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Bad LGBT Parents? Bad UT study, audit finds

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Mark Regnerus

What were some of the major conflicts that should have been identified or avoided when you went through the history of this study?
I can't exactly explain everything because that would kind of identify the reviewers. I'd rather consider it in terms of generalities. Two of the reviewers did say they were paid consultants on the study. One of them is a creep. But that's his prerogative to be a creep. And as I say in the audit, many of the reviewers on this paper were very conservative. And that's not abnormal. A lot of the sociologists that are freaking out about this have had their head in the sand. The area where I work in sociology, in religion, is just full of these people. So it's not surprising at all that you write a paper on a family topic, you send it to a journal that has a conservative editorial board, at least a relatively conservative editorial board, and low and behold that sucker slips in. That's part of the game. Social science research doesn't have a bevy of reviewers that have strong gay and lesbian family-type people.

What do you know about Regnerus, your background with him?
I've known Mark since he was a graduate student.

What's your impression of his work?
Mark made a conscious decision as soon as he got tenure to politicize his work and you can see it in everything he's done since 2007, beginning with his studies on sexuality where he promotes this kind of model gender and sexuality that argues against all forms of non-marital sexuality. He deliberately argues that young people should be encouraged to get married early – of course, heterosexually married. That people need to be virgins upon marriage. It's set up to try to criminalize sexuality, and especially female sexuality. And to limit access to birth control, if not make birth control illegal again. And this is definitely a theme in his work Just look at his study before this – when people started sending me nasty notes, saying, “Did you see what the hell Regnerus did?” I thought they were talking about that. He has this theory: Women hate sex, and the only reason why women have sex is to get things from men. And so when women have non-marital sex, or have sex with lots of partners, that devalues sex. I guess that's a nice supply and demand argument, if you start from the premise that women are whores. That's the line that Mark has chosen because it fits his politicized perspective on human sexuality. And that's what he's pushing.

What I've been saying for a very long time now is that we're really in a crisis in the social sciences, because far right wing social scientists are now advantaged. Mark got almost a million dollars in grant money to do this study. That's more money than I've received in my entire career for research. Lisa Keister at Duke and I are doing a conference and a book in September, and we jumped up and down when we got $10,000 from the Russell Sage Foundation.

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