Over the summer, Professor Mark Regnerus (University of Texas at Austin) published a paper noting some negative outcomes for children of parents who had same-sex relationships compared to children from biologically intact families. His findings contradict previous research based on much smaller sample sizes that claimed there was no difference in children raised in traditional families and those raised by parents in same-sex relationships. Immediately after the paper was published, Regnerus faced a firestorm of criticism that culminated in formal allegations of scientific misconduct by a blogger known for promoting a homosexual agenda. The University of Texas initiated a formal inquiry, and the results have been made public–there is insufficient evidence to warrant a formal investigation.
Reading the official report from the University sheds clear light on the issue. In part, the report states:
None of the allegations of scientific misconduct put forth by Mr. Rose were substantiated either by physical data, written materials, or by information provided during the interviews. In brief, Mr. Rose believed that the Regnerus research was seriously flawed and inferred that there must be scientific misconduct. However, there is no evidence to support that inference.
While much has been said about the accusations against Regnerus, little has been reported about his exoneration. In essence, unsubstantiated allegations were made against Regnerus by someone who disagreed with his conclusions. Based on his disagreement, Mr. Rose sought to have Regnerus disciplined or even removed from the faculty. While the inquiry was most certainly a burden to the professor, I am sure he is thankful that the integrity of his research was upheld.
Given the scope of Regnerus’ research and the controversial conclusions, I am sure his findings will be debated in the future. However, it should be made clear that any attempt to discredit him or his research on the basis of politics has been declared as unsubstantiated.
I am thankful for Mark Regnerus and his work showing the impact of same-sex parents on children and the value of traditional marriage and family structures for children and society at large.
“Regnerus Inquiry Report,” University of Texas at Austin, August 24, 2012.
“University of Texas at Austin Completes Inquiry into Allegations of Scientific Misconduct,” University of Texas at Austin, August 29, 2012.
Jennifer Marshall, “Case Closed at UT Austin: Regnerus Exonerated,” The Foundry, August 31, 2012.
Mark Regnerus, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research 41 (2012): 752-770.