Does Where You Meet Matter?

Online dating is here to stay. That much is clear. But is meeting someone online the most promising way to meet a mate? Just how well do relationships started online fare?

Researchers at the new Austin Institute for the Study of Family & Culture, where I’m a senior fellow, analyzed nationally-representative data from the 2011 “How Couples Meet and Stay Together” (HCMST) survey that addressed those questions. In a research short you can read in its entirety here, they conclude–mirroring much of social science–there’s no simple answer, but there are conclusions to be made. Humans, they are complex.

Basically, the data has lots of couples, many of whom met well before the Internet age. One should expect them to stick it out longer than more recently-fashioned pairs. So while it appears that meeting online is the least likely venue to succeed (for two years), it looks like those who met online more recently don’t look that much different from those who met in more traditional ways–in church, at work, at a bar, etc.

By the way, the Austin Institute has several other interesting posts of late, on the gender gap in church, polling support for same-sex marriage, and the politics of marriage and divorce among younger Americans.

  • etseq

    Well, I wonder why Mark keeps plugging the Austin Institute? Can it be his retirement plan now that he has ruined his name in academia? Man, it almost makes you want to sell out and join the right wing gravy train…

    Also, those FOIA documents we got from UT and UCF make for some amazing reading – love how you and Brad Wilcox were emailing back and forth up until a few days before you submitted your work – Brad was very helpful in setting up your data buckets. Shame that this evidence contradicts both of your previous statements that Witherspoon had “no influence” on the design of your study.

    And keep up the good work with trying to convince the prols over at NRO that public opinion hasn’t really changed on gay marriage – its just all the liberal media and liberal pollsters tricking good old fashioned normal heterosexual americans into believing the “gay agenda” is working – jokes on us huh? Kinda reminds me how conservatives convinced themselves that Romney was going to win because the polls were “skewed” – how’d that strategy work out for ya’ll? Odd though how you never mentioned the GSS data – which even you have to admit is the “gold standard” (a phrase you love to use) when it comes to opinion polling. Probably avoided that because Sherkat spanked you so bad and he is the go to guy on GSS and same sex marriage, which now has majority support. Or is GSS biased as well? Much more thorough than you pal at Rice. Speaking of, didn’t you both study under Christian Smith at UNC? He also being a right wing christian opposed to gay marriage – funny how you can tell that just by reading his non-peer reviewed “study” that uses the exact negative framing you criticize in your article. And what about Smith being your dissertation chair, which he originally denied. Not a very christian thing to do Mark. That’s the second time Smith has been caught lying in public – there was that embarrassing letter he wrote to ASA footnotes in which he misrepresented an article review trying to claim liberal bias yet again…

    Finally, love how you totally took the latest study from that OBGYN journal and quote mined it to basically say lesbians arent really gay – just fluid… Of course, you know that Lisa Diamond’s work is about fluid identity not orientation. I get that you want to get to kids early and shuffle them off to Courage so they can pretend to be straight and pop out babies for Jesus and if that fails, convince them to be celibate. But that was low even for you Mark…

    I doubt you’ll even let this comment through but if you have the guts, just wanted to console you on your loss at the Supreme Court. You tried your best – along with your Mormon and Catholic buddies – when you filed your brief (funny how that contradicted your media talking points provided by Witherspoon – that you are apolitical and your work wasn’t intended to influence the debate over SSM). Even though you got a call out from Scalia from the bench, it wasn’t enough to sway Kennedy. Good try though – too bad you have sacrificed your academic career for a hail mary pass. But you did your duty for the church so thats all that really matters. Maybe you can get a plenary indulgence and shave some time off Purgatory?

    • georgeyancey

      Really? Why don’t you discuss the issue in this blog. I am not even going to dignify your stupid comments with a reply as you clearly do not understand academia or research. You just have your ax to grind and your desire to shut up anyone who disagrees wit you. Funny how leftist think that only conservatives have bias and then we have to endure tripe like this commenter.

