A new UT study by an associate sociology professor states that children with homosexual parents do not do equally as well as those raised by heterosexual parents.
A new UT study by associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus stating children with homosexual parents do not do equally as well as those raised by heterosexual parents has spurred many LGBT organizations to denounce the study, calling it “flawed.”
The study, which appeared in the June issue of Social Science Research, was created to answer one question: “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?” Regnerus stated that children who grew up with gay parents fared worse emotionally and socially than those who had heterosexual parents.
For his heterosexual control group, Regnerus used children living in stable, two-parent homes. For his group of children of gays and lesbians, he used any family that included any child whose parents had ever had a same-sex relationship, even if the child did not live with that parent.
Four major LGBT organizations, Humans Rights Campaign, Family Equality Council, Freedom to Marry and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have issued a joint statement criticizing the author’s lack of research.
“Because of the serious flaws, this so-called study doesn’t match 30 years of scientific research that shows overwhelmingly that children raised by parents who are LGBT do equally as well as their counterparts raised by heterosexual parents,” said Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign president.
The organizations view the study as another right-wing attack on the LGBT community. They point out the fact anti-gay group Witherspoon Institute largely funded the study and said the study does not look at same-sex couples raising a child together in a committed relationship. Regnerus said the contributors to the study did not influence his conclusions.
“Flawed methodology and misleading conclusions all driven by a right-wing ideology,” said Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council. “That alone should raise doubts about the credibility of this author’s work. But on top of that, his paper doesn’t even measure what it claims to be measuring.”
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said it is anti-gay groups such as the Witherspoon Institute and their discriminating ideologies that create some of the biggest challenges LGBT families have to face.
“The two million kids being raised by one million gay parents in this country are doing great, and would do even better if their parents didn’t have to deal with legal discrimination such as the denial of the freedom to marry, and ongoing attacks such as this kind of pseudo-scientific misinformation and the disinformation agenda that’s funding it,” Wolfson said.
Regnerus refutes findings in recent years that suggest homosexual parents are just as good as heterosexual parents. He said the drastic differences in his findings from those of others were a result of better research methods. Regnerus said he is not claiming sexual orientation is at fault in these worse outcomes.
"The people we studied reflected differently about their own life today and their life in the past. For those with a parent who had a same-sex relationship, those outcomes were decidedly different things, often worse,” Regnerus said.
Media Matters pointed out the five ways in which the study is seriously flawed: the study does not compare married homosexual parents to married heterosexual parents, the author admits the study does not establish causation between same-sex parenting and negative outcomes, the study ignores overlaps in its subpopulations, the study does not accurately define gay and lesbian parents, and the study’s authors and funders have an agenda.
"A growing majority of Americans today already realize the harms this kind of junk science inflicts on loving families. If the media decides that this paper is worth covering, journalists have a responsibility to inform their audiences about the serious and glaring flaws in its methodology, and about the biased views of its author and funders,” said Herndon Graddick, GLAAD president.