The Regnerus anti-gay parenting “study” by Mark Regnerus (image, above) is “deeply flawed” and as a result, the author himself is “disgraced,” says the study’s top appointed scholarly reviewer.
In a lengthy interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Darren Sherkat, a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University, and a member of the editorial board of Social Science Research — the publisher of the Regnerus “study,” officially the “New Family Structures Study”Â (NFSS)Â — once again decimates the Regnerus paper.
“When we talk about Regnerus, I completely dismiss the study,” Sherkat tells the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Itâ€™s over. He has been disgraced. All of the prominent people in the field know what he did and why he did it. And most of them know that he knew better. Some of them think that heâ€™s also stupid and an ideologue. I know better. I know that heâ€™s a smart guy and that he did this on purpose, and that it was bad, and that it was substandard.
Regular readers will note that The New Civil Rights Movement was at the forefront of investigating the background and methodology of the Regnerus work, which falsely claimed that adult children raised by gay and lesbian parents by far more likely to perform poorly in life. The Regnerus study claimed that these adults of gay parents had far great chances of using drugs, being on welfare and food stamps, have behavioral problems, and exhibit self-destructive behaviors. The list of negative outcomes was lengthy — and false.
In fact, Regnerus used a sample of adults who were asked not if their parents were LGBT, but if they thought their parents had ever had sex or a relationship with a member of the same-sex. Only a handful of the study’s participants were actually raised by a same-sex couple.
Here at The New Civil Rights Movement, Scott Rose authored dozens upon dozens of articles on Regnerus, and was instrumental in convincing the academic community to re-examine the Regnerus work and the University of Texas to conduct a review of Regnerus’ study.
The New Civil Rights Movement has published over 120 articles on, about, or mentioning Regnerus. You can read them all here.
Below, a few excerpts from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s interview with Darren Sherkat, who “was tapped” by Social Science Research editor James Wright “to conduct an audit of the process of publishing the Regnerus study,” the SPLC writes:
Letâ€™s get down to the details. Whatâ€™s wrong with the Regnerus paper?
Regnerus and other right-wing activists have been fond of claiming that the study is â€œpopulation-basedâ€ or a â€œnational probability study.â€ As a scientist, I donâ€™t even know what â€œpopulation-basedâ€ means, and the data used in this study are by no means a probability sample. Regnerusâ€™ data are from a large number of people recruited through convenience by a marketing firm â€” they are not a random, representative sample of the American population. Science requires random samples of the population, and that is not how this marketing firm collected their data.
Several scholars also have pointed to incongruities and outlandish values in the Regnerus study, such as people claiming hundreds of sex partners in the prior week. The online collection of data makes the veracity of responses even more problematic. The state of the art in family research would use a random sample of households and follow up with parents and children to see whether or not parental couplings impacted child outcomes â€” controlling for other potential influences like income, education, ethnicity, relationship stability, and the like.
Isnâ€™t a key criticism also that the study doesnâ€™t actually address children growing up in households of self-identified LGBT parents?
The key measure of gay and lesbian parenting is simply a farce. The study includes a retrospective question asking if people knew if their mother or father had a â€œromanticâ€ relationship with someone of the same sex when the respondent was under age 18. This measure is problematic on many levels.
Regnerus admits that just two of his respondents were actually raised by a same-sex couple, though I doubt that he can even know that, given his limited data. Since only two respondents were actually raised in gay or lesbian households, this study has absolutely nothing to say about gay parenting outcomes. Indeed, because it is a non-random sample, this study has nothing to say about anything.
The SPLC notes a troubling increase in right wing funding of research that is designed to guarantee a positive outcome for conservative values and positions.
You mentioned what you see as a trend in academia, the rise of conservative ideologies in science and in funding for research. How widespread is that?
There is in fact a movement to change the intellectual and cultural climate of academics. This has been going on for over 30 years. Look at things like James Davidson Hunterâ€™sÂ Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation, where he talks about the growth of these more intellectual conservative evangelical types in Christian colleges like Wheaton and Gordon and Calvin, which is Regnerusâ€™ alma mater. Theyâ€™ve actively courted the young, successful people in these colleges to become professors, to become intellectuals, and they support their careers.
One thing thatâ€™s disturbing to me about the Regnerus study is that Regnerus received a large amount of money from these foundations and this creates a very different scholarly and intellectual atmosphere. It creates a playing field thatâ€™s not level. Someone like Regnerus is now able to go out and buy his own data, if weâ€™re to accept data of this quality.
Even if we were to say itâ€™s high-quality data, he is able to get a million dollarsâ€™ worth of influence â€” he was able to generate that kind of funding from these conservative foundations in a way that other intellectuals are not able to do. All of the traditional sources of social scientific funding have dried up over the last 20 years and thereâ€™s nowhere to go to get money, but these guys have it. There are talks in Congress about cutting the entire social science budget at the National Science Foundation. That is chilling, because then weâ€™ll be completely reliant on people like Mark Regnerus and Brad Wilcox [of the University of Virginia] and Christian Smith [of Notre Dame University] and people like that for our information about potentially crucial or controversial issues.
