Are the kids really going to be alright?

Are the kids really going to be alright?

Carol Soelberg

You may not even know who Mark Regnerus is but to United Families International, he is a hero. We have waited almost two weeks to write about the vindication of Mark Regnerus, in the hope that we would be able to report that the major media outlets had given some level of coverage to this story. But still nothing from any major media! So, here is the story and we’re depending on YOU to help us spread the word!

Some of you may remember that Mark Regnerus is a University of Texas sociologist who, in June, released his study on the impact of same-sex relationships on children. But Regnerus’ findings didn’t mesh with the narrative that gay advocates and cultural elites have been crafting for almost a decade. He was immediately and ferociously attacked by gay advocates proclaiming him to be a “fraud” and his research as “bullsh–t.” A particular gay journalist led the charge insisting that Regnerus’ research was driven solely by “animosity towards gays.” Major media was quick to let the pubic know that this new study was thought to be bogus (here and here). The critics were so outspoken and persistent that the University of Texas felt forced to launch an inquiry into the allegations of scientific misconduct.

After hiring an independent consultant to monitor and “ensure that the inquiry was conducted appropriately and fairly,” the University of Texas concluded that a formal investigation was unnecessary and cleared Dr. Regnerus of the charges of unethical research and “scientific misconduct.”

Everything about this incident is disturbing.

It isn’t hard to imagine the effect this assault on academic freedom will have on researchers contemplating any future study on same-sex parenting (unless of course one assures that your study is structured to view gay parenting in a positive light!). The message to those of us in the general public is painfully similar: “think twice about making an utterance that doesn’t fall within the guidelines of the gay lobby.” Further, speak out or produce something that doesn’t extol same-sex partnering and parenting and all stops will be pulled out to undermine and silence you. Even those of us who have been in the pro-family trenches for decades were shocked at how viciously Dr. Regnerus was attacked.

 Why was there such a strong reaction to the new gay-parenting studies?

Gay parenting proponents have a lot riding on everyone buying into statements like the one by the American Psychological Association (APA) that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” This statement has been repeated in the media and in court rooms and public policy forums across the country.

Major court rulings, such as the one that struck down California’s Prop 8, were heavily influenced by the supposed scientific research proclaiming that the kids who are reared in same-sex parent families “are going to be alright.” The determination that same-sex parenting does not produce the same outcomes as heterosexual parenting would be a major blow to gay advocacy and the push for same-sex marriage.

What’s in this new gay-parenting research?

Mark Regnerus Study

You can read Regnerus’ comments and synopsis of his study here, but here are some basic findings:

  • When compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.
  • Compared to children raised in married, mother-father families, children with mothers who ever had a relationship with another women, were significantly likely to be unemployed as adults, more likely to seek treatment for mental illness, and more likely to have engaged in unmarried sex.
  • When compared with children raised in married, mother-father families, children raised by same-sex couples suffered from greater risk of poverty, substance abuse and criminality.

You can find the entire Regnerus study here and see an interview with Dr. Regnerus here. The Washington Times, however, worked up a chart that gives a simplified version of some of the details:

Loren Marks Study

The research of Loren Marks, Louisiana State University, was released at approximately the same time as the Regnerus study. Dr. Marks’ work involved a methodological review of the 59 studies that were relied on by the APA [American Psychological Association] to make their widely-repeated statement: “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

The Marks’ study, “Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American psychological association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting” showed that the science is far from settled. He concluded:

[N]ot one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA [American Psychological Association] Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children. The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. Such a statement would not be grounded in science. To make a generalizable claim, representative, large-sample studies are needed–many of them.

You can find a brief overview of the Marks’ research here. Over the years, objections to the numerous and faulty pro gay-parenting research studies have been raised, but as you might have guessed, those voices have been repeatedly drowned out. Seems this time that voice has finally been heard.

The irony is that the Regnerus’ and Marks’ studies have been called “poorly-structured,” “biased,” “fraudulent,” “agenda-driven,” and “advocacy funded,” when in reality those adjectives apply exactly to the research gay advocates have been using to bolster support for same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting and adoption.

