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UT professor Mark Regenerus' study on gay parenting should not have been published, says an audit conducted by sociology professor Darren Shekrat from Southern Illinois University.
A professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has found significant problems with UT professor Mark Regnerus’ study on gay parenting, according to an audit obtained by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Social Science Research, the journal where Regnerus’ study was first published, assigned professor Darren Sherkat to examine how the study was handled after accusations of “scientific misconduct” arose last month.
Sherkat’s main problem was the definitions of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” used in the study. How long the relationship of the couple lasted or if the couple raised the children together was not considered. Sherkat said that alone was enough for the study to never have been published.
Sherkat also pointed out the peer reviewers of the study did not pay attention to details and were biased in regards to the subject matter. Three of the six reviewers oppose same-sex marriage.
In a statement released by the University of Texas at Austin, provost and executive vice president Steven Leslie said the university is in the process of its own inquiry of Regnerus’ study.
Investigations of the sort occur whenever formal complaints are made to certain university officials, including the president, the provost, deans or department chairs. Scott Rose, a writer for The New Civil Right movement, wrote to president Bill Powers denouncing Regnerus’ conclusions on gay parenting on June 21.
“The University of Texas at Austin is in the process of determining whether the accusations of scientific misconduct against Professor Mark Regnerus warrant a full-scale investigation,” Leslie said. “We are confident the group conducting the current inquiry will look at a wide range of factors, including this audit of the Social Science Research journal.”
The university wants to make clear that the statements made by Sherkat are different from the investigation the university is currently conducting.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time on either the audit or the journal editor’s remarks, lest it undermine the integrity of this inquiry,” Leslie said.