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University of Texas Opens Inquiry of Regnerus Study; NCRM Reporting Plays Central Role

by Scott Rose on July 1, 2012

in Analysis,Civil Rights,Education,families,Legal Issues,Marriage,Scott Rose

Post image for University of Texas Opens Inquiry of Regnerus Study; NCRM Reporting Plays Central Role

The New Civil Rights Movement writer Scott Rose’s recent series of investigative reporting articles  about the Mark Regnerus study of “gay findings” at University of Texas has played a central role in the university’s decision to conduct a scientific misconduct inquiry  

Between January, 2011 and June of 2012, Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin, plotted, carried out and then had published a “study” of dubious scholarly merit, alleged to show, but not actually showing, that homosexual parents are dangerous to children.

Funding for the Regnerus study was arranged through the National Organization For Marriage‘s Robert P.George along with George’s anti-gay-rights colleagues at The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation. George is an author of the anti-gay NOM pledge signed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

NCRM Writer Invited to be Interviewed

This reporter mailed a Scientific Misconduct complaint about Regnerus to University of Texas President William Powers, Jr. on June 21.  On June 25, UTA Research Integrity Officer Dr. Robert Peterson told me in an e-mail that he will be conducting an inquiry as per university policy.

Dr. Peterson invited this reporter to Austin to be interviewed by the Inquiry Panel, or alternately to participate in a teleconference with the panel. As of this writing, this reporter’s interview with the panel is scheduled to take place between July 6 and July 11.  Nonetheless, at this time it is not clear that Dr. Peterson has committed to a full and thorough investigation.

More Evidence Should be Considered by University of Texas

There now is far more evidence for the Inquiry Panel to consider.  This reporter provides the following additional evidence: 

A thorough “Scientific Misconduct” investigation of Regnerus would include examinations of whether 1) Regnerus’s study, taken as is, lacks scientific integrity; and whether 2) Regnerus has engaged in any improper relationships with his funders and/or others in connection with the study.

Even on some basic points, informational clarity is lacking.  For example, Regnerus writes in his study: “The New Family Structures Study (NFSS) was supported in part by grants from the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation.” That sentence is unambiguously worded to mean that the study got funding from sources in addition to the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation. Yet, according to David Ochsner, Director of Public Affairs at University of Texas, Austin, Regnerus is now alleging that Witherspoon and Bradley were his study’s sole funders.

However that may be, Dr. Peterson thus far, disappointingly, has declined my request that he obtain, and provide copies to this reporter, and other members of the public: 1) all written and/or typed communications; 2) all notes taken about telephone and all other communications, between; 3) Regnerus and his study funders, the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, and between Regnerus and anybody else, involving his study, between 3) the initial contact about such a study, between Regnerus and The Witherspoon Institute and/or anybody associated with Witherspoon, and the time that Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $35,000 “planning grant” through to 4) Witherspoon’s and Bradley’s approval of the study plan and resulting full funding of the study; and between aforementioned parties through to 5) the present day.

Additionally, I have requested Dr. Peterson to provide this reporter with copies of; and 6) a full accounting of study fund disbursements, including; 7) a verifiable record of how much Regnerus was paid in association with the study.

That documentation is necessary for the actualization of a full and true investigation. As UTA’s investigation protocol says; “The purpose of the investigation is to: explore in detail the allegations; examine the evidence in depth; and, determine specifically whether misconduct has been committed, by whom, and to what extent. The investigation also will determine whether there are additional instances of possible misconduct that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations.”

The UTA Investigation protocol goes on to say: “The Research Integrity Officer immediately will sequester any additional pertinent research records that were not sequestered previously. The sequestration should occur before or at the time the respondent is notified that an investigation has begun.”

Additional Allegations

The very name of the Regnerus’s project, “The New Family Structures Study,” is deceptive — and is an anti-gay bigot dog whistle — in ways characteristic of Regnerus’s funder NOM’s Robert George of the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation.

Because of that, and for reasons elaborated below, this reporter insists that for its Scientific Misconduct inquiry of Regnerus, the University of Texas, Austin must examine in its investigation, and provide, copies of all written communications, and notes, such as of phone conversations, and all other documentation of the relationship between Mark Regnerus and The Witherspoon Institute from the time those two parties first considered a study about children of gay parents, to include the time that Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $35,000 “planning grant” and subsequent to when the plan had been formulated and Witherspoon approved Regnerus for his full study funding.

As happens, not a single one of the family structures considered in the Regnerus “New Family Structures Study” is actually “new.”

Regnerus says he surveyed people aged 18 – 39, and raised by:

a) married biological heterosexual parents – which is not a “new” family structure;
b) adoptive parents – again, not a “new” family structure;
c) divorced heterosexual parents – not a “new” family structure;
d) stepparents – not a “new” family structure.

Moreover, it is not “new” for gay adults to raise children. Major league baseball pitcher Joe Valentine, born in 1979, was raised from birth by two lesbian mothers. Very important to note in the context of the Regnerus matter: We only know about Joe Valentine’s lesbian mothers raising him because he went on to become famous. In the general population, there are many family groupings like that of Joe Valentine’s, suitable to the study that Regnerus alleges he intended to carry out, yet failed to carry out in reality with anything even remotely resembling scientific rigor. When baseball scout Warren Hughes signed Joe Valentine for the White Sox, by the way, he shook both lesbian parents’ hands after they agreed to an $80,000 bonus.

Dorothy Dandridge, born in 1922, and the first African-American actress nominated for an Academy Award, was raised by two lesbian mothers. Actress Jodie Foster, born in 1962, was raised by two lesbian mothers.

There numerous additional existing examples of people raised entirely by a gay or lesbian couple, for a number of decades through the 1990s, especially including non-famous persons raised by such couples.

Regnerus’ Survey Methodology is not Current

Regnerus’s claim that the probability-based web panel that he used is the best of all existing sampling methods for surveying gay fathers and lesbian mothers is false, totally and utterly false. For his sampling, Regnerus relied on the company Knowledge Networks to find his survey respondents through Knowledge Networks’ existing panelist system, which is based on a combination of random digit dialing sampling and address-based sampling.

The sampling method superior to that combined one, is commonly referred to as “address-based sampling,” unadulterated by any random digit dialing sampling application. By the way, as turns out, Knowledge Networks, Regnerus’s survey management company, will carry out pure address-based sampling, given enough resources in time and money.

