Witherspoon Scholar Was ‘Paid Consultant’ On Parenting Study

From The New Civil Rights Movement: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/witherspoon-scholar-was-paid-consultant-on-parenting-study/news/2012/10/04/50309

by Sofia Resnick At The American Independent
on October 4, 2012

Mark Regnerus said the conservative organization that funded his study played ‘no role’ in the research. New evidence calls that claim into question.

When University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus released a study this summer portraying gay parents in a negative light, he insisted that the conservative funders who backed the research had no involvement in how it was designed, implemented, or interpreted.

But recently emerging evidence shows that a scholar affiliated at the time with the Witherspoon Institute — the socially conservative think tank that supplied the bulk of Regnerus’ funding — did indeed play a role carrying out and analyzing the study.

In his peer-reviewed article, Regnerus said his research revealed different — and often unfavorable — outcomes for children of gay parents when compared to children raised by a mother and father in biologically intact families. Opponents of gay marriage immediately seized Regnerus’ initial findings from the ongoing “New Family Structures Study,” published in the July issue of Social Science Research. The study has been cited in court briefs to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and by a federal judge in a decision upholding Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage. Opponents of marriage equality have also used it in state-level ballot-measure campaigns.

Right away, Regnerus’ findings sparked a backlash, as critics said his study was methodologically flawed. Many have argued that Regnerus’ actual comparisons — children raised in households with two biological parents compared to children raised in families where one parent had a same-sex relationship at some point, regardless of whether the child lived with that parent — did not correspond with his conclusions.

The research has also provoked questions, especially from gay-rights advocates, about whether the Witherspoon Institute – some of whose leaders have ties to the National Organization for Marriage and other groups that advocate against gay marriage – influenced the study’s design. Both Regnerus and Witherspoon have denied this charge.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/witherspoon-scholar-was-paid-consultant-on-parenting-study/news/2012/10/04/50309

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