Saturday, October 6, 2012

Regnerus ad nauseum

At the Family Scholars blog, David Blankenhorn observes:
At Christianity Today, an interview with Mark Regnerus.

The interviewer says that the interview is intended to “set the record straight,” but in my view, the goal was not accomplished.  In particular, as far as I can see, the fundamental methodological decision to use the term “family structure” to describe a phenomenon (did either of your parents have a same-sex romantic relationship when you were growing up?)  that is simply not a “family structure” is not even raised by the interviewer.  However, Mark does address the issue indirectly when he says:
The study is, however, about what its title states: the adult children of parents who have, or have had, same-sex relationships. In hindsight, I wish I would have been even more vigilant than I was in making sure readers always understood this.
My conclusions are harsher than Mr. Blankenhorn's. With appropriate vigilance, the study becomes obvious in its intellectual mediocrity. We must ask what the point of this work was the the first place. What was the original hypothesis? It becomes increasingly obvious that Witherspoon (an Opus Dei affiliate) and Regenerus defined this study in advance of the research which, I suspect, was tainted by selective observation. Perhaps that is why Regnerus made certain choices. As Barry Deutsch noted these have included dishonesty about conflicts of interest.

The Regenrus study is being used in materials prepared by NOM and the Church to oppose equal marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. According to National Organization for Marriage, Regnerus is a victim of LGBT "intolerance" (talk about turn-speak). Critical scrutiny of shoddy work has been framed as "intimidation:"
Fear and intimidation are also being used to control speech within the academy. A recent paper by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas affirming the time-tested truth that the intact biological family is the institution best suited for raising children was met with an organized campaign of intimidation.
Unless and until Regnerus forcefully and forthrightly sets the record straight, he is enabling     perhaps encouraging     unscrupulous behavior. Mark does not meet his obligations of conscience with an interview in Christianity Today. Due to his errors in judgment and integrity, Regnerus should be aggressively working at redeeming himself through mainstream media. He should follow Mr. Blankenhorn's example with, perhaps, an OpEd in the New York Times (if they would accept it).

In the final analysis, Regenerus' reputation is probably ruined and irreparable. He is a young guy who saw an opportunity to achieve renown in higher academic and social circles than he is accustomed to. It's the old "lie down with dogs     wake up with fleas" paradigm.

In the greater scheme of things, Regnerus is irrelevant. Flawed "research" is being intentionally misrepresented as relevant to marriage equality.
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