So itâ€™s less about science and more about fighting a culture war?
Absolutely. Itâ€™s a real coordinated effort to create a kind of separate culture, to change contemporary culture in broader society. Whatâ€™s different now is that they are beginning to move into the world, as they call it, and they are adamant about having an impact in the public square. Thatâ€™s a real change for some of those groups. And theyâ€™re enabled in that in a lot of different ways, with the deregulation of education and their ability to create their own educational institutions, to provide home-schooling and all kinds of other alternative educational institutions.
Jeremy Hooper at Good As YouÂ notes:
This weekend,Â Mark Regnerus will appear at the “It Takes A Family” conference, a project of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, where he will lecture alongsideÂ intensely anti-gay figures like Robert Gagnon. Just in case you needed more grist for the agenda-driven mill.
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RNC Chair Asked Nominee for $500,000 in Possible Pay-to-Play Scheme for Ambassadorship: Report
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appears to be enmeshed in an possible pay-to-play scheme, asking a nominee for $500,000 after his ambassadorship nomination ran into trouble.
When the confirmation for President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the Bahamas stalled in the Senate, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel dashed off an email to the nominee, San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester.
“Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?” McDaniel wrote in an email, according to CBS News, which reports the email came “as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance.”
Manchester, who had donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, replied quickly.
“As you know I am not supposed to do any, but my wife is sending a contribution for $100,000,” he wrote. “Assuming I get voted out of the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday to the floor we need you to have the majority leader bring it to a majority vote … Once confirmed, I our [sic] family will respond!”
CBS spoke with Manchester, telling him, “You know what this looks like.”
“Well — it looks like it to you. But it’s not the facts,” Manchester responded. “My wife gave out of separate funds and she in fact loves Donald Trump.”
Manchester told CBS it’s just “part of politics.”
“You give and you give and you give and you give some more and more and more,” he said.
He ultimately was forced to withdraw.
This is not the first ambassador nominee who has given huge sums to the RNC or to team Trump. Gordon Sondland, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal, became Trump’s ambassador to the European Union despite having no experience for the role. He also gave Trump’s inauguration committee $1 million. The New Republic reports many of Trump’s ambassadors are high-dollar donors.
Among them, Kelly Knight Craft, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “donated $1 million alongside her husband.”
No Way Pence Didn’t Know What Trump Was Up to in Ukraine After Aide’s Revelations: CNN Panel
A CNN panel discussion on testimony given by a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence said her revelations about what she knew about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings can only mean Pence knew and is lying.
Speaking with New Day hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, contributor Kaitlan Collins stated Jennifer Williams’ description of Trump’s Ukraine phone call was expected to set Trump off, which it did when the president raged at her on Sunday as a “Never Trumper.”
“We kind of saw this coming, that they anticipated the president could be frustrated by her testimony,” Collins explained. “Because in the weeks before, when she was going to testify behind closed doors, we saw them distancing themselves from her. Yes, she works in our office, but she’s the State Department employee detailed to our office.”
Collins added Williams, “was on the call with the president. She traveled with Pence when he went to Warsaw to meet with the Ukrainian president.”
“She’s not some low-level staffer,” she continued. “She’s also not an eager witness. No one even realized she was on the call until someone else on the call named her to house investigators, that’s why she was called to testify in the first place.”
Former White House official Joe Lockhart jumped int to say Pence had to know what William had heard during the call.
“I think the other thing about Jennifer Williams, and it’s not getting as much attention, is she does place Vice President Pence in an awkward position,” Lockhart suggested. “He either has to argue he doesn’t read his briefing book, doesn’t listen to his staff, or I was in on this. It’s one or the other. So far he’s escaped scrutiny here, but he was briefed on his way to Warsaw by her and apparently, it was in his briefing book”
Trump’s Alleged ‘Checkup’ at Walter Reed Was ‘Non-Routine and Scheduled Last Minute’: Report
President Donald Trump’s unexpected trip to Walter Reed medical center did not follow “routine” protocols for a presidential medical exam, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reported on Sunday.
A source familiar with Trump’s visit to the hospital told Diamond that staff was not notified prior to the president’s visit.
President Donald Trump’s visit to Walter Reed on Saturday did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Medical staff at Walter Reed did not get a staff-wide notice about a presidential visit to the medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, ahead of Trump’s arrival, according to that source.
During normal circumstances, medical center staff would have received instructions about a “VIP” visit ahead of time.
“That did not happen this time, indicating the visit was a non-routine visit and scheduled last minute,” Diamond reported.
A second source also told CNN that the trip to Walter Reed was “abnormal.”
The White House is on record insisting that the visit was part of the president’s annual “routine” physical exam.
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