75 responses

  1. Q_Q
    June 11, 2012

    From my reading of it, the study’s “main focus” is a comparison of stable heterosexual marriages with marriages that comprised of an opposite-sex pair where one of the partners had engaged in same-sex sexual activity outside of that marriage. All the respondents who fell under LM or GF were, by definition, from a home interrupted by an extra-marital affair.

    Surely then the results (if they are representative) should be heralded against forced opposite-sex unions and the so-called ‘therapies’ which promote that those attracted to the same sex should partake in ‘heterosexual’ unions? Since those are the prerequisites which lead to the circumstances dealt with in the article.

    The article quite clearly has nothing to say about long-term, committed, same-sex partners in a marriage (or marriage-like circumstance) who have planned to have children. It would, of course, be interesting to compare these results with children who have come from families interrupted by a heterosexual affair.

    I would like to bestow Dr Regnerus the benefit of the doubt even though, without doubt, his research will be used to the detriment of couples he did not, in actuality, address.

  2. Ian
    June 11, 2012

    I would rather he release the raw data(of course, without the names), there is SO much more data that can be extracted from the survey.

  3. Jay Jonson
    June 11, 2012

    Given the funding and the ideological bent of the investigator, it seems pretty clear that this study has about as much integrity as the studies financed by tobacco companies that assured us that smoking had no deleterious effect on one’s health. Thanks for your incredible work in responding to the publication so quickly.

  4. Eric
    June 11, 2012

    I would study very carefully the questions asked, and check up on where they got the samples from if I were you. Here in the UK we have had a couple of very odd, completely flawed polls, counterintuitive to all other results, funded by a Vatican pressure group, on the issue of equal marriage. Many know how bogus they are, but a section of the press seizes on them as if they are true.

    I suspect this study in the US has been done with one eye on the coming election, and the other on the Supreme Court. But also with a view to creating doubt, which plays into the hands of prejudice.

    If they wanted a more credible result they should have employed a researcher who was from a neutral background.

  5. Steve
    June 11, 2012

    That’s a weak an unconvincing excuse. By his own admission (quoted above), he sorted the sample population into several groups. They were just bad groups that bias the results

  6. Priya Lynn
    June 11, 2012

    Lots of great analysis in these comments as well. Particular thanks to Patrick Hogan and Q_Q who did a particularly good job of clarifying key points for me.

  7. StraightGrandmother
    June 11, 2012

    Let’s move the conversation over to the newest topic on this-

    Where I posted a comment that Dr. Regnerus asked me to post. He sent me another e-mail and asked me to post it.

  8. Mommie Dammit
    June 11, 2012

    Not to sound thoroughly cynical, but “follow the money.”

    1. University of Texas – an institute known for its conservative culture and educational program.

    2. Mark Regnerus – a self-avowed “fundamentalist” Christian.

    3. Witherspoon Institute – an examination of their Web site shows them to be a “conservative” (read: “right wing”) think-tank that funds studies and literature to promote their agenda.

    4. Bradley Foundation – again, a conservative foundation based in Milwaukee, WI.

    Add it up, people. Even my 3rd grade math smells a steaming pile of b.s. here.

  9. Rebecca
    June 12, 2012

    “Problem #1: Identifying a Same-Sex Relationship Doesn’t Tell Us Anything About the Nature of the Relationship.”

    The study doesn’t claim to, and the author quotes Dr. Regnerus stating this.

    “Problem #2: Arbitrary Decisions in Dealing with Overlaps Between Categories Make the LM and GF Categories Heterogeneous While the Other Categories Remain Relatively Homogeneous.”

    This would explain why the children of homosexual parents would be more like the category of children of divorced parents, single parents, adopted parents, step-parents and “other” family structures, but it doesn’t explain why the children of homosexual parents have worse outcomes than children in those categories.

    “Problem #3: It Doesn’t Study Children Who Grew Up In Gay- or Lesbian-Led Households.”

    Out of 15,000 adults, it studies the outcomes of all the adults who claimed to have at least one homosexual parent. I don’t know that it is a problem that it doesn’t study something different. It doesn’t claim to study something different.

