Equality Matters

Meet The “Social Scientists” Defending The Flawed New Same-Sex Parenting Study

June 26, 2012 12:39 pm ET - by Carlos Maza

Last week, a group of “social scientists” responded to the avalanche of criticism directed at a recent study by associate professor Mark Regnerus about the alleged harms of same-sex parenting. In a June 20 response, published by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion, a group of eighteen professors defended the deeply flawed and misleading study for “help[ing] to inform the ongoing scholarly and public conversation about same-sex families in America.” 

Anti-gay groups have predictably touted the professors’ response in an effort to restore the credibility of their beloved study, while activists have pointed out how much the response “miss[es] the point.”

But who exactly are these "social scientists?"

Four of the proponents of Regnerus’s study are fellows at the Witherspoon Institute, the conservative organization that played the biggest role in funding the study and which has ties to a number of anti-gay groups.

Six of the study’s supporters signed on to a Witherspoon Institute report in 2008 which decried same-sex marriage as a “stimulus to the abolition of marriage”:

[S]ame-sex marriage is both a consequence of and further stimulus to the abolition of marriage as the preferred vehicle for ordering sex, procreation, and child-rearing in the West. While there are surely many unknowns, what we do know suggests that embracing same-sex marriage would further weaken marriage itself at the very moment when it needs to be most strengthened.

Six of the study’s supporters specialize in areas that likely provide them with very little, if any, insight about how to conduct an effective sociological survey (e.g., an economist who focuses on international trade, a political scientist who participated in Glenn Beck’s unaccredited “university,” etc.).

And of the remaining twelve who do study sociology, the overwhelming majority focus on issues unrelated to child development and family structure – aging, crime, race and ethnic relations, etc. Most of these professors actually specialize in the sociology of religion.

Furthermore, six of the “social scientists” backing the study actually have histories of opposing marriage equality that date back to long before Regnerus’s research was published:


Experts Condemn Flawed Regnerus Study On Same-Sex Parenting

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