stats for wordpress

Are you on Facebook?

Would you please click "like" in the box to your right, or

Visit us on Facebook!

Brad Wilcox And The Anti-Gay Regnerus Study Scandal

by Scott Rose on August 31, 2012

in News,Scott Rose


Mark Regnerus is a notorious anti-gay-rights figure at the University of Texas at Austin.

The anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute long cultivated a relationship, with Regnerus before approaching him to commission a study that would demonize gay people and be available in time for pernicious exploitation during the 2012 elections.

The study — published on June 10, 2012 — was ostensibly, but not actually, on gay parents’ child outcomes.

And, it was purpose-designed and booby trapped against real-life gay parents in the present day, though it did not study them.

Top officials of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute also have positions of authority over the anti-gay-rights National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM’s founder and mastermind Robert P. George, moreover, is a senior fellow with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, as well as a board member of the Family Research Council (FRC), a Southern Poverty Law Center-certified anti-gay hate group known for spreading malicious falsehoods against its umpteen millions of victims, the entire LGBT community and heterosexuals supportive of LGBTers’ equality.

Since the publication of the fraudulent Regnerus study, enemies of gay rights — led by Robert George‘s anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, NOM and FRC – have been using the “study” as a basis for their anti-gay fear-and-hate-mongering disinformation campaigns.

In response to these anti-gay hate groups’ disinformation campaigns based on the fraudulent Regnerus study, responsible scientists have taken action to correct the scientific record to the public.

A Golinski-case amicus brief analyzing the Regnerus study as scientifically invalid, for example, was jointly filed by 1) the American Psychological Association; 2) the California Psychological Association; 3) the American Psychiatric Association; 4) the National Association of Social Workers; and 5) its California Chapter; 6) the American Medical Association; 7) the American Academy of Pediatrics; and 8) the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Separately, over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent a letter to the journal Social Science Research, which published the fraudulent Regnerus study, complaining of its lack of intellectual integrity and its suspiciously rushed publication schedule. An audit revealed that the Regnerus submission had only gotten published through corrupt peer review.

In an echo of when the American Sociological Association banned Paul Cameron and declared that he is not a sociologist, due to his intentional distortions of the scientific record, the ASA is poised to take action against the Regnerus study.

Authorities of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon, NOM and FRC are notorious for wielding Cameron’s distortions of the scientific record as a weapon against their gay victims.


Though the Regnerus study is an avalanche of anti-gay — and other — fraudulence, individual aspects of its fraudulence can be isolated and accurately described as fraudulent.

And, one element of fraudulence in the Regnerus study can easily be grasped through an analogy to shopping for stereo loudspeakers.

Once you have determined that you are going to buy one of two pairs of stereo speakers, you want to listen to them carefully — in an A/B comparison test — to know what acoustical qualities each pair of speakers has.

In order to judge the acoustical qualities of each pair of speakers in an A/B comparison test, you have to listen to them in the same listening environment.

If you listened to the one pair of stereo speakers up in a penthouse, but to the other pair on a busy subway platform, you would not have any rational basis for understanding how the one pair sounds compared to the other pair.

And obviously, the penthouse stereo speakers would benefit from insurmountable acoustical advantages over the subway speakers, even though in reality, that second pair of speakers might actually sound equally good — or better — were it heard up in the penthouse.

Now, here is the question Regnerus alleges he wanted to answer with his study:

“Do the children of gay and lesbian parents look comparable to those of their heterosexual counterparts?”

To answer that question, Regnerus did the equivalent of a stereo speaker A/B test, but he did it by comparing children of heterosexual parents to children of  (improperly labeled) “gay” parents.

And, in his study, Regnerus did the equivalent of putting all of his heterosexual “control group” up in a luxurious penthouse while throwing all of his gay “test group” down onto a busy subway platform.

Then, Regnerus concluded that the children of gay people — whom he had thrown down onto the busy subway platform — looked worse and had less money than the heterosexuals he had put up in the penthouse.

For a more detailed explanation of how the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute and Regnerus booby trapped their study against gays, go here.

For an examination of the anti-gay Regnerus study as a one percenter’s dirty campaign trick, go here.


W. Bradford Wilcox is Director of The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.

Wilcox holds positions of authority with many of the institutions caught up in the Regnerus scandal.