The precise reason that old-fashioned random digit dialing (RDD) sampling is now inferior is especially relevant to this scientific misconduct complaint against Regnerus.

Here is the precise reason: RDD sampling does not include households without landline phones. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study of households that cannot be reached through RDD. The percentage of unreachable households is highest for the age demographics that Regnerus alleges he studied.

Forty percent of persons ages 18- 24; and 51 percent of persons ages 25 – 29; and 40 percent of those ages 30 – 34 cannot be reached through RDD.

That is the main reason why Regnerus’s survey data barely included a handful of young adult children of actual gay parents, and yet a hodge-podge of others whom Regnerus fraudulently shoehorned, for his convenience, and against sound scientific practice,  into the “lesbian mother” and “gay father” categories.

It is therefore of vital importance to fully investigate the allegations brought to the scientific misconduct complaint against Regnerus that the UTA Inquiry Panel thoroughly examine a) what Address-Based Sampling is; b) why it is superior to the sampling method Regnerus used, and; c) the fact that Regnerus is being disingenuous and duplicitous when he alleges that finding actual young adult offspring of gay parents would have been too difficult, and that he therefore had to settle for a sampling hodge-podge of people not actually raised by gay parents, to uncover and measure harms allegedly done to children by gay parents.

Here, then, is an explanation of how survey companies carry out address-based sampling (ABS):

ABS involves probability-based sampling of addresses from the U.S. Postal Service’s Delivery Sequence File. Randomly sampled addresses are invited to complete a researcher’s survey through a series of mailings and in some cases telephone refusal conversion calls when a telephone number can be matched to the sampled address. Invited households can respond by one of several means: by completing and mailing back a paper form in a postage-paid envelope; by calling a toll-free hotline; or by going to a designated web site and completing a screening form at the website. The key advantage of the ABS sample frame is that it allows sampling of almost all U.S. households. 

An estimated 97 percent of households are “covered” in sampling nomenclature. Regardless of household telephone status, they can be reached and contacted via the mail. Not only does ABS allow coverage of the growing proportion of cell-phone-only households, but it also improves sample representativeness (compared to random digit dial, or RDD, samples) for sexual minorities, minority racial and ethnic groups, lower educated, and low-income persons. ABS-sourced sample tends to align more true to the overall population demographic distributions and thus the associated adjustment weights are somewhat more uniform and less varied. This variance reduction efficaciously attenuates the sample’s design effect. The approach’s advantage is its representative sample.

This superior sampling approach is not inexpensive to carry out, particularly when targeting a low-incidence demographic like young adult children of gay parents. For example, to survey a general population sample, one could begin with a sample of 10,000 and estimate that approximately 1,000, or 1 percent would respond and complete the survey. However, if there are eligibility criteria to participate in the survey that screen out (for instance) 99 of every 100 persons willing to respond, to obtain 1,000 survey respondents, one would need to begin with a sample of 1,000,000 and estimate that 100,000, or 10 percent, would respond and complete the screener, and 1,000, or 1 percent of those would be determined eligible and would complete the survey.

Thus, even had a sample of 1,000,000 people — recruited via address-based sampling — produced only 500 young adult children actually raised by gay parents, that address-based sampling still would have produced twice the number of study subjects Regnerus used but is inaccurately categorizing as having been raised by gay parents.

To sum this point up; 1) Regnerus likely misleads when he asserts he compared young adult children of gay parents to young adult children of “intact biological families;” 2) In the study itself, and in his public promotions of the study, Regnerus likely misleads when he states that he would not by any means have been able to survey an adequate sampling of young gay adults substantially raised by gay parents up through the 1990s; and 3) Regnerus likely misleads when he states that he used the best existing survey method for surveying young adult children of gay parents.

Regnerus’ Contract with Knowledge Network for Survey Participants is Incentive Based 

An additional point of vital importance must be made regarding how Knowledge Network retains its panel of survey subjects. “Panel members” — as KN calls them — after being invited in, take on average at least one survey per week. Members are given payment incentives for completing screeners and surveys; they additionally are incentivized through entries into raffles and sweepstakes with cash and other prizes. Additionally, where KN recruits panelists who do not have computers, KN gives them a laptop with free monthly internet service.

Obviously, panel members desirous of the cash rewards, entries into sweepstakes and raffles, and of continuing with the free internet service and laptop, will want to remain in the game, answering weekly surveys. With their ongoing experience in answering different surveys, they learn how to answer tell-tale screener questions, such that they can go ahead with the survey rather than being cut off from it.

At the beginning of the Regnerus “survey instrument,” respondents are asked whether 1) they had lived with their biological mother and father until age 18; and then 2) whether they had ever had an adoptive parent.  At that point, a lot of possibilities remained, including, for example, that of being raised by a single parent.

This is extremely important: The next question was “From when you were born until age 18 (or until you left home to be on your own), did either of your parents ever have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex?”

Knowledge Networks’ experienced survey takers looking at that question would understand that this study needed people who answer yes to that unusual screener question. They would understand that the study was substantially about such people. These survey-rewards-addicted responders want their incentive rewards for answering special and/or long surveys, they want their reward entries into raffles and sweepstakes. A survey taker could very well be motivated to answer “Yes,” even if in truth, neither of their parents ever had had a relationship with someone of the same sex. They could then just wing the rest of the answers. And, there is no way to fact check the thing; Regnerus takes for granted that his survey respondents always told the truth, even though many had documented incentives for not always telling the truth.

Regnerus Survey Manipulates Question Sequencing

In numerous ways, the Regnerus Survey Instrument was contrived to stack the deck against parents whom the study arbitrarily labeled as “gay.” To cite one example; the first question asks if the respondent lived with their biological mother and father through to 18. If the respondent answered “Yes,” they got skipped forward in the survey, and never asked whether one or both of their biological parents was homosexual. Meanwhile in real life, there are families like that of Leonard Bernstein, bi-sexual if not actually homosexual, and his wife Felicia. They lived together through the time their first two children were 18, even as Leonard was having liaisons with males. The Bernstein children had what the Regnerus study considers “good” outcomes, but would have attributed those good outcomes to an “Intact Biological Family,” even though the Bernstein father was at least as gay as anybody Regnerus labels “Gay father” in his study.

