Home > Homosexuality, same sex parenting > The Ruth Institute Congratulates University of Texas Professor Mark Regnerus: UT’s Research Integrity Office Finds No Academic Misconduct

The Ruth Institute Congratulates University of Texas Professor Mark Regnerus: UT’s Research Integrity Office Finds No Academic Misconduct

September 7th, 2012

“I am relieved that this ideologically motivated witch hunt has ended… These charges were so frivolous they did not even merit a formal investigation.”

- Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute –

SAN MARCOS, CA – University of Texas (UT) Sociology Professor Mark Regnerus’ recent study: New Family Structures Study, focused on children raised by gay parents versus heterosexual parents. After receiving complaints from a gay advocate about Prof. Regnerus’ research, UT initiated an inquiry into his study and concluded that Prof. Regnerus was innocent on all accounts. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and President of the Ruth Institute congratulated Prof. Regnerus by stating:

“I am relieved that this ideologically motivated witch hunt has ended. Every honest scholar in America should be relieved as well. The person complaining about Prof. Regnerus’ work did not like the results of the study and, therefore, assumed Prof. Regnerus must be guilty of misconduct. Unfortunately, the complainant can’t tell the difference between legitimate differences of opinion or interpretation, and full-on academic misconduct.  These charges were so frivolous they did not even merit a formal investigation.”

UT’s Research Integrity Officer stated in his report to the Provost: “None of the allegations of scientific misconduct were substantiated either by physical data, written materials, or by information provided during interviews. Several of the allegations were expressly beyond the purview of the inquiry. In brief, (the complainant) believed the Regnerus research was seriously flawed and inferred that there must be scientific misconduct.  However, there is no evidence to support that inference.”

The Provost report continued: “Since no evidence was provided to indicate that the behavior at issue rose to a level of scientific misconduct, no formal investigation is warranted.  The issues raised fall within that portion of the University’s definition of scientific misconduct that states, ‘ordinary errors, good faith differences in interpretations or judgments of data, scholarly or political differences, good faith personal or professional opinions, or private moral or ethical behavior or views are not misconduct.’”

Prof. Regnerus’ study boldly contradicted the Establishment’s view of “no differences” between the children of same sex parents and opposite sex parents. The most explosive results in the paper can be found in Table 2: Young adults whose mothers had a same sex relationship at some point in their childhoods were more likely to have been touched sexually by an adult, more likely to have had sex against their will, and less likely to describe themselves as exclusively heterosexual, than children raised by their married biological parents.

Critics allege that Prof. Regnerus’ definition of “lesbian parents” was too broad to be truly representative, and that his conclusions were too sweeping.  However, Dr. Douglas Allen, the Burnaby Mountain Professor of economics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and noted expert on the economics of family formation and dissolution, disagreed. “If we have to throw out the Regnerus study, we have to throw out virtually every other study on the impact of same sex parenting on children.  Previous studies are far worse, using less representative samples and drawing far more unjustified sweeping conclusions than the Regnerus study.” (Dr. Allen is also a member of the Ruth Institute Circle of Experts).

Dr. Morse concluded, “Mark Regnerus has made a genuine contribution to our understanding of the complexities involved in new family forms, including parenting by same sex couples. His work must be reckoned with by the scientific community.  Wherever a person may be on the subject of same sex couples parenting, this study raises important concerns that must be taken seriously. The University of Texas’ dismissal of these unfounded charges should allow this work to take its place in legitimate scientific inquiry into these important topics.”

To schedule an interview with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse or Dr. Douglas Allen, contact please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), eray@crcpublicrelations.com, or Jen Campbell (x145), jcampbell@crcpublicrelations.com, at 703-683-5004.

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