Monday, March 11, 2013

At least one scholar rebuked Regnerus while the study was in development

Sofia Resnick at the American Independent has a wonderful piece out today titled Goal of UT parenting study was to influence SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage, docs show. The article includes documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by the Independent.

There is what appears to be an email dated October 25, 2010 from Dr. Michael J. Rosenfeld (Stanford University) to Regnerus with the subject "Re: consult on data collection project." Rosenfeld inquired of Regnerus:
The Witherspoon Institute seems like an advocacy organization (which is perfectly fine of course), but it makes me wonder; what are the terms and conditions of their award? Are you the PI [principal investigator]?
In what appears to be a subsequent email or letter that does not display a date:
After thinking about the project, and especially thinking about the unusual way the project is funded, I have decided to pass for now.
Rosenfeld goes on to discuss sampling and provides an attachment (some of this is difficult to read). He concludes:
So, in short, creating a new, nationally representative sample of children, raised by same sex couples with your proposed sample size of 1,900 is, in my view, an [sic] very ambitious, maybe an overly ambitious undertaking.
Apparently, Rosenfeld added the "very" as an afterthought. Of course Rosenfeld was correct. The Regnerus study would eventually have to discard the notion of studying children raised by same-sex couples. He veered off to study children where one parent had as same-sex relationship. Less than 1% of the subjects were raised by a same-sex couple.

In addition to shoddy methodology (that has been thoroughly exposed), we no learn that the project did not even do what it set out to do. Yet, Witherspoon heralded the result they paid for in contrast to the actual result. The actual study became irrelevant.
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