In sharp and disturbing relief against Regnerus’s manifest negligence about precisely determining the extent to which his respondents were raised by actual gay parents, the Regnerus Survey Instrument includes many questions of marginal if any meaning to the alleged topic of the study. For instance, the Survey Instrument asks “When did you last masturbate?

If Regnerus’s main aim was to compare young adult offspring raised by heterosexual married parents with young adult children raised by gay parents, why did his Survey Instrument omit crucial relevant questions while asking such flabbergastingly tangential things as “When did you last masturbate?”?

Regnerus’s written study Introduction makes plain that; 1) he was concerned about the impact of child-rearing studies on “the legal boundaries of marriage;”  – that phrase is an exact quote from Regnerus’s written study, and I’m going to repeat it because of its importance here: “the legal boundaries of marriage.” 2) he was concerned about study conclusions showing that homosexual orientation does not preclude one from being a good parent; and that 3) he was concerned about a recent slip, from exclusive perceived superiority, of “intact biological families,” and that 4) he wanted to use this study to help to restore “intact biological families” to their position of exclusive perceived superiority.

Regnerus Funding Arranged by NOM Head Robert George

Regnerus’s funder Robert George of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage is obsessively concerned with “the legal boundaries of marriage.” Robert George has written a draft for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages throughout the nation. He does not like to see gay parenting study results with good child outcomes, as they are work against his known, ferocious anti-gay political goals. George’s aims in arranging for the funding of Regnerus’s study precisely match the concerns expressed in Regnerus’s introduction.

After George got Regnerus his $35,000 “planning grant” through The Witherspoon Institute, the study plan was cunningly elaborated to guarantee that gay parents would come out looking bad. Regnerus has been lying to the public to hide that truth. For example, writing in Slate, Regnerus said that all of the family scholars involved in the study design “lean left.” Yet we know some came from Brigham Young University, whose “Honor Code” at the time of the study design forbid all BYU community members from “promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.” And BYU has a formidable record of enforcing its “Honor Code.” How credible is Regnerus’s claim that his study designers from Brigham Young University “lean left” on gay parenting? Who are those Brigham Young people?  Can I interview them for publication, so that their BYU higher-ups will be sure to know that they “lean left” on gay parenting?

Even more importantly, if one is interested in a genuinely scientific result, why would any political leaning matter, above one’s devotion to scientific integrity? Why is Regnerus defending his study to the public, by alleging that Brigham Young University family scholars “lean left” instead of by saying that they are first and foremost rigorous and uncompromising scientists?

Now, in what ways is the deceptive Regnerus title “The New Family Structures Study” similar to deceptions known to be promulgated by Regnerus’s anti-gay-rights funding arranger Robert George?

Regnerus did not survey anybody raised in an era with legal recognition of same-sex spouses. And — as previously explained — he absolutely did not survey anybody raised in any genuinely new family structure. But he did write into his study Introduction a concern with how child-rearing studies impact “the legal boundaries of marriage.” He also wrote into his study introduction a concern with re-establishing, through this study, the exclusive perceived superiority of the “intact biological family.”

Regnerus’s title of “The New Family Structures Study,” for public consumption purposes, in reality references no one studied, but rather, families who more recently have been benefiting from expanded same-sex couples’ legal recognition in domestic partnerships, civil unions and marriages.

Regnerus has been promoting his study as evidence against expansion of legal recognition of gay couples’ relationships. In one of his Slate articles, Regnernus wrote that gay-rights “advocates would do well from here forward to avoid simply assuming the kids are all right,” and then, after barely paying lip service to the notion that marriage recognition could perhaps help children being raised by gay parents, he ends his article by saying that the New Family Structures Study  “may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”

Despite Regnerus’s politically brazen and fallacious statements, Regnerus’s study could not possibly have revealed household instability among same-sex couples raising children, because by Regnerus’s own admission in the written study, he did not study same-sex couples raising children, yet there he is, writing in mass-market online venues that his study “reveals” that household instability among same-sex couples raising children is “just too common.”

That false claim is fully characteristic of anti-gay bigots’ argumentation against legal recognition for gay couples. Any of NOM’s Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown or Thomas Peters might have unloosed it themselves. It is 1) too pointed and wild-eyed in its elaboration; and 2) too involved with “turning the knife in the wound” against gay rights after ejaculating a known falsehood about the study and about gay couples raising chidren; and finally 3) too clearly politically-motivated to be the words of a sociologist who does not agree with its substance.

Regnerus Study’s Excerpts Exploited by Religious Right for Political Gain – Is Regnerus in Cahoots with NOM’s Robert George?

If Regnerus’s friend Robert George had paid Regnerus to be one of NOM’sExpert Witness Project” professors producing excerptible anti-gay-rights quotes to inflame voters’ passions against gay rights, he could not have done any better than he did with that last quote from Regnerus.  And as a matter of documented record, Regnerus’s inflammatory, false, highly emotional and propagandistic anti-gay-rights quote is being used all over the country and beyond right now to incite people to deeper misunderstandings and distrust of gay people and their families. A more in-depth understanding of the political motivations of Regnerus’s funders may be had from this reporter’s articleNOM-Regnerus ‘Gay Parenting’ Study; A One-Percenter Dirty Campaign Trick.

Robert George’s Witherspoon Institute – a Regnerus funder — has devoted a stand-alone site to the Regnerus and Marks studies – where the Regnerus Slate article with the aforementioned offending quote is at the top of the site’s list of study-related articles “From the Web.”

Robert George’s NOM has a website page dedicated to “Marriage Talking Points.” There, anti-gay-rights activists are told that one phrase to avoid using “at all costs” is “Ban gay marriage,” because studies show that use of that phrase causes NOM to lose about ten percentage points of support in polls. Even though NOM exists to “ban gay marriage,” and the NOM pledge signed by Romney seeks a ban of same-sex marriage, NOM’s “Marriage Talking Points” page tells people to say that they support “marriage as the union of husband and wife” and not that they want to “ban gay marriage.”

That same brand of political, deliberately deceptive, anti-gay-rights attack through scheming, misleading words appears to have been applied to the Regnerus title of “The New Family Structures Study.” The manifest goals of that deceptive title are 1) to be able to exploit the study, towards a cessation of legal recognition of same-sex couples, which anti-gay-rights forces want to be able to do because, as a matter of documented reality; 2) increasingly common legal recognition is – for legal purposes — (including the legal rights of the people in the families) — creating actual New Family Structures, while Regnerus’s study meanwhile is serving 3) to give anti-gay-rights forces fraudulent cover for alleging that Regnerus has studied child outcomes for those actual new legal family structures, and shown that homosexuals are dangerous to children, even though; 4) Regnerus has not studied new family structures at all.

