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Commentary: “Research: Risks from Same-Sex Parenting”

Teacher/ columnist and education activist Donna Garner

~~~by Donna Garner~~~


For busy readers, let me summarize two pieces of research presented in The Washington Times yesterday.

First piece of research: Mr. Regnerus, a sociology professor in Social Science Research at the University of Texas [certainly not considered to be a conservative university], conducted “gold standard” research in which he used a data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults raised by gay parents vs. those raised by mother-father parents. He looked at the young adults’ lives and compared them on 40 measures of social, emotional, and relationship outcomes.

Conclusion: When Regnerus compared young adults reared by mother-father families, the young adults reared by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories.  Those reared by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Regnerus concluded from his “gold standard” study, “Children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day.

Second piece of research:

The American Psychological Association frequently states, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

However, Loren Marks, an associate professor at the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University, looked at 59 studies that supposedly support the APA’s assertion but found that the studies lacked “high-quality data” and “leaves the most significant questions [about gay parenting] unaddressed and unanswered.”

The APA “studies” relied upon what is called “snowball samples” in which the gay parents chosen to study were recruited in the same places as their gay friends and colleagues instead of using 3,000 randomly chosen samples as did Mr. Regnerus in his UT “gold standard” study.

The APA’s studies also depended upon wealthy, white, well-educated lesbian mothers and did not look at children’s common outcomes such as “their education, employment and risks for poverty, criminality, early childbearing, substance abuse and suicide.”

In other words, Regnerus set up 40 scientifically chosen measures of social, emotional, and relationship outcomes and used these to compare systematically how sets of (1) young adults reared by two lesbian mothers and (2) young adults reared by two gay fathers compared with (3) young adults reared in mother-father homes.

The next time that the APA throws around its false assertions based upon their sloppy research, we can hold up Mr. Regnerus’ “gold standard” research and its conclusion: Children who are reared in a home where the married mother-father remain married for a lifetime tend to experience much more positive outcomes as young adults than those who are reared by gay parents.

To read the entire Washington Times article published on 6.10.12, please go to “Study Suggests Risks from Same-Sex Parenting” by Cheryl Wetzstein

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