ChristianityToday — An influential group of social scientists — including many who have appeared in Christianity Today‘s pages — have issued a public statement defending Mark Regnerus’s controversial study on same-sex parenting.
Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, published a paper in the July issue of Social Science Research that examined “how different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?” His findings, based on his New Family Structures Study, indicated that young-adult children of parents who have had same-sex relationships are more likely to experience emotional and social problems.
His Slate article published in June drew more than 450 comments and set off a chorus of criticism.
In response, a group of 18 professors — including Michael Emerson, Christian Smith, Rodney Stark, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Bradley Wright — posted a defense on the website of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. They argue that rather then Regnerus’ study being “anti-gay,” “breathtakingly sloppy,” and “gets everything wrong” (as many media outlets have alleged), such public criticism is unwarranted for three reasons:
1) Media outlets have not properly critiqued the “small, nonrepresentative samples” used by previous studies that showed equal or more positive outcomes for children of same-sex parents vs. heterosexual parents. “By contrast, Regnerus relies on a large, random, and representative sample of more than 200 children raised by parents who have had same-sex relationships, comparing them to a random sample of more than 2,000 children raised in heterosexual families, to reach his conclusions,” they wrote.
2) Those critical of Regnerus surveying children from same-sex relationships with high levels of instability “fail to appreciate … that Regnerus chose his categories on the basis of young adults’ characterizations of their own families growing up, and the young adults whose parents had same-sex romantic relationships also happened to have high levels of instability in their families of origin.”
3) Another new study (published this month in the Journal of Marriage and Family) — also based on a large, nationally representative, and random survey — comes to conclusions that parallel those of Regnerus’s study.Continue Reading on blog.christianitytoday.com