This is a very good critique of this clearly flawed study.
[Read more: slate. Also: Have the study’s funders manipulated the findings for their own political gain? (Wouldn’t be the first time etc.)]Is same-sex marriage a good idea? Or is an intact biological family the best environment for raising a child? The answer may turn out to be yes and yes.
That’s the curious implication of a study reported yesterday in Social Science Research andoutlined in Slate today by its principal investigator, sociologist Mark Regnerus. The study, which found inferior economic, educational, social, and psychological outcomes among children of gay parents, comes across as evidence that homosexuals are unfit to raise kids. But the study doesn’t document the failure of same-sex marriage. It documents the failure of the closeted, broken, and unstable households that preceded same-sex marriage.
The project, known as the New Family Structures Study, was sponsored, , by two socially conservative funders: the and theBradley Foundation. In his journal article, Regnerus says it “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.” In Slate, he notes, “On 25 of 40 different outcomes evaluated, the children of women who’ve had same-sex relationships fare quite differently than those in stable, biologically-intact mom-and-pop families, displaying numbers more comparable to those from heterosexual stepfamilies and single parents.”
These findings shouldn’t surprise us, because this isn’t a study of gay couples who decided to have kids. It’s a study of people who engaged in same-sex relationships—and often broke up their households—decades ago.