Take Aways:

  • Supporters of same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption are highly motivated to send a signal to the public that the children being reared in same-sex homes “are alright.”
  • The pro-gay parenting studies are far from conclusive, certainly not of the quality to merit a statement that “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” Particularly when these types of statements are used to support rulings in court cases and in public policy decisions that have such far-reaching effects.
  • The science on gay-parenting is not settled and civil discourse on the subject is required.
  • Instability in family structure – any family structure – is a huge negative in terms of outcomes for children.
  • Decades of research has shown that children reared by their married biological parents have superior outcomes to any alternative family type.
  • Lastly, our children shouldn’t be treated as guinea pigs in some giant social experiment or used as props to help forward an ideology. They deserve better.

Gender expert Dale O’Leary points out:

“As more persons with SSA [same-sex attraction] acquire children, society will increasingly be pressured to ignore the problems caused by same-sex parenting — just as it ignores the problems caused by divorce — and join in the pretence that that having two mommies is just the same as having a mommy and a daddy. But no matter how many people praise “family diversity,” children being raised by parents with SSA will always know that it’s not the same, and someday they will resent how their needs have been sacrificed for the sake of a social experiment. In a sad irony, the more that cultural elites insist that there is nothing wrong with their situation, the more these children will feel guilty about resenting it, and this guilt will lead them to conclude that there must be something wrong with them.”

Conclusion

This article barely scratches the surface on this issue. To be able to fight the social and political pressure being applied by the gay-rights agenda, we must all be able to articulate the truth concerning the protection of children. There is so much social science evidence to support the historical reality that children do best being raised by their married biological parents. We invite you, even plead with you, take some time to click on the various links provided. Learn what you can about both positions. The United Families International Issues Guides are created to give you one stop resource on decades of research that supports the importance of a married mother and father to the rearing of children. We recommend “The Marriage Advantage” as a starting point.

Then be bold. Speak out when you hear inaccurate information being repeated. Marriage and becoming a parent is not primarily about meeting adult needs and desires. It is about rearing the next generation of honest, caring, educated, hard-working individuals. For the protection of our children and our society, learn to articulate how important the traditional family is in preparing a future generation of responsible citizens! 

8 Comments
  • Anastasia
    Posted at 22:37h, 18 September Reply

    I am a heterosexual woman myself, but I find it ironic that a blog/mission saying it is “United Families International” seems to be so against any type of family that is not a mother + father + children + Christian family. Now, I agree with many fine points made in this article…not least of which that children shouldn’t be viewed as pieces in a social experiment.

    However, I think far, FAR more studies need to be done on this topic before we can say there is concrete evidence that homosexual parenting is or isn’t good enough for children. That mean real/honest/unbiased studies…not ones funded by extremist liberals, and certainly not right wing Fundamentalists/conservatives. We need the TRUTH, not what someone is paid to say!

  • Amy
    Posted at 23:16h, 18 September Reply

    Anastasia,

    I see the point you are trying to make and although I disagree with you that UFI is only about the traditional Christian family (although it is clearly about traditional families, they work with many other faiths or those who choose no faith at all), I do agree there should be more honest studies done.

    If you studied the information linked in this blog post you would realize that is the point being made. Mrs. Soelberg is encouraging us to “Learn what you can about both positions” have you ever come across any advocates from the gay community suggesting you do this? The whole point is: when the “TRUTH” is drowned out by the loudness (my experience tells me loudness is often a distraction…which side have YOU noticed is louder?) we must search for it ourselves with diligence and a determination to see the whole truth so we can take a stand and speak up against the loudness!

    PS Most true advocates for children aren’t looking for “good enough” but for what is BEST for them. Every child deserves such consideration and anything less is generally a false dilemma.

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 12:25h, 19 September Reply

    Amy,
    I have read every bit of information linked in this blog post, and realize that Carol was at least attempting to show what she has learned from this new study. I consider myself a very logical person…I like to fully know both sides of an issue before making a personal judgement. Therefore, I must answer you truthfully that YES, I have heard advocates from the homosexual community suggesting that everyone should have their say. I was a part of my college’s Gay-Straight Alliance for 2 years, and we had many deep/meaningful discussions in regards to marriage, hospital rights, adoption vs biological children, taxes, lifestyle, gender identity and plain sexuality. Nothing was ever fully agreed upon, but it was wonderful to have such open (and non-discriminating) discussions.
    In my area, it is the anti-homosexuals who are louder. Perhaps it is not so in your area, but I can only speak for my own. When my home state of New york finally passed the Gay Marriage act, there was much celebrating of course, but I also had my fair share of clients/customers who felt they should throw their mean-sounding remarks around in my store for everyone to hear…essentially giving a very LOUD opinion without being asked for it in the first place!
    I will also admit that there are “flamboyant” homosexuals here too, those who are EXTREMELY open about their homosexuality, and to me that is just as bad. If you want to give your same-sex girlfriend a quick kiss or walk with your hand in the back pocket of your same-sex husband…I’m 100% fine with that. It is a normal sight among hetero couples, so homo couples should be allowed to show public affection too. But I do not want to see ANYONE blatantly “making out” in public, same-sex or no…but it seems many homo couples do just that.

