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Six More Sociology PhDs Call For Retraction Of Regnerus Anti-Gay ‘Study’

by Scott Rose on October 23, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,News,Scott Rose

A hoax study on gay parenting funded by the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute and marked by deliberate deception and fraud is currently being used as an anti-equality weapon in the courts and in the 2012 elections.

The anti-gay hoax was carried out by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin.

READ: Opinion: NOM Shill Mark Regnerus’ Long History Of Using Religion To Attack Gays

Witherspoon and Regnerus continue deliberately lying to the public about the study, alleging that none of Regnerus’s funding agency representatives participated in designing or conducting the study.

In truth, Witherspoon Program Director Brad Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the work, was involved in getting him a $55,000 planning grant, and then collaborated with him on the booby-trapped study design before Witherspoon approved Regnerus for full study funding, which reached a known minimum of $785,000.

Even as Regnerus and Witherspoon continue lying by saying that Regnerus is independent of his anti-gay-rights funders, Regnerus is scheduled to promote the hoax side-by-side with his funders on November 3 in a clear, anti-gay-rights context at Princeton.

Although the American Medical Association and the President of the American Sociological Association have put their names to documents calling Regnerus’s methodology scientifically unsound, the sleazy, NOM-linked characters who commissioned the hoax continue to push it as though it were scientifically valid.

Previously on this site, Dr. Andrew Perrin has delivered a devastating science-based take-down of the Regnerus hoax. Moreover, Dr. Michael Schwartz as well as Dr. Lori Holyfield have called for the Regnerus submission to be retracted from publication.

Here, six additional Sociology Ph.D.s call for the Regnerus article to be retracted from publication, and a further three express their dismay over the Regnerus scandal:

 1) Gary J. Gates, Ph.D. is Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law:

“My position is clear. The fact that two of the three peer reviewers of the Regnerus paper were paid consultants undermines the review process to the point that I do not believe the academy should consider this paper to have undergone legitimate peer review. Elsevier should take steps to either formally retract the paper or subject it to an unbiased peer review process.”

2) Heidi Levitt, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston:

“I think it is appropriate to call for retraction. I have signed a letter of protest to that effect which outlines the reasons for retraction.”

3) Saskia Sassen, Ph.D. is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and Co-Chair of the Columbia University Committee on Global Thought:

“I was one of the signers of the original letter and have throughout supported this effort.  I find this unacceptable; the Regnerus study should be retracted from publication.”

4) Wendy Simonds, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University:

“I am not at all surprised by this whole situation, given Regnerus’s previous book on teen sexuality. In that book, he and his co-author present without criticism “research” of others in support of the notion that women who have unprotected sex (with the same partner of course) are less likely to be depressed than women who don’t *because* of the semen in their vaginas (imagine the pharmacological possibilities!!) as well as “research” in support of the notion that women regret abortions. Meanwhile, they also “show” that the more sexual partners young women have, the worse off they are in terms of mental health — while of course the same is not true of young men (then can handle being sluts mentally).”

“I support the retraction of Regnerus’s article, because the review process was not truly blind. Consultants and/or funders on projects should not serve as reviewers of papers that emerge from the projects in which they have been involved. Additionally, Regnerus’s “data” on gay and lesbian parents are unrepresentative of gay and lesbian parents, and, in my view, are presented so as to advance a homophobic agenda.”

5) Eric Anderson, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology at the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom:

Dr. Anderson previously has described the Regnerus study as anti-gay propaganda, explaining that that is the only term he can think of to describe a study analysis and discussion that is designed to denigrate gay people outside the boundaries of empirical evidence. Asked if he is calling for the Regnerus paper to be retracted from publication, Dr. Anderson said: “Oh God yes. This research was not sociology as science; it was instead a coup d’état against gay parenting.”

6) Amy C. Wilkins, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado:

In an e-mail response, Dr. Wilkins wrote: “I HAVE followed this case and am outraged about it.” and “Thanks for your persistence with this.”

7) Lisa Brush, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh:

In an e-mail message, Dr. Brush wrote: “I have followed with considerable appreciation your lengthy and detailed posts on this issue, and have registered my dismay with the Regnerus article.” and “Thank you for your work on this issue.”

8) Sir William Timothy Gowers, British mathematician, is a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge University. He is the leader of a boycott against Regnerus’s publisher, Elsevier.

