According to latest research, children raised by homosexual parents are more likely than those raised by married heterosexual parents to suffer from poor impulse control, depression and suicidal thoughts, require mental health therapy; identify themselves as homosexual; choose cohabitation; be unfaithful to partners; contract sexually transmitted diseases; be sexually molested; have lower income levels; drink to get drunk; and smoke tobacco and marijuana.
Dr. Mark Regnerus made headlines in June 2012, when his study was published in the widely respected journal Social Science Research. (1)
His study sparked a remarkably hostile backlash. Gay-activist blogger Scott Rosensweig accused Regnerus of academic fraud, demanding in July that the university release all his research material and emails with fellow sociologists.
An exhaustive pre-investigation was conducted to determine whether a more comprehensive one would be necessary — this includes hiring independent consultant Alan Price, who formerly ran the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to oversee the process.
After sequestering all of Regnerus’s correspondence and conducting both written and oral interviews with him and his accuser, Research Integrity Officer Robert Peterson wrote in an Aug. 24 memorandum, “None of the allegations of scientific misconduct put forth … were substantiated either by physical data, written materials, or by information provided during the interviews. Since no evidence was provided to indicate that the behavior at issue rose to a level of scientific misconduct, no formal investigation is warranted.” (2)
Regnerus was vindicated and cleared by University of Texas of all allegations. (3)
The unscientific backlash fails to undermine the significance of Regnerus’s study.
Previous studies often made generalized conclusions based on small and unrepresentative samples. Regnerus’s study is ground breaking in that it is the first to use a nationally representative random sample called the New Family Structures Study (NFSS).
Unlike much of the past research on the topic, these respondents derived from a random population-level sample is much more likely to reflect the average experience of children with a parent who had a same-sex relationship. The NFSS sample size provides considerably more statistical power compared with most of the past research.
Three critical reviews of the study published in the same edition of Social Science Research hail the Regnerus study as an improvement from prior methods and that it represents an important contribution to research on family structures. (4)
(1) Regnerus, Mark. “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study”. Social Science Research (2012). 752 – 770. 6 Oct. 2012 <http://www.scribd.com/doc/96719068/Regnerus-Study>;.
(2) A. Peterson, Robert. “Regnerus Inquiry Report”. Memorandum. 24 Aug. 2012. 6 Oct. 2012. <http://www.adfmedia.org/files/RegnerusInquiryReport.pdf>;.
(3) “University of Texas at Austin Completes Inquiry into Allegations of Scientific Misconduct”. 29 Aug. 2012. 6 Oct. 2012 <http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/08/29/regnerus_scientific_misconduct_inquiry_completed/>;.
(4) Richwine, Jason. & A. Marshall, Jennifer. “The Regnerus Study: Social Science on New Family Structures Met with Intolerance”. 2 Oct. 2012. The Heritage Foundation. 6 Oct. 2012. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/10/the-regnerus-study-social-science-on-new-family-structures-met-with-intolerance#_ftn6>;.