      • etseq

        Oh George – there you go again. Mark makes reference to his new think thank, including several links to blog posts there (which do not allow comments I might add) so he is basically pimping his new right wing pressure group so I am most certainly discussing “things mentioned in this blog” If you want give Mark free reign to promote his new “venture” then you should be willing to accept critical commenters. And I love how you think calling me a a gay leftist is an insult – I am a proud gay man who happens to be a Leftist thank you very much, and then refer to my comments as “tripe” – its an empty tu quoque . Your posts are so transparently partisan that they are a real hoot to read – I love your “objective study” of atheists and leftists, which just screams conservative victimology. Talk about epistemic closure…

        And I love being lectured from you about not understanding academia or research – this coming from a website whose goal is to advance a conservative religious agenda that subverts the very science most of us on the left and center rightfully privilege. The fact that you can speak the language of academia doesn’t mean your work is free of bias. Most scientists admit any bias upfront but rely on the greater academic community to judge the merits of their work. Mark’s worked has been consistently rejected by his peers – including by the ASA, APA, AMA, Assoc of Pediatricians, over 200 of his peers, etc. We now have proof through FOIA documents that he was coached by Witherspoon to play down his conservative views to the press and claim the mantle of objectivity. The fact that he turned right around and starting publicly advocating against gay marriage is proof that this was a fraud to begin with. I know you want to believe that this is a leftist plot to silence a good christian just doing god’s work but you can’t then turn around and claim to be the true voice of academia. You either submit to the judgment or your peers or you don’t – you can’t have it both ways….

        Also, Mark is getting more extreme since his published his paper. He claims that gay men are responsible for the increase in anal sex among heterosexuals (apparently unaware that heterosexuals having been having anal sex for as long as gay men have and also that only about 40% of gay men regularly engage in anal sex – he seems more obsessed with anal sex than any gay man I’ve ever met). He also claims that gay men are too promiscuous to ever stay together because they will just cheat on each other and then he turns around and says lesbians will not stay married for the exact opposite reason – the so called “lesbian death bed” which has been rebutted by scholars for over 20 years since Pepper Schwartz made the whole concept up). My point is he is reaching Paul Cameron levels of homophobia by claiming science justifies his stereotypes of gay men and lesbians.

        PS – I know its asking alot but if you actually read some of the evidence against Mark and dropped the martyr routine, you might actually realize you are being taken for a ride…Just a friendly suggestion from a “leftist”

        —jimmy

        • georgeyancey

          Tell you what. Read some of the critiques of the reviews of the bankrupt work on same-sex parenting then I will take you halfway seriously. Here are some citations to get you started on. Only then would I even entertain the possibility that I can have a reasonable conversation with someone who is just repeating talking points. Here are some cites for you.

          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-012-0169-x?no-access=true

          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580

          http://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_2_No_13_July_2012/3.pdf

          http://www.emaso.com/links/REF-Books/REF.6-D.pdf

          After you at least look through these then please tell me once again how all I am doing is promoting a Christian agenda and that I do not care about science. Until then you really have nothing to say to me that I respect.

          • etseq

            Oh George you are so cute when you are mad…You don’t understand the meaning of null hypothesis do you? I don’t have to prove gays are good parents – you have to prove they are bad. That’s science…try and keep please…Good try though…

          • georgeyancey

            Dude. You are not even serious. Just a little yapping dog that likes to make noise. Obvious you do not know what you are talking about and just mouth talking points. Take a course in Methods and you will know how devastating those critiques are. Have fun going around suing people as you are no longer worth my time.

          • etseq

            Yes sir! Dude – I am not one your undergraduates you can dismiss with a flick of your hand. What the hell do you mean going around suing people? I’m a freaking commercial real estate lawyer – I’ve never stepped foot in a courtroom. Come on George, you can do better than making silly lawyer jokes….or can you?

          • etseq

            George. I will admit to making one error – the third article you referenced was actually by a Douglas A. Abbott – not Douglas Allen – but this actually makes your case even worse. Douglas A. Abbott is a member of NARTH and believes in reparative therapy. I would hope even the most conservative members of this blog with denounce the deadly pseudo-science that fuels the likes of NARTH. Now that Spitzer has renounced his own controversial findings and Exodus has admitted they never changed anyone’s sexual orientation, I would hope you would not be so callous as to allow your implied endorsement of this quack. People have killed themselves trying to deny who they are and to conform to social and religious demands that treat gay and lesbians people as evil and unnatural. I know you have in the past been somewhat more reasonable than your religious allies when it comes to gay people but maybe I was mistaken.

            If you made such a blunder as to cite a quack ex-gay “scholar” in a pay for print bangladeshi journal, I’m not sure how much you know about the scholarship you so proudly denounce.

          • Olterigo

            NARTH? Isn’t that the org that George “Handling-My-Luggage” Reekers was part of?