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 12:53h, 19 September Reply

    Also, I do not want to change the topic of conversation…that is not my intent at all. But previously you stated;
    “I see the point you are trying to make and although I disagree with you that UFI is only about the traditional Christian family (although it is clearly about traditional families, they work with many other faiths or those who choose no faith at all)”.

    I feel I must disagree with you there, but only because of what I’ve read on this blog itself. Take a look at this post from a while ago;

    http://unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com/?s=wicca

    It discusses the idea that some schools have started to honor Wiccan holidays on their calendars, which is the religion I belong to, and have practiced for about 13 years now. In the second paragraph, the poster states “We are absolutely not supporters of Wicca or other forms of paganism.” They go on to state that they believe in religious freedom though, so I do have to congratulate for that. Read some of the comments though…

    “Wiccan is not a religion; it is a potentially dangerous cult.”
    “We appreciate that you may believe that Wicca is a cult, not a religion; but UNFORTUNATELY, the courts have seen in it otherwise.”
    “Could it depend on what we want to be – an all-inclusive nation…or a nation that finds the TRUE WAY and stands up for it?”
    “I believe the idea of ‘religious freedom’ was intended to include recognition of all faiths within the Christian tradition, honoring God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ; not those of other professed deities. It is pretty obvious that Wicca would not be included.”
    “If we believe that we’re a nation under God, then a holiday to celebrate Wicca is out of place in our culture and society. You note that the Courts have recognized Wicca as a religion. I regret to say that within our belief system – enshrined in our constitution – our courts are wrong.”

    When or if I have a family of my own, I will raise them as Wiccans. We will celebrate the Solsitices, the Sabbaths, the moon cycles. They will learn to see the truth of all religions, not just Wicca. I will teach them to worship the Lady and Lord who are our Creators, to honor their ancestors, to make a true altar, to appreciate nature as a wondrous gift, to be kind and loving towards their fellow beings…human and non-human alike. My future children will learn to challenge adversity, stand up for what is right, forsake lying/stealing/hating, and to be generous with their friendships. In other words, they will be taught decency, morality, a true sense of independent thought, and how to tell right from wrong…just the same as any other child, and just as I was raised to do. If they wish to become Christian/Jewish/Islamic/Etc later as adults they can, with my full blessing (though I will not allow a Bible/Koran/Torah to remain in my home while they are under my roof).

    I simply wanted to point out, dear Amy, that while it may seem on the surface that UFI is open to all faiths, it has been made clear to me that many of their readers are certainly not, and that UFI itself “does not approve” of my faith.

  • Meagan
    Posted at 09:02h, 26 September Reply

    I’m so sorry they put a bad taste in your mouth with what they said–you’ve got to realize that they got a bad taste in their mouth when it was being used at the UN (when you click on the link in the link) to combat things UFI believed in, that’s been their only exposure, and of course with how much you’ve been challenging UFI it probably confirms some people’s opinion that its anti-family, even though you agree in many important areas . I know that there are many pro-family pagans because I had three friends at my school who were wiccan and all three of them stood up against abortion, some of them were interested in other family subjects like marriage, homeschooling, etc… Around the world, and not just in Abrahamic faiths, there are thousands of sects from tribes to major denominations, some could be considered pagan/heathen, that share similar goals of marriage and family life and are being threatened because of imposing policies–some coming right out of the UN.

    I started following UFI because I was introduced to one of their books. I had been following other pro-family organizations previously because I thought I shared similar goals, but not only were they making no contributions–just venting, but they attacked other faiths (people who aren’t Christian enough in their eyes, Islam, etc…) that were also pro-family. They acted as if they were the only people in the world trying to defend morality. I was so sick of it. UFI is a huge improvement because they brought people together of different backgrounds to focus on the most important topics facing the family. I don’t think standing up for specifics like proven causes of children’s well-being, or combating the distribution of deviant sexuality cheapens their message–because these are subjects most people in traditional families care about. If it was just a vague we’re pro-family, and no one cared how functional or moral they are for fear of offending, it wouldn’t be a strong movement.

