frgavin on November 22nd, 2012

Dr Mark Regnerusby Matthew J Franck, LifeSite News

Yesterday on Public Discourse, I described the controversy that followed the publication of the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), led by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus. During a summer of unusual abuse, Regnerus remained largely silent but with his head unbowed. As autumn arrived, he found himself vindicated as an honest scientist by his university, with continued support from the journal editor who published his research.

In the November 2012 issue of Social Science Research, Regnerus has published a new article: “Parental same-sex relationships, family instability, and subsequent life outcomes for adult children: Answering critics of the new family structures study with additional analyses.” He accepts “arguably the most reasonable criticism” of his original work, the use of the abbreviations “LM” (for lesbian mother) and “GF” (for gay father) to characterize the family situations experienced by his young adult subjects when they were children.
Since the adjectives “lesbian” and “gay” could lead readers to infer something about these parents’ self-identified “orientation” (though in his original article Regnerus clearly dispelled this misapprehension), he now exchanges “LM” for “MLR” (mother who had a lesbian relationship) and “GF” for “FGR” (father who had a gay relationship), so that the adjectives “lesbian” and “gay” now describe the relationships, not the persons. Regnerus also pauses to note the extreme unlikelihood that his categories swept in any “one-night stand” relationships, since the NFSS interviews asked young adults about romantic relationships they would have observed as children.
Regnerus addresses at much greater length the more serious charge that he compared apples to oranges by placing a sample of “MLR” and “FGR” families with high incidence of instability next to his “IBF” cases of intact biological families (married heterosexual couples that stay together and raise their own offspring to maturity). His critics insisted that he should compare intact, long-term stable gay and lesbian couples with his “gold standard” IBF households.
On this point, Regnerus yields no ground to his critics whatsoever, but instead only strengthens his case that family instability is not a variable to be controlled for so that it falls out of the comparison; rather it is a “pathway” down which MLR and FGR families typically travel as a social reality.
Read here

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