    “Problem #4: This Study Makes The Wrong Comparison. When you look at the data, the study’s real findings become obvious. Children of parents who have had a same-sex relationship — a group that includes very large numbers of children of divorced parents, single parents, adopted parents, step-parents and ‘other’ family structures — have developmental outcomes which are remarkably similar to children of divorced, single, adopted, step-, and ‘other’ family structures overall when compared to intact, non-adoptive heterosexual families.”

    Again, this supposes that the children of homosexual parents had the same outcomes of children of divorced parents, single parents, adopted parents, step-parents and “other” family structures, but they had worse outcomes.

  10. Gregory McGuirk
    June 12, 2012

    Thanks for your excellent work. I am a Psychology student in Canberra Australia – I will be following up this next week after my exams are done and I have some time to read. I recently did a paper on all the published material about lesbian parenting and so this one is an interesting new arrival. I’ll get back to you if I hear glean anything new from it.
    All the best Greg

  11. Jim Burroway
    June 12, 2012


    “Problem #2: Arbitrary Decisions in Dealing with Overlaps Between Categories Make the LM and GF Categories Heterogeneous While the Other Categories Remain Relatively Homogeneous.”

    This would explain why the children of homosexual parents would be more like the category of children of divorced parents, single parents, adopted parents, step-parents and “other” family structures, but it doesn’t explain why the children of homosexual parents have worse outcomes than children in those categories.

    You are making the same fundamental error that Regnerus makes.

    You are again comparing a category of hodgepodges with four other homogeneous categories.

    If the other unstable categories were combined into ONE heterosexual category and compared with a single homosexual (unstable) category, then you would have a valid comparison.

    The fact that you made the same complaint earlier in this thread and ignored my response suggests you are either not paying attention or you’d just rather not recognize the importance of comparing apples to apples. Unless you recognize that fundamental error, then you’re going to remain in the weeds on the others as well.

  12. kendall
    June 12, 2012

    So, why is the Social Science Review publishing it? It appears to be a peer-reviewed journal. They have standards like any other peer-reviewed journal. While it seems clear that this is shoddy research at best (and I am saying this based only on my quick read of this article, not the journal publication itself), how did the review process miss all of that? And why not go directly to the Journal and protest to them, rather than waste time on a researcher who has a clear bias and agenda? It’s their job to make sure what they publish is good science.

  13. StraightGrandmother
    June 12, 2012

    Explained in this article


  14. StraightGrandmother
    June 20, 2012

    I think I am going to post this on all the Regnerus topics on Box Turtle. Let’s say we all work together and make a terrific website where we collect all this information on the Regnerus’ Study.

    We crowd source this and everybody helps. I think what is missing is a lot of comments on the research by other Sociologists. We can all take a State and then call all the Universities in that State and speak to Sociologists there and ask them to provide their feedback on the research.

    Other people can work on collecting up all the direct quotes from Regnerus.

    Oh and shouldn’t we collect up all the places the data is being misreported? I saw for example a quote something like, “Well this study proves that pedophilia is rampant with gays”

    And what about a website? Should we buy a domain name or should we use Blogger or Word press or something? If we hosted this separately how much would that cost us in bandwidth if a lot of people visited? Does anybody have idea on this?

    Let’s set this up and organize this so it will be real easy for lawyers from our side to have a good reference point to jump off from.

    What else? Do you like this idea? Who will help? I don’t mind if this is a part of Box Turtle and they are getting recognition for this. But I do think to do this right it is to big for the few guys at Box Turtle we need a lot more helping hands than just those guys. Whadda think?

  15. EstherL
    June 21, 2012

    Excellent revision, Jim.

    The study does not compare the outcomes of heterosexual biological parents with outcomes of functional homoparental families (two mothers or two fathers). If you compare functional families with disfunctional one, it is probably that the results were worse.

  16. George
    June 28, 2012

    “Straightgrandmother” has clearly identified herself as a bigot, it is as simple as that.

  17. Christopher
    June 28, 2012

    And how did you arrive at that conclusion, George? StraightGrandmother has merely pointed out the fact, which has been confirmed by several others, that Dr. Regnerus’s study was deeply flawed and designed to be prejudicial.

