Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Regnerus CONFIRMS his sampling bias

I have a copy of an email from Mark Regnerus. The headers confirm its legitimacy. Therein, Dr. Regnerus states:
We oversampled respondents who said their mother or father had a same sex relationship (as well as kids who were adopted). Under sampled some other groups that occur more frequently in the population. Then weighted the data to account for this. Standard procedure in survey data collection and analysis.
This explains the anomaly that I observed. The "study" exaggerates findings that are being used by others to deprecate gay and lesbian parenting. The study never evaluated gay and lesbian parenting in the first place.

It's important to recognize that Regnerus answered a question that nobody asked. It has no relevance to either equal marriage or gay parenting; None whatsoever!

I was going to hold off on this post for further review of the study findings. However, as David Blankenhorn points out,
At Witherspoon’s Public Discourse today, Matthew J. Franck posts the first of two articles defending the Regnerus study.   To me, the article disappoints.  There is a fair amount of glib cheerleading. 
But to me the real kicker is that Franck acknowleges [sic] briefly, but then declines to devote even one sentence of his article to discussing, the core scholarly flaw (in my opinion and in the opinion of many many others) in the study – which is that, in a study that announces itself as a study of  ”new family structures,” which will for the first time with a valid data set compare those  ”new family structures” to other “family structures,” Regnerus establishes as the pivot point of his analysis, the very centerpiece of his methodology, a phenomenon (did a parent have a same-sex romantic relationship while you were growing up?) that absolutely, by any reasonable standard, simply cannot be called a family structure
I have other problems with Franck's post:
  1. Franck is the Director of the Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute. While much research is funded by people with a vested interest in the outcome, it seems improper for an executive of the funder to defend the scientific flaws.
  2. Franck's field is political science. His experience and expertise have little, if anything, to do with this issue.
  3. Franck seems more interested in portraying Regnerus as a victim. Doing so resolves nothing.

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