For example:

a) Wilcox is the Director of  the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute‘s Program on Marriage, Family, and Democracy.
b) Wilcox’s anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute authorities — by coincidence — arranged for Regnerus’s $785,000 of study funding:     

a) Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia
b) Regnerus’s study says that “leading family researchers” including at least one from — by coincidence — Wilcox’s University of Virginia designed his (booby trapped) study:

a) Wilcox is on the editorial board of the journal Social Science Research
 The fraudulent Regnerus study was published through corrupt peer review in — by coincidence – Social Science Research

a) Wilcox 
is on the editorial board of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s publication Public Discourse
b) After Regnerus contacted and cultivated a relationship with the gay basher Robert Oscar Lopez, a gay bashing essay by Lopez in support of the Regnerus study was published — by coincidence — on Wilcox’s anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse.


Any trained sociologist would recognize the baseline scientific failures of the Regnerus study.

Regnerus compared a cherry picked heterosexual control group to a test group loaded up with confounding variables. Every Sociology 101 class teaches the necessity of eliminating lurking — to say nothing of glaring — variables.

Nonetheless, Wilcox signed a letter of support for Regnerus, published by the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, a school described as “A private Baptist university.”

By way of background on Baylor University:

On April 18, 2011, a New York Times article – Gay Rights at Christian Colleges Face Suppression – quoted Baylor University spokeswoman Lori Fogleman as saying:
“Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching.”

Then in November, 2011, Baylor University was criticized for hosting a special sociology course of study titled Homosexuality as a Gateway Drug.

The Baylor letter tells lies about the Regnerus study.

For example,  the letter compares the Regnerus study to another study on gay parents’ children’s outcomes by researcher Daniel Potter.

Like the Regnerus study, the Potter study relied on unscientific speculation on whether the children considered actually had gay parents. Coincidentally, Potter is a recent product of Brad Wilcox’s University of Virginia.

The Potter study actually found that differences between children of gay and heterosexual parents are “nonsignificant.”

But, 1) in talking about the Potter study’s findings; 2) Brad Wilcox and his fellow anti-gay propagandists; 3) cut the word “nonsignificant” out of Potter’s published wording, in order to; 4) falsely allege that Potter’s findings prove that Regnerus was; 5) correct to conclude that gay parents’ children do worse than heterosexual parents’ children.

In the Regnerus and the Potter studies, the failure properly to ascertain whether children’s parents were verifiably gay parents reduces the studies to vicious gossip against gay people.


A little background information is necessary:

A Stanford University sociologist, Michael J. Rosenfeld, produced a 2009 study titled Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School.

Rosenfeld drew several very important conclusions. One is that “children raised by same-sex couples have no fundamental deficits in making normal progress through school.”

Another of Rosenfeld’s conclusions involves the relative values of 1) sociological studies about gay parents based on “large sample nationally representative data” versus; 2)  studies based on smaller “convenience” and/or “snowball” samples.

Though smaller studies on gay parenting consistently find that sexual orientation per se does not impact child outcomes, critics allege that the smaller tests are not adequate to making that determination.  Crucially, then, Rosenfeld concludes his study by saying this:

“The analysis in this paper, using large sample nationally representative data for the first time, shows that children raised by same-sex couples have no fundamental deficits in making normal progress through school. The core finding here offers a measure of validation for the prior, and much debated, small sample studies.”


Rosenfeld’s study on gay parents’ child outcomes used data from the 2000 U.S. Census.

By contrast, Regnerus’s study used data collected through Knowledge Networks, a survey administering company.

In his audit of SSR’s publication of the Regnerus study, SSR editorial board member very strongly criticizes Regnerus’s sloppy, prejudiced abuses of data had through Knowledge Networks. Sherkat, moreover, questions whether the Knowledge Network survey respondent panel can truly be “nationally representative,” given that it is 67.3% female and 32.7% male, which obviously does not reflect gender distribution in the population.

Baylor, however, outright lies, by saying that Regnerus’s study comes “close to resembling the demographics” of Rosenfeld’s study.

The Baylor letter, though, does not state that Rosenfeld’s data came from the 2000 US Census, not from Regnerus’s Knowledge Networks.

Then, from talking about Rosenfeld’s gay parenting study not based on a Knowledge Networks panel, the Baylor letter immediately jumps to talking about a different Rosenfeld study — not on gay parenting — for which Rosenfeld used Knowledge Networks.

