Mark Regnerus admits his study was BS, but stands behind his findings

Mark Regnerus

In an interview with Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link, University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus admitted that his recent study on gay parenting was flawed.

In the interview, he said he’d be more careful about the language he used.

“I said ‘lesbian mothers’ and ‘gay fathers,’ when in fact, I don’t know about their sexual orientation,” he said.

Despite that, Regnerus added, “But as far as the findings themselves, I stand behind them.”

The study compared the children of stable heterosexual couples to children of parents who had a gay or lesbian relationship at some time in the past. Regnerus claims he didn’t use more children of stable same-sex partners because, “they just were not that common in the nationally representative population.”

He claimed he found only two cases of lesbian couples who had been partnered 18 years. However, Census figures show that more than 6,800 same-sex couples are raising children in the state’s three largest metropolitan areas. He called looking for those couples like “looking for a needle in a haystack.” But he never was looking for same-sex couples in healthy relationships who are raising children.

He does say that the point of his study is misquoted. Groups like Focus on the Family claim the study proves straight people make better parents than gay people.

“I take pains in the study to say this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad,” Regnerus said. “It is not a study about parenting or parenthood or parenting practices. I didn’t measure parenting practices.”

Now he claims the study was about comparing children of “intact biological families” to those whose parents divorced. But he was looking specifically for divorced parents who had a same-sex relationship along the way, whether or not they identified as gay or ever came out.

The problem with his study is that he only looked for people who were originally married, then divorced and along the way had a same-sex relationship. He was not looking for stable, openly gay or lesbian couples who were raising children. Because it would have been as easy for him to find those couples in Texas as anywhere else in the country.

—  David Taffet