Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Southern Poverty Law Center calls out anti-gay parenting study, its author in blistering interview

Editor's note - From time to time, there is a news item which is so awesome, so extraordinary that all attention must be devoted to passing it along to folks. This is such a news item: 

Mark Regnerus
Suspect 'Science' - In the newest issue of its Intelligence Report, the Southern Poverty Law Center calls out Mark Regnerus, the author of the controversial and fraudulent study put out last year which claimed that same-sex households are inferior to heterosexual households. To say this piece is brutal would be an understatement. SPLC's Evelyn Schlatter interviews Darren Sherkat, professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University and a member of the editorial board of Social Science Research. Skerkat conducted an audit of Regnerus's study.

Allow me to preview choice bits of the interview:

"Regnerus and other right-wing activists have been fond of claiming that the study is “population-based” or a “national probability study.” As a scientist, I don’t even know what “population-based” means, and the data used in this study are by no means a probability sample. Regnerus’ data are from a large number of people recruited through convenience by a marketing firm — they are not a random, representative sample of the American population. Science requires random samples of the population, and that is not how this marketing firm collected their data."
"One thing that’s disturbing to me about the Regnerus study is that Regnerus received a large amount of money from these foundations and this creates a very different scholarly and intellectual atmosphere. It creates a playing field that’s not level. Someone like Regnerus is now able to go out and buy his own data, if we’re to accept data of this quality. Even if we were to say it’s high-quality data, he is able to get a million dollars’ worth of influence — he was able to generate that kind of funding from these conservative foundations in a way that other intellectuals are not able to do. All of the traditional sources of social scientific funding have dried up over the last 20 years and there’s nowhere to go to get money, but these guys have it. There are talks in Congress about cutting the entire social science budget at the National Science Foundation. That is chilling, because then we’ll be completely reliant on people like Mark Regnerus and Brad Wilcox [of the University of Virginia] and Christian Smith [of Notre Dame University] and people like that for our information about potentially crucial or controversial issues."
"When we talk about Regnerus, I completely dismiss the study. It’s over. He has been disgraced. All of the prominent people in the field know what he did and why he did it. And most of them know that he knew better. Some of them think that he’s also stupid and an ideologue. I know better. I know that he’s a smart guy and that he did this on purpose, and that it was bad, and that it was substandard."

You can read the full interview here.


truthspew said...

Wow, the SPLC lays it out! Of course his sampling was fixed. That was obvious when you read the study.

But the other chilling thing is the money for social science research is drying up. I wonder why?

Linnea said...

Yep, leave it to SPLC to expose these idiots every time. Not much gets past their radar.