Regnerus did not even study the authentic human precursors to the new legal family structures for same-sex parents, such as the two lesbian mothers who raised Joe Valentine, even though by means of address-based sampling, he would have been able to do so.

Robert George’s NOM’s 1) instructions to anti-gay-rights activists not to say that they want to “ban gay marriage,” has in common with 2) Regnerus’s study title “The New Family Structures Study” the aim of  3) distracting people from an accurate understanding of the true nature of George’s and Regnerus’s anti-gay-rights activities.

All of the above must be fully and appropriately weighed and investigated by the University of Texas, Austin in its investigation of Associate Professor Mark Regnerus and included within the current Scientific Misconduct allegations that have been lodged against him.

Especially considering that Regnerus himself has admitted that 1) had he done this study through the National Institutes of Health instead of  2) through the Witherspoon Institute’s and the Bradley Foundation’s obsessed anti-gay-rights crusaders; 3) the higher scientific research standards that the NIH would have required him unwaveringly to observe would have 4) worked to the long-term best interests of science, it 5) defies belief that any observer concerned with scientific integrity could judge this matter without finding Regnerus guilty of scientific misconduct.


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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thatsdrfreak July 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I'm a gay academic and I was really pissed off about this study. However, there is a very important distinction between bad science and scientific misconduct. This, to me, appears to be bad science.

First, the funding issue. This is what the authors wrote in the paper:

"The NFSS was supported in part by grants from the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation. While both of these are commonly known for their support of conservative causes—just as other private foundations are known for supporting more liberal causes—the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript."

It is unusual for the funding sources to be disclosed in the body of the paper itself. That is usually done in a footnote. They probably did it in the body of the paper for PR purposes. You put things in the footnotes you don't want people to read. The phrase "in part" does imply other funding sources, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything nefarious. Members of the research team may have been paying expenses out of their own university research accounts. They aren't obligated to disclose that in a paper. Funding sources are disclosed because a) they require it and/or b) the authors need to make readers aware of any potential conflicts of interest up front. I've done grant funded research and paid for materials out of my own pocket. I would be required to disclose the organization that funded the research, but not that I paid for copies out of my own pocket.

Second, the study design. It is total crap. It is clearly gamed to find a desired outcome and the researchers are overstating the results. That is bad science. It should never have been published. However, it doesn't seem to be misconduct. Misconduct involves fabricating data or deleting data points that bolster your claim (a researcher in the Netherlands is under investigation for doing this). But designing a study poorly is not misconduct.

In this case, I have no doubt that the poor study design is a result of their author's desire to make a political point. Perhaps looking at the relevant emails by the research team would reveal this. Still, I am uncomfortable punishing the researchers for scientific misconduct when they did not fabricate or manipulate their data and they disclosed all of the details of their study design. That opens the door for other researchers to potentially be punished for errors.

Ultimately, the journal editor is the one who should be punished here. This was a poorly designed study with serious political and social implications. The purpose of the peer-review process is to prevent such bad research from being published. The big failure here occurred at the journal. We can't keep bad research from being conducted. It happens all to often. It is up to the scientific community to keep it from getting published. That, in my opinion, was the big failure here.

thatsdrfreak July 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

<div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-393405582"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(393405582)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(393405582)">Close MessageHere is the definition of scientific misconduct at UT (from the link you provided):

"Scientific Misconduct or Misconduct in Other Scholarly Research means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism. In addition, other practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for proposing, conducting, or reporting research are unacceptable and in some cases may constitute scientific misconduct. Ordinary errors, good faith differences in interpretations or judgments of data, scholarly or political disagreements, good faith personal or professional opinions, or private moral or ethical behavior or views are not misconduct under this definition."

Scott_Rose July 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Thank you for your comment, "thatsdrfreak." Note that 200 professionals have signed a letter asking James Wright, editor of "Social Science Research," to disclose aspects of the review and publication process for the Regnerus and Marks articles. My TNCRM report about that bombshell letter is here: UTA's definitions of Scientific Misconduct are broader than the one you give. However, be it noted, a full investigation could reveal that Regnerus is guilty of scientific misconduct under your narrower definition of it. You said: "Misconduct involves fabricating data or deleting data points that bolster your claim." UTA has to clear its name, and should by whatever means necessary obtain Knowledge Network's computer compilations of data and then examine them against Regnerus's published numbers for accuracy. So much is so evidently unethical in this, that no stone should be left unturned in the investigation. Regnerus's published statement that Witherspoon had "no role at all in the design" of the study clearly is false. Witherspoon never would so much as have entered into a discussion with Regnerus about a study of children raised by gay parents, if it was not fully confident that Regnerus would cooperate in designing a study favorable to Witherspoon's anti-gay-rights political goals. Moreover, when Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $35K "planning grant," Regnerus knew that if his study plan was not to Witherspoon's liking, Witherspoon would not have funded his actual study. Even if there were no ideological strings attached to the planning grant $35K, it would still be false for Regnerus to allege that Witherspoon played "no role at all in the study design;" they funded the design of the study. How can that be "no role," when without their money, the study wouldn't have been designed at all? Understand that 1) Regnerus's funding was arranged by NOM's Robert George, that NOM is notorious for secretiveness in political funding, that Romney made a secret $10K donation to NOM through an Alabama PAC to help get Prop. 8 passed, and that a complete understanding of the relationship between Regnerus and his funders depends on knowing who all of the funders are. If he spent money out of pocket for incidental expenses, and that was what he meant with his "in part" phrase in the published study, then he should have told me that's what he meant, instead of saying that Witherspoon and Bradley Foundation were the sole funders. Either he is hiding something, or his linguistic imprecision in that phrase should raise doubts about his processing of thoughts and information as regards the entire study.

thatsdrfreak July 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I actually don't agree with much of what you've written above.

First, the letter to "Social Science Research". That is a very important. In terms of advancing the field and preventing future tragedies, this is the best approach. The giant failure here happened at the peer review process. That study has so many flaws it never should have been published. People produce bad research all the time. I've reviewed bad studies and recommended that they not be published. Somehow, this got through. I can speculate as to why, but the academic failure here occurred at the journal level.

