Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin was paid some $785,000 through the Witherspoon Institute by his long-time personal friend Bradford Wilcox in order to produce a fraudulent study purporting to show that children of same-sex couples fair worse than those raised by opposite-sex couples. The Witherspoon Institute, which is an affiliate of the National Organization for Marriage, wanted this study so that videos like this could be produced:
That video pushes Regnerus’ anti-gay study. Even an internal audit of the academic journal that published the study found that it’s results, as ThinkProgress put it, are ‘bull pies’, as they say in Vermont.
Scott Rose of The New Civil Rights Movement has been pushing this issue hard. He has uncovered the fact that Wilcox is not only helped secure funding for the fraudulent study, but was a paid consultant for it, was on the peer review board, and is on the board of the journal that published it.
Rose recently wrote that:
Counter to all science publishing ethics, the study was published without benefit of valid peer review. Indeed, the peer review of the Regnerus study, and of a study by Loren Marks propagandistically paired to it, was marked by corruption and improper insider influence. Wilcox is an editorial board member of the Elsevier company’s journal Social Science Research, which published Regnerus. Wilcox, furthermore, is a paid Regnerus study consultant. It appears he also did some peer review of the paired Regnerus and Marks studies.
Whereas the peer reviewers allowed the Regnerus study’s glaring methodological failures through to publication, a mass of experts in the academy expressed concern that the scientifically invalid study had been published, and at that, on a suspicious rush schedule.
According to Dr. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute, the mere fact that peer reviewers had conflicts of interest means that the Regnerus study did not have valid peer review. Gates is seconded in that opinion by Vanderbilt University Sociologist Tony N. Brown, Editor of the American Sociological Association’s American Sociological Review, who has said: “journal editors should always seek knowledgeable reviewers who do not have any conflict of interest regarding the submitted author or the study’s funder.” (Bolding added).
Gates further says: “We need to get answered the question about why the Regnerus study was published in a rush, with no valid peer review. Other issues surrounding the Regnerus and Marks studies may be interesting, but the core question relates to the fact that the study was published in a suspicious rush without valid peer review. What caused Social Science Research‘s editor-in-chief James Wright to publish this study in a rush, without valid peer review? We need that question answered.”
It is not surprising that the anti-gay groups are desperate to give a veneer of academic respectability to their hatred. It recalls earlier attempts by racists to ‘prove’ that Blacks were inferior to Whites through a variety of methods including claims that Blacks were inferior to Whites because of the shape of their skulls. It was so bad that one archaeological expedition to Great Zimbabwe came close to stripping the entire place looking for proof that the complex was created by a lost tribe out of Israel even though it was created by the local tribes when there was an unusually good run of weather for the area.
During the 1800′s and early 1900′s, there were pushes within the Anthropological and Biological academic circles to prove that Whites were superior to everyone else. These often relied upon pseudoscience and often failed to take into account how much of an influence on development education was and is.
With honest academes proving that the anti-gay groups are dead wrong about LGBT peoples, it is not surprising that they would produce such studies and that the academic institutions that produced them would be reluctant to rebuke them.