    About your link…I’m guessing readers felt threatened because they are under the impression that wicca’s not very commonly practiced and the purpose was to promote a religion for political reasons. There have been cases of schools celebrating Islamic holidays even though they have almost no Muslims, so its a real concern about establishing a religion. If they mentioned that a particular school had a significant amount of wiccans, then many, I believe, would have answered differently.

    • Anastasia
      Posted at 12:19h, 26 September Reply

      Thank you for your response, Megan.

      It is certainly a possibility that some of those that made comments in the other post were afraid of a “political agenda”, but others seemed to truly believe my religion is dangerous. My response would be that ANY religion is dangerous when taken to an extreme…but there you have it.

      I realize that many of my more recent posts can be seen as “challenging”, but this is mostly due to the subject matter. Like you, I greatly enjoy reading about the family setting/environment and have found many wonderful articles here on UFI. I think that 98% of what they publish here is true, and that the caring people who post are simply watching out for the pro family sector. I applaud them all for the work they try to do!

      They make statements about the importance of being together as a family, raising children with love, respect and discipline, health, spirituality, cleanliness, and a good dose of “don’t believe everything you hear”. All of these are fantastic points, and I agree wholeheartedly with them. My own mother was a single parent til she remarried when I was 7…and some of the abuses UFI says can occur with situations like that did happen to me via my stepfather. But my biological father was barely better, so I most fondly remember living with my mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

      My only real issue with UFI is how they are so completely against ANY homosexual couples. Some of my friends in both high school and college were/are gay. They are otherwise “normal” citizens of our country…they don’t flaunt it, they don’t march/protest, they never engage younger people in conversations about homosexuality or even do more that the quickest of kisses in public. A few of them have been in the same relationship for over 9 years, longer than many heterosexuals I know! Two of these couples are planning on marrying and either adopting or having surrogate children within a few years. There are few people I know who will be more loving, caring, parents.

      It seemly makes me so frustrated that some people would completely deny another’s ability to love their mate, have all the rights that come with a legally binding union, or to have the chance to raise a new, better generation…simply because of their spouse’s sex. It is as strange to me that anyone can think this is “right” or “just”, as if I told you “up is down”. It is such a foreign concept in my mind, that anyone can deny a consensual, mature, adult relationship simply because they find it uncomfortable.

  • Amy
    Posted at 16:56h, 26 September Reply

    Anastasia,

    I can appreciate where you are coming from. I am Christian (LDS, otherwise known as Mormon) and I’ve also experienced offensive comments from others who know little about my religion. I personally knew nothing about the Wiccan religion until I read the comments posted which helped to educate me, so I appreciate those who respectfully did so. I can see why you might find those comments offensive.

    One of the Articles of my religion states “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.” Regardless of a persons beliefs or religious organization they might belong to, there will always be individual biases for which open, respectful discourse is necessary.

    As Meagan articulated concerning UFI, the common ground we all have is a desire to protect the traditional family. In regards to the issue of homosexuality have you read their “Guide to Family Issues: Sexual Orientation”? Although it is in need of updating, you will find the reasoning behind their stand.

    My personal beliefs about this issue are based on my own experience, observations and studies. It is a loaded subject for all involved and deserving of serious study and contemplation. I am not against anyone choosing to live the way they feel is best for them, however individual rights do not trump the rights of a society when it comes to behavior and lifestyle. When the homosexual community (or any group) asks society to sanction, support or uphold their choice of lifestyle they had better be prepared to prove it benefits that society. So far the studies I’ve read suggest otherwise. Homosexuality has been shown to be a high risk lifestyle.

    I have personal objections to it because I believe the practice of homosexuality (not same gender attraction, which is another issue) is a violation of natural and divine law. This is my personal and religious belief, which I have the right to. When laws are being instituted on behalf of the homosexual community that could lead to a violation of my right to practice my religion or beliefs that is where their rights end. UFI has documented numerous instances of this happening in states where same gender marriage has been legalized and other countries as well (a couple that come to mind are the Catholic Boston adoption agency that was closed down because of their stand on homosexual adoption. The photographer who refused to photograph a lesbian couple in New Mexico and was sued for it. A preacher fined and imprisoned for preaching homosexuality is a sin and MANY others).

