The Department of Sociology at the University of Texas and its College of Liberal Arts have distanced themselves from the research of their controversial Sociology Professor Mark Regnarus as he continues to present himself as an expert witness on the parenting abilities of same-sex couples.
Regnarus is the author of the paper ‘How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,’ published in the journal Social Science Research in 2012 which has been used by conservative groups to attack same-sex marriage and gay parenting but has since been discredited due to its methodology.
The study compared the outcomes of people aged 18 to 39 who had married heterosexual parents to the outcomes of people in that age bracket who had a parent who had ever been in a same-sex relationship – regardless of whether they had been when they were growing up or not.
The research has been rejected by the American Sociological Association, and the Chair of The University of Texas’ Department of Sociology has now released a statement about Regnarus’ research and claims.
‘Like all faculty, Dr Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view,’ Department of Sociology chair Christine L Williams wrote in her official statement, published yesterday.
‘However, Dr Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin. Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families.
‘We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.’
The University’s College of Liberal Arts in which the Department of Sociology is housed had already released a similar statement.
‘Dr Regnerus' opinions are his own,’ the college said.
‘They do not reflect the views of the university. Like all faculty, he has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. We encourage the community of scholars and society as a whole to evaluate his claims.’
The statements from the department came on the same day that Regnarus was testifying in a Michigan case where two lesbian nurses are seeking the right to marry and adopt as a couple the three children they have already adopted as single people.
Regnarus claimed to the court yesterday that it was inconclusive whether same-sex couples could provide the same kind of parenting that opposite-sex couples could.
His claims are expected to be cross examined when the court reopens today.
A sociology professor who was asked to review Regnarus’ research by Social Science Research after publication went so far as to declare it ‘bullshit.’