          • etseq

            Oh George – why didn’t you post Rosenfeld’s reply to Douglas Allen – an ECONOMIST who knows nothing about sociology???

            And Loren Marks who was eviscerated on cross-examination at the prop 8 trial – he admitted not to reading most of the studies he critiqued, he lied about the definition of “biological” used in those studies (it includes adopted), he admitted he cribbed most of his work from Steve Nock, and once his deposition was over he was withdrawn as a witness. Now why would he do that if he is such a gr8 scientist? He has never done his own studies – all he is ever down is a literature review, which courts have rejected because he admitted in prop 8 that he believe gays are horrible parents because of his Mormon faith – not science.

            Lerner & Nagai are the same thing – they only do literature reviews and they are a laughing stock in academia. You have to know they are think thank experts for hire – they came out with that ridiculous claim after the OJ trial that juries actually favored african americans over whites – these are the people you are relying on George??

          • etseq

            I love how you get all butch and authoritative – like I care what you and your band of christian apologists thinks. No one takes any of you seriously as scientists. I hate to burst your bubble but the academy just isn’t that into you :) I know, I know – its all liberal bias and conservatives are the real victims in society. I’m sorry the gays have bullied you all your life – it must be so difficult growing up in a society where you are bullied, marginalized, beaten up, etc. Oh wait, I was describing gays and lesbians – not conservatives. But in your bizarro world we are the bullies and you are the victims…Keep telling yourself that – it only helps us in the end…

          • etseq

            Finally, the
            International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IJHSS) was a pay for print scam that would publish anyone with enough cash. They just started in 2011 and have already gone under – their domain name no longer resolves. But I did find the article and it was the same crap Douglas Allen has been trotting out for years…

            Also, read this hilarious thread where someone was solicited by the above said journal and it turned into one of those nigerian bank scams where they were asked in western union money to Bangladesh :)

            http://listserv.uncc.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind1106&L=ebss-l&P=15801

            So much for the work of Douglas Allen…

          • scottrose

            What would critiques of other people’s studies of same-sex parenting have to do with the issue of Regnerus’s ethics violations in his own work? Yancey, I note, signed the Baylor letter in support of Regnerus — and that Baylor letter tells a lie about Daniel Potter’s study, in an attempt to boost the alleged but non-existent validity of the Regnerus paper. What the anti-gay religious bigots attached to this hoax attempted to do was to discredit all prior studies showing outcomes favorable to gay parents and to claim that the Regnerus paper was methodologically sound and the only valid gay parenting study.

            It is a howler, that “Social Science Research” editor James Wright published the same gay parenting literature review that Marks intended to submit to the court before he, Marks was exposed through cross-examination as a gay-bashing liar. Not a single peer reviewer of the Marks submission is trained or experienced in LGBT-sciences generally and still less in the esoteric topic of gay parenting.

            Here we have Yancey, not addressing at all Regnerus’s lies and ethics violations, but pointing us to garbage pumped out by other anti-gay religious bigots. Coincidentally, the Regnerus/Marks papers mirror in structure an affidavit submitted by Dr. Steven Nock in Halpern v. Canada, a same-sex marriage case. Nock was best friends and a long time collaborator with the very same James Wright who published Regnerus and Marks through fake peer review. In the Halpern case, Stacey and Biblarz submitted an affidavit — to use the vernacular, they tore Nock a new one. Reading their affidavit (see link below) is very enlightening towards a fuller understanding of how willing anti-gay religious bigots are to lie to the courts:
            http://www.samesexmarriage.ca/docs/stacey_biblarz.pdf

          • radiofreerome

            From Douglas W. Allen,
            Catherine Pakaluk,
            Joseph Price:
            “Compared with traditional married households, we find that children being raised by same-sex couples are 35 % less likely to make normal progress through school.”

            There’s a little problem here. Same sex couples are more likely to have children if they are living in red states. It’s pretty easy to account for that, since many of the local Evangelicals actively persecute gay teenagers trying, for instance, to ban them from public education (See Senate Bill 217), promoting anti-gay bullying, and telling gay teenagers they are worthy of death. The ban on gay marriage tells gay teenagers that if they remain gay they will live and die alone. Evangelicals and other Christianists insist that being gay is a choice and persecute even chaste gays in housing, employment, education, and basic civil rights. Since all of this bigotry and persecution makes continuing life as gay unthinkable for these teenagers, they have are pressured into a choice of trying heterosexuality or killing themselves.

