It’s a tough slog to read Mark Regnerus’ study “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.” But, it’s required if one is to properly evaluate whether the findings are the result of “good” social science methods or “junk” social science methods.
The Motley Monk evaluates the study as “good social science,” the findings of which are going to fuel a lot of acrimony on the part of those advocating so-called “homosexual marriage.”
The key finding?
According to Regnerus:
While it is certainly accurate to affirm that sexual orientation or parental sexual behavior need have nothing to do with the ability to be a good, effective parent, the data evaluated herein using population-based estimates drawn from a large, nationally-representative sample of young Americans suggest that it may affect the reality of family experiences among a significant number.
It appears anecdotally that children don’t need a married mother and father to turn out well as adults. Furthermore, the data gathered in the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) indicates there are many children who “have proven resilient and prevailed as adults in spite of numerous transitions, be they death, divorce, additional or diverse romantic partners, or remarriage.” That said:
[The] NFSS also clearly reveals that children appear most apt to succeed well as adults—on multiple counts and across a variety of domains—when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day. Insofar as the share of intact, biological mother/father families continues to shrink in the United States, as it has, this portends growing challenges within families, but also heightened dependence on public health organizations, federal and state public assistance, psychotherapeutic resources, substance use programs, and the criminal justice system.
Whoa! The best home environment in which to raise children is one with a married mother and father who remain married?
- There are “statistically significant” differences in 25 of 40 outcomes between adult children who grew up with married, heterosexual parents and those who grew up with a mother who had a homosexual relationship.
- Households led by parents of either sex who are engaged in homosexual relationships demonstrate greater household instability.
- Children from lesbian households demonstrate more physical and mental health problems, more instability in romantic relationships, and lower average income as adults. In addition, children from these households also demonstrate higher levels of unemployment, smoking, need for public assistance, and involvement in crime.
The critics haven’t allowed these findings to go unchallenged…so much so that a group of 18 eminent social scientists have criticized the “sustained and sensational criticism” voiced by the mainstream media concerning the study’s findings. Asserting that the study is “not without limitations,” the scholars claim that much of the criticism is “unwarranted.”
According to Catholic News Service, the study’s findings are consistent with other studies of homosexual couples in countries like the Netherlands and Sweden and are “parallel” to those of the American Institutes for Research sociologist Daniel Potter. Potter studied homosexual parenting and children’s academic achievement, finding that children in homosexual parent families scored lower than their peers in married households with both biological parents.
Interestingly, much of the criticism has nothing to do with the study’s methodology but with the how study is being used to promote an anti-homosexual “marriage” agenda.
To read the study, click on the following link:
To read the Catholic News Service article, click on the following link:
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