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Lori Holyfield, Sociologist, Ph.D., Calls For Retraction Of Anti-Gay Regnerus Paper

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Lori Holyfield is a Ph.D. and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Arkansas. She authored the book, Moving Up and Out: Poverty, Education, and the Single Parent Family.

I interviewed Dr. Holyfield via telephone about the scientifically invalid, NOM-linked Regnerus study, which is being used as a political weapon against gay rights. She did not mince her words:

“I am calling on Elsevier to retract the Regnerus article from publication.”

Holyfield elaborates:

“The study’s methodology is not valid. Regnerus claims to have proved correlation between gay parents and bad child outcomes, but his study does not support those claims. This is a bogus study that perpetuates negative stereotypes.”

I spoke with Dr. Holyfield apropos of W. Bradford Wilcox’s involvement in the scandal.

Regnerus was chiefly funded by the NOM-linked Wtherspoon Institute. Wilcox was the Witherspoon Institute Program Director who organized the Regnerus study, and then collaborated with Regnerus on study design before Witherspoon approved Regnerus for full study funding. Wilcox also collaborated with Regnerus on data collection and data analysis. A preponderance of evidence shows that he was permitted to do peer review. Furthermore, Wilcox is on the editorial board of the journal that published Regnerus, Elsevier’s Social Science Research.

Dr. Holyfield says:

“It is Research Ethics 101 to disclose conflicts of interest. Wilcox had so many roles in this, that it is unbelievable that journal editor James Wright never bothered to disclose any of Wilcox’s conflicts of interest to the public.  That I see, we know for sure that Wilcox is on the journal’s editorial board, and that he is a long-time collaborator of Regnerus and of journal editor James Wright, and that he was the Witherspoon Program Director who recruited Regnerus for the study, and that he collaborated with Regnerus on study design, and then also did data collection and data analysis work. How did it happen, that none of this was disclosed?  It is extremely important to note, that disclosure of these conflicts of interest would be necessary, whether the study was valid or not.”

We spoke about Wilcox’s laughable claim that his title of Witherspoon Program Director was “honorific.”

“For Wilcox to use the word “honorific” about his position of Witherspoon Program Director, and Regnerus study design collaborator, is a veiled attempt to turn back the clock. But the damage is done, and the credibility of this study is absolutely, indisputably undone. That Wilcox was a study designer, and that was not disclosed, is alone enough to justify retraction. The further possibility that he was a peer reviewer just adds weight to the case for retraction.”

“It is especially unacceptable that the conflict of interests were hidden, and that there is an ongoing attempt to deceive the public about them.  It adds insult to that injury, that what was produced was a methodologically invalid study that perpetuates negative social stereotypes. This is a very malevolent situation; something must be done about it.”

Regnerus alleges to have found that 23% of his respondents, young adult children of “lesbian mothers” experienced sexual victimization while growing up. Yet, the question he posed to come up with that finding asked only if “a parent or other adult caregiver” had abused the respondent. Dr. Holyfield says:

“The question as posed does not give us answers that we can use in any way to help sexually abused children.  The abuser could have been the heterosexual husband, or an uncle, or an older cousin, or anybody. The question Regnerus posed is an irresponsible and ridiculous question. In the absence of anything that would tell us who was the most likely perpetrator, the information is useless to us. But we see that it is useful to political agents seeking to perpetuate negative stereotypes. Regnerus is implying causation by reporting this rate for children of lesbian mothers. He can say he didn’t prove causation all he wants; the fact is, he implied causation. And, it is ironic, because we know that pedophile perpetrators often are male heterosexuals. That would be just one reason this finding should have raised a red flag.”

Dr. Holyfield is aghast that the Regnerus study was carried out at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Politically-motivated groups bend facts all the time. The difference here is that this took place at a research university, which absolutely should have measures in place to insure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen. It sounds like there was some social networking going on, and that the $55,000 planning grant from The Witherspoon Institute got talked about, and then the work with the full $785,000 in funding followed. Somewhere along the way, though, the relationships that allowed this unacceptable thing to happen in a research university got obscured.”

