Sunday, March 10, 2013

BREAKING!!! Anti-gay parenting study a false manipulation from the start

Mark Regnerus
This is huge.

According to the American Independent, via The Huffington Post, the Regnerus study - which cause a huge controversy because it said that children raised by same-sex families encounter problems - was created specifically to sway Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality. And the funders of the study knew what the study would "prove" before the work on it began:

The conservative funders who bankrolled a flawed and widely cited academic study that's critical of gay marriage choreographed its release in time to influence “major decisions of the Supreme Court,” documents show.

The documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement.

The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

James Wright, editor of Social Science Research, which published the study’s findings last summer, said he was not aware of the funders’ intentions to use his academic journal to sway the Supreme Court.

“So far as the Supreme Court is concerned, I consider marriage and adoption rights for GLBT people to be a matter of civil rights, i.e., a legal question, not something to be ‘resolved’ by empirical research, and I resent having social science data and research drawn into such debates,” Wright, a University of Central Florida sociology professor, said in an email.

In a study slammed for its methodology, funding, and academic integrity, University of Texas associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus found that children who grew up in households where one parent had a same-sex relationship (regardless of whether the children lived with that parent or that parent’s supposed same-sex partner) were more likely to experience negative social, psychological, and economic outcomes than children raised by a married heterosexual couple
Records show that an academic consultant hired by UT to conduct data analysis for the project was a longtime fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, which shelled out about $700,000 for the research. Documentation about University of Virginia associate sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox’s dual roles contradict Regnerus’ assertions that the think tank wasn’t involved with how the study was designed or carried out. 

To put a long story short, before this study was even put to paper, those funding it had already decided what it would "prove" and how they would "use" it. Many of us lgbtq bloggers and activists (i.e. myself, Scott Rose, Jeremy Hooper, Wayne Besen, Rob Tisinai, and a vast number of others) knew something was phony about the Regnerus study at the time in which it was publicized. And now the Huffington Post and the American Independent confirms it:

 . . .when Regnerus first published his New Family Structures Study in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research, he made a point of saying that his conservative funders had not played a role in designing the research or analyzing the data.

“The NFSS was supported in part by grants from the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation,” he wrote. “While both of these are commonly known for their support of conservative causes — just as other private foundations are known for supporting more liberal causes — the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript.”

He reiterated this statement in his follow-up analysis of the study, again writing that “[n]o funding agency representatives were consulted about research design, survey contents, analysis, or conclusions.”

Regnerus’ assertions come into question in light of revelations last year that Wilcox had been hired on contract by UT to assist Regnerus with the data analysis of the study. During part of that time, Wilcox was also the director of Witherspoon’s Program on Family, Marriage, and Democracy, out of which the study was conceptualized and Regnerus was recruited. Wilcox had been a fellow with Witherspoon from 2004 to 2011, and he has said that he worked as a paid consultant on the study from October 2010 to April 2012. 

The excerpts above only scratch the surfaces. Go to this link, read the article, and prepare to be PISSED!