Second, as to study design. Unless the homophobic institutions have their own experts on staff, I can't imagine that they were involved in the study design. Constructing these surveys and implementing a sampling plan is very complicated and time-consuming and it takes a great deal of training. In the normal grant application process, a research submits a study proposal along with hypothesized results to the agency. Generally, federal agencies are the most difficult because they have the most expertise in evaluating the applications. Private foundations are usually more interested in advancing a cause and don't have a staff of experts to evaluate the merits of an application. You can also provide much less detail up front.

What likely happened here was that Regnerus and his team wrote up a research proposal that basically said if you give me this money, I can conduct this study, using these methods, and find these results. Or somebody from the foundation contacted him to see if he could do a study on this topic. Undoubtedly, these groups WOULD NOT have funded this study unless Regnerus told them up front that he expected to find something along the lines of what he found. I have NO DOUBT about that. However, that ISN'T scientific misconduct. There is an organization that funds homophobia research. They want to understand homophobia and find ways to reduce it. They will want to fund studies show that homophobia exists. That's not scientific misconduct.

Researchers can be funded by anyone–drug companies, the petroleum industry, the federal government, pro-gay rights groups, and homophobic scum balls like Brian Brown. Researchers can have ideological biases. What they have to do is adhere to the principals of science and disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

Unless there is evidence that he fabricated data, I don't see him being punished. Doing bad research is not misconduct. Using biased sampling or questions is not misconduct. Having an ideological bias is not misconduct. These things might very well be immoral, but they are not misconduct.

In this case, I really doubt that he fabricated data for two big reasons. First, if he did, he really freaking blew it, because his results are total crap. I'm not aware of a case of data fabrication in which the fabricated data are such total crap. Usually, fabricated data look too good to be true. He had to twist the interpretation of his findings and ignore major flaws in his design to draw the conclusions that he did.

Second, he worked with an outside agency to collect the data. When somebody else has access to the data, that it makes it much easier to get caught fabricating or deleting data points. Regnerus has also promised to make his entire dataset public this fall. This is not the behavior of someone who engaged in data fabrication.

I'll be interested in seeing how your interview with the university turns out. I really, really hope that you take some time to think about what I've written here before you speak to the school. I share your point of view and your contempt for Regnerus and his "work". I'd really like you to go into this interview understanding what the university and field consider to be misconduct and level of unethical behavior required for a professor to be punished.

Scott_Rose July 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Your comments are unjustifiably long for the type of thinking you are doing. You wrote for example: "What likely happened here was" — I am not reporting speculations. Regnerus alleged he had used the best available population sampling method, I investigated and then reported, truthfully, that he had not. If you feel you have something so important to say, try submitting it as a stand-alone article.

thatsdrfreak July 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Okay, now I see why my comment irritated you. There is a typo in my first line. I mean to write: "I actually don't DISAGREE with much of what you've written above. " That was a typo and I do apologize.

I'm not trying to be condescending or dismiss your concerns. I'm trying to give you more information about how research is done, so you are prepared for your meeting. I think that accusing Regnerus of misconduct based on what you've presented above is a losing proposition. For example, if you really understood how difficult and expensive probability sampling is, you wouldn't be using his comments about his sampling as evidence of misconduct.

Based on what you've written here, I fear that your concerns will be–rightfully, based on what I've read–dismissed by the university. I've apparently gotten under your skin and that was not my intention here. I would urge you to discuss your findings with a social science researcher that you do trust. You will be meeting with university officials who a) know this stuff way better than you do and b) are motivated to protect the reputation of their research.

Elegir July 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Scott, I agree (careful with typos!) with both you AND thatsdrfreak. I think the point of tdf's posts is to help prepare you for what is unlikely to be a fair, objective and independent review of the Regnerus study. Tdf's main point is that UT has a clear interest in backing Regnerus no matter how bad the statistical methodology in his study is. If they can dismiss your objection on a technicality ("misconduct" not proved) then they will happily do so. This would be a bad outcome because it would, wrongly, play to a popular delusion in the media and the right-wing lobby that Regnerus is the victim of a pro-gay witch hunt.

Scott_Rose July 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Here is part of the definition of scientific misconduct at UT:

"Practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for proposing, conducting, or reporting research are unacceptable and in some cases may constitute scientific misconduct."

Scott_Rose July 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I find this laughable: "if you really understood how difficult and expensive probability sampling is, you wouldn't be using his comments about his sampling as evidence of misconduct." If a sampling method exists that allows one adequately to survey a target demographic, but one doesn't have enough money to use that sampling method, then one can not carry out the study anyway with an inferior sampling method, and expect the study results to be taken seriously. It's called charlatanism. It's like saying because you can't afford a large hadron collidor, you're going to carry out particle acceleration in a Dixie cup but report results as though you had used a large hadron collidor.

thatsdrfreak July 2, 2012 at 12:16 am

I'm not trying to be condescending, but you don't know what you're talking about. Period. I don't know where you are getting your information but it is DEEPLY flawed. Before you go to the university, please speak to an expert. I realize you are no longer interested in my opinion, but find somebody who knows this stuff.

Scott_Rose July 3, 2012 at 1:22 am

You are commenting as "thatsdrfreak," an unverifiable, anonymous identity. You could be a NOM or a Regnerus shill. I shall not make any further comment in response to you, unless you identify yourself with your real name.

Scott_Rose July 3, 2012 at 1:34 am

I got my information on sampling methods from two Harvard University sociologists, and two sampling company CEOs.

bayareajohn July 2, 2012 at 2:14 am

First, Scott, I'm you your side, although in a minute you will be mad at me too.

Eye-bulging, vein-throbbing self righteous pointing while yelling "SEE??? SEE???!!" generally puts off even the most sympathetic reviewers, even when you are right. Scott, you have done a remarkably good job of collecting the issues and analysis, but your enthusiasm is working against you and is blinding you to those who would counsel you with the intent to help win your just cause. Take a moment and consider whether you are comfortable with your 100% mastery of all parts of the topic before you reject – especially with the anger apparent in your replies – the thoughts and experience of others who support your goals on the subject. And if you determine that your take is in fact infallible, it's REALLY time to take advice.