The idea Baylor is intending to convey is that 1) Rosenfeld did a gay parenting study and used Knowledge Networks, so that proves 2) that there is nothing wrong with Regnerus’s use of Knowledge Networks.

The criticism is not that Regnerus used Knowledge Networks, the criticism is that Regnerus was sloppy with the data had from Knowledge Networks.

The Baylor letter: 1) does not address, still less rebut, the substantive criticism made of Regnerus’s misuses of his Knowledge Networks data; and the Baylor letter also; 2) deliberately misleads by associating Rosenfeld with Rosenfeld’s gay parenting study, to allege that Rosenfeld and Regnerus had very similar approaches in their gay parenting studies, without mentioning that Rosenfeld did not use Knowledge Networks for his gay parenting study, and that in contrast to Regnerus’s haphazardly and slapdash labeling of people as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” though they were not known to be that, Rosenfeld studied children being raised by gay couples known for sure to have been together for at least five years.

In other words, by means of suppressing crucial information about the Rosenfeld gay parenting study, the Baylor letter wrongfully alleges that the Regnerus and Rosenfeld studies are equally valid studies of gay parents’ child outcomes.


In signing the Baylor letter, Wilcox did not disclose the conflict of interest he had in signing it.

Because; 1) Wilcox is an official with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, and because; 2) the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute funded the Regnerus study, and because; 3) the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute is very heavily promoting he Regnerus study in anti-gay rights political contexts; 4) Wilcox behaved unethically in signing the Baylor letter without; 5) disclosing his status as an official of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute.

Moreover, Wilcox was not the only official of the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute who signed the Baylor letter with that same conflict of interest.

The lead signer of the Baylor letter, for example, was Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion Director Byron Johnson, who also is a senior fellow with the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute.



I) A Baptist University in Texas that “expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching;” (bolding added);


II) 1) the American Psychological Association; 2) the California Psychological Association; 3) the American Psychiatric Association; 4) the National Association of Social Workers; and 5) its California Chapter; 6) the American Medical Association; 7) the American Academy of Pediatrics; and 8) the American Psychoanalytic Association.


1) We know that at least one “leading family researcher” from the University of Virginia was involved in designing the booby trapped Regnerus study, and we know that Brad Wilcox is a “leading family researcher” at the University of Virginia;

2) We know that at least two of the Regnerus study’s peer reviewers were paid Regnerus study design consultants, meaning that it is possible that Brad Wilcox was one of the paid study design consultants who also peer reviewed the study and approved it for publication; (note that the journal that published Regnerus, Social Science Research, uses “blind” peer review and refuses to disclose the identities of its peer reviewers. Many scientific publications with reputations better than that of Social Science Research use open peer review, in which the peer reviewers’ identities are known.

3) We know that Brad Wilcox is a program director at the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute, we know that the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute helps to fund Wilcox’s National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and we know that Wilcox’s anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute has been heavily promoting the fraudulent Regnerus study in anti-gay-rights political contexts.

4) We know that Brad Wilcox is an editorial board member of Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and we know that the Regnerus study got introduced to SSR’s editor James Wright by some currently mysterious means and then rushed into publication through corrupt peer review on an unprecedentedly rushed publication schedule.

5) We know that without disclosing his conflict of interest in signing the Baylor letter, Wilcox signed the Baylor letter, which is crammed with distortions of information related to scientific studies, and that all of those distortions are used in attempt support of the (invalid) Regnerus study.

6) We know that Wilcox and Regnerus previously have collaborated professionally; see here for an example. That study co-authored by Regnerus and Wilcox, with others, in fact won the ASA’s 2001 Distinguished Article award in the Sociology of Religion category. (Ironically, though Regnerus in his gay parenting study was cavalier and reckless about his improper classifications of people as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers,” his study with Wilcox consists of a proposed new scheme for classifying religious traditions, so that studies of religious traditions can be more accurate.


New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on,, The New York Blade,, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.

Also, please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!


michellejgould August 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

As one who made a living, as an Analytical Biochemist, using Statistical Analysts I knew the importance of a proper sample selection. My task was to that an analytical analysis technique and make it solid enough that a high school grad with a Chemistry course could use it reproducibly. Any change of the assumptions in these studies could be changed and a different result would be found..

bsradar September 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

"In an Aug. 24 memorandum, University of Texas research integrity officer Robert Peterson stated that “Professor Regnerus did not commit scientific misconduct when designing, executing and reporting the research published in the Social Science Research article.”