Gowers has said:  “a piece of blatant anti-gay propaganda has been published in the otherwise respectable journal Social Science Research. The research was, it appears, indirectly funded by anti-gay campaigners and is now being gleefully used to help Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The refereeing process seems to have been accelerated as well. Most importantly, the paper is bunkum and shouldn’t have been accepted: its conclusion (that children do worse if they have gay parents) is not remotely justified by the data used. So who publishes the journal Social Science Research and is not interested in investigating whether proper academic standards have been upheld? I surely don’t need to spell it out.”

9) Nancy Naples, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the University of Connecticut:

“I am calling for the Regnerus article to be retracted from publication.”


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.

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Str8Grandmother October 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

If any more Sociologists or Social Scientists or Medical Professionals want this study retracted just leave your name, your title and your comment right here, I am sure Mr. Rose will add you to the growing list. IF you VALUE Science step forward.

Str8Grandmother October 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

As a reminder, this invalid "Gays Make Bad Parents" study is right now before our Supreme Court cited by the House Republicans who are Defending DOMA.

It is being used in the four battleground States that are voting for Civil Marriage for Sexual Minorities, here is the latest video just released in Minnesota minutes ago

uga25 October 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Wendy Simonds at UGA does not exist. Any chance of posting a correction?

Str8Grandmother October 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Do you think it is
Wendy Simonds
Professor of Sociology, Georgia State University

JeffreyRO5 October 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Predictably, anti-gay organizations are crowing about the faked findings from the Regnerus "study". Although they surely must be aware of its lack of validity, it must be too satisfying to have something that appears scholarly supporting their anti-gay position, to be concerned about its lack of merit. That so many of these organizations claim to be associated with religions or religious viewpoints, is hugely disturbing. Lying to achieve ones end can hardly be acceptable to genuine believers.

twiga_riq October 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

"bunkum" – I must remember that for the next time I have the urge to expletorate in polite company.

MarcoLuxe October 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Scott: The evidence now shows Regnerus' work is simply paid propaganda with a false veneer of an academic study. Words matter. Call it what is is: propaganda.

KnottiBuoy November 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Are the calls for retraction just hot air, or fresh red meat for the pit bulls of credible social science research? I wrote Elsevier about the process for retraction and was notified that an independent audit, concluded that the paper had indeed followed due process and that they rely on the expertise of their editors and feedback from reviewers which are normally at least two for each submission. Commentary on the NFSS can be found here;

Scott_Rose November 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

No independent audit has been done of the publication process. Elsevier has never had any independent non-Elsevier-affiliated person or entity audit the inappropriate publication circumstances of the Regnerus study.

KnottiBuoy November 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I wrote Elsevier about the process for retracting and received the following response:
Many thanks for your query relating to Social Science Research, which has been passed to me as the handling Publisher. I am not sure if you are aware, but there has already been a substantial amount of open and frank discussion on this paper including an independent audit performed by one of the Board Members as well as a candid commentary and detailed discussion of the peer review process by the Editor himself. All of these additional pieces have now been published in a 'Commentary and Debate' section of Volume 41 Issue 6 of the Journal. (Direct link:….

The independent audit, while critical of the content of Professor Regnerus's paper (perhaps not surprising given the author's known opposition to some of Professor Regnerus's previous work) concluded that the process of reviewing and further handling of his paper had indeed followed 'due process'.

I would point out moreover, that Elsevier does not accept or reject papers for publication. Rather, we rely on the expertise of the Editors of the journals we operate and the participation and feedback of reviewers of whom normally at least two are asked to review each submission. You can read more about the peer review process for SSR on its homepage ( or, of course, in the commentary by the Editor at the link above.

I hope this provides you with information you were after and let me thank you for your enquiry regarding SSR.

With all best regards,
xxxx xxxxxx

KnottiBuoy November 6, 2012 at 2:05 am

They may simply have a different definition of " independent."
"The independent audit……………..concluded that the process of reviewing and further handling of his paper had indeed followed 'due process'."
One might go as far to think most professionals would desire if not require, a fair and just review or audit process, certainly if you're a publisher and value credibility. Is a review of the auditing process warranted? Are procedures and processes in place to insure audit validity and objectivity? If so, were they followed?

Otherwise, perhaps calls for retraction might just go nowhere… :-(

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