            As a result of all of this obscene behavior by the Christianists, many gay teens try heterosexual sex and pregnancies result. Now these gays have children to care for but they live in red states, states with the worst educational systems in the country. Furthermore, the Christianists in those states use marriage bans to actively persecute both parents and children. The outcome is no surprise when those children, harmed by two generations of Christianist persecution and willful ignorance, sometimes fail to graduate high school.

          • georgeyancey

            I think your reasoning has little merit since Allen used national data in his evaluation of Rosenfeld and his new article based on the Canada sample. The fact that he found the same thing in Canada – hardly a hotbed for Christian extremism – tends to nullify your point. I am open to the possibility that same-sex parenting has no effects on kids. I just have not seen any decent research showing that and at least a little research with national samples contradicting that assertion.

          • radiofreerome

            Bless your little pea-picking heart. I don’t think you understand my hypothesis.

            My hypothesis is that gays with children are more likely to live in socially conservative areas. My reason for proposing this is that according to U.S. Census data, 26% of gay couples with children live in Mississippi as compared with 0.95% of the general population. Gays raising children are 26 times as likely to live in Mississippi as the general population is. This statistic can’t be explained by chance. As for your claims about Canada, remote parts of Canada are known to be socially conservative and anti-gay. Hence, merely including Canadian data in a dataset doesn’t invalidate my point. Rather, you seem to have no comprehension of conditional probability, which is understandable given the poor training social scientists receive in statistics.

            “I just have not seen any decent research showing that and at least a little research with national samples contradicting that assertion.”

            Explain the census data.

          • georgeyancey

            First, do you have a citation or link for your census data? Second, so what. It does not explain the Canada data. Hello. Mississippi is not in Canada. So if you get the same findings in Canada, and come on Canada is not the U.S. as it concerns Christianity, then your theory holds no water. As far as needing a decent research you do not mean your fact, if it is true about Mississippi do you. Correlation does not equal causation and if you do not have good theoretical mechanisms for assessing why Mississippi explains Allen’s findings then my statement about not seeing decent research stands.

      • Olterigo

        Because readers should know that despite the label of “Christian” Mark Regnerus does not shy away from lying. Including ridiculous lies he did not need to come up with. For example, in a letter to a liberal researcher he wanted to be a coinvestigator, he claimed that he did not know anyone at the Witherspoon Institute. But in reality, Regnerus not only knew Brad Wilcox, but has co-authored a paper with him about a decade earlier. What’s more, they got a prize for that paper. But Regnerus claimed he did not know anyone at Witherspoon. The emails were released after a TX court ordered UT to release the emails.

        • georgeyancey

          Funny how you condemn ad hominem attacks below and now choose to engage in it. I guess that tells me all I need to know as to whether to engage in a conversation with you.

          • radiofreerome

            How many times have you Christiainists said, “Loving a person doesn’t imply approving of that person’s actions”?

          • georgeyancey

            Which has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

  • etseq

    One last thing – don’t you think it was a wee bit on a conflict of interest that Brad Wilcox was not only affiliated with Witherspoon, who funded you, a design consultant paid by you through UT, who you were in constant email communication right up until you submitted your paper, and finally a peer reviewer/referee of your paper? I guess he made a good reviewer since he was so familiar with the project but I don’t think that’s what journals usually mean when they say independent and disinterested reviewers. Call me old fashioned but I would say that is almost a triple conflict of interest.

    • scottrose

      Add to Wilcox’s conflicts of interest the fact that Regnerus’s funders Witherspoon and Bradley fund some of Wilcox’s programs at the University of Virginia.

  • Jay Egenes

    So some guy who posts under an alias is attacking a respected, if conservative, sociologist who is willing to write and publish about controversial issues. What’s your real name, “etseq”? As a (relatively conservative) pastor (in a supposedly liberal denomination), if you aren’t willing to share your real name, you really need to be quiet.

    • etseq

      Mark knows exactly who I am – we have crossed paths online before. I commented on several of his posts when his study first came out. Of course, that was when he was pretending to be “an apolitical scientist with no political agenda” which was we all knew was a lie but it made for good talking points. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/04/10/1848111/mark-regnerus-was-coached-how-to-discuss-how-his-study-condemns-marriage-equality/

      My name is Jimmy Green and I am an attorney in Atlanta, GA. My email is etseq@live.com if you want to debate this further. Your politics or religion mean squat to me – you could be be the Pope for all I care. It’s all make believe anyway. And please spare me with “respected conservative scholar” and the right wing martyr routine – its transparently false to anyone outside your epistemic bubble.

