|Professor Christian Smith makes sad defense of flawed study.|
Not necessarily for truth, mind you, but for chutzpah. Regardless of how many times the study has been called out for its faults, these folks continue to hang in there in their attempts to defend it.
But in doing so, they cause more criticism to rain down on it.
Christian Smith, professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame, recently wrote a piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education defending Regnerus' work.
In the article, An Academic Auto-da-Fé, Smith claims that Regnerus and his work are being unjustly attacked by progressives:
Whoever said inquisitions and witch hunts were things of the past? A big one is going on now. The sociologist Mark Regnerus, at the University of Texas at Austin, is being smeared in the media and subjected to an inquiry by his university over allegations of scientific misconduct.
Regnerus's offense? His article in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research reported that adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships, including same-sex couples as parents, have more emotional and social problems than do adult children of heterosexual parents with intact marriages. That's it. Regnerus published ideologically unpopular research results on the contentious matter of same-sex relationships. And now he is being made to pay.
In today's political climate, and particularly in the discipline of sociology—dominated as it is by a progressive orthodoxy—what Regnerus did is unacceptable. It makes him a heretic, a traitor—and so he must be thrown under the bus.
. . . Regnerus has been attacked by sociologists all around the country, including some from his own department. He has been vilified by journalists who obviously (based on what they write) understand little about social-science research. And the journal in which Regnerus published his article has been the target of a pressure campaign.
It's an interesting piece with two flaws - one relatively minor and one which can be seen as major.
In his piece, Smith did not disclose that he was one of 18 professors who defended the study for “help[ing] to inform the ongoing scholarly and public conversation about same-sex families in America.”
The site Equality Matters points out how this group has no credibility when it comes to defending Regnerus' study.
Now some could argue that Smith's lack of candor is an irrelevant point. However, the next flaw in Smith's defense of Regnerus' study cannot be argued as the same.
In his zeal to make Regnerus seem like Joan of Arc tied to the stake and paint progressives (and the gay community) as the rabid villagers with torches in hand, Smith neglected to address the reasons why folks have been criticizing Regnerus' study.
That's right. Not once did Smith refute any of the points made about the flaws in Regnerus work. Not once did he address the legitimate problems that critics of the study had, including:
1. The Study Doesn’t Compare Married Gay Parents To Married Heterosexual Parents.
2. The Author Admits The Study Doesn’t Establish Causation Between Same-Sex Parenting And Negative Outcomes.
3. The Study Arbitrarily Ignores Overlaps In Its Subpopulations.
4. The Study Doesn’t Accurately Define Gay And Lesbian Parents.
5. The Study’s Author And Funders Have An Agenda.
The fact that Smith choose to neither refute nor address these points says a lot about why the study is flawed.
Smith accuses Regnerus' critics of having an agenda, but he seems to have one himself.