    In fact the same criticism’s of Dr. Regnerus’s study have been made by three of his colleagues, all of whom have greater expertise in statistical analysis. See:


  18. StraightGrandmother
    June 28, 2012

    Thank you Christopher. Yes let’s look at the opening paragraph of that article Christopher links to-
    Written by
    Debra Umberson
    Sociology professor, University of Texas at Austin; Editor, Journal of Health and Social Behavior

    “Mark Regnerus claims to have produced the first rigorous scientific evidence showing that same sex families harm children. As a family sociologist at the University of Texas, I am disturbed by his irresponsible and reckless representation of social science research, and furious that he is besmirching my university to lend credibility to his “findings.”(continue reading article)

    In fact I sent a very nice e-mail to all these Professors and would ask everyone here to do that same thing.

    Professors Umberson, Cavanagh, Glass, and Raley

    (e-mail addresses comma separated)

    umberson@prc.utexas.edu,scavanagh@austin.utexas.edu,jennifer-glass@austin.utexas.edu, kelly.raley@mail.utexas.edu

    Please take just a minute of your time and e-mail these Professors for making a public statement on just how good the Regnerus research is (not).

  19. Alan A Katz
    March 23, 2014

    I know that this comment is very late in the game, but it’s also germane.

    Regnerus defended his bogus study in Federal Court last week, and the Judge (much to his credit) debunked his study, in its entirety, for the very same reasons you wrote here. He acknowledged that the one thing the study did NOT address was what Regnerus claimed it did: bad outcomes for children in families raised by gay or lesbian parents. The judge recognized that the only thing that Regnerus proved was that children of families suffering instability had worse outcomes than children raised by stable families – and that this is not news.

    He further questioned Dr. Regnerus’ ethics. Of course, in the intervening time between your article and the Michigan Marriage Equality case, Regnerus’ emails have been made public, and not only did he ask what outcome his funders “expected”, but hired one of Witherspoon’s most anti-gay executives as his “primary research assistant”.

    To quote Judge Friedman:

    ‘The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.”’

    Even worse:

    “While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”

    Congratulations, everything you wrote here (and more) has been validated by a Federal Court trial. Regnerus is toast. He has done a terrible disservice to both science and to LGBT families.

    He was also rebuked, publicly, by his own department at UT-Austin. I am amazed that he is still employed there, and will not be surprised when his contract is not renewed.

  20. LV35000
    November 16, 2014

    Does the author provide critical appraisals of same-sex parenting research? I can’t seem to find any. How many married same-sex parenting studies financed by homosexual activists use random sampling again? Hmmmmm Will Jim Burroway provide some critical appraisals of this type of research or does he only look at qualitative research that confirms the obvious?

  21. Spunky
    November 17, 2014

    Here’s a critical appraisal of some same-sex parenting studies.


    So it’s known:

    “Both authors of this paper are openly gay and advocates of same-sex marriage, a fact that readers should weigh as they see fit.”

    It’s a bit dated (2005), but it’s a helpful piece of writing that still applies to some later studies as well (which use convenience samples rather than random samples).

  22. Ben in oakland
    November 17, 2014

    Funny you should ask that here. You could do a very short google search and come up with a wealth f answers to the question.

    but of course, you won’t because…

    “How many married same-sex parenting studies financed by homosexual activists use random sampling again?”

  23. Priya Lynn
    November 17, 2014

    LV350000 most studies on same sex parents aren’t financed by gays or lesbians. Unlike the Regnerus “study” they are generally done by non-partisan mental health professionals and financed through a variety of non-partisan means.

    The Regnerus “study” shows precisely why few, if any, of these studies use random sampling – random sampling doesn’t find enough same sex parents to allow for generalization to the larger gay and lesbian parent population. It would take millions upon millions of dollars to do a large enough random sample of parents that it would include a reasonable number of same sex parents.

  24. Richard Rush
    November 17, 2014

    LV35000, we gay people must surely be the most unique in the entire human family. Why else would we be the only people subjected to parenting studies with the objective being to disqualify us for marriage?

    There are multitudes of straight people plagued by dysfunction, abuse, poverty, lack of education, mental illness, unwanted children, religious fanaticism, multiple failed marriages, alcohol/drug addiction, and/or criminal records, but one thing they don’t need to be concerned about is being denied a marriage license as a result of a parenting study.

    Meanwhile, imprisoned mass murderer, Charles Manson (80-years-old), was granted a marriage license on Nov. 7 to marry a 26-year-old woman . . .

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