    As you have shared, there are many in the homosexual community who just want to live their lives peacefully and have no agenda, but there are also many who do have an agenda (I’ve read over several blogs that make that very clear). Marriage is a federally protected ‘status’ just as personhood is because it is foundational to healthy families. I believe children have the right to both a father and a mother and social science has repeatedly supported the assumption that children do best with their biological parents. Please understand I am not suggesting there are not viable alternatives, but I do not believe homosexual parenting is one of them (neither does France because of the social science presented when it came before the government).

    I have been called bigoted and every other name in the book for my beliefs, but I do not treat anyone who chooses a different lifestyle as lesser than myself. Yes we are all created with equal value, but not all ideas, choices, lifestyles or policies are of equal value. I cared for a dear friend who died of AIDS contracted from living a homosexual lifestyle (and yes it is statistically higher in the gay community, this statement does not make me a bigot) and it was that experience which acted as a catalyst for me to search and study, not any agenda to force my views or values on others. It is NOT “simply because (I) find it uncomfortable”.

    When all sides can respectfully discuss these issues and agree to MUTUAL tolerance, perhaps we will experience more of the peace many desire, but my own feeling is that deeply held beliefs and a desire for “ones own way” will continue to make this issue a heated one. Again, I appreciate when people of all walks of life can address such things with a determination to keep it respectful. Take care!

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 17:07h, 09 October Reply

    Dear Amy,

    I’m sorry for the delay in my response. I am very busy with work at the moment, and wanted to fully address your most recent comment with the time it deserves.

    First of all, you write ” I personally knew nothing about the Wiccan religion until I read the comments posted which helped to educate me, so I appreciate those who respectfully did so. I can see why you might find those comments offensive.” I may be reading this wrong, so please forgive me if I am, but it seems like you believe that those comments actually TAUGHT you something about my religion. I tell you know, that unless you are talking about mine and the one by the priestess, they did not. There is no “might”…I DID find many of those comments offensive, if not just plain ignorant.

    You say that being a Mormon has led you to hear some hateful things about your own path…If I read a website that posted some of these idiotic things, should I then consider myself “educated” about Mormons? I have read that the Mormon faith is cruel to women, that it is a cult, that it calls for polygamy and that you are all racists. Since I have read these things on other websites, should I accept them as true even though you “might” find them offensive?

    Secondly, I am sorry about your friend. It is always a great sadness to lose someone, especially if they die in a prolonged manner. You have my deepest sympathies. I do not find the fact that some STDs are found in higher rates in the homosexual community to be bigoted. Instead, I blame the fact that many schools/hospitals do not stress the importance of wearing protection during sexual encounters. Condoms and dams are important, but NOT just for preventing pregnancy…when used correctly, these items are 97% effective at stopping the spread of STDs. The fact that a homosexual couple can’t become unwillingly pregnant should NOT mean that they can have unprotected sex. More education needs to reach the public about this.

    Thirdly, I actually agree with you about the “individual rights” issue. Your above examples about the companies/individuals that were prosecuted for following their religious beliefs were the wronged parties in those cases. If a photographer feel so strongly against homosexual marriages that they refuse money from such a couple, then that is their right. I’m sure another photographer would be more than willing to take the business. If the Boston Adoption clinic was entirely funded by private means, then it should not have been closed down, as it provided a valuable resource. However, if it was mostly funded by government monies, then I can see why that would be an issue. As for the preacher, I personally find it deplorable that someone would still (in this century!) call homosexuality a “sin”, but if those are his beliefs AND he only speaks about it in his church, then so be it. No ones religious rights should be infringed upon, just to “prove” we are becoming a better, more tolerant culture. But neither should a loving couple be prevented from getting married just because of their sex…then THEIR individual rights are being taken away.

    I greatly appreciate your comments, and find your viewpoints rational given your personal experiences and considering your religion of choice. I would enjoy reading anything else you have to say, as you are a very eloquent writer and make some good points, even if I disagree with them. I also have a question; What did you mean about “same gender attraction”? Did you mean “same sex attraction” or did you truly mean “same gender attraction”…and if so why is this okay but homosexuality is not?

    I look forward to your response.

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