      Oh I forgot – the liberals control everything, the polls are all skewed, and east asia has always been at war with oceania. Keep telling yourselves this – it makes it so much easier for the LGBT community to fight for our dignity when our opponents are so flat footed.

      PS – I notice you didn’t rebut any of the points I made – you simply challenged my identity. How about addressing the my arguments instead of attacking me? I’m not the guy who cooked up a rigged study to influence the Supreme Court and then played victim when he got busted.

      • Jay Egenes

        Hi Jimmy,
        I practiced real estate law too, for 16 years, helping folks build shopping centers, houses, and industrial projects all over California. I also did some conservation work. My wife called that penance.

        I have a B.A. in philosophy and political science. Before practicing law, I made a living such as it was playing the midwest folk circuit in the 1980s.

        I’m a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). I got my M.Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, part of the Graduate Theological Seminary in Berkeley. Hardly a bastion of right-wingers.

        You might have heard of the ELCA. This year our Southwest California Synod elected an openly gay bishop. On a national level, we recently elected a female Presiding Bishop. To the extent that “liberal v. conservative” drives our discussions, I truly believe it’s destructive, rather than helpful. That’s part of why I identified myself the way I did. You apparently misread that; or, more likely, I wasn’t very clear.

        My liberal friends tend to think I’m conservative. My conservative friends tend to think I’m liberal. That’s because I think the whole framework for our discussions is wrong–and I call people when their comments aren’t helpful to constructive discussion.

        If you’ve followed my posts (which I assume you haven’t–there probably aren’t that many of them that show up here), you know that I disagree with Dr. Regnerus (spelling?) on many things, but also think he’s a pretty good scholar.

        I didn’t feel the need to respond to your “arguments” because they weren’t substantive at all. They essentially amount to a personal or ad hominem attack on Dr. Regnerus.

        I have several friends who teach at the college level. They are all painfully aware (as I assume is Dr. Regnerus) that they can only afford to do research for which they get funded. And the funders are only interested in particular issues–maybe only with particular outcomes that don’t necessarily get borne out by the research.

        I think the study (I’ve actually read it) which you are trying to attack has two possible readings. One is about gay parents. The other is about the importance of stability and two parent families, without regard to gender identity. The study doesn’t commit to either answer. I’d like to see more research on that issue.

        It seems to me that you’d rather attack and recite talking points about anybody who might disagree with you than engage with the issues.

        We probably don’t really have anything more to discuss.

        Grace and peace,
        Jay

        P.S. I love getting attacked by a liberal for a change. Thanks for the laugh.

        • Jay Egenes

          And–maybe I should have started with this–God loves you whatever your sexual identity. You got my dander up a little. Which has nothing to do with God’s love and grace. And if you don’t believe in God, God loves you anyway.

          • etseq

            Jay,

            You certainly seem more reasonable than most on this blog but I think you underestimate the amount of damage Mark has done with his “study” – it is now being used internationally, particularly in Russia, Uganda, and other parts Eastern Europe and Africa to justify the most extreme anti-gay laws imaginable. Mark also has been extremely disingenuous about the involvement of his funders and the frankly bizarre route the article took from conception, submission to the journal, expedited friendly and in at least 2, perhaps 3 cases, conflicted peer referees, and finally publication.

            The fact that his study was cited by lawyers in a brief 2 DAYS after it was published means the lawyers had to have access to the study BEFORE publication. You know as a lawyer that odds of these lawyers suddenly discovering the study and incorporating it into a brief before a federal district court judge is nigh impossible.

            I’m not sure if you have followed the story since last fall but there has been a slew of emails and internal documents released from FOIA requests that literally show the scheming and manipulation of data between Brad Wilcox, Mark and higher up at Witherspoon.

            Finally, his sample was never truly a population sample as he purported because it is virtually impossible to due a true random population study for such a hard to reach demographic – it would literally costs millions. He was told this by both two other researchers, as well as Knowledge Works (the marketing company he used) so he had to frame the screening question so broadly to even get a few hundred responses out of 10,000. This had the perverse effect of inflating all the “bad” categories – divorce, separation, married men/women in the closet while he isolated the “good” category – married, never divorced, stable 2 parent families for 18 years, thereby inflating its results as well. As most critics have said, it is like comparing apples and oranges. If he wanted to say that stable 2 parent families are the best for child outcomes, regardless of sexual orientation, then no one would have batted an eye. But he tried to tease out being gay as somehow the independent variable even though his design made that impossible.