Social Science Research editor James Wright took the Regnerus paper from submission to acceptance for publication on a suspicious rush schedule. It is documented that the Regnerus submission did not receive valid peer review. Dr. Holyfield says:

“When you look at that phenomenally short turn-around time from submission to acceptance, you just can’t help but wonder if somebody connected with Witherspoon or Regnerus didn’t call the editor and make special arrangements. With all the evidence and documentation now known, all signs point to Wilcox. Because of that, I think it would be in the best interest of the editorial board and the journal to provide the names of the peer reviewers in this case. Peer reviewers’ anonymity should be respected when the research is valid. This research is not valid. If a full investigation is not carried out, the journal’s reputation will be permanently darkened. Peer reviewers who were in any way involved in Regnerus’s funding and/or in his research should have recused themselves immediately; this never should have happened.”

Dr. Holyfield continues:

“Wright himself has lost credibility. I can not imagine that the protection of the peer reviewers is more important that the protection of the integrity of the research.”

Writing in his sham “audit” of the publication of the Regnerus study, Social Science Research editorial board member Darren Sherkat said: “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”

“The point is,” Dr. Holyfield continues, “to not protect a reviewer who engaged in conflicts of interest, over the integrity of the research itself.  Just to say ‘This is not valid research’ is not enough, given that the study made it into publication in these unethical ways on Social Science Research editor James Wright’s watch. This is a terrible disservice both to the journal and to the discipline. And, it is a tragedy for the American academy and for the public as a whole.”

I asked Dr. Holyfield if she wanted to make any other statements about the Regnerus study.

“Yes,” she said. “I am calling for retraction of the Regnerus study from publication. I call for retraction, and I strongly encourage disclosure of the names of the peer reviewers who engaged in conflicts of interest.  These are only some of the ways that integrity can be restored to the process. The Regnerus study must be retracted from publication.”

 

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, 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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News

‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

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New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan responded to Donald Trump‘s motion he recuse himself from overseeing the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president on day one of the trial. Trump is facing 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records in what’s been called an election interference cover-up case alleging he paid an adult film actress “hush money” then attempted to hide those payments to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan “fiercely” and “defiantly” pushed back against Trump’s allegations, MSNBC’s Vaughn Hillyard reported Monday as the trial began (video below).

“Merchan says it’s the opinion of the court that Trump is using a ‘series of inferences, innuendos and unsupported speculation’ to make his claims for recusal,” according to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

Denying Trump’s motion, Judge Merchan included his response in what he called “loose ends,” and blasted what be labeled the “offensive” allegations made by Trump and his attorneys, as The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports.

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

“Not a good start for Trump,” Lowell begins, noting the judge also said he has no agenda.

Speaking to the allegations in Trump’s recusal motion, Lowell reports in a series of posts on social media that “Merchan starts w his recent interview w AP, which Trump complained about, in which he explicitly said he wouldn’t discuss the case. He then tells Trump that his complaints do not ‘reasonably or logically’ explain how these statements reflect bias.”

Lowell adds that Judge Merchan “then moves on to his daughter’s podcast interview from 2019, in which she said he disliked politicians using Twitter. Merchan says that does not reflect a bias against any party. Trump’s second recusal motion is DENIED.”

“There is no basis for recusal,” Merchan said from the bench, according to MSNBC executive producer Kyle Griffin.

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

 

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News

‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

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Amid Republicans – including Donald Trump – claiming over the weekend Iran would never have attacked Israel if Donald Trump were president, and saying Trump never got America into a war, Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger blasted the ex-president and his allies while serving up a series of damning facts and urging them to stop “rewriting history.”

“It’s really easy not to get in a war, if you just surrender everything,” Kinzinger said Sunday evening in what he called an “emergency” video (below). He called the ex-president now on day one of the first criminal trial of any former U.S. president, “the worst foreign policy president of my generation,” and “a week, small, tiny man who was scared to death.”

Kinzinger has strong bona fides to back up his remarks. He is a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, where he has served since 2003. (He reportedly is no longer on active duty, but is a member of the Air National Guard.) He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Congress, he served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, and was the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment.

He praised Trump for killing Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian commander who was deemed “Iran’s second most powerful man.”

READ MORE: ‘By Design’: Johnson Falsely Claims Democrats Are Trying to Turn ‘Illegals’ Into Voters

“That was a good hit,” he said, before reminding Americans what happened after that.

“Iran responded by launching a whole bunch of missiles at a U.S. base in Iraq. A hundred soldiers were injured with traumatic brain injuries. Remember, Donald Trump said, ‘Oh, they’re just some headaches?’ Yeah, not to those people. It’s serious.”

