Sociologist Defends Controversial Gay-Parenting Study in New Paper


The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Here are highlights from the new paper [by Mark Regnerus] (which is unfortunately not available free online, though you can find the abstract and some tables here):

Regnerus calls the audit of his study—by Darren E. Sherkat of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale—a “rather uncommon and disturbing experience in social-science research.” He writes that Sherkat “has long harbored negative sentiment about me.”

Regnerus writes that the criticism of his decision to label parents “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers,” regardless of whether or for how long their children lived with them, is “the most reasonable criticism” made of the paper. He says that, “[i]n hindsight,” he wishes he had given them different labels. “I recognize that the acronyms LM and GF are prone to conflate sexual orientation … with same-sex relationship behavior.”

Regnerus cites a study of same-sex marriages in Norway and Sweden that found that “the divorce risk is higher in same-sex marriages” to bolster his case that same-sex relationships are less stable.

He writes that the “science here remains young” and contends that previous studies that have shown “no difference” between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples ought to have a “stronger burden of proof.”

Regnerus concludes the paper with the following sentence:

"Until much larger random samples can be drawn and evaluated, the probability-based evidence that exists—including additional NFSS [theNew Family Structures Study, Regnerus's project to study same-sex families] analyses herein—suggests that the biologically intact two-parent household remains an optimal setting for the long-term flourishing of children."