            I do appreciate your conciliatory tone and I’m sure to most people here I am a biased gay liberal and Mark is their hero. While this may seem like a mere intra-mural academic dispute, the political and social impact on gays and lesbians has real world consequences. I think both sides can agree on that – I just wish Mark would have been more forthcoming about his motives and biases. His media talking points (also released under FOIA) show how he was coached to downplay these. Now that the smoke has somewhat cleared, he is much more transparent in his work, for better or for worse.

            I didn’t mean to come across as a raving lunatic but Mark has deflected any criticism of his study as liberal bias and conservative/religious persecution. That may have fueled some of the activist backlash but it is a misleading oversimplification of the real story – I think if Mark had had framed his study differently – instead of using it to attack prior research and then injecting it directly into politics, actually screened for the real sexual orientation of the parents and controlled for family transitions, like Potter did, this would not have been an issue. But Mark chose to basically essentialize all gay and lesbian parents as unstable, promiscuous and basically a harm to their children. The way he phrased the sexual abuse question was particularly galling – it reeked of Paul Cameron. And he incorporated over 200 dependent variables which in such a small sample size culled using a paid marketing firm is just begging for statistical anomalies. I just think that is bad science and motivated more by the theological implications of natural law theory – the so-called “intact biological family” and naturalized gender roles where all men are masculine and all women are feminine and kids are somehow harmed by gender egalitarianism.

            But maybe vast majority of researchers and scientists are wrong – maybe the revolution in women and gay rights was a bad idea, maybe single parents are really damaging their kids (I was raised by a single mother but my father was an active part of my life – regular custody and full financial support so maybe I am an outlier but I don’t feel “damaged”). Long story short, class, SES, and family stress are by far the most important drivers of child outcomes – researchers have known this for decades. To reify family structures as the main determinant of outcomes, without controls for the three inputs above, does not reflect the state of the science. At least in my humble opinion…

            PS – I was a very active christian teenager – I even considered becoming an episcopal priest when I was in high school. I actually loved the episcopal church – growing up in the south my local church was an oasis of tolerance is a sea of conservative evangelicalism. My parish had no problems when I came out in high school, which was rare even for an episcopal church in the mid 1980s. I didn’t leave the church over my sexuality but once I studied science, evolution, and even comparative religion at University, I just couldn’t accept the truth claims of any religion. I am not usually a “hostile atheist” – I appreciate the role some parts of the Church has played in social justice movements, particularly the African American church during the civil rights movement, but I do get angry when I see religion used to harm people.

            Thanks for the honest and friendly interaction – sorry if I came across as attacking you. This is an issue I am very passionate about for obvious reasons….

            —jimmy

          • Jay Egenes

            “I didn’t mean to come across as a raving lunatic …”

            And you failed at that.

            Coming across as a left-wing version of Rush or Hannity probably feels good. It doesn’t help–except maybe in some particular echo chamber–where it does nothing to persuade the people you think are your opponents.

            Part of our problem as a society is that the

            terms of our debate often come down to “whatever I think” or “whatever is best for me,” and whoever can shout the loudest wins. There’s little ability, and often no attempt, to actually to appeal to the good of the overall community or truly common values.

            Maybe we have no truly common values, but I hope that’s not true.

          • etseq

            Actually, you come across as very self-righteous but I guess thats inevitable for someone who is both a lawyer and a minister. You certainly don’t come across as humble, which I thought was a christian virtue. I was trying to be somewhat conciliatory but screw it – conservatives have lost the culture wars they started and I hope they reap what the have sown. In the very near future homophobia will be viewed with the dame disgust and moral approbation as racism and sexism and your precious “revealed truth” will be revised yet again – just as conservative christianity now claims the mantle of the civil rights movement (cute trick but evangelicals and fundamentalists of the past used that same “revealed truth” to justify their racial prejudices – just as they do the same now for homosexuality). in another generation your anti-gay politics and morality, and the attempt to hijack science to justify them, will seem like the equivalent of social darwinism.

