In this 2011 family photo, lesbian couple Giuseppina La Delfa (left) and Raphaelle Hoedts (right) celebrate the eighth birthday of their daughter, Lisa-Marie, in Naples, Italy. (Associated Press)
In this 2011 family photo, lesbian couple Giuseppina La Delfa (left) and Raphaelle Hoedts (right) celebrate the eighth birthday of their daughter, Lisa-Marie, in Naples, Italy. (Associated Press)
In this 2011 family photo, a lesbian couple celebrate the eighth birthday of their daughterin Naples, Italy. (Associated Press)

You may have read the completely misleading headline this week: “Children of Same Sex Couples are Happier and Healthier than Peers, Research Shows” (Washington Post, July 7).

The sensationalized headline is yet another example of the mainstream media and their active agenda to push the redefinition of marriage across America. You’ll remember the Pew Research study of media coverage of gay marriage where they found that stories sympathetic to redefining marriage outnumbered those sympathetic to preserving marriage by a five to one margin. The media’s bias and intellectual dishonesty when it comes to the marriage debate allows them to trumpet a recent Australian study as if it is proven fact, while at the same time being highly critical of the New Family Structures Study and other research that challenges their political posture on the issue.

The subject of the headline is a farce of a study based on bad methodology. The survey the Post reports on was done in Australia and purports to show that children of same-sex parents actually are better off than their peers being raised by a mother and father. We know of course that there is no basis for such an outrageous claim, and a closer look at this Australian survey itself confirms our skepticism about it.

The so-called study does not use random sampling — the gold standard of any type of research — but rather self-selected subjects who knew the purpose of the study beforehand! Furthermore, the same-sex parents in the study self-reported all the information, including the answers to how their children were faring — in other words, the children themselves were not consulted.

So we have a supposed study where the participants are self-selected, they know the subject matter (and its political significance) and they get to report the results themselves, with no attempt to independently verify the facts. Gee, I wonder how that will turn out!

Of course, every parent wants their children to reflect well on their parenting skills, and would you really expect someone to volunteer to provide an example that casts their own parenting in a negative light? All this makes the data gleaned from this survey virtually worthless.

For a fuller review of this survey and the most basic errors it commits in its biased effort to promote the redefinition of marriage, visit today’s issue of Public Discourse, where Texas University researcher Mark Regnerus demonstrates why the report is ‘suspect science’ and reveals why we cannot trust the results or the headlines surrounding this charade of a “study.”

In discussing the flaws in the recruitment/self-selection process, Professor Regnerus states,

I don’t know if there’s any other way to say this than to suggest that… this is not the way to build a sense of average same-sex households with children. To compare the results from such an unusual sample with that of a population-based sample of everyone else is just suspect science. And I may be putting that too mildly[emphasis added].

I think he is putting it too mildly. This isn’t science at all, but an agenda dressed up in a lab coat and paraded around for an adoring media. But like in the old story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, some of us simply cannot be convinced to play along with the charade.

Don’t buy the hype. Three hundred some parents volunteering to lavish praise on their own children is not a substitute for the wisdom of the ages that you and I have inherited and that tells us what common sense can plainly see: kids deserve, and do best with, their own loving mom and dad.

10 comments
  1. Oddly enough I tend to agree the study was performed done with a poor methodology. Then again – I haven’t seen any proof to suggest that homosexual parents are damaging to their children. Either way having 2 adults caring for a child is going to be better than a single adult, on average. Having 2 adults is going to be better than having none. Homosexual foster parents are assuredly going to be better than no foster parents at all.

    Since not all kids are lucky enough to have parents, those who would fight against their homosexual brothers and sisters who wish to step up to be a parent for some poor orphan are coming from a very dark and scary place.

  2. Of course, Regnerus’ own study on same-sex parenting was basically laughed out of a Michigan federal court by a Reagan-appointed judge in DeBoer v. Snyder.

    I do agree the self-reporting aspect of the Australian study does make the results questionable.

    1. Self-reporting isn’t automatically biased. The authors sought to control for bias and compared scores to known normative quantitative data.Not as good as randomised controls but a reasonable step towards valid conclusions.

  3. So is this an argument against marriage equality for Gay couples, or an argument against Gay couples and single people adopting? Is there some movement afoot to prohibit Gay couples and single individuals from adopting unwanted children and giving them a loving home? Either way it’s irrelevant to same-sex marriage. Couples are not require to marry to produce children, and and ability or even desire to produce children are not prerequisites for obtaining a marriage license.

    As for Brian Brown citing Mark Regnerus’ criticism, sorry to rain on your parade, but Mark Regnerus is hardly a credible authority. The Witherspoon Institute (a conservative religious organization) gave him $700,000 to do a study that he admits is aimed at blocking Gay couples from marrying. Regnerus claims to have evaluated outcomes of children “of same-sex parents” and found results are “suboptimal” when compared to children reared by their biological parents. But Regnerus never actually studied “children of same-sex parents,” as he claims. He was unable to find a valid sample of kids who were actually reared by same-sex parents. Instead, all but two—yes, two—came from households originally led by a different-sex couple, usually the kids’ biological parents, that had suffered a family break-up, the one variable that’s most clearly known to raise risks for children.

    The journal that published Regnerus’ research audited his peer-review process and found “serious flaws and distortions that were not simply ignored, but lauded.” It found blatant conflicts of interest in that “all three of the respondents to these papers have ties to the Witherspoon Institute. Referring to the Regnerus study and a companion piece, the audit concluded that “neither paper should have been published.” In a separate interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Darren E. Sherkat, the designated reviewer, dismissed the entire study as “bullshit.”

  4. Considering NOM’s history of distorting fact and in many cases outright lying, I dont think their president is a good choice for critizing science. Especially when he does it in a way that shows he has no clue what he is talking about regarding how scientific research is done in different fields.

  5. While the Australian study cannot tell us that objective outcomes are better, this is a first step (self-disclosure). The authors of the Australian study are very honest about the limitations, and state clearly that there will be follow-up studies.

    Regnerus was not honest about the limitations of his study and has therefore been totally discredited. How can he criticize their sampling of 500 when he admitted basing sweeping conclusions on a real sample of 2?

    What this useful Australian study provides is that the blanket statements and conclusions by the politically-motivated and religiously-funded Regnerus (and his religious right cronies) are not true. Regnerus criticizes the Australian study based on a convenience sample of 500. The debunked Regnerus conclusions were based on an actual sample of 2. It simply confirms what other experts and judges have said… Regnerus was wrong and dishonest. The peer review of Regnerus was audited and found lacking. Disclosure of the correspondence with the sponsor, the NOM-affiliated Witherspoon institute (hardly impartial) colluding to get preconceived conclusions for Regnerus is currently in court.

    1. I think the two to which you are referring is two families with children raised by a same-sex couple since infancy, Just for clarification. Others may have cohabited with a same-sex partner, but not for the duration of the childhood of the interview subject. And as I recall, the two raised by the same same-sex couple throughout their childhood measured just as well as those from intact biological families.

  6. I have news for you, you piece-of-shit, anti-gay bigot; the “marriage debate” as you call it, is over. Our equality is not for you to debate. Good bye, NOMzi Fuehrer Brian Brownstain!

  7. From everything I have read, Regnerus’s study was a joke. Perhaps if they found someone else to critic the Australian study?

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