As for the funding "in part" while later saying they are the sole funders, I can relate to that through some years of university administration. The "in part" language is very typical formula, as it is on tv and radio broadcasts, due to the fact that various parts of the overhead of operations can come from a variety of "neutral" sources including university physical plant (facilities and utilities, copy services), unrestricted research grants, salaries, volunteers, etc. These may not be individually credited and accounted in detail in the published papers, although the records do need to exist for review. Many projects could be seen in practical, truthful terms as funded "only" by a couple of grants, yet the common report language would say "in part". It's a worthy area to encourage more investigation by those who have authority to ask, but it's not the smoking gun you hold it out to be. Nor is the "failure" to provide specifically you with the detailed records and documents you demand, evidence of anything more than unwillingness to expose himself further to an attacker – a hostile reporter to whom he owes no special duty of disclosure. Should the university ask for the records and be refused, it's a whole different thing.

Now see, you're mad at me now.

Scott_Rose July 3, 2012 at 1:32 am

You sure know how to dish out hectoring abuse. If you think you have anything constructive to contribute to this, I suggest that you go write your own article proposal and submit it for consideration. NOM head Robert George arranged the funding for Regnerus. He arranged part of Regnerus's funding through The Witherspoon Institute, where he is a Senior Fellow. The President of the Witherspoon Institute, Luis Tellez, is a NOM board member. NOM is notorious for keeping donations, and donor identity secret. Romney gave a hidden $10K donation to NOM for Prop 8, through an Alabama PAC. That secret donation was unearthed, and is now the subject of an investigation by the State of California. Full disclosure from Regnerus about all of his funding is necessary to an accurate understanding of the whole. I mentioned that matter once in my lengthy report, but you are accusing me of pointing at is as a "smoking gun." You are engaging in ludicrous hyperbole in your condescending accusations against me. I am going to tell you directly that I want you never to comment under any of my articles again. For one, I don't have a taste for being attacked by somebody whose real name I do not know, and have no means of learning. A bon entendeur, salut! Go troll someplace else.

Elegir July 3, 2012 at 3:02 am


I'm very sad to see your reaction here. You've had 3 people try very hard to help and encourage you in this matter and you've been rude and condescending to each of us. Only 1 statement towards you has been even vaguely hectoring and that was due to a typo for which TDF apologised profusely ("I actually don't DISAGREE with much of what you've written above. ")

Of everyone on the internet who's read the Regnerus study, you're one of the very few who has put in the time and effort to fight against its vile stupidity. You are working hard to stop its insidious homophobia from spreading virally and being used by right-wing bigots who won't acknowledge its flaws. For this work, all three of us have thanked and saluted you. We want you to succeed because you are fighting for a cause we hold dear.

Your responses to all 3 commentators, however, have been graceless and self-serving. I am very concerned that you're making enemies of your friends and that your efforts against the real enemy will be undercut by your unwillingness to engage in open discussion.

Feel free to spew forth against this post, as you have against the others. None of us is a troll – I for one will prove this by not responding to any more of your angry outbursts.

Goodbye and good luck.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

"Full disclosure from Regnerus about all of his funding is necessary to an accurate understanding of the whole."

Nonsense. Scientific research stands on its own merit separate from funding sources. Inferring that Regenerus' study had a pre-determined biased conclusion (e.g., "making the facts fit the conclusion") is engaging in intellectual dishonesty.

We see this all the time in the political arena, with this-study-or-that being castigated because it was "funded by Exxon" or "funded by Soros" or the like. That sort of intellectually fallacious reasoning has no place in academia.

Scott_Rose August 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

You would be the one engaging in intellectual dishonesty. The Regnerus study design absolutely was intentionally booby trapped, for the funders' pre-determined purposes of making gay parents and gay people generally look bad. The cherry picked control group (of children of continuously married heterosexual parents) was compared to a test group loaded up with variables. Cherry picking a control is dishonest, a form of lying. Using a control group, cherry picked or not, in comparison to a test group loaded up with variables is scientifically invalid. The need to eliminate variables in a control-group, test-group study is fundamental to carrying out almost any kind of experiment, and often is taught in 6th grade science classes. It certainly is taught in every Statistics 101 course, and ever Sociology 101 course. (For reference, see Earl Babbie's "The Practice of Social Research." I repeat: the "intellectual dishonesty" is built into the Regnerus study design. Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 "planning grant." They then had the power to approve, or not approve, Regnerus's study plan and then to arrange his full known total funding of $785,000. The study plan that Witherspoon approved featured this cherry picked control group to be compared to a test group loaded up with variables. That's where the "intellectual dishonesty" is to be found, because without exception, cherry picking a control group is dishonest and a form of lying.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

"The Regnerus study design absolutely was intentionally booby trapped, for the funders' pre-determined purposes of making gay parents and gay people generally look bad.

At this point, that is opinion stated as fact. The problem with your opinion (which has been stated ad nauseum by the other posters here) is that there is an incredibly amount of latitude that *responsible* researchers have in the construction of their tests.

I say again, you may be very, very RIGHT that this is a badly constructed experiment, yet (and most likely) very, very WRONG that this is censurable misconduct. Even the UTexas DEFINITION of misconduct (which you have quoted) allows them significant latitude in applying that definition.

Another point you may wish to consider is that *unless* Regnerus is cited for misconduct, the study will be considered valid until supplanted by similar studies which result in contrary findings. If you actually have any resources you are able to tap in this regard, you should consider funding other research with the hope that it will refute Regnerus.

Of course. if you TELL your researchers what result you want for the funding, then you're no different than what you accuse Regnerus of.

bayareajohn July 3, 2012 at 2:08 am

Wow/, I've been told directly. That's gonna leave a mark.
Your tastes aren't part of this discussion… the facts are, and you can't dismiss those who you decide to have a hissy fit over. Undeserved, too. I had no abuse for you, only a viewpoint with experience, though you dish abuse and exaggeration generously to those who honestly hope, with you, that this study is blown out of the water. You can't tell who is on your side anymore. This attitude and inability to parse actual content of as simple messages as those above makes your other findings and revelations seriously suspect. Sad. I still hope you are right and that it all comes out, loudly.

Elegir July 3, 2012 at 3:00 am

I can only imagine it's because he's used to working on his own. Perhaps he has had to deal with many negative and bigoted responses from outsiders in the past.

