The study’s antigay claim was widely reported in news media without mention that actual gay parents weren’t studied.
The study was swiftly criticized by family health advocates, however, for wrongly presuming that dysfunctional heterosexual couples are representative of gay couples; for failing to include actual gay couples in its data sample; for misdefining the sexual orientation of participants; and for receiving substantial funding from biased sources among the Christian Right.
LGBTQ Nation observes: “An internal draft audit by Social Science Research, the journal that published the study, found ‘serious flaws’ in the peer review process and concluded that the journal never should have published his report.”
Nevertheless, a University of Texas advisory panel has now declined to investigate. Lacking any investigation results, the panel — which would face national humiliation if it admitted a problem — decided that Regnerus committed no falsification of data, plagiarism, or other actions that constitute scientific misconduct.
All these points sidestepped the actual allegations against Regnerus: That he deliberately created a set of subjects that were unrepresentative of the study topic, applied ideological blinders to his analysis, and benefited (along with certain peer reviewers) from the misuse and distortion of his data by the organizations that paid for the study.
A leading critic of the study, Scott Rosensweig (who uses the pen name Scott Rose), continues to press for investigation and retraction of the study. He contends that the antigay Witherspoon Institute and Regnerus conspired to create a study that would support antigay politicians during the 2012 election campaign.