Today the Houston Chronicle published my first op-ed. Co-authored with Amanda Baumle, we wanted to speak to what I think is fast becoming an infamous article that was claiming to find difference between parents who have had same-sex relationships and those who have not. The article’s findings insinuated that parents who had had a same-sex relationship were less good compared to those that hadn’t. This sparked a heated academic debate on the blogosphere and among my academic colleagues in large part due to its questionable methods and polar opposite findings from what the greater discipline at large has found in the past or would expect to be find–that based on sexual orientation LGBT/Queer parents do not significantly differ all that much form their heterosexual counterparts.
And to think that I almost didn’t write anything at all! I thought I was late to the party. Most of my concerns with the article were being addressed, but then this article and its findings became sensational news and made it to the lay audience. I have been told, though I did not witness it first hand, that it was covered on various news channels in TX and picked up by the View and other national media sources. At this point, I really wanted to speak to the issue, especially within my home state where friends, family, colleagues, and the queer community has been so supportive of me and my work. Furthermore, the research partner and I knew we had something extra to contribute with our current work that qualitatively addresses structural constraints, especially as related to the law, on lgbt families.
I do not want to re-hash the article or its merits/lack of merits here…as I feel most of my concerns have been addressed. As such, I thought I would just link to our commentaries and my favorite commentaries from others for y’all to check out.
From my keyboard, you can check out the op-ed (linked above) and my co-authored post on Social (In)queery: How Not to Study Families.
From others, I really like this piece from the Atlantic along with two posts from Philip N. Cohen’s Family Inequality blog—Bad Science on top of Stigma for lesbian and gay parents and Time Travel: Regnerus study timeline suggests superhuman abilities. These pieces really outline the overall story surrounding the article, my academic and methodological concerns, along with the structural issues at hand–sociologically and politically.
It has also been covered in the following: The Washington Times (where I first heard about it), the New York Times, and Slate has a whole series of articles on the topics beginning here including responses from Regnerus.