UT finds no scientific misconduct in professor’s gay parenting study

Mark Regnerus

The University of Texas has completed its inquiry into the gay parenting study of professor Mark Regnerus, finding no grounds for a formal investigation.

The university released a statement Wednesday, explaining that the process included hiring a private consultant who is a former associate director of the Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He found that the inquiry was “handled in a manner consistent with university policy” and adhered to federal requirements.

Regnerus of UT’s department of sociology and the Population Research Center conducted the study that was released in July. He examined children living in stable, two-parent heterosexual households for his control group and analyzed a mixture of children raised by gays and lesbians, including those who had a parent in a same-sex relationship but didn’t live with that parent.

His findings were that children of same-sex parents had more unstable lives, leading to an outrage in the LGBT community, many of whom called the study flawed because the study had set back years of positive research on LGBT families.

It was later revealed that The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation funded the study. Both are known for their support of conservative causes.

The university launched an inquiry into possible scientific misconduct and to find if Regnerus had an inappropriate relationship with the foundations funding the study after The New Civil Rights Movement writer Scott Rose raised concerns. Rose published his analysis on the study’s corruption Wednesday.

The university’s statement mentioned Rose’s accusations but found them unwarranted for an investigation.

“As required by its Revised Handbook of Operating Procedures, the university conducted an inquiry to determine whether the accusations made by writer Scott Rose had merit and warranted a formal investigation. After consulting with a four-member advisory panel composed of senior university faculty members, the Office of the Vice President for Research concluded in a report on Aug. 24 that there is insufficient evidence to warrant an investigation.

“Provost and Executive Vice President Steven Leslie accepted the report on Tuesday and deemed the matter closed from an institutional perspective.”

Regnerus told the Austin American-Statesman that he was pleased with the inquiry’s findings.

“I think it’s a just and wise decision, and I’m certainly pleased with it,” Regnerus told the he told them in an email. “It was a thorough and fair process, and conducted professionally.”

—  Anna Waugh

UT agrees to investigate professor’s flawed study that found children of gay parents are worse off

Mark Regnerus

The University of Texas at Austin is launching an investigation into a flawed parenting study that found children of straight couples have better lives.

Mark Regnerus of UT’s department of sociology and the Population Research Center conducted the study. Regnerus examined children living in stable, two-parent heterosexual households for his control group and analyzed a mixture of children raised by gays and lesbians, including those who had a parent in a same-sex relationship but didn’t live with that parent.

The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation funded the study. Both are known for their support of conservative causes. The Witherspoon Institute has ties to the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage and ultra-conservative Catholic groups like Opus Dei.

The study gained enormous negative backlash from the LGBT community, including groups like the Family Equality Council, the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, after it was discovered that right-wing organizations helped fund the project.

UT’s investigation will determine whether the study lacked scientific integrity and whether Regnerus had unprofessional relationships and gained from the study’s backers.

—  Anna Waugh