University of Texas Investigates Associate Professor's Study On Children With Gay Parents
The study, authored by associate professor of sociology Mark Regnerus, claimed that that adults with gay parents tended to report lower levels of success in economic and romantic pursuits and struggled more with mental health issues.
Rosensweig, who writes under the nom de plume of Scott Rose for the LGBT activist blog, The New Civil Rights Movement, sent a letter of complaint to University of Texas President Bill Powers on June 21. According to the daily Austin newspaper, the American-Statesman, in his letter, Rosensweig alleged that Regnerus had committed scientific misconduct because he had created "a study designed so as to be guaranteed to make gay people look bad, through means plainly fraudulent and defamatory." Rosensweig also pointed out that the study was funded by the conservative Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, writing that Regnerus had taken "money from an anti-gay political organization for his study."
Regnerus declined to comment on the inquiry but said that his study followed the standard protocol of scholarly research.
"A team consisting of leading family researchers was involved in developing the research protocol," Regnerus wrote in an email. "This academic team merged scholars across disciplines and ideological lines in a spirit of civility and reasoned inquiry, and the protocol developed by this team was subsequently approved by the University of Texas' Institutional Review Board."
"Normal procedures were followed for obtaining outside support, as many researchers do," he wrote.
The University of Texas defines scientific misconduct as "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism" and "practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards." ~The American-Statesman
Gary Susswein, speaking on behalf of the university, told the paper that a panel of UT professors is conducting the inquiry, and the process will be completed within 60 days of the complaint. Should the university's investigation find that Regnerus' work constitutes scientific misconduct, University Provost Steven Leslie would decide how the administration will proceed, Susswein added.
Among Regnerus' study's critics is UT sociology professor Debra Umberson;
"Regnerus' study is bad science. Among other errors, he made egregious yet strategic decisions in selecting particular groups for comparison," Umberson said.