But smacking down any and all attempts at friendly help and supportive comments is just too much. I'm out of here. I hope he succeeds, but I think that a one-man crusade against well-funded, bigoted homophobes is doomed to failure. And that failure will affect us all. Very sad.

dbmcn July 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I find the criticisms here kind of strange. First, 3 anonymous posters call into question Mr. Rose's conclusions even though they claim to agree with him (and really, Elegir where were those friendly and supportive comments?), but then they start a fight based on what they seem to think is Mr. Rose's unfriendly response. I think Mr. Rose has a pretty good foundation for his complaint, if the rest of you think there is a better tack–which seeing as how "thatsdrfreak" says he's a "gay academic" why don't you launch your own? This all seems fishy.

thatsdrfreak July 7, 2012 at 11:56 am

I haven't contacted UT about this study for one reason: I see no evidence of misconduct here. Bad sampling is not misconduct. Overstating ones results is not misconduct. Being funded by partisans–even very very very bad people like NOM–is not misconduct. (Pro-gay organizations also fund research). This study is an example of bad science. It shouldn't have been published and putting more pressure on the journal and the editors might actually get a response.

This is hard for non-academics to understand, but we see bullshit like this all the time. Poorly conducted studies full of confounds and other design flaws are found in all disciplines. There are researchers, studies, and journals that we know do crap work. We generally ignore it. When I started writing my first manuscript in graduate school, my adviser told me not to cite any work by researcher A, B, and C and not to cite research from journal X, Y, and Z. This is just another example of bad research that never should have been published.

I feel bad for Mr. Rose because he is convinced that he–an amateur scientist–has uncovered evidence of scientific misconduct. There is nothing that anybody can say to him that will convince him otherwise. I very much doubt that his complaint with UT will get very far, and that will only feed his suspicion of UT, and perhaps, science in general. And that is the most frustrating aspect of this stupid study for me. This disgusting research is a blight on all science. And we can ill afford wide-spread public doubt about research when the academy is dependent on public financial support.

Scott_Rose July 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

Readers are alerted to this definition of scientific misconduct from UT itself: "Practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for reporting research are unacceptable and in some cases may constitute scientific misconduct. "

The Regnerus study clearly does seriously deviate from ethical standards for reporting research.

The Regnerus study does not make a valid comparison between his "test" group of children of unstable (supposedly) gay-headed households, and his "control" group of heterosexual-headed household. For the comparison even to begin to be valid, one would have to compare "stable-gay" with "stable-straight" or "unstable-gay" with "unstable straight" to determine whether the "gay" part has anything to do with differences between the two groups of children.

Regnerus's failure to make a valid comparison is, as per the UT definition of "scientific misconduct" a practice that seriously deviates "from ethical standards for reporting research." UT considers such practices "unacceptable" and in some cases considers that they may constitute scientific misconduct. " For further reading, see this article:
"Publication Of Invalid Anti-Gay Regnerus Study Referred To Committee On Publication Ethics"

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 2:05 am

You are correct that proper normalization procedures have to be followed. Failing to do so, however, does not infer a lapse from an ETHICAL standard. (Put another way, if you think that Regenerus is not able to articulate to his inquiry board the REASONS he did or did not normalize as YOU believe he should have, you're smokin' sumptin'. And, it's highly probable he's able to articulate the reasons why he did NOT do it "your way" a lot more credibly than you are able to articulate the reasons you list above.)

Regardless, if the inquiry board does not find any evidence that Regenerus intentionally selected an unscientific methodology in order to come to a particular conclusion, your complaint is toast.

Scott_Rose August 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

You appear to be ignorant, as you appear to believe that a misconduct finding requires intent to commit misconduct on the researcher's part. It does not. Although intent amplifies misconduct, misconduct that occurs out of recklessness also is misconduct. It is the difference, for example, between murder and manslaughter.

Scott_Rose July 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

At this link is a New York Times report on Harvard University finding Marc Hauser guilty of scientific misconduct:
Two of the grounds on which he was found guilty of scientific misconduct were data acquisition and data analysis, precisely my Complaints against Regnerus.

thatsdrfreak July 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Please read this article at the Nation about Marc Hauser. It goes into more detail about what misconduct is and what Hauser specifically did to get into trouble.

Scott_Rose July 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

The bottom line in The Nation Article about the grounds on which Hauser was found guilty of scientific misconduct is: "The most Smith would reveal was that “while different issues were detected for the studies reviewed, overall, the experiments reported were designed and conducted, but there were problems involving data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of research methodologies and results.” DATA ACQUISITION, DATA ANAYLSIS; exactly my complaint against Regnerus.

thatsdrfreak July 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

What is misconduct? Fabrication, falsification or plagiarism.

From the article:

"The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the main sources of research funds in the United States, have defined scientific misconduct in research as involving fabrication, falsification or plagiarism. “Fabrication” is making up data; “falsification” is altering or selecting data. This definition of misconduct has been adopted by other federal agencies and most scientific societies and research institutions. Explicitly excluded from the category of scientific misconduct are “honest error or differences of opinion”; other types of misconduct, such as sexual harassment, animal abuse and misuse of grant funds, are targeted by other prevention and enforcement mechanisms."

Are you accusing Regnerus of making up data or altering his dataset? Have you evidence that he plagiarized any of his work? Data fabrication and falsification are generally difficult to detect:

"Scientific misconduct is often difficult to detect. Although grant applications and research papers submitted to prestigious journals are rigorously reviewed, it is very difficult for a reviewer to uncover fabrication or falsification. Attempts at “replication”—repeating someone else’s experiment—are usually another weak filter for misconduct. Journals are reluctant to publish results of attempts at replication, whether positive or negative, thereby discouraging such attempts. In any case, particularly in the complex world of biology, it is often hard to repeat a specific experiment because of the multitude of differences, often unknown, between the original and the replication. Failure to replicate does not demonstrate fraud; however, it does indicate a problem to be looked into. Sometimes fraud is detected by a careful examination of published papers revealing multiply published or doctored illustrations; more often it is uncovered by the perpetrator’s students or other members of his laboratory."

Scott_Rose July 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Why don't you go work for NOM, if you aren't doing that already?
In a first instance, Regnerus's study is invalid because he did not make a sociologically valid comparison.
The following is included in UT's definition of Scientific Misconduct, already given above, btw:
"Other practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards for proposing, conducting, or reporting research are unacceptable and in some cases may constitute scientific misconduct." Not to make a valid sociological comparison "deviates from ethical standards for . . reporting research . . and . . may constitute scientific misconduct."

