Mark Regnerus -- the sociologist whose work was so thoroughly discredited that even a federal judge deemed it "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration" -- is back with another "study."
Mark Regnerus was a lowly assistant professor at the University of Texas -- Austin, but in 2012, he came to national attention when he released the results of his "research" that claimed the have studied thousands of same-sex couples and claimed to have found that their adult children were negatively affected by them. In short, the study, which was paid for by right wing religious extremists, "found' that same-sex parents have a disastrous affect on the children they raise.
In truth, however, Regnerus' study was fraudulent, discredited, and debunked. It actually only studied two adult children raised by same-sex couples. The rest of the study was actually of adult children who had been raised decades ago, in what were then called "broken" homes. Naturally, children raised in troubled homes might be more likely to have emotional challenges as adults -- which is why marriage, including same-sex marriage, is important.
The New Civil Rights Movement is proud to have been part of the leading charge, and our more than 75 articles dissecting the study were used by both left and right.
Today, Regnerus has announced the completion of yet another anti-gay study.
It clearly is designed to make same-sex marriage supporters appear "immoral" -- whatever that is supposed to mean to Regnerus and his radical religious right cronies.
While the vast majority of Americans know that the vast majority of LGBT people and same-sex couples are no different than the average American, it's important to note that Regnerus' "morality" yardstick is beyond antiquated. "Cohabitation," for example, is not seen as indicative of immorality today by the vast majority of Americans. The idea of "living in sin" is as antiquated as the idea that a "woman belongs in the home."
"Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable," Regnerus writes at the Witherspoon Institute -- his benefactor. "And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions."
And he displays his glaring ignorance on same-sex marriage and LGBT people -- as if there are some strange cultural differences married same-sex people exhibit.
What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages? Some questions naturally arise. Does adultery mean the same thing for both same-sex and opposite-sex unions? Does it make sense to speak of premarital sex in such a context? Historically, the fear of pregnancy was enough to scare many love-struck Christians into taking things slow, but same-sex pregnancies are an accomplishment, not an accident, and most Christians use contraception now anyway.
Integrating homosexual relationships into Christian moral systems is not simple, and the process has ramifications for how heterosexual relationships are understood, too. What exactly do pro-same-sex-marriage Christians think about sex and relationships in general?
Before we get any further, base don both the fact that Regnerus' previous work was thoroughly debunked and discredited, and the fact that he offers zero underlying data access, these claims hold little weight.
Also, on matters of "pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion," likely few actually care what Regnerus or the religious right think.
I rely on the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project I oversaw that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014. It’s a population-based sample, meaning that its results are nationally representative. The survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with these seven statements:
1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.
2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.
3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.
4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.
5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.
6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.
7. I support abortion rights.
Again, the validity of these numbers are automatically circumspect.
Many may say, "So? What's wrong with any of this?" The point is that his data until proven valid should not be accepted as anything but questionable.
Feel free to dig in -- if anyone has a link to the actual data, feel free to send it along.