“How did we respond to that missile barrage against our base? We did nothing,” Kinzinger lamented.

“Do you remember when they shot down a 100 million something dollar drone, which by the way, is not like a little drone? It’s about the size of an airliner. And we responded by – oh, that’s right: Trump did nothing. Do you remember when they attacked the Saudi oil field with a massive barrage? Trump responded by, that’s right: he didn’t do anything.”

“Do you remember when he said we were going to leave the Kurds behind? Remember when he kept talking about leaving Syria and leaving Syria to Iran? Yeah, let’s be clear about Donald Trump. I have my disagreements with this administration. But let’s quit pretending Donald Trump was anything but the worst foreign policy president of my generation, because he was.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

“He gave Russia everything they needed. He gave Iran everything they needed, And basically was just absolutely surrendering American interests around the world.”

“Yeah, it’s really easy not to get in a war, if you just surrender everything, so let’s quit rewriting history on Donald Trump became he was not some master of foreign policy, he was a week, small, tiny man who was scared to death.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Spoiler’ Questions Swirl as Trump Says He Would Vote for RFK Jr. ‘If I Were a Democrat’

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OPINION

‘By Design’: Johnson Falsely Claims Democrats Are Trying to Turn ‘Illegals’ Into Voters

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Embattled Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson traveled nearly 1000 miles on Friday afternoon to appear with Donald Trump in a live joint press conference at Mar-a-Lago to promote legislation banning non-U.S. citizens from voting, which has been a federal law, and a felony, since 1997.

But Johnson used the event to attack Democrats, falsely accusing them of a conspiracy to increase the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. for the direct and distinct purpose of pushing them to vote illegally in U.S. elections.

The Speaker offered no proof of the existence of this conspiracy.

“We only want U.S. citizens to vote in U.S. elections,” Johnson said, standing next to Trump (video below), “but there are some Democrats who don’t want to do that. We believe that one of their designs, one of the reasons for this open border, which everybody asked all around the country, why would they do this? Why would they allow all this chaos? Why the violence? Because they want to turn these people into voters.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

Non-citizens voting in a U.S. election is punishable by deportation, massive fines, and/or numerous years in prison.

“Right now the administration is encouraging illegals to go to their local welfare office to sign up for benefits,” Johnson, one of the top election deniers in the country, claimed as he explained his conspiracy theory. He did not state how the Biden Administration is communicating with undocumented immigrants, nor did he offer proof of these communications.

He also did not state that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are ineligible for any government welfare program.

“Well, guess what? When you go to a welfare office, they also ask you if you would like to register to vote, and so many people, we think are going to do that.”

Again, Johnson offered no proof of undocumented immigrants doing that, and in fact, as the Brennan Center for Justice reported just this week, that is not happening.

“States have multiple systems in place to deter noncitizen voting. Those who violate the law face prison time and deportation,” the Brennan Center reported.

If you were undocumented, the Brennan Center asked, “Would you risk everything — your freedom, your life in the United States, your ability to be near your family — just to cast a single ballot?”

Johnson went on to state, “there’s so many millions of illegals in the country, that if only one out of 100 voted, they would cast potentially hundreds of thousands of votes in the election. That could turn an election.”

It could, but it isn’t happening.

RELATED: Johnson Moves for Trump Protection Against Greene With Mar-a-Lago Joint Press Conference

“President Biden has created a catastrophe and he did it by design,” Johnson alleged. “Why invite everybody from around the world to come here, including hardened criminals and dangerous persons?”

Neither President Biden nor his administration invited “everybody from around the world to come here,” but what if he did? Why shouldn’t he, if America is the greatest country on earth, why shouldn’t the President invite, urge people from other countries to lawfully come to America, the land of opportunity, the land of the free, the home of the brave, where immigrants have been called the “backbone” of the nation.

Federal laws can help keep “hardened criminals and dangerous persons” out, and federal border agents could do a better job if Donald Trump had allowed a vote on the Senate bipartisan border bill.

Johnson also claimed that immigration “has all sorts of terrible effects on the American people. We know that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 49.”

Most of the fentanyl flooding the country is smuggled in by Americans, not “across the border” but through U.S. ports of entry. Nearly nine out of ten fentanyl smugglers are U.S. citizens, according to the right wing Cato Institute.

Watch a portion of Speaker Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Bless Those Who Persecute You’: Johnson Invokes Bible Amid Greene’s Ouster Threat

 

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