Auditor Says Lesbian and Gay Parenting Study is "Bullshit"

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com July 27 2012 1:38 PM ET

Opponents of Mark Regenerus' recent study about gay parenting that has been blasted by LGBT activists just got another boost. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, an internal audit scheduled to appear in the November issue of Social Science Research, which published the Regenerus study, shows that the "peer-review process failed to identify significant, disqualifying problems."  

Tom Bartlett, who saw a draft of the "highly critical" audit, also says there were conflicts of interest among the reviewers and that “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”

The controversial study, “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?,” has been used by antigay and anti-marriage equality activists, and Regenerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas has been lambasted and lauded since it appeared. So Social Science Research assigned sociologist Darren E. Sherkat to examine how the study was handled. 

“It’s bullshit,” he told the Chronicle and should never have been published; that was his assessment after looking at all the paperwork, review process, and trafficking of the study. Among the notable problems: the  definition of “lesbian mothers” in which a woman could considered a “lesbian mother” for the purpose os the study if she had "had a relationship with another woman at any point after having a child, regardless of the brevity of that relationship and whether or not the two women raised the child as a couple.

For a fascinating take on the Sherkat analysis and response from the journal editors and Regenerus, go to The Chronicle of Higher Education.