“In brief, Mr. Rose believed that the Regnerus research was seriously flawed and inferred that there must be scientific misconduct,” Peterson stated. “However, there is no evidence to support that inference.”

As part of the inquiry, Peterson interviewed both the accuser and the accused and sequestered Regnerus’ research and correspondence, which included four laptops, two desktop computers and 42,000 of his emails.

In addition, to ensure that the inquiry was conducted appropriately and fairly, the university hired Alan Price as an outside, independent consultant. Price served for 17 years in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Research Integrity. There, he and a staff of senior scientists saw, handled and resolved more than 3,000 charges of scientific misconduct, leading Price to state that no one in the U.S., or for that matter, in the world, has more experience in this area than he does."

bobcooksey September 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hi Scott

I have contacted this professor with a few pertinent questions about third/fourth/fifth variables that could have had an effect on the results of his study–I will let you know if he responds.

I am not clear on many things–was he comparing children raised by biological parents, vs adopted children of gay people? Or was he comparing adopted children of heterosexual people vs adopted children of gay people? When he concludes that children reared by gay couples are more likely to be on government assistance, at which point in their lives is he talking about? Adulthood? While still under the custodianship of the parents? In other words, are we talking Aid to Dependent Children here, or welfare later in life as adults?

These are just a few questions that need to be answered before I can assign any validity to the results of this study.

Now, regarding your blog. You are certainly entitled to say and think anything you like, but let me share my opinion as well. I think you would do better skipping the hysterical tone of your writing, and simply address the salient issues of the professor's study. There are very real questions about his findings. But frankly, after reading the terms "fraudulent," "anti-gay," "anti-gay rights" etc. over and over again, I stopped reading. You are engaging in propaganda and ideological bullying, when you should be applying critical thinking and asking pertinent questions. If this man is full of crap, it will come out if the proper questions are asked.

Who cares who funded him? He has a right to be funded by anybody he likes and just because you don't agree with the ideology of his research group, it doesn't necessarily mean his survey should be cast aside. This reminds me of the way certain lefties have nervous breakdowns over the mere mention of Fox News or the Drudge Report and refuse to even read what those sites are printing. This is no way to win an argument.

The common thread in this blog post seems to be that because you perceive Regenerus' research group as "anti-gay rights" that the study should just be ignored. That is cowardly, petulant and in no way a convincing argument against his findings. Smearing the opposition is frankly beneath us, or should be.

Gay people are winning the war of public opinion and you demonizing people who don't like us isn't winning anybody over. We should be reaching out, not attacking.

Thanks for listening

Bob Cooksey

m_jensen_22 September 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Bobcooksey, your response is one of the most civil and accurate descriptions of this article I've read. While I am not gay, I believe your approach to a productive discussion – avoiding the propaganda, extremism, and hate – is the best way to discuss differences and solutions. Thank you for your refreshing comments.

bobcooksey September 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thanks, my friend.

bsradar September 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Thank heaven bobcooksey isn't calling the shots over at HRC.

bobcooksey September 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm

What is HRC?

raisinhead September 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Bob, I don't agree. If it hadn't been for Scott's dogged efforts, this sotry would not stay in the blogpsphere with the same profile. I'm afraid, he has had to shout very loud to be heard. This study needs to be killed, not just academically, but in the public narrative that surrounds the often virulent lies told about LBGT people. That required more than polite academic responses. They vilify and crucify our community and I'm sorry, but for Prof Regnerus then if you lie down with wolves then accept the consequences. He accepted money from people who are sworn enemies of the LBGT community.

The Paul Cameron data circulates globally in a filty stench of lies that gay men die at 42 on average or have 20 years cut from their lives, are more diseased than smokers.

The Spitzer study took 10 years to eventually win a reconsideration by its author. In that time, goodness knows how many LBGT strugglers believed the data and considered themselves beyond even God's help in various conversion programs.

This study needs to be squashed, not just critically and academically but in the media and in the blogospheric narratives and in the courts. We need to make sure that any other academic that accepts the money of our enemies and provides them the ammunition to attack us through invidious, sociologically unjustified subject mis-categorisation, pays a high price.

It is incredibly naive to think this will go away quietly with a polite academic rebuttal. This is cultural battle and I'm glad that Scott Rose is one more highly pugilistic defender against outright lies.