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 2:13 am

It occurs to me to remind all that the only speech that requires the law to protect it is unpopular speech.

Popular speech requires no legal protection at all.

bayareajohn July 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The TL;DR on the NATION article:
The article is an interesting discussion of some bad research and review, but sheds no direct light on the Regnerus issues other than the consequences of review. The bad acts each are accused of are entirely different and unrelated. The Nation article doesn't have any hint of discussion of intentionally skewed or donor-influenced research design, nor of inherent or misrepresented quality of sampling issues.

Hauser used methodology in sampling and data analysis that was not challenged. He appears to have properly constructed a neutral experiment, but then fabricated data that was not in fact observed. This is a researcher faking results. A legitimate study with dishonesty in execution.

In contrast, it appears that in Regnerus's study, sampling methodology and analysis methodology each blatantly suggest an intent to skew the results, and the study was funded by parties invested in demonstrating that skew. Regnerus accurately described the methods he used, meaning he revealed the means by which he bent reality to get his results. His data may well be unmolested beyond what the report itself describes. His was a study designed to mislead. A dishonest study in overarching intent, performed and analyzed as reported..

Oh, and Hauser is accused of plagiarism too, one of the few sins not presently in the list against Regnerus.

Scott_Rose July 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm


bayareajohn July 7, 2012 at 1:44 am

Do not doubt that I wholly hope that the study gets the full and fair review that you quite clearly show it needs. I congratulate you for your detailed research and analysis toward that end and wish you well. Again. I can do that while only agreeing with 97% of your conclusions. And you are welcome to consider me to be 3% idiot.

Scott_Rose July 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

Many journalists have made FOIA requests for documentation related to the Regnerus study. The University of Texas has sent letters to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, asking for FOIA exemptions so as not to have to turn over the documentation. The letters that UT has sent to the Attorney General say that they need the FOIA exemption, because UT is conducting an "investigation" related to the Regnerus study. UT's letter using the word "investigation" can be read here: Many journalists have made FOIA requests for documentation related to the Regnerus study. The University of Texas has sent letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, asking for FOIA exemptions so as not to have to turn over the documentation. The letters that UT has sent to the Attorney General say that they need the FOIA exemption, because UT is conducting an "investigation" related to the Regnerus study. UT's letter using the word "investigation" can be read here:

Scott_Rose August 5, 2012 at 1:36 am

Hello: Please consider signing and sharing this petition. The petition demands that the Editorial Board of the journal Social Science Research retract the notorious, invalid, defamatory, anti-gay Regnerus gay-parenting “study.” According to the journal’s own Peer Review Policy, it takes MONTHS for the editor to locate experts to carry out peer review of submissions on esoteric topics like gay parenting. But, SSR’s editor James Wright did NOT get topic experts, the BIGOTS he had do the peer review had CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, and Regnerus’s submission was accepted for publication in only 5 &frac12; weeks, LESS TIME than the journal usually spends just to LOCATE expert peer reviewers. Be sure to read the full petition text inside the petition at this link:

bayareajohn July 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I agree, Scott, and the measure to be applied here is indeed UT's definition, not the NIH. And in my opinion, your analysis speaks effectively to show violations of UT's definition.

But really, your name calling is not reflective of the tone of any of the other discussion here. It says more about your character and your confidence in your position that you resort to insult and banishment when you are challenged even slightly on what are truly side issues.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 2:11 am

Nonsense. The basic point here is the freedom of academic thought. If researchers start facing academic censure for making honest mistakes, we may as well bend over and kiss our academic research system goodbye. For more information about how well science progresses when "unpopular findings" can get you censured (or jailed or killed) please review the scientific progress made under the auspices of the Catholic Church during the pre-Renissance period.

Scott_Rose August 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

What brought you to The New Civil Rights Movement to make your comments, "kadyalsalaam"? Who are you, really? When readers click on a commenter's name, they can see the full history of that commenter's comments on this site. You appear not to be a regular reader of The New Civil Rights Movement. You appear not to be a supporter or ally of the LGBT community. You appear to be a noxious antagonist, making specious arguments for the sake of making specious arguments.

Scott_Rose August 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

You apparently do not know that it has been revealed that the Regnerus "study" was only published thanks to corrupt peer review carried out by non-topic-experts who had conflicts of interest, including that they had been paid to design the study.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

If the study is *proven* to be academically bankrupt rather than simply bad science, then I'm on your side.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Rubbish. The definition of "misconduct" varies from University to University. Although misconduct can indeed occur without intent, the chances that an inquiry board (who will be made up of colleagues and friends of the accused) will rule in favor of you *without* proving intent are virtually nonexistent.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

What an odd question, particularly in context!

I got here from the Chronicle of Higher Education (not that that matters), and if you're interested in my personal motivation, I *detest* political and religious attempts to corrupt the academic process through threats and intimidation. (I am particularly incensed by my own religious communities control over the academic process in the Arab Middle East, which is highly connected to their economic destitution.)

Other issues that tick me off are attempts to inject creationism into the schools and attempts to swap in less important historical figures to the detriment of important ones for the sake of "diversity", so I think I can fairly say that my views on this topic fall on both sides of the political spectrum.

Hope that helps, although I am starting to get the sense that you don't value academic freedom in nearly the way I do.

Now, in that I am NOT a regular reader of the NCRM site……..answer a few questions for me, for my edification. Why did a simple post on free speech incite you to ask these questions? Does the "New Civil Rights Movement" NOT support free speech, as it is generally accepted in American jurisprudence?

If it does not, what restrictions does it promote on free speech? Does it support these (noxious, by my way of thinking) European-style restrictions on speech to avoid "offending" groups? (Personally, I intellectually and emotionally am revolted by insults to my religion, but I wouldn't want to live in a country (again) where they are illegal.)

Please elucidate.

Scott_Rose August 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Thank you very much for supporting our freedom of speech to fully investigate and expose the anti-gay-rights political scandal of known anti-gay hate group leaders commissioning anti-gay hate speech in the false guise of a sociological study. You did state that — given that the study was only published due to corrupt peer review — you hope that we prevail in exposing the entire hoax. Again, thank you for supporting our right to free speech. To reciprocate the support, we unequivocally condemn anti-Muslim bigotry wherever it is found.

kadyalsalaam August 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Not going to answer, I see.

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