            It sucks to lose your privileged place in society but trust me, you will get used to it….But I guarantee you won’t face 1/100th of the real persecution the actual gay people face both here and in parts of Africa where missionaries and activists have imported virulent homophobia in the guise of evangelical and catholic Christianity. Africa was certainly no paradise for sexual minorities but the political and religious scapegoating of gay people is just an extension of the US culture wars. Anti-gay religious conservatives realize they have lost the battle in the US but old habits die hard and they have taken the battle to third world countries where they hope they can be more successful. Unfortunately. many people will be harmed or killed in the process.

            PS – I noticed you dropped the “god loves you” BS this time. More evidence that you are indeed a hypocrite and fail to live up to the Christianity’s pretentious claims about love, justice, and compassion. Like all religions, it has been used for both good and evil despite transparently false claims of a revealed truth and absolute, unchanging morality. Whenever I hear someone say “God loves you” I hang on my wallet and run away as fast as possible – its usually the prelude to a the very exact opposite sentiment…

          • Jay Egenes

            So, my comment was meant to be constructive, not an attack. Apparently tone of voice doesn’t carry very well on the internet.

            I suspect you’ve got a lot of value to say. But it’s hard to find in between the personal attacks.

            Sorry for the misunderstanding.

            We all fail to live up to the standards God has for us–or, if you prefer, any other set of ethical standards you can come up with. Every one of us. I don’t know anybody who, if they’re honest, lives up their own standards, let alone anybody else’s.

            I increasingly observe that we all want grace for ourselves (in non-religious terms, we want everyone to cut us some slack), but rules for everybody else. And most of us want to make the rules that apply to everybody but us.

            The true message of Christianity is not that God hates people who don’t follow the rules or that God wants Christians to enforce some set of unchanging moral standards. Even someone as conservative as Cal Thomas has come to the conclusion that the Moral Majority folks in the 80s would have been better off just preaching about Jesus than they were creating the religious right.

            The message is about love. Somehow I didn’t think I had to mention that every time.

          • etseq

            Lets just agree to disagree – we seem to be talking past each other. I think I have argued in good faith and the fact that Mark hasn’t even attempted to feign a response just demonstrates my point – he isn’t even pretending to be an objective scientist anymore – these posts are just advertisements and plugs for his new think tank….

          • Jay Egenes

            I suspect you’re right we’re talking past each other.

            Even after looking this in some detail, going back and looking at some of the Think Progress stuff, I’m unconvinced about how evil, etc., Dr. Regnerus is.

            On the other hand, I’m sure you’re right the study has been misused. That happened almost immediately.

            And I think you’re right that 30 or 40 years from now, sexual orientation will be a non-issue for most people

            Socially conservative Christians built a whole theology out of about six Bible passages, every one of which is open to some different interpretation, and used to it defend traditional views that were being challenged. Change averse people whose worldview was shaped by some 1950s version of American thought and culture are scared to death right now.

            In the effort to defend something that maybe never existed, God’s grace got lost in the judgment of people whose view of the world was threatened.

            We’re in the middle of a huge cultural shift that’s much bigger than any of the polarizing issues that are getting attention.

            I get why this issue is yours.

            I wish you peace. And that you find a way to be a constructive voice (maybe you’ve been that elsewhere) in the future.

          • Olterigo

            Hilarious to read an accusation of personal attacks from someone who started the thread with a personal attack.

          • Olterigo

            What did you expect, etseq. Jay Egenes, Lutheran pastor, started his comments ABOUT you (not with you) and with an ad hominem attack.

        • scottrose

          Regnerus’s data do not permit anybody to conclude whether or not any of his respondents had an actual gay parent. There is no possible scientifically legitimate reading of his paper that involves gay parents in any way.

    • scottrose

      Exactly who “respects” Regnerus as a sociologist? He lied to the pro-gay-rights, LGBT-sciences trained and experienced scholars he wanted to attach to the New Family Structures Study, by fraudulently alleging that he is “moderate and apolitical.” Meanwhile, though, when he was writing to his fellow anti-gay religious bigots about the upcoming study, he openly expressed contempt for gay people’s rights. One of the scholars Regnerus lied to, Dr. Abbie Goldberg of Clark University, said “It’s clear that Regnerus lied to me” when she was shown the documentation that he had in fact lied to her.

      In his first NFSS paper, as well as in his follow-up piece published in November, 2012, Regnerus lied about his funder’s involvement in the study. Are you actually going to claim that the academic community “respects” a liar?

