Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on June 10, 2012
Needless to say, I was shocked this morning when I opened the paper and saw an article titled “Studies Challenge Widely Held Assumptions About Same Sex Parenting.” The shock shifted to outrage as I actually looked at the study myself and found it glaring with major flaws and bias.
Every major and credible study performed in the last 20 years has proven time and again, through clinical research, solid data, and un-biased conclusions that the children of same-sex parents are just as likely to be normal, happy adults as the children of opposite-sex couples. They’re no more or less likely to use drugs, no more or less likely to graduate from high school / attend college, and perhaps most interestingly: no more or less likely to be gay themselves.
So why would one single research study fly in the face of every other study that has been performed? Simple: it doesn’t. The erroneous conclusions drawn by a biased researcher in no way accurately reflect the data obtained.
The study performed by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas bases its sample on children who identify themselves as having a parent who has had a romantic relationship with a member of the same sex, then compares them with children of opposite-sex couples who have raised the child together. There is absolutely zero consideration given to the length of time the romantic relationship lasted, whether or not the child was raised by a same sex couple or by a single parent, and most notably: no consideration as to other factors in the child’s life such as family drug abuse, stability of structure, step-parents or divorce.
Let me reiterate that to make sure it’s clear: The study compares the children of a parent or parents who have had a same-sex relationship, without factoring in whether that relationship was long term, if the family went through long-term abuse, or if the child was raised by a single parent. That sample is then compared to children who are raised in a (straight) two-parent home with a long-term relationship and deemed as “comparable families.”
To compare such a limited sample to long-term committed relationships and call it apples to apples isn’t merely irresponsible, it moves into the realm of negligent and dangerous as anti-gay attack groups will seize upon the research, ignore its flaws, and use it as a weapon against families with same sex parents who are simply trying to live their lives.
However, it’s possible that such an outcome was actually the intent of the study’s author, Mark Regnerus. Any research study, to be considered valid, must be performed free of assumptions or personal bias.. otherwise the results of such a study can become quickly influenced or altered to match what the researcher wants it to conclude. Mr. Regnerus has a long sad history of anti-gay preachings, including an OpEd in the NY Times, attacks on a Pew Study, and speeches at Bryan College (2nd article here), all showing this man’s heavy anti-gay leanings and immediately revealing that his so-called “study” shows nothing more than what he had predetermined the results would be. (Thanks to The New Civil Rights Movement for the links)
By contrast, all credible research over the past 20 years has shown conclusively that children of same-sex couples perform at the same rates as children of opposite-sex couples. Strong, unchallengeable research which compares children of single parents to children of other single parents, long-term couples to long-term couples, and comparable home lives.
Science is, by nature, unbiased, honest, and fact-driven. To call Regnerus’ work “science” is just laughable – and shame on the Deseret News for treating it as such and promoting the results without giving any thought to the many many flaws the study is rank with.
If you’re interested, Box Turtle Bulletin has a copy of the full study, as well as a much more comprehensive breakdown of the other mistakes, errors and flaws. I highly recommend reading it. You can see it here.