of these. at least those societies which admited a lot of nonsense got what they deserved. scientifically proven…


  2. What I understand from the stupid legal gibberish in these documents is that the gay lobby is using typical lawyer schemes, that have nothing to do with the essence or the results of the study, under the false pretense of ‘defending Dr. Regnerus’s intellectual property rigts’, which he himself did not ask to be defended, for preventing the results of this research to reach the public public. I would call this ‘perverse tactics of political correctness’ (an American form of communism). One has to be totally deluded, or evil intended, to trust or endorse such approaches.


  3. Most likely the Journal that published the “study” will be retracting it as The Program Director of the Family, Marriage and Democracy Program, the exact Witherspoon Program that funded Regnerus for $685,000 confessed late Wednesday night that he in fact collaborated with Regnerus on the Research. Regnerus explicitly stated in his report and here that no one from his funding organizations had any involvement with the research. Regnerus lied. No Credible Science Journal would let a study stay published when it is proven that he lied. I am sure they are going to retract it. Dr W. Bradford Wilcox’s confession

    Why he confessed now

    News article examining L’Affaire Regnerus

    Wilcox claims in his confession that he really didn’t do much for The Witherspoon Institute but this documents calls that assertion questionable

    The relationship between Regnerus/Wilcox/Witherspoon


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