      In August of 2011 — before data collection occurred for the NFSS — Regnerus and Brad Wilcox took Witherspoon money to travel to Colorado where for a full day they discussed NFSS media and public relations promotions with the anti-gay religious bigot Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family. Ask yourself how an ethical research would plan promotions of his study, before data collection occurred, with Stanton, who says that homosexuality is “a particularly evil lie of Satan.”

      Regnerus did not assemble an appropriate comparison group for his paper, and he cherry-picked the comparison group he did use, in order to fulfill his funders’ requirements that his paper be viable for anti-gay-rights uses.

      You claim you have read Regnerus’ NFSS paper — how do you justify the untested assumption he asserts as a fact in his conclusion?

      “Regnerus (2012a) spurred large amounts of political, academic, and scientific controversy following its publication. The article claims that “sexual orientation or parent sexual behavior … may affect the reality of family experiences among a significant number” and that “the empirical claim that no notable differences exist” for children in “lesbian and gay families … must go.” The article claims sufficient evidence, that is, to confirm hypothesis H2. In fact, due to major deficiencies of the data, significant untested assumptions, poor data analysis, unmeasurable recall and selection bias, and lack of consideration of appropriate alternative hypotheses, there is insufficient evidence to confirm this hypothesis. Regnerus (2012a) fails to demonstrate that children
      from same-sex families display disadvantages. Thus the state of the science remains as it was prior to publication of Rengerus (2012a): there is no systematic evidence demonstrating that children from same-sex households suffer disadvantages relative to appropriate comparison groups from opposite-sex households.”

      “Taking for granted the unethical behavior of Regnerus, and Brad Wilcox, on whose behalf Regnerus acted, the real failure here is by Wright. Instead of seriously reviewing the paper, he essentially whispered into an echo chamber of backers and consultants, “We should publish this, right?”

      I believe the paper should be retracted because the conclusions are demonstrably wrong, because the author lied in the paper about the involvement of the institute that funded it, and because the peer review process was compromised by conflicts of interest. As long as this remains uncorrected, and James Wright remains editor, the integrity of the journal is indelibly tarnished.

      While Wright is editor, I will no longer review for or submit to Social Science Research. I hope others will join me in that decision.”

  • Leon Trotsky

    One question regarding your “original research” recently published with the title :

    How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study
    Did you do a control to eliminate or confirm homosexuality as the causative factor of the outcomes analyzed?

    What I mean is, your “research” attempts to create a causative link between homosexuality and various social outcomes like increased unemployment, poverty, and asocial or anti-social moods (like contemplation of suicide). But I saw no control group study to rule in or out homosexuality as causation.

    Oh, perhaps you have no idea what a control group, or even causation, is. Let me help: If you find particular outcomes from an apparently unrelated factor, like for example unemployment caused by homosexuality, then you would need to study a control group which is not homosexual, but has to live with the legalized civil disabilities of homosexuals. For example, a good control group here would be heterosexual paroled prisoners or illegal immigrants. The control group has the same civil disabilities as homosexuals (legalized employment discrimination, no right to marry, and so forth) but are not themselves homosexuals. If we found the same outcomes in the control group as in the study group – well that would completely invalidate your causative thesis.

    Did you do a control group study, or not?

    I did notice from reading other parts of your website that you are zealous Catholic, probably one who believes homosexuality is a deadly sin – not to mention believing in a non-existent supernatural creature. So, try not to let your zealotry and mysticism interfere with the attempts of other human beings to live out their lives, okay?

    • georgeyancey

      If you want to discuss his parenting study then find a blog where that is the subject. You are attempting to be snarky about a control group (and by the way you describe it I can see that you do not have a concept of what a control group is) and you are not even sticking to the topic of the blog. Honestly I am tired of people wanting to drag old ad hominem irrelevant information into these discussions. Those who simply want to come in here and be rude just for the sake of being rude may well find themselves blackballed from future discussions. Disagree all you want with the topic of this blog. I do not care. Just stay on that topic and stop trying to use this blog to make rude comments about a different piece of research.

      • georgeyancey

        And goodby. There are plenty of other venues where you can spew your hatred. We will save this space for legitimate debate and discussion.

  • James Bronzeson

    Your career in academics is OVER. Judge Friedman didn’t fall for any of it. “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration,” he wrote in what must be one of the most stinging and decisive repudiations of an expert witness in memory. He cited evidence that the conservative research was “hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder” which clearly expressed its wish for skewed results.


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