(BTW, I read Fox, Drudge, FRC, FRI, NOM and many other blogs on the basis of know thine enemy)

bobcooksey September 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Raisin–I am in my mid 40's and I have seen straight people come a loooonnng way in accepting gay people. When you say "know thine enemy," I see those "enemies" as people who just don't know any better. I frankly feel like I am one of the most loved people in my industry and everybody knows I'm gay and they love me just the same. Most are conservative too–and I have learned that when they accept you, it's for real whereas I have had many experiences with liberals who want to use me as a prop for their moral preening. It is self-aggrandizement and it is ugly. I'd deal with fairly conservative people any day–because they are honest even when they are mean.

I am not excusing what some nasty azz people say about us–I just think we should take the high road and not become hysterical or nasty ourselves. This stupid study is already forgotten, so why get so worked up?

I actually like it when people tell lies about gay people because it is so frikkin' easy to embarrass them by ripping their "findings" down. For instance, nasty right wingers love talking about the percentages of gay men men who do this or do that. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. It's a simple retort–How do you arrive at a percentage of a number that has never been defined? Nobody knows how many gay men are out there so coming up with a percentage is, on its face, a big lie.

As much as I love that kind of stuff, I was disgusted years ago with how certain gay people viciously attacked Dr Laura when she said something stupid about gay people. The attacks on her were nasty and unrelenting and there was no doubt in my mind that these self-appointed "gay leaders" wanted to destroy her entire career. This is who we are? We bully people until they pretend to agree with us? That doesn't change anybody's mind–in fact it breeds hatred and contempt.

We should all try to love each other and part of that is being patient.

raisinhead September 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

You have more patience than I.

The fraudulent NFSS is already being usedin amixus breifs against gay marrige. It is being quoted from to support anti-marriage amendments where it is stated as hard fact that the study proves Lesbian and gay parents are damaging to chidlren's health.

Here's my not-at-all hysterical prediction, given the way that Paul Cameron's 'research' has been used and abused in certain homophobic countries to inflict real tangible harm on LBGT persons.

Some time in the next five years, chidlren will be removed from their parents somewhere in the world with this study cited as justification.

Junius1776 September 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

It just goes to show you that the world is correct regarding homosexuality. It not only harms children but also others who come in contact. Why would anyone want to allow kids to be involved in an atmosphere such as this. Every gay person I know except for one is getting government help. I guess getting government help seems to be the norm.

bobcooksey September 3, 2012 at 11:31 am

Oh please. I sincerely doubt any sane gay person would reveal himself to somebody like you, let alone discuss his finances.

You are a liar, Junius. I wish people like you would make up your minds as to whether or not us poor, dumb gay people are all on welfare, or if we have so much disposable income that straight couples with children can't compete, and thus resent us.

In my experience, knowing hundreds of gay people over the years, most gay men have good jobs, nice homes and take care of themselves. I was just listening to a talk show where the topic was people vandalizing homes they were renting in California. A heterosexual woman realtor called in, complained about the problem of bad tenants, and when asked who tended to be the best tenants she replied "Follow the gays." She elaborated that gays took care of their homes, paid their bills and were very clean.

Government hlelp, my azz.

txantimedia September 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

You're both wrong.… A recent study finds that gay couples are comparable to heterosexual couples in terms of income.

So they're neither richer nor poorer.

bobcooksey September 4, 2012 at 8:15 am

I hope I am not one of the two people you think are "wrong–." if I am, then obviously you didn't read my post very carefully. I have heard many public speakers like Pat Robertson and his bunch complaining that gays have all this disposable income-implying that we are self-centered because we don't have children to spend our money on. You do understand the difference between income and disposable income, right? And now, this other poster is claiming that most of the gay people he knows are on public assistance. Which is it?

Txantimedia–all I was trying to say is that virtually every gay person I've ever known has been employed and not on the dole. We have our faults, we are hardly perfect, but feeding off the government is not one of them.

txantimedia September 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

bobcooksey, I was referring to your statement "we have so much disposable income that straight couples with children can't compete".

I got what you were trying to say, and I think my response supported your position.

bsradar September 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Human Rights Campaign.

The same sex marriage brain trust.

txantimedia September 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Human Rights Campaign?

bobcooksey September 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

I hear you. I have noticed this study seems to have disappeared from the news. I never got an answer from the professor–at least not yet.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: